Numerical Patterns in the First Creation Story of Genesis

The first verse of Genesis as “The House of Elohim”

The first verse of Genesis as “The House of Elohim”

This is a regular feature on IsraelSeen by Dr. Yitzkak Hayut-Man. An innovator, futurist, visionary and Bible scholar. I have the utmost respect for the man I consider a friend. He is among the few that is courageous enough to allow the “open source” of the Torah-Bible to be presented in new and interesting ways for our greater understanding. for more go to his web site:

In the first verse of Genesis, we can find primordial patterns, Tavniot Bereshit, patterns from which whole worlds were created. To start with, we find fractal patterns of self-similarity already with the first letter, the first word and the first verse of Parashat Bereshit:

The Letter Beyt – Beginning Genesis – its pronunciation, form and meaning.

Many Midrashim (exegeses) have already been written about the choice of the first letter of Genesis. The MaHaRaL (“Our Teacher Rabbi [Betzal’el] Loew” of Prague, the legendary creator of the Golem) explains that the letter Beyt, which is the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet, shows the duality that is in the basis of the created world. Franz Rosenzweig (in his book “The Star of Redemption) explains that the letter B expressed the specification (in his German “Besonders”) against the generalization of the first letter A (in his language “Alles”).

The annunciation of the letter B’ is the first annunciation of the child. The baby generally learns to say “Abba” (father) before “Imma” (mother), even though the mother is much closer. Likewise Creation-Bri’ah itself – namely Birth – starts with the letter Beyt, whereas the part of education and instruction – the commandments part of the Torah – start with the letter Alef – Anokhi YHWH Elohekha – “I am the Lord Your God” (Exodus 20:2).

The meaning of the letter Beyt is Bayit – house – and that is also its shape. That first word Bereshit can be broken down (among other ways, see below) into the two words Bayit – house – and Rosh – head, one inside the other, a head inside a house. The form of the accentuated Bayt (Beyt degushah) that opens the book of Genesis -Bereshit – is also reminiscent of the seed (the accent point) inside the womb (which is the primordial house of every born creature). These two meanings, birth and building are relevant here. The form of the letter Bayt has already been referred as exegesis[9] on the creation of the world as a process of a birth from a womb, in which one does not know what precedes what, what is above and what is below, but one got to emerge out and start contending with the world. The second word, Bara – “Created” (which is already enfolded in the first word Bereshit, as Bara – Shith {“created six”, see below}) in fact means bringing out and separation, much as at birth.

But the creation of Bereshit is also of Building, the building of the orderly world – the Cosmos – and the introduction to the building of the Temple – the House of YHWH – in the world. The creation is not an unconscious (blind evolution) but planned building, a “house”- Bayit – in which there is a “head” – Rosh – meaning consciousness, which is symbolized by the spherical human head.

(The letter that corresponds to Bayt in the in the European languages (whose script is derived from the Phoenician-Hebrew script) is the letter ‘B’, whose implicit meaning is (especially in English) is Existence – Be, Being. In the following we shall see that the letter Beyt also functions among the letters of the first verse of Genesis, in the same way that the accent point functions inside the letter Bayt, as Being or consciousness.)

The Six letters inside the first word – BeREShIT

The first word is made of six letters, the first one of which is accentuated. The word Bereshit is divided, as already noted in the Tiqqune Zohar, to two words: “Bara – Shith”, namely “created six” (shith is in Aramaic “six”). This is the beginning of the building of the cosmos in six days. The ancient symbol for orderly building – for “Cosmos” – is the perfect cube, which has six faces.[10] The cubic pattern expresses sanctity both in Judaism (the form of the Holy of Holies and of the phylacteries), in Christianity (the cube of “The New Jerusalem” at the ending of the Christian Bible) and in Islam (the Ka’ba).

The Pythagoreans saw in the number six “the first perfect number”, because the sum of the numbers it is divided by (1, 2 and 3) equals the number itself, and regarded these numbers as the secret of the perfect creation. It seems that the author of the Book of Genesis wanted to start the account of creation with such a perfect number. The scribes of the Torah conceived of the Creation as a building process with six-stages (a perfect number). Each Creation Day is likened to a face of a cube, each face in its turn connects with the former ones, so that the Third Day – the third face of the cube – already adds a dimension of volume, whereas the sixth day, the sixth face, closes the cube and forms inner space.

The accent point in the Beyt is the clue for the seventh element, to the conscious center that is nested within the six-sided cube. The whole sentence contains seven words (combinations of letters) and confirms the Principle of Seven – the Sabbath.

