Designed by God?

Was The Great Pyramid Designed by God?

     What brought about the theory that the God of the Bible designed the Great Pyramid, He expressing within its passage system a chronograph paralleling Biblical events? To answer this question, let us begin with those principal researchers and authors who have advanced the premise of Devine knowledge encoded within the Great Pyramid.

     John Greaves, an Oxford educated mathematician and astronomer, traveled to Egypt in 1638. His findings were published in his book entitled, Pyramidographia. Based on John Greaves’ King’s Chamber measurements, Sir Isaac Newton, (1643-1727), later deduced that the Great Pyramid had been built using two different length cubits. In a paper entitled “A Dissertation upon the Sacred Cubit of the Jews and the Cubits of Several Nations,” Newton concluded that a cubit of 20.628 British inches precisely described a 20 x 10 cubit room. He called this cubit “profane.” Today this measure is known as a royal cubit. Newton further proposed a longer cubit of approximately 25 British inches, which he called a “sacred cubit.” The Jewish historian Josephus described in his writings the circumference of the pillars in the Jerusalem Temple. It was from this source that Newton derived this longer cubit length of between 24.80 and 25.02 British inches. Today this measure is known as a Polar cubit.

     John Taylor’s 1859 publication entitled, The Great Pyramid, Why was it built? And who built it, was the first book to present the idea that the Great Pyramid was built under Divine inspiration. Taylor, referencing both the work of Greaves and Newton in his 1864 publication, The Battle of the Standards, argued against the adoption of the metric system. Rather, he was in favor of the British unit of measure, which his studies had lead him to believe was of Devine origin. He came to these conclusions over a study of 40 years.


     Only two months before his death, on the 5th of July 1864, John Taylor expressed the wish that someone dependable go to Egypt, and, at the Great Pyramid, test the figures that he had used in his writings. In a letter written on March 23rd of that year to his friend in Edinburgh, Piazzi Smyth, he said, “The cause of truth is the great object. If in any way we are able, while on Earth, to vindicate the ways of God to man, we have not lived in vain.” Not long after Smyth went to Egypt, staying four months from January through April of 1865. His three volume set, The Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, was subsequently published in 1867. Professor C. Piazzi Smyth was Astronomer Royal of Scotland from 1845 through 1888. 

     For many years Taylor lived near the British Museum, and he had used the library there for much of his research. Taylor developed his theory using others surveys, all of which had been taken when the Great Pyramid’s base was covered with sand. This resulted in an exaggeration of their base measurements by as much as 31 feet over the literal distance, as was the case with John S. Perring’s 1837 survey. One of Taylor’s conclusions was that the Pyramid’s perimeter in British inches resulted in nearly 36,600 British inches, or 100 times 366, and dividing the length of each of the four sides by 25 resulted in 366 Polar cubits per side, (9,150 British inches / 25 = 366 Polar cubits). Should Taylor’s analysis prove correct, it would demonstrate that the units of measure used in the construction of the Great Pyramid were nearly the length of a British inch, and of a 25 British-inch cubit as was postulated by Newton. Smyth, however, was never able to measure the Pyramid’s base to substantiate Taylor’s Pyramid-base theory.

     Taylor understood the Great Pyramid’s base perimeter to be 27 feet longer than its actual distance due to Perring’s overstated survey. It was Sir Flinders Petrie, Father of Egyptology, who later showed the perimeter to be about 27 feet shorter than Taylor had thought. Egyptologists believe Taylor to be incorrect in his analysis, they citing Petrie’s base-perimeter measurement. But this does not mean that Taylor’s premise was without merit.  David Davidson in his 1924 published work, The Great Pyramid—Its Devine Message, stated that the “Displacement Factor” need be added to the base perimeter to achieve a distance equivalent to one Polar inch for every day in 100 solar years. Davidson was made aware of this 286.4 British inch “Displacement Factor” distance from the published works of Professor Charles Lagrange. Davidson further proposed three different base circuit year lengths, where the author finds that only two can be validated utilizing analytical geometry—the solar tropical and the sidereal orbital years.

