The Original Torah Code Hypothesis. The Torah Codes Hypothesis states that historically related words can be found at an Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) deliberately encoded together in Torah matrices that are smaller (more compact) than similar matrices found in non-religious texts. I have modified this hypothesis somewhat in a manner discussed at Talmud & Names to account for the fact that most names requiring more than 8 Hebrew letters will not be found in the Torah Code.
While there is a rabbinical tradition to support such encoding in the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible), there is no such tradition for the rest of the Bible. Although many hope to use the Torah Codes as a kind of crystal ball, it’s difficult to make predictions because you can not know ahead of time which words or names will be key terms to search for. For this reason, many researchers have limited their searches to events that have already occurred. However, once an individual accepts such non-predictive search limitations, their positive findings of proven past events become clouded by the issue of what they searched for and did not find or report. If we see only their successes, it will look very impressive. If we also see their failures, then the value of the successes can be more precisely appraised. As will be seen below, with respect to Ark Code research, this site discusses statistical significance. But in the end, success is judged by very clear predictive criteria: Do the maps found encoded eventually lead to recovery of the Ark of the Covenant in the area of 31o9’ North, 33o4’ East on the Bardawil or Zuqba Peninsula of Northern Egypt?
A matrix shows a portion of the cylinder’s surface area around the axis term which occurs at an ELS (Equidistant Letter Sequence). A matrix holds a-priori terms found near an axis term and a-posteriori terms noticed after the matrix was produced. A-priori terms are terms believed related to the axis term. They are sought before being found. Probabilities can be calculated for them. A-posteriori terms are noticed after the matrix was produced. Probabilities are usually inappropriate.
1. ELS. What is really meant by ELS? Bible Code search programs like CodeFinder can be used to find words in Biblical text that have an equal number of letters between each letter of a word. So In the sentence, “The Man walkEd out thE door inTo the stAnds thaT seated 8,000 fans,” there are some people who would say that "Meet at 8" encoded at an ELS interval of 7. However, this is only true if the sentence author deliberately wrote the sentence to hide this statement. It might well be true that these words were found by a program or researcher looking for letters (and numbers) at an ELS that happened to make a phrase or sentence. In this case, we are simply looking at a random product due to chance alone. And how can we distinguish what is due to deliberate encoding from what is due to chance? Unfortunately, in the case of most Bible ELS terms, we are often left to statistical analysis and a rigorous examination of procedures used by the ELS term finder. A key point about any matrix is that the first ELS found (the axis term) is portrayed with the interval or ELS being equal to the number of letters shown on each line, unless a “row skip” (explained below) is used. Note that the spaces between words are removed. So the example of an ELS above would appear in a “matrix’ as follows:
Further, it should also be pointed out that the really proper way to display the above would be to wrap it into a cylinder with a circumference of 7 letters.
The first term sought is the “axis term.” The axis term appears vertically. Hebrew is normally read right to left. The code is really based on a spiraling cylinder. The ELS or “skip” of the axis term = the number of letters on each line. In general, the minimum length of an axis term should be at least 6 letters. Most often it is difficult to find axis terms longer than 8 letters unless one uses a wrapped search making more than one pass through the Torah.
If a term like Ark of the Covenant has a skip or Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) of 306 letters, then the computer will place 306 letters on each line. When the second letter of the term arises, (without a row split) it will appear directly below or above the first letter. However, if a row split of 2 is used, the computer will only place half of the 306 (153) letters on each line and there will be an extra row between each of the letters of the axis term. If a row split of 3 is used, there will be two extra rows between each letter of the axis term. The larger the row split, the more terms you can match with an axis term, but it is also true that as row split increases, matrix significance generally decreases.
Just as in English, some words are very high frequency (like THE or AND), in Hebrew two or three letter words are extremely high in frequency unless they are composed of somewhat rare letters. The higher the frequency of a word in the open text or at an ELS, the lower the significance of its match with an axis term.
The bigger the matrix, the more likely it is that short or moderate length ELSs (up to 6 letters) will be found somewhere on the matrix. This is like looking in a phone book. If you rip a page out at random, and look for a single last name, it probably will not be there. But if you use the entire phone book, the chances to find it are greatly improved.
