Synopsis: A new way of looking at the Law of Moses angle might provide reinforcement to the expected behavioural pattern of believers; while for others, a new look could be a source of a re-evaluation of old positions. Emphasis is that the 10 Commandments are, in a way, just one, one word by one God. Any one of them, to some degree, includes any of the others. This is at the same time connected with the most significant part of the Torah Code, which shows, at least hypothetically, the Divine authorship of the work, and for those so inclined to look at such things, a numerical tie-in between the aforementioned code, and the Commandments.
Note: The following material, according to experience, will require some touch-up. This should be ready by mid-February. The Commandments are given, to have the least copyright problems, from the way this author was taught as a child. The numbering may not be the same in some religions, but the intent always is.1 Links are provided mostly to both King James and Douay-Rheims versions of biblical citations. Without intending any dogmatic errors to major religions that might feel themselves addressed by this article, some ecumenism in citations has been felt convenient. The Quran Code is not mentioned, as it seems only to deal with a number, not with any message.
Many years back, the present author read a book by Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.2 Therein, Hofstadter, by copying ideas of those worthies, renders homage to the geniuses, one in mathematics, one in the visual arts, and one in music; who devised techniques in their respective fields of expertise, and which reveal a certain continuity from start to finish of their individual works, To some degree, the same technique is found in the Bible, much beyond “I am the Alpha and the Omega”.3 Here we limit ourselves to analyzing the alpha, omega, and the eight intermediate points of the Mosaic Law, and show, that even in an attempt to unravel them, they retain their unity of moral guidance.
The essay may be read by two different groups of people according to their respective outlooks: believers, for whom some reinforcement of belief would be the objective; and others, for whom it is hoped some new insight may be provided. Broadly speaking, the first group consists of Jews, Christians, and for those willing to go so far, since these two being considered “People of the Book” by Islam, Moslems. Excluding the Commandments which are binding to monotheism, again, most people would subscribe, at least when they reflect on how they expect others to behave, to the remaining seven rules of conduct, 5 of which parallel the 7 Noahide laws.4 By “others”, whether or not they would agree to the last group of prohibitions, we mean those, who look at the Bible not as the Word of God, but as a text to be analyzed, criticized, placed into historical, sociological or other contexts, reinterpreted, refuted, etc. This includes any agnostic, atheist, or follower of any other religion with curiosity. They might care to evaluate the idea of the Ten Commandments as a sole idea, which, for believers, should be written “Sole Idea”, the “Whole” Idea.5
The Sole Idea
Non-believers will have to bear with the author for a moment, because whenever one works with an idée fixe, other thoughts get waylaid. Here, “idea” is being used in the sense provided for in the Oxford Dictionary,6 as the idea of Locke, or Descartes, as the “immediate object of thought or mental perceptions”. This is defined by the apostle John as the “Word”: God.
Ideally, if the present author is a believer, he would try to prove the existence of God, but proofs have been given, and refuted, many times. If other proofs are possible, perhaps they will be found. For purposes of simplification, however, let it be assumed that the author would take as evidence the idea that the clockwork of the created universe needed a “Being” to set it all in motion: the Prime Cause, the Prime Mover. As related in the first words of the Bible, the cause of all the clockwork was a word, “Fiat”, in Latin translations, more clumsily mistranslated into English as “Let there be”, for the even clumsier, “Let there be made”. “Fiat”, then, is the word of the Word; the Word creating the World, not yet the Word made Flesh, but the Word made concrete, solid.7
The Torah Code in a New Light
Let us now assume, not only that the Creator worked as described in the Bible, but that He is its author. There is an interesting idea that in the first five books, the Torah and Deuteronomy, God has hidden his signature in a precise mathematical way. The most serious version was presented by experts in Mathematics. Skeptics would write this off as mere coincidence, extreme moralists confuse this with divination by numbers.8 The idea is only offered here as a thought, to those who are unaware of it. It seems to be a somewhat overlooked “proof”. It is that the Word, the same as that referred to at the beginning of the Gospel of John, has His Name, Yahweh [יהוה], written into His Book, which is the Word of God. It should really be irrelevant to believers, but the concept may sway some agnostics. Here, the present author offers what he believes the critics have overlooked.