     In 1882 Sir Flinders Petrie measured the base of the Great Pyramid in British inches by first clearing the corners, although not the full circuit. Noting a ± 2.4 inch error margin, his measured distance differs from the author’s proposed theoretical perimeter distance by minus 1.43 inches. In 1925 J.H. Cole cleared the entire base and stating a ± 2.44 inch error margin measured a distance 1.09 inches longer than the proposed theoretical. Later in 1981 Josef Dorner lasered the perimeter of the Pyramid and derived a distance 0.54 inches longer than the proposed theoretical distance. Note that as the base is cleared and as technology improves survey measurements draw closer to the theoretical distance. Dorner’s distance, obtained using the latest technology, is then our reference, which measurement differs from the theoretical by merely 0.54 of an inch over a 3,023 foot distance. To put perspective to this variance, the theoretical distance is divided by Dorner’s distance to obtain a ratio of 1/1.000015; that is, where the Pyramid’s theoretical base perimeter is equivalent to one million units, Dorner is saying that it is 15 units longer.

     The theoretical base perimeter distance is derived from the number of days in 100 solar years. Note that the center of the Descending Passage Entrance is 286 inches left of the Great Pyramid’s center, (See  the drawing: Height of Great Pyramid in Polar Inches—Same as Numeric Value of Isaiah 19:19-20). Adding this 286.102 Polar inch distance, (equivalent to 286.406 British inches), to the Pyramid’s 36,238.1336 Polar inch base circuit results in 36,524.2356 Polar inches—the number of days in 100 solar years. (See the two page Volume I Appendix A: “Analytical Method to Determine Original Perimeter of Great Pyramid”). This 365.242356-day solar year length occurred in 654 B.C., the year in which both the solar tropical and the sidereal orbital years matched the circuit ratios encoded in the Great Pyramid’s base perimeter. Significantly, 654 B.C. began the initial 49th year from God’s reinstatement of the Jubilee in 702 B.C. The French to English translation of The Great Pyramid, a work by Professor Charles Lagrange, an astronomer of the Royal Observatory in Brussels Belgium, was published in 1894. Therein Professor Lagrange documented the aforenoted 286.406 British inch distance, naming it the Displacement Factor, which distance in Polar inches is 286.102.

    A Polar inch is derived from the division of the polar diameter of Earth into 500,000,000 parts. This unit of measure was proposed in 1865 by astronomer John Herschel, who declared the meter to be both “the newest and worst measure in the world,” and alternatively proposed a division of the polar diameter by 20,000,000 parts to yield a Polar cubit. Although unrecognized by Herschel, he had defined a unit of measure for Earth that God made biblical reference to and had used in the design of the Great Pyramid. Utilizing satellite triangulations of the earth, the Astronomical Almanac of 2007-2010 references the Polar inch to be equivalent to 1.00106285 British inches.

    What this demonstrates is that Taylor was correct. According to the Great Pyramid’s British inch to Polar inch perimeter measurement conversion, the structure was built using both Polar inches and Polar cubits, and its base circuit expresses in Polar inches the number of days in 100 solar years and 100 sidereal orbital years.

     If God had designed the Great Pyramid, should not the Bible speak of it? It does so in Isaiah 19:19-20, (NKJV): “In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.  [20] And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.”

     In 1868 Henry Mitchell, Chief Hydrographer of the United States Coast Survey, was first to notice the unique geographical position of the Great Pyramid. He ascertained that the Nile Delta formed an exact 90-degree quarter circle and that on the point marking the center of that quadrant stood the Great Pyramid. He went on to say that the Great Pyramid was oriented to the four cardinal compass directions—north, south, east, and west. A projection of the Great Pyramid’s northwest and northeast arris diagonals served to define the Nile Delta, and, thereby, lower Egypt. Mitchell remarked that the pyramid, which stands at such a sectorial center, must be at one-and-the-same time both at the border thereof and yet at its quasi practically governing middle. Quoting Mitchell, “That monument stands in a more important physical situation than any other building.” His survey revealed that the Great Pyramid was positioned just as Isaiah 19:19 described.

    So, do the “altar” and “pillar” “to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt” spoken of in Isaiah identify the Great Pyramid? Set forth in Isaiah 19:19-20 are four requirements that identify the subject of these verses. The first is that an altar to the LORD must be located in the middle of the land of Egypt. The second is that a pillar to the LORD must be located at the border of the land of Egypt. The third is that the altar and the pillar must be the same structure. The fourth is that the altar and pillar must be a sign and a witness unto the LORD. 

