In this article, we will continue on our adventure on the numbers of the Bible, and today we will look at the Biblical meaning of the number 6. So, grab your Bible, and let’s dive into His word…
God tells us that every jot and tittle in His Word will be fulfilled before heaven and earth will pass away. If you have read through the Bible, you will know that is a lot to take in. Plus, there is so much of God’s Word we do not fully understand.
What I take from this verse in Matthew 5:18 is that every last word, number, and inflection is important and purposed by God. Is it not amazing that He gives us so many clues to help us understand His Word?
Some tools God gives us to understand His Word better are numbers and repeating patterns. His way of speaking to us is not always point-blank or in English. He talks in riddles, mysteries, and mroe… This makes it hard for us to something understand what He is trying to say. But He gives us multiple examples to clarify His meaning.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. – Proverbs 25:2
God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:15 that He repeats history in our present and future. So, we can look at the repetition of numbers in the Bible and how they impact the situation as a way of God reinforcing a message to us today.
The meaning of some numbers may be more familiar than others, and often there is more to a number than we may think. The number six is such a number. When thinking about the number six in the Bible, obvious instances come to mind, how God made animals and man on the sixth day.
But I think the biggest one people connect 6 with is how the number of the beast in Revelation 13:18 is 666, but there is so much more to the number six. I hope to write an article on 666 and dig deeper into scripture on it. But for those articles, we will solely focus on the number 6.
6 in the Bible: A look at the Hebrew Letter Vav
In the Hebrew alphabet, each letter is associated with a number. The letter for the number six in Hebrew is vav.
In the ancient text, each alphabet letter was a pictograph. The pictograph for vav is a tent peg, a hook, or a nail. It connects two parts together. Interestingly, vav does the same linguistically as it acts as a conjunctive, like the word and!
Vav shows us that it is not perfect in itself. It needs something added. In Hebrew studies, the vav connects heaven and earth. As explained in the Shema, man, represented by the number six, needs the one and only God to be complete, or the number seven.
The number six may indicate man’s shortcomings but show clearly that with the addition of God in our life, we can walk in His completeness!
We are also reminded about the nails that anchored Jesus to the cross to pay for our sins and reconcile sinful man with God again. We see here how the nails or the vav connected heaven and earth once more. Praise God!
The Biblical Meaning Of The Number 6
We will be going over several areas in scripture that talk about the number 6, so we can grab hold of its symbolic or spiritual meaning.
6 The Number of Man
We have already covered that man was created on the 6th day of creation. And from the account in Genesis, we know that God created us in His likeness. We learn that God worked for six days and rested from all he had made and created on day seven. (Gen 2:3)
In this manner, God set the example of working for six days and resting on the seventh day. We also see that we can hardly learn about the number six without mentioning the number seven.
Man became sinful and imperfect through sin and deception in the garden of Eden. God knew man’s abilities and created a day of rest and fellowship with Him, known as the Sabbath.
Despite falling short, God graciously included a day of physical and spiritual restoration every week for us.
In Numbers 35:6, we even see God’s mercy despite our sinful nature by providing six cities of refuge for those who murdered another until they were to go on trial.
Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone may flee. In addition, give them forty-two other towns. – Numbers 35:6
Within every instance of man’s imperfection (six), we see God’s grace (five) and the promise of the perfection of God (seven) that is to follow. It’s like God has mankind covered!
The number six may seem like it only represents mankind’s sin and punishment or shortcomings, but it holds the hope of what will follow in each instance. We are firmly wedged between the grace of God and His perfect plan for us.
God Does Not Want Us To Remain Slaves
In Exodus, we learn how God brought plagues to bear on Egypt because the pharaoh would not release the Israelites from slavery. It was never God’s plan for man to be slaves. God feels so strongly about this that He included it in his covenant with His people through Moses.
We read in Deuteronomy 15:12-15 that a Hebrew slave had to be released after six years of slavery. In the seventh year, the slave was not only set free. He was also to be given gifts from the harvests. Just as the Egyptians gave the Israelites gifts before they left Egypt, a slave was to be released and not sent away empty-handed.
“If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you send him away free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed; 14 you shall supply him liberally from your flock, from your threshing floor, and from your winepress. From what the Lord your God has blessed you with, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.- Deuteronomy 15:12-15
Here, we see that six is linked to bondage, but God has set a pattern in His Word to show us that bondage is not the final outcome when God is involved.
God provided a plan to set us free. Freedom after being a slave does not leave man tainted after the bondage but truly free, with the prospect of gifts to will lead to a prosperous future.
Hard Earned Freedom From Bondage
It is hard to think about how Jesus greatly suffered and died for our sins. Amid His suffering, a beautiful story is woven in the numbers relating to His victory on the cross. We see from Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts that Jesus endured suffering on the cross for 6 hours.
The earth is covered in darkness at the sixth hour or halfway through His suffering. There is a clear division of the six-hour period Christ was on the cross into two periods of three hours. If we look at what these numbers represent, we see another layer of God’s perfection.
Number three speaks of God’s perfect design. The sixth hour when darkness covered the earth, represents man as the number six but also represents judgment. Jesus endures God’s judgment for our sins in darkness for three hours. We cannot imagine the torment of these six hours that Jesus endured, but we know through them, we can be free from sin, slavery, and judgment. It was all part of God’s perfect design.
God’s design allows us to be freed by the hard-won victory on the cross. But we are not only set free. We may also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit because of what Jesus did for us.
The Number 6 In the Bible Leads To The Number 7
The promise of something better to follow after the toil of 6 days also plays out in the Bible on a longer time scale.
In 2 Peter 3:8, Peter reminds us of God’s bigger plan. He tells us that with God, one day is as one thousand years and one thousand years as a day. We are also assured of a rest period of a thousand years that is to follow.
We see here a promise that there is an end to the six thousand years of toil, followed by a thousand years of peace.
We see the same promise in the story of Jericho in Joshua 6, where the Israelites entered the promised land. They circled the city for six days and, in their own might, would not be able to take the city. On the seventh day, they circled the city seven times and shouted along with the trumpet sound of the priests, and the city walls crumbled.
What Does The Number 6 Mean Spiritually?
To sum up what I like to call the Biblical, spiritual, or prophetic meaning of the number 6
The Number 6 Symbolizes:
- Man or Mankind
- The Flesh
- Mark of the Beast 666
Numbers of the Bible Series
I’m so excited to share with you the series I’ve been working on about Numbers in the Bible! God’s Word has so much to offer us, and this particular topic gives us the perfect opportunity to dig deeper into the symbols of the Bible.
If your interest has been stirred, please don’t hesitate to check out these articles that explore Numbers In The Bible more thoroughly!
While the number six represents our human nature, our fleshly instincts, and bondage, we see clearly in God’s Word how He has a perfect plan to redeem us. He desires to have a close relationship with us.
We see the victory that is won by aligning our work of six days with God’s plans, regardless of how improbable the odds may seem. He gives us victory and will lead us into His promised land if we remember that man’s six needs one small vav to join our imperfection to God’s perfect plan.
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…