Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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The assignation of a numerical value to the letters of the alphabet is already documented in the Hebrew Bible. Since late antiquity Jewish scholars have drawn on the letters’ numerical value for the interpretation of holy scripture. With the help of these values, it was possible to perform mathematical computations called gematria (from Hebr.-Aram. gematriya), which were intended to point to hidden analogues between individual words or groups of words and enable a deepe…

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Dubrau, Alexander and Morlok, Elke, “Number”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 09 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_01128>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20210312

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