What The Numbers Mean In The Bible

The study of Biblical numbers has been a subject of fascination since the dawn of Judeo-Christian faiths and beliefs. Numbers are significant throughout the Bible, representing aspects of God’s character, principles of His kingdom, and spiritual truths.

Biblical numbers carry a special and often symbolic meaning, sometimes pointing to another Scriptural passage and making various truths easier to identify. In Matthew 13:52, Jesus’s disciples asked Him why He spoke in parables. He said it was to ‘hide truth from those who are not worthy of it.’ By understanding the symbolism of Bible numbers, we can gain insight into some of the most profound mysteries God has given us.

The number 7, for example, is the number of completion. It’s a symbol of perfection and completeness, used throughout the Bible. It is seen in the seven days of creation, the seven Clean Animals, the seven Sacraments and the seven Beatitudes, to name a few. It is considered a sign of holiness, study of perfection and completeness, and a reminder to live by the principals of God’s kingdom.

The number 10 is also profoundly linked to perfection. It symbolises the 10 Commandments and the 10 Virtues from the Beatitudes. Furthermore, 10 is often used to denote the concept of plentitude, and the abundance of God’s blessings.

The number 12 is seen often in the Bible. It symbolises God’s government, perfection of government and simply points to the 12 tribes of Israel as the elect of God. It also symbolises testimony in a way, as the 12 apostles were sent out on a mission to bear witness of Jesus to the world. The number 12 also signifies perfection of government and is the basis for many organizational structures in the Bible.

The number 40 is mentioned throughout the Bible. It is the number of trials and testing, as seen in the 40 days and 40 nights that Noah and his family spent in the ark, Christ’s 40 days fasting in the desert, and the 40 years the people of Israel spent in the wilderness. It is also a symbol of a new beginning, as Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai receiving God’s commandments.

Significance of the Numbers 3, 6 & 12

The number 3 is seen frequently in many of the Bible’s stories, such as the three patriarchs, Abraham, Issac and Jacob, the 3 wise men, the 3 nails of the crucifixion, the 3 hours of darkness on Good Friday, and the 3 days Jesus spent in the tomb before His resurrection. In addition, the number 3 symbolises the Trinity – God The Father, The Son and Holy Spirit.

The number 6 carries both positive and negative implications. In the Bible, it often symbolises man’s effort, the six days of labour, and man’s mortality, given its link to the number of days a person should work in a week. There is also a sinister connection to the number 6, as it is associated with the six days of evil or the antichrist’s kingdom.

The number 12 is significant as it symbolises God’s government, perfection of government and also points to the 12 tribes of Israel. The number 12 is used to denote the concept of plentitude, and the abundance of God’s blessings. It also gives a significance to the 12 apostles, who were sent out on a mission to bear witness of Jesus to the world.

Connections between Animal Symbology & the Bible’s Numbers

The Bible’s use of numbers is also connected to animal symbology. Examples include the 12 animals and birds of Leviticus 11 and the seven clean animals, which were often sacrificed to God and presented as offerings of thanks. In Jewish tradition, the seven clean animals are derived from the passage in Leviticus 11:3-9, which reads: “These you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who have the cloven hoof: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have the cloven hoof, is unclean to you; the rock badger because it chews the cud but does not have the cloven hoof, is unclean to you; the hare because it chews the cud but does not have the cloven hoof, is unclean to you; and the swine, though it has the cloven hoof, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you.” The seven clean animals mentioned are the ox, the sheep, the goat, the hart, the gazelle, the roebuck, and the wild goat.

The 12 birds of Leviticus 11 are, the owl, the bat, the stork, the cuckoo, the kite, the vulture, the spar hawk, the heron, the raven, the ostrich, the seagull, and the hawk. The connection that is drawn between these animals and the Bible’s numbers is reinforced by the fact that there are 12 birds, which is associated with government or God’s laws. Additionally, the number 7, which is symbolically associated with completeness, is reinforced with the seven clean animals mentioned.

Implications Of Figures In Bible Numerology Beyond Numbers 6, 7 and 10

While numbers seven and ten are especially prominent in numerology, many other numbers carry spiritual implications that aren’t as immediately obvious. For example, the number 5 is often seen as representing the Scripture’s principles of grace and the 5 Holy Wounds received by Jesus during his suffering and death. Additionally, the number 8 frequently expresses the idea of new beginnings or deliverance. This can be seen in the resurrection of Jesus (which took place 8 days after his death) and in the 8th day of religious observance.

The number 12 also holds special significance in Bible numerology. It is seen in the 12 apostles, the 12 tribes of Israel, and in the 12 gates of heaven. Additionally, the number 12 symbolises completeness and divine government, since God gave the world 12 months in a year, 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on each given day.

The power of 3 is also of import in Biblical numerology. This is seen in the Holy Trinity and in biblical references to the three days Christ spent in the tomb. This same pattern can be found in the three longest books of the Bible—Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

Connecting the Smaller Numbers to the Larger Numbers in the Bible

No matter what numbers we find in the Bible, their patterns and meanings carry spiritual significance. There is evidence for this in Zachariah 5, where two women are said to be representing the two terms of justice, “A talent of lead was lifted up, this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah”. This woman is held in the balance of the scales, and the scales are set against the larger numbers of 70, 40, or 10. Taking this further, it could be argued that the smaller numbers point to the larger, and all work together to illustrate spiritual truths.

In the same way that we can add the smaller numbers of seven and twelve together and they will combine to create the larger number nineteen, we can also take any two of the larger numbers such as forty and ten and come up with the smaller number five, which is symbolic of grace in the Bible. Numbers are meant to work in harmony with one another, whether they are smaller or larger, in order to help illustrate spiritual truths.

Embodiment of the Bible’s Numbers in Art and Everyday Life

The abstract patterns of biblical numbers can also be seen in artwork and literature, as well as in everyday life. For instance, Psalm Ninety-Two pays homage to the number seven; it is composed of seven sets of seven lines and asks “for what God hath done,” (7) and references the Lord’s covenant with man (7+3=10).

In everyday life, the influence of numbers can also be recognised. Many of our modern-day holidays, such as the 4th of July, or the significance of “07.07.07,” demonstrate the powerful effect of these symbolic numbers.

The Bible’s use of numbers is an important part of its history, and it can be seen in scripture, artwork, daily life, and more. By studying these figures and what they represent, we can learn extraordinary truths about the Lord and His kingdom.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

Leave a Comment