Numbers in the Bible

Numbers in the Bible

Approximate Reading Time: 12 Minutes

Genesis 2:24,Matthew 19:5,Mark 10:8,Ephesians 5:31

I’ve always loved numbers and statistics, as well as clever connections and relationships between things, in just about every area of knowledge or storytelling. So when I first discovered numerological connections and meanings in Scripture, the nerdy part of me who loves stuff like this went into high “geek-out” mode.

There are some who take this brand of Biblical numerology to fantastic extremes, going so far as to uncovering numeric values to alphabetic characters and deeper meanings to words that may not have probably been intended, especially the notion that there is some “secret code” that can be deciphered to give us hidden teachings. I’m certainly not interested in going that far, as I believe that God is not limited to or tied down to doing things strictly by unbreakable patterns of numbers.

I do believe, however, that God has throughout His written Word provided symbolism in certain numbers.  These go to show you that occurrences in the universe did not merely happen by random chance, but that God in His design of history (and history yet to come) rules as completely sovereign over all events that take place.

List of Numbers in the Bible

What I’ve attempted to do is compile a list of the most commonly seen or important numbers all throughout the Old and New Testaments, along with pertinent examples of their usage and meaning.

See something that’s missing? Let me know!

It is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I’m angling towards that goal. My wish is that this page will be one that is frequently growing and expanding as new entries are being added.

If you see a serious omission of an example of a number that appears in the Bible, please contact me and I will work to append it. Thanks!

1 One

The primary number, signifying absolute singleness.

  1. The Lord God as a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are One – Exodus 4:4-6, Deuteronomy 6:4, Ephesians 4:4-6, Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19,  John 10:30, 1 Corinthians 8:14, James 2:19.
  2. The Church (Body of Christ) of believers should be one John 10:16, John 17:21, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:4 
  3. Man and woman through marriage will become as one flesh – Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31

2 Two

The number of witness and support.

  1. Two great lights of creation (Sun and Moon) – Genesis 1:16
  2. Two of every kind of unclean animal was brought on the Ark by Noah – Genesis 7:2
  3. Two angels at Sodom – Genesis 19:1
  4. Two cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant – Exodus 25:22
  5. Two stones on which the Ten Commandments were written –  Exodus 31:18
  6. Two witnesses to establish a truth – Deuteronomy 17:6, Matthew 26:60
  7. Two spies (Joshua and Caleb) providing a good report at Kadesh – Numbers 14:6
  8. Two spies at Jericho – Joshua 2:1
  9. Two better than one – Ecclesiastes 4:9
  10. Jesus’ disciples being sent out two by two – Luke 10:1
  11. Two witness from Heaven (Moses and Elijah) appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration – Matthew 17:3
  12. Two angels attendant at the Resurrection – Luke 24:4
  13. Two angels present at the Ascension – Acts 1:10
  14. God’s two immutable (unchangeable) things – Hebrews 6:18
  15. Two Witness in the Great Tribulation – Revelation 11:3

3 Three

The number of unity, of accomplishment, and of the universe.

  1. The unity of the human race traced back to Noah’s three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) – Genesis 6:10
  2. The three Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) to whom YHWH God refers – Exodus 3:15, Acts 7:32
  3. Three days involved in the crossing of the Jordan River – Joshua 1:11
  4. Israel’s three yearly feasts – Exodus 23:14, 17
  5. Gideon’s mighty victory accomplished through  three bands of soldiers –Judges 7:22
  6. Three days of preparation for a revival in Ezra’s time – Ezra 10:9
  7. Three days involved in the decision to build the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time – Nehemiah 2:11
  8. Esther’s heart prepared for three days before meeting with their king – Esther 4:16
  9. Three-cord strand is not easily broken – Ecclesiastes 4:12
  10. Jonah in the fish’s belly for three days – Jonah 1:17
  11. Christ in the heart of the earth for three days – John 2:19
  12. The Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:26, Genesis 3:22, Genesis 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14

3 ½ Three-and-a-Half

The number 3 ½ is one-half of Seven (the perfect number), and represents the peak of a cycle split from seven. Can also mean trial and tribulation. Often seen in the form of “time, times, and half a time” (one year + two years + half a year).

