Book of Life
Judeo-Christian Research




"[T]hree books are opened in heaven on Rosh Ha-Shanah, one for the thoroughly wicked, one for the thoroughly righteous, and one for the intermediate. The thoroughly righteous are forthwith inscribed in the Book of Life, the thoroughly wicked in the Book of Death, while the fate of the intermediate is suspended until the Day of Atonement" (Rosh HaShanah 16b).

(Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1997 CD-ROM edition)


Exodus 32:32, 33
[Moses pleads for the people] Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Psalm 69:28
Le them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Psalm 139:14-16
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part sof the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Isaiah 4:3
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

Daniel 7:10
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Daniel 12:1
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Luke 10:20
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Philippians 4:3
And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Hebrews 12:23
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Revelation 3:5
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 13:8
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 17:8
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Revelation 20:12,15
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:27
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.


By : Kaufmann Kohler Max L. Margolis

—Traditional View:
The Eschatological or Annual Roll-Call.

—Traditional View:
The book, or muster-roll, of God in which all the worthy are recorded for life. God has such a book, and to be blotted out of it signifies death (Ex. 32:32, 33).

It is with reference to the Book of Life that the holy remnant is spoken of as being written unto life (A. V., "among the living") in Jerusalem (Isa. 4:3; compare also Ezek. 9:4, where one of the six heavenly envoys "who had the scribe's inkhorn upon his loins" is told to mark the righteous for life, while the remainder of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are doomed). The Psalmist likewise speaks of the Book of Life in which only the names of the righteous are written "and from which the unrighteous are blotted out" (Ps. 69:28; compare Ps. 139:16). Even the tears of men are recorded in this Book of God (Ps. 56:9 [8]). "Every one that shall be found written in the book . . . shall awake to everlasting life" (Dan. 12:1 et seq.). This book is probably identical with the "Book of Remembrance" in which are recorded the deeds of those that fear the Lord (Mal. 3:16).

The Book of Jubilees (xxx. 20-22) speaks of two heavenly tablets or books: a Book of Life for the righteous, and a Book of Death for those that walk in the paths of impurity and are written down on the heavenly tablets as adversaries (of God). Also, according to ib. xxxvi. 10, one who contrives evil against his neighbor will be blotted out of the Book of Remembrance of men, and will not be written in the Book of Life, but in the Book of Perdition. In Dan. 7:10 and Enoch xlvii. 3 "the Ancient of days" is described as seated upon His throne of glory with "the Book" or "the Books of Life" ("of the Living") opened before Him. So are, according to Enoch civ. 1, the righteous "written before the glory of the Great One," and, according to Enoch cviii. 3, the transgressors "blotted out of the Book of Life and out of the books of the holy ones." To this Book of Life reference is made also in Hermas (Vision i. 3; Mandate viii.; Similitude ii.); in Rev. 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12-15, where "two Books" are spoken of as being "opened before the throne, the Book of Life, and the Book of Death, in which latter the unrighteous are recorded together with their evil deeds, in order to be cast into the lake of fire." It is the Book of Life in which the apostles' names are "written in heaven" (Luke 10:20), or "the fellow-workers" of Paul (Phil. 4:3), and "the assembly of the first-born" (Heb. 12:23; compare I Clem. xlv.). To these Books of Records allusion is made also in Enoch lxxxi. 4, lxxxix. 61-77, xc. 17-20, xcviii. 76, civ. 7; Apoc. Baruch, xxiv. 1; Ascensio Isa. ix. 20.

The Eschatological or Annual Roll-Call.

