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Discovering Biblical Numerology

Part One

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Hermeneutics is the art and science of Biblical interpretation. Biblical Numerology is the study of Biblical numbers and how those numbers are used by God in the Bible as He inspired men to write the scriptures. Numerology ads a certain dimension and color to the Bible and its meanings and definitions. While numerology may not always act in the foundational standards or filters in a particular method of hermeneutics, they should always be included in the auxiliary or supplemental thinking processes of any particular school of hermeneutics.     

Numbers are important to God in their use, value and  interpretation. Job 14;16 says Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. Psalms 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalms 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Daniel 5:26 "This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Numbers used in the Bible have a spiritual significance. They can often be very symbolic and used in the accurate interpretation of scriptures. Numbers should not be taken lightly or without notice when searching for depth in the scriptures. Numbers are referred to in scriptures in one of two ways; by name and by implication.

Numbers are not necessarily always symbolic or definitive. Biblical numerology should never be the only hermeneutic filter for interpretation of a text. Numbers are supportive and work in conjunction with other interpretative processes to bring out the illumination desired in the meaning of the particular text being examined. We should be careful not to exaggerate their meaning or use, or to force them to portray definitions and meanings they are not. We should also be cautious of the use of numerical equations in interpreting scriptures. (Example; 3+4=7, 3x7=21 etc.) There are many times the equation of a number will have significance. But if it isn’t clearly obvious, an interpretation should never be forced from the text. We should never make scripture say what it isn’t saying. Most of the obvious equations speak for themselves and are very blatant.    

Number one is generally the number of God in relation to position. Genesis 1:1 records “In the beginning God created” Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega”. He proclaims Himself the one, the first, the eternal source and creator of all. Matthew 6:33  we are to make God and His kingdom first priority “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Number one can also be a number that refers to the “Number of Compound Unity”,specifically referring to the Trinitarian Godhead. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.(NIV) John 17:21-23 “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me”.

It can also be the “Number of Exclusiveness”.Genesis 22:2 “Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac”Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced. Revelation 1:18 “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever.

We should also note the exclusive use to identify Jesus as God’s one and only Son. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


The number two is often seen as a “Number of Affirmation, Confirmation and/or Testimony” in the aspect of affirming, confirming and testifying of the truth. Deuteronomy 17:6 “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death.Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”(NIV) Matthew 18:16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'(NIV) 2 Corinthians 13:1 "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."(NIV) 1 Timothy 5:19 “Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.”(NIV) Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.(NIV) Revelation 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."(NIV)

There are two genealogies given of Jesus Christ in the two gospels to affirm Jesus Christ not only as royalty or in his kingly messianic position in Matthew, but also as completely human as the genealogy is recorded in the gospel of Luke.

God also uses pairs (two people or two things) to display unity and to affirm each other’s faith, ability or proclamation of truth. Genesis 2:23-24 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; Ephesians 5:31-33 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.(NIV)

Here are some of the more notorious Old Testament Bible pairs: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Esau, Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph’s son’s),Moses and Joshua, Joshua and Caleb, Boaz and Ruth, David and Jonathan, Elijah and Elisha, Hosea and Gomer, and Enoch and Elijah.

In the New Testament we see other important pairs such as Joseph and Mary, Peter and Andrew, James and John, (Note: two pairs of two brothers in the original apostolic selection) Mary and Martha, Pharisees and Sadducees, Moses and Elijah, The Two Counselors, Two men on the Emmaus road, Peter and John, Paul and Barnabas, The Apostle and the Prophet (Rev.18:20, Eph. 3:5,20) Two witnesses of Revelation 11.

Two can also be a number of separation or division. God created the sky and the sea (two major components of creation) and divided them, on the second day. Genesis 1:6-8 Two type of trees were in the original Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:2-3  (two trees in the Bible - beginning and ending) Two men led Lot and his wife and two daughters away from the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah Genesis 19:16. God dealt differently with the Egyptians as opposed to the descendants of Israel. Exodus 8:21-23.

Christ’s parables displays the division made between those who follow the one true God and those who don’t Matthew 24:40-41 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.(NIV)

The number three can be seen as an “Expression of the Trinity” or as a “Number of Completion” Exodus 12:7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.(NIV) Please note the three parts to the door frame; two side posts and a cross beam.

There are three righteous men in the following texts. Ezekiel 14:13-14 "Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if these three men-- Noah, Daniel and Job-- were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.(NIV) Daniel 3:22-23 The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.(NIV)

The number three is used to define spiritual completion. Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.(NIV) Acts 9:8-9 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.(NIV)

In the following text, note the clear declaration of Jesus Christ in the specific naming of the parts of the Godhead. Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)

Three men were sent by God to summon Peter to his first missionary journey to the Gentiles. Acts 10:19-20 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."(NIV)

In this text we can see the complete testimony of Jesus Christ in three parts.I John 5:6-8 This is the one who came by water and blood-- Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.(NIV)

The number four is often synonymous with the Earth” and the things that pertain to it. Genesis 2:10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. (NAS) Jeremiah 49:36 I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam's exiles do not go.(NIV) Ezekiel 37:9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'"(NIV) Matthew 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.(NIV) Mark 13:27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.(NIV) Note the use of the previous prophetic scriptures and their reference to the Earth’s four winds. Revelation 20:8 “and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-- Gog and Magog-- to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.” (NIV) We should note the definition geographically of east, west, north, and south on the earth in prophetic scriptures.

Leviticus 11:20-27"'All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest. 'You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. "'Every animal that has a split hoof not completely divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches [the carcass of] any of them will be unclean. Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.(NIV) There is an obvious concern in the Levitical laws over creatures that walk on all fours.

An earthly season defined as four months.John 4:35 Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (NIV)

This passage of scripture gives the clear definition of the four types of flesh on earth. 1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. (NIV) 

In Revelation 4:6-7we read, “Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.” (NIV) These four “living creatures” are generally interpreted as the four gospels of scripture.

This is how and why the scriptures are God’s most clear and direct communication with man while he lives on the Earth. The New Testament has four basic literary styles;

            1). The gospels, in the plan of salvation for mankind;

2). The historical in the content of the Acts of the Apostles;

3). The application in the instruction of the Epistles;

4). The prophetic in the content of the book of Revelation.


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