The Extensive Mosaic of Visual Crosses in Isaiah 53|
One curiosity in Bible code phenomena that bears looking at closely was discovering an extraordinary number of visual crosses found in Isaiah 52-53 that were formed by the three-letter Hebrew word pronounced ashem for guilt offering, and which spelled backwards was masa, the word for prophecy or burden.
Each of these visual crosses were formed when an ashem ELS with a short skip (1 to 5) exactly intersects with another ashem ELS with a longer skip (less than 100). Within Isaiah 52:11-53:12, 21 such visual crosses appeared, even though only 2.97 were expected by chance. When displayed in a crossword format, each cross had an appearance like the following:
By expanding the ashem () ELSs in Isaiah 52-53 to include all occurrences with skips up to 1,000 and by expanding the range of the text to range from Isaiah 51 through 55, we also gathered information on ashem ELSs with short skips in the entire book of Isaiah. After analyzing that data extensively, we were astonished at how remarkable the whole phenomena was.
First, we examined the data on occurrences of short skip ashem ELSs in the book of Isaiah to find out whether or not the seeming compactness of such ELSs in Isaiah 52-53 was unusual or not. We developed a natural measure of compactness and charted it for all of Isaiah. What we found out was that the short skip ashem ELSs in Isaiah 52-53 were 13 times more compact than the average for the entire book. This is recorded in the graph below.
In measuring relative compactness, two factors were measured: 1) how close the center letters of the short skip ashem ELSs were to one another; and 2) how big or small a gap there was both before and after the occurrence of a dense cluster of such ELSs, in terms of a complete absence of such ELSs. So, in gauging “compactness”, we were looking for a pattern of:
This was truly striking since what would have been expected by chance was so radically different, as summarized in the following table:
The combined odds of chance occurrence of all three of these events is about 1 in 1.7 billion.
Add to this highly improbable circumstance was its placement in the text. The “suffering servant” prophecy is widely regarded as beginning in Isaiah 52:7 and ending in Isaiah 53:12. This exact range of text is the one that is literally riddled with visual ashem crosses, as shown in the next graph.
The passage starts out with Isaiah 52:7, which reads, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation (14 crosses, centered on this word), who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” There are 14 visual crosses stacked on top of one another that are centered on the letter Sheen within the Hebrew word for salvation (yod-sheen-vav-ayeen-heh). The first four letters of that word are the Hebrew name for Jesus (Yeshua). So, within this stack of crosses and its location we have a terse, though thorough, summary of the literal passage—it is a prophecy of salvation through the guilt offering of Jesus on the cross.
In Isaiah 52:14, we encounter three stacks of visual crosses: "Just as (7 crosses), there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured (9 crosses) beyond that of any man (15 crosses) and his form marred beyond human likeness . . .” The intense suffering that results from the severe disfigurement of crucifixion is prophesied here, and the three stacks of crosses seem to suggest the three crosses at Golgotha.
Within Isaiah 53:3 are two stacks of 14 crosses each: “He was despised and rejected by men (14 crosses), a man (14 crosses) of sorrows, and familiar with suffering . . .”
The passage ends with an intense grouping of 66 visual crosses in the last four verses of Isaiah 53:
He was assigned a grave with the wicked (15 crosses), and with the rich in his death, though he had done (18 crosses) no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD’S will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering (14 crosses), he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul (12 crosses), he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors (9 crosses). For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Though perhaps due to chance, it should be noted that Isaiah 53:9, which specifically refers to the death of the suffering servant, includes 33 visual crosses. That Jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified is well known.
In a similar vein, the entire Bible (Old and New Testament) consists of 66 books and there are 66 visual crosses in the last four verses of Isaiah 53. Coincidence? Who knows?
It is true that some of the excess number of visual crosses in Isaiah 52-53 is attributable to the greater-than-expected number of ashem ELSs in that text. However, this only partially explains some of the real excess.
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