The Bible is full of hidden surprises. Right in the very first verse, God left a clue that Jesus would one day be born in Bethlehem. Yep, those famous opening words, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ tell us more than you’d ever think.
To find out how they do this, we have to consider two things:
01 We won’t find the reference to Jesus’ birthplace in the English translation, but in the original Hebrew. And that looks just like this:
02 The Hebrew language had no special shapes for numbers. So letters did double duty and functioned as numbers too. This means each word in the first verse of Genesis has a mathematical value. Let’s mark the words (from A to G) with their numerical value so we can talk about them more easily.
The seven words are:
A – bereshit which has a value of 913
B – bara which has a value of 203
C – Elohim which has a value of 86
D – et which has a value of 401
E – hashamayim which has a value of 395
F – v’et which has a value of 407
G – haarets which has a value of 296
Ok, now grab your calculator.
Q1 There’s four combinations here that are multiples of 111. Too easy! All you have to do is add up. Can you find the 888? (This number was considered by early Christians as equivalent to the name of Jesus because that what the numbers in the name of Jesus add up to.)
Q2 Now let’s find the Logos. The ‘logos’ means word but it does double duty too. It also refers to a special number, called the golden ratio. Let’s find it! Add up B+G. You should get 499. Divide by 0.618 (the logos or the golden ratio) and you should get 808 which is the sum of D+F. That wasn’t too hard, was it?
If you now divide 808 by 0.618, you’ll get 1307. What combination adds up to that?
The logos or golden ratio can be found, as if it’s God’s signature, in everything. Ideally it’s found in the mathematics of the spirals of distant galaxies; it’s found in the markings on butterfly wings and in zebra stripes; it’s found in the proportion of the bones in your fingers; it’s found in the chromosomes of your DNA; it’s found in the medallions on the outside of pineapples and in roses and celery and daisies and starfish—in fact, in millions of places. So it should be no surprise that God’s mathematical signature as the Creator of the universe turns up in Genesis 1. And it even points us to Bethlehem.
Warning: nerd alert! This bit only for serious mathematical minds. A rectangle which has sides in proportion 0.618:1 is called a golden rectangle. It looks like this—
Now, imagine this rectangle is big—really big. Big enough to just fit inside the earth. The centre of the rectangle and the centre of the earth are the same spot. Now the angle from the centre of the earth (as shown) to the outside is the same as the latitude at that spot.
So far, so good? Here’s the nerdy part. You’ll need a scientific calculator for the next bit. Find tan-1(0.618) in order to find the angle where this rectangle would just touch the earth’s surface. You’ll discover it’s 31.71⁰ (which is the same as 31⁰ 43’) and that’s the latitude of Bethlehem.
You might be thinking to yourself that no one could have discovered this before the 21st century. But you’d be seriously wrong! According to the history of mathematics, the magi who lived in Babylon in the sixth century before Christ was born—yep, that’s over 2500 years ago!—were the first ones able to figure out the golden ratio. No calculator in sight either!
Now here’s the really interesting thing: during this exact time period, the chief of the magi was a man whose Hebrew name was Daniel and whose Babylonian name was Belteshazzar (or Balthasar). You’ll find his story and how he got to be chief of the magi in the Book of Daniel. You’ll also discover he was a number nerd.
Now I have to wonder two things: first, if Daniel was the one who actually taught the magi about the golden ratio and if he got it from the Book of Genesis. Second, if he left a prophecy for five hundred and forty years into the future about a certain latitude. A prophecy that was all about a star which would herald the birth of the king who created the Universe.
ANSWERS: Q1. The four multiples of 111 are A+C (9×111) and B+D+E (9×111) and C+E+F (8×111) and A+B+C+D+E (2x9x111). C+E+F adds up to 888.
‘Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.’ Colossians 3:16 NLT
As you fill your mind with God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will use it to transform you. ‘Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives… with all the wisdom He gives.’ How do you do that?
(1) By reading it. If you read the newsfeed on your phone but not the Bible, you won’t grow spiritually. You can’t watch Netflix for three or four hours, then read your Bible for three or four minutes and expect growth. You can’t genuinely say you believe the Bible from cover to cover, when you haven’t read it from cover to cover. ‘We should read from it every day.’ (Deuteronomy 17:19 NCV) If you read your Bible for just fifteen minutes a day, you’ll read completely through it once a year. Daily Bible reading keeps you within range of God’s voice. Do you want to grow spiritually? Develop a daily Bible reading plan and stick with it. SoulFood (at the bottom of each daily message) is here to help!
(2) By receiving it. In the ‘Parable of the Sower’ Jesus talks about three unreceptive attitudes: a closed mind (hard soil), a superficial mind (shallow soil), and a distracted mind (soil with weeds) (see Luke 8:5–15). He then goes on to say, ‘Consider carefully how you listen.’ (Luke 8:18 NIV) Any time you’re not learning, check your attitude, especially for pride, because God can speak to you through the most boring teacher if you’re humble and receptive. James says, ‘Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.’ (James 1:21 NIV) These aren’t just good ideas; they’re life-changing principles!