First, there is a pattern, which, it must be stressed, is to be found only in the authoritative version of the Hebrew text, and evidently, requires knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet.9 One looks for the first occurrence of the letter Tav, counts 50 letters, notes the letter which appears. This is repeated 2 more times, giving a total of 4 letters. These spell the name of the section of the Bible under review, “Torah”, which in the original language is but 4 characters: תּוֹרָה In Leviticus, we begin with the first “Y”, skip 7, note the 8th letter, and get the Hebrew name of God, YHWH. In the last two cases, one looks for a mirror image, thus starting with the “H” of Torah, and working in reverse. Deuteronomy is a special case, where some extra words need to be omitted. The result is the word “Torah”, written twice before the word “God”, and written backwards after that word, in effect framing it.10 That was the original presentation of the Torah code in modern times, as presented in an academic journal.11
A few years later, specious works built on this, and one, presented in the same academic journal as the original, refuted the arguments. The sillier works try to obtain predictions from Bible codes; worst of all, pretending that God wrote the Bible in English. The more serious work puts everything down to chance, even if remote. It is here suggested that the “serious” refutation does have its own defect.
It must be admitted that the proof of the Torah Code cannot be given according to the demands of the scientific method. However, it is proposed that, for better or for worse, an analysis is made to see if there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to allow for a plausible certainty of the desired conclusion.
Basically, the critics claim that in the “discovery” of the Torah code, one found what one was looking for. First refutation: Let us imagine a shortage of coinage for the bus, or a phone call. We know that people lose coins in the street. We look, we find. There was no damage in “finding what we were looking for”. “Seek, and ye shall find.” 12 Elsewhere, “Seek ye the Lord, while he shall be found”13. In the New Testament, Christ talks about a woman looking for a lost coin, and how much rejoicing there is after its being recovered.14 The apostle Thomas, the doubter, was criticized for demanding too much proof.15
The first sentence of the Bible is headed with a word, the root of which has precisely meaning of the noun homonymous the verb in the preceding clause of this sentence. That root, and its derivation, have has the added significance, “beginning”. So, without preface, without title, we nevertheless go straight to where we should be in our reading. The last letter is “tav”, which means “mark”, “sign”, or “cross”16. So, like the end of our life may be marked by our tombstone, and the words upon it, and perhaps with a sign denoting religious belief, our word “beginning” is marked at the ending with a sign, easily a cross, for the Christian believer, thus reminding one of the last book of the Bible, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end”. Furthermore, “tav” is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so the last letter, the sign, marks the last place of the word “beginning”, and the beginning of the count required for the Bible Code. No other letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a meaning which could point out a word this way. The end, by the sign, merges with the beginning. 17
Next comes the count, to the fiftieth position, after 7 times 7. The number 7 is accepted as a number of Biblical significance: Creation in 7 days, a seven year cycle, 7 parts to the Menorah, the seven seals on the Book of Life, and many others. Fifty is considered significant as the Jubilee Year in the Old Testament. But 7 denotes perfection, 7 times 7, or 7 times 70, even more so.18 Frivolous users of Bible codes ignore whether the numbers they use in an attempt to find messages have any special significance. I cannot be sure, but I believe that the serious critics also ignored the special significance of some numbers, while claiming that the “discovery” could happen, if looked for long enough, implying, using any starting point at all, any number of letters jumped over. Admittedly, looking for some significance related with a number claimed to have a certain symbolism, is scientifically flawed, if the other numbers are ignored, but this writer has yet to see what clearly defined other coincidences of words of special import would have arisen with those other numbers. There is, what scientists call “elegance” in the original theory, it is like a neat, uncomplicated equation.19
In conclusion, our circumstantial evidence, if that be what it is, emphasizes that even if the original research found the code by something less than a thoroughly rigorously applied scientific methodology (something which was originally not detected in peer reviews), there are a multiplicity of coincidences which give this particular discovery, and none other, a special value. Furthermore, the critics, it would seem, (but I cannot take an oath on it), were even worse in their attempts to disprove the code, because the allegation that the discoverers proved what they wanted to find can likewise apply to those who would debunk the theory. Examples from Tolstoy and Melville have no elegance: what meaning would any number have in their literature, what meaning is to be derived from the initial point to the next?20 It is here that the skeptical statisticians should be challenged.
The idea of perfection through the number 7 found in the Torah Code, occurs again in the Ten Commandments, together with perfection through another of the “perfect” numbers, 10. If the code is meaningful, that we have proof not only of Biblical authorship, but because the works of the Lord are perfect, the Bible is perfection writ large. As a consequence, the Commandments are perfect, and form a seamless unity, breaking one means breaking all, at least metaphorically-speaking.
