A group of Israeli researchers has built a computer algorithm to decode one of the most important books in Western culture: the Bible.
The results accord generally with the consensus of scholars that the book contains writing styles defined as “priestly” and “non-priestly.”
The scientists developed an algorithm able to analyze the writing styles found in different parts of the “five books of Moses,” or Pentateuch, that is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The algorithm compared sets of synonyms (called synsets) in blocks of text, along with “function” words, such as prepositions. It then looked at the distribution of the most common words in the Bible. By finding sets that were similar in any two blocks, it was able to group them according to the style they were written in.
The synonyms were identified using Hebrew roots that were translated the same way in the King James version, based largely on the work of the 19th century scholar James Strong.
Computer scientist Moshe Koppel of Bar-Ilan University, a member of the team that developed the algorithm, noted one interesting result: the synonyms for “God” weren’t that important. “Some of the (synonyms) that do the heavy lifting on the Pentateuch had been noted before by scholars, but the most famous synset — names of God — actually didn’t help at all.”
That may sound counter intuitive, but Koppel said there are about 150 different sets, so the fact that a word of historical significance doesn’t help determine authorship isn’t that shocking.
To test out the algorithm, the researchers used it to analyze two well-known books of the Bible, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who scholars agree had two different authors. They cut the text up and mixed them together at random. The algorithm managed to separate the two with near 99 percent accuracy, demonstrating that the method worked.
Koppel stressed that the algorithm can’t say exactly how many authors the Bible has (or doesn’t have). But it can say where styles change. That alone can shed light on debates over authorship. Generally speaking current scholarship divides the Pentateuch into two writing styles: priestly and non-priestly. The algorithm in most areas divided the text the same way, so that would seem to show that the division is valid.
But there was one big caveat: the researchers had to tell the algorithm how many stylistic “families” they wanted the text to be split into. While asking for two gave a result that agreed generally with scholarly consensus, dividing the text into more than that seemed to stray from it.
University of Pennsylvania professor of linguistics Mark Liberman, who wasn’t connected with the research, noted the big innovation was the use of synsets rather than just the location of words or their frequencies.
“The key to making such methods work is to hit on features (words or constructions or word-senses or whatever) that genuinely differentiate the authors,” he said. “In their experiment on un-munging Jeremiah and Ezekiel, they found that word distributions did not work well; but synonym choice (as estimated in a clever way) did work.”
That could make the algorithm useful for analyzing other historic texts. Because it uses criteria not subject to interpretation. Ignoring what the writer “meant,” it can quickly zero in on what was actually written. It can also pick up more subtle changes in word use and distribution than a human can, since it can instantly check through hundreds of synonym sets.
The Great Pyramid’s builder knew all the dimensions of Earth and had a command of engineering, astronomy, and mathematics that would be impressive even today. If this guy didn’t have supernatural capability himself, he was certainly assisted by Someone who does.In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)
During a group discussion on the New Jerusalem, a question about its configuration was raised. Revelation 21 only says that it’s 1400 miles square and 1400 miles tall and to me that conjures up an image of a cube. But some see a pyramid, and when you think about it, John could have been describing just that. One thing led to another and pretty soon the subject of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt came up. Someone asked me to conduct a study on it someday and I agreed.
The Great Pyramid
Th Great Pyramid was most likely built in the 22nd century BC. Its construction required 10 years of planning and preparation and then 100,000 men spent 20 years completing it.
It’s different from all the other pyramids in Egypt. For one thing it’s made of stone, not bricks, and is the only one that’s not solid. There’s a series of passageways and several chambers inside. All of the 80 or so other pyramids came later, are grossly inferior copies, and unlike the Great Pyramid were used as gigantic headstones covering the tombs of the Pharaohs. (The Great Pyramid never served as a tomb.)
Since it’s located both on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt (Giza means border in Arabic) and in the heart of the two Egypts, the Great Pyramid seems to be referenced in the Isaiah passage above. And since the context of the Isaiah passage is the End Times, the connection with the New Jerusalem may not be so far fetched after all.
(Originally two separate kingdoms, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt were joined together to become one. Upper Egypt is in the south and is more mountainous. Lower Egypt in the north was comprised mostly of the Nile delta region and the adjacent plains. The Biblical name for Egypt is Mizraim and literally means 2 Egypts since it’s the dual form of its root, Matzor. Mizraim was a son of Ham whose descendants first settled Egypt.)
