The Torah is the first five books of the Old Testament and represents the Jewish Law given to Moses many years ago. The Ten Commandments are contained within the Torah, along with ceremonial laws, legal laws, dietary laws, among other components. The Torah is much better known by most Jewish believers than most Christian who spend most of their time in the New Testament.
Because of this, many Christians are not familiar with the Torah, the hidden meanings contained within it, and new layers of content that have recently been uncovered.
Christians also have a schizophrenic attitude toward the Torah; some parts of the Torah are considered by many to still be in force (such as the Ten Commandments and tithing), while other parts are not followed (such as rituals, clothing, Temple sacrifice, and festival days). Ask most Christians what a Jubilee year, Feast of Leavened Bread and Yom Kippur are and you will be met by a blank stare. Yet, these are deeply held components of the Jewish faith derived from the Torah.
The history of the Torah, how Jews believe the original Torah was written, and how the Torah is treated and respected today is contained within a separate post, not within the Dreams section. With this as background, we will now return to the story about Jeff, who keeps on having his sleep interrupted by dreams rich with content as delivered by an angel sent as a messenger from God.
Hidden Content within the Torah
About two weeks had passed and I heard nothing from Jeff. Slowly, I began to forget about him and all his dreams. I wondered where he was if he was still in good health, and how he was handling what seemed to be new knowledge acquired while asleep.
I had known Jeff for many years, but this was the first time I had ever detected any doubt in him. He was always sure of his behaviors, sure of his life, sure as to how he wanted to live his life. When some people get older, they obsess over lost opportunities; things they could have done but didn’t, places they might have gone but couldn’t, lost opportunities that are gone forever. Such was not Jeff; he was always sure he was right about himself, and how he saw the world. If others disagreed – they were just wrong. His world was very binary; black or white, right and wrong, truth and heresy.
He was a leader – at least in his own mind. He might take advice from others, but only if asked. Many great men are like this – once a decision is made, there is no looking back, no reconsideration.
After Jeff left home, religion never entered his conscious thought. Religion was, to quote Ted Turner the founder of CNN, “for losers” and Jeff was not a loser. In Jeff’s mind, his wealth and material possessions validated his life’s choices. Of course, he never settled down, and never had a family but he compensated for these losses by successes in other areas. He would sneer at his colleagues who became distracted from their work by family obligations, certain their lack of focus on business responsibilities would cost them dearly in future advancement. He vowed to never let love stand in the way of success.
I still was not certain what to make of these dreams. His past few dreams seemed to be rich in content, full of molecular biology, mathematics, and statistics, but to believe there was actually an angel teaching Jeff in his dreams at night trying to save his soul – well, that was too much. And I felt it was too much for Jeff as well. Surely his lack of contact over the past few weeks suggested his angel dreams lacked validity.
Perhaps these dreams represented a medical problem such as drug and alcohol withdrawal. People can see all kinds of very realistic hallucinations during these withdrawal episodes, sometimes very frightening and content-rich. Maybe a medical problem such as cirrhosis or brain tumor could equally account for his delusions. It was difficult to tell because Jeff would never submit to a physical examination or blood testing. To Jeff, submitting to these tests would suggest a lack of confidence in the reality of his dreams.
Jeff was sure he was experiencing angelic visitations – he was just not sure of whether he believed the content. After all, he based his whole life on the presumptions of atheism, or what Jeff might call, “skepticism.” To Jeff and others like him, atheism is often considered noble; being able to face the “truth” head-on, without compromise.
Skeptics view the believer with disdain believing they are unable to face the future of non-existence and cling to childish dreams of everlasting life. Jeff’s entire worldview was wrapped around this ideology and he was not about to change. He was also having too much fun with wine, women, and song. One of his favorite sayings was “YOLO” – you only live once and you had better live it to the full. Nothing would stand in the way of Jeff’s pleasure-seeking life – certainly not an angel.
That’s what I thought until the knock on my office door.
