What is Biblical Numerology?

by Matt Slick

It seems quite obvious that the Bible uses numbers in patterns.  Who can deny that 40 is significant?  Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  Whether or not the analysis of these number patterns is accurate is up for debate, but I present to you this information condensed from the book Number in Scripture by Bullinger.

One of the interesting features of Hebrew and Greek is that in both written languages there are no numeric characters. Where we have numbers and letters, they have only letters.  So, in each language the letters are also used as numbers.  In a small way we do the same thing in English. For example, is "O" a zero or a letter in the alphabet?  Is "l" a one or a small L?  When they are used, the context tells us which is which; and we have no problem understanding it.  The same goes for Hebrew and Greek.  They knew when they were writing numbers and when they were writing letters.

The interesting thing is that when a word is written, it also has a numeric equivalent.  For example, the word "Jesus" in Greek is iasous.  Since each letter has a numeric equivalent, we can add up each number and get a value.  The value is the gammatria.  Therefore, the gammatria of "Jesus" in Greek is 888 because i = 10, a = 8, s = 200, o = 70, u = 400, s = 200.  There are many interesting 'games' that can be played with this feature of Greek and Hebrew, and much of it is absurd.  However, some of the numeric relationships are interesting.

Whether or not the numbers really have a significance is still debated in many circles.   Nevertheless, I present the information for your examination.

1THE NUMBER OF UNITY. Father. Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Ephesians 4:5 "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."
2THE NUMBER OF DIVISION. The Son who has two natures: human and divine. There are 2 Testaments: the Old and New. Man is Male and Female. Rom. 9 speaks of two vessels: one for honorable use and the other for dishonorable use. Two types of people: Sheep and Goats. There are two ages: this age and the age to come: Matt. 12:32; 13:39, 40, 49; Mark 10:30.
3THE NUMBER OF DIVINE PERFECTION. The Trinity consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are three qualities of the universe: Time, Space, and Matter. To exist (except for God) all three are required. Each quality consists of three elements. Therefore, we live in a trinity of trinities.

--The three qualities of universe are each three:

 Time is one yet threeSpace is one yet threeMatter is one yet three
 Past
Present
Future
Height
Width
Depth
Solid
Liquid
Gas
 We live in a Trinity of Trinities: Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made . . . "
If you are a trichotomist then man is made of three parts:
 BodySoulSpirit
Human abilities are three
 ThoughtWordDeed
    
The divine attributes are three-fold:

God is:

Omniscient
Omnipresent
Omnipotent
Love
Light
Spirit
Holy
Righteous
Just
    
Three bear witness (1 John 5:8):
 SpiritWaterBlood
    
Christ is Three Shepherds
 The Good Shepherd (John 10:14-15)--speaking of His death
The Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20)--speaking of His resurrection
The Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4)--speaking of His glory
    
The Three appearances of Christ:

Past:
Present:
Future:

Has appeared (Heb. 9:26) to put away sin
Is appearing (Heb. 9:24) in the presence of God
Will appear (Heb. 9:28) to those who await Him
    
The Father spoke from Heaven three times:
 --Matt. 3:17, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
--Matt. 17:5, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him."
--John 12:28, "I have both glorified it [the Father's name], and will glorify it again."
    
Both the Tabernacle and the Temple consisted of three parts:
 The CourtThe Holy placeThe Sanctuary
Regarding the Tabernacle:
 The Holy of Holies was a cube (10 cubits x 10 cubits x 10 cubits)
Regarding the Temple:
 The Holy of Holies was a cube (20 cubits x 20 cubits x 20 cubits)
    
