His Name Is Jesus by Yacov Rambsel
An Introduction by Grant R. Jeffrey
Recently, researchers in Israel rediscovered and validated a staggering phenomenon. Underneath the Hebrew text of the Old Testament are hidden codes that reveal an astonishing knowledge of future events and personalities that cannot be explained unless God inspired the writers to record His precise words.
Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl, a brilliant Czechoslovakian Jewish scholar in astronomy, mathematics, and Judaic studies, found an obscure reference in a book by a fourteenth-century rabbi known as Rabbeynu Bachayah that described a pattern of letters encoded within the Torah - the first five books of the Bible. This discovery, made during the years before World War I, inspired Rabbi Weissmandl to begin exploring other examples of codes hidden within the Torah. During the war years he found that he could locate certain meaningful words, phrases, and word pairs (e.g., hammer and anvil) if he found the first letter and then counted a certain number of letters to find the second one, and then counted the same number again to find the third one, and so on. In other words, if he found the first letter of Torah somewhere in the Hebrew text and then, by skipping forward seven letters, he found the second letter, he would continue to skip forward seven letters to see whether or not the complete word Torah was spelled out in the text at equally spaced intervals. The rabbi was astonished to find that an incredible number of significant words were hidden within the text of the Torah at equally spaced intervals. These intervals varied from every five letters up to intervals of hundreds of letters. In one place the letters of the word Torah might be found at seven-letter intervals, in another at sixty-seven-letter intervals.
Although Rabbi Weissmandl found many coded names simply by manually counting the letters in the text, he did not record his discoveries in writing. Fortunately, some of his students did record several examples of his discoveries. Over the following decades, students in Israel who had heard about his research began searching the Torah for themselves to ascertain whether or not such codes actually existed. Their discoveries ultimately resulted in research studies at Hebrew University that have proven the validity of the codes, which are now known as Equidistant Letter Sequences (ESL). The introduction of sophisticated high-speed computers allowed Jewish scholars at Hebrew University to explore the text of the Torah in ways that previous generations could only dream about.
In 1988, Doron Witztum, Yoav Rosenberg, and Eliyahu Rips at Hebrew University and the Jerusalem College of Technology completed a research project that followed up on Rabbi Weismandl's research. In August, 1994, they published a paper called "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis" in one of the most prominent scientific mathematics journals in the world, the American mathematics journal Statistical Science.
In their experiment, the scientists arbitrarily chose three hundred Hebrew word-pairs that were logically related in meaning, such as hammer and anvil, or tree and leaf, or man and woman. They asked the computer program to locate any such word pairs in the Genesis text. Once the computer found the first Hebrew letter in the word hammer, it would look for the second letter at various intervals or spaces between letters. If the program could not locate the second letter of the target word hammer following the first letter at a two-letter interval, it would then search at a three-letter interval, then a four-letter interval, and so forth. Once it located the second letter at, say, the twelve-letter interval, it would then look for the third letter at the same twelve-letter interval, and so on through all 78,064 Hebrew letters in Genesis. The computer also looked for coded words by checking in reverse order.
After the program had examined the text for each of the three hundred word-pairs, the researchers were astonished to realize that every single word-pair had been located in Genesis in close proximity to each other. As mathematicians and statisticians, they were naturally astounded because they knew it was humanly impossible to construct such an intricate and complicated pattern beneath a surface text, such as Genesis, which told the history of the Jewish people. The odds against the three hundred word-pairs occurring by chance in the text of Genesis are simply staggering! The bottom line is that only a supernatural intelligence, far beyond our human capacity, could have produced the pattern of secretly coded words found in the Bible.
But that was only the beginning of the story. In a 1994 follow-up paper, the team of researchers recorded the results of their search for pairs of encoded words that relate to events that occurred long after the time when Moses wrote the Torah. They selected the names of thirty-four of the most prominent rabbis and Jewish sages who lived during the last two thousand years. The process was simple. The researchers simply selected the thirty-four sages with the longest biographies in the Encyclopedia of Great Men in Israel, a well-respected Hebrew reference book. They asked the computer program to search the text of the Torah for close word pairs coded at equally spaced intervals that contained the names of the famous rabbis paired with the dates of their birth or death (using the Hebrew month and day). The Jewish people celebrate the memory of their famous sages by commemorating the dates of their deaths. Incredibly, the computer program found every single one of the thirty-four names of these famous rabbis embedded in the text of Genesis, paired at significantly close proximity with the actual date of birth or the date of death. The odds against these particular names and dates occurring by chance were calculated by the Israeli mathematicians as only one chance in 775,000,000!
