Numbers in the Bible Episode 5. I'm looking forward to this. We're going to cover the number seven, the number eight, and the number nine this time.
You are at The Door and I am Michael Pearl. We're located here in Louisville, Tennessee, a production of No Greater Joy Ministries. The Bible says, "Every word of God is pure. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Proverbs 30:6. So all the words, and by the way, the numbers in the Bible are words too. And so they're all pure, God put them there and you will see God's handy work in it.
When you read the Bible, be you an adult or a child, your mind becomes imprinted with the symbolic meaning of Bible numbers. You see that they're used over and over again to carry the same tune, the same melody, they have sort of a flavor, each number does. And so when you come across that number, no matter what the context is, you begin to look for that particular color, that particular flavor that's found in that number.
We covered number one already, which is just one, no more, one above all, supremacy, unique, apart from all others in its class.
We covered number two, which is the number of division, things divided. That's sort of innate within the one and two.
And then we covered number three. Now, this is unique to the Bible, it's the number of divine control, election, sovereignty, evolution, that is God's will. Ordering, God's ordering or perfection, that which God does and perfects.
And then number four, wholeness in structure or nature found 328 times, 189 Cardinals. Cardinal is four and ordinal is fourth.
And then the number five, we covered that last time, time before last. Divine appointment, every time it's used. 284 cardinals express divine appointment, great number.
And then number six, which is the number of man and 101 cardinals plus the ordinals.
And then the number seven will be covering the program of God on behalf of man, that which God does on behalf of man. Now, it's easy to define seven, 380 cardinals we have, it's more than any other. It is extremely used. In fact, if there's one number in all of the Bible that God has adopted, it's the number seven, you see it used so much.
That's a lot of times it's used. Now, we're not going to be able to cover all those or even a good sampling of them, so I'm going to do something a little different, we're going to run pretty fast through that and just give you a summary because sometimes the word seven is used 45 different times with the same meaning, same context. And so we're going to kind of rush through it.
All sevens, all sevens, typify the program of God on behalf of man. Now, how do we know that? We'll take the passage there in Psalm 12:6, "The words of the Lord are purified seven times.” “The words of the Lord are purified seven times." So I know one time that it's purified and I have a copy of it at home. The first time it was purified was when it was written by the apostles and the prophets and the pure result of that was the infallible, inerrant word of God. But six other times, he's purified. Do you know when those six times were? The last one, I have a copy of it at home and it's the word sabbath is used 172 times. So let's open it.
Here's where we can really get a strong definition:
Mark 2:27. "And he said unto them, the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." Can you see the program of God on behalf of man in the use of Sabbath? The Sabbath was made for man. That's something God does for man. Now, God does it in a positive way or in a negative way. In other words, he can bring seven judgments, or on the seventh he can bring a judgment, or on the seventh he can bring a blessing, or he can have a blessing that's sevenfold, or a curse that's sevenfold, but it is what God does on behalf of man.
Hebrew life was organized in increments of seven. Everything about their life fell in sevenths.
And if you look in Larkin's Dispensational Truth, you'll find where he shows you that there're four, 490 year periods in Jewish history and we are short seven years of completing the fourth 490-year period and that will occur during Jacob's trouble tribulation.
See, all of these are what God is doing for man
Now, all of these numbers, if you could take out 5%, 10%, up to 15% of the numbers, isolate them and they wouldn't dictate any particular symbolism. In other words, they just are sort of like T-cells, they don't really say anything. And so the only way we can interpret those, is according to how the vast majority, the 85%, 95% of them are used. So I'm going to show you some of the sevens that you might say are incidental, they don't have any meaning. And yet you can find the meaning of seven in those.
So first, when Genesis 21:27, "And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, 'What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou has set by themselves?' And he said, 'For these seven ewe lambs, shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me that I have digged this well.'"