The Great Pyramid was built on a 13-acre base made level to within less than 1?. 900 million cubic feet of granite blocks were used in its construction. To this day engineers can’t explain how the workers managed to fit those huge blocks together so carefully in building a monument nearly 500 feet high. Some of the larger ones weighed nearly 80 tons.
It originally had a face of polished white limestone consisting of 115,000 stones finished on all six sides to within .01 inch of perfectly straight. Cut on a bevel, they fit together with seams of less than 1/50th of an inch. They were then cemented together and polished to a high sheen. It’s said that the pyramid shone as if made of light itself and could be seen from over a hundred miles away.
The entire structure rests on 4 foundation stones that fit into sockets cut into the bedrock. These stones are designed to compensate for changes in temperature. They keep the pyramid square and level at all times, and in fact it’s square on every course.
It faces due North more accurately than we can position buildings today so that each side faces the four cardinal points of the compass. Its shadow has predicted equinoxes and solstices.
Originally it was to have a solid gold capstone that was a scale model of the pyramid itself. It was never put in place because the builders rejected it. Only on a pyramid can a capstone also be the head of the corner. (Psalm 118:22 and Matt.21:42)
A single entrance on the North side opens into a passageway that slopes down 150 feet to the base where it descends another 200 feet into the bedrock on a line that’s straight to within 1/4 of an inch over its 350 ft. length. The passageway, several chambers and all the air vents were pre-cut into the stones before they were placed and appeared in their finished form as the stones were fit together.
On one day in history the angle of this passageway looking up from the bottom pointed directly at the north star. If you could have drawn a line straight up from the pyramid into the sky on that day you would have intersected the exact center of our galaxy. That day was the vernal equinox in 2141 BC. Such an alignment happens only once every 26,000 years. As we’ll see below, the builders apparently knew this in advance and planned their construction accordingly.
The Great Pyramid was also built exactly in the center of Earth’s land mass. Equal amounts of land are contained in each of the quadrants drawn off its 4 corners. Its height of 454 feet is the same as the average height above sea level of all land on earth.
The sides are concave at the bottom. Their curvature conforms to the curvature of the earth’s surface, so if you could draw a circle extended from any two adjacent corners it would equal the circumference of Earth at the Equator.
The Sacred cubit was the unit of measure used in building the Great Pyramid. Unlike the standard and royal cubits referenced in the Bible, its length is 25 pyramid inches, which are about the same as the inch used today in the US. These units of measure were carved into the wall, and can serve to decode the pyramid’s dimensions. For instance, multiplying the sacred cubit times 10 million equals the polar radius of earth. Multiplying the total weight of the Pyramid by 1000 trillion equals the weight of planet Earth.
In Hebrew each letter has a numerical value. The Pyramid’s height in inches equals the sum of all the letters in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 19:19-20 (5449). Air shafts keep the temperature inside at exactly 68 degrees, the same as the mean temperature of Earth. If you could walk up the side of the pyramid you’d rise 9 feet in vertical elevation for every 10 feet you cover.
It contains one piece of furniture, a box the same size as the Ark of the Covenant. It’s located in the King’s Chamber, a room with the same cubic volume as the bronze laver in Solomon’s Temple. It’s just barely too big to fit through the passageway, so it had to have been placed there as pyramid was built, over 1000 years before God gave Moses the Ark’s dimensions.
The main passageway descends at an angle of 26 degrees 18 minutes and 9 seconds. This is called the Christ angle because a line drawn from the Pyramid to Bethlehem is 26 degrees 18 minutes and 9 seconds from true north. At the bottom of the entry passageway is a rough hewn chamber called the bottomless pit. Together the passageway and chamber symbolize the fall of man from Adam’s sin, a gradual descent straight into Hell.
Markers carved into the wall in advance are keyed to the vernal equinox in 2141 BC, the only day in history when the stars lined up with the pyramid as described above. Whoever did the carving knew ahead of time that this would happen and designed the lengths of the various passageways to serve as time lines to predict significant future events. For example, the distance from the starting marker to the place where a steep, low ceiling passageway up to the King’s Chamber intersects the down sloping entry passageway foretells the date when the Law was given at Mt. Sinai. It symbolizes the opening of another path for man, this one a difficult climb leading him back to God. Part way up to the King’s chamber another short passageway leads off to another room called the Queen’s chamber. The distance to that passageway converts to the year Jesus was crucified and symbolizes the relief from the hard way of the Law that was purchased at the cross.
