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A look into numbers in the Bible. The symbolic and Biblical meaning of numbers and what Biblical numerology is.
If you have been around Think About Such Things long enough you will know I love studying symbols and types. I love to nerd out on this kind of stuff.
So, today I want to bring to you a look into numbers in the Bible! We will check out a slew of different Bible numbers and what they mean according to scripture!
In this article, you will find a few different sections. If you would like to jump around just click on the section you would like to read or just skip the table of contents and scroll through as normal. That’s the preferred way so you don’t miss anything important
NUMBERS IN THE BIBLE: IS NUMEROLOGY BIBLICAL?
The Bible is chockful of numbers. It is said that 1/5 of the Bible verses have numbers in them. And even the Hebrew language has numbers associated with each letter.
Understanding the symbolic meaning of numbers in the Bible is called Biblical numerology. It is NOT just numerology which is heavily linked with the occult.
Biblical numerology has nothing to do with horoscope readings, you finding love or success, or you knowing what’s going to happen next Saturday at 3:25 pm sharp.
This falls under what God calls detestable (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Plus this opens you up to be influenced by the demonic realm. As followers of Christ, we want to steer far away from this kind of divination. Seriously, don’t do it..
Studying a number in scripture is much like studying any other topic. For example, I have a handful of posts on Biblical symbolism like The Biblical meaning of colors in the Bible and the Biblical meaning of snakes in dreams.
If you have read the Bible or studied it at all you will see that God uses a certain number numerous times. You see these numeric patterns and start to grasp an understanding of them.
A number that is well known for its Biblical meaning is the number 40. We see it as a number that means trials and testing. But why? It’s not because a few people decided to make 40 mean that. It’s seen throughout scripture to mean this. Check out a few instances in the Bible where 40 takes place.
- 40 days and 40 nights it rained on the Earth during the days of Noah (Genesis 7:12)
- 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness (Numbers 32:13)
- 40 days Ezekiel laid on his right side. It symbolized 40 years of Judah’s transgression (Ezekiel 4:4)
- 40 days and 40 nights Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2)
As you can see 40 has a common theme. This is where we start to see a number having a symbolic meaning in the Bible.
WHAT DO NUMBERS MEAN IN THE BIBLE?
God loves numbers. He created the whole numerical system! In psalms 147:4 it says…
He counts the stars
and calls them all by name.
With over 1 billion trillion stars in the observable universe…God has a lot of counting to do. But for Him it’s easy…no wonder the psalmist follows that verse with…
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension!
scripture you will see numbers come about in three ways.
- Defined objects
Bible Numbers Meaning
When it comes to numbers in the Bible…it’s VAST! I will only be able to touch on a few things here and there. I hope to update this in the future and add more numbers.
Below you find a section that will give you some insight into common Biblical numbers. I won’t have every single Hebrew alphabet and its number below but there will be a lot. If you want to dive deeper into this type of study…I HIGHLY recommend E.W Bullinger‘s Number in Scriptures.
You can pick up a copy of it on Amazon if you like a tangible book (My personal favorite). But if you don’t mind digital then you can find many of his books for free in PDF. YAY! Here is a resource for that: FREE E.W BULLINGER BOOKS
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 1
Hebrew Alphabet: Aleph- Steerhead, Beginning, Eternal God
The Oneness of God – (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4: Gal. 3:20)
Unity between the Father and the Son – (Jn. 10:30)
The singular sacrifice of Jesus – (1 Tim. 2:5; Jn. 10:16)
Unity between husband and wife – (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5)
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 2
Hebrew Alphabet: Beth, Veta – House Duality, Division
Two Witnesses – (Mk. 6:7-13; 1 Tim. 5:19)
Unity between the church and Christ – (1 Cor. 12)
Strength and Support- (Ecclesiastes 4:9; Luke 10:1)
Old and New Testaments
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 3
Hebrew Alphabet: Gimel – Important Ideas, Divine Purpose, Camel
The Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
God’s perfect design – (2 Cor. 12:2)
Completion – (Hosea 6:2)
Resurrection – (Matthew 12:40)
*Many key events in scripture happened in 3’s
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 4
Hebrew Alphabet: Daleth – Door, Creation, This world in this time
Creation – (Genesis 1:14 – 19)
The Earth- 4 Corners (Isaiah 11:12) 4 Seasons, 4 Directions (North, South, West, East)
4 Rivers of Paradise – (Genesis 2:10)
4 Types of soil in Jesus’ parable – (Matthew 13)
4 Winds of Heaven – (Jeremiah 49:36)
4 Acts of Judgment – (Ezeziel 14:21)
4 Four Horsemen – (Revelation 6)
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 5
Hebrew Alphabet: Heh – Window, Eternity, The other side
Grace and Blessing -(Genesis 43:34) God changed Abram’s name to Abraham by adding the letter/number five to his name (Genesis 17:5). The same was done toSarai’s name (Genesis 17:15). Their names have been transformed by God’s grace to be the linage that brings forth the Messiah, Jesus!
