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Bible Interpretation II - Lesson 6

  1. NUMBERS (Continued)
    1. Number Twelve
      1. Twelve is most often used to refer to Israel; yet it also seems to be the number of perfect government (whereas ten is the number of human government as in the ten kings)
      2. Twelve princes of Ishmael (Genesis 17:20; Genesis 25:16)
      3. Twelve sons of Jacob (Acts 7:8)
      4. Twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:28)
      5. Twelve wells of water in Elam; mentioned immediately after God’s promise concerning obedience (verse 26) and in context with seventy palm trees (another number of good government)
      6. Twelve pillars at Matthew Sinai (Exodus 24:4)
      7. Twelve stones in the priestly breastplate (Exodus 28:15-21)
      8. Twelve cakes on the table of shewbread (Leviticus 24:5-7)
      9. Twelve rods before the Lord (Numbers 17:2)
      10. Twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan (Joshua 4:1-9)
      11. Twelve stones of Elijah’s altar (1 Kings 18:31)
      12. Jesus was 12 years old when He went to Jerusalem (Luke 2:42)
      13. Twelve apostles (Luke 6:13); given power by Christ (Luke 9:1) and chosen to sit on twelve tribes over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30)
      14. Twelve baskets of fragments after feeding the 5,000 (Mark 6:43-44)
      15. Jesus could have called 12 legions of angels (Matthew 26:53)
      16. Twelve hours in a day (John 11:9)
      17. The New Jerusalem has many twelves
        1. Twelve tribes (Revelation 21:12)
        2. Twelve angels (Revelation 21:12)
        3. Twelve gates (Revelation 21:12)
        4. Twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14)
        5. Twelve apostles (Revelation 21:14)
        6. Twelve thousand (Revelation 21:16)
        7. 144 cubits—12 x 12 (Revelation 21:17)
        8. Twelve pearls (Revelation 21:21)
        9. Twelve manner of fruit (Revelation 22:2)
    2. Number thirteen
      1. Thirteen seems to be a number of rebellion  and its subsequent destruction
      2. The number 13 is first mentioned in Genesis 14:4 – “Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.”
      3. Genesis 13:13 states, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”
      4. Ishmael was 13 when he was circumcised; out of him came the Arab tribes that fought against Israel (Genesis 17:25)
      5. The priests circled Jericho a total of 13 times before it fell (Joshua 6:14-15)
      6. Although Solomon took 7 years to build the house of the Lord (1 Kings 6:38), he took 13 years to build his own house (1 Kings 7:1)
      7. Proverbs 13:13 begins, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed”
      8. Haman got the king to decree on the 13th day of the 1st month that all the Jews in the kingdom were to be destroyed on the 13th day of the 12th month (Esther 3:10-13).
      9. In Acts 13:13, John Mark quit on Paul and went home
      10. Sometimes the number thirteen, being one more than twelve, gives an alternative to the established plan
        1. When Joseph’s two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) are counted as tribes, Israel has 13 tribes.  The 13th tribe is Levi who had no inheritance in the land because the Lord was their inheritance (Deuteronomy 18:1-2)
        2. When God wanted to reach the Gentiles, he called Paul as the 13th apostle (1 Corinthians 15:8-9); He sent him out on his first missionary journey to the Gentiles in Acts 13; He had him write 13 epistles (Romans – Philemon) to the Gentiles and 13 chapters (Hebrews) to his own people, the Jews.
    3. Number Fifteen
      1. Fifteen is seven plus eight.  Seven is the number of God’s perfect work and eight is the number of new beginnings.  Added together they are a picture of spiritual growth.  God does His perfect work in us as we do the best we can; but spiritual growth required that we continually start all over again.
      2. The waters of Noah’s flood rose 15 cubits over the mountains (Genesis 7:20)
      3. Hezekiah prayed and received 15 years added to his life (2 Kings 20:6)
      4. Jerusalem was about 15 furlongs from Bethany, the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary (John 11:18)
      5. When sowing, we are to give a portion to seven and also to eight (Ecclesiastes 11:2)
      6. In Ezekiel’s kingdom temple, there are two sets of steps up to the temple.  The first set has seven steps (Ezekiel 40:22); the second set has eight steps (Ezekiel 40:34) for a total of fifteen steps
      7. There are fifteen “songs of degree” in the Psalms (Psalm 120-134); they reveal steps in the growth of the life of godliness
    4. Number Twenty
      1. The number twenty is hard to define as to significance.  However, in the course of human events, twenty years is said to be a long time; According to 1 Samuel 7:2, “the time was long; for it was twenty years.”
