Biblical Numerology Part 2

Continuation of Biblical Numerology from Part 1 – Number Eight forward

EIGHT: sh’moneh in Hebrew, from the root shah’meyn “to make fat” or “to cover with fat” which means to super-abound. The first of a new series: there are seven days in a week; the 8th day is the beginning of a new series of days. It is the number of salvation, resurrection, and new birth/regeneration.

  • Eight is the first cubic number (2 x 2 x 2). This is significant because the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and in the Jerusalem Temple was the same height, length and breadth–a perfect cube [1 Kings 6:20].
  • Eight is the number of our salvation and the Second Coming. It is the day Christ arose from the dead [Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-10].
  • Eight (okto in Greek) days after the resurrection (in the literal Greek translation) Jesus appeared to his disciples a second time; this time with Thomas [John 20:26].
  • The eighth day, which is Resurrection Sunday (the day after the seventh day Jewish Sabbath), is the first day of the New Covenant.
  • Eight people were saved in the ark during the Great Flood including Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives [Genesis 7:13].
  • On the 8th day of an Israelite male child’s birth, he entered the Sinai Covenant by the ritual of circumcision [Genesis 17:10-12; Exodus 22:29-30; Leviticus 12:3].
  • On the eighth day of the dedication of the desert Tabernacle, during the morning liturgical service, God lit the fire of the sacrificial altar. This day was commemorated in the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) which was an eight day feast [Leviticus 23:36-39].
  • The feasts of Passover (Nisan 14th) and Unleavened Bread (Nisan 15th -21st ) lasted 8 days and marked the beginning of the Liturgical year [Leviticus 23:5-8], while the Feast of Tabernacles lasted 8 days and marked the end of the Liturgical year.
  • The priesthood of Aaron and his sons was consecrated on the eighth day [Leviticus 9:1].
  • David, God’s anointed, is the eighth son of Jesse [1 Samuel 16:10-13].
  • There were eight classes of furniture in the Jerusalem Temple [1 Kings 6:15-8:9].
  • Solomon finished building the Temple in the eighth month of the seventh year [1 Kings 6:37-38; 8:1-2]. The celebration and dedication lasted eight days [1 Kings 8:66].
  • The dimensions of the Temple are based on the number eight [1 Kings 7:10].
  • The prophet Elijah performed eight miracles [1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 13].
  • Jesus rose from the dead on the eighth day of His week of Redemptive Passion (Sunday is both the first day of the week and the day that follows the seventh day the old covenant Sabbath– the eighth day) [Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1-3].
  • There are seven or eight petitions in the Lord’s Prayer depending on how they are counted [Matthew 6:9-13].
  • There are seven or eight Beatitudes depending on how one counts them [Matthew 5:1-12].
  • The gematria of Jesus in Greek, Iesous, is 888 (I = 10, e= 8, s=200, o=70, u=400, s=200). All the names for Jesus are multiples of 8
  • Scientists have identified eighty-eight constellations
  • Scientists now believe there are only eight planets (Pluto’s erratic orbit suggests it was once a moon of Neptune)
  • In the Book of Revelation:
    • There are twenty-four elders around the throne of God (3 x 8) [Revelation 4:4].
    • There are four beasts with six wings each = 24 (3×8) [Revelation 4:6-8].
    • Twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel 144,000 = (8x15x100) [Revelation 7:4-8].


SEVEN AND EIGHT: together these numbers form a remarkable connection. As we have noted seven, according to its etymology, means that which is spiritually complete, while eight denotes that which is superabundant. God’s holy covenant name is expressed in Hebrew by the four consonants YHWH which have a value of 10, 5, 6, and 5. Added together their total is 20 + 6 but multiplied by 3 (the Triune God) their value is 70 (7×10) + 8 or spiritual perfection times perfection of order plus superabundant salvation.
Yahweh’s covenants are also seven and eight: Seven covenants are revealed in the Old Testament and the eighth covenant in the New Testament, in the New Covenant in Christ:

 


The classes of furniture in the desert Tabernacle and in the Temple reflected both the numbers 7 and 8.