The scientists and editors at the Statistical Science journal who reviewed the experimental data were naturally astonished. They demanded that the Israeli scientists run the computer test program again on a second sample. This time they searched for the next thirty-two most prominent Jewish sages listed in the encyclopedia. To the astonishment of the skeptical reviewers, the results were equally successful with the second set of famous sages. The staggering result of the combined test revealed that the names and dates of the birth or death of every one of the sixty-six most famous Jewish sages were coded in close proximity within the text of Genesis.
Despite the fact that all of the reviewers held previous beliefs against the inspiration of the Scriptures, the overwhelming evidence and the integrity of the data were such that the journal reluctantly agreed to publish the article in its August 1994 issue under the title "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis." Robert Kass, the editor of Statistical Science, wrote this comment about the study:
Our referees were baffled: their prior beliefs made them think the Book of Genesis could not possibly contain meaningful references to modern day individuals, yet when the authors carried out additional analyses and checks the effect persisted. The paper is thus offered to Statistical Science readers as a challenging puzzle.
An article in Bible Review magazine by Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, in October 1995, reported that the mathematical probability of these sixty-six names of Jewish sages and their dates of birth or death occurring by chance in an ancient text like Genesis was less than one chance in two and a half billion! Interestingly, the researchers attempted to reproduce these results by running the computer program on other religious Hebrew texts outside the Bible, including the Samaritan Pentateuch. The Samaritans developed their own variant text of the five books of Moses, called the Samaritan Pentateuch, which differs in many very small textual details from the standard Hebrew Bible (known as the Masoretic text). Despite the surface similarity of the two texts, the researchers could not detect word pairs in the Samaritan Pentateuch or any other Hebrew text outside the Bible.
The Bible Review article provoked an onslaught of letters (mostly critical) to the editor. Dr. Satinover responded to his critics as follows:
The robustness of the Torah codes findings derives from the rigor of the research. To be published in a journal such as Statistical Science, it had to run, without stumbling, an unusually long gauntlet manned by some of the world's most eminent statisticians. The results were thus triply unusual: in the extraordinariness of what was found; in the strict scrutiny the findings had to hold up under; and in the unusually small odds (less than 1 in 62,500) that they were due to chance. Other amazing claims about the Bible, Shakespeare, and so forth, have never even remotely approached this kind of rigor, and have therefore never come at all close to publication in a peer-reviewed, hard science venue. The editor of Statistical Science, himself a skeptic, has challenged readers to find a flaw; though many have tried, none has succeeded. All the [basic] questions asked by Bible Review readers - and many more sophisticated ones - have therefore already been asked by professional critics and exhaustively answered by the research. Complete and convincing responses to even these initial criticisms can get fairly technical. (Bible Review, November 1995)
The discovery of complex Hebrew codes that reveal supernatural and prophetic knowledge about the future has caused tremendous consternation in the academic community because it challenges the long-held beliefs of liberal scholars who generally reject verbal inspiration of the Bible.
The discovery has also been used for more sensationalistic purposes. A recent article in Newsweek (June 9, 1997) reviews a book by journalist Michael Drosnin entitled The Bible Code. The headline of the article was "Seek and Ye Shall Find: A controversial new book claims that buried within the Bible is a secret guide to all that was, is and shall be."
Yacov Rambsel's purpose in this book is not to pander to a search for the sensational nor to convince antagonistic scholars. Yacov, as a Messianic Jew, seeks to express his love for Yeshua, his Messiah, through his work. By bringing to light the pervasive presence of Yeshua in the very words of the Old Testament, he wants others, Jews and Christians, to find that same love. The findings he presents in this book are marvelous and appeal to the mind - but it is his love for Yeshua shining from every page that can transform our hearts.
After Yacov's first book, YESHUA, was released last year it quickly became an international bestseller. However, some scholars challenged his discovery of the name Yeshua in every major messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. They claimed that the name Yeshua was a short name with only four Hebrew letters that could be found by random chance everywhere. However, they could not explain why the name Yeshua would appear encoded within so many major messianic prophecies. We have not found any other significant names appearing in small ELS (equidistant-letter sequences) intervals within these significant messianic passages.
