Out of the sea (was The Tower of Babel...)

From: Vernon Jenkins (vernon.jenkins@virgin.net)
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 18:00:18 EDT

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    Paul and Dick,

    I believe you will find the following observations particularly relevant to the matter of correctly reading the extent of Noah's Flood. Your comments would be appreciated.
      For those who, with the Apostle Paul, believe "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable...for correction..." (2Tm.3:16) the explicit appearance of 153, 276, 1260 and 666 - associated with post-resurrection miracles or prophesied events - invites close attention; the more so because, in respect of 666 at least, the divine imperative requires it (Rv.13:18). Observe that three of the numbers, 153, 276 and 666, are precisely given, respectively, as the number of fishes caught in a net (Jn.21:11), the number of souls saved from a shipwreck (Acts 27:37), and the number associated with a beast that emerged from the sea (Rv.13:18). Readers of the New Testament may readily confirm that its allusions to large numbers - exceeding 100, say - are comparatively rare, and the bulk of those that do occur are either 'round' - ie end with one or more zeros, like 144,000 (Rv.14:3) - and/or are approximate - eg "...about 5000" (Mt.14:21) - and/or are expressions of a measurement of some kind - eg "...200 cubits" (Jn. 21:8) - and therefore depend upon time and place. Indeed, the objects of our attention are the only exceptions.


      But there are yet other associations which suggest that here we encounter something more than mere textual decoration. Thus:


      1. They are united by three distinct themes: all three by "out of the sea"; 153 and 276 by "none were lost" (Jn.21:11, Acts 27:44); 153 and 666 by "witness standing on sea shore" (Jn.21:4, Rv.13:1).


      2. As numbers per se, all three are triangular. In other words, each is the sum of a sequence of natural numbers, beginning with 1. Further, 666 is uniquely triangular and 153 is found in two sparse subsets of the triangular numbers: first, as a super triangle 153 = 1! + 2! + 3! + 4! + 5! ; and again, as an elite triangle 153 = 1^3 + 3^3 + 5^3 - a sequence drawn from the sums of odd cubes which include all perfect numbers except the first, 6. 153 is also distinguished by the fact that as a denary object its digit reversal 351 is also triangular.


      3. As mediated by 10, the absolute number 'six-hundred and sixty-six' is represented by a triple of digits - each representing the first perfect number, 6. [10, of course, is the standard collective unit used in numeration and mensuration].


                  4. Summing the cubes of these digits iteratively generates the sequence

                     666 => 648 => 792 => 1080 => 513 => 153 => 153.

                          ie the first of the set under consideration!


       The second number, 276, subjected to the same procedure generates the sequence

          276 => 567 => 684 => 792 => 1080 => 513 => 153 => 153.

              again, the same number!


      However, these interesting associations are not unique; indeed, as we have seen, the principle may be applied to the denary expression of any multiple of 3 with equal effect.


      5. Beside 153, there are 3 other numbers which are found to be invariant under the same rule. They are 370, 371 and 407. Interestingly, one or other of the two latter may be derived by iteration from any number which is one less than a multiple of 3 - as, for example, 665. Here is the particular sequence:

          665 => 557 => 593 => 881 => 1025 => 134 => 92 => 737 => 713 => 371.


      Clearly, therefore, 153 (and its implied companions, 370, 371 and 407), 276 and 666 represent a very special set of numbers!


      But there is yet a 4th NT number which must be included in our deliberations. It is 1260 (Rv.12:6) - it relates to the duration in days of a harrowing period of time which, intriguingly, is later presented as "a time, times, and half a time" (Rv.12:14), ie one plus two plus a half years, and again as 42 months (Rv.13:5) - the two latter clearly relating to a 360-day year and 30-day month. Observe the appearance again of the two themes "out of the sea" and "none were lost" (Rv.12:15,16). It is reasonable that we ask, What can possibly lie behind this variety of expression and association with 153 and 276? Is it possible that the reader's attention is being purposely drawn to some significant matter concerning 1260?

      Like 666, its close scriptural companion, 1260 displays imposing geometries based upon the equilateral triangle. Though not itself triangular, it is the LCM (lowest common multiple) of 12 triangular numbers (the first 9 and 3 more)! In other words, 1260 is the smallest number into which 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21, 28, 36, 45, 105, 210, and 630, exactly divide. But in particular it is seen to be both 6x210,and 12 x 105. 1260 may thus be represented as a ring of 6 close-fitting equilateral triangles - thus taking the form of a centreless hexagon; or by a similar symmetrical structure comprising an inner ring of 6 smaller triangles surmounted by 6 more to form a centreless 6-pointed star, or hexagram. What is portrayed is an instance of an exceedingly rare phenomenon - there being only 3 examples in the first million natural numbers.

      So what can be concluded from this short factual study? The following appear to be among the more obvious lessons to be learned by those committed to the search for Truth:


       The three textual themes "out of the sea", "none were lost" and "observer on seashore" appear to hold some significance


       Triangular numbers - particularly when expressed as equilateral formations of uniform circular counters - are to be understood as important objects in advanced scriptural exegesis; also the geometrical absolutes that derive from them - in particular, the centreless hexagon and hexagram comprising, respectively, 6 and 12 triangles


       The association of 3 and 6 with the denary system of numeration; the particular significance of the cubes (already apparent from 1Ki.6:20 and Rv.21:16)


       The probable direct significance of the specific numbers 153, (its analogues 370, 371 and 407), 276, 666 and 1260.


      But where are we to apply this new-found knowledge that we may acquire the wisdom promised in Rv.13:18? Don't the themes "out of the sea" and "none were lost" sound familiar? And when Noah eventually set his feet on solid ground again, doesn't this invoke echoes of "witness standing on seashore"? So it is to the matters of Genesis 5 - 9 that we turn for further enlightenment. The mabbul, indeed, is literally a 'watershed' event; was it really 'local' - as evolutionists demand; or was it 'global' - as the narrative appears to require, and as YECs and others believe? All further discussion on this important matter can have little relevance to the pursuit of Truth unless the following observations are taken into account.


        a.. A close study of Genesis 5 reveals the following:
          a.. The mabbul occurred in the year 1656 anno mundi
          b.. Methuselah died in the same year aged 969 years; reading his Hebrew name as a number we obtain 784 - the square of a triangular number
          c.. Reading the Hebrew names of Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth as numbers, we arrive at the total 936
          d.. Reading the Hebrew words for 'mabbul' and 'ark' as numbers, we obtain 78 and 407, respectively

        a.. 1656 = 6 x 276 = 6 x triangular number = centreless hexagon

        a.. 969 = numerical tetrahedron (and pointer to the mabbul) - each of its 4 faces, the triangle 153

        a.. 936 = 12 x 78 = 12 x 12th triangular number = centreless hexagram

        a.. A close study of Genesis 7,8 reveals that Noah, his family and menagerie, were confined to the ark for 371 days


      Can there be any doubt that God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform?





      PS I am currently engaged in constructing a new web page which will provide a comprehensive and illustrated account of these matters. When complete, I will post a notice to that effect.


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