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updated 11/26/2002 10:47:34 AM ET 2002-11-26T15:47:34

For 3000 years a code in the Bible remained hidden. Now it has been unlocked by computer, and it reveals events that happened thousands of years after the Bible was written. Often world-shaking events are predicted in advance — and then happen exactly as foretold. Read an excerpt of Michael Drosnin’s “Bible Code II,” to see if we really have only years to survive.

END OF DAYS

AT 8:48 A.M. on September 11, 2001 I was awakened by the sound of an explosion that changed the world forever.

I turned on my clock radio and heard a news bulletin-a jumbo jet had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers.

I ran up to my roof just in time to see a second Boeing 767 fly right into the second of the Twin Towers, setting it ablaze. It was obviously no accident. The two planes had been hijacked by terrorists. New York was under attack.

For more than an hour I stood alone on my roof and watched with increasing horror and disbelief as those two 110-story buildings, the silver monoliths that loomed over Lower Manhattan where I live, continued to burn, shooting giant orange flames out of the gaping holes, spewing huge plumes of black smoke up into the sky.

Suddenly, one of the towers collapsed. It just fell straight down. And then the second tower also imploded. They both disappeared in a cloud of dust that rushed up the street right toward me. In an instant they were gone.

My mind could not take in the scale of the destruction my eyes had seen. It was on a scale only captured in Biblical prophecy.

I ran down from the roof and immediately searched the ancient code on my computer, the Bible code. It was the one place I might find confirmation of the full danger, and a revelation of what was yet to come.

The hidden code, discovered in the Bible by a famous Israeli mathematician, had already revealed other world-shaking events that took place thousands of years after the Bible was written.

Now it revealed the entire event I had just witnessed. What I watched from my roof only minutes earlier, was there in detail on my computer screen in ancient Hebrew characters.

“Twin Towers” was encoded in the 3000-year-old text. “Airplane” appeared in exactly the same place. “It caused to fall, knocked down” crossed “airplane” and “towers.”

What I saw happen with my own eyes on September 11, 2001 was encoded in the Bible 3000 years ago.

As I watched it all happen, I had only one thought, and when the first tower fell I said it out loud-”Oh my God, it’s real.”

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It was not this terrorist attack that really shook me. It was what the Bible code predicted was yet to come.

It had already predicted the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Yitzhak Rabin. Everything from World War II to Watergate, from the Holocaust to Hiroshima, from the Moon landing to the Gulf War, had been foreseen. Sometimes the predictions were found in advance, and the events happened exactly as predicted.

And now every detail of September 11 was there, too. Suddenly, brutally, I had absolute proof that the Bible code was real.

So when the planes slammed into the towers, as I watched the horror begin to unfold, I also saw visions of a future too terrible to imagine, but clearly foretold in the code. And suddenly, it all seemed totally plausible.

For five years I had been warning world leaders that an ancient prophecy was about to come true, that the Apocalypse foretold by all the West’s three major religions was encoded in the Bible, that we might face the real Armageddon-a nuclear World War starting with an act of terrorism in the Middle East-within a decade. But I could not fully believe it myself.

President Clinton had my book with him at Camp David, and my letter warning him that we faced a war in the Holy Land that could engulf the entire world.

“I hesitate to state it in detail, because it sounds so Apocalyptic,” I told Clinton, holding something back even as I warned him. I could not bring myself to tell the President the world might come to an end.

Yet just within the past year I had finally told the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the leader of the Palestinians that according to the Bible code we were already in the ultimate time of danger, the End of Days.

I had sat with Yasir Arafat in his embattled headquarters in Ramallah, and with Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv, and with Ariel Sharon’s son in Jerusalem, and with Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff in the White House, and told them all that we might have only five years left to save the world.

But no one would heed the warning.

Just the day before the September 11 attack I had talked to the White House again to see if the new President, George W. Bush, had received a letter I sent him, warning that we might face World War III while he was in office.

My letter to Bush, sent more than a month before Arab terrorists struck New York and Washington, stated:

“Now the Bible code warns that the world may face its ultimate danger-a nuclear World War starting in the Middle East-while you are in office.

“This critical moment was without doubt clearly foreseen.

“‘Bush,’ ‘Arafat,’ and ‘Sharon’ are all encoded together by name in the Bible with the time of danger long foretold by all three major Western religions-the ‘End of Days.’

“And the Bible code clearly states the danger in modern terms- ‘atomic holocaust’ and ‘World War’ are both encoded in the Bible. And both are encoded with the same year, 2006.”

