Institue of Mathematical Statistics

Decoding Genesis. Searching for pairs of related words embedded in the text of the Five Books of Moses, mathematical statisticians treated the traditional Hebrew text as a string of letters, reading from right to left with no spaces between words. They then divided the text into rows of equal length and looked for associated words, running vertically, horizontally or diagonally, with what they called equidistant letter sequences—that is, with the same number of letters between each of the letters of the desired word. As shown, they discovered “Zedekiah” (whyqdx, red arrow), the name of Judah’s last king, reading from top to bottom beside “Matanya” (hyntm, blue arrow), Zedekiah’s name before he ascended the throne, running backwards from left to right. In the lower sample, the word “Hasmonean” (yanwmj, purple arrow), the name of the family that led the Jewish forces that recaptured the Temple from the Assyrians in 164 B.C., runs diagonally from lower left to upper right; next to it appears “Hanukkah” (hkwnjh green arrow), the Jewish festival that celebrates this victory, which runs vertically from bottom to top. The scholars discovered hundreds of similar word pairs naming people and events that post-date the composition of the Pentateuch. Rigorous statistical analysis reveals that the odds of such pairings having occurred by chance are extraordinarily slight.