So it appears that the Queen’s chamber represents the Church. The Grand Gallery just before the King’s Chamber consists of 7 levels of polished pink granite and symbolizes the Millennium. And the King’s Chamber represents eternity. Pyramid buffs see many other significant dates in Christianity foretold in the lengths of the various passageways and chambers, but so far the date of the 2nd Coming has eluded them.
Who Built The Great Pyramid?
The identity of the architect is unknown, but three candidates come to the top of most lists:
1. Eusibius quotes an Egyptian historian named Manetheo who attributes construction to the Hyksos or Shepherd Kings who came from Arabia, conquered Egypt without a battle, destroyed their pagan temples and converted Egypt to monotheism. They built the Great Pyramid and then left for Judea. Job, after whom a book of the Bible is named, might have been part of this group. A generation later the Egyptians reverted to paganism.
2. Some say Enoch, making the Pyramid a pre-flood monument like the nearby Sphinx. If you measure a side from corner to corner in sacred cubits it equals 365.242, the number of days in our year and Enoch’s age when he was raptured. (Because of their concave nature there are three ways to measure a side. One way equals the solar year, as above. The second way equals the sidereal year, slightly longer at 365.256, and the third equals the anomalistic year of 365.259 days. The last two are used mostly in astronomy. If that isn’t astonishing enough for you, keep in mind that none of these measurements would apply until 1300 years later when the length of the Earth’s orbit increased by 5.25 days.)
3. Most popular is Shem, son of Noah. Though born before the Great Flood, Shem outlived 8 of the first 9 generations that followed it, and even outlived Abraham. Some believe Shem was the priest called Melchizedek in Genesis 14.
No matter which of these options appeals to you, the facts remain that the builder knew all the dimensions of Earth and had a command of engineering, astronomy, and mathematics that would be impressive even today. Think of it. This guy knew the weight and curvature of the Earth, the irregularity of that curvature at the poles, the location and size of every land mass and its height above sea level, Earth’s mean temperature, its latitude and longitude scales, the exact direction of true north, the locations of the stars, and the fact that 1300 years later the Earth’s orbit would change, increasing by 5.24 days.
He knew how to make things absolutely level, straight, and square, and how to pre-cut and position gigantic pieces of stone so that when in place they fit so perfectly that every course is level and square even today. He knew how to calculate the coefficients of expansion and contraction and compensate for them. The list goes on. If this guy didn’t have supernatural capability himself, he was certainly assisted by Someone who does.
Belief By Evidence
Like Noah’s Ark, the Sphinx and others, the Great Pyramid may be evidence for generations yet future to us. It’s obvious supernatural design and construction make it a unique witness to the Glory of God.
In Old Testament times people gained and maintained their belief in God through the evidence of His existence. God caused earthquakes, dried up rivers and seas, made city walls fall down, and sent fire and hail on His enemies. And anyone could come to Jerusalem to witness His presence first hand. Fire from Heaven consumed the sacrifices on the altar. No matter from what direction or with what velocity the wind blew, smoke from the altar always rose straight up into heaven.
According to Jewish tradition, each fall on Yom Kippur the scapegoat was brought before the High Priest and the sins of the nation were transferred to it. While the people watched, a scarlet ribbon was tied from one of the goat’s horns to a door of the Temple. As the goat was led into the wilderness this ribbon was snipped leaving some hanging on the door and some on the goat’s horn. At a designated place the goat was pushed off a cliff to its death. At the moment of the goat’s death the piece of ribbon on the Temple door changed color from scarlet to white fulfilling Isaiah 1:18. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” All these things were plainly visible, irrefutable evidence of God’s presence.
Belief By Faith
When the Lord Jesus came, all that changed. No more great and fearful events to prove God’s existence. The greatest of all had happened. He had come to dwell among us. Following His death the ribbon never changed colors again.
On Resurrection Sunday He rose from the grave having conquered sin and death. That evening He appeared to His disciples in the Upper Room. Thomas was absent and refused to believe the others. The following Sunday He appeared again and this time Thomas was there. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”(John 20:26-29)
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. He was speaking of His Church and the incredible blessings that would accrue to our benefit. The age of belief by faith alone had arrived.
Soon the Church will disappear and the Lord told us that as the end approaches, people on Earth will again see much evidence of His existence. It’ll be like Old Testament times again. Obvious miracles, huge natural disasters, uncontrollable weather, until finally the skies will open and like flashes of lightning that are visible from the East to the West, every eye will behold His Glorious Appearing.