    The discussion begins with the first, second, and third requirements. Isaiah tells of an “altar” that lies in the “midst” and a “pillar” that lies at the “border” of Egypt, and that his references describe a single structure. Mitchell’s description of the Pyramid’s geographic location, position it both in the midst and at the border of Egypt. It is just as Isaiah said, the Great Pyramid rests on what had been the border between upper and lower-Egypt during pre-dynastic times, (pre-3,000 B.C.), and as well “in the midst” of greater Egypt.

    The word translated “pillar” in verse 19 is Strong’s word number 4676, the meaning of which is “a memorial stone, a stone commemorating something specific.” The pillar of Isaiah’s prophecy is then as he said—a memorial stone unto God. The “witness” in verse 20 is referring to the “altar” of verse 19. The Bible makes reference to two types of altars, one meant for sacrifice and the other for witness. Isaiah's “altar” reference was to an altar of witness, rather than to one for sacrifice. The prohibition from the use of hewn stone in Exodus 20:25 does not apply to an altar of witness, but to one of sacrifice. There is then nothing to have prevented the use of hewn stone in the construction of the Great Pyramid. The third requirement is that the altar and the pillar must be the same structure in that they are together referred to as “it” in verse 20. The first, second, and third requirements as set forth in Isaiah 19:19-20 are then met; that is, the altar of witness and the pillar or memorial stone unto God are one-and-the-same structure—the Great Pyramid, and it is located both in the midst and at the border of Egypt. 

    There is another strong indication that Isaiah 19 speaks of the Great Pyramid. Adam Rutherford understood the Great Pyramid’s geometric design and dimensions, and O. de Blaere recognized a scriptural connection. Rutherford published their collaborative theory in 1957. They had realized that the Great Pyramid, from its base to the platform where the Capstone would rest, was 5,448.736 Polar inches in height, while the numeric value for the 30 original Hebrew words that comprise Isaiah 19:19-20 summed to 5,449. The numeric value for these verses was the same number that had been calculated for the Great Pyramid’s height! The Bible then identifies the Great Pyramid as the subject of Isaiah 19:19-20 by denoting not only the Pyramid’s unique geographical location, but as well its precise height, and that, significantly, in Polar inches—1/500,000,000 of Earth’s polar diameter, the unit of measure with which it was built, (See again the drawing: Height of Great Pyramid in Polar Inches —Same as Numeric Value of Isaiah 19:19-20). Of note is that Petrie’s NE and SW corner elevation measurements were short of the theoretical height by 1.43 - 2.73 British inches with a ± 7.0 inch error margin, and that the theoretical height of the Great Pyramid, from its base to the top of the 203rd course, is well within Petrie’s error margin.

    The word “sign” in Isaiah 19:20 is Strong’s word number 226, which can mean “signal,” or as in the Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament the meaning is “a sign of something past, which serves to keep it in memory, hence a memorial monument, a sign of something future, prophetic sign, or [token of the truth of a prophecy].” Words can hold one or more meanings. The author understands the word “sign” in this verse to hold all of its defined meanings. If one takes all meanings for “sign,” Isaiah’s intended meaning would be a memory monument of past and future prophecy

    Is the fourth and final requirement of Isaiah 19—that the “altar” and “pillar” must be a “sign” and “a witness unto the LORD,” met by the Great Pyramid? During Smyth’s time at the Pyramid, he determined that Alpha Draconis had shown down the structure’s Descending Passage over 4,000 years past. Alpha Draconis is the principal star in the constellation Draco (the dragon), and was the north pole star at that time. Robert Menzies, in communication with Smyth, proposed that this astronomical phenomenon should be marked in some way within the Descending Passage and that the Grand Gallery symbolized the Gospel Age of Dispensation. Smyth searched for and discovered two scored lines, one on each side of the passage. The date that Draconis had shown down the passage was placed at the scored lines to begin a chronograph. Menzies went further to say that a one inch to one-year-scale chronograph would present within the passages—the inch being the Polar, and the year being the solar year inscribed in the base circuit. From Menzies proposal proceeded a number of Christian authors working to interpret the chronograph. Included are John and Morton Edgar writing many books starting in 1910 through 1924. Their last is the best known, a three volume set, The Great Pyramid Passages and Chambers. They were followed by David Davidson, who in 1924 wrote The Great Pyramid Its Devine Message. Then Adam Rutherford, who wrote many books including: The Great Pyramid in 1939, The Great Pyramid Series in 1945-1953, and finally his best known work, Pyramidology, Volumes I-V, 1957-1986. The fifth volume was written, but never published. Lastly, Ralph Lyman’s, God’s Time Capsule, The Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza Egypt, Vol I, April 2012, and Vol II, October  2013.

    Are we to understand that Isaiah specified, with his use of the word sign, the Pyramid to be a chronograph from God paralleling the Bible as Menzies had proposed? Well, the Great Pyramid’s chronograph does mark the date of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, and the Bible records the very day that Israel came to Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:1, “In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai.” The Septuagint translated by Charles Thomson reads, “Now on the first day of the third month,” and The Bible: An American Translation by J.M. Powis Smith and Edgar J. Goodspeed reads, “On the third new moon.” The new moon marked the beginning of their months. It is clear from the foregoing translations that Israel arrived at Mount Sinai on the first day of the third month. The second day of the third month reference is in Exodus 19:3-8, where Moses went up the mountain unto God. The third day of the third month is the first of the three days spoken of in verses 10 and 11. The fourth day of the third month is the “tomorrow” of verse 10, and the second day of the three. Then the fifth day of the third month is the third day of the three, the day that God spoke the Ten Commandments from the mountain, (Exodus 19:16-25, 20:1-17). According to Exodus 19:1-16, Moses went up the mountain on the fifth day of the third month. This indicates that the 15th of the first month, Nisan, was a Sunday. Therefore, the fifth day of the third month was Pentecost, and a Sunday as well.

    Joshua made reference to the day after the Passover. This day of Joshua’s record occurred forty years after Israel left Egypt, “Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. [11] And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day,” (Joshua 5:10-11). “The day after the Passover” in Joshua 5:11 is identical to “the day after the Sabbath” of Leviticus 23:15. Following the weekly Sabbath, the next day, Sunday, was within the days of Unleavened Bread, and it was the day of the wave sheaf offering―the Firstfruits of the barley harvest. The expression “morrow after the Sabbath” refers to Sunday morning—because the Sabbath is a 24-hour day of observance ending on Saturday night, and Sunday morning is the morning that follows. Similarly, the “morrow after the Pesach [Passover sacrifice]” must be the morning immediately following the Pesach sacrifice. Remembering the Pesach sacrifice was brought on the end of the 14th of Nissan at twilight, (Exodus 12:18, Deuteronomy 15:4), the following morning is then the morning of the 15th. This deduction is confirmed by Numbers 33:3, which relates, “And they traveled from Ramses in the first month on the 15th of the month; on the morrow after the Pesach [sacrifice] the Children of Israel went out with a high hand in the eyes of all Egypt.” That Israel ate the produce of the land, parched grain, required that it first be offered up as the Firstfruits―the wave sheaf. For this to have happened on the morning after the Passover lamb had been eaten meant that the 15th day of the first month was a Sunday, just as it was at the Exodus. 

    There is a one in seven (1:7) chance that the 15th day of Nisan was a Sunday in 1453 B.C. Should the 15th day as well have fallen on a Sunday 40 years later in 1413 B.C., the probability is one in 20 (1:20) for that occurrence. Using astronomy tables, the author ran the one-hundred and twenty sets of 40-year periods that began during the years 1500 B.C. to 1380 B.C. to find that only six of those 40-year periods began and ended with the 15th day of Nisan falling on a Sunday. In that there were six such occurrences during a 120-year period, the resultant ratio is then six in 120 (6:120); that is, a mathematical probability of one in 20 (1:20). The combined ratios of 1:7 and 1:20 results in a 1:140 probability. The 40-year period expressed in the Great Pyramid from 1453 B.C., at the Exodus, to 1413 B.C., when Joshua camped in Gilgal, was one of the six. Petrie’s measured distance from the Scored Line to the beginning of the Ascending Passage floor was 688.85 British inches, which at an inch-per-year scale brings one to within six days of the correct full moon of the Exodus. A comparison between the 688.103114 Polar inch theoretical distance—equivalent to 688.834776 British inches, and Petrie’s measured distance—a length in excess of 57 feet, results in a mere difference of 0.015224 of a British inch, or 15 thousandths of an inch, (See the drawing: Scored Line and Exodus Dates). Recall that the word “sign” holds the meaning of “a memory monument of past and future prophecy.” The Great Pyramid meets this meaning and requirement of Isaiah 19:20 in the form of a chronograph, it being “for a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt,” predicting the same past and future prophecy as does the Bible. Greater detail on these subjects is available in the two volume set, God’s Time Capsule, The Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza Egypt, by Ralph Lyman.