Usually, common courtesy suggests waiting at the door for it to be opened, but common was never a word owned by Jeff. Jeff naturally assumed the world revolved around him, around his timetable, around his wants and needs. While this narcissistic mindset interfered with his developing any deep relationships, it also contributed to his material success; he would never take ‘no’ for an answer. If he wanted something, he would find a way to get it; if he wanted it enough, he would get it at any cost. The door sprung open and in he came. There was no doubt Jeff expected to be heard immediately for he sat down and started talking.
“Dave, there was another dream.”
It was not a good time; I had patients waiting, but Jeff was not to be denied. He started to relate the contents of this new dream.
“Dave, this time, it was even weirder than earlier dreams.”
“Why, Jeff, what happened with the angel in this dream; did he do something different?”
“No, that was the same as before. I went to sleep as usual last night and as I drifted off, the room filled with light; intense, brilliant light coming at me from every direction. It seems like these dreams always start just after I fall asleep. The angel was in the midst of that light, and started talking about new stuff – stuff I had never heard of before.”
“Well, Dave, when I was dragged to church so many years ago, mostly they talked about the New Testament. I guess that’s why I kind of followed the angel when he talked about the books of the New Testament. This time, he was all over the Old Testament. Usually, we all thought of that part of the Bible as old stuff; you know, full of cool stories and wonderful myths that have become a part of our culture but no one believes anymore.”
“Like what!” I wanted him to elaborate on the ‘cool stories’.
“Well, you know. Like Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Ark. Come on! Those are nice stories for little kids in Sunday School but no one believes that actually happened. I remember my pastor saying there was no rain before Adam sinned, and why is eating an apple so bad, anyway! Then there is that cute little story about the origin of different languages at the Tower of Babel. I mean, come on! Even evangelical Christians don’t believe that stuff anyway.”
“OK, so go on.”
“First, the angel asked if I knew about the Torah. He said most Christians have only a vague understanding of the Torah, because it contains the story of the Jewish nation, its ancient laws, ceremonies, feasts, and rules. Parts of it are very familiar to Christians, such as Moses departing the Red Sea, Noah, and the Flood, Adam and Eve, David and Goliath among others. But then he asked an interesting question I never really thought about – how has the Torah been copied throughout history to be sure each copy doesn’t change?”
“I guess I never really thought about that either. I mean, in church, we don’t even have a scroll copy of the Torah, let alone read from it much.”
“Yea, I know, right! So then the angel goes on to tell me how the Torah – as well as the entire Old Testament books the Jewish call the Tanakh – is copied. Tanakh turns out to be an acronym of each of the three major divisions: Torah or “teaching” representing the first five books of the Bible, Nevim or “prophets”, and “Ketuvim” or writings. The angel went on to impress upon me how the Jewish scribes would go to great lengths to ensure the accuracy of each copy of the Tanakh and especially the Torah. The accuracy of each copy was extremely important to the Jews because it represented the actual dictated word of God.”
“And this is all done in Hebrew, right”
“Yes, all the Tanakh has to be copied from one Hebrew scroll to another. The scrolls had to be written on clean animal skins, both to write on as well as to bind the scrolls. Every column on the scroll had to have between forty-eight and sixty lines; no more and no less. The ink they used had to be black and made a certain way. The scribe had to verbalize each word while writing it, and they had to wipe their pen and wash their entire body before writing the word ‘Jehovah’ every time they wrote it.”
“So they really had respect for the name of God; certainly different from today!”
“Man, you’ve got that right! Then, here’s what’s really interesting. The copy had to be inspected at least every thirty days. If there were more than two corrections to be made, the entire scroll had to be destroyed, buried. That meant all that painstaking word would go down the tubes!”
“That would be really terrible!”
“I know!” Jeff said, shaking his head. “But there was even more. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted to be sure nothing was left out or added. Then, if only two letters touched each other, the whole thing had to be destroyed! Can you imagine the pressure on those scribes not to make any mistakes! If they made any, months of works would just be tossed aside.”