So Abraham was in somebody else's land, a foreign property and he's dug a well there where one previously didn't exist. So he's wanting to establish that that's his well, that's water for him to drink, "Wherefore he called the place Beersheba." Now, if you read your bible much, you know that's a really important location in the future, "Because there they sware both of them." Beersheba means the covenant. "Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba." It's a covenant of wells or covenant of seven. "Then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned under the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God." And that becomes a place where Abraham goes to meet God and to pray. So it seems to be incidental, the seven lambs, but yet we find that God is doing something for man through it all.
Exodus 2:16 "Now, the priest of Midian had seven daughters." Now, this is when Moses has fled from Egypt and he's gone down to Midian and he's thirsty, he's about to die of thirst, he comes up on a well and he meets one of the seven daughters. "And they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up." Apparently he had fallen down in a kind of exhaustion, "And watered their flock." So he dealt with these interlopers. "And Moses was content to dwell with the man and he gave Moses, Zipporah, his daughter."
So this seems to be kind of arbitrary, he had seven daughters, he could have had six, he could have had nine, but he didn't, he had seven. And yet we find it in all this, God did do something for Moses. He put him in a family with seven daughters and he chose the one he wanted for a wife. So God did do something for him through this number seven, she bare him, called his name Gershom.
Numbers 13:22-23 "And they ascended by the south and came under Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, Talmai, and the children of Anak were. Now, Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt. And they came under the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes." These are the scouts gone to scout out the land. "And they bare it between two up on a staff." Now, that means they have one cluster of grapes and it took two of them and a poll to carry it. We're talking about 40, 50, 70 pounds of grapes here or more one cluster, that's a land flowing with milk, and honey, and wine. "And they brought of the pomegranates and to the figs, and they told him and said, 'We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey and this is the fruit of it." So yet God was doing something for them, showing them the land of milk and honey.
In Ezekiel chapter 40 through 46, "On the seventh month after 14 days," two times seven, "There'll be a seven day feast with seven bullocks and seven rams for each of the seven days." And if you look at that temple, you'll find it just replete with sevens.
Do you remember Nebuchadnezzar? God humbled him, god reduced Nebuchadnezzar to a beast for seven years. Why? He said, "Till you learn that the most high ruleth in the children of men." So God did something for Nebuchadnezzar in those seven years.
Coming to the New Testament,
Now, there are 54 sevens in the Book of Revelation. That's a whole lot of sevens.
So you see why I'm not going through all those verses in Revelation, we wouldn't have the time. I'm giving you a quick overview of it so you can see how the number seven is the number of what God does for man. If you look at that, he's certainly doing something for man, a lot of it is judgment, but he's doing it on behalf of man.
Now, Revelation contains as we said, 54 sevens.
Let's compare it to other numbers:
No times does eight appear anywhere in the Book of Revelation, and no time does nine appear anywhere in the Book of Revelation. So the number of eights, the number of new beginnings will come to that next. And the number of nines is the number of finality and there is no finality there in Revelation.
So seven is that number when God is doing something for the human race, he's bringing it all to a conclusion there in Judgment and he's taking the saints enrapturing into heaven and the 144,000 are saved and given gifts of the spirit. And so God is doing something in the Book of Revelation most explicitly.
Now we come to the number eight. Eight is a fascinating number. Now, I've read every book I could find, an article by other people who talk about numbers, and I'm amazed... when I did my study and made my conclusions, I did not consult any books at all because I came to doubt some of them, doubt very strongly. And so I wanted to make my study original, but after completing it, going back and looking over some of those books, I find that I am 80% to 90% or more in agreement with most every one of them. It's amazing how consistent authors down through the centuries have been and how consistently they see these numbers.
Okay, eight is the number of new beginnings.
