Accepted Biblical interpretation embraces the concept that the Torah “encodes” a wealth of information which is not normally visible to the reader. For example, the gmatriya (numeric value) of a word can shed light on its more esoteric meaning. In recent years, a computer program which counts occurences of letter patterns in the Torah has brought another interesting facet of “encoding” to light.
We tried it, and believe it or not…
The word חילזון (chilazon) does not appear in the Torah at all, but is recognized as being the aquatic source of Tekhelet from Oral Tradition. The chilazon (in modern Hebrew: snail) was located in the portion of the tribe of Zevulun, on the Northern Mediterranean coast of Israel.
A search for the pattern חילזון in the book of Bamidbar hit the jackpot… twice! The pattern appeared concisely and exactly on the parsha of tzitzit which commands us regarding Tekhelet (Numbers 15:37-41) ! As an extra bonus, the only other time it appears in Bamidbar is in the parsha describing the contribution of the Nasi of the tribe of (you guessed it…) Zevulun to the Tabernacle (Numbers 7:24-29) !