Some Geometric Insights Into God’s First Words
Copyright: Nick Sandberg 2005
(Taken from the work of Vernon Jenkins, MSc)
Author’s Note: I was recently amazed by the astounding work of mathematician Vernon Jenkins MSc and his insights into the geometric structure of the opening verse of the Book of Genesis. I therefore offer this piece as a brief Qabalistic commentary and would forward the interested reader to his website here much more of his fascinating work may be found.
The above diagram features the first verse of the biblical Book of Genesis inscribed around an equilateral triangle of area 2701 units, itself subdivided into one equilateral triangle of 703 units surrounded by three others of area 666 units. These numbers, highly featured in the ancient esoteric science of Qabalah, arise directly from the numerology of the first verse.
Berashith Berah Elohim Ath Ha-Shamaim Vath Ha-Aretz, “In the Beginning Created God, the Heavens, and the Earth” – so commences the book of Genesis. Being written in Hebrew, all the letters of the words can be understood also as numbers, according to the ancient arts of gematria and isopsephia. In biblical times, the Hebrew language, like the Greek of the New Testament, featured no numerals and so individual letters would have number values assigned to them. This meant that any word could be understood as a word and also as a number. As the centuries passed so Hebrew gained its own numeral system and thus words became just words. Yet, to those familiar with the ancient system, deeper patterns of meaning are still available. These two sciences are known as gematria and isopsephia. Gematria is the relating of words to geometric shapes via their numeral values. Isopsephia is the relating of words to other words having an equal or related numeral value.
By adding the total values for each word above we get a number value for the whole verse – 2701. 2701 is a triangular number (also known as a Theosophical Extension in some schools of Qabalah), meaning it may naturally be resolved into the shape of an equilateral triangle. It is, in fact, the 73rd triangular number, meaning it is the sum of all the integers up to and including 73 (1+2+3…+73 = 2701). There are just 1413 triangular numbers to be found between the integers 1 and 1,000,000.
What is also interesting is that the last two words of the first verse – Vath Ha-Aretz, “and the Earth” – also sum to give a triangular number, this time the 37th triangular number – 703. Placing this triangle upside down and inside the 2701 triangle creates three more equilateral triangles, this time the 36th triangle number – 666. This is how the design above is derived.
703 & 666
I will examine briefly some of the isopsephia of these two numbers, significant in Qabalah, that the reader may taste a little of what is hinted at by the triangular design
In Qabalah, 703 is an especially important number. It’s primary Qabalistic significance is hidden in the word Ahben, literally translated Stone. Esoterically, it is a compound word formed from the words Ab, meaning Father, and Ben, meaning Son. Ahben thus signifies the union of Father and Son, a metaphor for the state of enlightenment achieved by seers. When Jesus famously said “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30) he was referring to the state of liberation conferred by having one’s personal ego aligned totally with the will of God, the will of the Universe. In the ancient art of Alchemy, Ahben is the Stone of the Wise or Philosopher’s Stone, which is really the extra-developed pineal gland of the seer. Qabalists and Alchemists believe that by paying specific sustained attention to certain dietary factors, visualizations, and ritual work certain changes in the structure of the pineal gland may be slowly brought about, confering the state of liberation described above. This significance of the number 703 as the ancient Philosopher’s Stone is reinforced by the other numeral correspondances quoted above. Gan, garden, as in Gan Aden, Garden of Eden, relates the state of idyllic blissful existence granted to those who have the Stone. Raziy Yesodoth, Secret Foundations, indicates the significance of this number in that Qabalists believe that the state of enlightenment, of conscious identification with the will of God, is that which sustains the universe in its ongoing development, supporting our daily experience of life.
The far better known 666 is recognized by most as the “number of the Beast” of the book of Revelation. In Qabalah, however, as opposed to popular culture, this is by no means a negative concept. 666 is the number of the magic square of the Sun, an esoteric talisman consisting of the numbers 1-36 specially arrayed in a 6 x 6 square to give rows, columns and diagonals each equal to 111. It is also the number of the phrase Shemesh Yehovah – Sun of God, the word Sorath – the spirit of the Sun, the word Elohikam – Your God, and Shem Yehoshuah – The Name of Jesus, that latter a phrase which may also be translated “The idea (as a word or name) that the nature of Reality is to liberate.”
