Biblical Numerology: Meanings of Numbers in the Bible

What is Biblical numerology?

Biblical numerology is a way of understanding the bible by deeply analysing its use of numbers through the lens of numerology. Over time, the practice of biblical numerology became more about understanding the bible and it’s mysteries, rather than just reading it.

Each letter has a corresponding number and this is used to assign a number value to a word, based on its original letter. For example, the word ‘God’ in English would have a value of 28 (G=3, O=14, D=4). But, due to the nature of the bible and the languages it’s written in, there are some inconsistencies.

For example, if we use the above ‘God’ example in the greek version of the bible, it would be written as ‘θεοσ’ or ‘theos’. This comes out to be 810 (Θ=800, Ε=5, Ο=70, ς=300). The same word written in the latin version comes out to be 1184 (G=3, D=400, O=70, S=200).

Now that we’ve gone over some basics, let’s get into some deeper biblical numerology.

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Biblical meaning of zero:

Nothing. The absence of anything. Also, a symbol of the ultimate, such as God.

The first number mentioned in Genesis: “in the beginning there was nothing.”

Biblical meaning of number 1:

After the beginning. Also, it can be seen as an extension of zero because the first step is just to get started.

The Biblical meaning of the number one is a pivotal beginning, new and fresh. The first man, the first day, the first king, and so on.

The number 1 symbolizes a new step in life, whether that be the start of an enterprise or an idea (such as with a religion).

One also has a connotation of unity. The Bible is the best example of this, as it is supposed to be a unity of holy scripture. It was written by various people, but it is seen as a unity.

In essence, the Bible is one book, one religion, one God. The number one is used in the Bible to describe God, who is the only true one worthy of our worship. We are not to worship anyone or anything else.

This idea is also important in most world religions; especially monotheistic ones such as Judaism and Islam, but also some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism. The number one also represents unity, completeness, and perfection.

These ideas are represented by God as he is all powerful, all knowing, and all wise. No human can match even a small amount of perfection that God has. We can only strive toward it, and then only with his help.

Biblical meaning of number 2:

Separation and duality. First because two is necessary for there to be an us and them (or a them and us). Second, it is also a link between one and three, making it important in both beginnings and endings.

The number two is the first number that represents a conceptual idea, rather than a tangible thing. The number two represents the beginning of duality. Day and night, good and evil, right and wrong.

The number two lies at the heart of all binaries. The Bible contains many opposing ideas, but they are opposed to each other in order to achieve a third goal. For example, God is all good, but Satan evil. God allows freedom of will, which Satan does not.

God’s will ultimately prevails over Satan’s will and good will ultimately triumph over evil, but only after a period of conflict and strife. The number two also represents division. The world we live in today is mostly divided into separate countries.

Even on a smaller scale, many countries are separated by borders, language, and culture. In the same way, good and evil exist in division from one another. The world is not just divided between good and evil, but also many smaller concepts that lie between these two opposing forces.

The Bible mentions the number two numerous times in regard to a large amount of opposing ideas.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites are commanded by God to wipe out the opposing tribes and claim the land of Canaan as their own. This is to prevent an even greater opposing force, that of the numerous tribes of evil people who live in the land.

In the New Testament, Jesus preaches peace and brotherhood among all men. He brings division to the old ideas of hatred and forces a new idea of love for one another.

Christianity lies in the center of these two ideas: peace and war. In order to spread the message of God, many Christian missionaries underwent great trials and suffered much persecution.

Biblical meaning of number 3:

Completion. The Three in One (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Father, the beginning; the Son, the link between; the Holy Spirit, the completion. Also three days of the resurrection.

The number three is the first triadic number. A triad refers to a group of three. The triangle is also an important shape. A pyramid can be pictured as a triangular shape with a triangular peak. This is a representation of God, as God is regarded as the “peak” of existence.

