The Book of Life
Exodus 32:32, 33
Register of Citizens' Names:
"It was customary to have registers of citizenship, in which were entered the names of citizens, both natural and adopted. Heaven is represented as a city, and its inhabitants are registered. Some, who have not yet reached the heavenly city, are regarded as citizens on their way home. Their names are registered with the others. Such were the 'fellow-laborers' to whom Paul refers in the text. See also Isa 4:3; Dan 12:1; Luke 10:20; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27. When one was deprived of citizenship his name was erased from the roll of citizens. Reference may be found to this in Exo 32:32; Psa 69:28; and Rev 3:5."
(Manners & Customs of the Bible, James M. Freeman)
On Rosh HaShanah three books opened - that of life, for those whose works had been good; another of death, for those who had been thoroughly evil; and a third, intermediate, for those whose case was to be decided on the Day of Atonement (ten days after Rosh HaShanah on Yom Kippur), the delay being granted for repentance, or otherwise, after which their names would be finally entered, either in the book of life, or in that of death.
(Hebraic Heritage Ministries, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2175/)
"The following is one of the prayers in the liturgy on Rosh HaShanah: We will celebrate the solemn holiness of this day, how awesome and fearsome it is. On this day your rulership is lifted up, your throne is established in mercy, and you sit upon it in truth. Truly you alone are judge, arbiter, discerner, witness, recorder, sealer, inscriber and reckoner; and you remember all forgotten deeds. You open the book of records and it reads itself, and everyone's signature is there.
"The great shofar is sounded, the still small voice is heard, and the angels tremble with fear as they proclaim: 'Behold! The Day of Judgment!' Even the armies of heaven are to be brought to judgment, for in your sight even they are not innocent. You cause all who come into the world to pass before you like a flock of sheep. Like a shepherd seeking out his flock and causing them to pass under his staff, you cause every living soul to pass before you; you count, reckon and review every creature, determining its lifetime and inscribing its destiny.
"On Rosh HaShanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: how many will pass away and how many will be born, who will live and who will die; who will die prematurely and who will live out his days; who will perish by fire and who by water; who by sword and who by wild animals; who by hunger and who by thirst; who by earthquake and who by plague; who by strangling and who by stoning; who will have rest and who will wander about; who will be at peace and who will be tormented; who will be at ease and who will be bothered; who will become poor and who will become rich; who will be brought low and who will be raised up."
One of the blessings during the High Holy Days is: "May we and all your people, the house of Israel, be remembered and inscribed in the book of life, blessing, peace and prosperity, so that we will have a life of goodness and peace. Blessed are you, Adonai, the maker of peace."
On Rosh HaShanah, Jews greet each other by saying "May you be inscribed in the book of life for a good year." On Yom Kippur, "May you have a good sealing of your destiny in the book of life."
"The tradition is that on Rosh HaShanah God opens the
(Jewish New Testament Commentary, David Stern)
I would like to speak briefly to the books which are unsealed.
Daniel 7:9-10 describes the opening of books before the judgment seat. Rev. 20 says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works."
I love to think of these books. And what they may include.
"Here are some books we can find in the scriptures, which may be the included in the books unsealed.
1. The book of nature. Ps. 139:16 says, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy books all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them". Ps. 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." And, of course, you read about the invisible things of nature testifying against those who did great evil against God in Rom. 1. These invisible things "from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made."
2. The book of providence, wherein all the details are registered, even seemingly the most trivial. Matt. 10:30 says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Dan. 3:27 says that all the officious ones gathered to observe witnessed that the power of the fiery furnace had not singed even a hair on the heads of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo. And 1 Sam. 14:45 says God has numbered our hairs in this book to show us the special concern and care he takes of the least of our concerns. On the day of judgment, the opening of this book will confute and condemn those who spent their lives denying divine providence.
3. The book of men's afflictions. Ps. 56:8: "Thou tellest my wanderings (or flittings); put thou my tears into thy bottle. Are they not in thy book?" And Job says, "Also, now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." Thomas Brooks says, "That in the great day of account, the Lord will reckon with you for every rod he hath spent upon you; he will reckon with you, not only for all your mercies, but also for all your crosses; not only for all your sweets, but also for all your bitters; not only for all your cordials, but also for all your corrosives."