Giving the Word
In 2013, a BBC article on puns mentioned that the Jesus of the New Testament was fond of their use. Modern day readers, of course, miss most of these, as they are secondary to the purposes of preachers. However, it is not necessary to understand Aramaic or Biblical Greek to find the existence of puns in the biblical context. Consider the evangelist John, and his “In the beginning was the Word”, and the fact that, if our dictionaries are up to the task, “word”, and even “the word”, depending upon the case of the “w”, may mean both “God” and “command”. Theologically speaking, this, then, gives us both the Lawgiver, and the Law. At least on a superficial level, or the level of puns, there is the relationship between the genitive form of the Latin word for “law”, that is, “legis”, and the Greek for “word”, “logos”. In Semitic languages, if they were in that vocabulary, would both be written “lgs”, and be considered as having a common root. And insofar as the Latin word for “law” is derived from “lego, legere”, “to read”, is it not “words” that are read? The best that the author was able to come up with in a Semitic language, changing the sibilant consonant “s” to “z”, was the Arabic root, “lgz” [لغز], meaning, to remove from oneself, which is what is often the treatment given to the idea of God, or to law. From the same, is derived the word “riddle” or “enigma”, and the expression for “crossword”, which, of course, is all about words. The “riddle” may be any parable of the New Testament.
Now certainly, if the Bible is the Word of God, the following might be highly objectionable, and depending upon the reader’s view of puns, it will be even without the religious component. Let us take the previously-mentioned Evangelist’s “In the beginning was the Word”, the opening line to his text. Genesis, too, is introduced with, “in the beginning”, but let us imagine for a moment, a pronunciation associated with the state of New Jersey, where “er” is often pronounced “oi”. So, we get something that sounds like, “In the beginning was the void”, which is what we get by splicing the first two verses of Genesis, thus, “In the beginning was … the void”, which would be true for the first verse before the moment of the creation of heaven and earth. The postulate is not far removed from the understanding of modern science, which believes that the entire universe was really created from a very small amount of material – without God, of course.
For the non-believer, the entire story in Genesis is a fairy tale, as it were, but let us look, for a moment, at the fairy tale that is taught in Mathematics before going on to university. Imaginary numbers are an important part of Mathematics, and in the physical sciences.. Take an imaginary number, call it “i”. . Multiplied together, it gives “-1”.. Now, multiply again, and get an imaginary “-1”, “-i”. Multiply one more time, and voilà, we get a real “one”. Mathematically stated, i x i x i x i = 1, or i 4 = 1. What we have here, is that Mathematics can fool around with imaginary entities, which get practical, working results, but the practical results of the Bible are being more and more denied in the modern Western world, and attempts are being made to tear believers of other sacred texts from their roots. Be that as it may, we have come, with our example, from an imagined number, or situation, to something real. It does not prove the existence of visitors from other worlds, because we apply Occam’s Razor, using the simplest possible explanation. And in the story of Creation, it would be more useful for schoolchildren to be taught the biblical version, even to the detriment of knowledge of geological periods of history, because the time could be better spent in other fields of learning, making students more literate, more cultured, and perhaps, less inclined to commit moral transgressions.
Summing up the previous paragraph, in a way, speaking outside of the bounds of theological imperatives, we ideate, imagine God, and by “potentiating” the imagined entity, we arrive at the One, with “One” here meaning either, “the One Above”, or “the Alpha”, the Beginning.
Before looking at the Ten Commandments, there is another word that needs to be emphasized. The first word of the spine of the Hebrew Bible I own, is “Torah”, the word which was discussed before as part of a potential code. Torah has several possible meanings: instruction, law precept, or doctrine. The Biblical Code has God in the centre of this, or these, His word: His instructions, and precepts.
The First Command
The first command cannot have been the words, the fiat, of creation, because this would require a subject to carry out the task. The first instruction was, in fact, according to the Old English version of the Bible used, “Go forth and multiply”, or “Increase and multiply”. That, according to one of the two simultaneous texts running through Genesis, was followed by, “fill the earth”, “subdue it”, “rule over … all living creatures”. The other tradition, which de-emphasizes the creation of man and woman at the same time, gives the following commands, first, implicitly, to “dress” and “keep” the “garden of pleasure”, second, not to eat of the tree of knowledge, third, implicitly, a temporary task, name the animals. This looks like the version of the world the politicians and the technocrats would bring to us if they could, pleasure, i.e., bread and circuses for the common man; knowledge, or classification of all things for the bureaucrat. The first version, on the other hand, would seem to upset the environmentalists, the pro-animal rights groups. Both versions suggest the responsibility of man towards his future destiny, the “subduing” implies that man has to take his part in improving the world, the “dress” and “keep” a lighter version of work in general, whether it be to keep a cow, or for the less active person, a dog or cat.
