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Hebrew Numbers and Letters

 Hebrew Letters Gold

Numbers in Hebrew

Each Hebrew letter has a number associated with it.  Traditionally, Hebrew numbers were written using the letters, so if you look at a biblical passage in Hebrew, such as Psalms chapter 1 verse 3, it would be marked chapter א, verse ג.  Most modern texts now use Arabic numerals (0,1,2,3,4, etc), however calendars and religious texts may still use the letters.

Number Meanings

The number associated with each letter is considered intrinsic to the meaning of that letter, so, for example, א indicates the Creator, as God is the One source of everything.  See below each letter, number, and basic meaning.

Kabbalists say that each letter actually contains deep spiritual meaning, which you can learn more about here.  And if you want to dive deeper, explore Walking Kabbalah here.  Or click on each letter to learn more about its meaning.

Hebrew Letter Numbers and Meanings

The Creator (The One)
House, ContainerCamelDoor, ResistanceThe BreathHook, ConnectorWeapon FenceBasket, Nest
Dot, Hand
Cupped PalmLearningWaters FishSupportEyeMouthFish-Hook
Back of the Head, Eye of NeedleHead, FaceTooth, FireMark, Completion


Because the Hebrew letters have numbers, each Hebrew word has a numerical value.  In the Talmudic tradition, this means that words with the same numerical value have a common root, or association, and also that various calculations can be performed to understand more deeply the meanings of words and phrases.  For example, in the Hebrew word for love אהבה and one, אחד both come to 13, which could be interpreted that love is a state of being one with everything, or that the Creator, who is one, is the source of all love in the world, and that the only true state of love is being close to God.

Wikipedia on Gematria


Historically, ת at 400 was the last number in the series, however later the final letters were assigned values of 500-900 to complete the series.  Because of this, you will generally see counting such as תש =700 instead of with ן.

Geresh for Thousands and Millions

So how do we get to thousands and millions?  A mark called a geresh ׳ is used along with the letters.  So for example:

1,000 א׳
1,000,000 א׳ א׳

Respecting the Holy Name and Avoiding Negative Words

Because the letters yod, hei, and vav are included in the holy name that refers to the Creator, yod-hei (15) and yod-vav (16) are substituted with teit-vav (9+6=15) or teit-zayin (9+7=16).  Orders of letters will also be changed if a letter sequence denotes something negative.

Learn More

The Invisible Stairway: Meditations on the Hebrew Letters 

The Hebrew Letters and Their Meanings