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> Gematria Topics > ## The Abacus## Used as a Metaphor for “Raising” Jesus (888)The pattern of the dark blue beads of the abacus on the left shows a value of 888 units ... the beads of the abacus on the right shows a value of 8,880 units. This illustration shows how a number can be "raised" by a factor of ten by simply “raising” the pattern of beads that signifies a number. If Jesus can be “raised” on a calculating machine, why can’t he be “raised” in a geometry diagram, a gospel story, or a Sacred Geometry story? ## The Greek Abax or Counting TableThe
ancient Romans and Greeks weren’t limited to their alpha-numeric
alphabets in making computations or solving complicated problems.
They were able to quickly multiply and divide large numbers, or
add up long columns of numbers, with the help of a counting board
called an Abax, which means The Abax was made from a table or board into which parallel grooves were cut. Pebbles signifying ones, tens, hundreds, etc. were then moved from one side of any groove to the other in order to perform calculations. The Abax was an ancient and familiar calculating tool in the first century AD. It was used by many ancient civilizations for thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Counting boards have been discovered in Egypt that date back to the 5th century BC. The modern day abacus, which appeared in China in the 13th century, improved the abax by stringing beads on to wires that were then attached to a frame. The abacus is a small portable abax. Modern man performs mathematical calculations by referring to memorized addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables. Most people can memorize the tables because the number zero integrated into our base 10 number system results in tables that are relatively small. We can write down a problem involving huge numbers and then record the solution with a pencil and paper as each number of the answer comes to us in stages as we refer to our memorized number tables. The ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and Romans did not perform calculations this way because the tables they had to memorize were too huge. Our modern multiplication table has 100 entries using the numbers 0 to 9. A Greek multiplication table, lacking the number zero integrated into a base 10 number system, had 729 entries using their 27 numbers that went from 1 to 900. Ancient people performed long or complicated calculations on an Abax and then recorded the result on papyrus using their alphabetic letter numerals. Today, most people in the United States use an inefficient medieval system of weights and measures just like in antiquity most people used letters instead of numbers. We inefficiently convert a foot to 12 inches or a mile to 5,280 feet the same way the ancient Greeks inefficiently converted the letter alpha to the number “1” and the letter omega to the number “800.” Most people today are aware that professionals in science and business use the metric system to manipulate numbers when weights and measures are involved, and by the same token, ancient mathematicians used the abax to manipulate numbers when complex calculations were involved. The most important similarity between the metric system and the Abax is that they both use a floating decimal point that is based on a base “10” system of numbers where the number “0” is assumed. ## How an abacus worksEvery mathematician in ancient Greece did his calculations on a counting board called an abax which is just an abacus without strings. The abacus has two sets of beads separated by a central bar. Each bead on the same string on the right side of the bar is worth five times as much any bead on the same string on the left side of the bar. The bottom string has beads worth 1 and 5 units each, the second string has beads worth 10 and 50 units each, and so the pattern continues, each higher string increasing it’s value by a factor of ten. A bead takes a value as soon as it is placed on the center bar. Beads placed against either side of the outer frame are worth zero. Problems
involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can
be solved quickly and accurately, even with large numbers such as
a million or a billion. Simply assigning an imaginary decimal point
between any two strings of beads enables the operator to perform
calculations involving decimal fractions of any size. Even though
the Greeks had no formal symbol for the number zero, the many individual
ancient Greek mathematicians who used the abax were very familiar
with the base 10 number system, decimals, and the number “0”
hundreds of years before the time of Christ and over one thousand
years before Europe as a whole adopted the Arabic numeral system. |

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