Even within the Torah, there are multiple spellings of the same word. Code adversary Dr. Brendan McKay points out that the Rabbi Abulafia synagogue in Tiberias, Israel has the rabbi's name spelled four different ways on the same building. The more spellings one can use to find a match, the less significant the match will be. Such multiple spellings must be factored in to any probability calculation describing the significance of a matrix.
Wrapped vs. Unwrapped Matrices
The best Torah Codes programs allow for the computer to make more than one pass through the 304,805 letters of Torah to find a term at an ELS. In general, this practice is most legitimate in search for axis terms that are 8 or more letters long because many terms this long can only be found with more than one Torah pass. The wrapped matrix mimics Jews reading the Torah. They finish reading the last word in Deuteronomy each Simchat Torah holiday, and then immediately begin reading at the first word in Genesis again. Some Codes researches do not employ software like CodeFinder that has the ability to find wrapped matrices. This is often true of Israeli Codes researchers. These people only can find unwrapped matrices where the computer is unable to make more than one pass through the Torah. Although CodeFinder software is, in my opinion, the best Codes product on the market,I have been unable to convince many of my orthodox Jewish colleagues to use it because the program also includes the files of the New Testament. Many Orthodox Jews will not allow mention of the Nazarene's name, let alone allow any form of a New Testament into their homes. The New Testament files can be deleted, but my friends do not want to even have to undergo that requirement. I have asked Kevin Acres, CodeFinder software creator, to sell a version of his product without the New Testament on it, but more than a decade of such pleas have gone unanswered. This has greatly limited the ability of Israelis (who naturally have the best ability to understand the Hebrew on a Torah Codes matrix) to fully understand the true miracle that the Torah Code seems to be.
Torah Code Restrictions and Modification to Probability Calculations.
My basic protocol for calculating the significance of matrices is found on this site at Skip Tables. With time the value of short ELSs that were not at skips +1, -1, N or -N where N is the skip of the axis term has come into question by me and a number of other Torah Codes experts. Therefore, the following modifications have been built into my work for most if the last 10 years:
(1) Emphasize key words found at skip +1 by just using their frequency at skip +1 alone. This usually (but not always) equates to their frequency in the open text, the exception being when two sequential words make up one larger word with a different meaning.
(2) Emphasize key words found at skip -1, N and -N where N is the axis term skip by just using their frequencies at -1, N, -N and also +1.
(3) Reject any matrix with an axis term less than 6 letters in length.
(4) Reject any matrix with no axis term that is just a mix of short 3 to 5 letter ELSs.
(5) Reject any 3-letter ELS that does not have its letters within three letters of each other.
(6) While I may show them and while I often discuss them, I reject all a-posteriori finds for calculation purposes.
(7) I would never do a matrix based on a year as an axis term because it is too short and because I have seen many thousands of times that years are not statistically important, or to phrase it another way, there is no evidence seen that dating events was a purpose of the Code. This fits in with the concept that God, in His mercy, hides the date of death for most people.
(8) Axis terms that can found at a single ELS like Ark of the Covenant (in Hebrew alef resh vav nun bet resh yud tav) are never split into two spatially separated words like Ark and Covenant. The term must appear as 8 letters in sequence as it appears in Torah; or as 9 letters in sequence as it appears in the 3rd to 6th chapters of Joshua as Ark of THE Covenant (alef resh vav nun hey bet resh yud tav).
(9) Because many names require at wrapped search (more than 1 computer pass through the Torah's 304,805 letters) to find, the wrapped search is the method used to find the name rather than splitting it.
(10) Where a full first and last name can not be found at an ELS even in a wrapped search, the first name initial and last name are sought. This generally occurs where a name has any of the follow letters: multiple samechs, tets, gimels and zayins. In such cases, if the name is just a transliteration, a shin/sin may be substituted for a samech, and a tav may be substituted for a tet.
I do not assign any significance to the axis term, no matter how long (although it is extremely rare that I ever find one over 10 letters in length).