  1. Christ’s earthly ministry was 3 ½ years – [see Got Questions]
  2. Wearing out the Saints for 3 ½ years – Daniel 7:25
  3. God’s holy people (the Saints) shall be scattered because they will be killed by the world power after a 3 ½ year period –  Daniel 12:7
  4. The daily sacrifice shall be taken away and the abomination of desolation set up shall be 1290 days (3 ½ years, plus a 30-day extension period) – Daniel 12:11-13
  5. During the Great Tribulation, the Holy City (Jerusalem) shall be tread on, by the Gentiles 3 ½ years/42 months/1260 days – Revelation 11:1-3
  6. The Two Witnesses prophecy during the same time, 13 ½ years/260 days – Revelation 11:1-3
  7. The woman going into the wilderness (all symbolic) receives information for 3 ½ years – Revelation 12:6,14
  8. The Beast will have power for 3 ½ years/42 months – Revelation 13:5

4 Four

Four is most commonly seen as an Earth-related number.

  1. Four directions – North, South, East, West – Revelation 21:13
  2. Four Seasons – Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring
  3. Four living beings with four wings each that Ezekiel saw – Ezekiel 1:5-6
  4. Four great earthly kingdoms – Daniel 7:3
  5. Four kinds of spiritual soil – Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
  6. Four living creatures around the throne of God – Revelation 4:6
  7. Forse Horsemen of the Tribulation – Revelation 6:1-8
  8. Fourfold earthly ministry of Jesus Christ – Matthew sees Him as the Jewish Messiah/King, Mark as the Son of Man/Servant, Luke as a historical, yet perfect, man, and John as mighty God.

5 Five

Five is a number of grace.

  1. Five Levitical Offerings – Leviticus chapters 1-5
  2. Five Israelites to chase 100 enemies – Leviticus 26:8
  3. Five wise virgins – Matthew 25:2
  4. Five barley loaves used by Jesus to feed the 5,000 – Matthew 14:17

6 SIX

Six is the number of man, and a number that falls short of the perfection of seven, the number of divine perfection. Sometimes represents evil.

  1. Creation in six days, and man was created on Day Six – Genesis 1:26,31
  2. Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters came – Genesis 7:6
  3. A Hebrew slave was to serve six years  before being released – Exodus 21:1
  4. Six years to sow fields and harvest the crops – Exodus 23:10
  5. Man is appointed to six days a week for labor – Exodus 34:21
  6. Six cities of refuge – Numbers 35:6
  7. Israel marched around Jericho six times – Joshua 6:3
  8. Goliath was 6 cubits and a span tall – 1 Samuel 17:4
  9. The Seraphim that Isaiah saw had six wings – Isaiah 6:2
  10. The number of the beast is 666 – Revelation 13:18
  11. Nebuchadnezzar’s statue was 60 cubits tall by 6 cubits wide – Daniel 3:1
  12. Six wings on each of the four living creatures in Heaven – Revelation 4:8
  13. 66 books of the Bible, written to mankind
  14. Six earthy offices of Jesus the Messiah, the divine Son of God, that He performed as a Man: Lawkeeper, Lamb of God, Prophet, High Priest, Judge, and King

7 Seven

Seven is the number of God, or of divine perfection or completeness.