During the time leading up to His return, I believe Noah’s Ark will reappear, and the true origins of monuments like Stonehenge, Easter Island and others will become known as evidence of God’s existence. And one day the Great Pyramid will be restored and once again stand in Egypt as the monument and witness to the Lord that Isaiah prophesied, bringing salvation to the people there. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. (Isaiah 19:20)
In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:23-25)
Mysterious markings discovered at Great Pyramid of Giza
By Nuala Calvi, for CNN
May 28, 2011 5:43 a.m. EDT
Markings deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza could shed light on the monument’s secret chambers and tunnels.
Markings deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza could shed light on the monument’s secret chambers and tunnels.
Marks found in tiny chamber at the end of a passage date from 4,500 years ago
The painted hieroglyphs and stone markings were filmed using a robot camera
Scholars hope they will explain why the mysterious shafts were built
London, England (CNN) — A robot explorer has revealed ancient markings inside a secret chamber at Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza.
The markings, which have lain unseen for 4,500 years, were filmed using a bendy camera small enough to fit through a hole in a stone door at the end of a narrow tunnel.
It is hoped they could shed light on why the tiny chamber and the tunnel — one of several mysterious passages leading from the larger King’s and Queen’s chambers — were originally built.
The markings take the form of hieroglyphic symbols in red paint as well as lines in the stone that may have been made by masons when the chamber was being built.
The big question is the purpose of these tunnels.
–Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University
According to Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University, similar lines have been found elsewhere in Giza. “Sometimes they identify the work gang (who built the room), sometimes they give a date and sometimes they give guidelines to mark cuttings or directional symbols about the beginning or end of a block,” he said.
“The big question is the purpose of these tunnels,” he added. “There are architectural explanations, symbolic explanations, religious explanations — even ones relating to the alignment of the stars — but the final word on them is yet to be written. The challenge is that no human can fit inside these channels so the only way to do this exploration is with robots.”
Pictures of the markings have been published in the Annales du Service Des Antiquities de l’Egypte, the official publication of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, following an international mission led by the Minister for Antiquities.
The robot explorer that took the images is named Djedi, after the magician whom Pharaoh Khufu consulted when planning the layout of the Great Pyramid. It was designed and built by engineers at the University of Leeds, in collaboration with Scoutek UK and Dassault Systemes, France.
Although robots have previously sent back pictures from within the pyramid’s tunnels, Djedi’s creators say it is the first to be able to explore the walls and floors in detail, rather than just take pictures looking straight ahead, thanks to a “micro snake” camera.
The camera also scrutinized two copper pins embedded in the door to the chamber at the end of the tunnel. In a statement, Shaun Whitehead, of Scoutek UK, said: “People have been wondering about the purpose of these pins for over 20 years. It had been suggested that they were handles, keys or even parts of an electrical power plant, but our new pictures from behind the pins cast doubt on these theories.
“We now know that these pins end in small, beautifully made loops, indicating that they were more likely ornamental rather than electrical connections or structural features. Also, the back of the door is polished so it must have been important. It doesn’t look like it was a rough piece of stone used to stop debris getting into the shaft.”
The team’s next task is to look at the chamber’s far wall to check whether it is a solid block of stone or another door.
“We are keeping an open mind and will carry out whatever investigations are needed to work out what these shafts and doors are for,” said Whitehead. “It is like a detective story, we are using the Djedi robot and its tools to piece the evidence together.”
These are the days when the Bible is its own best commentary. Imagine Isaiah the prophet standing on the streets of Cairo today speaking in front of a mainstream news camera declaring:
The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, And will come into Egypt; The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; Everyone will fight against his brother, And everyone against his neighbor, City against city, kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, And they will consult the idols and the charmers, The mediums and the sorcerers. And the Egyptians I will give Into the hand of a cruel master, And a fierce king will rule over them,” Says the Lord, the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 19:1-4, nkjv)
Like a swift moving cloud, Isaiah predicts the rapid deterioration of events in Egypt. Civil unrest causes Egyptians to fight against each other. This fighting spreads from household to household and grows into a kingdom war. Probably quoting Isaiah 19:2, Christ warned kingdoms would rise against each other in Matthew 24:7. Unlike nation coming against nation, which alludes to world wars, “kingdom against kingdom” refers to regional conflicts. Christ taught these prophecies would come upon the world like birth pains. Like a woman about to deliver her newborn, these events are foretold to come with increased frequency and intensity each building upon the other.