Within the Bible, it says that God existed before creation and was alone, until he created the heavens and earth. This shape is also a very stable shape. The triangle is the only shape that won’t fall down if placed vertically against a surface.

A platform must be at least a square to keep from falling. A platform can be made of equilateral triangles to ensure it doesn’t fall. Three legs of a table are attached at a single point and the table won’t fall, but add a fourth leg and the table will stand even more solidly.

Biblical meaning of number 4:

The number four is the number of solid foundation. It is also symbolic of created earthly space (ie. a house).

  • In the Bible, there are four cardinal points (north, south, east, and west).
  • The number four is also symbolic of the natural world and this life, as opposed to the spiritual world and eternity.
  • There are four gospels, four living creatures that surround God’s throne, and the “New Jerusalem” (heaven) has twelve gates, with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on them–three on each gate.
  • The fourth hour of the Passion–“It was now about the fourth hour (John 19:14).
  • The fourth promise of the Lord to the Israelites–“Neither will I suffer the feet of the Assyrian to rest on the soil of my people Israel” (II Kings 19:32).
  • The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer–“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Biblical meaning of number 5:

Grace. The number of fingers on a human hand; also the number of wounds Christ received on the cross. Also, the Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit came to the apostles in the form of tongues of fire).

The number of human senses. Also, the number of books in the Torah (Christian Bible). There are five appendages on a cross (four arms and one crossbar)

Biblical meaning of number 6:

Man. The number of days God labored on the sixth day. Also, the number of days Christ walked on this earth. Also, the number of souls made in God’s image – Adam and Eve, and Cain, Abel, and Seth.

Biblical meaning of number 7:

Completeness. The number of days in a week. A heptagon is a seven-sided shape. Seven hundred: he complete man. Used to refer to someone who has lived a full life, or symbolize the end of man’s existence on Earth.

The number 7 also relates to the “days” of Creation. The Number of Creation: God created the Heavens and the Earth–this is the fundamental creation (Genesis 1:1). This means that before this there was nothing–no time, no space, no matter, and no energy.

Then God created Heaven–referring to the sky (Genesis 1:1). Then God separated the waters (Genesis 1:6) and this is when time began. There was not a before and after. Then God spoke the world into existence, and things got started. God then created light (Genesis 1:3).

Biblical meaning of number 8:

Already seen as a doubled four, and can be used in a similar way to symbolize completeness.

Biblical meaning of number 9:

God’s number. Used to represent divine perfection and completeness. Nine hundred: Used to refer to something that is perfect, or something approaching the end of perfection.

Biblical meaning of number 10:

Can refer to a completion of a cycle. Also the number of fingers on a human hand. Also, completion of the Christian Bible.

  • Perfection (God is seen as having ten attributes in the Jewish religion).
  • There are 10 commandments given by God to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai in the Bible. This doesn’t mean that God only recognizes the Jews as his chosen people. It simply means that this is the first time he made a deal with a group of humans.
  • The last supper consisted of 10 disciples before Jesus was betrayed (Luke 22:9).
  • There are 10 generations from Adam to Noah and 10 generations from Noah to Abraham. From Abraham to David there are 4 generations, and from David to the first coming of Christ there are 3.

Biblical meaning of number 11:

  • The number 11 represents disorder and chaos.
  • There are 11 instances in the bible where God curses whole nations.
  • Jesus is betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). This leads to His arrest in Gethsemane.
  • There are 11 Apostles (including John the Beloved) that witness Christ’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1).
  • In the last book of the bible, we are told about 11 faithful and discreet slave-owners who share their master’s talents (or in this case–slaves).

Biblical meaning of number 12:

The number 12 is a number of government and administration.

  • There were 12 tribes of Jews.
  • There were 12 disciples that followed Jesus.
  • There were 12 stones chosen to tell the story of the battle of Jericho.
  • There were also 12 apostles.

Biblical meaning of number 13:

The number 13 has traditionally represented rebellion against God and is seen as a sign of bad luck.