  1. There are seven days in a week (and God rested on the 7th day) – Genesis 2:2
  2. Seven pairs of every kind of clean animal and seven pairs of every kind of bird was brought on the Ark by Noah. – Genesis 7:2
  3. There are seven lamps on a Temple Menorah – Exodus 25:31–40
  4. The Sabbath Year was held every seventh year – Leviticus 25:4
  5. The Year of Jubilee was held after 49 (7 x 7 Sabbath Years) years had transpired – Leviticus 25:8
  6. During the Battle of Jericho, seven priests carried trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times – Joshua 6:4
  7. All of the conflicts the Israelites had ended within seven years after crossing the Jordan – Book of Joshua
  8. God’s Word is as silver that is purified by fire seven times – Psalm 12:6
  9. Seven Deadly Sins – Proverbs 6:16-19
  10. Seventy weeks (or years) are determined upon Israel – Daniel 9:24
  11. The generations of people to Jesus of Nazareth: From Adam to Abraham, 21 (7 x 3) generations; from Abraham to David, 14 (7 x 2) generations, from David to the Exile in Babylon, 14 (7 x 2) generations, and from the Exile to Jesus, 14 (7 x 2) generations.- Luke 3:34-38, Matthew 1:17
  12. Jesus taught Simon Peter to forgive seventy times seven – Matthew 18:22
  13. There are seven miracles in the Gospel of John – John 2:1-11, John 4:46-54, John 5:1-15, John 6:5-14, John 6:16-24, John 9:1-7, John 11:1-45
  14. There are seven sayings of Jesus on the cross – Luke 23:34, Luke 23:43, John 19:26–27, Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, John 19:28, John 19:30, Luke 23:46
  15. The Apostle John wrote to seven churches – Revelation 1:4
  16. The Sevenfold Spirit of God – Revelation 1:4
  17. John saw seven golden lampstands, representing the seven churches – Revelation 1:12
  18. There were seven stars in  Christ’s hand – Revelation 1:16
  19. God the Father holds a seven-sealed scroll/book – Revelation 5:1
  20. The Lamb was praised in seven ways (“power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing”) – Revelation 5:12
  21. The Lamb of God symbolically had seven eyes and seven horns – Revelation 5:6
  22. Seven angels with seven trumpets pronounce judgment in the Great Tribulation – Revelation 8:2
  23. Seven Thunders spoke words that John was told not to write down – Revelation 10:3-4
  24. The Dragon has seven heads and seven diadems – Revelation 12:3
  25. The Beast from the sea has seven heads – Revelation 13:1, 17:3
  26. Seven angels had seven plagues in seven bowls – Revelation 15:6-7
  27. The Bible was originally divided into 7 major divisions: The Law, the Prophets, the Writings (Psalms), the Gospels and Acts, the Epistles of Paul, the General Epistles and the Book of Revelation

8 Eight

Eight is a number of new beginnings.

  1. Eight people were saved from the flood on the Ark – Genesis 7:13, 23
  2. Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day – Genesis 17:12
  3. Jesus rose on the eighth day – Matthew 28:1
  4. Thomas saw Jesus eight days after the Resurrection – John 20:26

9 Nine

The fullness of blessing, or can mean divine completeness or conveys the meaning of finality.

  1. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) begins at sunset on day 9 of the seventh Hebrew month – Leviticus 23:32
  2. Christ died at the 9th hour of the day, or 3 p.m., to make the way of salvation open to everyone – Mark 15:25
  3. The fruit of the Spirit is ninefold – Galatians 5:22-23
  4. There are 18 (9 x 2) gifts of the Spirit – Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4

10 Ten

Ten usually deals with human interaction and human government, mostly signifying testimony, law, responsibility, and the completeness of order.

  1. The Passover lamb was selected on day 10 of the first month – Exodus 12:3
  2. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  3. The tithe in the Old Testament started off at ten percent – Genesis 14:18-20, Deuteronomy 26:12
  4. The Northern Kingdom had ten tribes – 1 Kings 11:31-35
  5. A local government of ten men decided the fate of Ruth – Ruth 4:2
  6. The revised Roman Empire will have ten nations (horns on the Dragon’s head) – Daniel 7:24, Revelation 17:3, 12
  7. The Parable of the Ten Virgins (five wise and five foolish) – Matthew 25:1-2

12 Twelve

Twelve is an important number in the Bible. It is used to represent both divine completeness in His plan as well as perfect human government.

  1. 12 lunar months in a lunar year
  2. The Twelve Tribes of Israel – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Benjamin, and Joseph (later split into the two “half-tribes” of Ephraim and Manasseh).
  3. Ishmael, who was born to Abraham through Hagar, also had twelve sons/princes – Genesis 17:20
  4. God specified that twelve unleavened cakes of bread be placed every week in the temple – Leviticus 24:5-6
  5. Offerings of the Israelite leaders for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed: twelve silver plates, twelve silver sprinkling bowls, and twelve gold dishes – Numbers 7:84 
  6. Solomon appointed twelve officers over Israel – 1 Kings 4:7
  7. The Twelve Apostles – Simon Peter and Andrew, James and John (sons of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew Nathaniel, Thomas Didymus, Matthew Levi, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus Judas, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot (later replaced by Matthias).
  8. Jesus’ first recorded words were from when He was twelve years old – Luke 2:42
  9. Jesus appointed 72 (12 x 6) disciples to go out two-by-two – Luke 10:1
  10. 24 (12 x 2) Elders – Revelation 4:4
  11. The woman’s crown has twelve stars – Revelation 12:1
  12. Twelve is lengthened to 144,000 (12 x 12 x 1,000) God’s Israel – Revelation 7:4
  13. The New Jerusalem has 12 gates (3 on each side of the 4 walls), each named after one of the 12 tribes of Israel, which are made out of a single pearl – Revelation 21:12
  14. The New Jerusalem has 12 foundations, each named after one of the 12 apostles, which are made out of jewels – Revelation 21:14
  15. The New Jerusalem measures 12,000 stadia on each side – Revelation 21:16
  16. The New Jerusalem will have a wall is twelve squared, equaling 144 cubits – Revelation 21:17
  17. The tree of life has twelve kinds of fruit  – Revelation 22:2

