In the Beginning

The first word in the Bible is ‘Be-reshit’ meaning ‘In the beginning’. It contains six letters, just as the six days of creation. The literal meaning of Be-reshit is ‘be’ meaning ‘in’ and ‘reshit’ meaning ‘at the head of’. However the word can be interpreted in a different manner whereby the first three characters, bet, resh, aleph forms the word ‘bara’ ברא meaning ‘create’, and the next 3 letters: shin-yod-taf שית have the gematrical value of 300-10-400.

The value 300 means ‘masculine’ or ‘yang’ in a spiritual context, just as 3 can represent ‘male’ in a physical context. As such, in Judaism there are the three patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, when this is raised to the centane level of 300 then it represents the masculine form in a spiritual entity. The spiritual masculine form can be briefly described as: heaven, light, creative, active, male.

The value 400 means ‘female’ or ‘yin’ in a spiritual sense, and so in Judaism there are the 4 matriarchs: Sara, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, so 400 is the spiritual female baring the characteristics of: earth, dark, passive, female. [1]

The value 10 or yod, as we have seen previously, represents God in a conscious form since it is a decane above the value of 1.

Hence an alternative meaning to bereshit is the creation (bara) brought about through the union of the 300 and the 400 by the 10’, or in other word the union of the spiritual masculine form (Yang) and the spiritual feminine form (Yin) through the God at the conscious level.

The significance of the 3+4 scenario is exemplified Pythagoras's theorem where, if a triangle has two right angle sides of dimension 3 and 4 units respectively, the hypotenuse (the long side) will be = 5 units. This becomes more significant when we come to look at the importance of the letter heh ה and the number 5, meaning 'child' in of the change in names of Abram and Sarai (See hyperlink Change in names Abram and Sarai) and of the meaning of 500 (See hyperlink Be fruitful and multiply).


[1] the song sung at Passover ‘Who knows the one’ describes the 4 matriarchs – Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah and 3 patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and alludes to the significance of ‘4’ being female and ‘3’ being male


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