Gematria and the Trinity
© January 2003 by Asher Intrater
One of the forms of mysticism in traditional Judaism is gematria. In Hebrew each letter has a number. Aleph is one; bet is two, and so on. Gematria is a number game playing with the letters of the words in the Bible. Generally speaking, I do not believe in gematria, although it is found in a few places in the Bible, such as Revelation 13 where it says that the number of the name of the beast is 666, and Mathew 1 where the letters of the name David (D=4, V=6, D=4) add up to 14, and the genealogy of Yeshua is divided into 14 generations.
As I have written before, I find much lacking in traditional Trinitarian formulations of describing God (primarily in its lack of showing the submission of Yeshua to the Father, the uniqueness of God the Father, and the humanness of Yeshua). However, in an interesting contrast, one of our new Israeli disciples from an orthodox background recently showed me this connection between gematria and the trinity.
The name of God in Exodus 3 is called "I am that I am." In Hebrew this comes out to three words, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh." The letters of these words (transliterated) would read as the following: AHYH ASR AHYH. Here's how the gematria works: A = 1, H = 5, Y = 10, S = 300, R = 200.
According to this system, "I am" equals 1 + 5 + 10 + 5 = 21, which equals 2 + 1 = 3.
The word "that" equals 1 + 300 + 200 = 501. So the whole phrase can be calculated as: "I am" = 3 + "that" = 501 + "I am" = 3 totals 507 which equals 5 + 0 + 7 = 12, which equals 1 + 2 = 3.
Or another way: "I am" = 3 plus "that", which equals 501 = 5 + 0 + 1 = 6, plus "I am" = 3, totals 3 + 6 + 3 = 12 which is 1 + 2 = 3.
Or the first letter of each word is "aleph" which equals 1. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3.
In other words, the name of God, "I am that I am," in every direction that you work the gematria comes out to 3. Go figure.
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