Gematria is the study of the numeric equivalents of Hebrew and Greek letters in order to find hidden meanings in the words. In both Hebrew and Greek (the languages in which the Bible was written), there are only alpha characters. There are no numeric characters. Therefore, when a Hebrew would want to write a number, he would use the corresponding Hebrew letter.

Various numbers are supposed to have spiritual meanings. Here are a few examples:

  • 4 is the number of creation (the earth mentioned on the fourth clause of the Lord's Prayer; North, East, South, West; four corners of the earth)
  • 5 is the number of grace
  • 6 is the number of man (man was created on the 6th day; the sixth commandment says "Thou shall not murder)
  • 7 is the number of spiritual perfection
  • 8 is the number of new beginnings (eight people on Noah's Ark; baby is circumcised on the 8th day; Jesus rose on the first day (8th) of the week)
  • 9 is the number of judgment
  • 39 is the number of mercy
  • 40 of testing and judgment
  • 666 is the number of the antichrist, the numeric value of his name in Greek equivalent gematria.

There are some amazing numeric patterns found in the Bible.

  • "There are 21 Old Testament writers whose names appear in the Bible (3 x 7). The numeric value of their names is divisible by seven. Of these 21, seven are named in the New Testament: Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea and Joel. The numeric values of these names is 1554 (222 x 7). David's name is found 1134 times (162 x 7)." (
  • The gematria of the name "Jesus" in Greek results in 888. In John 21:11, after the resurrection the disciples caught 153 fish. The word "fish" in Greek is 'ixthus' which has a numerical equivalent of 1224, or 8 x 153. Also, 153 people received a blessing from Jesus in the four gospels (not counting the 5000 and examples like that).
  • The Greek word for "law" is nomos which has a gematria of 430. Paul says that the Law came 430 years after Abraham went to Egypt (Gal. 3:17). The Jews were in Egypt 430 yeas and after being freed, they received the Law of Moses (Exodus 12:40).
א aleph silent (א) 1 or 1000 ל lamed low 30
ב Bet boy 2 מ),ם)* mem mike 40 (600)
ג gimel god 3 ן),נ)* nun new 50 (700)
ד deled dog 4 ס samech sam 60
ה heh hi 5 ע ayin silent 70
ו vav very, up 6 ף),פ)* pey pet, phone 80 (800)
ז zayin zebrea 7 ץ),צ)* tzadi nets 90 (900)
ח ches bach 8 ק kuf q, kit 100
ט tes test 9 ר reish race 200
י yod you 10 ש shin sam, shem 300
ך),כ)* chof kit 20 (500) ת tof test 400

*final form is form of letter found when it occurs at the end of a word. Greek Letter Equivalents

Greek Letter Greek
English Letter Numeric
  Greek Letter Greek Name English Letter Numeric
A,a alpha father 1 N,n nu new 50
B,b Beta boy 2 X,x xi box 60
G,g Gamma god 3 O,o omikron off 70
D,d delta dog 4 P,p pi pet 80
E,e epsilon end 5       90 is
R,r rho rat 100
      6 is sigma, V final form S,s,V* sigma sam (s,V) 6, 200
Z,z zeta zebra 7
H,h eta hey 8 T,t tau test 300
Q,q theta thick (q) 9 U,u upsilon up 400
I,i iota it 10 F,f phi phone (f) 500
K,k kappa kit 20 C,c chi bach 600
L,l lamda low 30 Y,y psi cups (y) 700
M,m mu mike 40 W,w omega orange (w) 800
900 = sampsi

There are many Gematria relationships found in both the Old and New Testament writings. As you can see from the citations given above, mystical interpretations could can be discovered as well as "inferred" by examining the mathematical equivalents of various numeric words and then attempting to discover what those mathematical relationships might mean. Though it does seem that there are some very legitimate and interesting Gematria relationships found in the Bible, we can also see that Kabbalists could take the phenomena too far in their esoteric and mystical explanations of Scripture.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.