Hebrew uses an ancient numbering system, in which each letter has a value and a number is indicated by a group of letters by adding their values. Nowadays this numbering system is used in Hebrew dates and in numbering items.
The numbers 15 and 16 use Tet instead of Yod for religious reasons.
Thousands are indicated separately. In dates, the thousands in the year number are normally omitted.
These letters are marked with Geresh if a single letter is used, Gershayim if more than one. These marks mean "not a word", and are used also for acronyms and abbreviations.
The same system is used to discover hidden meanings in the Bible and other books.
The table on the left shows the numerical values of each letter. The table on the right shows some examples.
Back to the Hebrew page
© 1999, 2000 Jonathan Rosenne. All rights reserved. Last modified August 5, 2000.
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