Should answers/analysis based on what I would call "hardcore numerology" be afforded respect in the context of the Biblical Hermeneutics site? Induction might find the repeated use of the number twelve within the scriptural texts etc. but seeing a link to the "7 Chakras" or other methods of assigning significance to numbers other than induction seem, in my humble opinion to be irrelevant to this site, but I'd like to hear it from someone with some say-so before I down vote such. Should such be down voted?


Numerology itself is neither sacred nor taboo here. It all comes down the fundamental requirement of the site: that you show your work.

It seems likely that the ancient writers were familiar with particular forms, and that they themselves saw significance in certain numbers. It's also possible that the text says there were four people at such-and-such event, because there were four people at that event, and that the text attaches no significance to this. The onus is on the individual answer to build the case that some kind of numerology is (or is not) in play in a particular text.

In the case of "hardcore" numerology that can't be deduced from either the scriptures themselves or other relevant texts/contexts - numerical connections made not by the author, but by the reader - the challenge will be in showing any kind of reproducible work. And answers that don't show their work tend to get flagged and deleted.


According to the Reader's Guide to Judaism, edited by Michael Terry. Gematria is the 29th of the 32 hermeneutical rules countenanced by Rabbis for valid aggadic interpretation of the Torah. >

Lieberman concludes that, given the employment of numerological techniques before and during the composition of the Hebrew Bible, it is entirely possible that gematria (as well as notarikon, the interpretation of selected words in the biblical text as if they were acronyms) was employed within the Bible itself, encoding hidden messages into the text that were to be discovered by employment of gematria or notarikon analysis (the at-bash code of the Book of Jeremiah being a case in point).

I would expect anyone that started inferring links to the Seven Chakras or any sort of fluff would be downvoted and deleted.

Personally I make a distinction between Gematria and Numerology. The Wikipedia entry on numerology defines it as

any belief in the divine, mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events

and it's usually practiced by people that think their pareidolia is a type of proof for the existence of God. Sometimes they imagine that the bible is relevant to the events in today's world (such as elections or disasters). By contrast, the scribal authors of the Tanakh on the whole appear to have used Gematria to record the measurement of rather mundane things; orbits of the planets or concerns of the calendar.

Anyway, I agree with Soldarnals answer but wanted to introduce some references here for clarity sake.

  • Despite showing my work and referencing texts relevant to the exegesis, I note that I routinely get down-voted when I use the gematria of the Merkabah as part of my answers on this site. There is a general public prejudice against numerical epigraphy due to all the crackers and cranks that use false number sets ignorantly and without any knowledge of numerical grammar (cues, indicators and math functions) embedded in the Tanakh. I feel its rather unfair that general ignorance of the matter and prejudice is having an impact on my reputation as a scholar on this site. – Bethsheba Ashe Oct 31 '17 at 19:15

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