 

Desert Tabernacle
Exodus 25:10-30:21; 37:1-40:33
Solomon’s Temple
1 Kings 6:1-13; 2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14
1. Ark of the Covenant 1. Ark of the Covenant
2. Seat of Atonement (Mercy Seat) 2. Seat of Atonement (Mercy Seat)
3. Golden Alter of Incense 3. Golden Alter of Incense
4. Golden Menorah 4. Golden Menorah
5. Golden Table for the Bread of the Presence 5. Golden Table for the Bread of the Presence
6. Bronze Sacrificial Altar 6. Bronze Sacrificial Altar
7. Laver for the holy water 7. Laver for the holy water

8. Bronze Sea for ritual cleansing


The seven/eight pattern is often repeated in the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament texts of the Bible (repeated word patterns are sadly ignored in the English translations of the Bible). For example the seven/eight pattern is found in chapter two of the Book of Exodus. In the Hebrew text of Exodus 2:3-10 the word yeled, “child,” is repeated seven times in verses 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 (twice), and 10. In addition the plural “children” (yalde) is used in verse 6, resulting in the combination of a seven/eight pattern in the passage that addresses Moses’ childhood. The same seven/eight pattern found in Exodus 2:3-10 that describes the childhood of Moses is repeated in the Hebrew text of Exodus 2:11-21 describing Moses’ life as an adult in Egypt. The word ish, “man,” is repeated seven times in verses 11 (twice), 12, 14, 19, 20, and 21, with the addition of the plural ‘anasim, “men,” in verse 13, yielding a second seven/eight repetition in describing events in Moses’ adult life (Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-English, vol. I, pages 143-144; Exodus, vol. I, William Propp, The Anchor Bible, Doubleday, page 146). It is unlikely that the repeated seven/eight pattern in describing both Moses’ childhood and his adulthood is a coincidence. Seven is one of the “perfect” numbers, representing the perfection or fullness of God’s plan, spiritual perfection, and the number of covenant. Eight is the number representing God’s “superabundance” and symbolizes redemption, salvation, re-birth, and restoration In his childhood and as an adult, God is present and His plan is at work in Moses’ life. It is a Divine plan in which the “lost” child Moses will be fully restored to his people as an adult and in which Moses, as God’s agent, will bring about the salvation of his people.

Another example of the seven/eight pattern is found in the Book of Revelation in which the last seven visions of St. John are introduced by the Greek words kai eidon, “and I saw,” in Revelation 19:11 (vision #1 = 19:11-16), 19:17 (vision #2 = 19:17-18), 19:19 (vision #3 = 19:19-21), 20:1 (vision #4 = 20:1-10), 20:4 (vision #5 = 20:4-10), 20:11 (vision #6 = 20:11-15), and 21:1 (vision #7 = 21:1-8). However, in the description of the seventh vision the words kai eidon are used an eighth time in 21:2, yielding the seven/eight pattern for the final time in Sacred Scripture.

NINE: This number is related to the number six, being the sum of its factors (3×3=9, and 3+3=6). It is significant of the end of man and the sum of all man’s works. Nine is therefore the number of finality or judgment.

 

  • It was in the ninth year of the prophet Hosea that the king of Assyria destroyed the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carried the people away into exile [2 Kings 17:6].
  • It was in the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s reign that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah, destroying the city of Jerusalem and the Temple [2 Kings 25:1].
  • It was the ninth hour, Jewish time (3PM) when Jesus gave up His life on the cross for the sins of the world [Matthew 27:46].


TEN: Perfection of divine order

 


ELEVEN: disorder: 10 + 1 or 12 – 1; also disorganization, lack of fulfillment, imperfection.