While the prevailing tendency among apocryphal writers of the Hasidean school was to give the Book of Life an eschatological meaning—and to this inclines also Targ. Jon. to Isa. 4:3 and Ezek. 13:9 (compare Targ. Yer. to Ex. 32:32)—the Jewish liturgy and the tradition relating to the New-Year's and Atonement days adhered to the ancient view which took the Book of Life in its natural meaning, preferring, from a sound practical point of view, the this-worldliness of Judaism to the heavenliness of the Essenes. Instead of transferring, as is done in the Book of Enoch, the Testament of Abraham, and elsewhere, the great Judgment Day to the hereafter, the Pharisaic school taught that on the first day of each year (Rosh ha-Shanah) God sits in judgment over His creatures and has the Books of Life and Death opened, together with the books containing the records of the righteous and the unrighteous. And out of the middle state of the future judgment (see Testament of Abraham, A, xiv.) there arose the idea of a third class of men who are held in suspense ("Benonim," the middle), and of a corresponding third book for this middle class (R. H. 15b). In Tos. Sanh. xiii. 3, however, the annual (Rosh ha-Shanah) judgment (Yom ha-Din) is not yet recognized (compare Tos. R. H. i. 13, R. Jose's opinion in opposition to that of R. Akiba and R. Meďr, which has become the universally accepted one).

The origin of the heavenly Book of Life must be sought in Babylonia, whereas the idea of the annual Judgment Day seems to have been adopted by the Jews under Babylonian influence in post-exilic times. The Babylonian legends (see "Creation Tab." iv. 121, and the "Zu" legend, ii. 7, quoted in Harper's "Babylonische Legenden," in "Beitr. z. Assyriologie" by Delitzsch and Haupt, 1892, ii. 2, p. 412) speak of the Tablets of Destiny; also of the tablets of the transgressions, sins, and wrong-doings, of the curses and execrations, of a person which should be "cast into the water"; that is, to be blotted out (compare Micah 7:19 and the art. Tashlik). As to the resemblance of the Babylonian Zagmuku or New-Year to the Jewish New-Year see the art. Rosh ha-Shanah.

ספר הײם (Ps. 69:29, "book of the living"; so LXX., Vulg., R.V. [margin]). The living are the righteous (second half of the verse), who alone are admitted to citizenship in the theocracy. The wicked are denied membership therein: they are blotted out of God's book (Ex. 32:32 et seq.). The figure is derived from the citizens' registers (Ezek. 13:9; Jer. 22:30; and Ex. 32:30-34, accordingly assigned by Holzinger to a late. stratum; see his commentary). The life which the righteous participate in is to be understood in a temporal sense. In Dan. xii. 1, however, those who are found written in the book and who shall escape the troubles preparatory to the coming of the Messianic kingdom are they who, together with the risen martyrs, are destined to share in the everlasting life referred to in verse 2. The eternal life is certainly meant in Enoch xlvii. 3, civ. 1, cviii. 3, and frequently in the New Testament (especially in Revelation). The Targum (Isa. 4:3; Ezek. 13:9) speaks of the "Book of Eternal Life." Temporal life is apparently prayed for in the liturgical formula: "Inscribe us in the Book of Life" (see Atonement, Day of). The Mishnah tells us that the deeds of every human being are recorded in a book (Abot, ii. 1; see iii. 16). The "Sefer Chasidim" (xxxiii.) pointedly adds that God is in no need of a book of records; "the Torah speaks the language of man"; i.e., figuratively.

Bibliography: Charles, Book of Enoch, pp. 131-133; Dalman, Worte Jesu, p. 171.K. M. L



Register of Citizens' Names:
"It was customary to have registers of citizenship, in which were entered the names of citizens, both natural and adopted. Heaven is represented as a city, and its inhabitants are registered. Some, who have not yet reached the heavenly city, are regarded as citizens on their way home. Their names are reigstered with the others. Such were the 'fellow-laborers' to whom Paul refers in the text. See also Isa 4:3; Dan 12:1; Luke 10:20; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 20:15; 21:27. When one was deprived of citizenship his name was erased from the roll of citizens. Reference may be found to this in Exo 32:32; Psa 69:28; and Rev 3:5."

