THE UNIVERSAL & BIBLICAL IMPLICATIONS OF NUMBERS
• Use of the term number in the scripture emphasizes the perfection of God’s acts (Lk 12:7, Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26).
• Numbers in the Bible may be interpreted one or a combination of these ways:
Literary- as in Psalm 119 where 22 stanzas correspond to 22 Hebrew letter
Conventional- noting immeasurable amounts (Gen 41:49, forgive 70 x 7)
Rhetorical– figuratively/poetically to give unique meanings (Mt 24: 31)
Gematria– assigning numerical value to the Greek and Hebrew alphabetic (Rev 13:18)
Symbolic– established by contexts and patters
• Meanings assigned to numbers in dreams arise from universal connotations as well as patterns of their use in the scripture.
• Numbers when in conjunction with money may be interpreted as loss or gain of favor or loss or gain of the meaning of that number.
• The addition of zeros after numbers indicates increase of impact or importance. The size of the issue increases proportionately.
1= Unity, or uniqueness
More than 2000 uses in the Bible, many expressing the singular, but others with symbolic meanings
• With reference to God, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut 6:4,
Mk 12:29). The one God, the only God, no levels of deity; He stands alone.
• With reference to Jesus, one with the Father (Jn 17: 21-23).
• With reference to the body of Christ, brothers and sisters as one (I Cor 12, Acts 4:32, Mt 23:8-10)
• With reference to the uniqueness of individuals (parable of lost sheep- Lk 15:1-10, in reference to
tempting “one of these little ones who believe in me” Mt 18:6)
2= Confirmation, agreement, covenant (or possibly division, separation)
No number is more important as its 559 references indicate. It appears in creation and procreation.
• God’s pairs form the earth: male and female, heaven and earth, day and night, land and sea,
light and darkness
• Two sides of the cosmic battle: good and evil
• Choice– the foundation structure of human choice is between contrary possibilities. Deut 30:15-19
“I set before you life and prosperity, death and destruction . . blessings and curses. Now choose life.”
• New life comes out of the union of two
• “Two are better than one” Eccles 4:9-10
• Most of the patriarchal offspring come in twos: Cain and Able, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau
• There were two tablets of stone inscribed by god and given to Moses on Mt. Sinai
• Jesus said that “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” Mt 22:37-40
• Two is the minimum number of witnesses or to be sent on assignments– Jesus sent them out two by
two, 2 spies
3= Utter completeness
• Three is the minimum number necessary to establish a pattern. Chance, coincidence, pattern.
Thus three points to something yet to unfold, yet conveys a sense of completeness.
• Peter utterly denied Christ when he did it three times
• Pilate tried to release Jesus three times
• The chief priests and rulers rejected Christ three times
• Jesus raised from the dead after three days just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days
This victory over death implies total, sufficient, and utter completeness at its highest level
• 30 is the number of consecration, dedication, maturity for ministry, the Blood of Christ
(Numbers 4:3; 2 Sam 5:4; Luke 3:23; Mt 26:15)
4= The world, creation, universality
• The world. Four directions, four winds (10 references), four corners of the earth (Rev 7:1), and
four sides or corners of a building (Ezek 42:20; 46:21).
• The four representatives of the world as in “every tribe, tongue, people, and nation” is mentioned
seven times in Revelation, each time underscoring the world’s response to Christ, either
acceptance or rebellion.
• The intensity of what the world finally comes to before Jesus steps in is symbolized in
the four beasts, four heads, four kings, four living creatures, four angels, four horns, and four
faces from Revelation and Ezekiel.
• The house of God set up in the world is filled with the imagery of the number four as in four
rings of gold, four cups, four pillars, four horns, four bronze rings, four rows of precious stones.
• Universality within the world.
• Naming extremes– north, south, east, west– suggests everything in between.
• The passages using the terms “every tribe, tongue, people, and nation” also suggest the universal
potential for salvation and judgment.
5= Responsibility of man as the recipient of God’s grace
This number is mentioned 318 times in scripture and always in relation to God’s goodness and grace toward man.
• It is a significant number in connection to the measurements of the tabernacle, God’s house with us
• There were five offerings on the alter of sacrifice: the burnt offering, the peace offering, the sin
offering, the trespass offering, the meat offering.
• The Pentateuch makes known God’s requirements for receiving grace.
• The New Testament 5-fold ministry reveals God’s grace as he works through us.
• David chose five smooth stones to stand against Goliath.
• The ten commandments are two sets of five; the first in relation to God and the second in relation to
our fellow man.
• There were five wise and five foolish virgins
• We have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot, the foundation of the decimal system
Human weakness, the potential for greatness falling short, manifestation of sin
Man-made or artificial
Satan’s influence over man
• Six falls short of the perfect seven
• Man was created on the sixth day, and his appointed days of labor are six.
• The land was to be sown for six years.
• The kingdoms of this world are to last 6000 years.
• Moses had to wait six days on the mount before God revealed himself to him.
• Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image to be bowed down to stood 60 cubits high and 60 wide.
• This number often carries intensely evil significance. The serpent was the sixth character to be
revealed in Genesis. Satan is also connected with revelation’s sixth vial and sixth judgment.
7= Perfection, totality, finality, fullness of time
• God created the world in seven days, hence the seven day week.
• Blood was sprinkled over a sacrifice seven times.
• John sees the lamb as having seven horns, seven eyes, and seven spirits of God.
• There are to be seven seal openings and seven trumpet blasts in the end days.
• The seven heads of the dragon and beast in revelation represent the totality of opposition to God.
• There are seven church in Revelation 2-3.