SoulFood: Job 18–20, Lk 1:57–66, Ps 47, Ecc 10:1–4
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019
18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “How long will you hunt for words? 19:1 Then Job answered and said:
2 “How long will you torment me 20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 “Therefore my thoughts answer me, 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples!
10:1 Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench;
Consider, and then we will speak.
3 Why are we counted as cattle?
Why are we stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself in your anger,
shall the earth be forsaken for you,
or the rock be removed out of its place?
5 “Indeed, the light of the wicked is put out,
and the flame of his fire does not shine.
6 The light is dark in his tent,
and his lamp above him is put out.
7 His strong steps are shortened,
and his own schemes throw him down.
8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
and he walks on its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare lays hold of him.
10 A rope is hidden for him in the ground,
a trap for him in the path.
11 Terrors frighten him on every side,
and chase him at his heels.
12 His strength is famished,
and calamity is ready for his stumbling.
13 It consumes the parts of his skin;
the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.
14 He is torn from the tent in which he trusted
and is brought to the king of terrors.
15 In his tent dwells that which is none of his;
sulfur is scattered over his habitation.
16 His roots dry up beneath,
and his branches wither above.
17 His memory perishes from the earth,
and he has no name in the street.
18 He is thrust from light into darkness,
and driven out of the world.
19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people,
and no survivor where he used to live.
20 They of the west are appalled at his day,
and horror seizes them of the east.
21 Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous,
such is the place of him who knows not God.”
and break me in pieces with words?
3 These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;
are you not ashamed to wrong me?
4 And even if it be true that I have erred,
my error remains with myself.
5 If indeed you magnify yourselves against me
and make my disgrace an argument against me,
6 know then that God has put me in the wrong
and closed his net about me.
7 Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered;
I call for help, but there is no justice.
8 He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass,
and he has set darkness upon my paths.
9 He has stripped from me my glory
and taken the crown from my head.
10 He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone,
and my hope has he pulled up like a tree.
11 He has kindled his wrath against me
and counts me as his adversary.
12 His troops come on together;
they have cast up their siege ramp against me
and encamp around my tent.
13 “He has put my brothers far from me,
and those who knew me are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives have failed me,
my close friends have forgotten me.
15 The guests in my house and my maidservants count me as a stranger;
I have become a foreigner in their eyes.
16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;
I must plead with him with my mouth for mercy.
17 My breath is strange to my wife,
and I am a stench to the children of my own mother.
18 Even young children despise me;
when I rise they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
22 Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?
23 “Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were engraved in the rock forever!
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27 whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him!’
and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him,’
29 be afraid of the sword,
for wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
that you may know there is a judgment.”
because of my haste within me.
3 I hear censure that insults me,
and out of my understanding a spirit answers me.
4 Do you not know this from of old,
since man was placed on earth,
5 that the exulting of the wicked is short,
and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
6 Though his height mount up to the heavens,
and his head reach to the clouds,
7 he will perish forever like his own dung;
those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’
8 He will fly away like a dream and not be found;
he will be chased away like a vision of the night.
9 The eye that saw him will see him no more,
nor will his place any more behold him.
10 His children will seek the favor of the poor,
and his hands will give back his wealth.
11 His bones are full of his youthful vigor,
but it will lie down with him in the dust.
12 “Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
though he hides it under his tongue,
13 though he is loath to let it go
and holds it in his mouth,
14 yet his food is turned in his stomach;
it is the venom of cobras within him.
15 He swallows down riches and vomits them up again;
God casts them out of his belly.
16 He will suck the poison of cobras;
the tongue of a viper will kill him.
17 He will not look upon the rivers,
the streams flowing with honey and curds.
18 He will give back the fruit of his toil
and will not swallow it down;
from the profit of his trading
he will get no enjoyment.
19 For he has crushed and abandoned the poor;
he has seized a house that he did not build.
20 “Because he knew no contentment in his belly,
he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.
21 There was nothing left after he had eaten;
therefore his prosperity will not endure.
22 In the fullness of his sufficiency he will be in distress;
the hand of everyone in misery will come against him.
23 To fill his belly to the full,
God will send his burning anger against him
and rain it upon him into his body.
24 He will flee from an iron weapon;
a bronze arrow will strike him through.
25 It is drawn forth and comes out of his body;
the glittering point comes out of his gallbladder;
terrors come upon him.
26 Utter darkness is laid up for his treasures;
a fire not fanned will devour him;
what is left in his tent will be consumed.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity,
and the earth will rise up against him.
28 The possessions of his house will be carried away,
dragged off in the day of God's wrath.
29 This is the wicked man's portion from God,
the heritage decreed for him by God.”
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
2 For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
4 He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!
8 God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man's heart inclines him to the right,
but a fool's heart to the left.
3 Even when the fool walks on the road, he lacks sense,
and he says to everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place,
for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.
18:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “How long will you hunt for words?
19:1 Then Job answered and said:
2 “How long will you torment me
20:1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said:
2 “Therefore my thoughts answer me,
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples!
10:1 Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench;