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The Biblical Meaning of Numbers

This is the compliment/companion to the book titled "The Genesis Book of Psalms". This came as a result of the study done in the above mentioned book after realizing that there needed to be more work done on this subject. Enjoy!

Category - Long Book

Chapter 4

Numbers 21-30

Twenty-One (kaph-aleph)

Distress

To write twenty-one in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-aleph. These signify giving strength as well as the strength of God's grace to cover sin during our time of spiritual growth.

When twenty-one is used in terms of time (as in a 21-year period) it is the number of trouble or distress (tsarah), during which time we are in need of God's strength, offered by an open hand. When it is used as a number in itself, it speaks of the end of the distress. Thus, it speaks of the blessing at the end.

Israel entered the land of Canaan after 21 sins were recorded against them in their wilderness wandering. Yet the tabernacle had 21 coverings to cover all of Israel's sins (Ex. 26:3, 7). So we see God's provision in the midst of this distress.

Sin is always the cause of distress, because God brings distress in order to teach them the consequences of their sin. Yet 21 is also the number signifying the end of distress. Jacob's times of distress ended after 21 years. At the end of this distress, he went to Bethel and “called on the name of the Lord.

Likewise, the 21st time Abram is mentioned is in Gen. 13:3, where he returned to Bethel after being in distress in Egypt. Verse 4 says that there he “called on the name of the Lord.

The 21st time Isaac is mentioned is in Gen. 24:67, after Eliezer has returned from finding a wife (Rachel) for his master.

67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and she became his wife; and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted [nacham] after his mother's death.

Though we are not told whether or not Isaac was distressed while awaiting his bride, we do know that this prophesies of the time when the Bride of Christ will be joined with Him. Prophetically speaking, the world's time of distress and tribulation ends with the day Christ meets His Bride. This day is foreshadowed with David's coronation in Jerusalem, on which occasion Psalm 21 was written.

The 21st time Jacob is mentioned is in Gen. 27:41,

41 So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

Jacob is the deceiver, the supplanter, and in this verse Esau plots to kill him. Jacob's deception had brought about this reaction from Esau. One cannot merely blame Esau for this. We must recognize that although Jacob was a believer and had faith in God, he was not yet spiritually mature, for he thought God needed the arm of flesh to help him fulfill His purposes. Jacob also thought that he was justified in lying to his father to obtain the birthright, which God had promised to him before he and his brother were even born. This immature attitude brought him into this time of distress, or trouble, and at the end of this time, after learning his lesson, God changed his name to Israel.

So when we look at the 21st time Israel is mentioned is in Gen. 47:27 says,

27 Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.

Note how this portrays a time of prosperity and fruitfulness, rather than distress. This example is of particular interest because it combines fruitfulness with being in Egypt. It deals with fruitfulness, because of the name Israel. But it is a time in Egypt, which created a mixed situation of both pain and joy.

We know that Joseph's sons were given the name Israel (Gen. 48:16). The 21st time Joseph is mentioned is in Gen. 39:2,

2 And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.

Here we see the same type of contrast. Joseph was in bondage in Egypt, but he was also “a successful man,” prospering in the midst of distress.

The 21st time Joshua is mentioned is in Deut. 31:3, where Moses told the people of Israel that Joshua would be leading them into the Promised Land:

3 It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken.

This was a reference to the end of Israel's wilderness journey after committing their 21 sins in the wilderness. The time of distress in the wilderness for the nation of Israel was at an end, and Joshua was about to lead them into the Promised Land.

Distress, then, is the meaning of the number 21 as it is used in Scripture. The Hebrew word for distress or trouble, tsarah, is used in Jer. 30:7, where it speaks of “the time of Jacob's distress” (NASB). The KJV renders it, “the time of Jacob's trouble.

Jacob had two times of distress, each lasting 21 years. The first time of distress was when he was essentially driven out of Canaan by Esau, who was plotting to kill him. He worked for Laban for 20 years and returned to Canaan in the 21st year, which was a Sabbath-rest year. It was also 21 years between his trips to Bethel. On his first trip to Bethel, he was given the dream of the angels ascending and descending upon him. On his second trip to Bethel, he buried the household idols and built an altar to God. Gen. 35:1 - 3 says,

1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and live there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household, and to all who were with him, “Put away your foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments; 3 and let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress [tsarah], and has been with me wherever I have gone.”

