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CHAPTER TWO

USE OF NUMBERS IN THE BIBLE

Words are a means of encoding concepts and ideas so that it can be used to transfer it to a receiver.  Hence there are meanings to numbers in the context of secular culture as well as religious culture.  The secular culture expands it into occult sciences of numerology.  In secular numeralogy a number is generated using a personís name or date of birth or something personal and interpret that number qualities as personificaion.  They then form part of the arts of fortune telling like, palmistry, face reading, astronomy etc.

Evidently words are encoded messages from the speaker to the creator.  So are the written words.  Thus Godís word also should be considered as encoded.  These concepts are based on the symbolisms the receiver uses in their own culture.  Since God uses the language of the culture it will certainly reflect these secular meanings.  As such they necessarily involves symbols of the culture of the prophet who receive the divine message.  Thus most of the Biblical numerolgy is connected to Hebrew culture since Old Testament is revealed in Hebew.  Later the New Testament grew in the Greek culture and it came to be using the Greco-Roman culture. 

 

 

The search for hidden meanings in Scripture did not flourish in rabbinic Judaism till after 70 CE, (that is only after the destruction of the second temple) after which this endeavour produced wonderfully intricate interpretations.

John 8:31-32: Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The process is illuminated by the medieval acronym pardes. "PaRDeS " ( 243 (5 76 ) is etymologically related to the English word "paradise" and stands for four types of hermeneutical meanings:

These are:

 

 

Remember the Holy of Holies was out of bounds to the laity and it can be entered in only once a year and that too by the high priest and that with the blood of sacrifice.

Esoteric interpretations have led to many misuse of the scripture and into development of cults.  Thus we should be careful in using the higher methods especially if it contradicts the plain meaning.

For details see my book on Hermeutics

 

Having said that I will try to look into the meaning of the numbers as used in the Bible.

Bible Symbolism
as I have presented

Number Zero- God beyond understanding, Ein, Ein sof, Ein sof Ahr.

Number One - Beginning, God who can be known, Oneness. I AM.

NumberTwo - Witness, Power of Resonance,
             Division, Yetzer Hara, Free will, Progress, Creative Power

NumberThree - Complete, Basic stability and oneness in spiritual world
             (Holy Trinity, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral)

Number Four - Creation (elements, seasons, directions,
              completeness of material world)

Number Six - Man (created on the sixth day, 666 fullness of man alone)

Number Seven - Spiritual Perfection and Revelation (cycles), completion.

Number Eight- New Beginnings, Resurrection (circumcision)

NumberTen - Perfection of Divine Order
            (Law, Ten Commandments, Decade)

Number Twelve - Perfection of Government (Apostles, Patriarchs)

NumberThirteen - Satan, Rebellion

 

Echad Mi Yodea
 Who Knows One?
This is a traditional cumulative song sung on Passover and found in the haggadah.
 It enumerates common Jewish symbolism of numbers.

ECHAD MI YODEA

WHO KNOWS ONE

 

 

Echad mi yode'a
Echad ani yode'a
Echad Elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shnaim mi yode'a
Shnaim ani yode'a
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shlosha mi yode'a,
Shlosha ani yode'a.
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Arba mi yode'a
arba ani yode'a
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Chamisha, mi yode'a
Chamisha, ani yode'a
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shisha, mi yode'a?
Shisha, ani yode'a
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shiv'ah mi yode'a
shiv'ah ani yode'a.
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shmonah mi yode'a
shmonah ani yode'a
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Tish'ah mi yode'a
tish'ah ani yode'a.
tish'ah chodshei leidah
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Asara mi yode'a
asara ani yode'a
asara dibraya
tish'ah chodshei leidah
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Achad asar mi yode'a
achad asar ani yode'a
achad asar kochvaya
asara dibraya
tish'ah chodshei leidah
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shneim-asar mi yode'a
shneim-asar ani yode'a
shneim-asar shivtaya
achad asar kochvaya
asara dibraya
tish'ah chodshei leidah
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

Shlosha-asar mi yode'a
Shlosha-asar ani yode'a
Shlosha-asar midaya
shneim-asar shivtaya
achad asar kochvaya
asara dibraya
tish'ah chodshei leidah
shmonah yemei milah
shiv'ah yemei shabatah
Shisha, sidre mishna
Chamisha chumshei torah
arba imahot
Shlosha avot,
shnei luchot habrit
echad elokeinu shebashamaim uva'aretz.

1 - who knows 1
1 - I know 1
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

2 who knows 2
2 I know 2
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

3 who knows 3
3 I know 3
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

4 who knows 4
4 I know 4
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

5 who knows 5
5 I know 5
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

6 who knows 6
6 I know 6
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

7 who knows 7
7 I know 7
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

8 who knows 8
8 I know 8
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

9 who knows 9
9 I know 9
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

10 who knows 10
10 I know 10
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

11 who knows 11
11 I know 11
11 are the stars in Joseph's dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

12 who knows 12
12 I know 12
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph's dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

13 who knows 13
13 I know 13
13 are the attributes of God
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph's dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our forefathers
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.