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This article is about Hebrew gematria based on what you might have heard about in an encyclopedia. For the vastly different version practised by conspiracy theorists, see new gematria.

Gematria (from Greek geometria) originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of alphanumeric code/cipher later adopted in the writing of Hebrew scripture that assigns numerical value to a letter/word/name/phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to nature, a person's age, the calendar year, or the like. In short, it is numerology as it applies to words, particularly Hebrew and scripture.

This will likely sound very familiar to anyone who has come across the average numerologist. Indeed, many numerologist theories owe themselves to gematria. Gematria is one of the oldest forms of these kinds of alphanumeric ciphers. Similar systems, some of which were derived from or inspired by Hebrew gematria, have been used in other languages and cultures, i.e. Greek isopsephy, Arabic abjad numerals, and English gematria. Gematria is common in Kabbalah practice; it involves seeking out patterns in numbers and texts, and derives originally from the practice of writing numbers using ancient letters and adding up the letter values of various significant words. It's a form of Torah, Bible, and Qur'an exegesis.

English Demonstration[edit]

Using 'the key' 74 of A=1, B=2, C=3… Z=26, we have…

  • simple = S19+I9+M13+P16+L12+E5 = 74
  • English = E5+N14+G7+L12+I9+S19+H8 = 74
  • gematria = G7+E5+M13+A1+T20+R18+I9+A1 = 74
  • connect = C3+O15+N14+N14+E5+C3+T20 = 74

See also[edit]


  • Rosten, Leo, and Lawrence Bush, The New Joys of Yiddish. New York: Crown Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0609607855.