4. The book of conscience. Rom. 2:14-16: "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
5. The book of scriptures. Jn. 12:48: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
6. The book of life. This book contains a register of such particular persons in whose salvation God from all eternity determined to have his mercy glorified, and for whom Christ merited faith, repentance, and perseverance, that they should repent, believe, and be finally saved.
7. The book of the wars of the Lord. Numbers 21:14: "Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon."
8. The book of remembrance. Mal. 3:16-18: "Then they that fear the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that fear the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."
9. The book of words. Matt. 12:37: "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
10. The book of hard speeches. Jude 15: "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
(End-Times mailing list, MJ)
...God looked upon the suffering of Israel, and smote the first-born of the Egyptians, and it is one of the four nights that God has inscribed in the Book of Memorial. The first of the four is that in which God appeared to create the world; all was waste and void, and darkness brooded over the abyss, until the Lord came and spread light round about by His word. The second night is that in which God appeared unto Abraham at the covenant of the pieces. In the third night He appeared in Egypt, slaying the first-born of the Egyptians with His right hand, and protecting the first-born of the Israelites with His left. The fourth night recorded will be that in which the end of the redemption will be accomplished, when the iron yoke of the wicked kingdom will be broken, and the evil-doers will be destroyed. Then will Moses come from the desert, and the Messiah from Rome, each at the head of his flock, and the word of God will mediate between them, causing both to walk with one accord in the same direction.
(Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg, Book 2)
[This is part of a May 8, 1999 BPR mailing list post.]
The PAX channel broadcast a program in May, 1999 entitled "Bible Code: The Future & Beyond" in which the following was reported:
Everyone's future is in the codes. They took a volunteer named Paul Bershon and found over 4000 Bershons in the Bible, his first name, grad school, undergraduate school, projects he has worked on, daughter's name, ex-wife's name, mother and father's name, grandfather's name, etc.
"When Rabbi Solomon suggested that everything that ever was or ever will be can be found in the Torah he wasn't speaking in generalities. He insisted it was there in minute detail implying that your name and mine, as well as our life history and possibly even our life destiny, was to be found there. Could such a thing be possible? In Psalm 139 we read: 'All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.' Could it be the book referred to is the very Bible we hold in our hands? Dr. [Eliyahu] Rips believes we are currently dealing with only the two dimensional aspect of the code and that even that is much more than we could ever decipher. But he also believes the code is more like a hologram with at least three and perhaps four dimensions in which all the world's academic, spiritual, and scientific knowledge might be stored."
I have just skimmed the info that deals with that last thought. There is some info that seems to point to the fact that nothing is permanently fixed in the codes and, therefore, there is some human factor involved in exactly how things play out.
For more on this program and the first Bible Codes program shown on PAX net see: http://www.biblecodesecrets.com
Note from Bill Koenig (edited):
Below are the remarkable results of my family search using the "Unlocking the Bible Code" software. To see these results in a matrix is truly remarkable.
To put this into perspective, this text, the original masoretic Hebrew text was written more than 2500 years ago. So in other words, the Lord knew my family history and what would happen before any members of my family were born.
However, we must remember, this information is easier to quantify when we have specific names of our families or words from previous events. The Colorado school shooting, the Kennedy Assassination, the Rabin Assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, etc., we have the "search words" that are relevant to these particular incidents. They are definitive and not subjective, so these searches are much more reliable and accurate. You know what your are looking for - its hindsight!
For example, former Prime Minister Yitzak Rabins name was crossed by the word "assassin that will assassinate." It was believed, according to the interpretation of the Bible Codes, that he would be assassinated. But one would not know the assassin's name until after the fact, so outside of being warned, nothing could be done to stop the event from happening.
After the fact, in hindsight, we could put in the name Amir (the assassin's last name), and the site of the assassination and the date of the assassination. These words would show up in the same matrix.
Moreover, the codes have not been known for revealing the "specifics" of the future, but they have revealed the hand of the Almighty God in the writing of the code. He knew from eternity past what was going to happen in our day. And wrote that into the code, so we could see it, after the fact, 2500 years ago when the masoretes wrote our Hebrew text.
In closing, the thought of the code's existence continues to bother some people, but the results can not be refuted despite the various attempts to discredit them. Sure there have been abuses, but the results remain compelling and awe inspiring.
(Koenig's International News email list, June 20, 1999)