8= New beginning
• Since seven is the number of completion, eight signifies a new beginning and stands for
the new replacing the old.
• Since God set up weeks as seven days, the eighth day is really the first day of a new week.
• Since four is the number of creation, eight is the number of a new creation.
• There were eight persons saved from the great flood to repopulate the world.
• It was on the eighth day, the day after the weekly Sabbath that Jesus arose from the dead.
• The circumcision of the new born male, the next generation, took place eighth days after birth.
• Aaron and his sons entered their priestly work on the eighth day after consecration. (Lev 9)
• Since the musical scales consist of seven note, the eighth note is the first note of the same scale an octave higher.
• the number of the teacher who brings fresh information
9= Divine finality, fullness, fullness of time, fruitfulness
• It is 3 x 3
• There are nine fruits of Spirit and nine gifts of the Holy Spirit
• Nine comes after eight; after a new beginning comes fruit
The fruit of the Spirit is available after spiritual rebirth
• Jesus shared nine beatitudes pointing the way to the fruitfulness of the Kingdom of heaven
• From the cross Jesus cried, “it is finished,” and died at the ninth hour
• Nine months is the rounded off number symbolizing fruit of the womb
•The number of the Holy Spirit
•The number of the evangelist who brings good news
10= Testimony opportunity from responsibility
Testing or trial as an opportunity for victory and testimony
A testimony intended to arise out of a test
• The law requires duty. There are 10 commandments. Man was responsible under the law to keep
the commandments and bear out the resulting testimony
• The tithe is an opportunity to bring testimony
• Before the flood, there were 10 patriarchs called to bear out testimony of God’s goodness and power
through their obedience to His voice
• There were 10 plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt. The testimony of Moses’ faithfulness bore out
• When Abraham prayed for God to save Sodom through ten righteous people, he was asking for a
• Ten was used in the parable of the virgins as it was the number required to constitute legal function
• There was the parable of the ten servants who were entrusted with ten pounds and rewarded with
authority over ten cities (Luke 19:13,17)
• The number of the pastor who is responsible to God for his flock
11= Disorganization, confusion, disintegration, overthrow through judgment OR
Nearing the End of a Season as in the 11th Hour (which could be positive)
• Used 24 times in scripture
• Eleven falls short of twelve
• There were eleven judgments that came upon Egypt: ten plagues and the drowning in the Red Sea
• Zedekiah, a wicked king, reigned 11 years and was then captured and taken to Babylon (Jer 52:1)
• Eleven days stood between the Hebrews in the wilderness and their judgment at Kadesh-Barnea by
refusing to take the advise of Joshua and Caleb to go up and take the Promised Land. (Num 13 & 14)
• concerning the Great white throne Judgment, John saw eleven things (Rev 20:11-15)
• A number of the Antichrist– the 11th horn, the little horn (Dan 7:7-8)
• The number of the prophet– 1 Cor 13:9-10: For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
12= Administration, divine government by appointment, authority, leadership
• Used 187 times in the Bible
• Twelve tribes of Israel
• Twelve disciples
• Twelve apostles
• Twelve thrones for ruling from heaven
• Twelve palm trees and wells of water to quench the Israelite’s thirst (Ex 15:27)
• Twelve months of the year
• Twelve constellations; the 12 chapter gospel in the sky through these
• In the book of revelation, there is a woman with 12 stars in her crown and there are twelve gates in
the new Jerusalem with twelve angels at the gates, and twelve manner of fruits. The city measures
12,000 furlongs three dimensionally (Rev 21 & 22).
• The number of the apostle
13= Depravity. rebellion, falling away, apostasy
• Found just 15 times in the scriptures
• All names of Satan in scripture are mathematically divisible by 13
• When Jesus described the depraved and rebellious heart, he listed 13 things (Mark 7:21-22)
The number is used 288 times in the scripture
• Twenty is found often in conjunction with silver (which symbolizes redemption as well), especially in
the building of the tabernacle; twenty pillars, fillets, and hooks.
• Hebrew males were mandated to offer a ransom of twenty gerahs for their souls at age twenty
• In the wilderness, all those below twenty years old would be allowed into the Promised Land
• Jacob labored twenty years in the house of Laban to receive his redemption
Forgiveness, beginning of ministry training.
40 symbolizes the world’s testing, a probation period ending in victory or defeat
• Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness before coming into the Promised Land.
• Jesus fasted forty days before the temptation of Satan and his ministry
• Jonah preached forty days to Nineveh
• Elijah fled to Mt. Horeb for forty days
• Ezekiel was called to lie on his right side for forty days symbolizing the forty years of Judah’s
• Israel counted the nations of their day as 70.
• There were 70 elders chosen by Moses (Num 11:16) forming the basis for the Jewish Council
called the Sanhedrin.
• The descendents of Shem, Ham, and Japheth who repopulated the earth were 70.
• Jacob’s family to came down to Egypt at Joseph’s request to be saved from starvation were 70.
This group was used to form the nation of Israel.
• Israel lived in exile in Babylonian captivity 70 years, the consequences for disobedience.
They had disobeyed the commandment to let the land rest every seventh year for 490 years,
Thus the chastisement was equal to the sin– 70 years.
• 70 years is a full human life span in Ps 90:10 and Isaiah 23:15).
• Daniel prophesied 70 weeks until the coming of the Lord.
• Jesus chose 70 to go forth in his name (Luke 10).
in the Spirit (Gen 6:3; Deut 34;7; 2 Ch 3:4; 5:12; Acts 1:5)
Full lawlessness. Number of the beast, Satan. Dan 3 & 7; I Sam 17; Rev 2:18; 14;9-11