Everything is number

According to isopsephy (basically Greek gematria, a favorite practice of the Pythagorean Orphics) Dionysos’ allonym Βάκχος has the numerical value of 893 (which is the solution to my Riddle, in case you missed the acrostic.)

893 is a number with some interesting properties, especially when applied to the text of the Bible. For instance “wilderness” (Num 14:2; Exo 7:16), “transgressor” (Pro 21:18), αναγγέλω (“to call; announce” = Joh 16:25) as well as μεθυσκεσθε (“to make drunk” = Eph 5:18) all add up to 893. Also, I chose the verses carefully as these words crop up in a number of places. 

And the sum of the following verses (taken from here since I don’t do math) is also 893:

  • Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. (Gen 7:3)
  • And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. (Rut 3:8)
  • And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning. (Job 11:17)
  • And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. (Mar 14:22)
  • How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words) (Eph 3:3)

All very interesting and Dionysian, but I’m curious how 893 turns up in inspired texts such as Homer’s Iliás or Odússeia, the fragments of Empedokles and Herakleitos, the Orphika, and Nonnos’ Dionysiaká say. I chose “inspired” rather than “sacred” since only Empedokles and the Orphika would technically count, despite the depth and meaning to be found in the rest since it’s important to recognize the distinctions in this type of literature and evaluate them properly.

Of course, now that I’ve brought it to your attention you’re going to start seeing 893 (or 8/93) everywhere, in meaningful and meaningless ways. You’re welcome. Io evohe! Io io Bakchos! 

2 thoughts on “Everything is number

  1. As anyone who work with numbers will tell you, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Also “numbers do not rule the world, but they tell how the world is ruled.”

    I find numbers like the letters of alphabets to have a magical element to them. There is something about the imaginary domain of the square root of negative two that requires pondering at length.

    Of course, they are nifty for playing the lottery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It’s never something I’ve gotten too deep into because I am mathematically-challenged but I find the whole subject elegant and fascinating. You can find patterns relating to pretty much any number. I don’t know if it’s because the Pythagoreans and Hermetics were right and everything’s number or if it’s part of the order-imposing function of our brains, but it’s pretty fucking cool regardless.


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