      2. Jacob worked for Laban for 20 years (Genesis 31:41)
      3. Boys were counted as men at 20 (Exodus 38:29) and considered ready to go forth to war (Numbers 1:3)
      4. Those Israelites who murmured against God and were 20 years old and upward died in the wilderness (Numbers 14:29)
      5. Samson judged Israel for 20 years (Judges 15:20)
      6. The ark abode in Kirjathjearim for 20 years
      7. Solomon took 20 years to build two houses: the Lord’s and his own (1 Kings 9:10)
    5. Number Twenty-two
      1. The evidence for the number twenty-two is not strong but there is significant evidence that it refers to the scriptures
      2. The Levites, through whom God dealt with Israel, numbered 22,000 when they prepared to enter the land (Numbers 3:39); see 2 Chronicles 15:3
      3. Solomon offered 22,000 oxen at the dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 7:5)
      4. The golden candlestick had a design which gave it 22 bowls with knops and flowers (Exodus 25:31-34); The word of God is our lamp (Psalm 119:105)
      5. The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters
      6. The most common length of chapter in the Bible has 22 verses.
      7. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, has 176 verses which is 22 times 8.  It is about the word of God.
      8. The Bible has 66 books which is 22 times 3
    6. Number Twenty-four
      1. The number twenty-four has something to do with service to Israel; it is two times twelve (the number for Israel)
      2. David divided the priests (1 Chronicles 24:1-19) and the Levites who served in worship(1 Chronicles 25:1-31) into 24 courses or divisions so they could divide the service of the Lord into 24 month long sessions for the most visible and desired jobs
      3. The 24 elders in heaven (Revelation 4:10; Revelation 5:8; etc.) must have something to do with God watching out for Israel; as if God were adding the 12 sons of Jacob to the 12 apostles
    7. Number Thirty
      1. The number thirty sometimes has an idea of blessedness about it
      2. It is the number of days in a month; the new moon was always a time of blessing
      3. David had 30 mighty men (1 Chronicles 27:6)
      4. Thirty men pulled Jeremiah up out of the dungeon (Jeremiah 38:10)
      5. To bear thirty-fold fruit is the first level of fruitfulness (Mark 4:8)
      6. However, thirty years seems to have a special meaning; it refers to the length of a generation; the length of time it takes for the son to take the place of the father and stand in his own right fully as a man.  In Jewish tradition, a man is not considered fully mature until he is 30 years old
      7. Thirty was a common age after the flood for the birth of the firstborn son (Genesis 11:14,18,22)
      8. The age at which Joseph came to power (Genesis 41:46)
      9. The initial age at which the Levites filled their posts (Numbers 4:3)
      10. The age at which David became king (2 Samuel 5:4)
      11. The age at which Jesus began His ministry (Luke 3:23)
    8. Number Forty
      1. The number forty is definitely used in scripture as a number of testing or trial
      2. The rain of Noah’s flood came for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:12)
      3. It took Isaac 40 years to find the wife God had for him (Genesis 25:20)
      4. Moses wandered for 40 years on the backside of the desert (Acts 7:30)
      5. Moses met with God in Mt. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Exodus 24:18); two times (Exodus 34:28)
      6. The 12 spies searched out the promised land for 40 days (Numbers 13:25)
      7. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Numbers 14:33-34)
      8. A man cannot be beaten with more than 40 stripes (Deuteronomy 25:2-3)
      9. In the days of Othniel (Judges 3:11), Deborah (Judges 5:8) and Gideon (Judges 8:28), God gave Israel rest for 40 year.  Yet, in each case, Israel turned to other gods and brought judgment on themselves.
      10. God delivered Israel into the hands of the Philistines for 40 years (Judges 13:1)
      11. Eli judged Israel for 40 years (1 Samuel 4:18)
      12. Saul reigned for 40 years (Acts 13:21)
      13. Goliath presented himself before the camp of Israel 40 days (1 Samuel 17:16)
      14. David reigned for 40 years (2 Samuel 5:4)
      15. Solomon reigned for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42)
      16. Jonah preached that Ninevah would be destroyed in 40 days (Jonah 3:4)
      17. Christ was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2)
      18. Christ showed Himself alive after His resurrection for 40 days (Acts 1:3)
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 4:9

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.