(Manners & Customs of the Bible, James M. Freeman)


"The following is one of the prayers in the liturgy on Rosh HaShanah:

We will celebrate the solemn holiness of this day, how awesome and fearsome it is. On this day your rulership is lifted up, your throne is established in mercy, and you sit upon it in truth. Truly you alone are judge, arbiter, discerner, witness, recorder, sealer, inscriber and reckoner; and you remember all forgotten deeds. You open the book of records and it reads itself, and everyone's signature is there.

"The great shofar is sounded, the still small voice is heard, and the angels tremble with fear as they procalim: 'Behold! The Day of Judgment!' Even the armies of heaven are to be brought to judgment, for in your sight even they are not innocent. You cause all who come into the world to pass before you like a flock of sheep. Like a shepherd seeking out his flock and causing them to pass under his staff, you cause every living soul to pass before you; you count, reckon and review every creature, determining its lifetime and inscribing its destiny.

"On Rosh HaShanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: how many will pass away and how many will be born, who will live and who will die; who will die prematurely and who will live out his days; who will perish by fire and who by water; who by sword and who by wild animals; who by hunger and who by thirst; who by earthquake and who by plague; who by strangling and who by stoning; who will have rest and who will wander about; who will be at peace and who will be tormented; who will be at ease and who will be bothered; who will become poor and who will become rich; who will be brought low and who will be raised up."

One of the blessings during the High Holy Days is: "May we and all your people, the house of Israel, be remembered and inscribed in the book of life, blessing, peace and prosperity, so that we will have a life of goodness and peace. Blessed are you, Adonai, the maker of peace."

On Rosh HaShanah, Jews greet each other by saying "May you be inscribed in the book of life for a good year." On Yom Kippur, "May you have a good sealing of your destiny in the book of life."

"The tradition is that on Rosh HaShanah God opens the heavenly books and judges people according to their works, writing in them who will die and what kind of life the living will enjoy during the coming year. The Ten Days of Penitence, Rosh HaShanah through Yom Kippur, are thought of as offering an opportunity for repentance that will influence God to change these fates for the better. But on Yom Kippur these fates are fixed or "sealed."

(Jewish New Testament Commentary, David Stern)


I would like to speak briefly to the books which are unsealed. Daniel 7:9-10 describes the opening of books before the judgment seat. Rev. 20 says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works."

I love to think of these books. And what they may include.

"Here are some books we can find in the scriptures, which may be the included in the books unsealed.

1. The book of nature. Ps. 139:16 says, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy books all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them". Ps. 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." And, of course, you read about the invisible things of nature testifying against those who did great evil against God in Rom. 1. These invisible things "from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made."

2. The book of providence, wherein all the details are registered, even seemingly the most trivial. Matt. 10:30 says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Dan. 3:27 says that all the officious ones gathered to observe witnessed that the power of the fiery furnace had not singed even a hair on the heads of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo. And 1 Sam. 14:45 says God has numbered our hairs in this book to show us the special concern and care he takes of the least of our concerns. On the day of judgment, the opening of this book will confute and condemn those who spent their lives denying divine providence.

3. The book of men's afflictions. Ps. 56:8: "Thou tellest my wanderings (or flittings); put thou my tears into thy bottle. Are they not in thy book?" And Job says, "Also, now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." Thomas Brooks says, "That in the great day of account, the Lord will reckon with you for every rod he hath spent upon you; he will reckon with you, not only for all your mercies, but also for all your crosses; not only for all your sweets, but also for all your bitters; not only for all your cordials, but also for all your corrosives."

4. The book of conscience. Rom. 2:14-16: "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."

5. The book of scriptures. Jn. 12:48: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."

6. The book of life. This book coontains a register of such particular persons in whose salvation God from all eternity determined to have his mercy glorified, and for whom Christ merited faith, repentance, and perseverance, that they should repent, believe, and be finally saved.

7. The book of the wars of the Lord. Numbers 21:14: "Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon."

8. The book of remembrance. Mal. 3:16-18: "Then they that fear the Lord spoke often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that fear the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."