“Yes,” I said. “It would take a steady hand and real dedication to make perfect copies where no two letters every overlapped!”
“Yes, it sure would; more patience than I have for sure!” Jeff intoned. “But then the angel went to give me some ancient history. The unthinkable happened in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; the Temple was burned to the ground and every scroll destroyed. Until 1948, the oldest known Torah was written in 895 AD. But in 1948, a shepherd boy discovered some scrolls in a cave on the western shores of the Dead Sea which became known as the Dead Sea scrolls, which were dated between 100 BC and 100 AD. Every book of the Tanakh was represented in these Dead Sea scrolls was represented except Esther, while many copies of some books were found. Amazingly, there are very few substantial differences between scrolls from Christ’s time until today. Furthermore, there are only nine letter-level variations among the three Torahs in use among various Jewish groups, the Ashkenazi, the Sephardi, and the Yemenite among the entire 304,805 letters of the text!”
“OK, well that’s all very interesting,” I asked rather impatiently, “but what does it have to do with anything today! Your last dream was about the New Testament and now we are back into the Old one.”
“I know!” Jeff admitted. “That’s exactly what I was thinking when the angel was telling me all of this. Of course, the angel was very disappointed that I had no knowledge as to how scrolls were copied, or how perfect the copies are today compared with ancient versions.”
“Seems like a very strict teacher!”
“Well, at least he didn’t say anything about how I will ‘surely die’ in a year!”
“I bet that was a relief!”
“But then the angel went on to tell me why this is important, why every letter has to be exactly correct. The reason is amazing; there are multiple codes buried in plain sight which have been there for millennia and which have never been discovered until just recently! Last night, the angel showed me just one.”
“Codes; what codes are in the Old Testament?”
“The angel told me this code was important because it not only showed why absolute correctness was required when copying Torah scrolls but how important the Torah is to God!”
“The angel would go on to say there were many codes throughout the Bible, most of them haven’t even been found yet. So, then he went on to show me one.”
“The angel showed me one of the codes he was talking about. We have already established how important the number seven is throughout the Bible with only a few of the hundreds of examples available. Anyway, the angel wanted to give me a little bit of history to show me how these codes were developed from research centuries ago. It turns out that there was a great Jewish rabbi in the 12th century named Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, who was known as Maimonides or by the acronym RMBM or Rambam. He was an astronomer, mathematician, physician in the court of Egypt, and a codifier of Jewish law.”
“I certainly never heard of this guy, but apparently he is a very big deal. RMBM is generally considered to be the greatest of all Jewish wise men in the post-biblical era. He was head of the Jewish community in Egypt and is recognized as among the foremost rabbinical philosophers in Jewish history and scholarship. He wrote a fourteen-volume Mishneh Torah which still carries significant authority in Talmudic law.
One of Maimonides’ claims to fame was his attempt to find hidden meaning in the Hebrew Torah by evaluating letters at equal distances apart. More recently, Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl who was born in Slovakia in 1903 also became involved with these equal letter distances codes at a very young age. The angel then told me Weissmandl would eventually develop the notion that hidden codes placed in Scripture could be discovered by anyone looking for them and would substantiate the validity of Scripture. He was also important in developing an underground organization during World War Two to save Slovak Jews and other European Jews from Hitler’s death camps.”
“When he was thirteen years old, he acquired a copy of a Torah commentary written by a 13th-century Jewish sage, Rabbenu Bachya ben Asher of Saragossa in Spain. This book described codes hidden within the Torah which inspired Weissmandl to search for these codes for the rest of his life. While still a youth, he would write out the entire 304,805 letters of the Torah in 10 by 10 grids, which is apparently a common means in cryptanalysis to facilitate the identification of skipped-letter sequences. Weissmandl’s discoveries of these skipped-letter sequences would lead to an explosion of interest on the topic of skipped letter sequences with numerous interesting discoveries being found with the use of computer programs specifically developed for this purpose.”