The word translated “distress” is the same word is used in Jer. 30:7,

7 Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob's distress [tsarah], but he will be saved from it.

Jacob's second trip to Bethel thus ended the first 21 years of his “time of distress.” It was a time of bondage, but without it he would not have gotten his wives, Leah and Rachel. Thus, there was both a negative and a positive side to this 21-year period. The pain he felt under Laban's bondage was overcome by the joy he had in the prospect of marrying Rachel. Hence we read in Gen. 29:20,

20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

Jacob's second time of distress was when he was separated from Joseph for 21 years. Joseph had his dreams at the age of 17 (Gen. 37:2), which infuriated his brothers. The book of Jasher tells us that he was sold into Egypt shortly afterward at the age of 18. The Bible tells us that Joseph was 30 when he became Prime Minister of Egypt under Pharaoh (Gen. 41:46) after interpreting his dreams. There were then 7 years of plenty, which ended when Joseph was 37 years of age. Then in the second year of famine, when Joseph was 39, he revealed his identity to his brothers and to his father.

Joseph was 18 when he was sold into Egypt (Jacob presumed that he was dead). Eighteen is the number of oppression or bondage.

Joseph was 39 when he revealed to his father that he was alive and well. From Jacob's viewpoint, this was a 21-year time of mental distress, thinking that his son had been killed and was lost forever. We should also keep in mind that a big part of the distress was in wondering how the promise of God could have failed, for Joseph was the holder of the birthright. Yet the time of distress ended happily, and the promise of God was fulfilled in the end. Thus ended Jacob's second 21-year “time of distress.”

Twenty-Two (kaph-beth)

Sonship, Sons of Light

To write twenty-two in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-beth. These signify the open palm in the act of giving something to the house or household. It speaks of the Fruitfulness Mandate in Gen. 1:28, “be fruitful and multiply.”

Twenty-two is the number of Sonship, or the Sons of Light.

This is the first promise of Sonship, which, along with the Dominion Mandate, formed the Birthright. This Fruitfulness Mandate was later given to Joseph when Jacob said in Gen. 49:22, “Joseph is a fruitful bough” [ben, “son”], the builder of God's household.

Ed Vallowe's book, Biblical Mathematics, pages 138 and 139, says that 22 is the number of light, but Psalm 22 does not support his interpretation. Vallowe says,

“TWENTY-TWO is the number that is connected with LIGHT. There were TWENTY-TWO bowls to hold oil in the candlestick in the Tabernacle... The purpose of the candlestick with its lamps was to give light.

“The saved are called the children of LIGHT...

“In the Gospel of John the word LIGHT is used TWENTY-TWO times.”

Certainly, 22 includes the idea of light, because the overcomers—the sons of God—are the children of light. But the meaning of 22 is more inclusive than just light. It includes all aspects of Sonship, including authority, as we will see shortly.

As Vallowe says, there were 22 almonds on the 7 branches of the candlestick in the tabernacle (Ex. 25:31-37). The candlestick gave light to the Sanctuary and is a picture of Christ, as John 1:9 tells us,

9 There was the true light which coming into the world, enlightens every man.

But this is also connected to the concept of authority. In Numbers 16 we read about the Korah rebellion. Korah disputed the authority of Moses and Aaron. After God judged him, the next chapter establishes the authority of Aaron and the tribe of Levi in general. The princes of each tribe had to bring their rods of authority to the tabernacle, where they were laid up over night in the sanctuary. Num. 17:8 says,

8 Now it came about on the next day that Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms and it bore ripe almonds.

In this we see that almonds have to do with divine authority. So the almonds on the candlestick speak of those God has chosen to be the light of the world and to rule in the Kingdom of God. That highest Authority is Jesus Christ, but it also speaks of those called as priests of God to rule with Him (Rev. 5:10; 20:6). Thus, the candlestick is more than light; it is authority as well. Putting them together, we see that these things characterize the sons of God. So 22 is the number of Sonship.

In Num. 3:39 there were 22,000 priests of Levi that redeemed the firstborn sons of Israel. A thousand is the number of glory, so 22,000 speaks of “the glorified sons.” Thus, these 22,000 priests of Levi represented all of the firstborn sons. They represented the manifested sons of God, the true children of light, whom God has set apart to teach the word and to administer the law to the people by the mind of Christ.

In 2 Chron. 7:5 Solomon offered 22,000 oxen when he dedicated the temple to God on the eighth day of Tabernacles. This again speaks of the 22,000 overcomers dedicated and given to God, who are the glorified firstborn sons. In this example there is no mention of light. It speaks of oxen. Oxen speak of strong servants, the overcoming sons of God.

In the New Testament, Saul is mentioned precisely 22 times in the New Testament, all in the book of Acts. The reason for this is because he is an example of Sonship. Saul was converted and his name changed to Paul. He shows us the way to go from Pentecost to Tabernacles. The 22nd time Saul is mentioned is in Acts 26:14, where he tells King Agrippa of the glorious manner of his conversion:

14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

Most people do not understand this last statement, because they do not know the Hebrew language. The word for God is El, which is spelled aleph and lamed. Aleph is an ox, a symbol of strength. Lamed means an ox goad, a symbol of authority over the ox. El thus means the strong authority. So when Jesus told Saul that it was hard for him to kick against the goads, He meant that Saul was fighting God Himself, the strong Authority, the Sovereign One.

Thus, when Saul was forced to recognize the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, he was converted and ultimately began to go by the name Paul. Paul means “little,” and it contrasted with what was said about his ancestor, King Saul, who was tall and stood head and shoulders above everyone else (1 Sam. 10:23). When Saul became little in his own eyes, he stood taller in the eyes of God.

The 22nd time that Abraham is mentioned is in Gen. 25:5, “ Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.” Isaac was the inheritor of the promise, and he was a type of Christ in this regard, for after He died and rose again, He ascended, and the Father put all things under His feet (authority). And the sons of God are co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).

Likewise, the 22nd time Joseph is mentioned is in Gen. 37:4,

4 So Joseph found favour in his [Potiphar's] sight, and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house and all that he owned he put in his charge.

Joseph, the type of Christ in His second coming, was given authority over all that Potiphar owned. Even so, Christ the Head and the Body of Christ will be given authority over all that He owns—the creation itself. This speaks of ruling as Sons.

Joshua is another great type of Christ, since he had the same name as Jesus (Yeshua). The 22nd time Joshua is mentioned is in Deut. 31:7, where he was given authority over “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) and was charged with the duty of giving them their inheritances:

7 Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.”

The 22nd time David is mentioned is in 1 Sam. 17:34, where he tells Saul that he delivered a lamb from both a lion and a bear, so why should he fear Goliath? As a type of Christ, David delivered the lambs from death. Jesus, the antitype, delivered the lambs (people) from death as well by giving His life for them on the cross.

Twenty-Three (kaph-gimel)

Death and Resurrection Life

To write twenty-three in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-gimel. These signify the open palm in the act of lifting up—in this case, lifting up from death.

Twenty-three is the number of death and resurrection-life.

In Rom. 1:28-32 there are 23 things listed that are “worthy of death”:

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness (1), wickedness (2), greed (3), evil (4), full of envy (5), murder (6), strife (7), deceit (8), malice (9), they are gossips (10), 30 slanderers (11), haters of God (12), insolent (13), arrogant (14), boastful (15), inventors of evil (16), disobedient to parents (17), 31 without understanding (18), untrustworthy (19), unloving (20), unmerciful (21), 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same (22), but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (23).

The 23rd time Noah is mentioned is in Gen. 7:23,

23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

The 23rd time Jacob is mentioned is in Gen. 27:42,

42 Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you, by planning to kill you.”

The 23rd time Israel is mentioned is in Gen. 47:31, where he has just given instructions to Joseph concerning where to bury him when he died.