On September 11 the President himself said that we were at war, that the “first war of the twenty-first century has begun.” And a column in the New York Times was headlined “WORLD WAR III.”

But until September 11 I never entirely believed it myself. I am not religious. I don’t believe in God. I’m a secular, skeptical investigative reporter. I started out on the night police beat at the Washington Post, I covered corporate news at the Wall Street Journal, and I still have a flat-footed sense of reality. So although I wrote a book that made the Bible code known to the world, I woke up every morning doubting the danger was real.

On the morning of September 11 I was awakened by the event that proved it real.

Suddenly there was no room for doubt. It wasn’t just Israel, it was the United States, it was New York. It was the city where I lived. It was just down the block. And I saw it happen with my own eyes.

The attack on New York, the attack on the World Trade Center, this unbelievable horror was not only encoded in the Bible — I had actually seen it in advance.

I had found it in 1993, right after the failed terrorist attack on the same two towers. “Twin Towers” was encoded in the Bible with “the warning, the slaughter,” and that was crossed by “terror.” “Terror” appeared a second time, and “it will fall, collapse” was also encoded twice.

But I assumed it was about the past, not the future. It never occurred to me that lightning would strike twice — that there would be another terrorist attack on the same two monoliths eight years later, that it would succeed, and knock both towers down.

And I never thought to look in the code for “airplane.” As I explained to a friend at the CIA later that day, “No one could have imagined it would be done that way.” “Someone did,” he said.

After it happened, the warning was clear. It had been hidden in the Bible for 3000 years. Now it was obvious. Every detail was there.

The scientist who discovered the Bible code, Eliyahu Rips, found the same extraordinary code table on September 11 at his home in Jerusalem, and e-mailed it to me from Israel.

When I spoke to Dr. Rips, one of the world’s leading authorities in group theory, a field of math that underlies quantum physics, he told me that he had calculated the odds.

The odds against the three key words-”twin” and “towers” and “airplane”-all appearing together in exactly the same place in the Bible, the odds against it happening by chance, were at least 10,000 to 1.

There was more. Osama bin Laden was named in the Bible code. Rips had found a single code sequence that declared him guilty — “the sin, the crime of bin Laden” — and it appeared in Genesis where the plain text told of “the city and the tower.”

Also, in the same place, the original words of the Bible stated, “They saw the smoke rising above the land like the smoke of a furnace.”

The leader of the hijackers, the pilot of the first plane that hit the towers, Mohammed Atta, was also identified.

“Terrorist Atta” was encoded in the Bible, and “Egyptian man” appeared in the same place.

There was another target, the headquarters of the American military in Washington. The Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane an hour after the first attack in New York. That, too, was encoded.

“Pentagon” appeared once in the Bible, crossed by “damaged.” Again, the prediction in the 3000 year old text was exact. One of the five sides of the Pentagon had fallen, but the building itself still stood.

“Emergency” appeared with “Pentagon,” immediately followed by “from Arabia.” In fact, it was learned in the next few days that most of the terrorists had come from Saudi Arabia.

The warning of the greatest terrorist attack in the history of the world, of the first foreign attack on mainland America in modern times, had been encoded in the Bible for 3000 years. But we had missed it, until it was too late.

And now the code warned that it would lead to war. “The next war” crossed the Hebrew name for the World Trade Towers, “the Twins.” “Terrorist” was encoded in the same place.

The statement in the code was chilling. This terrorist attack was the start of a new war, the war that Bush declared, a war against terrorism that many were predicting would last years.

And now I saw the encoding that captured the full horror of this moment. “Towers” and “the Twins” again appeared together in exactly the same place as the words in the plain text of the Bible that again made clear that the final countdown had begun — “in the End of Days.”

For years I had been warning top government leaders in Washington and in the Middle East that the world might be facing danger on a scale only captured in Biblical prophecy, and now I had seen the reality begin to unfold with my own eyes, just down the block from my home in New York.

And I was certain that this was the beginning of something too horrible for any of us to fully imagine, not the end.

“A cryptogram set by the Almighty,” the “riddle of the Godhead, the riddle of past and future events divinely fore-ordained.”

That’s what Sir Isaac Newton called the Bible code. Three hundred years ago Newton, the first modern scientist, the man who discovered gravity and figured out the mechanics of our solar system, who single-handedly invented advanced mathematics, searched for a hidden code in the Bible that would reveal the future of mankind.

