The Atbash Cipher and Jeremiah 51:1

The Atbash cipher is a basic encoding method known to be used in the Bible. Examples of its employment appear in the Book of Jeremiah which dates to around 600B.C.  The simplicity of the code should not have one assume a lack of depth for meaning, though.

The name Atbash derives from how the code works, and the Hebrew language which has been noted to use it.  The first letter of the alphabet is exchanged for the last; the second letter exchanged for the next to last and so on.  In the Hebrew alphabet, these letters are Aleph (first) and Tav (last), Beth (second) and Shin (next to last).   Taking the first letter of each supplies ATBSH for the rendering of Atbash.  Basically, it is a reversal of writing. In English, A to Z would equal Z to A.

In the Book of Jeremiah the code is seen used in 25:26, 51:1, and 51:41.  Jeremiah 25:26 and 51:41 includes the place name, “Sheshach”.  This place was unknown to scholars at first, but, after applying the Atbash cipher, they realized it was the coded name for Babylon (Babel). Why Babylon was encoded in this way is not entirely certain.  Suggestions have been made the code was to conceal Jeremiah’s prediction of the nation’s destruction. Others say Jeremiah may have used the coded name for Babylon because it was a known and commonly used name for it at the time.  No one is for sure.

However, in Jeremiah 51:1, the coded word used for Babylon is another word and may hold a clue to why the atbash cipher was used to encode the name.  Jeremiah 51:1 reads, “See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.”  Here the encoded word is Leb Kamai.  Using the Atbash cipher, Leb Kamai decodes to Kasdim/Chaldea-Babylon.  Literally though, Leb Kamai can be translated as, “the heart of those who rise against me.”

What I find leading is the equating of Babylon to the people of ‘the heart of those who rise against me/ Leb Kamai.’  The atbash cipher is a form of Temurah.  Temurah is a belief by Cabbalists that the rearrangement of letters in words holds spiritual meanings; like how the anagram of a person’s name revealed hidden meanings or a person’s destiny was discovered through its process.

The process used for the Atbash cipher is the letters are all reversed to represent another.  Could a deeper layer of meaning be realized here?

Proverbs 3:3-4 speaks of how to win God’s favor one must have love and faithfulness.  It says, “Write them on the tablet of your heart.”  Obviously, Babylon did not have ‘God’s favor’ and I feel it could be for this reason Leb Kamai was used. Leb Kamai, (the heart of those who rise against me), could indicate, by applying the atbash cipher to encode another name for Babylon, that the writing on their heart was ‘reversed’.  Since the atbash cipher used reversed writing, it reveals Babylon’s rise against God.

It is also interesting to note that the infamous term ‘Baphomet’ has been found to render ‘Sophia’ by applying the atbash cipher.  This is something which I will have to write on later, because I am out of time as of now. Sorry for the abrupt ending…will fix it another day.


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14 Responses

  1. astree says:


    Thanks for another great article, and looking forward to your additional comments on the Baphomet.

    As you referenced the deeper layers, may we also ponder the Greater Hand –

    The Atbash cipher has been used in various puzzles, here’s one which may not be so disconnected from the quest, as many suppose:

    ….. “If you decode MLGGSVCER using this cipher (M=N L=O G=T S=H V=E C=X E=V R=I) you get NOTTHEXVI. Aha!! Is the Key Louis XIV? This lead me to another mad dash to find out all I could about Louis XIV. You only need a few bits of information about Louis XIV to solve the puzzle, but references to him are all over the book.

    If I told you that Louis XIV built Versailles, you might say, “Not the Sixteenth?” …. ”

    Now we find, p. 16 of the ET IN ARCADIA EGO puzzle, left column ERE NOT.

    Be Well

  2. Nate Beck says:

    Great article Jenny,

    I have always been intrigued by the Atbash ever since I learned about it. It was actually a while before I knew it was even in the book of Jeremiah the prophet.

    What’s interesting is that I know of few Bible scholars who have sought out other codes and ciphers of this type in the Hebrew text. One man is Chuck Missler, who might have written “the textbook” on things of this nature. I recommend everyone get this book. It is titled ‘Cosmic Codes’ and can be purchased on

    Chuck Missler is a well respected prophecy and Bible teacher, and ex-Air Force intelligence officer, and you can read more of his research on his website Or maybe it’s .org

    He has an article on Hebrew ciphers and also talks about a couple of others beside the Atbash. There’s also one called the Albam cipher, and Maranatha puzzlers should be familiar with the ALQ BKR cipher already.

    To find the article, simply go on his website and type in ‘Atbash’ in the search bar.

    I am sure there are probably thousands of ciphers and codes in the Bible yet undiscovered, and there are even codes and ciphers in the King James version of the Bible as well.

    One of my favorites is in Psalm 46. If you count 46 words up from the end of the Psalm 46, not counting the word ‘Selah’, you come to the 46th word which is ‘shake’. By counting down 46 words from the beginning of the Psalm, you get the 46th word ‘spear’, which gives you Shakespeare, as in William Shakespeare, as in the theory that Francis Bacon really wrote Shakespeare’s plays and had a hand in the KJV translation.

    As a matter of fact, old editions of the KJV have the spelling of ‘spear’ as ‘speare’.

    Another great researcher who has a mass amount of material on KJV Bible codes is Michael Hoggard. Get his ‘The King James Code’ from, and ‘By Divine Order’.

    Fantastic stuff for anyone willing to check it out.


  3. Nate Beck says:

    Well, as they say on television, “But WAIT, there’s more!”. LOL.

    Shakespeare was born in 1564, 46 backwards.

    He was 46 years old in 1610, one year before the KJV was published.

    And if that isn’t enough, William Shakespeare is an anagram for ‘Here was I, like a psalm.’

    How’s that grab ya for a Bible code baby?

    God, I LOVE my research,

    for who has as much fun as I?


    • Maria Rigel says:

      The problem is that William Shakespeare could be anagrammed to hundreds of things. So unless you have proof that one of those anagrams was intentional, that will lead you exactly nowhere.

  4. Nate Beck says:

    Sorry folks,

    Just wanted to correct a link. Chuck Missler’s actual web address is


  5. Ramona says:

    Chuck Missler has great lectures and teachings on the Bible and science, Dna, physics. It. All ties in to what Creator God /Christ. Says.

  6. Ramona says:

    Mark A Flynn has written a book called. The Forbidden Secrets of the
    Labyrinth. One might find it interesting it has a lot of very intersting
    Subjects and also from Greek architectural to the Nachash (satan)
    in Genesis. Just so much great research.

  7. Nate Beck says:

    Yeah I read Flynn’s book. It’s a good one. Thanks Ramona 🙂

  8. Maria Rigel says:

    It’s interesting that Temurah could have been used to create transposition ciphers. An anagram of a person’s name (that could have been called their “true name”) provides a pattern to scramble letters in a certain way. That pattern could then be used to scramble the letters of other messages.

  9. Kuzhina says:

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog
    and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for
    such information a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a long
    time. Thank you and good luck.

  10. I think you will appreciate my short video on this subject on You Tube. The Secret Code of Jeremiah;

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