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5781 Prophetic Meaning: Understanding the Gematria

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Wondering what the new Hebrew year holds? It’s become more of a trend over the past few years for various prophetic interpretations to be given about the Jewish New Year. A quick Google search and you’ll find multiple folks giving you their spin on 5781 prophetic meaning. But have you wondered how people are deciphering these prophetic symbols and coming up with their meanings? As with any prophetic word, it is important that we test the words against scripture and what we know of God’s nature. 

Before reading on, take a minute and ask God what he is saying about 5781. Write down what you hear. Anytime we want to seek God’s perspective on an issue, upcoming event, year, season, etc. It’s good to sit and just listen first before we start looking into symbolism and other signs that may sway our perspective or confirm our personal biases.

What is Gematria?

Most of the words being given about the 5781 prophetic meaning (and any other year) rely on a form of numerology using gematria. The Hebrew language does not have separate characters for numbers, so the letters themselves have assigned numeric values. Del gets into these number values in the third book in the Healing in the Hebrew Months series, looking at how these numbers correlate to musical frequencies. Gematria itself is not inherently good or bad, it’s just a way of communicating numeric values in the Hebrew language. Numerology using gematria (or any other numerology) can be good or bad, depending on how it’s being used.

Very simple forms of numerology are common in Christianity. Three representing the trinity, seven representing God’s completion or perfection in the days of creation, and ten representing law and authority as with the Ten Commandments. Recognizing symbolism in numbers throughout scripture is a great way to go deeper in your Bible study and have a new language for Holy Spirit to communicate through.

Numerology uses the gematria number value of the letters to spell out words, or uses the meanings of the letters themselves to derive significance. Besides having a numeric value, each of the Hebrew letters has pictographic meaning. Aleph in its most ancient form depicts an ox’s head and represents strength, leadership, and power. Lamed depicts a shepherd’s staff and represents guidance, teaching, control, and direction. 

5781 Gematria and New Year Prophecies

With 5781 the gematria can be spelled out two ways:

This method uses the gematria for 5,000, 700, 80, 1

 היופא

In Hebrew this is actually the word for hippo. Hippos can symbolize strength, courage, calm during a crisis, and the ability to navigate your own emotions with clarity. They are herbivores that graze at night and are known for their strong maternal instincts. So you could take some meaning from that, with the chaos that 2020 has been so far, the transition into 5781 will bring calm despite the crisis and clarity in your emotions. 

If you put a space,  ה יופא means “the beauty”. Perhaps the next year will be a beautiful change from the year we’ve had with 5780/2020?

The letters themselves also have meaning:

ה Heh – Look, reveal, breath, window, eternity

 י Yod – Work, throw, hand

ו Vav – Add, secure, hook, peg, nail

פ Pey – Blow, scatter, edge, mouth

 א Aleph – Strong, power, leader, ox

So from those letters’ meanings you could come up with all sorts of “prophetic” meaning – 5781 will be a year to look at our work and nail down the voice of our leaders. Or it will be a window to throw security to the edge and embrace power.

This method uses the gematria for 5, 7, 8, 1

הזחא

Using this method it doesn’t spell out a word, but there are still the meanings of the individual letters:

ה Heh – Look, reveal, breath, window, eternity

ז Zayin – Foot, cut, nourish, weapon, sword, completeness, perfection

ח Chet – Outside, divide, half, enclosure, fence, new beginning, new creation

א Aleph – Strong, power, leader, ox

From these letters you could say 5781 will be a year to look for nourishment outside a leader, a window for new nourishment and leadership, or revealing completeness, a powerful division between old and new creation.  

Another way to interpret numerology is to add the numbers until you have a single number.

5+7+8+1 = 21

2+1 = 3

So the meanings associated with the number 3 would apply to the year 5781.

You could also then take that 3 and look at it through gematria. Gimel ג represents the number three and symbolizes important ideas, divine purpose, a camel, self-will, or pride.

Don’t Forget Discernment

All of these meanings and more could be taken from 5781 and their gematria. The problem is that your own biases and perspectives can shape your interpretation strongly. And none of those meanings are actually prophetic, unless you’re exploring all of this with Holy Spirit as your guide and leaning into whatever he wants to communicate through it.

Interpreting symbolism doesn’t make something prophetic, hearing God’s voice is what makes it prophetic. Without God’s voice you’re simply practicing divination – operating out of your own earthly wisdom. But hear me clearly. I’m not saying that it is wrong to engage gematria as a layer of language for Holy Spirit to speak to us through. Scripture is full of symbolism and examples of God using symbols to speak to his people.

With the Hebrew calendar God set in motion layers upon layers of seasonal symbols and rhythms. What is wrong, is for us to take all those symbols, rhythms, language and prophesy from them without God actually speaking through them. It’s one thing to interpret symbols about the past, to examine data and structures and understand their meaning. That is what Del has done with the gematria values and musical frequency – she is exploring data that is already there. It’s an entirely different approach to take these symbolic meanings and then try to declare what they mean about the future. 

Prophetic Meaning of 5781

So, what does 5781 mean? It is fine to explore gematria and symbolic meanings in regards to the coming year, but it should all start from a place of listening to what God is saying. All that data above – is he saying anything about it or is it just data? His voice is what makes something prophetic, not the use of Hebrew symbolism and complicated interpretation (that would be gnosticism not prophecy). 

Now go back to what you wrote down earlier – what God was telling you about 5781? Does any of that 5781 gematria make sense with what you heard from him? He may give you confirmations through gematria or other symbols, he may not. But the goal in any prophetic word should be to connect with the heart of God, not to have some exciting thing to say and impress others with.

We’ll be sharing some more articles on what we’ve been hearing from God as we ask him about this new year and you may see other such posts from others. Please take time though to test any word you hear. Maybe it isn’t a word for you, maybe it’s mixed with the writer’s own perspectives, maybe part of it is good but part of it’s a bit off. No matter who the word comes from – test it. Does it agree with scripture and what we know of the nature of God? Pray about it. What is Holy Spirit saying to you about it? Does it resonate with your spirit or feel off? Do others using discernment to test the word agree with it as well?

One thing is for certain as we enter this new Hebrew year – the rhythms God set in place in his calendar are still in motion.

Leah Lesesne, MA

Author

If you’ve enjoyed this post from Leah, check out her book in the Healing in the Hebrew Months series: A Biblical Understanding of Each Season’s Emotional Healing.

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