Biblical Meanings of Numbers

Written by on October 23, 2023

An essential key to understanding God’s word and its design is through the meaning of biblical numbers, their connections, and patterns. When we search them out and understand them, they reveal the handiwork of God. The arrangement of some numbers is evident, while others are not and require in-depth bible study. The parts found do not exist by random chance but by design. Patrick Fairbairn, a Scottish minister and scholar, said, “If God has given all things their significance and defined their bounds according to time, space, power, and number. And if He has appointed certain measurements to regulate things and times, biblical numbers must be symbolic and worthy of our study. And if a fit subject for study, the law by which this symbolism of numbers controlled and required to be ascertained.”
The symbolism of numbers is described by identifying patterns throughout the Bible. The symbolism of numbers 1, 3, and 7 are most agreed upon, while variation may occur with others. This list of biblical numbers and meanings is by no means exhaustive. It intends to give a basic understanding of patterns that reveal what the numbers represent.

Number 1 – New beginnings, Union/Unity, and oneness
One is independent of all other numbers and contained in all other numbers. It is only divisible by itself. It represented the union of the Godhead as one God as indicated in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, o Israel: The Lord is our God is one Lord.” In John 10:30, 1 Corinthians 8:4, and Galatians 3:20.) Number one also represents the union of man and woman becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7-9. It represents the union of God and man in salvation (John 17:11, 20-21,1 Corinthians 6-17, Ephesians 5:30)
Number 2 – Companionship, Witness, Division
Although a man and woman are one in Marriage, they are still two individuals, purposed by God to be companions to each other in separate and unique ways (Genesis 2:18,22, Ecclesiastes 4:9, Amos 3:3. Examples of number two in the Bible are, 2 of every kind of animal entered the ark, the Ten Commandments contained in 2 tablets. The old and the new testaments make us God’s word. For a valid testimony, two witnesses were essential by law. Two great lights divide the day and the night.
Number 3 – Triunity of divine design and perfection
Three is the number of trinities perfectly seen in the Holy Trinity – one God in three persons. Trinity existed before the foundations of the world, with the infinite and eternal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God sets the pattern of three in many rituals and instructions for the people of Israel: three things put in the ark of the covenant (Jar of manna, Aaron staff, Tables of Stone). Daily prayers were three times a day, Appointed feasts were three times a year. There were three types of laws: Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil. There were also three types of sacrifices/offerings: sin offering, peace offering, and praise offering.
Number 4 – Creative works of God
Four pertains to God earthy, under the sun creative works such as the four corners of the earth, the directions (North, East, South, West), the rivers of paradise ( Genesis 2:10), the winds of heaven, ( Jeremiah 49:36), the seasons of life (Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring)
Number 6 – The number of men, including the fallen nature of man and the works of the fallen man and evil of man

Six falls short of number seven, God’s number of completion and perfection, and man falls short of the perfection God created for him to be. God created Man on the sixth day, and he was to work for six days and rest on the seventh.
Number 7 Spiritual completion, Perfection, Rest
God created for six days, and on the seventh day, he rested. There are seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11. There are seven spiritual gifts from God. Seven times equals purification. The Book of Revelation offers a great display of sevens, the Church and the letters to the churches, golden candlesticks, stars, angels, the lamp of fire, spirits of God, seal judgments, horns and eyes on the lamb, trumpets, judgment, thunders, heads, and crowns on the great red dragon, last plagues, golden vials, bowls of judgment, and many more.
Number 8 – New beginnings
Number eight represents new life, regeneration, resurrection, and commencement. After the flood in Noah’s times, only eight people were on the ark, and they began a new world. The eighth day starts the week again.
Number 10 – completion of divine order
The Ten Commandments are the perfect instruction for righteousness. 10% tithes was an acknowledgment of God’s gift of abundance. The plagues in Egypt completed God’s judgment when Pharaoh failed to release God’s people.
Number 12 – Gods Perfect Government
The twelve sons of Jacob form the people of Israel (Genesis 35; 49). Jesus chose 12 disciples and 12 kingdoms of heaven parables told by Him.
Number 40 – Trials, Probation, Testing and Preparing
Throughout the Bible, we see the use of the number 40 in the days it rained on the earth. The 40 days after his birth, the male child was committed to God, Moses spent the same number of days on Mt Sinai receiving the law, and many more examples.
It is interesting to note that, on average, one in every five scriptural verses contains a number. Missing from the list is number five, associated with Grace, the Pentateuch, and God’s goodness. Number 9 represents the fullness of blessings, finality, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and faith.

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