Diagram 001 – Hebrew Gematria
(referenced by audio study 001)
‘Gematria’ is the substitution of numbers for letters in the Hebrew alphabet according to a set system. In the Hebrew tradition, this method of understanding scripture has been used since the time of the Second Temple to derive insights into the sacred writings and to obtain interpretations of the text. Any interpretation must always remain within the constraints of biblical truth in the surface narrative.
Three methods are used in these studies for the calculation of the numerical values of Hebrew words. These are called the ‘Standard’, ‘Standard (Final Form)’ and ‘Ordinal’ methods and their letter substitution values are shown in the table below. The ‘Standard’ method of Gematria is used in all Hebrew letter substitutions unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Note that there are five letters in the Hebrew alphabet which have a different letter shape if they are the last letter of the Hebrew word. This is called the ‘final form’ (of the letter) and the numerical value of this letter may or may not be the same as its non-final form equivalent, depending on the method used. The substitution table below therefore has 27 entries; the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the five final form letters.
This is the most common method of Gematria. The numerical value of each Hebrew letter for this standard method is shown in the ‘Standard’ column in the table below. The final form letters do not change in their numerical value. For example, the Hebrew letter ‘Kaf’ and its final form, both have the numerical value of 20.
Standard (Final Form) Method
This method deviates from the standard method (detailed above) only with regard to the five final form letters. These final form letters have a different numerical value to their non-final form equivalent. As seen in the ‘Final Form’ column in the table below, the numerical value of each final form letter continues to increase in steps of 100. For example, the Hebrew letter ‘Nun’ has a numerical value of 50 but in its final form (if the letter ‘Nun’ occurs at the end of a Hebrew word), this letter is given a numerical value of 700.
This method is simply the physical position of the letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The numerical value of each Hebrew letter for the ordinal method is shown in the ‘Ordinal’ column of the table below.