 

  • At Kadesh-Barnea the Children of Israel traveled eleven days from Mt. Sinai. In one more day they could have been in the Holy Land but their faith failed them [Deuteronomy 1:2].
  • The last two Kings of Judah each reigned eleven years before the Babylonian conquest of Judah: Jehoiakim [2 Kings 23:36; 24:1; 2 Chronicles 36:5-6 ] and Zedekiah [2 Chronicles 36:11; Jeremiah 52:1]
  • When Judas died there were only eleven Apostles – their number was incomplete; to complete the order of twelve, a twelfth Apostles was chosen by lot [Acts 1:15-26].

TWELVE: Perfection of government. Twelve is the number of the Church, both the Old Covenant Church of Israel founded by twelve physical fathers (the twelve sons of Jacob-Israel) and the New Covenant Church founded by twelve spiritual fathers (the twelve Apostles). This number also has a relationship with multiples of twelve.

 

  • Twelve signs of the zodiac (these ancient symbols are found in Jewish synagogues of the 1st century AD.)
  • The circle of the heavens = 360′ (12 x 30).
  • The product of the number three (perfection of divinity) x four (the number of the earth).
  • Twelve months in a year.
  • Twelve tribes of Israel [Genesis 49:28].
  • Twelve pillars were erected at Mt. Sinai [Exodus 24:4].
  • Twelve pillars were erected in the Promised Land [Joshua 4:1-9].
  • Twelve statues of oxen held up the water basin in Solomon’s Temple [1 Kings 7:25].
  • Twelve men were selected by God to conduct the census of the tribes [Numbers 1:2-16].
  • Twelve princes of Israel brought gifts to the Sanctuary on twelve days [Numbers 7:10-83].
  • Twelve spies sent to reconnoiter Canaan [Numbers 13:1-15].
  • Jesus is twelve years old when He questions the scholars in the Temple [Luke 2:41].
  • Twelve legions of angles [Matthew 26:53].
  • Twelve Apostles [Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13].
  • 144,000 servants of God (12 times 12) [Revelation 7:4].
  • Twelve gates of the New Jerusalem [Revelation 21:12].
  • Twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem [Revelation 21:16, 17].
  • The Trees of Life in the new creation will bear twelve kinds of fruits [Revelation 22:2].


THIRTEEN: Often seen as an ill omen representing hostility, rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption.

 

  • Thirteen is the 6th prime number.
  • Judas is considered to be the thirteenth; Jesus is #1 plus the 12 holy Apostles; Judas is always named last in the list of Apostles [Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16].
  • The Israelites marched around the city of Jericho thirteen times before the city collapsed (Josh 6:2-5).
  • Ishmael, the illegitimate son of Abraham, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. [Genesis 17:23]
  • Leaven is a sign for sin. The gematria for leaven, zumee in Hebrew, is thirteen.
  • The Virgin Mary often appears on the thirteenth day of the month. This number obviously has no power over her. Remember it was prophesied that her son would crush the head of the serpent in Genesis 3:15 and that the Serpent would make war on her children [Revelation 12:17]. She defies the devil and defends her son’s Church and her children, Jesus’ faithful disciples.


FOURTEEN: 7 x 2 = double measure of spiritual perfection. Seven is the number of covenant and divine perfection and two is the number of the Incarnation.

 

  • The genealogy of Jesus in St. Matthew’s Gospel is divided into three sets of fourteen generations [Matthew 1:1-17].
  • The gematria of David’s name is the number fourteen.

FIFTEEN: 3 x 5; 5 = grace and 3= Divine perfection of the Godhead. This number symbolizes acts wrought by the energy of Divine grace.

 

  • Fifteen is 7 + 8 = Covenant (7) and Resurrection (8); when Jesus manifest himself as God and defeated death and Satan (Resurrection was on Sunday, the 8th as well as the 1st day).
  • Fifteen is a special mark of the energy of divine grace issuing in glory.
  • The fifteenth day of the 1st month was designated the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins at sundown after the Passover sacrifice (sundown begins the next day for the Israelites). It is the day of the Last Supper [Leviticus 23:6].
  • The fifteenth day of the 7th month is the beginning of the final feast of the liturgical year, the Feast of Tabernacles. [Leviticus 23:34]