“How do these codes validate Scripture?” I asked, not believing what I was hearing.
Jeff continued looking straight at me as if to make an important point. “The angel placed great emphasis on this point. Because, Dave, can you for a minute understand how impossible it would be for anybody even today with our computer knowledge, for one person to write a book that contains maybe hundreds of these codes all at different letter distances? Also, these ‘codes’ have to have to be relevant to the underlying text. OK, pretty difficult, right? But now, the angel said, imagine how would it be possible for these codes to go across different books? You would have to have authors writing their books with each other. “
“I guess I see what you mean,” I stammered – trying to understand what Jeff was saying.
“But,” Jeff returned, “the angel also pointed out that if one letter were missing or if one letter were added anywhere in the text, the whole code message would fall apart! That means the whole Tanakh had to be absolutely letter-perfect.”
“But why, Jeff, have these not been found before. I mean, the Jews have preserved their Scripture for thousands of years; would they not have seen them before? Why have they only now been noticed?”
“These codes were hidden in plain sight. That’s what the angel said to me. The short answer is because nobody looked for them; it’s hard to find what you’re not looking for. But it’s also really hard to find a word whose letters may be separated by hundreds of letters – at least without a computer.”
“You mean, there are computer programs developed for this – for looking for these codes?”
“The angel pointed out that you can get these programs for free over the Internet; of course, you also have to know Hebrew in order to understand what you are looking for!”
“But Jeff, couldn’t these codes just have occurred by chance? You know, given there are thousands of letters in the Tanakh, some equal letter distanced words could occur by chance, could they not?”
“Of course, that’s what detractors thought. However, the angel told me that this has been evaluated by professional statisticians and their work published in a peer-reviewed statistical journal; apparently not. The angel thought it important that I knew it had been confirmed by statistical analysis.”
At this point, I was getting really confused at what exactly Jeff meant by words formed at ‘equal letter distances.’
“Well, the angel gave me one particularly interesting code but indicated he would give me a few more in the future. One thing the angel wanted to emphasize is that these codes only provide emphasis on Scripture – no new Scripture or revelation is contained within them. Furthermore, none of them can be used to predict the future; the future is known only by God.”
“OK, I get that; so tell me what the angel said, already!” I said rather impatiently.
“OK, let me try to explain what the angel told me. The angel told me that despite what certain ‘experts’ might say, the first five books of the Tanakh – the Torah – were actually written by Moses as dictated precisely word for word by God. Now, you know the first book of the Bible is Genesis – or the Beginning.”
“OK,” I said nodding my head. I was with him so far!
“Well, here’s what the angel said. I actually went online and got out a Hebrew Torah to check this out and believe me when I said, I was skeptical. But here’s the strange thing – this is exactly right!”
Torah found in the Torah
“The angel wanted to show me probably the easiest of these codes to see written in the Torah. Torah in Hebrew has four letters: a Tav similar to a “T,” vav similar to an “O,” resh similar to an “R,” and a heh, similar to our “H.” So, when you go to the first verse in Genesis and find the first tav, then count an interval of 49 (7 times 7 – there are those ‘sevens’ again!), you come to an vav. Then count another 49 letters and you come to a resh, and then finally another 49 letters and you come to a heh – spelling Torah. Isn’t that interesting – the word TORAH is encoded within the first few verses of Genesis by every 49 letters.”
“Of course, Jeff, that could be just a coincidence.”
“As you might imagine, this has been looked at statistically. There are 78,064 letters in Genesis with the letter tav being present in 4152 words; the vav being in 8488 words, the letter resh being present in 4793 words, and the letter heh being present in 6283 words. The word TORAH is indeed present three times in Genesis at an interval of every 50 letters which is what might be statistically expected from a book the length of Genesis.”
“OK, Jeff, so I might be right – this could just be a coincidence.”
