Biblical Numbers from 1 to 10
Let us see Biblical numbers and their meanings.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
There cannot be two firsts. One is God’s number. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is the only God. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). The number one stands alone, independent of all others. God doesn’t need help in His accomplishments; therefore He is the one and only God.
Number one in the Bible means “unity” and “uniqueness.” There is one body; the church made up of true believers. There is one Spirit; the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer individually also indwells the church collectively. There is one hope; the hope to be like Christ. There is one Lord; Jesus Christ who died for us all. There is one faith; the Christian faith based on Christ’s death on the cross. There is one baptism; the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. There is one God and Father of all; God Almighty who is over all and through all and in all.
The songwriter is right. “One is a lonely number.” The number one does stand alone, independent of all others. God is independent, and we are dependent. But that’s a good position for us to be in since the one on whom we depend is the ONE and ONLY true living God!
Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Then God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. (Genesis 1:6-8)
The number two in the Bible has several meanings. The number two denotes a difference. The number two proves there is a division or a separation. From the beginning of Creation we see the number two in the scriptures. On the second day of Creation, God divided the waters: earthly waters and heavenly waters. Throughout the Bible, we see the duality of two things being opposite and at no times can these two things be both at the same time: light and darkness, good and evil, heaven and hell, the saved and unsaved.
The number two suggesting division and separation is seen in the following examples: two birds, one slain and one set free; two goats, one slain, the other one set free; two masters; two covenants (Old Testament and New Testament); law and grace; Christ and the anti-Christ; the natural and the spiritual; male and female; the righteous and the wicked as in Psalm 1.
Two is the minimum number of people to be sent on an important assignment. Two angels were sent to Sodom (Genesis 19:1); two spies were sent to Jericho (Joshua 2:1); and Jesus sent His disciples out two by two (Mark 6:7). Also, two is the minimum number for witnesses. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15).
In conclusion, the number two is symbolic of (1) a difference or division; (2) the minimum number for an important assignment; (3) and the minimum number of witnesses for a matter to be established.
Quiz: (1) Jesus separated how many thieves on the cross? (2) How many disciples ran to the tomb? (3) How many angels were at Christ’s resurrection? (4) How many disciples did Jesus walk with on the Emmaus Road after His resurrection? (5) How many men in white apparel testified at Christ’s ascension? If your answer is TWO (2) for all questions, then you are correct.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Three in the Bible is divine fullness or completion as in the Godhead of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We know this concept as the Trinity even though the word “trinity” is not in the Bible. The trinitarian formula is mentioned in the Great Commission listed above and also in Paul’s benediction at the end of this message. Some examples of three being the number of spiritual fullness: Jonah was in the belly of the big fish three days and Jesus was in the grave three days. Three days were enough to prove that Jesus had conquered sin, death, and the grave.
Three is the minimum number necessary to establish a pattern. Something can happen once by chance; twice by coincidence; but three consecutive times usually indicate a pattern. For example, Samuel heard his name called three times before Eli confirmed that it was God calling Samuel (I Samuel 3:8).
When we are expecting confirmation concerning a certain act, it is good news to know that when something happens three times, it points to greater fulfillment yet to unfold. For example, if you have been asked out on a date three times, there might be further development of the relationship. If you have been on a job for at least three years, more than likely you could be in line for a promotion. When something happens three times, it gains emphasis such as when Peter denied Jesus three times. Three times Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but three times the chief priests and rulers rejected Him. This repetition represents the emphasis placed on the rejection (Luke 23:13-25).
Three speaks of totality, sufficiency and the complete work of God. Man is a trifold being: body, spirit and soul. Notice when preachers preach and Bible teachers teach, they usually speak using the trifold concept whether they realize it or not. It is usually automatic. Listen to hear them say: faith, hope and love; grace, peace, and mercy; morning, noon, and night; Peter, James and John; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and “Holy, Holy, Holy” etc.
And now the three-part benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:13)
Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. (Luke 13:29)
Four is the creation number and it has special significance to the earth. Four is symbolic of earthly completeness. On the fourth day, all materials for the earth were created. Four is the number of the great elements: earth, air, fire, and water. There are four regions or directions: north, south, east, and west. There are four seasons of the year: fall, winter, spring, and summer. There are four phases of the moon: first, half, full, and last. There are four divisions of the day: morning, noon, evening, and night. The Bible also has ten references to the four winds.
