The Origins of Grace in the Torah ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace. If you would like to dedicate a Gematria lesson for our cyberspace class in the memory of a dear friend or loved one we will do this for a gift of Chai, $18.00 American dollars.

Gematria is a particular study of Jewish mysticism based on the numerical value of Hebrew letters in the Aleph Bais (Hebrew alphabet) as inscribed in the Torah. Jewish Gematria has many disciplines.

Grace is an attribute of Hashem that our survival depends upon. We could not survive without it! Notice that I used the word Hashem and not G-d in the opening sentence. There is a difference and that difference is extremely important when considering grace. The Names of G-d are used to describe particular attributes. In Genesis 1:27 we read, "So G-d created Man in His image, in the image of G-d He created him; male female He created them." Then in Genesis 2:7 we read the description of how man was formed: "And Hashem G-d formed the man of the dust from the ground, and He blew into his nostrils the soul of life; and man became a living being." Notice the description of man's Creation now includes the name Hashem.

Rashi commented that Genesis 2:4 was the first mention of Hashem's name in the Torah. He says it was in direct reference to the Creation of man, "...{This} denotes G-d in His attribute of mercy {grace}." At first, G-d created the world exclusively with the attribute of justice (E-ohim) because the ideal state is for man to be judged according to his deeds..without a need for special mercy {grace} and forbearance. Yet G-d realized that man could not survive in such a rigid environment, i.e., without mercy. Therefore, He added the Name signifying mercy to teach that He would temper justice with compassion (Rashi to Genesis 1:1).

Now this is not the first mention of the actual Hebrew word for mercy or grace. It is the introduction of G-d as being merciful to mankind and Creation. G-d could have created mankind as robots without the option of free choice. Yet, instead, He created mankind with free choice. G-d wanted to be honored, worshiped and served as KING of the universe by choice of His Creation, not by force. Therefore G-d added the attributes of mercy, kindness and grace to Creation. In His foreknowledge G-d knew freedom of choice requires mercy. Just the same, we do not read a word about G-d's mercy until later in the Torah. Yet we see G-d's grace and forgiveness with Adam and Chava's error.

Hashem G-d manifests Himself in Gan Eden. Genesis 3:8
Hashem G-d calls out to Adam... "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9
Hashem G-d asks Chava, "What have you done?" Genesis 3:13
Hashem G-d judges the serpent ... Genesis 3:14,15
Hashem G-d judges Chava... Genesis 3:16
Hashem G-d judges Adam ... Genesis 3:17,18,19
Hashem G-d provides a covering for Adam and Chava... Genesis 3:21
Hashem G-d states that because of their bad actions they, Adam and Chava, now know the difference between good and bad. It is very important to realize it was Adam and Chava's disobedience to Hashem G-d's direction that taught them what wrong was. As a side note, notice the discussion leading to Adam and Chava's sin makes reference only to the Name G-d:

The serpent questions Chava, "Did perhaps, G-d say:..." (Genesis 3:1) when in fact the instruction to Adam was from Hashem G-d (Genesis 2:16,17).

Chava responds to the serpent with the same expression, "...G-d has said..." (Genesis 3:3).

The serpent follows with the comment, "You will not die; for G-d knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like G-d, knowing good and bad" (Genesis 3:4).

The point here is that Chava and the serpent only referred to the attribute of G-d's justice in their discussion of what Hashem G-d had instructed Adam. Isn't it interesting that their discussion omitted the attribute of G-d's mercy?

There is another interesting omission of G-d's mercy...


The Conflict of Trinity and Grace

The attribute of judgment is used only in conjunction with the plural name of G-d. The plural name of G-d is the one to which many non Jews ascribe their belief in the trinity. However ascribing the plural name of G-d which represents the attribute of judgment to the attribute of mercy is not consistent with the established Torah understanding and recognition of the attributes of justice and mercy. Very clear distinctions are made within the Torah between G-d's different attributes.

