H e b r e w

The Hebrew Alphabet

By Andrew Harris December 6, 1999

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As already explained, in Biblical times, the Hebrews used the letters of their alphabet as numbers. The Hebrew alphabet is quite different from the English alphabet and a few of these differences should be noted.

The Hebrew Alphabet does not have a full range of vowels in its characters, rather most of the vowel sounds are indicated by marks above or below the letters they are associated with.

Some of the letters are written differently if they are the last letter of the word. They are pronounced the same, they just look different. These letters are called "finals". Thus we may have the letter "mem" and a "final mem".

Finally it should be remembered that, unlike English, Hebrew reads from right to left.

The letters of the Hebrew alphabet and their numeric values are shown below. The five finals are at the end of the table and are indicated by asterisk.

The Hebrew Alphabet

Aleph
Beth
Gimel
Daleth
He
Vau
Zayin
Cheth
Teth
Yod
Kaph
Lamed
Mem
Nun

Hebrew Letters aleph to nun

= 1
= 2
= 3
= 4
= 5
= 6
= 7
= 8
= 9
= 10
= 20
= 30
= 40
= 50

Samech
Ayin
Pe
Tsaddi
Koph
Resh
Shin
Tau

Koph *
Mem *
Nun *
Pe *
Tsaddi *

Hebrew Letters samech to final tsaddi

= 60
= 70
= 80
= 90
= 100
= 200
= 300
= 400

= 500
= 600
= 700
= 800
= 900

Thus anything written in Hebrew can have a numeric value calculated for it. However it should be noted that Ivan Panin did not use the values of the finals in his calculation of numeric values. He would use the numeric value of the normal letter instead of the final. He claimed that this gave results which fitted his heptadiac (sevens) structure for scripture, and the presence of this structure was proof that the finals should not be used.

I am not sure that his reasoning is valid, it seems to be a bit of a circular argument to me. There is a particularly good example in the names of Jesus in the Greek, which shows a significant symbolism that uses both of these numeric schemes. There is a symbolic pattern if the finals numeric values are used, and another if they are not. The two symbolisms complement each other. To me this indicates that there may be significant symbolism in calculating the numerics both ways. The Greek example is discussed in more detail in the 'Introduction to Greek Numerics'. I am not yet aware of such a good example in the Hebrew, but nevertheless I am inclined to think that the one argument should apply to the entire Bible.

As an introductory example let us examine the name of God, as first used in the Bible.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The word used here for God is !yhla (Elohiym) meaning God, especially 'The almighty God'. From our list of numeric values above we have (remembering Hebrew reads from right to left):

Aleph =
lamed =
He =
Yod =
Mem (final) =

total =

=

=
=

1
30
5
10
600

1 +30 +5 +10 +600

646

2 x 323
2 x 17 x 19

Alternatively if the numeric value of the final Mem is not used, but the value for a normal Mem taken instead, then the numeric value would be:

Aleph =
lamed =
He =
Yod =
Mem =

total =

=

=

1
30
5
10
40

1 +30 +5 +10 +40

86

2 x 43

The significance of these numbers will be discussed later. In the same way the following Hebrew words and phrases can have their numeric values calculated.

Some important People

!rba
Abram
= 803
= 11 x 73

!hrba
Abraham
= 808
= 8 x 101

yrc
Sarai
= 510
= 5 x 6 x 17

hrc
Sarah
= 505
= 5 x 101

hcm
Moses
= 345
= 5 x 69

yhycm
Messiah
= 365
= 5 x 73

lwav
Saul
= 337
= prime

dwd
David
= 14
= 2 x 7

In this short list we can see some remarkable patterns. Abraham, to whom the covenant promises were first given, and the Messiah, who came to fulfill the Law that a new covenant might be brought into place, are both multiples of 73. God changed the names of Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, by adding the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet to their names. In both cases the changed name was a multiple of 101. We also note that Sarai, Sarah, moses and Messiah are all multiples of 5. The significance of these numbers will be discussed later.

The names of God

Exodus 6:3
hwhy
Jehovah
= 26
= 2 x 13

Genesis 2:4
!yhla hwhy
Johovah Elohiym
= 672
= 3 x 7 x 32

Genesis 14:18
@wylx la
El Elyon
= 847
= 7 x 11 x 11

Genesis 14:22
@wylx la hwhy
Jehovah El Elyon
= 873
= 9 x 97

Genesis 18:3
ynda
Adonai
= 65
= 5 x 13

Genesis 15:2
hwhy ynda
Adonai Jehovah
= 91
= 7 x 13

Genesis 22:14
hary hwhy
Jehovah Jireh
= 242
= 2 x 11 x 11

Exodus 15:26
^apr hwhy
Jehovah Ropheka
= 807
= 3 x 269

Exodus 17:15
ysn hwhy
Jehovah Nissi
= 146
= 2 x 73

Leviticus 20:8
!kvdqm hwhy
Jehovah Mekaddishkem
= 1090
= 10 x 109

Where to go from here

More Hebrew Numerics.

Introduction to numerics in the Greek.

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