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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A balanced, sober view, 30 Jan 2009
By 
David S. Bradford "Kingfisher" (Blackburn UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Truth Behind the Bible Code (Hardcover)
Talk of a Bible Code is usually centred on a mystical, divine message embedded in the Hebrew Torah, the Five Books of Moses. This is the starting point assumed by Jeffrey Satinover, whose aim is evidently to provide a historical and technical background that will verify his premise. Along the way, there is a rich trail of mainly anecdotal `evidence' that attempts to link the Jewish historical heritage to an immutable divine purpose. Whether or not his purpose is fulfilled will, I suspect, depend largely on the reader's prior disposition to the subject. I found the diverse information in this book to be a rather edifying read, with lots of surprising facts and figures garnered from sources that might otherwise be quite difficult to access, or to find at all. Dr. Satinover successfully mixes popular and academic styles in a way that will appeal to a wide audience; neither style gets in the way of the other too much. However, some of the more technical material is hard-going, such as the sections on the lunar cycles as they relate to the Hebrew calendar. So it is unfortunate that most of the more difficult material has little or no direct relevance to the Bible Code. They may nonetheless be of interest in their own right, and contribute to an appreciation that Judaism has acquired knowledge `out of the blue' that must be difficult to explain using scientific logic.
There are just a few places where the reader is left with a feeling of being left hanging in mid-air. For example, at one point Dr. Satinover uses Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) matrices to demonstrate that the number 50 has a special relevance to names (of God and men). He refers to `the more elaborate naming traditions', but fails to explain what is meant by a naming tradition. In fact, one of his example matrices contains a spelling mistake, which slightly undermines the point he is making. Also, the author refers to an amazing set of 64 engraved stone tablets that are now `on display in a little-known facility in Jerusalem'. He neglects to mention the nature of this facility, or its precise location, leaving the reader to wonder if the 64 tablets are accessible for public viewing.
This book contains a number of examples of ELS matrices, but not enough to persuade an undecided observer that divine intervention has been the agency behind them. Those matrices that do show genuine signs of deliberate design are also simple enough to be the product of a human agency. The author does try to demonstrate that the ancient Torah text contains fore-knowledge of people and events in a distant future. But the evidence presented is unconvincing, lacking the sort of substantive statistical support that was included with the original ELS results published by a team of mathematicians from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Anyone hoping to find in this book the final `Truth' that will clinch the existence of a Bible Code is going to be disappointed. However, this is an informative and interesting read that does succeed in putting the Bible Code into proper context. It will be especially useful for readers who are not easily put off by the necessary technicalities.

For more-convincing evidence:
In the Beginning: Building the Temple of Zion
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary information, 24 Oct 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This absorbing book remains the very best study of the Bible Code that I've encountered. Satinover examines whether the code exists, its accuracy, meaning and implications. Mention of the code first appeared many centuries ago in the writings of Jewish mystics, especially during the great flowering of Spanish Kabbalah. It has been the subject of scientific research since the late 1980s.

Chapter one deals with the work of inter alia the Vilna Gaon Eliyahu ben Shlomo, Maimonides and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman and explains how the codes are encrypted in the Hebrew letters of the text. Chapter Two recounts the history of 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.

The next chapter considers the Jewish devotion to Torah, scribal traditions and the Jewish Torah compared to the Samaritan version, whilst the chapter titled The Black Fires of Holocaust and The White Fire of Destiny tell the tragic story of Rabbi Weissmandl of Slovakia. The pivotal 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, kabbalah literature became known in Europe. In the 15th century, cryptology suddenly experienced a series of major advances that laid the groundwork for the computer and the science of statistics. A famous name in Renaissance cryptology, 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 inventions all the sophisticated encoding machines used by the Allies were derived.

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, discussing 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 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. In this regard, I highly recommend The Dawn: Political Teachings of the Book of Esther by Yoram Hazony even though it only concerns itself with the surface or literal (pashat) level of textual interpretation.

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 Varieties of Religious Experience, his views on deterministic influences and freedom of choice, 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 ancient and 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 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: Resolving a Creation Controversy and Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man 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 interesting 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 clears up some confusion.

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.

There are black & white figures and illustrations throughout the text. The bibliography contains books and articles plus the 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 riveting books I have ever read, and a valuable reference source.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the mysteries of G-D's word, 6 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: The Truth Behind the Bible Code (Hardcover)
In this volume Jeffrey Satinover attempts to explore the truth behind the Bible Codes, proving it's validity through mathematics and science , including quantum physics.

There are also some interesting perspectives on the metaphysical element behind the holocaust and the Gulf Wars.
The book outlines the remarkable story of Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl and his work to save Jews from the infernos of the Shoah , in any way possible.
The author illustrates how the secrets of the universe are hidden in the Torah and in the chapter entitled 'The Flames of Amalek' he quotes Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen (1823-1900): "In physical space , Amalek is sworn to prevent Israel from dwelling in the Land",
The real reason behind the vast conspiracy to destroy the People of Israel in the Land of Israel , going on today.
That is what anti-Zionism is, the evil of Amalek , the ungodly determination to prevent Jews from living in the Land of Israel.
Amalek is the Jew-hating spirit that tries to destroy the people of Israel In the words of the Passover Haggada: "In every generation there are some who rise against us to annihilate us."

In the Bible's Book of Esther, the evil Haman, who tried to exterminate the Jewish people, was Amalek. Before that, at the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt, it was Amalek (Exodus 17:8) that attacked Israel - the people that God had blessed. In fact, it was that very blessing - God's blessing - that provoked Amalek to swoop down on the people from behind, to attack and kill the weakest.

Amalek fiercely envies Israel; Amalek is furiously jealous. Amalek tries to kill and maim as many Jews and their friends and allies as possible, starting with the weakest: the mothers with children, the elderly, the sick and the babies. Amalek prefers to kill children and women. Hard to believe as it may be, Amalek dances in the streets at the prospect of human (particularly, Jewish) suffering - even if the joyful dancers are doomed to die in the inferno themselves!

The book outlines the miracles of the First Gulf War , when Saddam Hussein-who modelled himself on Nebuchadnezzar , and whose primary aim was the destruction of Israel-sent missiles of mass destruction into Israel , there was not one Israeli fatality. These Scuds where not minor missiles as the media outside Israel tried to portray them , but very destructive.

The single scud that strucka US millitary facility in Saudi Arabia killed nineteen soldiers. 33 scuds where sent into Israel damaging 3, 773 buildings.
This phenomenon has no scientific explanation and can only be explained as the work of G-D in protecting the People of Israel.

Quoting the then President of Israel Chaim Herzog adressing the nation on February 22, 1991 : " The Jewish nation witnessed many miracles in it's history , from the splitting of the Red Sea to this very day . This time , as well , we where blessed with divine intervention."
The hand of G-D clearly guided the scuds to avoid any Israeli fatalities. These events are hiddn in the Bible Codes.
Am Israel Chai.
This chapter also focuses on the Nuremberg trials , where the ten Nazi leaders hung for crimes against humanity , mirrored the ten sons of Haman hung for their plot to anihilate the Jews in Ancient Persia , commemorated by the Jewish feast of Purim.

Satinover reports several mathematicians and scienists who where confirmed atheists , who became devoutly religious after studying the Bible codes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing revelations, 28 Oct 2007
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Truth Behind the Bible Code (Hardcover)
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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