Top 10 Significant Numbers in the Bible

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For years, people have studied the numbers used throughout the Bible to gain an understanding of the significance of particular numbers. Some people believe that the importance of numbers can then be applied to our lives. What are some of these unique numbers and what do they represent? Read on!

10. The Number 9 (Judgment)

The number 9 occurs at least 50 times in the Bible. Although the number 9 is used in a variety of ways, it’s considered to represent judgment. In the Old Testament, 9 men were stoned to death. When Jesus came to live upon earth, his life was to come to an end when he was nailed to the cross. Jesus expires at the 9th hour and several days later he appears to his disciples 9 times after his resurrection.

In the book of Ecclesiastics, the speaker states that there are 9 things that make me happy. When Hoshea, son of Elah, became king in Samaria, he reigned for 9 years. The number 9 has been used a few times to represent the time of day when people prayed—the 9th hour.

The number 9 has also been used to describe the spiritual gifts that Jesus has given to people, as well as the fruit of the spirit. In the New Testament we learn about the 9 spiritual gifts: faith, knowledge, wisdom, healing, miracles, distinguishing spirits, speaking in tongues, prophecy and interpreting tongues. As a person accepts Christ into his/her life, he or she obtains at least one of these spiritual gifts. Most likely the most familiar use of the number 9 is the fruit of spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control.

9. The Number 30 (The Right Moment)

Because the number 30 is significant in the Bible, some people believe months that contain just 30 days (September, April, June and November) are months in which new opportunities need to be embraced. For example, it may be the time to look for a new job, set a new goal or make an investment.

Thirty is also the combination of 3 and 10 that are both represented to be good biblical numbers.

The number 30 represents a higher degree of divine order. Jesus was sent to the earth as a baby and when he was 30 years old, he began his ministry. Joseph, who believed in Jesus and studied his teachings, began his ministry at age 30. David, another follower of Jesus, began his reign at age 30. During this era, a priest would be considered as a deacon for five years from ages 25 to 30 and then would began his priest duties at age 30.

It’s interesting to note that all three of the men mentioned above were betrayed at some point. When Judas betrayed Jesus, it was for 30 pieces of silver. This was the going rate for selling a slave.

8. The Number 70 (Restoration)

The number 70 is a combination of two perfect biblical numbers (7×10) and represents restoration, the use of spiritual power. In the Old Testament there were 70 nations before the Tower of Babel. When Israel first entered Egypt, 70 men built up the nation. The court of law in Israel, known as the Sanhedrin, was comprised by 70 elders. In the book of Exodus we learn that 70 elders met with God on Sinai and shared a sacred meal together. There was also the 70 year of exile to Babylon. In the New Testament, Jesus chose 70 student disciples to teach and perform apostle duties. Later he invites 12 to become his close disciples.

One of the most interesting use of the number 70 can be found in Matthew 18: 21, 22: 21 when Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” There’s been much debate as to what is meant by this passage. Some people interpret the passage to mean that Jesus mentioned at least up to 7 times, that a person needs to forgive another person regularly. Others interpret the scripture to mean that Jesus was clarifying that a person needs to be able to forgive someone 70 x 7 times.

7. The Number 4 (Creation)

The biblical significance of the number 4 is creation and is believed to represent God’s absolute control over the world. The Bible makes reference to the 4 corners of the earth which relate to our 4 cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. When we think about the 4 seasons, it’s a reminder of creation since each season is unique. The universe is made up of 4 things: time, energy, space and matter. There are 4 lunar phases. We often refer to 4 elements, known as earth, water, fire and air. During biblical days daylight had 4 divisions: dawn – 9AM, 9AM-Noon, Noon-3PM and 3PM to sunset. Today, we refer to the 4 divisions as morning, noon, evening and night.

Throughout the Bible reference continues to be made with 4 in the form of creation…the 4 winds, 4 horses, 4 beasts, 4 cherubim, etc. Four women gave birth to the fathers of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The number 4 also marks time as seen with the 4 days of Lazarus and the 4th generation. Four rivers flowed out of Eden. In the book of Proverbs alone, the number 4 is used several times. The New Testament starts out with the 4 gospels written by the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

6. The Number 2 (Union/Division)

The number 2 is one of the most fascinating significant numbers in the Bible. At times it represents unity and other times just the opposite. Thus, the number 2 is quite often referred to as reciprocals. We experience reciprocals daily…flipping a coin, having a good/bad day, feeling ugly/pretty, etc.

In terms of unity, there are several neat examples. The Bible begins with the book of Genesis and we learn about Adam and Eve. On the sixth day of creation God created Adam and Eve and two of each animal. The union of these two people produced generations and generations of other people. Remember the story of Noah and the Ark? The animals boarded the ark 2 by 2. God had 2 of each animal so that they could multiply after the flood ended. When a person accepts Christ, there is a union between the 2 of them.

In regards to division, the main division is heaven and hell. God is ruler of heaven and Satan has dominion over hell. According to the Bible, a person cannot serve 2 gods. Either a person believes in God or enjoys earthly treasures.

Some other uses of the number 2 include: on the 2nd day of creation, God created light and darkness (opposites). Throughout the New Testament there’s reference to Jesus being the 2nd person of the Father-Son-Holy Ghost Trinity.

