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enter image description here

Copyright © 1979 by Basic Books, inc.

This segment appears on page 18 in Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, first ed. (without any further instruction about what it might be). Does anybody here have any idea on what it is and/or what it conveys?

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  • $\begingroup$ Looks like it might be simple sub. Too short really to do effective frequency analysis though $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 27 '17 at 21:12
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Translated to Hebrew characters:

בראשית ברא אלהים ויאמר אלהים יהי אור ויאמר אלהים יהי רקיע ויאמר אלהים יקוו המים ויאמר אלהים תדשא

Which roughly translates to:

In the beginning god created and god said let there be light and god said let there be sky and god said let there be vegetation

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It’s mentioned on page 14:

Facing Words of Thanks: The beginning of Genesis, in ancient Hebrew (xviii)

As @BeastyGerbil notes, it’s probably a substitution cipher. The Shin (fourth letter on the first line, starting from the right) is recognizable, but the others not so much. Unless it’s a script I’m not familiar with?

It seems to be written in the Samaritan alphabet (note: those letters don't render in Firefox for me, but they do in Safari), which is different from the present Hebrew alphabet I'm familiar with.

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