The 23rd time Joshua is mentioned is in Deut. 31:14,

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.”

The 23rd time Jerusalem is mentioned is in 2 Sam. 10:14, where David returned from battle after he had defeated the Arameans. Then another battle occurred, where another 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen were killed (vs. 18).

Twenty-Four (kaph-daleth)

Priesthood

To write twenty-four in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-daleth. These signify the open palm in the act of opening a door, signifying an open hand showing and offering to us the door of priesthood and access into the Sanctuary of God.

Twenty-four is the number of priesthood.

Even as the number 12 is the number of governmental perfection, its multiple (24) is the number of priesthood, wherein lies the call to spiritual government. It is a heavenly government of priesthood, rather than a political government of kings.

God revealed to David the pattern of the heavenly Temple, so that he could draw the blueprints for the temple on earth that his son, Solomon, was to build. Among these patterns was a change in priesthood from 12 to 24 courses of priests (1 Chron. 24:1-18). For this reason also, we read in Rev. 4:4 of the 24 elders around the throne, after which the earthly manifestation was patterned.

In 1 Chron. 24:1-18, where David divided the priesthood into 24 courses, we find another natural division. The 24 courses are composed of 16 men of the family of Eleazar and 8 of the family of Ithamar (1 Chron. 24:4). The number 16 speaks of Love, while the number 8 speaks of New Beginnings. The number 24, then, which signifies priesthood, cannot be understood apart from the context of a new beginning (8) of spiritual rebirth and Love as the foundation of their character.

It is interesting that the 24th time the name of Jesus is mentioned in the book of John is found in John 3:3, which says,

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This is about a new beginning in one's life, and it connects the number 8 with the priesthood (24).

Most of the time, the 24th time a key name is used speaks of an aspect of work or duty that a true priest of God is to do, whether it is intercession, healing, or ruling.

For example, the 24th time that the name of Joseph appears is in Gen. 39:6, where we read that Potiphar “left everything he owned in Joseph's charge.” Jesus said in Luke 12:44 about the good stewards, “ Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

Such is the Melchizedek Priesthood, taken from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Rev. 5:9, 10), for they will be made into a kingdom of priests and will reign on the earth.

Twenty-Five (kaph-hey)

Blessing

The Hebrew number 25 consists of two Hebrew letters, kaph and hey. Kaph is an open palm, the act of giving or covering. Hey means inspiration, or the breath of God, and generally has to do with the Holy Spirit. Thus, 25 has to do with laying on of hands to bless people with the Holy Spirit.

Twenty-five is the number of blessing. It is five squared, and so twenty-five is related to five, the number of grace. Blessing is based upon the idea of grace.

The 25th time that Noah's name is mentioned is in Gen. 8:6, which speaks of Noah opening the window of the ark to let in the fresh breeze that signified the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was then that He sent first the raven (unclean spirit) to demonstrate the fact that the flood had not resolved the problem of unclean spirits yet. Then he sent out the three doves to signify the solution to this problem. The doves indicate the three historic occasions by which the Holy Spirit would be poured out in Passover Age, the Pentecostal Age, and the Tabernacles Age.

The 25th time that Isaac's name is mentioned is in Gen. 25:11, where we read,

11 And it came about after the death of Abraham, that God BLESSED his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by Beer-lahai-roi.

The 25th time that Jacob's name is mentioned is in Gen. 28:1,

1 So Isaac called Jacob and BLESSED him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

The 25th time that Israel's name appears is in Gen. 48:8 when he calls Joseph to his bed side to BLESS his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

The 25th time Abraham's name is mentioned is in Gen. 19:29, where God is said to have brought Lot out of Sodom before its destruction. That was certain a blessing for both Lot and Abraham.

The 25th time that Joseph's name is mentioned is in Gen. 39:6, where Potiphar put all of his belongings under the authority of Joseph. He was blessing Joseph with authority.

The 25th time that Joshua's name is mentioned is in Deut. 31:23, where Moses confers authority upon him:

23 Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.

Moses was blessing Joshua with authority and the presence of God, even as Potiphar had blessed Joseph in Gen. 39:6.

Thus, the number 25 signifies blessing, specifically by conferring the Holy Spirit and the authority to fulfill the calling that the Holy Spirit equips us to do.

Twenty-Six (kaph-vav)

Power of Salvation

To write twenty-six in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-vav. These signify an open hand with a nail. The Power of Salvation is pictured by Jesus' hands being nailed to the cross.

Twenty-six is the number signifying the Power of Salvation. The Hebrew word translated “Salvation” is Yeshua, which is Jesus' Hebrew name. Thus, the Power of Salvation is also the Power of Yeshua (Jesus). Likewise, the Hebrew name for Yahweh (YHVH) carries a numeric value of 26. (Y = 10; H = 5; V = 6; H = 5)

The 26th time that Noah's name is used in the Bible is found in Gen. 8:11, where we read of the second and third doves that Noah sent into the world. These two doves signify the Holy Spirit, by which the Gospel—“the Power of God for Salvation” (Romans 1:16)—was to be preached in the whole world. This began at Pentecost and will be completed through the third dove, the third feast (Tabernacles). That third outpouring of the Holy Spirit will see the fulness of the Holy Spirit poured out, bringing the Power of Salvation into its full manifestation in the earth.

The 26th time that Abram's name is mentioned is in Gen. 13:14, where God told him to walk the land in all directions, for God would give it to him. It is a prophetic reference to all things being put under the feet of Christ, not by carnal weapons, but by the Power of Salvation.

The 26th time Joshua's name is mentioned is in Deut. 34:9, where we read,

9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

In this particular sequence of types, Moses is a type of Christ, and Joshua is the body of Christ, which is “filled with the spirit of wisdom.” These Spirit-filled believers, like Paul, are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the Power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). This is the Power of Salvation (Jesus) operating in them.

The 26th time that David's name is mentioned is in 1 Samuel 17:39, where David is being equipped with the sword to go out against Goliath—the world system. Of course, he declines the use of the carnal sword in order to rely upon his sling and the five smooth stones of Grace. Grace is the Power of Salvation.

The 26th time Paul is mentioned is in Acts 16:18, where Paul casts out the spirit of divination (“python”) as a demonstration of the Power of Salvation (Jesus).

The 26th time Peter's name is mentioned in the book of Acts is in Acts 9:40. Peter raises Dorcas from the dead in another demonstration of the power of salvation.

The 26th psalm (i.e., Psalm 27) commemorates Jacob-Israel's return to Bethel, the “house of God,” to meet with Yahweh. Like Gen. 8:11, 12, this story speaks of the Holy Spirit empowering God's people to bring the Gospel of Salvation (Jesus Christ) to all mankind.

Twenty-Seven (kaph-zayin)

Ministry of Salvation

To write twenty-seven in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-zayin. These signify the open palm in the ministry of spiritual warfare.

Twenty-seven is the number of the Ministry of Salvation and naturally follows 26, which is the Power of Salvation. We must first receive the Power of Salvation in order to do the work of the Ministry of Salvation. Thus, 27 pictures the weapons of our warfare, which are given to us to accomplish the Ministry of Salvation. 2 Cor. 10:3, 4 says,

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Twenty-seven is 17 plus 10. The number 17 is Victory, and 10 is the law. In 1 Tim. 3:1-7 Paul gives 17 qualifications for ministering the word in victory. If we add 10 to this number (the law), we see that 27 indicates the Ministry of Salvation, not without law, but including the revelation of the law as part of God's word.

Our ministry is to present the gospel of Jesus Christ. The numeric value of “the gospel is the power of God ” (Rom. 1:16) is 27 x 100. The essence of the gospel is about believing that Jesus is the Son of God. So in 1 John 4:15, “Jesus is the Son of God ” has a numeric value of 27 x 111. Likewise, in Mark 3:11, “Thou art the Son of God” has a numeric value of 27 x 111. In Matt. 1:23, we read, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,” which carries a numeric value of 27 x 111.

During the Pentecostal Age, the gospel has been preached by those who yet see through the glass dimly (1 Cor. 13:12), and thus, they know in part and prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9). Such words depict Jacob's condition after his first trip to Bethel. But in his second trip to Bethel, we see the type of the feast of Tabernacles. By this time he has seen God “face to face” (Gen. 32:30) through the angel Peniel.

Likewise, the disciples were fishing on the left (judgment) side of the boat all night without catching anything. This signifies their attempt to be “fishers of men” with an imperfect gospel message. Then Jesus came and said in John 21:6, “ Cast the net on the right [mercy] side of the ship and ye shall find.” That statement carries a numeric value of 27 x 153. The 27 indicates the Ministry of Salvation; the 153 is the number of fish that they caught (John 21:11), representing the Sons of God.

Joshua is Yeshua and is a type of Christ. The 27th time that Joshua's name appears in Scripture is in Joshua 1:1, where God told him that now that Moses was dead, it was time to cross the Jordan into Canaan. Under the Old Covenant, of course, the conquest of Canaan was done by the physical sword; but under the New Covenant, the disciples were told to go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation, baptizing them. Thus, the New Covenant “kills” the flesh by the Sword of the Spirit, leading to their Salvation. This death of the flesh and resurrection as a new creation is symbolized by baptism.

The Ministry of Salvation, as preached by the overcomers under the anointing of the feast of Tabernacles, is a pure word. The Hebrew word for pure is zak, which has a numeric value of 27.

Twenty-Eight (kaph-chet)

Leading of the Spirit

To write twenty-eight in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-chet. These signify the open palm covering the inner chamber of the heart.

Twenty-eight is the number of the leading of the Spirit. Dr. Bullinger's Number in Scripture says very little about this number, treating it mostly as 7 x 4. Ed Vallowe's book, Biblical Mathematics, unconvincingly treats the number 28 in terms of 23 + 5, saying that it means eternal life. He comes to this conclusion because it follows the number 27, which he says means “Preaching of the Gospel.” His logic is that eternal life follows the preaching of the gospel.

I find that the number 27 indicates the Ministry of Salvation, which is quite similar to Vallowe's Preaching of the Gospel. This semantic difference is relatively unimportant. More important is the concept of what comes after this preaching ministry. What comes after a person's acceptance of Christ? Is it not the leading of the Spirit? The Gospel, as pictured by most people, has to do with one's Passover experience—that is, accepting Christ and being justified by faith. As a Baptist evangelist, Ed Vallowe focuses upon the idea of eternal life as the result of the Gospel, but many biblical examples show that it is really about the leading of the Spirit. I found no example where 28 clearly pointed to the idea of eternal life.

In the first chapter of Matthew, the genealogy of Christ is divided into three sections of 14 each. Matt. 1:17 says,

17 Therefore all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the deportations to Babylon to the time of Christ fourteen generations.

The number 28, then, should be viewed as having a connection with the number 14, which is the number of release, as well as the number 42. These three numbers, in a sense, represent Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Israel was released from Egypt at Passover because of events occurring on the night of Abib 14/15. The number 28 indicates the leading of the Holy Spirit, which points to Pentecost. And finally, the number 42 has to do with the full anointing of Christ, which points to Tabernacles.

The number 28 is the climax of the second period of 14 generations. After 28 generations from Abraham, the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. Because of a general lack of understanding of the nature of Pentecost, most people find this to be puzzling, because one would think that Pentecost would be a time of freedom, rather than bondage. However, when we understand that Pentecost is a leavened feast and that King Saul was a Pentecostal type, the connection becomes clearer.

Israel left Egypt at Passover and spent its Pentecostal days in the wilderness under Moses. They were supposed to enter the Promised Land at the time of the feast of Tabernacles. And so we find that after 28 generations, Judah was led into another “wilderness” type experience outside of the land, where they had to rely upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 we are given 28 “times” divided into 14 x 2.

1. A Time to be born A Time to die.

2. A Time to plant A Time to pluck

3. A Time to kill A Time to Heal

4. A Time to break A Time to Build

5. A Time to weep A Time to Laugh

6. A Time to mourn A Time to dance

7. A Time to cast stones A Time to gather stones

8. A Time to Embrace A Time to refrain

9. A Time to get A Time to lose

10. A Time to keep A Time to cast away

11. A Time to rend A Time to sew

12. A Time to keep silence A Time to speak

13. A Time to love A Time to hate

14. A Time of war A Time of peace

This is another example of how the number 28 is divided biblically into 14 x 2 and is therefore connected to the number 14. As we study this, we find that many men of the Bible were required to leave, depart, or go do something on the 28th time that their name is mentioned. It is clear that they were to do as they were led by the Holy Spirit.

The 28th time that Noah's name is mentioned is in Gen. 8:15, where God told him to “go out of the ark” (vs. 16). In leaving, he was following the leading of the Spirit.

The 28th time that Abram's name is mentioned is in Gen. 14:12, where the kings of Elam and Babylon took Lot (Abraham's nephew) captive in the war with Sodom. This is much like Judah being taken captive to Babylon after 28 generations many years later. One can easily draw a parallel between Lot and the people of Judah, showing how each was full of leaven that needed to be purged by some tribulation.

The 28th time that Jacob's name is mentioned is in Gen. 28:6, when Esau recognized that Isaac had sent Jacob to Paddan-aram to find a wife. Jacob was being led by the Spirit. Jacob was yet a supplanter, or usurper, and so God was sending him to a foreign land for further purging through tribulation. In bondage to Laban, he had to learn to be led by the Spirit, and in his return home, he became an overcomer, and the angel changed his name to Israel.

The 28th time Israel's name is mentioned is in Gen. 48:13, where Joseph took his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to be blessed by Jacob. In this, he was led by the Spirit.

The 28th time Joseph's name is mentioned is in Gen. 39:11, where Joseph went into the house of Potiphar to conduct his duties. Potiphar's house is his house of bondage, and there Potiphar's wife attempted to seduce him. It is not hard to see how Joseph was led by the Spirit while in bondage. It is again similar to the stories of both Lot and Judah.

The 28th time that Joshua's name is mentioned is in Joshua 1:10, where he commanded the people to great ready to cross the Jordan. That, of course, is the purpose of Pentecost, for the leading of the Spirit is what prepares us to “cross over” to fulfill the feast of Tabernacles.

The 28th time that David's name is mentioned is in 1 Sam. 17:39. In this passage Saul has given him his armor in order to fight Goliath, but David says, “I cannot go with these.” David took off Saul's armor and went against Goliath with the full armor of God, the spiritual armor given by the Holy Spirit.

The 28th time that Peter's name is mentioned is in Acts 10:5, where Cornelius was told by the Spirit of the Lord to send men to Joppa and inquire in the tanner's house for a man named Peter. This is clearly an example of being led by the Holy Spirit.

The 28th time that Paul's name is mentioned is in Acts 16:25, where Paul and Silas were signing praised to God in prison. An earthquake struck, which opened the doors and loosened their chains. The prison warden was about to kill himself, because he thought the prisoners had escaped, but Paul was led by the Spirit and remained in the prison to lead the man and his family to Christ.

Finally, in Exodus 26:1, 2 we read that the tabernacle of Moses was to have ten curtains of 28 cubits' length each. These curtains covered the tabernacle, to signify the covering of the Holy Spirit. Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God?” The curtains in that tabernacle represented a type of the Holy Spirit that would cover us—our temples. This curtain is, in fact, a word picture of the two Hebrew letters that form the number 28, kaph (covering) and chet (the heart).

The fact that there were ten curtains signifies the fulfillment of the law, for Pentecost was a commemoration of the giving of the law at Sinai. So we see here the message that the Holy Spirit writes the divine law upon our hearts as we hear His voice and are led by the Spirit.

Twenty-Nine (kaph-teth)

Departure

To write twenty-nine in Hebrew, they wrote two Hebrew letters: kaph-teth. This letter combination can signify the works (kaph) of the serpent (teth), but in this case the teth has more to do with the idea of surrounding or encircling. The serpent was often pictured as eating its tail to form a circle.

