I am that I am ~ Light and Darkness (Exodus 3:14)

Credit: Bethsheba Ashe

Welcome back to my blog about Gematria, the Merkabah and the Birth of the Alephbet. Today we’re going to decode Exodus 3:14, which is famous for the statement God makes to Moses. Rather than tell Moses his name he says “I am that I am”.

Exodus 3:14:
ויאמר אלהים אל משה אהיה אשר אהיה ויאמר כה תאמר לבני ישראל אהיה שלחני אליכם
And said Elohim to Moses “I AM that I AM” and said “This you will say to the sons of Israel I AM has sent me to you.
“I AM” אהיה is a verb (first person singular) and they really shouldn’t be included in any calculation in ordinary circumstances. In this case however, I think the argument is that ‘I AM’ is being used as a name or pseudonym and is therefore classed as a noun. There doesn’t appear to be any significant calculating words so we’ll try simple addition.
אלהים משה אהיה אהיה לבני ישראל אליכם
Elohim = 86, Moses = 48, Sons = 92, Israel = 244, I Am = 21, to you = 101.
86 + 48 + 21 + 21 + 92 + 244 + 101 = 613.
So there it is. 613. But what does it mean in connection with this verse?
613 is the number of mitzvot (commandments) there are for a male Jew. There are 248 positive commandments and 365 negative commandments. That’s not the interesting thing. The interesting thing is the origin of the number of these mitzvot was determined through gematria[1] that was probably inspired by Genesis 1:2-4:
Genesis 1:2-3:
פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם – וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ + אֽוֹר
the face of the deep – and darkness + light = 365
Genesis 1:4:
הָא֖וֹר + הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ
the light + the darkness = 248365 + 248 = 613.
These verses probably inspired Isaiah to write (45:7) “I form light, and create darkness. I make peace and create calamity. I YHVH do all these.” I am that I am, in this context appears to underline the positive and negative dualism that emerges from divinity.

That’s all for today.  In the works – the ‘How to’ gematria guide that I’m writing (“Behold”) is approaching completion and should be available to pre-order within the next month. Why not check out 613 on the Shematria Gematria Calculator to see other calculations from the bible with the same result? Have a great week and stay tuned for more numerical honey.

[*** If you have discovered gematria in the bible please get in touch and submit it to our Shematria database. Together as a community, we can decode the bible.]

[1] Makkot 23b

דרש רבי שמלאי שש מאות ושלש עשרה מצות נאמרו לו למשה שלש מאות וששים וחמש לאוין כמנין ימות החמה ומאתים וארבעים ושמונה עשה כנגד איבריו של אדם אמר רב המנונא מאי קרא (דברים לג, ד) תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה תורה בגימטריא שית מאה וחד סרי הוי אנכי ולא יהיה לך מפי הגבורה שמענום

§ Rabbi Simlai taught: There were 613 mitzvot stated to Moses in the Torah, consisting of 365 prohibitions corresponding to the number of days in the solar year, and 248 positive mitzvot corresponding to the number of a person’s limbs. Rav Hamnuna said: What is the verse that alludes to this? It is written: “Moses commanded to us the Torah, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4). The word Torah, in terms of its numerical value [gimatriyya], is 611, the number of mitzvot that were received and taught by Moses our teacher. In addition, there are two mitzvot: “I am the Lord your God” and: “You shall have no other gods” (Exodus 20:2, 3), the first two of the Ten Commandments, that we heard from the mouth of the Almighty, for a total of 613.

[Note: With biblical gematria the word Torah = 215 (תורה).
215 + 2 = 217.
217 = 7 * 31 (אל)]
About the Author
Essayist, artist and designer, Bethsheba is also the author of 6 books on Qabalah and the Occult, and one screenplay. She is the Grand Master of the Fraternity of the Sanctum Regnum, and inventor of the world’s first dual logographic and alphabetical writing script (Galay). She is also the creator of the popular Gematria Calculator: Shematria. Critics have called her one of the most original and insightful writers in the field of the Western Mystery Traditions.
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