9. The book of words. Matt. 12:37: "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

10. The book of hard speeches. Jude 15: "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

(End-Times mailing list, MJ)


...God looked upon the suffering of Israel, and smote the first-born of the Egyptians, and it is one of the four nights that God has inscribed in the Book of Memorial. The first of the four is that in which God appeared to create the world; all was waste and void, and darkness brooded over the abyss, until the Lord came and spread light round about by His word. The second night is that in which God appeared unto Abraham at the covenant of the pieces. In the third night He appeared in Egypt, slaying the first-born of the Egyptians with His right hand, and protecting the first-born of the Israelites with His left. The fourth night recorded will be that in which the end of the redemption will be accomplished, when the iron yoke of the wicked kingdom will be broken, and the evil-doers will be destroyed. Then will Moses come from the desert, and the Messiah from Rome, each at the head of his flock, and the word of God will mediate between them, causing both to walk with one accord in the same direction.

(Legends of the Jews, Louis Ginzberg, Book 2)


[This is part of a May 8, 1999 BPR mailing list post.]

The PAX channel broadcast a program in May, 1999 entitled "Bible Code: The Future & Beyond" in which the following was reported:

Everyone's future is in the codes. They took a volunteer named Paul Bershon and found over 4000 instances where the name Bershon was found in the code: his first name, grad school, undergraduate school, projects he has worked on, daughter's name, ex-wife's name, mother and father's name, grandfathere's name, etc.

"When Rabbi Solomon suggested that everything that ever was or ever will be can be found in the Torah he wasn't speaking in generalities. He insisted it was there in minute detail implying that your name and mine, as well as our life history and possibly even our life destiny, was to be found there. Could such a thing be possible? In Psalm 139 we read: 'All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.' Could it be the book referred to is the very Bible we hold in our hands? Dr. [Eliyahu] Rips believes we are currently dealing with only the two dimensional aspect of the code and that even that is much more than we could ever decipher. But he also believes the code is more like a hologram with at least three and perhaps four dimensions in which all the world's academic, spiritual, and scientific knowledge might be stored."

I have just skimmed the info that deals with that last thought. There is some info that seems to point to the fact that nothing is permanently fixed in the codes and, therefore, there is some human factor involved in exactly how things play out.

For more on this program and the first Bible Codes program shown on PAX net see:


Note from Bill Koenig (edited):

Below are the remarkable results of my family search using the "Unlocking the Bible Code" software. To see these results in a matrix is truly remarkable.

To put this into perspective, this text, the original masoretic Hebrew text was written more than 2500 years ago. So in other words, the Lord knew my family history and what would happen before any members of my family were born.

However, we must remember, this information is easier to quantify when we have specific names of our families or words from previous events. The Colorado school shooting, the Kennedy Assassination, the Rabin Assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, etc., we have the "search words" that are relevant to these particular incidents. They are definitive and not subjective, so these searches are much more reliable and accurate. You know what your are looking for - its hindsight!

For example, former Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin’s name was crossed by the word "assassin that will assassinate." It was believed, according to the interpretation of the Bible Codes, that he would be assassinated. But one would not know the assassin's name until after the fact, so outside of being warned, nothing could be done to stop the event from happening.

After the fact, in hindsight, we could put in the name Amir (the assassin's last name), and the site of the assassination and the date of the assassination. These words would show up in the same matrix.

Moreover, the codes have not been known for revealing the "specifics" of the future, but they have revealed the hand of the Almighty God in the writing of the code. He knew from eternity past what was going to happen in our day. And wrote that into the code, so we could see it, after the fact, 2500 years ago when the masoretes wrote our Hebrew text.

In closing, the thought of the code's existence continues to bother some people, but the results can not be refuted despite the various attempts to discredit them. Sure there have been abuses, but the results remain compelling and awe inspiring.

Main search word: Koenig
The following search words created a matrix found from Exodus 27:21 to 35:19.

(When words touch, crossover, overlap or intersect in a matrix they can usually be considered good matches. This is especially true when you already have the names of family or previous events.)

(Koenig's International News email list, June 20, 1999)


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