“But here’s the crazy thing. The same thing happens in the second book of the Torah – in Exodus. You find the first tav and count every 49 letters and you spell the Hebrew word TORAH. Statistically speaking, the probability of TORAH occurring with the first tav in both Genesis and Exodus is about one in three million.
“Well, OK, I guess that’s kind of cool, but so what? Where is the ‘hidden meaning’ you were talking about?”
“Well, hold on, I’m not through. The angel then said the word TORAH does not seem to appear at all in the next book, Leviticus. But, what is rather remarkable is that it does appear again in the next book, Numbers – but it is spelled backward!”
“Why backward – that doesn’t make any sense?”
“I know; that’s what I was thinking too. But the angel seemed to know what I was thinking because he then quickly pointed out that it was backward in the first verses of the next book as well, Deuteronomy.”
“OK, Jeff,” I said, trying to wrap my head around what he was saying. “Torah is spelled forward in the first verses of Genesis and Exodus but backward in the first verses of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Kind of cool, I guess, but so what?”
“That’s just what I was thinking! The skipped letter thing is interesting but it has a rather big hole in it – the third book, Leviticus where the word Torah can’t be found.”
“Right. But the angel then pointed out that if you go to Leviticus and go every seventh letter from the first yod you will find the name of God, the YHWH. Look at the message contained within the first verses of each of the five books of the Torah:
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy
TORH => TORH => YHWH <= HROT< = HROT
“The angel summed this message up for me; that the Torah always points toward God – known as Yahweh or YHWH in Scripture. For further emphasis, the angel wanted me to appreciate that the four “torah” words are at skip distances of seven squared or forty-nine, while YHWH is at skip distances of seven. Seven is a special number in Scripture, generally being considered by Jews as the number of completeness and perfection.”
“OK, I said, kind of skeptical about this whole skipped letter code idea. Couldn’t that happen by chance rather than being some encoded message? Or maybe some scribe sometime in the thousands of years since the Torah was written cleverly placed these codes in there.”
“I guess that’s possible too. The angel seemed like he could read my thought and could tell I was skeptical of this whole thing. Scribes had written these verses for thousands of years and never saw that relationship. And even if Torah and YHWH are spelled out like this – which it is because I checked later – is that such a big deal? The angel then pointed me to other facts before he left that night; it was a busy night!”
“I’ll say it was. You were asleep that long? This must have taken hours!”
“Well, I’m not sure how long it all took. When I woke up after all this, only a few minutes had passed after I went to sleep!”
“But how is that possible? How could you have gone through all of that explanation in only a few minutes?”
“Beats me – but I’m not finished yet! The angel reminded me of the importance of the number seven, because it is all through Scripture, but “seven times seven” is even more significant.”
“How is forty-nine even more significant?”
“That number is associated with the Christian day of Pentecost – the day the church was started. It is 49 days after Easter. I kind of vaguely remember that from Sunday School. But did you know that Easter is the same day as the Jewish feast day of First Fruits, and Pentecost is the same day as the Jewish holiday of Shavuot? The angel said we’d be talking about Jewish feast days and what they mean to Christians and Scripture later.”
“OK, what else?”
Genealogy of Christ in Genesis 38
“Well here’s one that I’ll bet you never heard about! You remember the genealogy of Christ we talked about in the first dream, all about how impossible it would be to write with all those sevens in it?”
“Yes – pretty remarkable.”
“Well, turns out that Judah – you remember, one of the twelve original sons of Jacob where the word ‘Jew’ comes from – was a bad boy with a prostitute named Tamar. The details are in Genesis 38. Anyway, two sons came from that interlude named Perez and Zerach. Well, it also turns out that Boaz – the guy who married Ruth had a son named Obed, who had a son named Jesse, who had a son named David; that’s the one who became the second King of Israel.”
“Well, if you say so, but so what?”
“The angel said that all these names are coded in the text of Genesis 38 at 49 letter intervals – and all in chronological order! Can you imagine that?”
“What are the odds!”
“Exactly – do you know what the odds are for that to occur statistically?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me?”
