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This fascinating work is the very best study of the Bible Code that I've encountered. Satinover examines whether the code really exists, its accuracy, meaning and implications. The subject of scientific research since the late 1980s, the code was first mentioned many centuries ago in the writings of Jewish mystics, especially during the great flowering of Spanish Kabbalah.

Chapter One deals with the work of amongst others the Vilna Gaon Elijah ben Solomon, Maimonides and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman and explains how the codes are encrypted in the Hebrew letters of the text. Chapter Two recounts the discovery of the codes in the 1980s and provides portraits of some of the personalities involved, mainly religious members of the scientific community in Jerusalem. Illustrated with Hebrew text, it discusses the science of encryption and delves deeper into the structure of the codes and matters of statistical probability.

Chapter Three considers the Jewish devotion to Torah, scribal traditions and the Jewish Torah compared to the Samaritan version. The chapters titled The Black Fires of Holocaust and The White Fire of Destiny tell the tragic story of Rabbi Weissmandl of Slovakia. The vital role of cryptology in the Allied victory in the Second World War is explored next. The science of cryptology grew out of Kabbalah. A prime example of ancient cryptological sophistication is found in the work of Nechunya ben HaKanah, a student of the great Simeon ben Yochai, originator of the Zohar.

During the Renaissance, kabbalistic ideas became known in Europe. In the 15th century, cryptology suddenly underwent major advances that laid the groundwork for the computer and the science of statistics. A famous Renaissance cryptologist, Trithemius of Spannheim, developed a method based directly upon a prayer of the aforementioned Nechunya ben HaKanah. There were others, like Alberti and Cardano, from whose works were derived all the sophisticated encoding machines used by the Allies.

There are thought-provoking sections on Pascal, Von Neumann and Turing, whilst chapters eight and nine recount the (re)discovery of the code by Israeli scientists, with discussions of the phenomenon of clustering, the scientific scrutiny applied and specific messages like the Hanukkah and Purim codes. Chapter 10 provides further information on specific searches and their results.

Chapter 11, The Flames of Amalek, covers the 1991 Gulf War and discoveries on messages about the Holocaust as well as the concept of the biblical Nimrod, the man of violence of whom Hitler was a type. Satinover also briefly discusses the book of Esther here. Chapter 12, The Great Sages, first looks at the interest generated by the code, then at further experiments that resulted in the publication of an article in the journal Statistical Science.

Some common misunderstandings of the codes are dealt with in chapter 13, whilst the next one contains interesting information on William James, author of The Varieties of Religious Experience, his views on freedom of choice within deterministic influences, and his influence on Satinover. Quantum Mechanics, the complexity of the codes, theology and personal conduct are also discussed here.

Technical Appendix A examines the extraordinarily exact Jewish calculation of 29.53059 days to the lunar month plus the age of the universe as calculated by Nechunya ben HaKanah from a code in the book of Genesis and explained by Yitzhak DeMin Acco. They arrived at an age of 15.3 billion years. Nechunya lived in the first century AD and DeMin Acco in the 13th century! The work of Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana, such as A Matter Of Days is relevant here. Technical Appendix B considers transformations of space and time with reference to prime numbers and their visual and spatial configurations, whilst Appendix C revisits the "Great Sages" experiment in finer detail.

The 21 pages of notes are as informative as the main text of the book. Note number 11 to chapter four was especially interesting to me as a Christian. It explains some seemingly Antisemitic passages by John in the book of Revelation and elsewhere. The first is the attack upon "Jews who are not Jews" and the second is the expression "synagogues of Satan." Satinover argues that these words apply to the Babylonian magic-based distortion of Judaism by the Samaritans. Archaeological digs have unearthed many of these "synagogues" that contain a blend of Judaic and astrological imagery. Thus John was not criticizing the synagogues of the Jewish people; this makes sense to me and cleared up some of my confusion on this subject.

The fact that I was reading Richard Elliott Friedman's The Hidden Book In The Bible at the same time made Satinover's book even more intriguing. This hidden book was originally one narrative but was cut up by the Bible editors so that other stories, poetry and laws were spliced into and around it. The divided segments of this story are now spread through nine of the Bible books from Genesis to the first two chapters of Kings. In light of this, I am convinced that the mysterious editor/s of the Torah were divinely inspired; that the finalization of the Old Testament (Tanach), whenever it took place after the return from Babylon, was an act of momentous significance.

Black & white figures and illustrations throughout the book help to explain the nature of the codes. The bibliography contains books and articles plus contact addresses of the Aish HaTorah organization which offers a reliable source of information on the Torah codes. The book concludes with an index. The Truth Behind The Bible Code is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read, and a valuable reference source. Christian readers might also be interested in Yeshua: The Name of Jesus Revealed in the Old Testament by Yaacov Rambsel and The Kabbalah of Yeshua by Zusha Kalet.
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