SEVENTEEN: Perfection of spiritual order

 

  • The seventh prime number.
  • Jacob lived seventeen years in Egypt [Genesis 47:28].
  • Seventeen can mean double spiritual perfection plus the completion of Divine will = 2 x 7 + 3.
  • Seventeen is also the sum of two perfect numbers 7 + 10 = perfection of spiritual order. For example, see Romans 8:35-39 and the series of seven blessings in the form of questions followed by ten answers. Also see Hebrews 12:18-24 where the Old Covenant and New are contrasted****. Seven statements refer to Old Covenant and ten to the New. In both these New Testament passages, the New (10) is superior to the Old (7).
  • The seventeenth of Nisan during Passion Week was the Old Covenant Feast of Firstfruits. It was also the day of Jesus’ Resurrection when He defeated sin and death [Leviticus 23:11-14; Matthew 28:1-6].


TWENTY: This number is the double of ten, and may in some cases signify its concentrated meaning. But its significance seems to be connected with the fact that it is one short of twenty-one. That is to say, if twenty-one is the three-fold seven, and signifies divine (3) completion as regards spiritual perfection (7), then twenty, being one short of twenty-one would signify expectancy. There are numerous illustrations in Scripture to support this explanation

 

  • Twenty years Jacob waited to get possession of his wives and property [Genesis 31:38-41].
  • Twenty years Israel waited for a deliverer from Jabin’s oppression [Judges 4:3].
  • Twenty years Israel waited for deliverance until Samson [Judges 15:20; 16:31].
  • Twenty years the Ark of the Covenant waited at Kirjath-jearim [1 Samuel 7:2].
  • Twenty years Solomon was waiting for the completion of both the Temple and his Palace [2 Chronicles 8:1].
  • Twenty years Jerusalem waited between its subjugation and its destruction [Jeremiah 52:4; 2 Chronicles 36:1-10].
  • Twenty years Jeremiah prophesied concerning the destruction of Jerusalem [Jeremiah 52:4-13].


THIRTY: Being 3 x 10 this number denotes in a higher degree the perfection of divine order, as in marking the right moment in God’s Divine plan.

 

  • Joseph was thirty when he became the Vizier of Egypt. [Genesis 41:6].
  • David was also thirty when he began his reign over Israel [2 Samuel 5:4].
  • A man was eligible for military service at thirty and Levites began their service in the Sanctuary at age thirty [Num 4:3, 23, 30, 35, 39].
  • The people mourned the deaths of Aaron and Moses for thirty days [Numbers 20:29; 34:8].
  • Jesus was about thirty years of old at the commencement of His ministry [Luke 3:23].


FORTY: This numberis recognized as an important number both on account of the frequency of its occurrence and with the uniformity of its association as a time of consecration and as a period of trial.

 

  • Forty day epic periods during the great flood [Genesis 7:4, 12, 17,8:6].
  • Forty years was the age of Isaac when he married Rebekah [Genesis 25:20].
  • Forty years of Moses in Egypt [do the math, see Ex 7:7; Dt 34:7; Acts 7:30].
  • Forty years of Moses in Midian before his return to Egypt [Acts 7:30].
  • Forty years from the Exodus until Moses’ death [Dt 1:3; 34:7].
  • Forty years Israel ate manna [Exodus 16:35; Deuteronomy 29:5].
  • Forty days Moses was on the Mountain to receive the Law of the Sinai Covenant [Exodus 24:18].
  • Forty days the children of Israel were tested while Moses was on the mountain [Exodus 32:1].
  • Forty days Moses was on the Mountain after the golden calf [Exodus 34:28].
  • Forty days after his birth a male child of Israel was dedicated to God at the Sanctuary [Leviticus 12:1-4].
  • Forty days the Israelite spies reconnoitered the land of Canaan [Numbers 13:25].
  • Forty years was Caleb’s age when Moses sent him to reconnoiter Canaan [Joshua 14:7].
  • Forty years that Israel spent in the wilderness before they camped by the Jordan River [Numbers 14:33; Deuteronomy 1:1-3; 8:2].
  • Forty years from the giving of the Law at Sinai to the conquest of the Promised land [Joshua 5:6].
  • Forty year intervals of peace in the age of the Judges (Judges 3:11; 5:31; 8:28)
  • Forty years Eli judged Israel [1 Samuel 4:18].
  • Forty years of war between Israel and the Philistines.
  • Forty years David ruled as King of Israel [2 Samuel 5:5; 1 Chronicles 29:26-27].
  • Forty years of Solomon ruled Israel [2 Chronicles 9:30].
  • Forty days Jonah was in the Assyrian city of Nineveh [Jonah 3:4].
  • Forty years Josiah ruled Judah [2 Kings 12:2].
  • Forty days Ezekiel lay on his right side to symbolize the 40 years of Judah’s transgressions [Ezekiel 4:6].
  • Forty years of judgment that Ezekiel prophesied for Egypt [Exodus 29:11-13].
  • Forty days Jesus fasted in the wilderness before His temptation [Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2].
  • Forty days Jesus taught His disciples after the Resurrection. On the fortieth day He ascended to the Father [Acts 1:3].