“The probability of all these names showing up at a given skipped interval – like 49 in this example – is about one in 6500; but for them to all show up in chronological order is estimated to be about one in over 800,000.”
“Those are sure long odds?”
“But the angel wanted to impress on me how important this is! Moses is thought by Jews to have written all the Torah – the first five books of the Old Testament – or the Tanakh as known by them.”
“But isn’t that just a legend?”
“Well, maybe. But this ‘legend’ was confirmed by Christ on multiple occasions.” The name of David – who would be the greatest King of Israel and the ancestor of Christ – as well as David’s ancestors back several generations, was encoded in Genesis in 49 letter intervals hundreds of years before David was born.”
“So what do you make of that?”
“I guess it makes me think a bit about whether there could be alternative explanations to what I was dreaming about. I mean, up until recently most Biblical scholars didn’t even believe that there ever was a ‘King David’ – but now his palace has been uncovered and references to his actual name have been found.”,
“So then what happened – anything more?”
“The angel said at this point his time with me was over, but he also said one of the greatest discoveries from the skipped letter intervals studies has been found concerning Christ, and that would be the topic of his next visit.”
Importance of Torah Codes
Jeff and I chatted for a while in my waiting room but I was interested in getting back to my patients. My nurse had knocked on the door of my office a few times while Jeff was recounting his dream to tell me the ‘natives were getting restless’ but there was little I could do.
Once Jeff started into his stories there was little I could do to get him to stop; we were in it until the dream was told.
It was difficult to know what to make of these things – can it all be a coincidence? I would go home that night and get online to see what others thought of these findings.
Certainly, there were many antagonistic sites; some said the whole idea of ‘Bible Codes’ had been ‘debunked.” I found most of their counter-arguments unconvincing. I knew something about statistics – it is one of those courses medical doctors frequently take while in college and then again in medical school. Physicians need to know a fair amount of statistics in order to evaluate scientific medical research.
The criteria that most reputable sites offered for proper interpretation of these codes is that,
- they cannot predict the future,
- they have to be relevant to the underlying narrative,
- are best confirmed if there are multiple repetitions of the same code or of confirmatory codes (like the lineage of King David)
- Statistical analysis has to show they are very unlikely to occur by chance.
Unfortunately, the determination of chance occurrence is difficult due to the number of assumptions that much be made.
But the implications of the Bible Codes are tremendous if valid. They imply,
- every letter has to be in a certain for a code to work. If there is a 70 letter skip distance to make a word, any missing letter would mean that word – and any other words over that missing letter – could no longer be located.
- the ancient scribes did a very good job of keeping the Torah correct after endless copies are made. We have a very close copy of the Torah – and other books of the Old Testament – compared to an original,
- but the really important message is that Scripture was written by an intelligence we cannot even fathom. No ancient scribe could have intentionally placed all this content in Scripture since many of the events described in these codes were still far in the future,
- and finally, that every promise, every prophecy, every story in Scripture represents the Truth.
 Michelson, Daniel, “Codes in the Torah,” B’Or Ha’Torah, No. 6, 1987
 Ibid. Interestingly, Weissmandl also earned considerable fame and international notoriety when he delayed the exportation of thousands of Slovakian Jews to Nazi concentration camps between 1942 and 1944. Unfortunately, he was captured in 1944 and was put on a locked train to Auschwitz to be executed with his family. He managed to hide a wire in a loaf of bread which he brought onto the train with him and then used that wire to saw open a lock to his train car. He then jumped out of the moving train and unfortunately broke his leg; his family did not survive. He would eventually escape to Switzerland and made his way to the United States after the war. He would found a Yeshiva or Jewish school, but was haunted by severe depression the rest of his life for his lost family and for his Jewish countrymen killed in Europe.
 Ibid. p. 127
 Michelson, p. 14
 Mark 7:10; 10:3–5; 12:26; Luke 2:22,5:14; 16:29–31; 24:27, 44; John 7:19, 23