  • Some cultures also believed that there is a 13th gift to men in the 12 days of Christmas.
  • In a full circle (which has been said to represent completeness), there are 12 sections and the 13th is the centre.
  • Satan is seen as the 13th tribe of Israel and he uses this number as a mark of defiance against God.
  • It is also the reason why Friday the 13th is considered bad luck, since 13 is seen to be a reversal of faith, while Friday was the day Jesus died (Good Friday).
  • Nimrod, who rebelled against God, was the 13th descendent of Ham.

Biblical meaning of number 14:

There are 3 sets of 14 generations within Jesus’s lineage. The first set of fourteen is from Adam to Noah. The second set is from Shem to Abraham and the 3rd set is from David to Jesus.

Biblical meaning of number 15:

Biblical meaning of number 15: The number 15 symbolises a change, usually for the worst. The Flood started with the 15th day of the 2nd month.

Biblical meaning of number 40:

  • It rained for 40 days and 40 nights.
  • Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights (where he was tempted by Satan).
  • There are 40 years of wandering for the Jews (in the bible).

Biblical meaning of number three and a half:

Used to symbolize something that is complete, but not quite. Can also be used to symbolize a transition or change of state.

Possibly derived from the Babylonian calendar, which consisted of twelve months of thirty days each, plus five additional days (i.e., a 360 day year). Each month was thus presumably twenty-eight days, and consequently three and one half years would mean 112 months or 1,460 days.

Thus, the half is less than a whole month in the case of the Bible. In other words, if you want to use three and a half years as a catch-all designation similar to the way we use “B.C.” or “A.D.” (before Christ, and of course after), then three and a half years falls completely within the time period of 360 days. Alternatively, we can think about it this way: 3 1/2 years is also the same length of time as 12 months plus 2 days–in other words, it’s like an ordinary month and a couple of “extra” days. This can be compared to the (12 x 30) 360-day year, which has an extra 2 days.

One’s mind immediately goes to Daniel 12:11, which uses the concept of three and a half as a metaphor for a period of time in which one’s reward is determined. Just as grain must fall on the earth to fulfill its destiny before it receives a heavenly reward, so also must every man die before he is rewarded. It should be obvious that three and a half is not a biblical catch-all symbol that applies to every single event within the last 1,000 years.

There are many events that are called three and a half, but there are also events that can be called other numbers of years. The difference between these two types is determined by whether they are periods of “preparation” or “fulfillment.” The first half (of the period) is a time of preparation, while the second half is one of fulfillment. (Because these periods are believed to exist simultaneously, it may be more precise to think of them as two intersecting periods.)

For example, in Matt. 13:43, Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field for which a man sold all he had and bought the field. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! The treasure is like the Kingdom of God. It was a long time in coming, but it has finally arrived. He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it as some would have you believe. The first three and a half years of the reign of Christ is a type of preparation for the faithful. It sets things in order.

During this time, there is still business as usual. It’s like a construction worker building his house during the first three and a half years of his retirement. The expression “three and a half years” may indeed be used in the future to refer to a time period of preparation, but the expression “seven years” is far more likely to be used for a period of fulfillment. It should be noted that the number “seven” is itself symbolically rich in the Bible.

For one thing, God rested on the seventh day–a “cosmic” Sabbath so to speak. The Jewish week is actually set up around the number “seven”–there are seven days in a week. The “seven” year cycle in the Hebrew economy is likewise divided into halves–the seventh year was a Sabbath Year in which all land was to lie fallow and debts were forgiven. (Hence, we have the word “Sabbath” in “Sabbath Year”.)

The first half of the cycle is a time of planting. The second half of the cycle is a time of reaping what has been sown. The seven-year cycle has some similarities to the three and a half year period described above, but it should not be mistaken for it. For one thing, the seven-year cycle is more of a physical concept while the three and a half year period is more of a spiritual concept. The seven-year cycle involves the whole nation of Israel, while the three and a half year period is more personal in nature. During the seven-year cycle, all debts are cancelled. In other words, the slate is wiped clean.

