Watermark of God in the Psalms of Ascent

There is a watermark of God in Scripture. It is God's seal ... proof that the Bible writings are supernatural. We examine design features in the 15 Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). The numeric patterns do not over-ride the meaning of the plain text of the Bible. They do not reveal hidden meanings, but they also could not have occurred by chance.

Session 7 in the series "Bringing sons to glory"

Links to pdfs of English/Hebrew text including numeric values:

Psalm 120 Psalm 121 Psalm 122 Psalm 123 Psalm 124 Psalm 125 Psalm 126 Psalm 127 Psalm 128 Psalm 129 Psalm 130 Psalm 131 Psalm 132 Psalm 133 Psalm 134
Mount of Olives Isaiah 40:9 Romans 11:26-27 Isaiah 2:2 Genesis 7:19 Isaiah 52:7 Genesis 22:2 Deuteronomy 6:4 Examples of 26 Acts 17:28

After viewing, your next session is: Session 8 – Psalm 123: Look up, not down »

Watermark of God in the Psalms of Ascent (Session 7)

Sons of God

There are fifteen Psalms of Ascent. They were written by at least two authors ... probably more.

One psalm is attributed to King Solomon ... that's the middle Psalm. There are seven psalms before the middle Psalm, and seven after.

Four of the psalms are attributed to King David. Two are in the first group of seven and the other two in the last group of seven.

The main theme in the Psalms of Ascent is around this word, spelled YUD HEH VAV HEH in Hebrew. When reading, and we come to this word, we substitute. We say, "Adonai". Adonai means LORD in Hebrew. Jesus is the LORD.

There are 53 references to the LORD in the Psalms of Ascent. Three of the references are in the middle Psalm. There are 25 references to the LORD in the first seven psalms, and 25 references in the last seven.

Of the 25 in each group, there is one reference to the LORD which is abbreviated (YUD HEH on screen), and in each group there are two references where YUD HEH VAV HEH has a prefix ... (B'Adonai ... V'Adonai ... L'Adonai ... on screen only). This means there are 22 references to the LORD (that are simply spelled YUD HEH VAV HEH) in the first seven of the Psalms of Ascent, and 22 plain references to the LORD in the last seven.

The three references to the LORD in the middle psalm are all spelled simply YUD HEH VAV HEH.

The important but untranslatable Hebrew word "ET" ... spelled ALEF TAV ... occurs twelve times in the Psalms of Ascent. The word occurs twice in the middle psalm, and five times in the first group of seven, and five times in the last group of seven.

It's remarkable symmetry, considering that the Psalms of Ascent had more than one author. But, of course, "Scripture didn't come about through acts of human will. Men were moved by the Holy Spirit." (see 2 Peter 1:20-21)

The original text is in Hebrew. In all the words in all the Psalms of Ascent, there are exactly 3,192 Hebrew letters. There is a middle word that is spelled with four Hebrew letters, which means that in all the words before the middle word, there are 1,594 letters and in all the words after the middle word, there are 1,594 letters.

The middle word is "BANIM". BANIM is Hebrew for "sons".

The Psalms of Ascent are about what the LORD is doing. And this is the heart of what He is doing. Jesus is bringing sons to glory ... (see Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10).

That's our destiny, in eternity ... "sons". In heaven, there won't be marriage. (Matthew 22:30) Male or female in this life, we shall all be "sons" in eternity.

God deals with us as sons. He loves us and He disciplines those He loves. (see Hebrews 12:5-8)

Moses had said to Israel: "You are the sons of the LORD your God ... the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession ..." (Deut 14:1-2)

But most Israelites didn't trust the LORD. Finally, through the prophet Hosea, the LORD said: "You are not My people ..." But, He said it will come about that, "the sons of Israel will increase in number" (see Hos 1:9-10), and one day, in the place (in the land of Israel) where it was said to them "You are not My people", it will be said "You are the sons of the living God".

It's a promise.

When Jesus preached His first sermon, He said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matthew 5:9) Peacemakers reconcile separated parties. Israel needs to be reconciled with the LORD. Israel has gone astray ... just like the prodigal son of Luke 15.

Jesus is looking for peacemakers to bring Israel back to Him ... to bring them into the peace of the LORD.

Everyone who believes in Jesus (Jew or Gentile) becomes a son and an heir of God (see Galations 4:6-7).


If you go to our website where this video session is embedded, you can download PDF's with an English translation and the Hebrew text of each of the Psalms of Ascent. Included is the numeric value of each word in the Hebrew text.

In Hebrew ... (and in Greek) ... every letter of the alphabet has a numeric value. We can work out the value of each word in the original text.

