New research suggests that the biblical character of Jacob was the personification of Summer, and not the patriarchal ancestor of the Jewish people. If the land claim is not divinely sanctioned as was previously thought – what does this mean for Jewish settlers on Palestinian lands?
– There have been sabers rattling between the UN and Israel for the last year. In October 2016, Israel suspended ties with UNESCO after the UN’s cultural agency passed a resolution criticizing Israeli policy surrounding religious sites in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel claimed the UN was using language that denied Jewish ties to the region’s holy sites. The UN is increasingly frustrated because the long duration of the occupation has allowed the population of Jewish settlers on land it had set aside for a Palestinian state to increase exponentially.
The majority of Jewish settlers living on Palestinian land believe the land was gifted to them by YHVH through Jacob, and they claim Jacob as their patriarchal ancestor. There are also populations of messianic Jews and Prophetic Christians based in the United States that are of the opinion that the second coming of Jesus Christ cannot happen until Israel regains all the land that was under Jewish control during biblical times. Indeed, the current Prime Minister of Israel – Benjamin Netanyahu holds this view, and has made grants available to Jewish land settlers in Palestine.
A recent analysis of Genesis using a method of ancient gematria associated with the PaleoHebrew script challenges the veracity of this perspective. It suggests that Jacob and Esau are personifications of Summer and Winter and their famous birth right was ‘the light’ rather than ‘the land’. What has traditionally been assumed to be a matter of land inheritance, is actually a mythological explanation for the shortened amount of daylight during the Winter.
While the settlers believe that the Torah justifies their right to live on Palestinian land through the birth-right exchange narrative of Jacob and Esau, the gematria of the text suggests that its protagonists are the personifications of Summer and Winter. The text has an ancient Sumerian source and so Jacob cannot be an actual ancestor of the Jewish people. It is important to keep in mind that these expansionist Jewish settlers were or are ignorant of the gematria of the text. Very few people are yet aware that modern gematria differs from biblical gematria[2; 4].
I am a Zionist that hopes the state of Israel continues to exist in perpetuity, but I can see no biblical justification for the Jewish settlement of Palestinian land nor the continued occupation of that land. I’m releasing my research to the public in the hope that people of conscience who have settled the land will take it upon themselves to resettle within Israel, and that political representatives in Israel and America will set aside funds that could enable the less well off to do this.
To understand how the settlers mistook the import of the text as a justification for illegal settlements – we have to consider the Merkabah. This is a restricted course of study that Jewish people are forbidden to discuss. The concern of the Merkabah was the Seedtime and the Harvest, the Cold and the Heat, and the Summer and the Winter. It was the signs (alphanumeric characters) for writing and math, and it was the length of the Days and the Nights, the Seasons and the Years, and the movement of the lights in the sky.
The study of the signs (gematria) is a part of the teaching associated with the Chariot (Merkabah). It is the associated gematria of the paleohebrew script that reveals the birth right of Jacob and Esau was not land – but rather concerned the light of the Summer and the Winter (Genesis 25:19-34).
Modern Hebrew makes the letters shin = 300 and tav = 400 but this is wrong for biblical Hebrew. In the older PaleoHebrew script that the bible was originally written in the letter shin = 3 and tav = 4 and there are no final forms of the letters; so when you see a final kaph (for instance) then you would just count it as 20. This simple shift of the numerical attribution for the last two letters of the alphabet has served to keep a great many matters that are ambiguous, uncertain or misinterpreted in the Torah a secret. These days knowledge of the Merkabah is almost apocryphal. Yet from the beginning of the Torah, the Merkabah is interwoven into the text. Genesis 1:2-3:
והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך על־פני תהום ורוח אלהים מרחפת על־פני המים :
“And the earth was without form and void – and darkness(37) – was on – the face (140) of the deep (55)”… [ and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters ].
ויאמר אלהים יהי אור ויהי־אור
“And God said, “Let there be light (207) and there was light (207)”.
When we add light and subtract the darkness from the face of the deep:
140 + 55 = 195 (Face of the Deep) 195 – 37 (Darkness) = 158
158 + 207 (Light) = 365 = the number of days in a year.
The seasonal character of Esau and Jacob as the personifications of Winter and Summer start at Genesis 25:27.
ויגדלו הנערים ויהי עשו איש ידע ציד איש שדה ויעקב איש תם ישב אהלים
“When the boys grew up, Esau(79) became a skillful hunter (104), a man(14) of the field(12), but Jacob(182) was a peaceful man, living in tents(26).”