However, these skeptics dismissed Yacov's discovery of the Yeshua Codes and declared that the word Yeshua did not refer to Jesus of Nazareth. They acknowledged that the word Yeshua appeared repeatedly within these messianic passages, as Yacov's book claimed, but they rejected Yacov's claim that these codes were "significant." The skeptical scholars claimed that you could find Yeshua encoded in ELS in almost any portion of Hebrew literature, including the Israeli phone book or Woody Allen's writings translated into the Hebrew language. During the last few months, in discussions with Yacov, I asked him to complete an exhaustive analysis of the "Suffering Servant" prophecy in Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53 that predicts many incredible details about Jesus Christ's death on the cross that were fulfilled centuries later.
Yacov has made an astonishing discovery that God has encoded the names of Jesus and virtually everyone else that was involved in the tragic crucifixion of Christ over seven hundred years before the event. He found the encoded names of Jesus, the Nazarene, Messiah, the three Marys, the two high priests, Herod, Pilate, and many of Christ's disciples in one small prophetic passage - Isaiah 53 - the greatest messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. Furthermore, these names were encoded in Isaiah's prophecy in 740 b.c., more than seven centuries before Jesus was born. Can any unbiased observer of this evidence honestly claim that these codes refer to anyone other than Jesus of Nazareth?
1. These codes have been found only in the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Old Testament.
No one has been able to locate detailed, meaningful Bible codes in any other Hebrew literature outside the Bible. Experimenters have carefully examined other Hebrew writings for the existence of codes including the Jewish Talmud, the Mishnah, the Apocryphal writings of Tobit and the Maccabees. They even examined modern Hebrew literature, such as translations of War and Peace. However, the scientists found no pattern of codes in any literature other than the Old Testament. Several researchers have told me they found indications of codes in the Greek of the New Testament, but no detailed research has been published to date.
2. No one can search the Bible using these codes to foretell future events.
It is impossible to extract the encoded information unless you already know what the future facts are. The encoded information about a future event cannot be pulled out of the biblical text in advance of the event because you wouldn't know what to tell the computer to look for. It is only after a historical event has occurred that you can have the computer program look for the name of the person or event and check to see if the codes contain the information confirming the event. In other words, this method confirms that the Bible contains encoded data about events that occurred centuries after it was written. However, the method cannot be used to foretell the future. The Bible prohibits us from engaging in foretelling the future. Agnostic writer Michael Drosnin, in a recent book called Bible Code, has claimed that he discovered codes that allowed him to predict future events. However, a close examination of his claims reveals that the encoded information is insufficient to allow anyone to confidently predict any future event. The information encoded in the Bible can only be accurately interpreted after an event, such as the coming of the Messiah, has actually occurred. Then we can compare the historical event with the encoded information to determine whether or not God has revealed these prophetic details centuries before they occurred. Therefore, the codes give God the glory, not the human researcher.
3. These Hebrew codes do not contain any hidden theological or doctrinal messages.
The phenomenon of the Hebrew codes has nothing to do with numerology. Numerology has been defined by the authoritative Webster's Dictionary as "the study of the occult significance of numbers." There are no secret sentences, detailed messages, or sentences about theology in the encoded words. God's message of salvation and His commandments for holy living to humankind are found only in the open words of the Scriptures.
4. Why then did God place these hidden Hebrew codes in the text of the Bible?
For almost seventeen centuries, from the time of Emperor Constantine's conversion in A.D. 300 until 1900, the Bible has been generally accepted by Western culture as the inspired and authoritative Word of God. However, the last ninety years have witnessed an unrelenting assault on the authority of the Bible by the intellectual elite, the academic community, and the media. Most people in our culture have been exposed to countless attacks on the authority and accuracy of the Scriptures throughout their lives in educational institutions and from the mass media. I believe that God has provided this extraordinary evidence in the form of the Hebrew Codes to prove to this generation of skeptics that the Bible is truly the Word of God.
The discovery in the last decade of these incredible codes provides powerful evidence to our skeptical generation that God truly inspired the writers of the Bible to record His message to mankind. These encoded words describing the names of people, places, and dates provide powerful evidence to any unbiased inquirer that they can trust the message of the Bible that promises salvation to all those who will accept Jesus the Messiah as their personal Savior and Lord.
Grant R. Jeffrey