The number four indicates universality. This means that from one point to the next point, everything is included such as in the scripture above. It is universal participation. All people will come from all four corners of the earth to enjoy the kingdom of God as is illustrated in the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Four in the scriptures portrays universal observation, worship and adoration as in Revelation 4:6-8. “Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.”
Let’s conclude our study of the number four on a note of hope for those who might be in a fiery furnace today. Don’t give up. Jesus appeared as the fourth man to save the three Hebrew boys (Daniel 3:25). He will do the same for you.
Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. (Matthew 25:2)
The number five is seen throughout the Bible, but almost every time it is used, it is merely a part of a whole. It is so small of a bigger piece that it could be considered only a “handful” as the five fingers on one’s hand. The first five books of the Bible known as the Pentateuch comprise only a portion of the 66 books of the entire Bible.
Even though five represents a small sum which appears to be insignificant within the larger scheme, it does individually possess high value. When Abraham pleads to God to spare the people of Sodom, he begins by pleading for five fewer righteous people as to suggest that the loss of five would be insignificant in its consequence (Genesis 18:22-23). Sometimes in the Bible, the number five is half of the perfect number ten as in the parable of the ten virgins. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise (Matthew 25:2). The Ten Commandments are distinctly divided into two pairs of fives. The first five commandments deal with our relationship with God; the last five deal with our relationship with others. Only Commandment #5 is different in that it is the only one with a promise associated with it.
At times five indicates just recompense or bounteous reward. Thieves must repay five times the value of the oxen they steal (Exodus 22:1). Benjamin was honored by Joseph with five times more food than his brothers (Genesis 43:34) and five sets of clothes (Genesis 45:22). We can’t forget that Jesus took five loaves to feed five thousand. It was abundance for the multitude.
The number five represents God’s grace seen throughout the structure of the tabernacle in the wilderness. The pillars were five cubits apart and five cubits high. The brazen altar was five cubits by five cubits. There were five pillars at the end of the Holy Place. The sides of the tabernacle were reinforced by five bars on each side (Exodus 26:26-27). The inner covering of the tabernacle was composed of five curtains which were attached to five other curtains for a total of ten curtains (Exodus 26:3). Notice the double five pattern. There were five original priests: Aaron and his four sons (Exodus 28:1)
Five is a number of preparation as the first five books of the Bible prepare you for Israel’s story throughout the rest of the Bible. The five wise virgins were prepared. David, in preparing for Goliath, took up five smooth stones. To prepare and perfect the saints for ministry, some are called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). Through these five outlets goes forth the gospel of Jesus Christ. Surely, you are prepared to fit into one of these five because of God’s grace.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning; the sixth day. (Genesis 1:27, 31).
Six is the number for man because he was created on the sixth day. It should remind us of our human incompleteness. Man without God will always be incomplete. No matter what we do in our own strength, we will always fall one below the perfect number seven. What God created on the previous days, “And God saw that it was good.” However, when God made man, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
The sixth commandment calls our attention to the value of the human life that was created on the sixth day. It says, “Do not kill” (Exodus 20:13). The serpent was also created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:24). This lets us know that Satan is capable of tricking us if given the chance. Six days mark the completion of creation as God’s work. Therefore, six days were appointed for man’s labor. Like God, man should cease from his labor after the sixth day. If God could complete all creation in six days, we should take a break from our labor after six days.
Six is also the number of balance, harmony, cooperation and marriage. Jesus’ first miracle changed six pots of water to wine for the wedding feast (John 2:6). A wedding represents love as does the number six. Is that the reason June (the sixth month) is favored for weddings? Could it be the reason Boaz gave Ruth six measures of barley symbolic of his love and protection (Ruth 3:15)?
If we want miracles to happen in our lives, we should remember that we are incomplete without God. Satan is out to trick us because of our human weakness. We should allow ourselves to be filled to the brim like the six water pots. Then, like the wine at the wedding, our lives will change miraculously.
And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. (Joshua 6:4)
In the Bible, numbers have spiritual significance. Of all the biblical numbers, seven is the most familiar because it appears about 600 times. Seven denotes spiritual perfection. It means divine fulness, completeness and totality. It comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to be full,” “to be satisfied,” and “to have enough.
