What Does It Mean To Be Fruitful And Multiply?

Illustration of Mediterranean city building exterior watercolor style

In the first chapter of the Bible, God blesses the creation and humankind in the following words: “Be fruitful and multiply.” What kind of blessing is it, and how does it connect us to temple inside of us? Let us look at the Hebrew letters.

The term in Hebrew “פרו ורבו” = ‘be fruitful and multiply,’ has a value of 500. In the Talmud, we find that the measures of the temple were 500 by 500 Ama (ancient measure), while the land of Israel was a square of 400 by 400 Ama. The Question is how it can be that the temple was more significant than the ground?

And the answer is simple: the measures that appearing in the source are not physical but symbolical. The temple, which is a square of 500 by 500 Ama is a symbol for life with its full potential, while the land of Israel is a symbol for the actualization. And when God blesses creation and humanity by the words “be fruitful and multiply,” the intention is to live life with its full potential.

We summerise this idea with a presentation:

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.
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