What So Special About the Name "Timotheus"?


The Timotheus encryption refers to a nine-letter, equidistant letter sequence discovered in the thirtieth chapter of Genesis. The two central facets of the Timotheus encryption are its statistical significance – which indicates that the sequence’s existence is intentional – and it’s structural elegance – which suggests that the word “Timotheus” is more than just an alternate rendition of the name Timothy. This article will probe into the narrative context of the compact passage in which the name was embedded, as well as elaborate on the intelligibility of equidistance and repetition. Encrypted information should not only be in lockstep with the narratives they are fastened to, but also should contribute to their correlative understanding. Otherwise, without holding up under contextual scrutiny, such anomalous information possesses neither relevance nor validity.

There is no general academic agreement as to the precise date of composition and origin of the Hebrew Book of Genesis and the Torah in general. Opinions range from the 5th century BC to as far back as the life of Moses in the 13th century BC. Recent archeological discoveries favor the earlier dating as do observations of anomalous textual phenomenon in the oldest extant manuscripts. Biblical textual evidence from Ketef Hinnom ,an archeological site on the old road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, provides solid evidence that the Torah could not have been written after the Jews return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. Silver scrolls uncovered at this site in 1979 contain sections of the Book of Numbers in a paleo Hebrew script and date to the late 7th century BC. It is interesting to note, that despite its rigorous efforts, secular scholarship has been unable to provide any empirical or solid forensic evidence that the Biblical account of Moses receiving the Torah via some divine or supernatural source is false; an exercise which should be rather simple given the current state of forensic technology. This fact explains the continued intense public and academic interest in uncovering ancient Biblical texts as found among the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sites. The world still awaits some overwhelming evidence that will finally settle the question one way or another.

Timotheus is a Greek name, an enjambment of two root words: time and theos. The word time means: to honor, to prize, or to appraise at a value, or even penance (the reparation for crime). The word theos refers to god. Further still, the root for theos (PIE root dhe) is associated with religious activities such as festivals, objects such as scrolls, and principles such as sacrifice. Timo and theus conjoined, therefore, signify “one who honors God” or “one whom God honors.” Perhaps Timotheus also subtly implies a doubling of atonement, as there are traces of penance and sacrifice evident in both roots. An implication which, if purposely designed, amplifies the crucifixion iconography insinuated by the chiasmus symbols.

The name Timotheus spans Genesis 30: 20-23. Two events immediately follow: Joseph’s birth in the 24th verse, and then:

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”

Note how the above sentiments – favor, wages, and the Lord’s blessing – echo the aggregate meaning of the name Timotheus: honor in the context of a relationship with God, value in the form of wages for a service rendered, and sacrifice. These brief passages also set up the motifs to come, namely: the human struggle to safeguard posterity in the midst of servitude and displacement, and God’s intervention therein. Jacob, an indentured servant, is a victim of trickery at the hands of Laban. Joseph, a victim of trickery at the hands of his jealous brothers, is sold into servitude only to become taken advantage of by Potiphar’s wife. Later, Joseph, who was rejected by his brothers, eventually reimburses their treachery with money, supplies, and forgiveness. Thus, the various events unfolding after Genesis 30 could be considered variations on the theme established by Genesis 30. A theme of misfortune counterpointed by serendipity. All the while chronicling the establishment of the house of Israel.

Narrative repetition is to be expected when the crucial issue, the essential treasure, is the perpetuation of “Jacob’s family line,” which entails the struggle to produce heirs, in other words: to reproduce. “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Rachel threatens Jacob. The theme articulated above (of misfortune counterpointed by serendipity) is punctuated by the meanings implicit behind the names of Jacob’s children [restricted to Genesis 30]: Dan (He Has Judged, Vindicated), Naphtali (My Struggle), Gad (Harrowing Fortune), Asher (Happy), Issachar (He Is Wages, Man of Hire, There Is Recompense), Zebulun (Honor), Dinah (Judged, Vindicated), and then finally Joseph (Increaser, Repeater). All of these names are relevant to the story at hand because, naturally, they emerge from the story. Still, these names, which are symptomatic of ongoing circumstances, in turn, foreshadow upcoming circumstances. They express and portend interwoven patterns of misery which God sees and hears and which God interrupts, followed by short-lived spells of happiness which quickly revert to strife. A circular structure of events concluded by “repetition” in the form of Joseph. [The above nominal translations courtesy of Abarim Publications]

The interpretation of these select signs and complex messages, these repetitions and circulations, might seem rigorous and frustrating, yet a clear message is afoot. A unambiguous message, nonetheless, about unambiguous messaging. Due to the endurance of these documents, readers are provided a glimpse into God’s communication methods. God operates within the constraint of the unlikely. Divine intent therefore manifests itself when an event occurs against all odds. This is God’s signature. Furthermore, God’s devotion to the salvation of those who honor Him is such that He performs repeated demonstrations. Noah’s survival of the flood. Joseph’s improbable ascension to power. Moses’s infant life saved by way the very river, the Nile, in which the Pharaoh ordered him drowned. The Israelite flight from Egypt and passage through the Red Sea. None of these outcomes were expected. They shouldn’t have happened, and yet they did. Such events bear the signature of God because it is not only their singular occurrence, but their repeated occurrence, that disables our ability to refute Him. Reiteration is a fundamental device of education and ritual. Equidistant letter sequences, exemplified by the Timotheus encryption, are the product of a similar, repetitive intelligence, and thus, perhaps, express similar discernment. They facilitate the division of noise from information, incredible from credible.


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