A Need for Commandments
The story relates that man could not keep away from the tree of knowledge. Thus was overthrown the entire edifice of a perfect creation, because if it had been so perfect that man had been left without free will, he would have been no more than a zombie, a robot, a slave. Asking for perfection without this effect would be a violation of the natural order of things. Man could have chosen to do what is right. The wrong decision was made. Eden was the perfect closed system, of which voyagers to outer space dream of recreating in some dreary spaceship, and some equally dreary other planet. Eden was not Robespierre’s man in the state of nature, because the state described in Paradise is that of the perfect human being in charge of a perfect environment. Perhaps the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge suggested, look, there is no action here, now you are about to have some. And thus it was. The material for action movies was scripted: fear, a hasty covering up of the flesh, the Wrath of God, the jealousy of Cain, murder, Cain’s sarcasm, a second murder, polygamy, undescribed “iniquity”, the Flood: the first environmental disaster, and after that, drunkenness, and activities which are now seen as human rights, but which we prefer not to mention, in order that there be no age restrictions on access to this article. Genesis continues with stories of individuals, which do not concern us here, although instances of specific commands might be found.
The Ten Commandments as Unity
After leaving the land of Egypt, the behaviour of the refugees in some ways remind one of the days preceding the Deluge. The focal point was the creation of the Golden Calf,, to which were offered unspecified sacrifices, but if they were in keeping with traditions of other peoples in those regions, may have included children. The operative word in Exodus 32 is that the people “played”. A euphemism, certainly.
If we go by the version of Exodus 32, rather than 20, the tablets of the Law had to be made twice. The commandments are presented here below in simplified form, with a look at how the structure folds in upon itself, to show that no matter how the material is analyzed, there would be no diminishment in meaning if there were less than 10 commandments.
We look first upon the hypothetical division, or real, in the case of believers, into the commandments pertaining to the rights of God, and to those of man, three on artists’ rendering of the first tablet, seven on the latter. This division was in effect referred to, when Christ was asked, which was the greatest Commandment. Not, “which are”, but “which is”, so the question refers to unity.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole soul, thy whole heart, and thy whole Mind. And the second commandment is like it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 21
So, it is being said, the seven cannot be separated from the three.
Analyzing the three, we see a triangular number, one that can be represented by one dot at the top, and always one more dot in the line of dots below it. Those who care to do so, may see the symbolism of the Trinity here. In construction, the triangle gives force to what would otherwise be a wobbly structure: a square with four nails easily converts into a parallelogram. This is a case of where more is not better. The square is converted into two triangles, converting it into something rigid. But we only need to worry about the simplest manifestation of this. The total number of Commandments likewise is triangular:
Aside: Remembering for the Torah Code the skip of 7 x 7 letters, on the 36th, or 6 x 6th row, we get the triangular number 666, which is considered a number of imperfection. This very fact suggests that the alternative reading of 616 is in error.
The Highest Commandments
I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
Idolatry is easily to fall into, not just sports idols, movie stars, anything we care to put on a higher plane than God, the looking for a “high”, the video-game addiction, that significant other, pursuit of fame, wealth, etc.
Here is the unity of this commandment: Not to take the Name of the Lord in vain, in effects, idolizes the vain name-taking. Not keeping Holy the Lord’s Day, idolizes the Day of the Lord. Not honouring one’s mother and father idolizes the self. Killing idolizes revenge, or carelessness, or some other self-gratification; (for it is understood, that killing is not about all cases). Adultery, idolizes either the self or the other (the meaning of adultery does not come from “adult”, but from the same root as “adulterate”: “ad + alter”, “to the/a(n) other”). Stealing idolizes the objet stolen, or one’s own interest. Lying idolizes the position of self in detriment of another. The commandments about coveting, make a god of what is coveted, or of oneself, yet again.
Thou shalt not Take the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain.
If a man be an idolater, speaking the Name of the Lord is definitely in vain. Instances of idolatry have already been shown in the preceding paragraph. Let us look at this in more detail. In vain does one invoke the Lord if he does not keep His day holy. In vain does he name the Lord, if he does not respect his parents, “so that he may have a long life”. In vain is the Lord’s name uttered in the context of the violation of the other seven commandments.
Remember thou keep holy the Lord’s Day.
A false god must it be that is pursued in not keeping holy the Lord’s Day. Even for the secularist, such a day must exist, for the same reasons as mentioned in the Bible, a day of rest. In vain do we say to love either God, or man, if that day of rest is not observed. That day could be used to specifically honour one’s father and mother. All forms of killing would be avoided on that day, no butchering of animals, by extension, no picking of fruits, harvesting, cutting of trees, hewing of wood, and thus, by extension, industry, etc. The “other”, as defined in “adultery”, is merely a participant in the Lord’s Day, providing no temptation whatsoever. Stealing is a form of prohibited work. Even “white” lies should be avoided. Coveting is incompatible with keeping holy the Lord’s Day, and should even be impossible.