4THE NUMBER OF CREATION--North, South, East, West; 4 Seasons. The 4th commandment is the first that refers to the earth. The 4th clause of the Lord's Prayer is the first that mentions the earth. The materials of the tabernacle were four and so were the coverings and the ornamentations.
5THE NUMBER OF GRACE. Redemption. Israel came out of Egypt 5 in rank (Ex 13:18). David picked up 5 smooth stones to fight Goliath (1 Sam. 17:40). The Holy Anointing Oil was pure and composed of 5 parts (Ex. 30:23-25).
6THE NUMBER OF MAN: Man was created on the 6th day. Man labors 6 days only. The Serpent was created on the 6th day. The 6th commandment is "Thou shalt not murder." Six words are used for man: Adam, ish, Enosh, gehver, anthropos, anar. Also, 6 x 6 = 36. 36 + 35 + 34 + 33 + 32 . . . 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 666. 666 is the number of the antichrist. This means that the name of the antichrist in Greek adds up to 666. This is a mockery of the Trinity.
7THE NUMBER OF SPIRITUAL PERFECTION. Seven days in a week. Seven colors in the spectrum. Seven of the 10 commandments begin with the word "not." There are 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 parables in Matthew, and 7 promises to the churches. There are 7 "eternals" in Hebrews which are: A priest for ever (1:6); Eternal salvation (1:9); Eternal judgment (6:2); eternal redemption (9:12); eternal spirit (9:14); eternal inheritance (9:15); and everlasting covenant (13:20). Jesus said 7 things on the cross: 1) Luke 23:34 "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots; 2) Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise"; 3) Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"; 4) John 19:26 "When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son"; 5) John 19:28 "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 6) John 19:30 "When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit"; and 7) Luke 23:46 "Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last." "Hallelujah" occurs 28 times or 4 x 7. "Hosanna" occurs 7 times. "Milk" occurs 49 times or 7 x 7. "Abaddon" occurs 7 times. "After the order of Melchizedek" occurs 7 times.
8THE NUMBER OF NEW BEGINNINGS. 8 people on Noah's Ark (2 Pet. 2:5); circumcision on 8th day (Gen. 17:12); God made 8 covenants with Abraham
9THE NUMBER OF JUDGMENT. There are 9 greek words derived from the root word meaning judgment = dikay. The following words each occur 9 times in the Bible: abussos (bottomless pit); asebee (ungodly); aselgeia (lasciviousness); and astrapee (lightning). The gifts of the spirit are 9 in number (1 Cor. 12:8-10): the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
10THE NUMBER OF DIVINE PERFECTION. There are 10 commandments (Ex. 20); 1/10 of your income is a tithe; the were 10 plagues on Egypt (Ex. 9:14ff); 10 x 10 silver sockets formed the foundation of the Tabernacle (Ex 38:27); There are 10 "I AM"'s spoken by Jesus in John: 1) I am the Bread of Life (6:35); 2) I am the Bread of Life which came down from heaven (6:41); 3) I am the Living Bread (6:51); 4) I am the Light of the world (8:12); 5) I am One that bears witness of Myself (8:18); 6) I am the Door of the sheep (10:7,9); 7) I am the Good Shepherd (10:14); 8) I am the Resurrection and the Life (14:6); 9) I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (11:25); and 10) I am the True Vine (15:1,5).
12THE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTAL PERFECTION. There were 12 tribes of Israel; 12 Apostles, 12 foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem; 12 gates; 12 pearls; 12 angels. The measurements of New Jerusalem are 12,000 furlongs or stadia, while the wall will be 144 (12 x 12) cubits (Rev. 21:16-17).
40THE NUMBER OF PROBATION OR TRIAL. The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deut. 8:2-5). Moses was on the mount for 40 days (Exodus 24:18); 40 days of Jonah and Nineveh (Jonah 3:4). Jesus was tempted for 40 days (Matt. 4:2).
153In John 21:11, after the resurrection the disciples caught 153 fish. The word fish in Greek is ixthus which has a numerical equivalent of 1224 or 8 x 153. Remember, Jesus Christ is 888. 153 people received a blessing from Jesus in the four gospel (not counting the 5000 and examples like that).

 

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