This is not numerology. This is not mysticism. This is not something that over-rides the plain text of the Bible. It is simply there.

We don't examine the numeric value of words and phrases to look for hidden meanings. But, if we find numeric patterns, in significant phrases, then we have to believe that these are not there by chance. They have been created deliberately. They are a watermark.

A watermark is not something you see immediately. Banknotes usually have watermarks. They are there to help detect forgeries. If someone pays with a banknote, what it is and the value it represents are obvious. But, if you suspect that the banknote wasn't issued by the proper authority, then you can hold the note up to the light and look for the watermark. The watermark is much harder for a forger to re-create.

And so it is with the original text of the Bible. God has placed His watermark in the text.

In the first video in this series, we saw that the word that is used for God in Genesis chapter 1, is the Hebrew word "ELOHIM". We saw that this word is plural in form but singular in meaning.

The same Hebrew word (ELOHIM) can mean "gods" ... with a small G ... plural, and many times in the Old Testament it is used in that way.

Jesus, speaking to Jews, said "You are gods". The Hebrew word is ELOHIM.

In the first video in this series. we examined the context, and what this means for us, who believe in Jesus. We saw how this relates to the prayer that Jesus prayed before His death on the cross. Jesus prayed for His Jewish disciples, that they would be purified through the Word. (see John 17:17)

Then He prayed: "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:20-21)

It is not an accident that the first word that is used in the Bible for God is the Hebrew word ELOHIM, and that we who believe in Jesus also have a destiny, in eternity, as elohim (gods ... small G ... plural).

The numeric value of ELOHIM is 86. In the first video in this series, we saw how the number 86 shows up in significant words and phrases in the Hebrew text, and in the Greek text of the New Testament. The numeric patterns, although not immediately obvious, could not have occurred by chance alone. God's hand of design is in the Scriptures.


We are working our way through the Psalms of ascent.

The next session covers Psalm 123. Here is the first watermark of interest. The numeric value of all the letters, all the words, in the Hebrew text of Psalm 123 adds up to 8,944. 8,944 is 86 x 2 x 26 x 2.

86 is the numeric value of ELOHIM. And what about this number ... 26? 26 is the numeric value of YUD HEH VAV HEH ... the word we say as "Adonai" (the LORD). Jesus is the LORD.

If just one letter was changed in the Hebrew text of Psalm 123, we wouldn't have this result. 86 x 2 x 26 x 2 !

Jesus is the Son of God. There are two Hebrew words for "son". One word is "BEN", spelled BET NUN. And the other is "BAR", spelled BET RESH.

Both of these words for "son" are on view in Psalm 2. In verse 7 we read "... the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son' …" "Son" in this verse is BEN.

In verse 12 of Psalm 2, we read, "Do homage to the Son, lest He be angry with you." "Son" in this verse is BAR.

The numeric value of BEN is 52. 52 is 2 x 26. The numeric value of BAR is 202. 202 is 2 x 101. And 101 is the 26th prime number.

And, by the way, there are exactly 101 verses in all 15 Psalms of ascent. 101 ... the 26th prime number.

26 can be expressed as 2 x 13. Many people are superstitious about the number 13. They shouldn't be.

There are Scriptures and types in the Bible that show sin and rebellion, and the enemy of our souls, marked with the number thirteen.

For example, "apitheo" - to disobey - has a numeric value of 910, which is divisible by 13. "E apostasia" - the apostasy - is 871. 871 is divisible by 13.

The dragon mentioned in Revelation chapter 12 ... drakon ... is 975. 975 is divisible by 13.

And the expression "... who is called the devil and Satan ..." - o kalomenos diabolos kai o satanas - has a total numeric value of 2197, which is 13 x 13 x 13.

If that's all you focused on, you might have reason to be superstitious about the number 13. But, that's not all there is in Scripture.

We have a Saviour, Jesus, who has overcome the devil. Jesus overcame by offering Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus is our sin-bearer. He became sin for us.

The notice on the cross proclaimed Him "Iesous o Nazoraeus" - "Jesus the Nazarene". And the numeric value of those three words over His head on the cross is 888 plus 70 plus 1239. A total of 2197, which is 13 x 13 x 13.

God provided the lamb of the sin offering. God the Father gave His Son for us. "God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us ..." (2 Corinthians 5:21). And Jesus willingly paid the price and bore our sin.

Jesus is the LORD. The four letter word that represents the name of the LORD is spelled YUD HEH VAV HEH. And the numeric value is 26. And 26 is 13 x 2.

And, by the way, HA GOEL (HEH GIMEL ALEF LAMED) - the Redeemer - has a numeric value of 39, which is divisible by 13 ... and servant of the LORD – "ovadiah" - has a numeric value of 91, which is divisible by 13.

