# Hebrew numerals

 If characters are not displayed correctly in the following, this is due to the font, see Representation of Hebrew numbers in Unicode and Help with representation problems .
Numerical values
Hebrew value
Aleph א 1
Beth ב 2
Gimel ג 3
Daleth ד 4th
Hey ה 5
Waw ו 6th
Zajin ז 7th
Chet ח 8th
Tet ט 9
iodine י 10
Cap כ 20th
Lamed ל 30th
Mem מ 40
Now נ 50
Samech ס 60
Ajin ע 70
Pe פ 80
Koph ק 100
Resch ר 200
Shin ש 300
Taw ת 400

The Hebrew numerals represent numerical values in a decimal addition system. The Hebrew alphabet serves as the basis . The letters are each assigned a numerical value of the units, tens and hundreds.

In the Hebrew Bible , numbers are always written out as numerals . In ancient Hebrew inscriptions from the 1st millennium BC Chr. Were hieratic numerals or tally marks used. An assignment of numerical values ​​to the Hebrew letters cannot be proven in pre-Christian times. In Greece, however, the use of the Greek numerals according to the Milesian principle has been attested since Hellenistic times , which is why research today assumes that all alphabetic numerical representations in Europe and the Middle East are adaptations of the Greek model.

In modern Hebrew, no Hebrew numerals are used, but Indian numerals . The representation of numbers with Hebrew letters can, however, still be found in ancient texts, in the numbering of grades in school and in the specification of dates in the Jewish calendar .

## presentation

The numbers are simply represented by lining up the letters with the corresponding numerical values, starting with the most significant letter in the writing direction from right to left. For example, 345 is represented as שמה.

For numbers from 500 the letter Tav (ת - for four hundred) is written accordingly often. There is no sign for the zero . If a decimal place has the value zero, no character is written, for example the number 600 is written as תר.

Final letters
Hebrew value
Kaph Sofit ך 500
Mem Sofit ם 600
Well Sofit ן 700
Pe Sofit ף 800

There is also an interpretation of the Hebrew final letters (a special letter variant that is used at the end of a word) for the "missing" numerical values ​​500 to 900 (for example ם for תר), but this is not widely used. The traditional spelling only uses the normal letters.

Numbers greater than 999 are written in separate groups, with the values ​​of the groups being multiplied by 1000, 1,000,000, and so on. The number 1,234,567 is thus written א רלד תקסז. However, there are problems with this representation when a group has the value zero. In this case, words such as "thousand" are added for clarity.

Numbers in Hebrew that are not alone in a text are marked with Geresch (׳) or Gereschajim (״) to avoid confusion with normal letters and words. A frame is attached to single-digit numbers . In the case of multi-digit numerical representations, Gerschajim is inserted in the penultimate position (for example ב׳ for 2 and רמ״ו for 246).

The final digits 15 and 16 are generally not represented as יה and יו for 10 + 5 and 10 + 6, but as טו and טז for 9 + 6 and 9 + 7 in order to avoid similarities with the name of God (יהוה, YHWH ). This rule is also observed in non- religious contexts. If a word resulting from the regular order has a negative meaning, the letters can also be written in a different order. The order can also be rearranged if this results in a word with a positive meaning.

## Gematria

Since the numbers represented in this way are always combinations of letters that can be understood as a word or part of a word, Hebrew number representations play an important role in gematria . In this technique, which is mainly used in Kabbalah , aspects of the word meaning are deduced from the numerical value and relationships between different words are established from the ratio of their respective numerical values.

## literature

• Georges Ifrah: Histoire universelle des ciffres. L'intelligence des hommes racontée par les nombres et le calcul. 2 volumes. Robert Laffont, Paris 1994, ISBN 2-221-90100-2 (German (translation of an older edition): George Ifrah: Universal history of numbers. Special edition, 2nd edition. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main et al. 1991, ISBN 3-593 -34192-1 ).

## swell

1. Cf. Georges Ifrah: Histoire universelle des chiffres. l'intelligence des hommes racontée par les nombres et le calcul. Volume 1: Table analytique. 1st edition, 10th réimpression. Robert Laffont, Paris 1994, ISBN 2-221-05779-1 , pp. 547-578: Chapter 18: Origine de la numération alphabétique.