Monday, March 23, 2009

Power and Grace x 5

Along with its linguistic richness, the Hebrew language offers intriguing mathematical insights. The Jews used a different numbering system than the rest of the world. Instead, of using separate symbols, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet also had a numerical value.

Many of the numbers have symbolic associations. Let's take the number 5, for example. In Hebrew, 5 is associated mainly with two ideas. They are: the power of God and grace.

God's power was symbolically represented by the five fingers on a hand. In Israel today, many wear a hamsa an amulet that is shaped like a stylized hand. They thus invite God's protection over the affairs of their lives.

When David was preparing to face Goliath, we are told that he went and gathered five smooth stones. By this action David was symbolically invoking God's power to help him be victorious in his battle.

It is instructive to note that when Jesus demonstrated his power to feed the multitude (five thousand), that he used five loaves of bread.

Five is also the main number associated with Grace. Interestingly, Moroni admonishes his readers to come unto Christ and to be perfected. In Moroni 10:32-33 we read that it is by grace that we are able to become perfect in Christ. A person familiar with Hebrew would expect to find (in those two verses) the concept of grace mentioned five times. And guess what? It is!

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then ye are sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ ....


  1. Very cool. Great post even though I messed up your others...

  2. Not to mention the symbolism involved in the five books of the law--the Pentateuch or Torah. A manifestation of God's grace to man.

    Steven Montgomery