Esau 79 + hunter 104 = 183 Jacob = 182
183 + 182 = 365 (days in a year)
The origin of the story is Mesopotamian – a retelling of the Myth of Emesh and Enten (The Debate between Winter and Summer). It was recorded during the mid to late 3rd millennium BC.
“Enlil set about determining the destinies of Summer and Winter. For Summer founding towns and villages, bringing in harvests of plenitude for the Great Mountain Enlil, sending laborers out to the large arable tracts, and working the fields with oxen; for Winter plenitude, the spring floods, the abundance and life of the Land, placing grain in the fields and fruitful acres, and gathering in everything — Enlil determined these as the destinies of Summer and Winter.” – 19-25.
Winter is the favourite of Enlil in the debate just as Esau is the favourite of Isaac:
ויאהב יצחק את־עשו כי־ציד בפיו ורבקה אהבת את־יעקב
“Now Isaac(208) loved Esau(79), because he had a taste for game(104),
and Rebekah(313) loved Jacob(182).” – Genesis 25:28
Note that the word here for ‘game’ is the same word as for ‘hunter’ – ֣ , so perhaps this is where we derive the phrase “the hunter becomes the hunted”? Isaac(208) + Esau(79) + game/hunter(104) = 391, which is a number that recurs in Genesis 25:34 (see below). Rebekah(313) + Jacob(182) = 495. The difference between 495 and 391 is 104 for game/hunter as if to reiterate that this is the essential difference between the two brothers, at least in the eyes of their parents, but we ought to note that 104 is also the exact half of Isaac’s number 208 and that is surely of some hidden importance to the text.
Sumerian ‘game’ was given life and then gathered up by Winter to be stored in the Houses and Temples that Summer built.
“Winter made the ewe give birth to the lamb, he gave the kid to the goat. He made cows teem together with their calves, he provided butter and milk. On the high plain he made the deer and stag glad of heart. He made the birds of heaven set their nests in the broad spaces. The fish of the lagoons laid eggs in the reed bed.” – 50-60.
And this is acknowledged by Enlil as he passes judgement between the Summer and the Winter:
“Enlil answered Summer and Winter: “Winter is controller of the life-giving waters of all the lands — the farmer of the gods produces everything. Summer, my son, how can you compare yourself to your brother Winter?” – 304-309
“In the dispute between Summer and Winter, Winter, the faithful farmer of Enlil, was superior to Summer — praise be to the Great Mountain, Father Enlil!” – 316-318.
When we look at the numbers of the Genesis story we find that the inheritance that Winter despised was actually the light, because there is less daylight in winter. Genesis 25:34:
ויעקב נתן לעשו לחם ונזיד עדשים ויאכל וישת ויקם וילך ויבז עשו את־הבכרה
“And-Jacob(188) gave to-Esau(109) bread(78) and-stew(77) of lentils(127) and-he-did-eat(67), and-drink(23), and-rose-up(156), and went his way(66) and despised(25) Esau(79) the-birthright(232).” 25 – and-despised
232 – the-birthright
232 – 25 = 207 = ‘Light’.
Jacob gave Esau the lentils because the Mesopotamians believed that Winter needed to be fed by Summer before he would leave and the gematria of the verse is cleverly crafted to reflect this:
gave to Esau(109) + bread(78) + and stew(77) + lentils(127) = 391
391 – and he did eat(67) – and drink(23) – and rose up(156) – and went his way(66) – Esau(79) = 0 (Nothing).
Towards the end of the Mesopotamian debate, Summer also feeds Winter with a banquet:
310-315: “Summer bowed to Winter and offered him a prayer. In his house he prepared emmer-beer and wine. At its side they spend the day at a succulent banquet. Summer presents Winter with gold, silver and lapis lazuli. They pour out brotherhood and friendship like best oil. By bringing sweet words to the quarrel (?) they have achieved harmony with each other.”
Although we can show a typological connection between the two stories, the Mesopotamian text is more detailed than the biblical story and there are some important differences. Both texts have brothers that quarrel with each other and seek the favour of their father, but whereas the older version ends peacefully after the judgement of Enlil, in the Hebrew story the contention between the brothers remains unresolved – perhaps symbolizing the return of Winter the next year. The Mesopotamian Summer offers his brother Winter emmer-beer and wine and they celebrate, but the Hebrew Summer (Jacob) only has a bowl of lentil stew for his brother which is a traditional repast for mourners – so it is said that Jacob was preparing the stew for his Father Isaac who was mourning the death of Abraham.