5. The Number 40 (Trials)

The number 40 is significant because it represents trial or judgment. Let’s look at Noah again. Can you imagine building an ark when the weather is beautiful and there’s no sign of rain? Did his neighbors think he was nuts? Then imagine being stuck on a boat with God only knows how many animals for 40 days! Not a fun time!

Noah wasn’t the only one who had to learn to endure. Check this out:

  • For 40 years Israel ate manna
  • Moses went and stayed on a mountain for 40 days to receive the Law of the Sinai Covenant
  • During those 40 days the children of Israel were tested
  • Moses spent 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in Midian
  • The Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness before they camped by the Jordan River
  • Eli judged Israel for 40 years
  • For 40 days Ezekiel lay on his right side to symbolize the 40 years of Judah’s transgressions
  • There were 40 years of war between the Philistines and Israel
  • Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days

Several people also held their position for 40 years. David ruled as King of Israel for 40 years. Solomon rules Israel for 40 years. Josiah rules Judah for 40 years.

4. The Number 12 (Governmental Perfection)

What do you think of when you see the number 12? A dozen eggs? Twelve hours of day and 12 hours of night as represented on a clock? The 12 months? The 12 zodiac signs? The movie “Cheaper by the Dozen”?

The most significant use of the number 12 in the Bible is Jesus’ 12 disciples. Jesus taught a large number of people and selected 12 men to be his disciples. Quite often a tribe of people is thought to be 12 or more people based on Jesus selecting 12 men for his “tribe”.

The Old Covenant Church of Israel was founded by 12 physical fathers. The New Covenant Church was founded by 12 spiritual fathers, the 12 Apostles. The use of 12 is used numerous times throughout the Bible. There were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 pillars were built on Mt. Sinai, 12 statues of oxen held up a water basis in Solomon’s Temple, 12 legions of angles and the 12 gates of the New Jerusalem. The Bible also says that the trees of life in the new creation will bear 12 kinds of fruits.

The number of 12 is also used in reference to people. Jesus was 12 years old when he questioned the scholars in the temple. Twelve men were chosen by God to conduct the census. There were 12 spies sent to Canaan.

3. The Number 7 (Completeness)

What’s the second most common used number in the Bible? The number 7; some people believe that God took the divined number 3 and added it to the perfect world number 4. Thus, the number 7 is considered to be the most sacred number to the Hebrews. Seven is considered to be completeness from the union of heaven and earth.

The number 7 has been used throughout the Bible, beginning with creation. God created the heavens and the earth, along with mankind, and then rested on the 7th day. In the Old Testament, Jacob served Rachel for 7 years. There was a Good Harvest for 7 years, followed by 7 years of famine. Even a Pharaoh had a dream that contained 7 cows followed by another dream with 7 ears of corn!

In the tabernacle as described in the book of Exodus, there were 7 lamps for the tabernacle. In the book of Judges, Samson was described as having 7 locks of hair. In Joshua, there were 7 priests with 7 trumpets who compassed the city 7 times on the 7th day.

The New Testament also supports 7 as being a significant number. In Matthew, Jesus uses seven small loaves of bread to feed a crowd. Read a little further into the New Testament and you’ll discover a story of 7 brother and the 7 devils of Mary Magdalene. Revelation, the last book of the Bible uses 7 in terms of: golden candlesticks, stars, angels, lamps, seals, horns, eyes, trumpets, thunders, heads, crowns, plaques, mountains and kings.

2. The Number 3 (Complete)

The number 3 represents “complete”. Throughout the Bible you’ll discover the use of three terms that work together to form a whole or completeness. The main 3-fold is the Father (God)-Son (Jesus) and Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit). To believe in one of these, is to believe in all 3 of them. It also means that even though they are 3 separate entities, they are “one”. A good illustration of this is an egg. An egg contains a yolk, white and shell. Each part is unique, but together it’s one egg.

Because the main purpose of the Bible is to help people discover who God is, the role of 3 is extremely significant. The use of 3 is used to describe how someone can find God. Matthew 6 says that a person needs to ask-seek-knock. Jesus is referred to as the way-truth-life. In the New Testament it explains how faith-hope-love need to work together and that you can’t have one without the others.

Today, many people focus on spirit-soul-body. This 3-fold thought is that to achieve overall wellness, you need to spend time on each of these areas. If a person chooses just to improve his physical fitness, but not his emotional well-being, his life will be out of balance.

1. The Number 1 (Unity)

The number one significant number used in the Bible is the number 1 which refers to unity or entity. There is only one God, although he contains three parts (Father, Son, Holy Ghost). In the New Testament Jesus explains that there is only 1 way to heaven and that’s through accepting him.

Throughout the Bible God refers to himself as “I AM”. This singular (1) reference is given 811 times; God! God explains he is—the way, the truth, the light, etc. God also has many names throughout the Bible in addition to “I AM”. Here’s just a few: King of kings, Lord of lords, Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor, the Solid Rock, the Good Shepherd and the Everlasting Father. In fact, depending on what translation you read through, there are over 200 names given to God!

Even the Bible itself is referred to as one book, even though it’s made up of several small books which are divided between the Old Testament and the New Testament. When Jesus refers to the scriptures as he speaks, he usually calls it “The Word”, once again implying there is only 1 word not multiple words.