Biblical analysis has a divine conclusion

Reprinted courtesy of THE AUSTRALIAN 1987 June 23

(Investigator 15, 1990 November)

Using a computer to analyse the text of the Bible, biomechanic Dr Moshe Katz has come up
 with what he claims could be scientific proof of the Holy Book's origins.

DAVID LESER reports from Jerusalem

AS fantastic as it might sound, Dr Moshe Katz, a respected lecturer at the Institute of Technology in Haifa, believes his discoveries have confirmed what Jewish sages have always believed — that the Old Testament was the work of one immortal author and not, as some modern scholars contend, an edited collection of separate accounts from different biblical periods.

Dr Katz believes his inquiries show the Bible prophesied events that were to take place, in some instances, thousands of years later.

For example, he claims that by using scientific methods one can show that the Book of Esther contained quite specific, albeit encoded, references to the Nuremberg trials and that the Book of Deuteronomy foreshadowed, in similar coded form, the Holocaust.

Dr Katz began his inquiries in response to the currency given to variations of the Welhausen school of thought, which, for more than 150 years, has propagated the idea that the Bible was a human product prepared by different people at different times and in different places.

"This idea held that at some later stage an editor collected them all and edited them into a final product," he said. "This biblical critique was called the documentary hypothesis and my work was to check and study this approach." 

As the documentary hypothesis was based on non-measurable variables, Dr Katz decided to use existing scientific tools to determine whether the Bible might have been derived from many sources or just one.

He typed the Book of Genesis and then extracts from the other four Books of Moses into a computer in such a way that by abolishing the spacing between words the text assumed the appearance of a string of continual letters.

"In other words, I took this information as a stream of letters to see what the probability was that the scattering of the letters was a coincidence or not.

"In some instances, the probability was as high as one in 38 million that I would get the results I did."

He said the text was in its original form — the ancient Hebrew of the Torah (biblical) scrolls. Any other version, be it in modern Hebrew or another language, and the system would collapse.

The initial formula Dr Katz applied was based on the number seven. This number holds special significance in Jewish tradition because it represents a spiritual level beyond the realm of nature.

It is why there are seven days to the week, to Passover, Succot and other Jewish festivals and why, for example, Jewish land is required to lie fallow every seven years.

The maximum spiritual level in numerical terms is, therefore, 49 —  seven times seven, the number of days, for example, that it took the Jews to get to Mount Sinai. On the 50th day they received the Torah.

Adopting the same numbers then, Dr Katz decided to select at random the first paragraph of Genesis, which starts with the Hebrew word, Bereshit — or in English: "In the Beginning..."

Dr Katz marked the "t" in Bereshit and then skipped 49 letters. On the 50th letter he made another mark. Twice more he did the same thing — skipping 49 letters and marking the 50th letter.

The result was that the four letters he had marked spelt the word Torah (Bible), which has four letters in Hebrew — Tav, Vav, Resh and Hey.

Dr Katz then went on at random again to another section, this time Genesis Chapter 28, which tells the story of how Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, came upon a holy place and feeling tired, decided to rest his head on a rock.

After dreaming of a stairway to heaven and an image of God next to him, Jacob woke with a start and said to himself: "What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God."

Dr Katz used a different spacing formula this time — 26 — the numerical value of the Hebrew word for God, Yahweh.

On the first occasion, the computer marked out the letters that form the Hebrew word for temple — Mikdush.

He did it again and this time the letters spelt out Torah (bible) once more.

"The Bible and temple are the holiest features of Jewish tradition so one can now understand why Jacob was so terrified waking up in this place," he said.

Dr Katz said the remarkable aspect of these results was not that words were being found in the text by simply stringing letters together at regular intervals but that in every instance the words had direct relevance to the text in which they were concealed.

According to the Jewish mystics and sages, the Old Testament contains information that exists on four levels.

The first level, Pashut, signifies the simple story that is accessible and comprehensible to all.

The second level, known as Remez. refers to information that is hinted at.

The third level, called Drash, is based on interpretation — that by reading one passage and then another, one can interpret a third meaning .

The fourth level Is the secret level — information that is passed down from generation to generation, usually from teacher to student, and is so arcane that anyone not familiar with its language and codes would not even know of its existence.

It is this level that Dr Katz claims to have deciphered with the tools of science.

"There are dozens and dozens of examples I can point to," he said.

One such example occurs in Genesis Chapter 38, which recounts the story of how Judah slept with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, while she was disguised as a prostitute.