Restatement of the First Three Commandments for Agnostics, Animists, Atheists, Pagans, and others outside of Judeao-Christianity.
In order that the Golden Rule, “Do unto other as you would have done unto yourself” is best maintained, and in the context of Christ’s summation of the second group of Commandments being similar to the first, it would seem that even without a belief in the God of Judeo-Christianity (with apologies to those who would have written “G-d”), it would seem that the group just discussed can be restated for others. Some potential relation to Natural Law would seem evident.
In general, believers of some type of Supreme Being would seem obliged to give that being due honour. If there is a pantheon of gods, then there is a kind of division of obligations to each.
Humanists, Socialists, and Communists would seem to have to show their absolute dedication to their fellow man. Since such systems, especially the latter, are most often thrust upon one, it is for the politicians and theorists of those systems to lead by example. Socialist and Communist connoisseurs of cigars, champagne, fine wines, yachts, dachas, luxury cars, three-piece suits and the like, are in effect proclaiming themselves as gods above the people which they claim to serve.
An individual who patently sets himself up as a god, outside of the handful of countries where that is possible, (if possible at all), is universally condemned as selfish. It can be seen that such an attitude is wrong, even by any potential rival – who of course does not see the contradiction in his competitive striving.
Use of the deity’s name in vain would also seem to be against the principles of most of the just-mentioned non-Judeo-Christian beliefs. “By Jove!”, “By Jupiter!” may be a fine euphemism for Christians, but it would seem temerarious, for example, for a Viking to swear by Thor. For others, to swear on their mother’s grave, for example, or whatever else they consider as worthy for such a purpose, again shows the recklessness of proffering such language. By extension, those of the political god, when they call down evil on their enemies, implicitly take the name of their “god” in vain. Surely that god would be served by all, and decide alone, without suffering any human advice, whom it is that should be punished.
Finally, the Lord’s Day. Here the best proof is the opinion of those who believe man needs a rest. “Labour opposes Sunday shipping” was a sign this author saw in the Sixties, and the refrain still exists. Of course, it is not about shopping alone, it is about having people work against codes of health, and their religion. A pluralistic society can obviously try to accommodate people according to their different beliefs, hence, where necessary, the Moslem takes off Friday, Jewish people their Sabbath, and Christians their Sunday. Non-religious believers can be divided among the remaining days, but even then, one person of a small Christian group might request Wednesday, on the grounds that Sunday was wrongly proclaimed the day of rest by the main Christian religions.
This section has thus shown that being outside of the Judeo-Christian ethic does not exclude from the general principles of the Commandments which have to do with God, when analyzed according to whom or what the substitution may be.
Honour thy Father and thy Mother
On the secular level, this gives priority to those who raised us, by extension, to the family in general, and on to the extended family, and even society as a whole. Relating this to the other commandments, God is the Father, and according to some new books of worship, God is Father and Mother, which, by this very wording, emphasizes the point of the commandment. Not taking the name of a parent in vain, not swearing by them, not swearing at them, not speaking ill of them, would fit the bill. Their “day” is kept “holy” by not causing them suffering through days in general, by giving special honour on birthdays and other days of familial festivities. By the fifth commandment, some societies are especially harsh on matricide and patricide, and similar killing within the family. That which is specifically prohibited by the sixth, we do not even want to mention here. We do not steal from the family, we owe truth to the family members, and because of the dangers of frictions when people live under the same roof, the effects of “covetousness” as defined by the last two rules, are also seen to be particularly pernicious.
Thou shalt not Kill.
Not murdering, and not having people killed through careless would be of the most obvious. To the first Commandment, this would be deicide. Calling upon the Lord (in vain) actually at times, implies that one either wishes God to annul Himself, or one of His works: a person, place, or thing. A special evil is attached to “killing” on the Lord’s Day, such that even “sanctioned” deaths, such as executions, and the slaughter of animals, are generally prohibited. Patricide, matricide, fratricide, infanticide are relative to the fourth. Again, a special type of modern evil is related to killing when related to the sixth commandment, about which it is better to say nothing. However, even in the Bible it happened that a king got a rival deliberately killed in order to obtain the rival’s spouse.22 Killing is the theft of life, which shows the relationship to the seventh point of the Tablets. Killing is the lie, that says, “That being is worthless”. Killing is often rooted in the desire for what the other has, compounding the previous point, the person killed is worthless, for having someone or something that the killer deems worthy of having. Although racism is almost the exclusive focus for the Holocaust, when racism is understood as the result of either a murderous contempt (fifth Commandment) or desire to take (ninth or tenth commandment, terminating in violation of the seventh), it can be seen how, almost directly, four Commandments are violated by a totalitarian regime such as the Nazis – of course, they violated all the rest, as the ex-seminarian, Stalin, also was not bad at doing. Notwithstanding what is said about the worst transgression in the next section, murder is usually considered to be the worst that one can do.