What I am saying is that many non Jews do not understand the Torah, do not understand Hebrew and as a result cannot know they are supporting conflicting issues. We need to be very careful not to confuse the original intention and meaning of {mercy} grace.

First, the Name G-d {Elokim} in English translations represents the attribute of justice. This is consistent throughout the Bible. The name L-RD {Hashem} in English translations represents the attribute of mercy. This is also consistent throughout the Bible. The usage of G-d's names throughout the Bible is important because each name represents a distinct attribute of the Holy One Blessed is He. If we misrepresent the intended purpose of the attributes then we change the meaning of the Bible. If one really believes that "grace and truth came by Jesus..." and at the same time really believes in the trinity then a conflict exists. One cannot legitimately establish the doctrine of the trinity based on the Name "G-d" if they also believe "grace and truth came by Jesus..." Why? The name used to define and represent grace is Hashem. It is singular. It is never plural. The name used to define judgment is G-d. It is plural. It is never singular. So the conflict is two fold.

First, one cannot accurately make the claim that "grace and truth came by Jesus..." because the foundation of the trinity is based upon the plural form of G-d's name {Elokim}. That name represents justice and judgment NOT grace...
Second, the name Hashem does not allow for any form of plural interpretation. In other words, there is no way that one can legitimately establish the trinity using the Name Hashem.

So we see, at the very least, a basis of conflict in the name usages and misunderstanding in the Hebrew forms of singular and plural. Then to venture even one step further, in most settings when the name of Hashem and G-d appear together it is in a singular context. Even the basis that non Jews attempt to use for establishing the doctrine of the trinity (Genesis 1:26, when G-d said, "Let us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness...") is actually singular because in verse 27 the verb that represents the act of creating man is NOT PLURAL. It is singular! If the subject were plural the verb would also be plural.

Straight up, in verse 26 G-d was teaching graciousness to us as humans. He was teaching us when a person is superior he should consult with those who are inferior. We know this because it says, "Let us make man." Yet, in the very act of Creation, it was G-d acting alone. "G-d created man in His own image, in the image of G-d He created him male and female He created them." In this verse, the word "He" which is singular is used twice. It does not say G-d created man in their image. It does not say G-d created man in our image. Furthermore, the word "image" is used not "images". It says "He" created him, not "They" created them. The fact is that even though G-d's name is plural the entire sentence structure in the Hebrew is in the singular. If it were in reference to more than one being, it would have necessitated that the sentence be plural.

In Genesis 2:7 it says, "Hashem Elokim then formed the man from the dust of the ground and He blew into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul."
In this verse, we have Hashem {depicting the attribute of grace} and we have Elokim, G-d {depicting the attribute of judgment} forming man in the singular. In addition to this it says, "He blew into {Adam's} nostrils." It does not say "They blew." So anyone should be able to understand even from the English translation that "He" is singular, that "His" is singular and that "image" is singular. Man was created by one G-d who is singular even though G-d has names that are plural.

Certainly, G-d is a Spirit and most definitely melachim {angels}, are spirits. And man, created in G-d's image, is also a spirit. Man received the breath {the spirit} of life from G-d. That breath / spirit is eternal. It does not die. It leaves this body and it goes somewhere else but it does not die.

Now you are wondering what does all this have to do with grace? The answer is... everything! One MUST begin with the proper foundation to arrive at the correct conclusion. The proper foundation for the attribute of grace is with the originator Hashem G-d in Genesis 2:3 where the concept of grace is first introduced in the Torah. As shown above, there is no reference to Jesus as the author of grace and there is no trinity substantiating the existence of a father or a son. We all agree that G-d is a Spirit. We humans often make reference to G-d {the spiritual being} with such names as Father and Creator, but in no way is this intended to imply or even to suggest that G-d is more than one. This is our way of understanding and relating to G-d. Unfortunately, 1700 years ago, at the Council of Nicea the term "trinity" was invented. As a point of interest, nowhere in the Tenach or the Christian Bible does the word "trinity" occur.