The Five Levitical offerings (Leviticus 1-5)
Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 (Matthew 14:17)
The 10 Commandments – 5 Commands relating to God and 5 Command relating to mankind.
Teaching – The 5 books of the Law
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 6
Hebrew Alphabet: Waw – Hook, Connect, Sin, Flesh
Satan (mark of the beast) – (Revelation 13:18)
Mankind And the Flesh – God created humans on the 6th day (Genesis 1:31) work/toil for 6 days (Exodus 31:15)
Six cities of refuge- (Numbers 35:6)
It turned dark beginning at the sixth hour when Christ was on the cross (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)
Jesus suffered on the cross for six hours (Source)
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 7
Hebrew Alphabet: Zayin – Sword, Completeness/Perfection
Rest and Completion – God rested on the seventh day after Creation (Genesis 2:2)
The Menorah has 7 branches.
7 classes of furniture in the Tabernacle – Bronze sacrificial Altar, Bronze Laver, Golden Menorah, Golden Table of the Bread of the Presence, Golden Altar of Incense, Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy-seat/Seat of Atonement.
Purification and The Word of God – (Psalm 12:6)
The Tabernacle – built in 6 days and dedicated on the 7th (Exodus 40:17)
It took Solomon 7 years to finish the Temple in Jerusalem. (1 Kings 6:37-38)
Forgiveness – (Matthew 18:22)
The book of Revelation boldly shows off the number 7:
- 7 Churches and 7 Letters
- 7 Spirits of God
- 7 Golden Candlesticks
- 7 Stars
- 7 Angels with 7 Trumpets
- 7 Lamps of Fire
- 7 Spirits of God
- 7 Seal Judgments
- 7 Thunders
- 7 Thousand Men Slain
- 7 Heads on the Beast
- 7 Last Plagues
- 7 Golden Vials and 7 Bowl
- 7 Mountains
- 7 Kings
- and more….
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 8
Hebrew Alphabet: Cheth – Fenced In, A New Beginning, New Creation
8 has a strong meaning towards a new beginning and new creation like the letter cheth symbolizes. Here are a few examples of that in that Scripture.
Male infants were to be circumcised on the 8th day. 8 is painting a picture of when our heart is circumcised through Christ and we become a new creature. (Romans 2:28 – 29, Colossians 2:11 – 13)
8 people were on the ark when God started a new beginning after the flood.
With 8 words from God, he brought forth creation (Genesis 1)
Once 7 weeks of the spring harvest time, the next which is the 50th day is Pentecost (the start of the 8th week) This day is also the eighth day of the seventh week.
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 9
Hebrew Alphabet: Teth –New Life, A New Civilization, Fruit
We see the number 9 symbolizes divine completeness or finality (ending).
Jesus died on the 9th hour of the day (3pm) saying “It is finished.” which ended our separation from God through His sacrifice.
Yom Kippure or The Day of Atonement is the only one feasts that require believers to fast. This fast begins at sunset on the 9th day. (Leviticus 23:32)
In the New Testament, we see that the fruit of the Holy Spirit bears 9 attributes: Love, Peace, Joy, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Goodness, Patience and Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Then we also see the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to be 9 (1 Corinthians 12:8–10): Word of wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Gifts of Healings, Miracles, Prophecy, Distinguishing between spirits, Tongues, and Interpretation of tongues.
Jesus also shares 9 Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 10
Hebrew Alphabet: Jod –Hand, Higher level of activity, Law
10 is seen to signify completeness, the law, a testimony. It’s also considered one of the powerful perfect numbers in scripture like 3 and 7.
The phrase “God said” in Genesis 1 is found 10 times. Completing His creation.
There are 10 commandments being the cornerstone of the law.
The tithe is 10% and is what we give to the Lord.
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 12
No Hebrew Letter
12 signifies God’s government, His power, and authority.
12 Tribes of Israel.
12 Disciples/ 12 Apostles.
12 Spies were sent out to spy out Canaan.
12 Judges throughout Israel’s history.
24 (2×12) Elders around the throne of God.
Much like 7, we see it mentioned in the Book of Revelation multiple times…22 to be exact.
The Biblical Meaning of the Number 40
Hebrew Alphabet: Mem –Probation, Water with no boundaries
I touched on this earlier in this article but here is more of a break down of how 40 symbolizes trials and periods of testing.
40 days and 40 nights it rained on the Earth during the days of Noah .(Genesis 7:12)
Moses lived for 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in the desert. He was also on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights.
40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness (Numbers 32:13).
Jonah spent 40 days warning Nineveh about God’s judgment.
40 days Ezekiel laid on his right side. It symbolized 40 years of Judah’s transgression (Ezekiel 4:4)
King Saul, King David, and King Solomon all reigned for 40 years.
40 days and 40 nights Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2)
Interesting Facts About Numbers in the Bible
In this section, I wanted to share with you some things I have discovered about numbers and their connection with scripture.
When it comes to the number 7 you see this crazy connection the gestation period of many animals when using a multiple of seven for either days or weeks.
- The mouse is 21 (3×7) days.
- The cat, 56 (8×7) days.
- The dog, 63 (9×7) days.
