Sunday, November 15, 2009

Genesis and the Number Seven

Genesis and the Number Seven - Sheva Apelbaum 

I love puzzles, the more difficult the better.  My favorite are the ones that have words, numbers and hidden symbols. 

My favorite book of the Bible is Genesis. A few weeks ago after reading the creation story, my dad said: “Did you know that  the first five books of the Hebrew bible are actually a puzzle?” He said that one of the clues featured my favorite number, 7, and few of its multipliers. 

I couldn't resist the challenge and so I started checking the text for clues but I couldn’t find any hidden meaning other than that the creation story took 7 days.   I asked him for additional clues, but he said that he had already told me too much.

So I got thinking about the number 7. The reasons why I call it my favorite are:

  1. Sheva (שבע) , my name, in Hebrew means “oath” but it also means “7
  2. The number 7 is a prime  as well as a Mersenne,  a Lucky, and a Happy number
  3. Multiplying 7 by 4  gives the prefect number 28 (which is really pretty!)

So armed with the clue that 7 has special meaning, I looked at the creation story in the books of Genesis (see the text below) and have found the following:

Subject

Times Used

Number of words in opening sentence

7

Number of letters in opening sentence

28 (4x7)

Number of letters in בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים = “In the beginning God created” 

14 (2x7)

Number of letters in  = אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ “The heavens and the earth

14 (2x7)

Number of letters in = אֱלֹהִים, הַשָּׁמַיִם, הָאָרֶץ “God, heaven, earth

14 (2x7)

Number of letters in = אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם “The heavens”

7

Number of letters in = וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ “The earth”

7

The value of the first middle and last letters =בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

133 (7x19)

The value of first and last letter of each word
ברֵאשִׁית  בָּרָא  אֱלֹהִים  אֵת  הַשָּׁמַיִם   וְאֵת   האָרֶץ
(90+5)  (400+6)  (40+5)  (400+1)  (40+1)      (1+2)      (400+2)

1393 (7x199)

Total number of paragraphs

7

The word יוֹם  = day

7

The word אֱלֹהִים = God

35  (5x7)

The word אָרֶץ = earth

21  (3x7)

Creation commands
יְהִי אוֹר ,יְהִי רָקִיעַ ,יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם ,תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ ,יְהִי מְאוֹרות ,יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּים ,יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם

7

The words  הַחֹשֶׁך and לָיְלָה = dark & night

7

The words יוֹם and אוֹר = day & light (in 3rd-
5th paragraphs)

7

The word מָּיִם = water (6th-10th paragraphs)

7

The word חַיָּה = animal (in 5th & 6th paragraphs)

7

The word כִּי-טוֹב = and it was good

7

The word  טוֹב מְאֹד = very good

7th Day

Number of words in the 7th
paragraph (red)

35 (5x7)

Starting after the  בְּרֵאשִׁית = (letter T) counting 3 times with 49 letter increments spells out the word תּוֹרָה

49 (7x7)

The words שָּׁמַיִם  and רָקִיעַ = heavens

21  (3x7)

Genesis Chapter 1 בְּרֵאשִׁית

א בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

ב  וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם.

2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר.

3 And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light.

ד  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאוֹר, כִּי-טוֹב; וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

ה  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, וְלחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם אֶחָד.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם, וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל, בֵּין מַיִם לָמָיִם.

6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.'

ז  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הָרָקִיעַ, וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ, וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.

ח  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָרָקִיעַ, שָׁמָיִם; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שֵׁנִי. 

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל-מָקוֹם אֶחָד, וְתֵרָאֶה, הַיַּבָּשָׁה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so.

י  וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ, וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ, אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

11 And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so.

יב  וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע, לְמִינֵהוּ, וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה-פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ-בוֹ, לְמִינֵהוּ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

יג  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי.

13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה; וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים, וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים.

14 And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

טו  וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְהָאִיר עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so.

טז  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים:  אֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל, לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם, וְאֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַקָּטֹן לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַלַּיְלָה, וְאֵת הַכּוֹכָבִים.

16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars.

יז  וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם, לְהָאִיר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

יח  וְלִמְשֹׁל, בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה, וּלְהַבְדִּיל, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

יט  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם רְבִיעִי.

19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

כ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים--יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם, שֶׁרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה; וְעוֹף יְעוֹפֵף עַל-הָאָרֶץ, עַל-פְּנֵי רְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם.

20 And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.'

כא  וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים; וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם, וְאֵת כָּל-עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ, וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

כב  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, לֵאמֹר:  פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ, וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הַמַּיִם בַּיַּמִּים, וְהָעוֹף, יִרֶב בָּאָרֶץ.

22 And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.'

כג  וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי.

23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

כד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, תּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה לְמִינָהּ, בְּהֵמָה וָרֶמֶשׂ וחַיְתוֹ-אֶרֶץ, לְמִינָהּ; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

24 And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so.

כה  וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ, וְאֶת-הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ, וְאֵת כָּל-רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה, לְמִינֵהוּ; וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, כִּי-טוֹב.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

כו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ; וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף השָּׁמַיִם, וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-הָאָרֶץ, וּבְכָל-הָרֶמֶשׂ, הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

26 And God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'

כז  וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ:  זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם.

27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

כח  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם, אֱלֹהִים, וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְכִבְשֻׁהָ; וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם, וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם, וּבְכָל-חַיָּה, הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל-הָאָרֶץ.

28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.'

כט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת-כָּל-עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-כָּל-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ פְרִי-עֵץ, זֹרֵעַ זָרַע:  לָכֶם יִהְיֶה, לְאָכְלָה.

29 And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed--to you it shall be for food;

ל  וּלְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל רוֹמֵשׂ עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, אֶת-כָּל-יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, לְאָכְלָה; וַיְהִי-כֵן.

30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it was so.

לא  וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, וְהִנֵּה-טוֹב מְאֹד; וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר, יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי.

31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

א  וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, וְכָל-צְבָאָם.

1 And the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

ב  וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה; וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה.

2 And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.

ג  וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ:  כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל-מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made.

2 comments:

  1. Oh girl, you left me speechless!
    This will take me a while to digest...
    So much serious work you put in here...
    Such a chain of thoughts...
    You are a little Yentl, you know?
    Oh, oh, oh, - just take the hug!
    Yael.

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  2. "There are certain things that once you have
    No man can take away
    No wave can take away
    No wind can blow away
    No tide can turn away
    No fire can burn away
    No time can wear away
    And now they are to be mine!"

    Yentl
    who wanted to know everything - like you

    ReplyDelete