Be fruitful and multiply


The first commandment to mankind and to life itself that occurs in the Bible is ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ and it is given on the 5th day of creation. The 5th day of creation is related to the letter heh ה (See hyperlink Change of names Abram and Sarai)

And God created the great crocodiles, and every kind of creature that live in the waters, and every kind of winged birds, and God saw that it was good: And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply in the earth: And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day: (Genesis 1:21-23)

Five times God commands man to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:22, Genesis 1:28; Genesis 8:17; Genesis 9:1; Genesis 9:7; Genesis 35:11). Five times God informs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their seed would be as the ‘dust of the Earth’ and the ‘stars of Heaven’.

The phrase ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is repeated three times after the Flood has subsided and all Noah’s extended family and the animal, insects and birds have exited the Ark:

Bring out with you every living thing that is with you, of all flesh, both of bird, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:17).

The term ‘be fruitful and multiply’ in Hebrew is ‘pru oo rabu’ פרו ורבו and comprises letters: peh-resh-vav-vav-resh-bet-vav bearing the numerical value: 80-200-6-6-200-2-6 = 500.

In the sequence of centanes (See hyperlink Theory of Gematria), 500 is the next number beyond the 400, the value of the letter tafת which is the last letter of the alphabet. Whereas 400 is the number of the highest spiritual achievement in this world, 500 represents the world beyond this one and is the ultimate objective of our existence on Earth.

Five hundred is related to the number 5. The importance of the number 5 in gematrical understanding cannot be underestimated. Its composite 1-4 is the representation of God, the 1, and His relationship with the phenomenal world, the 4. It is the number which makes this world tick and of life itself. It is related to the letter heh ה and can simply be described as the number representing the crystal of creation, the crystal of life. As noted in (See hyperlink 5, 50, 500) the number 5 is correspondent to 50 and 500 at the level of decanes and centanes, The number 5 and its correspondents have the basic concept of ‘return’: on a physical level - through birth; at social level (C.f. the Jubilee) and at a spiritual level through to the next world and rebirth. For this reason the commandment be fruitful and multiply occurs on the 5th day of creation and is repeated 5 times in the Book of Genesis and in the whole Bible. Five hundred means a new spiritual birth.

Lessons Learnt

So how does ‘being fruitful and multiplying’ provide us with spiritual rebirth? The emphasis given here is away from the concept of Buddhism that through isolation and meditation one can achieve Nirvana and transit to the next world never to be reborn. The emphasis here is spiritual rebirth not for the individual alone or for any single generation of people alone. It is through the contribution of the individual in society that uplifts our society to a higher level as a whole and so the next generation may benefit from our individual and collective contribution…and so on. It is through our children and our children’s children and the thousand of generations which have existed before us after Adam and will exist after our own lives. It is through our teaching of God’s laws to our children that they too teach them to their children and so on and so forth until we create a righteous society and world so the human race can reach the 500 the next world. It is for this reason such concerted emphasis is given on this point in reading the Shma every day.

So through time and repeated generations of a people taught in accord with the law of God mankind shall, as social group, evolve to a level of spiritual consciousness that we can surpass the limitations of the physical world in which with live and reach the world of the 500 which is the world beyond this world.

It is for this reason that the Pomegranate is represented as the 5th fruit in the 7 fruits of the Bible (See hyperlink Shelach Numbers 13:1-15:41), for the Pomegranate is plentiful in seeds and represents both the fertility of the land and of the people living in it. It is also for this reason that the spies upon returning from scouting out the land brought back Pomegranates as one of the fruits growing in the Promised Land.

And they came to the brook of Eshkol, and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it between two on a pole; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs (Number 13:23).


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