The first example of grace {mercy} in action is with Adam and Chava after their error. Here we see Hashem G-d

...confronting His Creation.
...holding Creation accountable.
...asking questions that He knew the answers to.
...listening to the answers He already knew.
...showing merciful judgment for the actions of His Creation.
...in the action of concealing the disgraced.
...teaching modesty.
...correcting and punishing.
...taking steps to prevent this action from happening. He guarded the weakness, the temptation by placing an angel with a flaming sword at the gate to Gan Eden.

It is good for mankind to emulate the nature of G-d. Anyone can show grace or kindness if they work at it. The aforementioned traits of Hashem G-d are the examples we are to emulate.

Now we can return to the point in question which is, why did the serpent and Chava use the name G-d {representing judgment} when in fact it was Hashem G-d representing mercy?

One possibility is that Adam, the overseer of the world, simply did not share everything with Chava, but that does not explain the serpent's usage of the word "G-d".

Another possibility is that of worst case scenario. What is the worst possible thing that could happen to you if you did this?

The first occurrence of the term "grace" in the Torah is Genesis 6:8: "But Noach found Chain {grace} in the eyes of Hashem." The last occurrence in the Torah is Deuteronomy 24:1. 

The Gematrias Of Grace ©

The following Gematrias offer particularly unique insights to grace and grace in action without ever saying the word "chain". The Gematrias of grace are in existence and evident in the Torah long before the word "chain" occurs.

Grace is one of the thirteen attributes of G-d. Grace is the nature of G-d. We find the word Chain, meaning grace, twenty-six times in the Torah. Twenty-six is the exact Gematria of Hashem's name. (#1)Hashem's name represents grace {mercy

(read from right to left) - 26 = Hey (5 ) - Vav (6) - Hey (5) Yod (10)

It is also interesting to notice that within Tenach the word Chain occurs 90 times. Ninety is the Gematria of Tzaddi exemplifying righteousness. Ninety is the Gematria for "water" the method used to destroy the world in the Noach flood. Ninety is also the Gematria of Lamech, the righteous father of Noach who died about one year before the flood.
(#2) The Gematria of "water" is: (read r - l) - 90 = Mem (40) Yud (10) Mem (40)

(#3) The Gematria of Lamech is: (read r - l) - 90 = Chof (20) Mem (40) Lamed (30)

When we remove 26, which is the number of times Chain occurs in Torah, we are left with 64. Sixty-four embodies the Gematria of two powerful examples of grace, that being Adam and Chava and Noach.
(#4a) The Gematria of Adam is: (read r - l) 45 = Mem (40) Dalet (4) Aleph (1)
(#4b) The Gematria of Chava is (read r - l) 19 = Hey (5) Vav (6) Ches (8)
The total of 45 & 19 = 64

(#5) The central Gematria of Noach is: (read r - l) 64 = Ches (8) Vav (6) Nun (50)
This spelling of Noach has a Vav added.

The Gematria of Chain is 58. The normal spelling of Noach is also 58. The spelling of "The Garden" is 58.
(#6) The Gematria of Chain is 58 = Nun (50) Ches (8)
(#7) The Gematria of Noach is 58 = Ches (8) Nun (50)
(#8) The Gematria of The Garden = ) 58 = Nun (50) Gimmel (3) Hey (5)

Seven-hundred eight
The Mispar Godal of Chain is 708. This represents the Gematria of the judgment tempered with grace that was passed on Adam. "{You} shall return {to the ground}". Hashem G-d said, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground for from it {the ground} were you taken. For you are dust and to dust you shall return," Genesis 3:19.

(#9) The Gematria of "{You} shall return" is 708 = Bais (2) Vav (6) Shin (300) Suf (400)

Each of these Gematrias are tied together by a common thread, Chain, grace. Gematria is one of the hidden meanings of the Torah that Hashem uses to teach us hidden relationships within the Bible. The above Gematrias teach us the relationship Hashem's grace has with Him, with the recipients of His grace and with His judgment.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk


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