Genesis 17:12 "And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male child in your generations." Some Jews say, and I actually said in a Bible study in Israel and heard them arguing this, they say that this child does not have a soul until it's circumcised, it's soulless. If it dies, it wasn't a child, it wasn't a human before eight days old. That's what some of them actually say. And so it's a very important time for them. "He that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male child in your generations, he that is born in the house or brought with a stranger, which is not of thy seed, they're all to be circumcised." Now, that's a new beginning for the child, that's the point in which he is adopted into the Jewish family.
2 Chronicles 29:17 "Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify. And on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord, so they sanctified the house the Lord in eight days. And in the 16th day of the first month they made an end." So he's used other numbers there as well. We'll be coming to some of those.
Leviticus 9:1 "And it came to pass on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. And said unto Aaron, "Take thee young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering without blemish and offered them before the Lord." So it came to pass is the cue there, eight is the number of new beginnings. So after those eight days it came to pass or after the seven days, on the eighth day, something new happened and the sacrifice is made, the sin offering.
1 Kings 8:66 "On the eighth day he sent the people away and they blessed the king and went under their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David, his servant, and for Israel, his people." So a new beginning there, a little revival had taken place.
Judges 3:8-9. "Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia, and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years." Now, if he's in his grave, he's rolled over and got his fingers in his ears. "And when the children of Israel cried under the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel who deliver them." Now, what mama would name her son something like that? So after eight years God delivers Israel, something new takes place, a new beginning from somebody with a bad name like that.
1 Kings 6:37 "And in the fourth year was the foundation of the house the Lord laid in the month Zif. And in the 11th year in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof according to the fashion of it. So was the seven years in building it." Notice the fourth year was the foundation. Now we found out the four or fourth is what? It's building our nature like four corners of a building. Fourth year was the foundation of the house laid. "In the eighth month was the house finished." New beginning. "So it was seven years in building it." Something God did for man in providing the temple and building it for seven years.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 "Cast thy bread upon the waters for thou shalt find it after many days, give a portion to seven and also to eight," a new beginning, "For thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth."
Micah 5:5 "This man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds," something God does for man, that's their defense, Israel's defense, seven shepherds, "And eight principal men. And they show waste the land of the Assyrian," new beginning, "With the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrance thereof, thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrians." So this, what God does for man will be a new beginning and deliver them from their captivity.
So incidental usages of eight, I have deliberately scoured it to pick out some that could be used some other way.
Judges 12:14 "And he had 40 sons and 30 nephews, and they run on threescore and 10 ass colts. And he judged Israel eight years." A lot of numbers in that one. They had 40 sons, that's a trial, and 30 nephews and wrote on threescore and 10 ass colts, 70, and judged Israel eight years. Now, it seems like this is just kind of arbitrary, just giving you the list of sons and animals and so forth. But think about it, he judged Israel eight years, so there was a new beginning.
1 Samuel 17:12 "And David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse. And he had eight sons, and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul." So here is this man who has eight sons and out of it comes David, the king of Israel, the eighth one by the way, the youngest one, new beginning.
Numbers 29:29 "On the sixth day, eight bullocks will be offered, two rams, 14 lambs of the first year without blemish." Could be arbitrary, but you see it's eight bullocks for a new beginning with the sacrifices.
Now, eight or eighth is found only 12 times in the New Testament, not very many times. And all clearly portrayed new beginnings, all of them. Let's look at them.
Luke 9:28 "And he came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray." Now, is that a new beginning or not? Guess what happened there? He was transfigured before them. They saw him in his kingdom and in his glory. That's a new beginning.
John 20:26 "And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shot, and stood in the midst and said, 'Peace be unto you.'" This is after his resurrection and he makes an appearance before them and Thomas sees him for the first time and confesses my Lord and my God. And this was after eight days, new beginning.
Acts 9:33 "And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years and was sick of the palsy. And Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole, arise, take thy bed. And he rose immediately." Now, when you read that story and you're not real familiar with the Bible, you thought eight years, that's a long time. But you notice it's not six years or seven years or nine years, it's eight years. Why? Because it's a new beginning taking place. You see, that's God's fingerprints throughout the Bible so that when we read it, we can get little clues to the flavor of the passage as we read it.
