A Gematria from Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk by Aryeh Krischer


In this week’s Parashah, when Rivkah inquires as to the discomfort in her womb she is informed, “Shenei Goyim BeVitneich,” “There are two nations in your womb” (BeReishit 25:23). These nations were actually Ya’akov and Eisav, each of whom would grow to become a powerful nation. The phrase “Shenei” has a deeper meaning revealed by taking the first letters of the words, as well as the last letter of the second two words. The first letters of the words spell “Shagav” which means mighty and strong and describes Eisav, the firstborn. The last letters of the second two words spell “Mach,” which means humble, and describes Ya’akov, the second child. Shagav and Mach also hold another layer of meaning. The Gematria of Shagav is 305 (Shin (300) + Gimmel (3) + Bet (2)), the same Gematria as “LeHaRah” which means to harm and do evil. Mach has the Gematria 60 (Mem (40) + Chaf (20)), the same Gematria as “Halachah” which are laws, rules, and tradition. Thus, when Rivkah is told “Shenei Goyim BeVitneich,” she is being told not just that she carries two nations, but two sons of whom the older one will be strong and pursue evil, while the younger will be humble and follow tradition. Eisav and Ya’akov fit these descriptions exactly.

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