Last Updated: April 24, 2024

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Gematria involves assigning a numerical value to a name, word, or sentence. These numerical values are assigned based on an alphanumerical cipher. This practice dates back many years. The Gematria system was and is still important in many cultures and languages, including Hebrew, Jewish, Kabbalistic literature, Greek, Arabic, and English.

What is Gematria?

Numerology experts believe in the undeniable relationship between letters and numbers. One can better understand particular texts and find more profound meanings by associating these numbers with specific letters. 

Numerology has been used for centuries to interpret and provide a more in-depth understanding of these texts.

Gematria is a type of numerology that involves assigning a numerical value to a letter, name, word, or sentence with the help of ciphers. 

Many ciphers exist, leading to different language phrases and word interpretations. One of the most popular types of gematria is Hebrew gematria.

Practitioners of numerology, specifically gematria, believe that there are intentional connections and contexts between the sounds of the vowels and consonants used in everyday language and with a numerological and mathematical meaning.

The History of Gematria

Gematria is commonly used in Hebrew; their ciphers are thought to date back to biblical times. Later on, many other cultures and languages adopted gematria. 

The history of gematria and the first uses of this concept continue to be debated by many. There are many theories about the first group to use this type of numerology, although there has yet to be a consensus on its first use.

One theory is that assigning numbers to letters was used by Greeks as early as 400 B.C.E, which is also where the word originates from, the greek word geometria. 

However, this was nonspecific to Gematria; therefore, many argue that this is not the first occurrence of the Hebrew Gematria.

Another theory states that the first occurrence of Hebrew gematria was in Sargon II's inscription in 700 BCE. Sargon II, a king of the Neo-Assyrian empire, was known to have built the wall of Khorsabad with a length of 16 283 cubits to represent the numerical value of his name. 

There are endless other examples of the use of Gematria and numerology in ancient Hebrew history. 

Many have literary proof of these occurrences, and others are being passed from generation to generation by word of mouth.

Believers of Gematria

Gematria was popular in many different cultures and languages and remains the base of many numerological beliefs today.

The belief in angel numbers and lucky numbers is often rooted in the practice of numerology and gematria in various cultures and languages.

  • Jewish: they believed that Gematria could and can be used to decipher their religious texts and de-code specific hidden meanings. They thought they could uncover new information from Jewish scripture, such as the Torah.
  • Christians: Some Christians believe that there are many codes that one can uncover by interpreting the numerical values of the letters in the Bible and its readings. In this way, some Christians use numerology for biblical interpretation. Many interested in Gematria have even found numerous examples of it in the New Testament. 

Standard Encoding

There are many different methods in Gematria. One of the most commonly used ones is standard encoding. This method uses a cipher in which each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value.

It is believed by many that standard encoding’s well-known cipher conceals other more hidden ciphers in Jewish texts. 

For example, a text may include a number using a standard encoding cipher, but that number may also be verified with an entirely different cipher. This encoding gives hidden meaning to Jewish scripture and biblical texts.

The practice of using multiple ciphers to decode words and numerical sums is what keeps Gematria relevant, even today.

With endless possibilities and ways to decipher various religious texts, people interested in Gematria and numerology can study texts and derive many meanings. This practice gives endless, deeper meaning to countless religions and cultures.

Numerical Values

The numerical values of Hebrew alphabet letters correspond with different numeric values. Each Hebrew letter has a respective numerical value between 1 and 400. 

In a specific variation of standard encoding, the Mispar gadol, the five final letters of the alphabet are given their numerical equivalent, ranging from 500 to 900. A mathematical equation also exists to find the gematria value of each Hebrew letter.

The value of Hebrew vowels is only sometimes a consideration when practicing the standard method in gematria. There are, however, some less common methods of gematria in which vowels are assigned gematria numbers. 

Knowing any Hebrew letter's numerical value or sequence is only sometimes evident. Mathematical equations and a standard gematria value calculator are tools commonly used today to determine whole sentences' unique total numerical value.

Hebrew Alphabet in Numerology

As mentioned, the 22 Hebrew alphabet letters are all associated with a numerical equivalence. Although the most common form of numerology in the Jewish culture is standard gematria, many other calculation methods add the same numerical value to each letter.

Another standard cipher in Gematria is known by the Hebrew word mispar sdduri; this consists of a system in which every 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned a numerical value from one to 22. There is also mispar katan, where every letter in the Greek alphabet equals a single-digit number.

Many more gematria methods are used in the Hebrew alphabet, all with different purposes and uses. Jewish gematria permits endless interpretations of old and new religious literature by understanding Hebrew letters' numerical value.   

Famous Examples of Gematria-Based Arguments

Although many people today are unfamiliar with gematria and its’ use in specific cultures, such as Jewish and Greek, there are common examples of numerology and gematria calculations that are very well-known.

  1. Rabbinic Literature: Gematria is commonly used in rabbinic literature. One example is the numerical value of “satan,” which is 364. They would say that Satan had the authority to prosecute Israel for 364 days before his reign ended on the day of Atonement, one of the holiest days of Judaism and Samaritanism. 
  2. Christian Literature: Gematria is seen in the New Testament. There is a reference to a miraculous catch of 153 fish in John 21:11. Although there are many different and contradictory interpretations of this particular use of gematria, it is nonetheless fairly widespread.

There are many non-specific, well-known examples of numerology in religion and culture. For example, the number three has great significance and occurrence in various belief systems. 

One can see the importance of the number three in the Christian holy trinity: the father, son, and holy spirit, and the Hindu holy trinity of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

Other general concepts, such as time represented in the past, present, and future, and the mathematical value of pi being 3.14, all point to the number three. This number holds importance in many aspects of the modern world.  

Use of Gematria Beyond Religion

Gematria, a system assigning numbers to letters, isn't just for religious pursuits. It has practical uses beyond temples and scriptures.

  • Linguistics: Gematria's number-letter connections help linguists uncover patterns in words. This method goes beyond religious texts, aiding researchers in studying language structures and relationships.
  • Word Games: Gematria adds a twist to cryptic puzzles and word games. Players use numerical equivalents for fun and complexity, showcasing how this ancient system can be an engaging tool in recreational activities.
  • Personal Insight: Beyond religion, individuals turn to gematria for personal reflection. Some seek new perspectives and insights into their lives by assigning numerical values to names or significant words, merging ancient wisdom with modern self-exploration.
  • Artistic Expression: Artists find inspiration in gematria, assigning values to colors, shapes, or symbols. This non-religious application lets creators infuse their work with hidden meanings, adding depth to visual and conceptual art.
  • Cultural References: Gematria has made its mark in modern culture. Writers and musicians incorporate it into their creations, giving an extra layer of meaning that enthusiasts can uncover by exploring the numerical significance behind the words.

Gematria's adaptability shines in various non-religious settings, proving it to be more than an ancient religious tool—it's a dynamic aspect of linguistic exploration, creative expression, personal introspection, and cultural connection.


Number 33 value in Gematria is 357

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