Hezekiah and the 130-proverb collection: does it really add up?

by Fosztó Árpád

Good Question

You claim that the collection of proverbs “compiled by the men of Hezekiah” has 130 sayings in it because this is the value of Hezekiah’s name in Hebrew.  But his name is actually spelled different ways in the Bible, so the value could be 136, 140, or 146 instead.  Besides, there are 138 verses in this section of Proverbs, or 137 if you don’t count the heading; neither of those match any possible value for Hezekiah’s name.

Hebrew, like several other languages, uses letters for numbers, so every word has a total numerical value that can be employed for symbolic purposes.  The argument I’ve made in the introduction to Proverbs in The Books of the Bible and in the study guide to Proverbs/Ecclesiastes/James is that the compilers of this collection put exactly 130 sayings in it as a way of honoring their royal patron.

It is true that the name…

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