The seven words and 28 letters in the first verse of Genesis

The first sentence of the Torah is made of 7 words (in the language of the Sages Tevot – “boxes”) in which there are 28 letters. In the language of Sefer Ye?irah these are 7 “houses” (Batim) built from 28 “stones” (Avanim)

We claim that these two numbers are not random numbers, but are very intentional. The seven words correspond to the pattern of the seven days of creation, which are enumerated in the first creation story, which issues from this sentence. These seven words may be divided to the first three – Bereshit bara Elohim – that refer to the actor (the object) and last four words – et haShamayim ve’Et ha’Aretz (?? ????? ??? ????) – that refer to the subject acted upon. The same pattern will return in the sequel, for example in the formation of the People of Israel from three fathers and four mothers.

But there is reason to note that the number 28 is the second “perfect number”. The number 28 is divided by 1, 2, 4, 7 and 14, whose sum is 28. Moreover, these two numbers, the 6 corresponding to the number of letters of the first word, and the 28 corresponding to the number of the letters in the first sentence of Genesis, comprise the sum of the Biblically most important primary numbers 3 and 7. Thus the first three numbers 1+2+3 = 6, whereas the first seven 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 = 28. Therefore it is appropriate to start the account of the creation by the perfect creator with these two perfect numbers.

The number 28 appears, for instance, in the account of the 28 “times” – “A Time to be born and a time to die…” etc. (Eccles. 3:2) – which are also counted in seven sentences. IT also appears in the account of the Tabernacle – the length of the curtains that covered it was 28 cubits (Exodus 26:2). We earlier saw Rashi’s wonder about the first sentence in Genesis (and about the need for the whole book), and his explanation starts by quoting a verse from the Psalms (111:6) “He has declared to his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the nations”, where the original Hebrew verse starts with “the Power” – Ko’a? ??, and apparently it is not by chance that the Gematria of ?? is 28.

The wheel of 28 divisions is common to various esoteric systems and serves as representation for the schematic month: 4 weeks = 28 days. The solar calendar of the Dead Sea scrolls sect was of 364 days, which is a multiple of 28 – 28X13 = 364. In many Sufi diagrams, including in the ceiling of the dome at the El-Aqsa Mosque (not the Dome of the Rock) at the Temple Mount, there appears the motif of the wheel made of 28 divisions.

In our times there became known a structure of a zodiac wheel with 28 sections, “The New Jerusalem Diagram” investigated by John Michell.[11] Michell claims that many of the world’s ancient monuments, including the Great Pyramid and the Neolithic temple of Stonehenge in England and many others, are based on the proportions of this diagram. This diagram indicates, first and foremost, the image of the camping of the Twelve Tribes around the Tabernacle. This diagram, which is relevant for the Tabernacle and the future Temple, is already enfolded in the first verse of Genesis: the same three numbers of the letters of the first verse of Genesis – 6, 22 (see below) and 28, and the number of its words, namely 7 – are the very components of “The New Jerusalem Diagram” explained below in appendix ‘C’ (we shall return to the New Jerusalem Diagram when treating the journeys of Abraham, and later with the placement of the twelve tribes, which would be reveled as the outcome and the acts of Genesis and their aim.)

The difference between the two “Perfect numbers”, the 6 letters of the first word and the 28 letters of the first verse is 22 letters, namely exactly the number of the Hebrew letters. The 22 letters are the “filling” (Miluy) of the first perfect number to reach the second perfect number – and the basis upon which all the words and names are composed.

(An important motif, to which we shall return in the story of the Tree of Knowledge, is that these 22 Hebrew letters are likened to wheat – itah- that nourishes and sustains man and has Gematria value of 22: “and therefore the Torah is called bread, in likeness to the material bread that nourishes the heart and strengthens it… and thus compared to ‘the bread of the Torah’, as the sum of the counting of ‘itah’ (Rashaz, Liqute Torah for the Canticles 25:2).

The first verse contains seven words whereas the second verse contains 14 words – exactly twice – to testify about the harmonic multiplication and spreading of the creation. The next item in this series is 28.

The first verse (and also with half of the second – 11 words together) is composed of 11 different Hebrew letters, namely uses half of the Hebrew alphabet:

We may make here an interim summary and note that the explicit story of the creation contains also a hidden implicit numerical parable (hidden at least for the generations that forgot the code) of holistic Creation and Formation.

But the numerical codes in this Torah portion are not exhausted with the numbers of letters and words, but also in the number of repetition of the key words in the story, whose counting is simpler than the calculation of letters and Gematria. “To be continued…