After the three and a half year period of preparation, the slate isn’t wiped completely clean… but it is wiped clean to some extent. Three and a half years is like the time that Jesus spent on Earth–a period when certain events are “held back” until the appropriate time arrives for them to be unleashed. When the time does come, these events are unleashed, and there is a great harvest of souls.

After three and a half years, the second phase of Jesus’ reign begins. That period of time is referred to as the “time of the end” because it is the time when the last prophecies are fulfilled. During this time, people will be strictly sorting themselves out–to those who are ready and willing to change and to those who are not. The “wheat and the chaff” parable in Matthew 13 is an apt description of this process.

This is the great division that occurs just before the end. There are many descriptions of this parting of the ways in scripture, but one of the most telling is found at Matthew 8:11-12: And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This scripture is rich with symbolism, but its meaning is quite clear–the “children of the kingdom” are the children of Israel and the “outer darkness” is a reference to the land surrounding the land of Israel. The symbolic “Israel” is being cast out into that “outer darkness”. In other words, those who are not saved are cast out while those saved are allowed to dwell within the Kingdom of God.

The way that this sorting process is carried out is through war–first with other nations and then with Satan himself in the battle of Armageddon. Those who are cast out are destroyed in God’s battle of revenge against Satan and his followers. While this battle is going on, however, the saved are “raptured” up to heaven (or the kingdom of God).

The Bible refers to this event as the “catching away” or the “translation”. The Old Testament equivalent to this is the prophet Enoch–he was caught up by God and disappeared. This event of being “caught away” is really a way of saying that these people are saved virtually instantaneously. It is an instantaneous “transfer” from Earth to heaven.

The rest of the people–the unsaved–are not caught away. They must endure the battle and are destroyed. Satan is eventually cast into a pit of fire where he will be tormented day and night for eternity. Those who sided with him will join him there. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this event. It is, indeed, the most important event in all of human history.

All shall stand before the judgment seat of God and be judged according to their works. Those who are found wanting will be sent away to spend eternity in torment and the righteous will dwell in paradise forever. This judgment is sometimes referred to as the “Bema” (which means “judgement seat”

Biblical meaning of number 666:

The Number of the Beast–666–is a symbol of Man’s rebellion against God and the struggle between Good and Evil. The early Church heavily persecuted pagans in Rome.

The famous “whore of Babylon” from the Book of Revelation is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church. The beast is symbolic of the emperor worship that was common at the time.

The number 666 has long been associated with the “devil”–in fact, some religious sects believe that Sunday (the day of the sun) should be shunned because it is associated with 666. (Not Saturday–the seventh day–but rather Sunday, the first day of the week). Papal Rome persecuted those who held to this belief.

In some conspiracy theories, the number is associated with the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, or other secret societies. In fact, the founders of the United States considered using the number on the dollar bill to represent the number of years that America was to exist. However, it was decided that they didn’t want to draw attention to this so it was changed to a circle with a snake, representing the “original sin” of America’s creation. These conspiracy theories are highly unlikely since the early Church abandoned this view of the number long ago.

In fact, the Bible (Revelation 13:18) states that the number stands for “a man’s number.” The Pope is the Vicar of Christ and has a ceremonial title as “Vicar of Peter” or what we would call “Peter the Roman.”

The name Peter is spelled with a ‘p’ and ‘r’. The abbreviation for Peter is ‘PTR. This is the origin of the phrase “Peter the Roman” and is not derived from any anti-Catholic conspiracy theories. I know that the “Man of Sin” theory is very common these days, but it simply isn’t true. Biblical meaning of number 666: 666 is the “number of a man”–the number of someone’s name (Revelation 13:18).

Most scholars believe that this refers to the Emperor Nero. Nero’s full name was Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.

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