For more than 3000 years, ever since there’s been a Bible, people have believed there was something hidden in it, great secrets that were known only to the high priests, new revelations that could be found using some esoteric formula, some form of magic, some new science.

But it remained for a Russian immigrant to Israel, Eliyahu Rips, a mathematician freed from a Soviet political prison, to find the code that had eluded everyone for millennia.

Rips succeeded because he had the one essential tool that everyone before him lacked-a computer.

The Bible code had a time lock. It could not be opened until the computer was invented.

It was designed, apparently by some intelligence that could see the future, to be opened now. That much seemed clear. The code could have been designed to be found by Newton 300 years ago. Or it could have been designed to be found 300 or 3000 years in the future, by a technology that would not exist until then.

Instead, some intelligence that could see across time encoded the Bible in a way that allowed us to crack the code at this one moment in human history.

“That is why Isaac Newton could not do it,” said Rips. “It had to be opened with a computer. It was ‘sealed until the time of the End.’”

But when Eli Rips began his search for the Bible code nearly twenty years ago, he was not thinking about the “End of Days.”

He was just solving a mathematical puzzle. “I found words encoded far more than statistics allowed for by random chance, and I knew that I was on to something of real importance,” recalled Rips. “When I applied a computer, I made the breakthrough.”

Rips discovered the Bible code in the original Hebrew version of the Old Testament, the Bible as it was first written, the words that according to the Bible itself God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai 3200 years ago.

Rips eliminated all the spaces between the words, and turned the entire original Bible into one continuous letter strand, 304,805 letters long.

In doing that, he was actually restoring the Bible to what ancient sages say was its original form. According to legend, it was the way Moses received the Bible from God-”contiguous, without break of words.”

Rips wrote a computer program that searched the strand of letters for new information revealed by skipping any equal number of letters.

Anyone could make up a sentence that would tell one story on the surface, but another story hidden in a simple skip code. For example:

Rips explained that each code is a case of adding every fifth or tenth or fiftieth letter to form a word.

Now read that same sentence as a four-letter skip code:

Rips ExplAineD thaT eacH codE is a Case Of adDing Every fifth or tenth or fiftieth letter to form a word.

The hidden message — READ THE CODE.

But no one, not even Newton, could go through the whole Bible counting letters by hand, checking every possible skip sequence, starting with every letter from the first verse to the last verse, backwards and forwards, from the beginning of the Bible to the end. Only a computer can search fast enough to make the job possible.

And only a computer could find the complexly interwoven information in the Bible code. Time after time related words, names, dates, and places are, against all odds, encoded together.

The words form a crossword puzzle. Each time a new word or phrase is discovered, a new crossword puzzle is created. And the connected words reveal accurate, often detailed information about modern events.

It’s what makes the Bible code unique. In another book one might find a random skip sequence that spells “Twin Towers”-but not with “airplane.” One might find “bin Laden”-but not with “the city and the tower.” One might find “the Twins”-but not with “the next war,” or “the End of Days.”

“Only in the Bible code is there consistent, coherent information,” said Rips. “No one has found anything like that in any other book, in any translation, or in any original Hebrew text, except the Bible.”

When Rips reported his discovery in an American mathematics journal, many scientists were skeptical. They couldn’t fault his science, but they couldn’t believe his results. The claim was just too amazing-a code in the Bible that revealed events that happened after the Bible was written.

A senior code-breaker at the top secret National Security Agency, the clandestine U.S. government listening post near Washington, heard about the startling claim, and decided to investigate.

Harold Gans had spent his life making and breaking codes for American military intelligence, and he was sure the Bible code was “off-the-wall, ridiculous.”

He wrote his own computer program, and set out to prove it was a hoax. Instead, he replicated the results of Rips’s experiment. The names of 66 sages who lived and died long after Biblical times were indeed encoded with the dates they were born, and the dates that they died. Gans could not believe it. He thought that the experiment must have been rigged. He looked for new information, encodings that Rips never tried to find. He was sure that the names of the cities where the 66 rabbis lived and died could not be found in the code. He found them.

Gans had set out to debunk the Bible code. Instead, his 440-hour experiment proved it was real.

“It sent a chill up my spine,” recalled the code-breaker.

No man could have encoded the Bible with information about people who lived, events that happened, thousands of years after the Bible was written. But someone did.

If not one of us, then who?


Excerpted from “The Bible Code II: The Countdown” by Michael Drosnin. Copyright © 2002 by Viking Press, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.

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