FORTY-TWO: The number forty-two is the product of six times seven. Seven is one of the “perfect” numbers, signifying fullness and perfection, especially spiritual perfection. However, six is the number of man and of man’s opposition to God’s plan for mankind’s salvation. In Scripture the number forty-two appears to symbolize a connection to or a conflict between man and the Spirit of God.

Examples of the symbolic nature of the number forty-two can be applied to these passages:

 

  • It is the number of the sum of the knobs, flowers, and branches of the golden Menorah, ordained by God but fashioned by a human craftsman [Exodus 25:31-40].
  • Balaam offered three sets of sacrifices on seven altars each with two animals sacrificed on each altar for three sets of fourteen sacrifices totaling forty-two animal sacrifices prior to God providing the prophetic oracle [Numbers 23:2, 14, 29].
  • The deliberately structured forty-two stages of the Israelites’ from Sinai to the Plains of Moab – it was a journey marking their conflict with the will of God for Israel’s future [Numbers 33:1-49].
  • The forty-two young men who mocked God’s choice after the ascension of Elijah and the transfer of his authority to Elisha [2 Kings 2:23-24].
  • St. Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus is a deliberately structured list of forty-two names ending with Jesus’ name and reveling that He is both man and God [Matthew 1:1-17].
  • In the Book of Revelation the number forty-two signifies the conflict of the Beast together with his offspring, “the seed of the serpent” [Genesis 3:15], that stand in opposition to Christ and His Church for a symbolic forty-two months [Revelation 11:2; 13:5].


This number is connected with “the Beast” in the book of Revelation. An important part of his career is to last forty-two months [Revelation 11:2; 12:5] or three and ½ years. In Scripture the number forty-two, or the relationship between forty-two (months) and three and ½ (years/ days or days of years), seems to be associated with God’s Divine plan, especially climaxing in a short but intense period of tribulation/judgment as the numbers are used in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation [see Daniel 7:25 & 12:7, and Revelation 11:2, 11; 12:14; 13:5]. This number is also associated with the number 1,260: 3 ½ years = 42 months = 1,260 days, in Revelation 11:3 & 12:6. In the book of Revelation there is a chiastic pattern formed with these numbers:

A. 42 months = Revelation 11:2
B. 1260 days = Revelation 11:3
C. 3 ½ days = Revelation 11:9
C* 3 ½ days = Revelation 11:11
B* 1260 days = Revelation 12:6
A* 42 months = Revelation 13:5

FIFTY: is the number of jubilee or deliverance. It is the issue of 7 x 7 +1 or 7 squared + 1, and it points to deliverance and rest following on as the result of the perfect consummation of time.

