Let’s have some fun with 7:13 ($7.13) passages from the Good Book

Wikipedia leads off.

Numerology (known before the 20th century as arithmancy) is the belief in an occult, divine or mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value, via an alphanumeric system, of the letters in words and names.

Back in 2018, I read three novels by Polish writers. In Cosmos, by Witold Gombrowicz, two city slickers visiting the Polish countryside become fascinated with patterns of cracks running across a plaster ceiling, and subsequently are obsessed by conspiracy theories pertaining to their host family.

Of course, the cracks mean nothing, unless of course they actually do.

Deprived of context, some things can mean anything. Let’s say someone walks up to you on the street and presses $7.13 into your hands, not a penny more or less. You count the ragged dollar bills and grimy coins twice, even three times.

Why not seven dollars without the cents? Why not $500, for instance? Does the sum imply something?

Yesterday as we motored through rural Indiana, a “cosmos” all its own, I saw a ragged “John 3:16” banner on a seedy village church, and suddenly it hit me: $7.13 could be interpreted as 7:13, or a biblical verse. But which book?

I proceeded to Father Google to inquire.

Given the nature of my inquiry, Numbers 7:13 seemed logical.

And his offering was one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them were full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering:

Hmm. I’m not eating much meat at present, and the exchange rate for shekels to dollars is unknown (and likely impossible to determine). I moved on, and Jeremiah 7:13 hit a little closer.

While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.

Interesting, although no one ever accused me of being insubordinate in a workplace setting — at least since 1979, when Mr. Hakel relieved me of duties at Ben Snyder’s Department Store at the Green Tree Mall, albeit with a palpable “wink wink nudge nudge” that told me he’d have liked to tell off Mary Alice, too.

This brings us to Matthew 7:13, apparently a passage known to superstitious folks as “The Narrow and Wide Gates.”

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

I wonder: Is this the basis for the term “straight and narrow”?

There is a 2 Chronicles 7:13, which apparently must be read along with 7:14 to make any sense, not that I’ve ever regarded the bible as anything but nonsensical. But I’ll play along. Should I petition Tom May for assistance?

13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Maybe. It’s been raining a lot, the cicadas are here (as opposed to locusts) and a presidential election year surely counts as plague-like. However, I’m not sure how these verses might pertain to the $7.13 solution, of which only 470.94 are as yet needed for us to be perfectly square.

There is a Luke 7:13.

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

It’s the perfect segue to one of my favorite Guns ‘n’ Roses songs.

I’m a humanist and a rationalist. Still, there are numerous aspects of life on planet earth that are destined to remain unknown to us. It’s just the way life is.

While Sigmund Freud and legions of psychoanalysts following in his wake have made informative efforts to unravel the mysteries of human behavior, they can go only so far. Human inscrutability is undefeated, and while we might gossip on social media until the bovines come home, it’s difficult to even spell the word r-a-t-i-o-n-a-l when your head isn’t screwed on straight.

But I deserve points for consulting the scriptures, right? I promise not to spend it (the wisdom and the coins) all in one place.