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What is the earliest source that mentions Gematria?

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Are you asking for the earliest source to use the word גימטריא to refer to literal-numerical calculations based on the spellings of words or the earliest source to refer to גימטריא, which is almost certainly a transliteration of the Greek word for geometry? (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometry) –  WAF Mar 16 '11 at 2:51
    
Also, are you asking for earliest use of the technique or use of the term? –  Seth J Mar 16 '11 at 3:08
    
Was asking for earliest source to refer to the word Gematria. However would also be interested in the earliest source of use. –  Gershon Gold Mar 16 '11 at 3:36
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2 Answers

I would say the MISHNAH in Pirkie avos

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Which mishnah, please? –  Barry Mar 17 '11 at 17:52
    
Ch. 3, Mishnah 23 –  jake Mar 17 '11 at 19:47
    
How do you know גימטריאות there means calculating numerical values of words? –  WAF Mar 17 '11 at 23:19
    
@WAF, see the asker's comment on his question: he's "asking for earliest source to refer to the word Gematria" only. –  msh210 Nov 23 '11 at 22:23
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I'm pretty sure some interpret it as "mathematics." –  AEML Feb 1 '13 at 19:19
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See Discovering Gematria: Foundational Exegesis and Primary Dictionary from Gematria Publishing. It answers both aspects and then some. It's on Amazon.com and they have their own forum on gematria too.

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AHN, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks for the reference. Your answer would be more valuable if you could provide the bit of information requested rather than just a pointer to a book. We'd love to have you as a fully-registered member, which you can accomplish by clicking on register/login, above. –  Isaac Moses Mar 17 '11 at 2:12
    
Hello AHN, and welcome to mi.yodeya! Thank you for your informative suggestion. You may want to click Register at the top of the page to become a full mi.yodeya member and contribute more in the future. –  WAF Mar 17 '11 at 2:15
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