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.

Q2. B+D+F+G