Thou shalt not Commit Adultery.
The author feels that there is no need for specifics. Except for the vocabulary of this article, which exceeds that known by younger people, there should be nothing here that should prohibit them from happening upon this page. For them, adultery is something done by adults. Not quite true, it some allege it comes from Latin, “ad alterum”, “to the other”, which is even more euphemistic.23 Some moralists held this to be the worst sin,24 because they claim that all other can derive from it, which, if true, would save the author from offering any further proof.25 He objects to the opinion offered in some modern books, that the biblical use of the word often means no more than “idolatry”, which, at any rate, shows how the first commandment is violated.26 Let the reader say out loud, “idolatry” and “adultery”, and notice, (just a coincidence, of course), how similar the words sound. The adulterers take names in vain, perhaps God’s, perhaps of one another, perhaps of the aggrieved party. They had no right, in their particular moment, of saying those words. They may want to kill, have killed, to get someone out of the way, either because money is needed, or because the rival “needs” to be gotten out of the way. It is a lie in a relationship, a lie to an aggrieved party, most probably a lie to one of the participating parties, it is the result of desires prohibited by the last two Commandments, one party may be a social climber, looking for better security of some sort, , at any rate, a false god. …. Quod erat demostrandum.
Thou shalt not Steal.
To go beyond the obvious, God is the owner of all things, and in Genesis, man was left as a steward of creation. In this sense, a healthy form of environmentalism is “not stealing”, but unfortunately, most environmentalists seem to think that violation of property rights – part of not stealing – is perfectly acceptable, to the point of interfering with the livelihood of other parties. Taking the name of the Lord in vain is a sort of theft of the honour of the Name. The “day” of the “crime” is not kept holy. If one’s parents are not part of this crime, they are dishonoured by the stigma that the guilty family member attaches to them. By potentially affecting another’s livelihood, it enters the domain of the fifth commandment, more so, when one kills to steal. Another person is misappropriated in adultery. The fact of the possession of any good taken becomes a lie, perhaps not to the thief’s friends, but to society at large. It is the result of covetousness not controlled.
Thou shalt not Bear false Witness against thy Neighbour.
One lies against the True God, by claiming to be a follower in the prayers, or declamations, but then turning to the false gods. One takes the Lord’s Name in vain, swearing upon Holy Writ, the truth of the lies against another. The day of the lie is not kept holy. The liar, if from an honourable family, dishonours his father and mother. His lie may cause a death penalty, at any rate, the harm probably hastens the death of the injured party, if only by a short time. It is adultery, if taken in its literal, not euphemistic sense of “ad alterum”, “to the other”, because it is precisely about what is given to another, a bad reputation. It may be instigated precisely because of what the other has, of what is coveted, be it only the good name. In this sense, the evil of covetousness is apparent, in that the desired is not taken for oneself, but destroyed for one’s Schadenfreude.
Thou shalt not Covet thy Neighbour’s … (last 2 Commandments)
It is to a certain degree, after the necessary redundancy of the preceding, to elaborate much more. Coveting goods relates to theft, the seventh commandment, which has already been shown to relate to all the rest. The other form of coveting has been shown to be related to the sixth commandment, which has also been shown to be related to all the rest, with a special claim by some, to being “idolatry”. This idolatry, this “covetousness” was shown by the people of Israel recently delivered from Egypt. While Moses was receiving the tablets, the people “coveted” a god such as existed in the surrounding lands, coveting this “god” so much, that they handed over their gold in order that the false god, the golden calf, could be created. The Ten Commandments were being violated even as they were being handed down, (1) having a false god (2) thus, taking the Name of the True God in vain (3) thus keeping the day “unholy”, (4) and dishonouring the Heavenly Father [/Mother], (5) suspected killing in the sacrifices offered, (6) specific acts suggested by the word “play”, suggesting adultery, (7) an implicit theft, perpetrated by the accompanying lie, that the gold needs to be handed over, so that a god could be had as desired by the people, (8) the lie itself, a self-delusion, about God, accepted by Aaron, it would seem, that the result of the melting and fashioning of the gold would be a god, (9) and (10) various forms of coveting, part in the “play” and part in the expropriation of the gold, even though nothing more than a “god” was coveted..