Rumors of regional kingdom wars presently abound in the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia reportedly conducted joint military exercises in 2010 preparing for a possible confrontation with Iran. Iran represents the Persian kingdom and Egypt and Saudi Arabia the Arab kingdom. Additionally, the apocalyptically minded president Ahmadinejad of Iran has threatened on several occasions to wipe Israel, representing the Jewish kingdom, off of the map.
Psalm 83 predicts the Arab kingdom will someday rise against the Jewish kingdom to banish the name of Israel forever. Both Egypt and Saudi Arabia along with eight other Arab populations join the Arab kingdom in this pending prophetic war.
Isaiah’s prognosis for Egypt worsens as you read the rest of his chapter nineteen. Isaiah 19:5-12 tells us unprecedented religious and economic strife plagues the nation according to the purposes of the Lord. Apparently, this disastrous condition befalls Egypt because of its future involvement in Psalm 83 since we read in Isaiah 19:16-18 that Israel will take over five cities in Egypt and cause Hebrew to be the spoken language inside their city limits. One of these cities will be called “the City of Destruction,” implying the I.D.F. destroys this city.
In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which He waves over it. And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts which He has determined against it. In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction. (Isaiah 19:16-18, nkjv)
Will the civil strife developing in Egypt cause the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, who supposedly has cancer and turns 83 on May 4, 2011? Many expected his son Gamal Mubarak to be his replacement; however, Gamal and his family have reportedly fled to the U.K. for safety. If the Mubarak government is overthrown will the Muslim Brotherhood fill his office with one of its own fulfilling Isaiah 19:4? The Muslim Brotherhood, presently banned in Egypt, hates Israel and supports Jihad against the Jewish State. Hamas, also participating against Israel in Psalm 83, is their political arm inside of the Gaza. Hamas, like the Muslim Brotherhood, calls for the destruction of Israel.
Will the present protests inside Egypt metastasize into the fulfillment of Isaiah 19? If so will the coming cruel leader be the one who leads Egypt into the Psalm 83:6-8 confederacy? All of this is unknown but entirely possible. One thing is for certain; the Middle East appears to be on the verge of going apocalyptic.
January 2011 has seen the governments of Lebanon, Tunisia, and Egypt become severely challenged. The government of Jordan is expected to be next. Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan are involved in Psalm 83 and Tunisia appears to take part in the Ezekiel 38 & 39 prophecy. It appears high time Christians familiarize themselves with the prophecies of Isaiah 19, Isaiah 17, Jeremiah 49, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38 & 39. These are a few of the world changing prophecies stage setting on the prophetic horizon.
Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Ammar Sherie is a renowned musician. Naguib Sawiris made billions in the telecom business. Veteran diplomat Amre Moussa is the Arab League’s secretary-general.
These three and 16 other Egyptians have put their heads and hearts together to form the “Committee of the Wise,” a group of independent elite that wants to be at the table during crucial government transition talks.
The committee late Friday called on protests to continue at Tahrir Square every Tuesday and Friday until President Hosni Mubarak “resigns and makes true the demands of the people.”
Mubarak, who has led the African nation for three decades, said he has no intention of stepping down until September, when his term ends.
But 11 days of bloody protests and high tension have offered no assurance of that outcome.
Opposition groups are lining up to be part of the talks; the Committee of the Wise reached out to the regime Friday.
Some opposition political parties that had previously refused to meet with government officials told CNN they have agreed to meet with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Saturday.
A manifesto published Thursday in the Shorouk newspaper called for Mubarak to remain as a symbolic leader and to delegate to Suleiman responsibility for the transition period.
It also called on Suleiman to dissolve parliament, work with a committee on constitutional changes and allow the formation of a new government “comprised of independent and popular individuals and highly experienced executives/bureaucrats.”
The manifesto asked for an investigation on “atrocities” committed against anti-regime protesters and to protect them from further harm by counterdemonstrators who many believe the government allowed or paid to enter the square.
The committee includes a number of publishers, journalists and attorneys. Yahya Gamal is an international law professor. Amr Hamzawy, a political scientist and senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, has appeared on CNN to discuss politics and policy in Egypt.
George Isaac, a leader of the Kefayah opposition group, released a statement Friday on behalf of the Committee of the Wise.
It called on citizens to return to work.
“Neighborhood watch groups should continue its job to protect people against thugs and [it is] asking the Interior Ministry to punish the criminals behind those events according to the law,” the statement said.
The group also called on the government to provide security during the “inclusive revolution” and release those detained during peaceful demonstrations.