- The lion, 98 (14×7) days.
- The sheep, 147 (21×7) days.
- The common chicken is 21 (3×7) days.
- The duck, 42 (6×7) days.
- Humans it is 280 days (or 40×7).
I recently watched this amazing teaching by Bryan Cutshall on Your Body is the Temple. It was mind-blowing the connection between numbers in the Bible and our bodies. Here is a picture I took while watching it. Pretty cool!
Below is the video if you would like to check it out!
The Palmoni: The Wonderful Numberer
In my study of numbers in the Bible, I stumbled upon this word study in the book of Daniel and it was super interesting.
In Daniel 8:13 is a conversation between two saints, which in the time of Daniel is referencing the angelic or perhaps one is the Messiah himself. There is some debate on the matter. But we do know that one of these saints is the angel Gabriel. (Daniel 8:15-16)
Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain (פַּלְמוֹנִי Palmoni) saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? -Daniel 8:13
Since this is a new study to me I thought it would be best to share my finds from the matter. Below You will find some more information on this Palmoni!
“In Daniel 8:13 we read, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation,” etc.? Here, a revelation of a certain future prophetic event was made to Daniel, by a certain saint or holy one, i.e., a holy angel; and “another” angel asked a question concerning numbers—”How long,” etc.? The name of “that certain saint” is given in the Hebrew, and is placed in the margin, with its meaning. His name is “PALMONI,” and it means “the numberer of secrets, or the wonderful numberer.”
So that there is one holy angel, at least, whose function has to do with numbers. Numbers, therefore, and their secrets, hold an important place in the words as well as in the works of God. “A wonderful numberer” (“PALMONI”) presides over them, and has his place in making known the things of God.
This certainly looks like design; and, if so—if not only the “days” in which revealed events shall take place are numbered, but the words also themselves are numbered— then we shall have a great and wondrous proof of the Divine, verbal, and even literal inspiration of the Word of God.” -E.W Bullinger
Now Living Word Discovery in 3D breaks down the Hebrew word Palmoni below and the point to the “Certain” or “Palmoni” saint being the Messiah Jesus. Below you can listen to their short word study on it. It’s a podcast so not much going on visually.
NUMBERS IN DREAMS
Well, it’s pretty clear that numbers were used in dreams in the Bible. Check out some of these examples:
Joseph’s Dreams – The Sun and the moon and 11 stars bowed down (Genesis 28:12; 31:10)
The Cup Bearers Dream – 3 Branches (Genesis 40:5-19)
The Baker’s Dream – 3 Baskets (Genesis 40:5-19)
Pharoah’s Dream – 7 Fat Cows and 7 Skinny Cows (Genesis 41:1-7)
Daniel’s Dream – LOTS of numbers (Daniel 7:1-28)
Those are just a few instances where individuals in scripture had dreams with numbers in them. Pretty neat! But what does this mean for us in the here and now?
Well, I still believe God speaks in dreams. So, what should we do when we encounter certain numbers in our dreams?
Before I share some steps to help you in understanding your dream. You must first realize that the number could be taken as:
Literary – As a specific scripture verse Psalm 23, 1 Kings 4:15
Symbolically – In scriptural patterns (example of 40 meaning trials and tribulation)
Gematria – Having numerical value in the Greek or Hebrew
Now, here are some steps you can take to help you better understand what the Lord might be saying to you.
- Write the dream out and make note of the Number(s) that stood out to you. Example: 5 Doors
- Look into the Bible about the significance of that number. See if there is a pattern that is used. Take notes and if something is quickened in your spirit than write that down.
- Begin to pray about the dream and ask God to bring clarity about that number and what it could represent. If you sense anything from the Lord jot it down.
- Share the dream and the number you saw with a mature fellow sister or brother in Christ. Tell them what your sensing and ask for their thoughts and counsel.
- Pray over what you are sensing and ask the Lord for clarity if and should you do anything.
Always, keep in mind that NOT all dreams come from the Lord. Be prayerful, and grounded in the Word. The Holy Spirit will help you through the process of interpretation if it’s from Him.
I have been wanting to write on this for a while and I feel like it should be its own article. But I do want to touch on it here since I feel like it’s an important subject to cover when it comes to numbers.
And it seems that angel numbers have gained popularity since clocks and watches have gone digital and we see numbers more clearly and more often.
What are Angel Numbers? It is the belief that angels or spirits are communicating to you through numbers, especially repetitive numbers.
A clear simple answer to this is NO.
Angel numbers are NOT biblical, should not be followed or sought after by Christians. Angels do NOT communicate through numbers. Learn more about what angels really do according to the Bible.
Please don’t be enticed believe this is some way an angel or spirit is trying to speak to you. This is divination and the occult. The only thing you will be hearing from is demons.
If God wants to speak to you through a number He will use His Word to do so and bring confirmation. Remember Satan poses as an angel of light. We must use wisdom and discernment.
I hope you have enjoyed this short look into the Biblical meaning of numbers. Please drops me a comment below and share your thoughts! Also, don’t forget to check out these other posts!
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…