Conclusion: The Intricacies of the Tapestry of Commandments
It has been shown how the several commandments can be linked to one another, and cannot be truly separated. Hence, it is correct to demand that our conduct not be judged by the perfection, or imperfection, of a part, a holistic approach is required. It should not be exaggerated to the point that some seekers of Biblical Codes do, but there is clearly something to be said for the concept, when in the very Christian wording of the books of the Bible, the fourth is called “Numbers”. Further, consider Psalm 118, which has a structure such that, beginning with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph, and ending in Tav, verses begin 8 times with the 1st letter, 8 times with the 2nd, and so on, until all have been used. This is something that translation into the vernacular cannot successfully replicate, which may either show the foolishness of looking for codes in the King James version, or gives detractors the argument, that since significant words exist in both Hebrew and English searches for codes, the occurrences are without credibility.
The succinct statements shown here are of course, simplification, more evils are prohibited than just the obviously stated ones. Thus, for example, it has been understood that fighting is prohibited by the rule against killing. So, too, gluttony, which is a good example of how the tapestry can be interwoven even more strongly.
Gluttony goes against health, not watching one’s health is suicidal, which is another example of a breaking of the fifth rule. But even here, gluttony has been broken down into further components, some of which apply more properly to other Commandments. Eating too quickly goes against health, but may also go against the correct amount of time that should be proportioned to one’s mess-mates, hence it could imply theft. This applies even more to eating too much, and greedily. A curious point is that one should not eat over-daintily, this suggests pride, and pride suggests a false-god, keeping aside the fact, that eating for the sake of doing so, is to make a god of the stomach. Eating too sumptuously might involve either, or both, of the preceding.27
The number 10 itself competes with 7, as a number of perfection. The Jewish Bible adds 613 precepts, which is a prime number, but the component numerals, 6, 1, and 3, add up to 10. It has also been said, for which we offer only the website of the comment, that the Commandments consist of 620 words (in the Hebrew Bible), the previously mentioned 613 precepts, plus the 7 Noachide laws.28 The problem for some Christians who seeks truth in numbers, rather than in teachings, is to prove how 613 precepts, or perhaps 620, are not relevant to him – through the application of a Biblical Code.
It is thus possible to see something very intricate in these 10 Commandments. This intricacy is because, according to Christian teaching, we should be perfect, as the Heavenly Father. Even in the Torah, or the Old Testament, God is already described as being the author of perfect works. On the basis of that belief, it is irrelevant whether the Torah Code is a valid proof of God’s existence, or even if “perfect” numbers exist.
2 Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Barnes & Noble, 1979. [hyperlinked to Wikipedia.]
3 The idea of Alpha and Omega as “beginning and end” is shown as a weakening, in the Greek language, of the Hebrew letters Aleph and Tav (variant spellings: Tau, Taw, Thaw), the first and last letters of the Hebrew word “Emeth”, meaning Truth. See Van den Biesen, Christian. “Alpha and Omega.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907; “Alpha and Omega” Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906, which references page 285 of: August Friedrich Gfrörer, Kritische Geschichte des Urchristenthums: Philo und die jüdisch-alexandrinische Theosophie, Vol. 2, Stuttgart: Schweizerbart, 1838. [text in German Fraktur (Blackletter)]. This latter author does not explicitly give the word “Emeth”, but points to it, by referring to a Rabbi Risch Lakisch, who said, “He [God] is the Aleph, or beginning, the Mem, or the Middle, and the Tau, or the end.” [Present author’s translation.] As only those 3 letters need to be written in Hebrew, the entire word for “Truth” was written out: אֶמֶת. Specific references to Alpha and Omega can be found in various places of the Bible, e.g., Rev. 22, 13; Rev. 1:8; Rev. 21:6, and only as Beginning and End, in Is. 41.4 and 44.6.
5 The focus here, while forced, is on the shared Indo-European roots of some words beginning with “s” in Latin, and “h” in Greek, as “six”, sexagenarian, hexadecimal, and the number seven, in Latin derived “septennial”, and Greek-derived “heptagon”, or more apropos, Heptateuch. The words “solid”, “whole”, and “holistic” have a common root. By an indirect search, Ernst Wasserzieher, in Woher? Bonn: Dümmler, 1974, gives the Latin “Salvatore” as a root for one of the words under “heil”, which it shows to be related to English “whole”, and “holy”, On a superficial level, “whole” and “sole”, and therefore “holistic” would seem to be related through the “h” to “s” transformation and the meanings of oneness connected to “whole”. Unfortunately, the American Heritage Dictionary, 1981, in its Indo-European Roots, give seu-2 as the root for “sole”, and “sol” as the root for everything else in this paragraph. This cannot, however, diminish from the attempt to show unity of an idea through a holistic approach.