 

  • On the fiftieth day after leaving Egypt, God met Israel at Sinai, = the first Pentecost (this Greek word means “50th day”) [Exodus 19:1; 14-16].
  • Fifty is grace = 5 multiplied by perfect order = 10.
  • In the fiftieth year, known as a Jubilee year, all debts were to be forgiven, all Hebrew slaves were to be freed, and all land returned to the original owner. [Leviticus 25:8-19].
  • On the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the Upper Room; it was the second great Pentecost (the first was the Theophany of God at Mt. Sinai [Acts 1:3; 2:1].


SEVENTY: is another combination of two of the perfect numbers 7 and 10, and it signifies perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance.

 

  • There were seventy nations before the Tower of Babel. [Genesis 10:1-32].
  • Seventy men built up the nation of Israel when the Israelites first entered Egypt. [Genesis 46:27].
  • Seventy elders were chose to meet with God on Mt. Sinai and ate a sacred meal in His presence; they represented the hierarchy of the Old Covenant Church [Exodus 24:9-10]
  • Seventy elders of Israel comprised the Great Sanhedrin (Israel’s Supreme Court of law).
  • Jesus chose seventy disciples [Luke 10:1].


ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY: is made up of 3 forties (3×40 = 120). Applied to time therefore it signifies a divinely appointed period of probation. Applied to persons it points to a divinely appointed number during a period of waiting.

 

  • One hundred-twenty priests were present at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. [2 Chronicles 5:12].
  • According to the oral law one hundred-twenty people were required to form a congregation [Jewish Talmud].
  • One hundred-twenty disciples were present in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit descended [Acts 1:15].
  • One hundred-twenty is a factor in the number of those who returned from Babylon, 42,360 (120 x 353). [Ezra 2:8-66].
  • One hundred-twenty is a factor of the number 144,000. It is the number of those who will be sealed from the twelve Tribes of Israel in the book of Revelation (120 x 1200 = 144,000). [Revelation 7:4].
  • The Great Synagogue was composed of One hundred-twenty members [Nehemiah 10:1-10].


ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THREE: An abundance of ink has been spilled in an attempt to discern the significance of this number. It is a number which has taxed the minds of some of the greatest Biblical scholars. All have believed that there must be something deeply significant and mysterious in this number from the solemn way in which it is introduced in John 21:11: Simon Peter went and drew the net to land full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty three. St. Augustine has pointed out the comparison and contrast between the two miraculous catches of fish, one at the beginning and the other at the end of Christ’s ministry (after his Resurrection). He and other scholars see in this number some connection with the “saved” who are “caught up” in Peter’s “net”, a symbol of the Church. St. Jerome also saw that there was some deeper meaning in the number, and records that there were 153 sorts of fish in the Sea of Galilee which he believed symbolized all kinds of men enclosed in the Gospel net. Both St. Augustine and Pope St. Gregory the Great noticed that 17 is the sum of the perfect numbers 10 (perfect order) and 7 (spiritual perfection). St. Gregory multiplied 17 by 3 and again by 3 to get 153. Augustine used addition and took the sum of all the digits up to and including 17 as amounting to exactly 153. They also noted that the expression “Sons of God”occurs 7 times, and that the gematria of this expression in Hebrew is exactly 153. In Greek the gematria of “Sons of God” is 3,213 or 3 x 7 x 153. The gematria in Greek for the word fishes is 1,224 or 8 x 153. The gematria for “the net” is 1,224 or 8 x 153.

Numbers in Scripture also contain patterns that point to God’s providence. The ages of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are an example:

Genesis 47:28: Jacob lived seventeen years in Egypt; thus Jacob’s total age came to a hundred and forty-seven years.
It is interesting to note the factorization of the life spans of the patriarchs follows a pattern. Each squared number increases by one each time while the coefficient decreases by two:

  • Abraham: 175 = 5 x 5 x 7
  • Isaac: 180 = 6 x 6 x 5
  • Jacob: 147 = 7 x 7 x 3


Within these factors there is another pattern. The sums of the factors that total Abraham’s life span equal the number seventeen, as do the sums of the factors that equal the life spans of the other two patriarchs.

Continued in Part 3