In the life of faith, there is no place for superstition. In terms of the underlying numerics of the Bible, the number 13 represents both sin and atonement.

The LORD and His people

Based on a letter count in Hebrew, the middle word in the Psalms of Ascent is "BANIM" ... sons. It is to be found in verse 3 of Psalm 127. The verse reads: "Behold, a heritage of the LORD is sons. A reward is fruit of the womb." (Read in Hebrew)

The word to the right of the middle word is the word for the LORD ... "Adonai" ... numeric value 26. The word to the left of the middle word is 'SACHAR' ... "reward" ... numeric value 520, which is 26 x 2 x 10.

It's not meant to be read as a stand-alone phrase but, if it was, it would read "Sons of the LORD are a reward". (Read in Hebrew)

It's interesting that that phrase in Hebrew starts with the LORD, and on view is the end result ... "reward", which is 26 x 10 x 5.

The opening phrase of verse 3 of Psalm 127 is "Behold a heritage of the LORD is sons." (Read in Hebrew). The numeric value of this phrase is 672, which is 26 x 26.

It cannot be that these numeric patterns occur by chance.

In the Psalm that we have previously analysed ... Psalm 122 ... verse 2 reads: "Our feet have taken a stand within your gates Jerusalem." (Read in Hebrew)

It indicates a commitment of the LORD's people to His purposes for the salvation of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The verse in Hebrew has 26 Hebrew letters, and the numeric value of the verse works out at 26 x 26 x 3.

Psalm 122, is all about us joining together in this journey to the spiritual Jerusalem. Psalm 120 had an emphasis on "I" ... "I turn to the LORD"; "I confess my shame"; "I receive His peace"

Psalm 121 was about "you" ... the LORD watches over "you".

But Psalm 122 is all about "us" ... many of us ... a company of pilgrims. And it's interesting to me that there are 260 Hebrew letters in the full text of Psalm 122.

In Psalm 121, we saw in the first verse, that our destination is the mountains of Jerusalem. The Hebrew for "the mountains" is "HEH HARIM", and the numeric value of "HEH HARIM" is 260 ... 26 x 10.

The first reference to the mountains of Jerusalem occurs in Genesis chapter 22 verse 2 … where the LORD spoke to Abraham and said, "Take your son, your only son, that you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer there as an offering on one of the mountains of which I will say to you."

"The land of Moriah" in Hebrew is "ERETZ HA MORIAH". "Ha MORIAH" has a numeric value of 260, which is 26 x 10.

Further on, is the word for "the mountains" ... HEH HARIM.

Also interesting is that the word for "your only son" ... which is obviously a type, pointing to Jesus ... is the Hebrew word YACHIDCHA, which has a numeric value of 52, which is 26 x 2.

And the name of that son to Abraham is Isaac ... "YITZHAK" we'd say in Hebrew. And the word has a numeric value of 208, which is 26 x 8.

If you go to our website where this video session is embedded, you can download pdf's with this and other key passages that relate to the salvation of Israel, and the need to reach them with the gospel. The passages are marked with the number 26.

We also cannot help noticing that the mountains of Jerusalem are marked with this number 26. "Zion" ... TZION, we'd say in Hebrew … has a numeric value of 156, which is divisible by 26.

In the New Testament we find two references to the Mount of Olives ... at Matthew 24:3 and Luke 19:37. In Greek ... OROS TON ELEIYON ... "Mount of Olives" ... which has a numeric value of 2,886, which is 26 x 37 x 3.

We must be careful not to be interpretive of the symbols in the Bible, when the Bible itself does not give us an explanation. However, the numeric patterns of: the mountains ... HEH HARIM (260 = 26 x 10); Moriah ... HA MORIAH (260 = 26 x 10); Zion ... TZION (156 = 26 x 6); and Mount of Olives ... OROS TON ELEIYON (2886 = 26 x 37 x 3); lead me to believe that the Holy Spirit is pointing to groups of believers in Jesus.

I have an image of Mount Sinai representing Israel (in unbelief) ... a people receiving the Law.

I have an image of Mount Hermon, representing a believing remnant of Israel, receiving the revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, and releasing, through that revelation, a river of life to those who would believe.

And I have an image of the mountains of the LORD in Jerusalem representing mature believers in Jesus.

One day, we shall have complete victory, and all the world will see it. The mountain of the LORD's temple will be raised above the other mountains, and all the nations will stream to it.

But, in the meantime, there is a race to be run ... a battle to be fought. Victory is assured for those who keep their eyes on Jesus.

Go now to the next session: Psalm 123: His persecuted ones.