Thus the triangle of 703 – the Philospher’s Stone, surrounded by three triangles of 666 – a solar, liberational symbol, suggests to the mind schooled in Qabalah the “Perfection of the Arte” found in the consciousness of a Master, the consciousness of God.
999 & 703
These two powerful numbers are also easily revealed by breaking up the seven words of the verse slightly. Berashith and Elohim added equal 999, as do the second, fourth, and fifth words, Bera, Vath, and Ha-Shamaim. The last two equal 703, as seen previously. Thus the whole sentence can also be reduced to 999:999:703. In Qabalah, the number 999 signifies “Completion.” This numerical metaphor thus reinforces that which is revealed above.
A Value for Pi
Genesis 1:1 also reveals a remarkably accurate approximation of the number pi – 3.14159. This is given by taking the product of the letters times the number of letters, and dividing it by the product of the words times the number of words, viz – 2.388372 x 1034 x 28 / 3.0415352 x 1017 x 7 = 3.141554509 x 1017. The value of Pi is known to be 3.1415926, meaning the value found from the verse is just 0.0011% short of the actual value.
Genesis 1:1 & John 1:1
Genesis 1:1 is of course one of two basic accounts of The Creation found in The Bible. The other is found in the New Testament, in John 1:1. It would be interesting to look for correlations.
It would seem that the writer of the Gospel of John must have been aware of the significance of the gematria of the first verse of Genesis, despite the fact that there is no reference to this gematria known prior to the 1980’s. Specifically, he or she would have been aware that:
- the sum of the words, or letters, of Genesis 1:1 is 2701 and that this is a number which possesses reflective factorizations viz – 37 x 73 = 270
- by use of a simple formula involving the letters and words of the verse a close approximation for the transcendental number Pi may be obtained. (The approximation is about 0.0011% short of the actual value of Pi)
- 2701 is a triangular number, in fact the 73rd triangular numbe
This would seem to be the case for…
- the number value of John 1:1, from the Greek, is 3627 – another number which possesses reflective factorisations viz – 39 x 93 = 3627.
- by applying the same formula involving the letters and words a close approximation to the transcendental number e may be obtained. (The approximation is about 0.0011% short of the actual value of e)
What is just as intriguing is that which differs between the two verses. 3627 is not itself a triangular number but rather it is a number which when added to 2701 produces a triangular number – 6328 – the 112th triangular number. Thus 3627 may be envisioned as a “plinth” on which the number 2701 sits, rather as drawn below:
Thus it would seem that the author of John is identifying his or herself strongly with the author of Genesis by using these similar features of the numerology of the verse. He or she is saying, effectively, “I know the secrets of the verse and am extending the metaphor further.” It seems to be the suggestion that the account given in Genesis “sits upon” the account given in John, that perhaps John’s version is an extension of the original.
In addition, it is interesting that the number that results from the addition of the values of the two verses – 6328, is a simple reworking of 2368 – the value of the Greek Iesous Christos – Jesus Christ. The Christian significance of the verse is reinforced when one considers the prevalence of the number 37 in Genesis 1:1. The seven words of Gen 1:1 may be used to create 23 multiples of the number 37 through simple multiplication, each of the seven words appearing twelve times in the multiplication. 37, the third hexagonal number, is a very significant number in the numerology of the New Testament, as has been revealed particularly by the work of Frederick Bligh-Bond (the architect who uncovered much of Glastonbury Abbey) and Thomas Simcox Lea. The words Iesous Christos are numerically divisible by 37 thus… Iesous 24 x 37 = 888; Christos 40 x 37 = 1480; Iesous Christos 64 x 37 = 2368.
Other features of Genesis 1:1 –
- 701, as noted above, is the product of a pair of reflective prime factors thus, 37 x 73 = 2701. In Hebrew isopsephia 37 is the value of Yechidah – the Cosmic Self existing at the core of the first Sephirah on the Tree of Life, Kether. 73 is the value of Chokmah – the name of the second Sephirah. In addition both are figurate numbers in that they may be resolved into mathematical shapes. 37 is the second hexagrammatic number, and 73 the third. Still further, the Greek word logos meaning “Word” (as in “Word of God”) has an isopsephia value of 373, suggesting 37:73.
- 703 is the product of prime factors, thus 37 x 19 = 703. Again, both are figurate numbers, 19 is the second hexagonal number and 37 the third.