Numbers In Scripture

by: E. W. Bullinger

Numbers are used in Scripture, not merely as in Nature with supernatural design, but with spiritual significance, which may be summarized as follows:

ONE. Denotes unity, and commencement. The first occurrences of words or utterances denote their essential significance, in interpretation. Words that occur only once, in the originals, are emphatic and important. First day, Light. Two. Denotes difference. If two different persons agree in testimony it is conclusive. Otherwise two implies opposition, enmity and division, as was the work of the Second day. Compare the use of the word "double" applied to "heart ", "tongue", "mind ", &c.

THREE. Denotes completeness, as three lines complete a plane figure (a triangle). Hence, three is significant of Divine perfection and completeness. The third day completes the fundamentals of creation-work. The fourth, fifth, and sixth days are the counterpart and repetition of the first, second, and third, and correspond respectively. (See Genesis 1:2-31.) The number, three, includes resurrection also; for on the third day the earth rose up out of the deep, and fruit rose up out of the earth.

FOUR. Denotes creative works (3+1), and always has reference to the material creation, as pertaining to the earth, and things "under the sun", and things terrestrial.

FIVE. Denotes Divine grace. It is 4 + 1. It is God adding His gifts and blessing to the works of His hands. The Heb. Ha’aretz (the earth), by "Gematria" (i.e. the addition of the numerical value of the letters together) is a multiple of four, while Hashamayim (the heavens) is a multiple of five. The Gematria of charis, the Greek for Grace, is also a multiple of five. It is the leading factor in the Tabernacle measurements.

Six. Denotes the human number. Man was created on the sixth day; and this first occurrence of the number makes it (and all multiples of it) the hall-mark of all connected with man. He works six days. The hours of his day are a multiple of six. Athaliah usurped the throne of Judah six years. The great men who have stood out in defiance of God (Goliath and Nebuchadnezzar and Antichrist) are all emphatically marked by this number.

SEVEN. Denotes spiritual perfection. Of time, it tells of the Sabbath, and marks off the week of seven days, .... It tells of that eternal Sabbath-keeping which remains for the people of God in all its everlasting perfection." (Hebrews 4:9). In the creative works of God, seven completes the colors of the spectrum and rainbow, and satisfies in music the notes of the scale. In each of these the eight is only a repetition of the first." God is the Author and Giver of life; and seven is the number which regulates every period of Incubation and Gestation, in insects, birds, animals, and man.

EIGHT. Denotes resurrection (a new beginning), to make fat or superabundant. There were eight commands to keep the Sabbath Holy, seven by Jehovah and one by Moses. The Feast of Tabernacles was the only feast which was kept eight days, the eight is distinguished from the seventh (Lev. 23:39). (The Feast of Tabernacles pictures a time of super abundance and the eight day pictures the White Throne Judgment and the second resurrection).

NINE. Denotes Finality of Judgment. It is 3 x 3, the product of Divine completeness. The number nine, or its factors or multiples, is seen in all cases when judgment is the subject.

TEN. Denotes Ordinal perfection. Another new first; after the ninth digit, when numeration commences anew.

ELEVEN. Denotes disorder, disorganization, because it is one short of the number twelve.

TWELVE. Denotes Governmental perfection. It is the number or factor of all numbers connected with government: whether by Tribes or Apostles, or in measurements of time, or in things which have to do with government in the heavens and the earth.

THIRTEEN. Denotes rebellion, apostasy, defection, disintegration, revolution, &c. The first occurrence fixes this (Gen. 14:4); and the second, confirms it (Gen. 17:26). It, and its multiples, are seen in all numbers, and in the Gematria (see above) of all names and passages that are associated with rebellion, &c.

SEVENTEEN. Denotes a combination of spirit and order (10+7). It is the seventh prime number (as 13 is the sixth prime number).

OTHER NUMBERS follow the laws which govern the smaller numbers, as, being their factors, sums, products or multiples: e.g. 24 is 12 x 2, a higher form of 12.

25=5x5. Grace intensified.

27=3x3x3. Divinity intensified.

28=7x4. Spiritual perfection in connection with the earth.

30=3x10. Divine perfection, applied to order.

40=10x4. Divine order applied to earthly things. Hence, the number of probation.

The four perfect numbers, 3, 7, 10, and 12, have for their product the remarkable number 2,520. It is the Least Common Multiple of the ten digits governing all numeration; and can, therefore, be divided by each of the nine digits, without a remainder. It is the number of chronological perfection (7X360).

SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX. Denotes "the number of a name" (Revelation 13:17-18). When the name of Antichrist is known its gematria will doubtless be found to be the number 666. Gematria is not a means by which the name is to be discovered; but it will be the test and a proof by which the name may be identified after the person is revealed. If six is the number of secular or human perfection, then 66 is a more emphatic expression of the same fact, and 666 is the concentrated expression of it; the perfection of imperfection; the culmination of human pride in independence of God and opposition to His Christ. 666 was the secret symbol of the ancient pagan mysteries connected with the worship of the Devil.

This information is from Dr. E. W. Bullinger’s book Number in Scripture by Kregel Publications and his Companion Bible..