Twenty-nine is the number of departure. This being the last number of the series of twenties, it depicts a change from the covering of one's house into something new. Also, because the number nine has to do with the judgment of the Holy Spirit, the baptism of fire, it is preparatory to the number 30, which is about dedication to rulership.

The 29th time the name of Noah is used (Gen. 8:18, 19), he and his family are departing from the ark after the flood.

The 29th time the name Abram is used (Gen. 14:12), he is departing from the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The 29th time the name Abraham is used (Gen. 20:11-13), he tells Abimelech about when he had departed his father's house.

The 29th time the name Isaac is used (Gen. 26:1), he is departing from Beer-lahairoi to go to Gerar.

The 29th time the name Jacob is used (Gen. 28:7), it says that he had left his parents and had gone to Padan-aram.

The 29th time Joshua's name is mentioned (Joshua 1:12), the tribes of Israel were being instructed as to their Jordan crossing. They were departing from the wilderness and entering the Promised Land.

The 29th time Salem or Jerusalem is mentioned (2 Sam. 15:8), Absalom was departing from Jerusalem to go to Hebron, where he was about to instigate the revolt against David.

The 29th time Jesus' name is mentioned in the book of Matthew (8:34), the people were requesting that He depart from their coasts after He had healed the demoniac.

The 29th time Jesus' name is mentioned in the book of John (4:2, 3), we read that He departed from Judea.

The 29th time Paul's name is mentioned in Acts is in Acts 16:28. The earthquake had just occurred, and the jailer assumed that the prisoners had all departed. But Paul prevented the jailer from committing suicide by telling him that no one had tried to escape.

Thirty (lamed)

Dedication for Rulership

The number thirty in Hebrew was written as the letter lamed, which is literally an ox goad or staff. Thus, it was a symbol of authority, leadership, or rulership.

Thirty is the number of dedication for rulership. It was the age which God established as the age of rulership for priests (Num. 4:23). Joseph was elevated to power at the age of 30, as we read in Genesis 41:46,

46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.

David was also thirty when he became king, as we read in 2 Sam. 5:4,

4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

The fact that Judas essentially sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15; Zech. 11:12, 13) indicates that Judas presumed to take authority over Jesus. Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave, and so Judas was acting as if he was the ruler and Jesus was his slave. This is also the central point of the law in Ex. 21:32,

32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall give his or her master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Again, thirty is the price of a slave in this case.

The length of each curtain over the tabernacle of Moses was thirty cubits (Ex. 36:15). The curtains are the covering of God over the tabernacle and signify God's rulership and covering over the true temple, which is the Church.

In Biblical Mathematics, Ed Vallowe says that the number thirty signifies “the blood of Christ... dedication.” He bases this view on the fact that the number is often linked to the idea of sacrifice. But his view is too restricted, because the Hebrew letter, lamed, is clearly about authority or rulership. The idea of dedication to rulership, however, combines the ideas and shows their connection.

The 30th time that Noah's name appears is found in Gen. 8:20, where Noah built a sacrifice after departing from the ark.

The 30th time that Isaac's name appears is found in Gen. 25:21, where Rebecca conceives and brings forth twins, Jacob and Esau. In verse 23 we find the prophecy that Jacob would be rule over Esau.

The 30th time that Jacob's name appears is found in Gen. 28:10, where he went from Beer- sheba to Haran. In the next verses (before his name appears again in verse 16), we read that God appeared to him in a dream at Bethel and confirmed the covenant with him. He was given authority or rulership in all directions, and even the purpose of rulership is given in verse 14: “in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

The 30th time the name Joshua appears is in Joshua 1:16. He has just given the people instruction about leaving the wilderness and entering the Promised Land, and now we read,

16 And they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us, we will go.”

Essentially, they were dedicating themselves to divine service by this vow.

The 30th time that Jesus' name is mentioned in the book of Matthew (9:2), he says to the man being healed of palsy, “Take courage, my son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus was manifesting his authority to forgive sin as well as to heal, and this immediately caused controversy among the scribes, who thought he was blaspheming. However, Jesus responded in verse 5,

5 For which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Rise up and walk”?

Jesus was demonstrating His power or authority as the Messiah and as King of creation, as the number thirty indicates.