Which art is specifically Hebrew?

Actually most everything about the ancient Hebrews culture was outsourced. And even the popular phrase ‘anti-semitic’ in utmost propriety means ‘anti-Middle Eastern’ generally and ‘anti-Arabic-Aramaic-Hebrew-Phoenician’ more specifically, i.e. there is nothing fully specific about it. However, much of the following was happily sourced by me from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

Belief in the power of the name of God was Egyptian in origin. Invoking the demi-gods was intrinsic to Magic (Egyptian, Babylonian) and evoking them occurs in Astrology (Assyro-Babylonian). Gnosticism and exorcism were Judeo-Christian practices. Others such as wearing talismans and phylacteries were Hellenistic.

Speech was a major part of Magic, the overt magic word being ‘abracadabra’. The covert magic word was the secret Jewish name of God. Written magic came from arangements of word’s component letters into geometric patterns on amulets. The Bible could also be used for magic and in cures without reference to its contents. But this is true of all holy books of all cultures everywhere. And even in religious argument the Jewish pseudepigraphia and Books of Hermes could be used alike to produce and support messianic prophecies.

‘Jubilees’, the Noahic book of healing, has a magical character to it. Healing is universal. An animal organ used for medical divination was normal practice in theMiddle East. The apocryphal Book of Enoch says angels gave practical instruction to human females on incantations and exorcisms, the ways to cut roots and other factors of healing by use of plants.

Medieval Jews were regarded generally as magicians and rainmakers.Germany exotically labelled them sorcerors. This was a Gentile legend. Ironically, the Jews were envied for their inner magic circle by outside magicians who could not penetrate such a closed group. (This is true of any sizeable, industrious and canny ethnic minority whose individuals depend utterly for welfare and prosperity upon their good name, which may be immediately checked by one another. Closed rank communities also make initializing and capitalization of new business opportunities/financial syndicates very fast indeed to the chagrin of their slower-stepping competitors.)

Hedged-in by an impenetrable maze of strange methodologies, unusual communications and a secret mystical vocabulary, Jewish magic circles were as effective as any. (In Jewish magic, some celestial power was posited in a name. In this context, there might be a link between the English faerie queen Mab – evoked by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet – and Mabus in Nostradamus Quatrain II 62.)

And yet the Quabbala had become a Jewish original as used by Christians at the close of the Middle Ages. From Michel’s personal point of view, acquired from his family, the ‘Hebrew art’ was very possibly medicine-pharmacy or else Astronomy-Astrology. Otherwise, prophecy.

From my analytical point of view the main candidate is the peculiarly Jewish form of alphabetic numerology (Gematria) which stemmed from their letters having simultaneous numeric values. The letter ‘peh’ is 80, the Hebrew word for sin is also the prime number 17, the Tetragrammaton YHWH  is 10 + 5 + 6 + 5 therefore 26 which factors into the number of times the Holy Name is referenced in the Pentateuch, etc.

VI 18

1557 Lyon Du Rosne

Par les phisiques le grand Roy delaissé,
Par fort non art ne l’Ebrieu est en vie:
Luy & son genre au regne hault poulsé,
Grace donnee à gent qui Christ enuie.

Line 2, OF ‘fort’ is akin to fortitude, fortify or fortress and has had various meanings from ‘difficult to envisage or achieve’ and ‘using a great physical force’ (Twelfth Century, ‘Eneas’ ed. De Grave, and ‘Roland’ respectively) to ‘courageous’ and ‘able to endure hardship’ (Thirteenth Century, ‘Trésor’ ed. Carmody). Figuratively, it contained the notion to own oneself by a moral or physical or intellectual strength or stability or forcefulness.

OF ‘Ebrieu’ might look like a magic brew for the lightheaded but it seems to be a variant of OF ‘hébreu/Hebreu’, Hebrew.

A further clue to the identity of Nostredame’s favoured Grand Monarch may be flitting about in this quatrain but I find the construction of Line 2 difficult to write positively about. For instance, the trailing ‘ne’ may be either emphatic or negative and today’s rules for this grammatical oddity seem inconsistently applied in OF.


Line 1
The great King abandoned by the physicians,

Line2  (art ne : fort non)
He is still alive because of medicine not because of surgery:

OR     (non art ne)
By forcefulness and not by artifice the Hebrew is alive:

By his fortitude and not by the Hebrew art he lives/is alive:

The Hebrew is living through difficulties not successes:

Through courage and not by wit is he alive:

Line 3
He and his kind are to be propelled highest in society,

Line 4
Grace given to the race which denies Christ.

Grace comes to the antagonists of the christ concept.

By the human inventions of elite unctuous holiness and deathless invincibility risen over the enemy and of a child born in breach of virginity, the Christ who is Sun King is in the frame here. But Gentle Jesus somehow is not.

There may be a time when Gentle Jesus loved by God comes into His own as most admired Enlightened One without the need for Judaic Christhood to prop up His image with a bellicose superstition.

A time when the unobjectified unknowable invisible is yet known to be the omnipotent shape of love and truth.

                                                   Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012