1 Peter 3:19 "By which also he went and preached under the spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient when once the long-suffering God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, where in few that is eight souls were saved by water." He's talking about Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives, eight souls saved by water. So that was certainly a new beginning. God had a brand new earth, brand new life on the earth.
John 20:26 "And after eight days again his disciples were within and Thomas was with them and then came Jesus and doors being shut, he stood in the midst and said, 'Peace be unto you.'" So again, a new beginning.
2 Peter 2:5 "And sparred not the old world and saved Noah, the eighth person," makes a point of that, he could have been the first, but he calls him the eighth person, "A preacher of righteousness bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." Now, he was the oldest, why wouldn't you call him the first person instead of calling him the eighth person? That was a new beginning.
Revelation 17:11 "And the beast that was, and is not, he is the eighth," that's the antichrist, "And he is of the seven and goeth into perdition." Something new God is doing on the earth.
Now we come to the number nine. In all the other books you'll read, most of them, you'll read that nine is fruitfulness. That's because a number of passages are to express fruitfulness based in the New Testament, but I'm not content with 20% or even 30% of the verse. And what I want to know is what do they all together as one convey and their subgroups out of that, but the definition of nine is termination or fulfillment. Termination as in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. That's all the numbers. There are no more. All other numbers are composed of those, and then the place holder zero. So that's your numbers, that's your nine numbers and all others are composite of those numbers. So it's termination, it's reaching the end.
Now, 10 is wholeness, it's different from nine. Nine is not about the whole, it's about arriving at the end, it's about the product, the fruit if you will, the fulfillment of something, the realization of it, you have to read them all to get that flavor.
Now, the cardinal is only found 13 times nine, it's not a very popular number, but the ordinal is found 33 times as in ninth. Now, biblical symbolism is consistent with the mathematical nature of the last digit, so it employs that natural inherent quality of nine being the total of all the digits. All numbers are composite of the first nine numbers.
Nine represents finality or the termination point or fulfillment.
It is fruitfulness which flows out and arrives at.
Now, I don't normally do this and we normally just use the ordinal or the cardinal not as part of a larger number, but you can't help it when you start reading your Bible in the Book of Genesis nine in larger numbers just jumps out.
Genesis 5:27 "And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty and nine: years and he died." Now, is that termination, is that a rival at some point? It is. I mean, it's there and so we can't pass it up.
And then we read,
Genesis 17:1 "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine," fruition, fulfillment, a point of fruitfulness even, that's why others would see that as fruitfulness because that's when he had his wife became pregnant. Now, "When Abraham was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared under Abraham and said on him, 'I am almighty God, walk before me and be thou perfect.'" And then he gives him a message that his wife's going to get pregnant and they're going to have their child.
Genesis 17:24 "And Abraham was ninety years old and nine when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin." And so this is that termination point of the natural man and the end of the natural man, the arrival at what God had called him to become the father of a great nation.
Leviticus 23:32 "And it shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls in the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening under evenings, shall you celebrate your sabbath." So the ninth day after the new beginnings was that point at which they arrived, where they afflict their souls.
Leviticus 25:22 "And ye shall sow the eighth year," this is that letting the crop rest the seventh year. "Ye shall sow the eighth year and eat yet of old fruit," that was the sixth year fruit, "Until the ninth year," and so notice the word until, that's the point of arrival. "Until the fruits come in, ye shall eat of the old store." So God has done something for man in the seventh year, fed him from the sixth year, the number of man where man had planted and sow for six years. And then in the eighth year is a new beginning, they start over again, they can plant, new beginning, and then the ninth year they arrive at where they can then eat the fruit until the ninth year and eat new fruit.
Numbers 34:13 "And Moses commanded the children of Israel saying, 'This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the Lord commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe.'" So they have arrived at the promised land, they're inheriting their land.