Many times seven is important as a symbol rather than as an actual number. Whenever you read seven, it does not always literally mean seven things or seven occurrences. It is symbolic of the whole or the completion or the ideal situation or the perfect picture of things. Seven constitutes a complete cycle.
One of the most profound examples of the use of the symbolic number seven is related to the fall of Jericho in the Joshua 6:1-20. Notice how many sevens appear in the scripture above. The use of the number seven simply means fulfillment or enough. Enough priests blew the trumpets and enough people marched around the walls enough times for the walls to come tumbling down.
Revelation, the last book of the Bible that completes the word of God contains more sevens than any of the other books. There are seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven personages, seven vials, seven woes, and seven new things. Additionally, there are seven glories of the Son of Man, and seven blessings. The word “Jesus” is found seven times, “Jesus Christ” seven times and the wrath of God seven times.
In just one verse in Isaiah 11:2, the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus in seven distinct ways: Spirit of God, wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and fear of God. Our desire should be that the Holy Spirit will rest within us in the same seven ways.
Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. (Genesis 21:4)
The number eight symbolizes resurrection and a new beginning. Noah’s ark passed through the waters symbolizing death, but it was resurrected and rested on Mt. Ararat and eight people emerged to a new beginning.
Why did God command Jewish males to be circumcised on the eighth day? Why not on the first day or much later? Eight means “as above, so below.” That’s why Jewish male babies are circumcised on the eighth day to seal the covenant with God. “And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb” ( Luke 2:21).
Other interesting things about the number eight: David was the eighth son of Jesse, while Solomon was the eighth son of David. The writers of the New Testament were eight in number: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
Paul, James, Peter and Jude. Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. His birth place, Bethlehem, is mentioned exactly eight times in the New Testament. Jesus came that we might have a new beginning. Accept Him today and begin your life anew.
Now it was the third hour [9:00 a.m.], and they crucified Him. (Mark 15:25) And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34)
Nine is the number of judgment and finality. It is the last of the digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter. What time was Jesus nailed to the cross? The Bible says the third hour. That’s 9:00 in the morning. How long did He hang on the cross? The Bible says He dismissed His spirit at 3:00 in the afternoon. That’s the ninth hour of the day. Jesus’ work on earth was finished.
A cycle of finality is indicated in the nine generations from Adam to Noah. Then the flood was the judgment. Noah’s generation was the ninth from Adam, and Abraham’s generation was the ninth from Noah. Representing finality and judgment, the Bible has nine records of stoning; nine records of blindness and nine records of leprosy.
According to Galatians 5:22-23, there are nine fruit of the Spirit. There is no “s” on “fruit of the Spirit” because the individual fruits work together as a final unit of the heart: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Notice the first one is “love” and the final one is “temperance” or “self-control.” Begin with love and your final result will be temperance. According to I Corinthians 12:8-10, there are nine gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:28)
There are four biblical numbers in the Bible that denote completion or perfection. Three, seven, ten, and twelve all mean completion and perfection. While each number represents completion or perfection, it is a different type of completion or perfection. Three means “divine perfection.” Seven means “spiritual perfection.” Twelve means “governmental perfection.” That’s why there are twelve people on a jury. Ten is the number of perfection or completion of God’s “divine order.” It is the only one of the perfect biblical numbers in which humans have a part. We cannot be part of the three, seven, or twelve. We are definitely part of the ten since it is the number of completion based on God’s order AND human responsibility. The number ten is built into our very anatomy. For instance, we have ten fingers to do God’s work and ten toes to walk upright before God.
Why only Ten Commandments in the Old Testament? Why not fifteen or twenty? The Ten Commandments contain all that is necessary, and no more than is necessary, both as to their number and their order. They are examples of God’s order and man’s responsibility. The first five concern our relationship with God. The last five concern our relationships with other humans. The number ten is the start of a whole new order of numbers and the completion of the single digit numbers that come before it. Our responsibility in stewardship is to give God ten percent of our first fruits because the tithes represent the whole of what is due from man to God’ based on His claim on the whole.
We cannot aspire to divine perfection on our own. We cannot aspire to spiritual perfection on our own. We cannot attain governmental perfection without God. We can honor God’s covenant according to His order and our responsibility. Hope you loved these biblical numbers.