According to the Jewish sages, this union became the source of the Kingdom of David, which began ruling the land of Israel thousands of years after the time of Genesis.

Applying the 49-letter spacing formula backwards and forwards across the text, Dr Katz said he found the names of Judah and Tamar's progeny encoded in its passages.

Still another example is found in Deuteronomy Chapter 32, verses 16 and 17, which recount how God told Moses he would die soon and that after his death, the Jewish people would turn their backs on the Lord and break the covenant.

"They will abandon me and worship the pagan gods of the land they are about to enter," it says.

"When that happens I will become angry with them; I will abandon them and they will be destroyed.

"Many terrible disasters will come upon them and then they will realise that these things are happening to them because I, their God, am no longer with them."

Applying the same 49-letter spacing formula, five Hebrew letters emerged from the text — Hay, Shin, Vav, Aleph and Hay. Together they spell Hashoa — the Hebrew words for the Holocaust.

In Dr Katz's opinion, the most startling prophecy is the one winked at in the Book of Esther.

In these pages Esther, the Jewess, marries King Xerxes of Persia whose prime minister, Haman, is a descendant of Agag, an Amalekite king whose people had long been the traditional enemies of the people of Israel.

Haman devised a plot to destroy the Jews of Persia but Queen Esther prevailed on her husband to destroy Haman and allow the Jews to fight back.

Haman was hung on the gallows and the Jews eventually destroyed their enemies, including Haman's 10 sons.

Asked what else he could do for his beloved wife, Queen Esther replied: "If it please Your Majesty, let the Jews in Susa do again tomorrow what they were allowed to do today. And order the bodies of Haman's sons hung from the gallows."

The King ordered this done and the bodies of Haman's 10 sons were publicly displayed.

This period in history is now celebrated by Jews worldwide as the festival of Purim, which in English means "lots". Haman had cast lots to determine the day for destroying the Jews.

Instead he and his sons suffered the very fate they had planned for their enemies.

According to the Jewish sages, the reason Esther asked that Haman's 10 sons be hung even though they were already dead was because she was speaking not to the King, but to the King of Kings — God.
She was, they claim, seeking the spiritual death of Haman and his descendants.

Into this biblical whirlpool waded Dr Katz with his computer.

In chapter nine, verse five, the 10 sons of Haman are listed — Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha. Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha.

Deviating from his normal formula, Dr Katz noticed that in the first, seventh and 10th names there was one letter in each word that was far smaller than any of the other letters.

The three letters were Tav, Shin and Zine, which have the exact numerical equivalent to the Gregorian calendar date of 1946.

By consulting the history books, Dr Katz discovered that on October 16 1946, 32 men faced a military court martial in the German town of Nuremberg for their crimes against humanity.

Eleven of those men were found guilty and sentenced to death. However one of the accused, Reich Marshall Goering, committed suicide a few hours before the verdict was to be carried out.

That left 10 men, the number Esther had asked to be hung from the gallows.

For the total sceptics, Dr Katz offers one more tantalising morsel of information.

One of the defendants, Julius Streicher, had been the editor of the most notorious anti-Semitic newspaper in Nazi Germany, Der Sturmer.

Dr Katz produced a copy of the New York Herald Tribune from the following day, which reported the executions.

As the rope was tied around Streicher's neck, the condemned man looked down at his witnesses and shouted: "Purim fest (festival) 1946."
October 16 1946 is also, in the Hebrew calendar, the 21st day of Tlshri, which falls each year on the seventh day of the festival of Succot.

That day is known as Hoshana Raba, the final day of verdict.

 Dr Katz believes his work has revealed only a small proportion of the overwhelming proof for God's authorship of the Old Testament.

His intention is to raise money to prepare a video on the subject as well as to buy a personal computer with a memory large enough to store the Torah.

But, according to a number of biblical scholars here, he need not bother. His findings, while titillating and certainly intriguing, have no basis in fact they say.

"I would say that today, in general, there is no biblical scholar who would accept his conclusions," Professor Shalom Paul, head of the Bible Department at the Hebrew University, said.

"No one would doubt that the material was punched in correctly and that it spat out the appropriate answers. But it all depends on the questions that were asked."

Another biblical scholar said: "The patterns Dr Katz used are nonsense and, besides, there is no original Hebrew text. He is simply using one particular edition.

"In any event, I don't think the existence of God can be proven by something like this."