30 Thirty

Thirty mostly represents an age in dedication to a priestly task or calling.

  1. Priests were initially dedicated to serving at the age of 30 years – Numbers 4:3
  2. John the Baptist, being of priestly descent (his father, Zechariah, was a priest his mother, Elizabeth, was a descendant of the daughters of Aaron), began his ministry at 30 years of age – Luke 3:1-3
  3. Jesus, our High Priest, was thirty years old when He began His earthly ministry – Luke 3:23, Hebrews 4:14-16

40 Forty

The number forty symbolizes a period of trial and testing.

  1. It rained for 40 days and nights during the flood – Genesis 7:4
  2. Moses spent 40 years in the desert in exile, starting at the age of 40 – Acts 7:30
  3. Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai – Exodus 21:18
  4. The Twelve Spies of Israel scoped out Canaan for 40 days – Numbers 13:25
  5. Israel wandered on the desert for 40 years – Numbers 14:33
  6. One of the Twelve Spies, Joshua, was 40 years old when he spied – Joshua 14:7
  7. Goliath taunted Israel  for 40 days – 1 Samuel 17:16
  8. Elijah went 40 days without food or water at Mount Horeb – 1 Kings 19:8
  9. Jonah preached repentance to Nineveh for 40 days – Jonah 3:4
  10.  The prophet Ezekiel laid on His right side for 40 days to symbolize Judah’s sins – Ezekiel 4:6
  11. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness (and fasted from food) for 40 days before being tempted – Matthew 4:2
  12. There were 40 days between Christ’s Resurrection and His ascension – Acts 1:3
  13. Saul, the first King of Israel, ruled for 40 years – Acts 13:21
  14. 40 years after the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ in 30 A.D., the Roman Empire destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
  15. The 66 books of the Bible were written by 40 different people, most of whom had to go through severe trials at some point in their lives.

50 Fifty

Fifty is often used to denote ceremony and celebration

  1. After every 49 years had transpired, the Year of Jubilee occurred on the 50th year – Leviticus 23:10
  2. The Feast of Weeks was 50 days after the Passover – Leviticus 23:15-16
  3. Absalom appointed 50 men to run with him – 2 Samuel 15:1
  4. Adonijah appointed 50 men to run with him – 1 Kings 1:5
  5. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection – See bibleview.org

70 Seventy

Seventy often symbolizes judgment and human committees, and are multiples of seven (indicating perfection) and ten (meaning completeness and God’s law)

  1. Moses took 70 elders, along with Aaron and his sons, up Mount Sinai to have a special meal with God himself – Exodus 24:9 – 11
  2. Moses appointed 70 elders – Numbers 11:16
  3. Tyre was to be judged for 70 years – Isaiah 23:15
  4. Israel spent 70 years in Babylon – Jeremiah 25:11, Jeremiah 29:10
  5. God would accomplish His total plan upon Israel in 70 times 7 years – Daniel 9:24
  6. Jesus appointed 70 disciples – Luke 10:1
  7. The Sanhedrin, which Israel’s great tribunal, was made up of 70 men
  8. Jesus taught 70 recorded parables in the four gospels

See something that’s missing? Let me know!

It is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I’m angling towards that goal. My wish is that this page will be one that is frequently growing and expanding as new entries are being added.

If you see a serious omission of an example of a number that appears in the Bible, please contact me and I will work to append it. Thanks!

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