Coronavirus! Here is, I hope, the last thing I’ll say on this matter.
People are uncovering, as they always do with any and every scary event, COVID-19 buried deeply in some mystical Hebrew code. For example, one guy finds COVID and the accidental death of KOBE – as in the late basketball player – predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures. But only in hindsight did he find this; that is, the Code Man couldn’t tell you what will happen in the next 24 hours, let alone next year.
By the way, the nature of the Hebrew language is that you can find ANY word buried in its “code”. Why, give me a few minutes and I could find my own name, or yours, or Tom Brady,’s, or Meghan Markle’s, and “prove” that the recent events of our lives were foretold in the mysterious text.
The way it works is, you count every X letters – 7 or 10 or 52, any number will do the job – and the Enigma Machinist will decipher its message. People make a big deal out of how this is now done with computers! But frankly speaking, all that means is you can churn out more junk, more efficiently.
A good rule is: If you can find any and every possible coded message hidden in a text, then the text conveys no hidden meaning that is worth talking about. In this article I used one and the same Bible Code methodology on the lyrics of a song from the 1960s and “proved” that Simon and Garfunkel predicted the presidency of Jimmy Carter! And foretold the events of his life after he would leave office!
Or just for fun – and it only took me 15 seconds – I will prove by a more conventional route that the Hebrew “predicted” COVID and its accompanying fever. Anyone who reads even a little Hebrew will remember that the equivalent of COVID – k-v-d/כבד – is a very common word in the Bible!
“For day and night your hand was heavy [“heavy”, from the Hebrew K-V-D = COVID!] upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”
So, I could say, Psalm 32:4 literally say, “you put COVID upon me”, making this an embedded prediction that COVID-19 was coming and that it would include long bouts of high fever!
Let’s go over to the book of Revelation, where others have found a specific prediction of COVID-19. “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts [the word θήριον/therion] of the earth.” Rev 6:8
The supposed new discovery, is that therion does not mean a wild animal, but rather “bacteria” or (this month’s theory) a “virus.” And thus, oh most definitely, COVID-19 is found in Revelation 6! It is based on the popular but faulty idea that, “John did not know the word for helicopter, so he said ‘locust’; in the same way, he didn’t know the word for virus, so he said ‘wild beast’.”
As a matter of fact, this same abuse of Revelation 6 has been used by others to “reveal” that any and all other recent epidemics (SARS, H1N1, Ebola, Zika, etc.) were specifically predicted in that same verse. That is, they were predicted there until the disease blew over, and to no-one’s surprise, prophecy experts no longer found the prediction in the Greek text! Again, a good rule to follow is that, if Rev 6 can be forced to predict any and every disease, then it is not really predicting any particular one.
But that doesn’t really mattet, since, no, therion does not signify “virus”; for millennia it has been translated, correctly, eithe as (1) “an animal of any kind” or as (2) a “ferocious beast”, such as a lion. Here is an example in classical Greek:
“Let us, then say to the speaker who avers that it pays this man to be unjust, and that to do justice is not for his advantage, that he is affirming nothing else than that it profits him to feast and make strong the multifarious beast [therion] and the lion and all that pertains to the lion…” Plato, Republic 588e
It is this second definition that clearly is preferable in Revelation 6, since the threat of roaming ferocious animals is a common divine judgment in the Bible.
While we’re at it, of course, we don’t want to neglect Nostradamus, whose predictions are dusted off every time the pope sneezes. It only took me 5 minutes to prove that Nostradamus “foretold” the corona virus, in Century 9, Quatrain 55:
A horrible war, which is being prepared in the West
The following year the pestilence will come,
So very horrible that young nor old, nor animal (may survive):
Blood (plague?) fire Mercury, Mars, Jupiter in France.
I interpret this as follows, with links to my news sources:
A horrible war, for which Israel is preparing in 2019 over the West Bank
The following year, 2020, the pestilence will come,
So very horrible that people of all ages, especially the elderly, will not survive it and schools will be closed for the young, it will spread by animals.
It is a plague that infects the blood and causes “fiery” fever; it will cause a lockdown in France, some time after the conjunction of three planets.
Piece of cake, no?
There is also circulating around China a supposed hundred-year-old “prediction” of a plague in China in 2020 – it only turned up this year (!) besides, it bears all the marks of being written a short time ago: “the best is to have stored up plenty of gold and food to live and share freely with those you love”. Like the writers of the ancient apocalypses (such as 1 Enoch, Apocalypse of Moses), writers even today write out their own agenda, then put it in the mouth of some past individual. That way they can pass it off as a genuine prediction, but use it as a vehicle for their own take on life.
People also read their own agenda into key world events. The one I heard yesterday was that the Coronavirus really isn’t a thing, but was a panic invented by the Evil Leftist Media and others to destroy the US or Donald Trump. (Note – this theory is not that the media make too much of Corona – and I agree that they probably do – ; it is a conspiracy theory that they are intentionally trying to bring us down). Another, that it was invented by China to destroy us. Or Bill Gates invented it. Jerry Falwell, Jr., never one to be troubled with level-headedness, suggested on Fox that the North Koreans, in cahoots with all of Trump’s domestic enemies, invented it to bring Trump down. As of a few days ago, he was refusing to cancel classes at his Liberty University, because the thing is a liberal invention; he has since backtracked. This all is an excellent example of how someone could actually look at a worldwide pandemic and conclude that the COVID-19 Key to Science and Scripture is whether you like Donald Trump or not.
Or people will exclaim: “Viruses don’t just spring into existence!” or “Who stands to gain from this pandemic?” or the uber-annoying “I’m not sayin’, I’m just askin’ questions!” One famous preacher, who a while back identified Zika as God’s judgment specifically on America, said he knew this because Obama was president at the time; but Corona is not, he has just announced, because Trump is president at this time. This system of interpretation seems logical to him, just plug in when an illness takes place, see who is in the White House (in the United States! because God doesn’t apparently keep up with politics in China, Italy, Spain, France, or care about dead Africans or Asians) and voila.
The rule of logic known as Occam’s Razor says that, all things being equal, one should prefer the simplest explanation of a thing, not the most complicated. The notions that COVID-19 either is a diabolical attack on Donald Trump or that Bill Gates invented it in order to make money on vaccines fall apart under the weight of multiplied assumptions; too many just-suppose-thats, cui-bonos?, there’s-no-other-possible-explantion-thans, this could-be-true-therefore-this-must-be-trues. The same sort of logic that sees ancient astronauts under every pile of rocks.
I suggest that all of the above are examples of panic and cultural-political agendizing, coupled with exegetical slippage, rather than anything like clearheadedness.
“Corona – A Few Thoughts,” by Gary S. Shogren, profesor de Nuevo Testamento, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica