# Significance of Gematria

Do any of the mepharshim write about the nature and validity of Gematria and deriving ideas from it. Some people I know are skeptical of Gematria and I'm wondering if one of the chachomim have addressed this issue.

I'm really not sure where to begin looking for the answer to this question.

• Downvoting because (per the tooltip on the downvote button) "This question does not show any research effort". English Wikipedia's "Gematria" article provides examples that answer your question. So does the first page of results in a search for "gematria" on this site. – msh210 Apr 25 '16 at 16:55
• @newcomer rishonim generally treat gematriyot as mere asmachtot, rather than actual sources for laws. – mevaqesh Apr 25 '16 at 22:44
• Gmara in nazir for 30 Yom, but the Gematriot in Gemara are asmachtot – kouty Apr 26 '16 at 14:02
• @mevaqesh First Tosfos in Gittin uses the Gematria of גט as the source for having 12 lines in the get. – DonielF Aug 25 '17 at 21:29

## 1 Answer

Since gematria is an alphanumeric system, it is best used within a mathematical framework within which the results associated with the use of gematria must be consistent. The framework must necessarily include axioms from which we develop definitions, lemmas, theorems, and corollaries. Indeed, the Method of Gematria can be precisely defined as follows:

Let V_1 and V_2 be two verses in the Bible. Let N_1 be the total gematria of a set of words in V_1. Let N_2 be the total gematria of a set of words in V_2. It is possible that V_1 and V_2 are contextually or thematically linked if and only if N_1=N_2.

This definition refers to words or expressions in the verses that are contextual or thematic. By Collins English Dictionary, the context of a word, sentence, or text consists of the words, sentences, or text before and after it which help to make its meaning clear. So once the Method of the Gematria establishes the association (N_1=N_2) between the two verses, V_1 and V_2, then several verses before and after them may need to be consulted for a better understanding of the association. Also, by the same dictionary, in linguistics, the adjective thematic denotes a word that is the theme of a sentence. In grammar, it is of or relating to the stem or root of a word. Very often, there is a need to consult Strong’s Concordance and the Hebrew and Greek lexicons to fully understand the association between words that are thematic in the Bible.

I am happy to expound further.

• Interesting reading: gadial.net/2007/11/30/gematria_is_evil – Zvika Nov 6 '18 at 13:31
• Thank you for your answer. I have two comments: (1) Can you please provide a source for where you derive these ideas. Your linguistic definitions rely on English words with arbitrary meaning relative to the system of thought I am asking my question from.My question is asking about gematria within the context of the Jewish oral tradition, not about the vague concept of an alphanumeric in general. (2) Your iff is definitely wrong. Most thematic comparisons between sentences in the Bible/Torah do not rest on equivalent alphanumerics. – theideasmith Nov 7 '18 at 11:56
• Thank you for your comments. My sincere apology if I had misunderstood your question. With respect to (1), I have created the definition of the method of gematria which deals with the association of ideas based on equivalence. With respect to (2), it is possible (not definite) that there is an association if there is a numerical equivalence, and vice-verse. This association, or equivalence depends, of course, on the context. From this view, the definition covers a powerful aspect of the gematria; it is a valid instrument of biblical interpretation. – Jito Vanualailai Nov 12 '18 at 10:47
• Once we have a precise definition, it is possible to invoke existing mathematical axioms to create other useful definitions. For instance, we can use prime numbers to find associations in biblical texts. Let V_1 and V_2 be two verses in the Bible. Let N_1 be the gematria of a set of words in V_1. Let N_2 be the gematria of a set of words in V_2. It is possible that V_1 and V_2 are contextually or thematically linked if and only if Prime(N_1 )=N_2. In this way, we are using gematria within existing mathematical axioms. – Jito Vanualailai Nov 12 '18 at 11:23
• Once we have such definitions, we can prove theorems using gematria, For example, it is simple to prove the following theorem based on the above definition using prime numbers. THEOREM: Let N be a quantity, with N being a natural number. Then Prime(N) can be the total gematria of a set of verses in the Bible. Conversely, let Prime(N) be the total gematria of a set of verses in the Bible. Then N can be the total gematria of a set of verses in the Bible. – Jito Vanualailai Nov 12 '18 at 11:34