2 Samuel 24:8 "And when they had gone through all the land that came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months," notice the, "At the end of nine months and 20 days." By the way, we'll come to the number 20, but it's maturity. So see how that fits at the end of nine months and maturity, 20 days. It's kind of unusual for them to add the number of days to break a month apart, usually rounds off the month, so he's telling us that they've reached maturity.
Ezra 10:9 "Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gather themselves together in Jerusalem wherein three days. It was the ninth," and that's sovereignty, God's volition, God's will. "It was the ninth month," termination point, "On the 20th day of the month. And all the people sat in the street of the month." Notice that it uses that ninth and 20th again, "On the 20th day of the month," termination, and reaching a fulfillment. “All the people sat in the street of the house of God trembling because of this matter and for the great reign. And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month." Now, they had married heathen women that worshiped other gods, so they had an event where they all came together and were commanded to put those wives away, to get rid of them, to run them out of the community, to send them back to their heathen lands. They were being removed from the nation of Israel, completely, entirely. And so this was an end, this was the terminus point, this is where they'd arrived at.
Jeremiah 39:1-2 "In the ninth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the 10th month came Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. And in the 11th year," 11, by the way we're going to come to that, is the number of dissolution, when something breaks apart and is not whole. "In the 11th year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up." 11, broken up, dissolution. Ninth day, that was the terminus point, the point in which they arrived.
Ezekiel's Temple, nine appears no times at all, not once in Ezekiel's Temple, Ezekiel Chapters 39 through 45, 46. Four appears 17 times in Ezekiel's Temple, which is structure. Five appears nine times in his temple, six appears 11 times, but not in connection with the construction except for the curtain entering in that man passed through. Seven appears 12 times, seven steps up, seven wide the door, we talked about that. And then eight appears five times, new beginnings, in the temple.
Now, what about the incidental usages of nine?
Numbers 29:26 "And on the fifth day, nine bullocks, two rams, 14 lambs of the first year without spot." So you've got so many numbers there, it'd be hard to exactly say what he's trying to convey, so we'll just take the nine there to mean the terminus point, obviously these animals are going to die and they're making a sacrifice.
Nine appears one time in the New Testament, one time. Think about it. Oh, think about how many times seven appears.
Luke 17:17 "And Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not 10 cleansed?'" That's the whole number, we're going to come to 10 next week, that's the whole, it's not the termination point, but it's the bunch, the group. "Were not 10 cleansed? But where are the nine?" So those nine had reached a point when they were cleansed, that was the terminus point for them when their leprosy went away, but they didn't come back to give thanks.
So ninth appears 10 times in the New Testament, five times in reference to the ninth hour, the hour Jesus died, the hour in which the spear was thrust in his side, the hour in which they marked him and then he died. So that's the terminus point. That's wouldn't be fruitfulness, but it would be the point at which his whole life had aimed. In fact, from eternity past, it's where he was headed to the cross to die. So five of the nine in regard to the crucifixion, three times in reference to prayer. It's interesting that nine, eight times, eight of the 10 times has to do with such things, three times in reference to prayer. Let's look at a couple quick examples.
Mark 15:33-34 "And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour," notice the until the terminus, the point in which they arrived. "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' Which is by being interpreted, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'" He'd come to that point to where he was bearing the sins of the world and about to die.
Acts 3:1 "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour." It'd be like three o'clock in the afternoon. And so that was the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Without other meanings, we wouldn't be able to attach a meaning to that, but we can see in it that it is the point in which they come to meet God.
Acts 10:3 “And he saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming into him and saying him, 'Cornelius.' And when he looked on him, he was afraid and he said, 'What is it, Lord?' And he said unto him, 'Thy prayers and thine alms are come up from memorial before God.'" So his prayers were answered, he came to that point, that Terminus pint. Nine does not appear in the Book of Revelation at all. And we come to number 10 next time.