Four Atheists Decipher the Torah


Three years ago one of us, K, came across The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin. The book was published in 1997 and became an instant bestseller as did a sequel, The Bible Code II. Mercifully it has since faded from public view. It is obvious nonsense and need no longer concern us.

It did however start a train of thought in the four of us.All four of us are number theorists. Meka4 is simply the initial letters of our first names with the number ‘4’ appended. What we describe below started as a recreational exercise, a bit of fun with numbers.

We started with a transcendental number known as π (pi), the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter. You may remember this from school. It is usually approximated as 22/7. In reality it has an infinite decimal expansion. Here it is with the first 50 decimal digits:


But this is π expressed in decimal form – ie to base 10.What, we wondered, would happen if we used a binary π expansion of to ‘decode’ the Torah?

Now, remember, in binary the only numbers are ‘0’ and ‘1’. We wrote out the first few words of the Hebrew text and the ones and zeros of the binary expansion of pi below it. Then we discarded all the letter that had a zero below. What came out was something that could roughly be translated as ‘Choice sea you’. We were surprised that recognisable Hebrew words appeared but ‘choice sea you’ does not make much sense.

Then we reversed the process, keeping only the letters tagged with a zero. What appeared shocked us. Transliterating:

Ish tavoh el


A man will come God

That we four atheists did not expect!

That set us off on a serious quest. In fact deciphering the Torah proved more difficult than we had anticipated. It turns out there are two other important numbers:

e – the base of natural logarithms

Φ – the ‘golden ratio’

All of these must be expressed in binary. Trying to decode the Torah using decimal expansions is a waste of time.

For a while we were stumped. Many lines of investigation started off looking promising and then trailed off into gibberish. It was M, who has a Jewish background, who made the breakthrough.

The physical manifestation of the Torah is not a linear text laid out in two dimensions. It is a scroll written on parchment with a distinct three dimensional geometry. To decipher the Torah you need to consider it folded up and follow a trajectory through the layers of parchment. This is only possible with the help of a lot of computing power. In fact we doubt a project such as this would have been possible even a few years ago.

The English translation of the first message we deciphered reads:

A man will come God your saviour made flesh

We were not sure whether this referred to Jesus or to a being who will come in the future. It most likely refers to Jesus and his second coming.

By our very rough estimate the number of messages encoded in the text of the Torah is of the order of 10^10^123. In other words it is a 1 followed by 10123 zeroes.

Note, the number of messages is not 10123 . It is a number with 10123 zeroes. This number cannot be written down. If you wrote small so that each zero was a mere 1 millimetre in diameter is would stretch out to 10 billion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion light years.

Obviously we have decoded only an infinitesimal fraction of all the messages in the Torah and have read even fewer.

In subsequent posts we shall be releasing the messages we’ve decoded along with some discussion and commentary. This is very much a work in progress and we often are unable to agree among ourselves about what a message means.

As an aside we attempted a similar exercise on the Quran. Since it is a recitation we treated it as a linear text and considered phonemes rather than individual letters. What we discovered so horrified us that decline to publish it for now.

None of us would still describe ourselves as atheists. No one could after what we’ve learned. However we’re not sure what we are. Based on what we’ve discovered so far we incline to the view that Christianity is the most nearly correct of the major world religions. However none of us subscribe to any particular denomination of Christianity.






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