6Concise Oxford Dictionary, 3rd ed.
7 For the idea on “solid”, see note 5.
8A summary of the concept, with counter-evidence, can be found in “Bible Code”, Wikipedia; and Chuck Missler, “Super Computers Discover Mathematically Encoded Words in Bible”. An entirely different approach using numbers, but without pretending to find any written message, but rather, symmetries, can be found in Vernon Jenkins, “An Encounter with the Bible’s Second Page“,2001-04-04, and his similar “A Resolution of Differences“, based one the first 8 words of Scripture,2008-10-26.
9 Larger dictionaries usually have a chart with the Western alphabet, as well as Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and sometimes one from India. These may usually be studied quite quickly.
10 Cf., ignoring that which goes beyond the current argument: “Torah Code”, Prophetic Voice, 2013, or see Missler, op. cit.
11 See footnote 8. According to a previous perusal of this material by the author, several years ago, there may be other irregularities. Our interest here is only in the main idea.
12 Matthew, 7:7, this being a noteworthy additional reference to the number “7”.
13 Isaiah, 55:6.
14 Luke, 15: 8-10.
16 Translation taken from Karl Feyerabend, Langendscheidt’s Pocket Hebrew Dictionary to the Old Testament, Berlin: Langenscheidt, n.d.
17 Some of this has already been covered in note 3. See also note 20.
18Here we link to a page which mentions the number 7 and 50, the rest of the information on the Torah Code, unfortunately, bases itself on less meaningful numbers.
Especially for the number “7”: Richard Amiel McGough, “The Biblical Meaning of the Number Seven”, at BibleWheel. More general, Thurston, Herbert. “Use of Numbers in the Church.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 27 Jan. 2014.
19 The term “elegance” as used here is treated in Ian Glynn’s «Elegance in Science: The Beauty of Simplicity». Oxford University Press Webpage. April 2010. <http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryOther/HistoryofScience/?view=usa&ci=9780199578627>. The following links might also be tried: [usefulness varies]: <http://www.uvsc.edu/disted/decourses/dgm/2740/IN/steinja/lessons/08/l08_07.html>, <http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/31453-most-elegant-math-equations-ever/>, and <http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/26/233206>; all accessed 20101110.
20 We have emphasized here that the Torah code connects the first occurrence of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet on the last letter of the first word of the Bible, self-defining, almost as “beginning”, and acts as the first point for a relatively simple count – one which does not require the use of a computer. Supposed similar coincidences in Melville and Tolstoi do not have such an almost self-defining, self-determining feature. For example, Melville’s book might be considered as having a code, if in 5 consecutive chapters, we find a way of counting the letters, without a computer, to generate: Water > Water > whale < water < water. A meaningful number to start the count with, would perhaps be the molecular weight of the water molecule, or its freezing or boiling point; Fahrenheit for the former, otherwise the count would be zero, and Celsius for the latter, because 100 is about the highest tolerable number for manual counting. Possible starting points for the count would be the “r” of “water” or the “h” or “o” of H2O. For Tolstoi, we might ask for war > war > peace < war < war.
22 King David. 2 Samuel 11.
23 Web searches for “adultery etymology ad + alterum” give some threads on this. Elsewhere, this article has given the etymology as “ad + alter”, the simplified form of the previous expression, substituting “alter” for “alterum” gives some different pages.
24 Esther Marie Menn , Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in Ancient Jewish Exegesis: Studies in Literary Form and Hermeneutics, Leiden: Brill, 1997, p. 169; and primary source “The Testament of Simeon Concerning Envy. 5” in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, Trans. Robert Sinker, from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 8. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Also see Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, A. 3. Aquinas quotes Jerome in “Traité de l’éducation des princes”, in Opuscules de saint Thomas d’Aquin, vol. 4, Paris: Vivès, 1857, p. 465.
25 A source further to the provided link is being sought.
26 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, A 3.
27 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 148, A 4.
28 Regarding the number “10” as the most perfect: Hilgers, Joseph. “Novena.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 27 Jan. 2014 . That the number 613 corresponds to the 10 Commandments is rather fancifully addressed in a page on prime numbers: Prime Curios! 613. Cf. here.