Design in the Torah

Session 3 – God’s Grand Design Seminar

Evidence of supernatural design in the Torah. Prime number patterns in the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1 and in the Aaronic blessing.

Download accompanying notes:

Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew Initial prime numbers Numbers 6:24-26 in Hebrew

After viewing, your next session is: Session 4 – The Hebrew Alphabet: Signs»

Transcript of “Design in the Torah” (Session 3)

I would like to introduce the idea that there is a supernatural hand of design in the Hebrew Scriptures.

There is a verse on the screen in Hebrew (see Genesis 1: 1 in Hebrew). It is the first verse of the Bible. Hebrew is read from right to left.

“Bereshit bara elohim et hashamaim ve et haaretz”. (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.)

Before we examine this verse in Hebrew, I would like to talk about prime numbers. A prime number is a whole number, that is divisible by itself and by one only. On the screen are the initial prime numbers (see Initial prime numbers ). The first four are single-digit prime numbers: 2, 3, 5 and 7. The fifth prime number is 11. The sixth prime number is 13. The twelfth is 37, and so on.

Now, back to Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew.

  • There are seven words in the sentence. Seven is a prime number.
  • The middle word is two letters. Two is the first prime number. And two is a unique prime number, because it is the only prime number that is an even number.
  • There are three words on each side of the middle word. Three words on the right and three words on the left. Three is the second prime number.

Now, as we count the letters, I would like you to note that this little letter here is not an apostrophe, as we would know it. It is a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The smallest letter ... a yud. It is the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and it occurs in this sentence exactly three times ... in the first word, in the third word, and in the fifth word.

Let’s count the letters: 1,2,3,4,5,6.    7,8,9.   10,11,12,13,14.   15,16.    17,18,19,20,21.   22,23,24.   25,26,27,28. A total of 28 letters. That is divisible by 7. Four times seven, 28. Seven is a prime number. Perhaps you noticed as we counted that the first three words had 14 letters ... that is divisible by seven. Which means that the next four words have 14 letters. Divisible by seven.

The words on each side of the middle word have five letters each. Five is a prime number.

The middle word has two letters, and the words on either side have five letters. Add two plus five, seven. Add two plus five, seven.

Also note that the second word, and the second to last word, have three letters each. Three is a prime number. Add three to the word next to it. We see three plus five, eight. And on the other side, three plus five, eight. Eight is not a prime number but, in the sessions ahead, we will discover that it is a significant number.

Is any of this an accident? I don’t think so. I think it is by design ... but we are just getting started.

Let us look briefly at the first word in the sentence. It has six letters. That is not a prime number. But we can say two times three equals six. Or, we could say, two plus two plus two equals six. Or three plus three equals six.

I am highlighting this now because, when we get to Session 7, we're going to see Hebrew words within words ... some with two letters and some with three letters.

And then the last word in the sentence has four letters. Which is two times two, or two plus two.

Pause for a moment and consider the significance of the first two prime numbers. Two and three.

As Christians we believe in a Trinity. In God, who is three-in-one ... Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member of this Godhead is separate, but also inseparable from the whole. A triune or three-in-one God. Three is significant. And Jesus is the second person of the Godhead in all references, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. Two is the first prime number.

Note that the middle word of Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew is two letters. Now, my Jewish friends often think that we Christians believe in more than one God. They have a problem with the idea of a Trinity, of a three-in-one God. And they will quote Deuteronomy 6:4 to me ... very significant to Jewish people. “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (In Hebrew: “Shma Israel Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad”).

When I look at that in Hebrew, I can’t help noticing that words for God appear next to each other, three times. The third word, Adonai (LORD). The fifth word, Adonai (LORD). And in between them, Eloheinu (our God). I don’t think that is an accident. But of course, the significant word to Jewish people, in this sentence, is the last word, “Echad”. Echad means one. But it also implies a unity. For example, Genesis 2:24 says, “a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” In Hebrew: “Ve hayu levasar echad”. One flesh. It is implying a unity.

And then I might point out to some of these friends of mine that in Genesis 1:26, there is a verse that says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ... ” That is God speaking. In Hebrew: “Na’aseh Adam betzalmeinu kidmuteinu.” Unquestionably, that is correctly translated, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ...”

And we find this idea again in Geneses 3:22, where God says, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us ...” And then we find it a third time in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, verse 7, which says, “... let Us go down and confuse their language ...” Well, when I put this to my Jewish friends, they will say “It is the royal ‘WE’”, the way the Queen might say, “WE are not amused”, meaning that SHE is not amused, but she puts it in a plural context. Well, I would have an easier time accepting that argument if it occurred more frequently than it does in the Bible. But, best I can tell, it only occurs those three times.

Anyway, to finish off this session, introducing the idea of prime numbers and design and pattern (which I put it to you are not by accident) I would like to take you to the verses on the screen (see Numbers 6:24-26 in Hebrew). In Hebrew they say “Yeverechecha Adonai ve’yishmarecha, ya’air Adonai panav aleicha ve’ yechonecha, yisa Adonai panav aleicha, ve-yasem lecha shalom.” It is the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 26:24-26).

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.”

Let us look at that in Hebrew. The first sentence has three words (a prime number). The second sentence has five words (a prime number). And the third sentence on the third line has seven words (a prime number).

The first sentence has fifteen letters. The second sentence has twenty letters. And the third sentence has twenty-five letters.

Fifteen, twenty, twenty-five.

One more thing that I'd like to note here ... and I am sure is not by accident ... is that the second word on each line is the word for Lord, Adonai they would say in Hebrew. It is spelled Yud Heh Vav Heh. We are going to examine this word in sessions to come. It is significant to me that it occurs three times in this blessing, and in each case it is the second word on each line.

And, by the way, if we took those three words out, we would be left with exactly twelve other Hebrew words. And that reminds me of the twelve tribes of Israel, and also of the twelve apostles, the disciples of Jesus. All of whom, like Jesus, were Jews.