Genesis picks up the story of Esau again in 26:34-35. After despising ‘the light’ which was his birthright in 25:34, he appears to recover it once more when he marries his two wives:
ויהי עשו בן־ארבעים שנה ויקח אשה את־יהודית בת־בארי החתי ואת־בשמת בת־
“When Esau(79) was forty years old he married Judith(39) the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath(49) the daughter of Elon the Hittite;”
Easu(79) + Judith(39) + Basemath(49) + 40 (Esau’s age) = 207 אור ‘Light’.
ותהיין מרת רוח ליצחק ולרבקה
“and who were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.”
At this point in the story, Winter has regained his light due to coming to his maturity and due to his marriage, and he is once more in a position to challenge his Summertime brother. However, with the help of his mother – Summer steals the rewards of Isaac’s blessing and flees from the wrath of Winter with all the grain and wine and the future service of his brothers ensured. His mother then arranges a safe marriage for Summer because while Winters wives bring him back the ‘light’ – if Jacob(182) should marry the daughters (מִבְּנֽוֹת (102 of Heth (חֵ֤ת (12 then the result is 296 ‘the Land’ – and this is why Rebekah refers to them as ‘daughters of the land’.
It has been objected that a study of the sort is invalid because the literal sense of the Torah cannot be supplanted by a non-literal interpretation and because by this exegetical rule another level of interpretation may not contradict its peshat meaning. This criticism is built on the pre-supposition that the content of the Merkabah is wholly symbolic rather than literal, however the literal nature of the Merkabah is almost proverbial in Jewish literature. What can be more literal than the number of days in a year? Or the literal fact that there is less light during the winter?
The Merkabah recorded these literal matters and concerns and it does not contradict the peshat meaning. In particular – Genesis 25:34 when Esau despised his birthright – although the birthright is traditionally assumed to have been land, this assumption is not qualified either way by the open text. So it this unqualified interpretation that must be regarded in the same manner as other non-literal interpretations. The unqualified interpretation of the meaning of the birthright – even though it is common place and widely believed – cannot invalidate the literal testimony of the Merkabah.
The Rambam speaks specifically about the Merkabah when he refers to the “figurative speech [in treating of the Creation] in order to hide its true meaning”. By his comments he appears to allow for deep scientific study of the Merkabah in an unbiased and scientific manner while disallowing the religious practise of preaching on the topic.
“Having come thus far we will make in the next chapter a few remarks on passages in the first chapters of Genesis. For the primary object in this treatise has been to expound as much as possible of the Scriptural account of the Creation (ma‘aseh bereshith), and the description of the heavenly chariot (ma‘aseh mercabah). But let us premise two general observations.
First, the account given in Scripture of the Creation is not, as is generally believed, intended to be in all its parts literal. For if this were the case, wise men would not have kept its explanation secret, and our Sages would not have employed figurative speech [in treating of the Creation] in order to hide its true meaning, nor would they have objected to discuss it in the presence of the common people. The literal meaning of the words might lead us to conceive corrupt ideas and to form false opinions about God, or even entirely to abandon and reject the principles of our Faith. It is therefore right to abstain and refrain from examining this subject superficially and unscientifically.
We must blame the practice of some ignorant preachers and expounders of the Bible, who think that wisdom consists in knowing
the explanation of words, and that greater perfection is attained by employing more words and longer speech. It is, however, right that we should examine the Scriptural texts by the intellect, after having acquired a knowledge of demonstrative science, and of the true hidden meaning of prophecies. But if one has obtained some knowledge in this matter he must not preach on it, as I stated in my Commentary on the Mishnah (Ḥagigah, ii. 7), and our Sages said distinctly: From the beginning of the book to this place–after the account of the sixth day of the Creation–it is “the glory of God to conceal a thing” (Prov. xxv. 2).” – Guide for the Perplexed, by Moses Maimonides, Friedländer tr. , at sacred-texts.com [ch. xxix. pg. 112].
While some Jewish settlers in the land of Palestine believe that their presence in the land is a matter of ancient inheritance from the line of Jacob – analysis with the Paleo-Hebrew gematria of the Merkabah suggests that the family line of Genesis are personifications of natural forces such as seasons or of natural or celestial objects. In particular – Jacob and Esau appear to be personifications of Summer and Winter and therefore they cannot be the ancestors of the Jewish or Arab peoples.
 The Debate between Winter and Summer or Myth of Emesh and Enten is a Sumerian creation myth, written on clay tablets in the mid to late 3rd millennium BC:
 David Bitan – Member of the Knesset – profile:
 STEPHEN J. LIEBERMAN, ‘A Mesopotamian Background for the So-Called Aggadic ‘Measures’ of Biblical Hermeneutics?’, Hebrew Union College Annual, Vol. 58 (1987), pp. 157-225