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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 5

Numbers 31-40

Thirty-One (lamed-aleph)

Offspring

The number thirty-one in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and aleph (ox, strength, or first). Thirty-one is therefore the gematria of El, the Hebrew word for God. El literally means “the strong (or primary) authority.” Thirty-one is the number associated with offspring in the Bible, because the “son” in the house is the heir with the authority of the birthright.

The 31st time the name Noah appears in the Bible is found in Gen. 9:1,

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

The 31st time the name Abram appears in the Bible is found in Gen. 14:14,

14 And when Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

These examples have to do with bearing children. The 31st time the name Isaac appears in the Bible is in Gen. 25:26, where we read,

26 And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

In the New Testament, the 31st time Jesus' name appears in Matthew is in Matt. 9:4, where it speaks of Him as “the Son of Man.” The 31st time Luke uses His name is in Luke 8:28, where He is called “Jesus, the Son of the Most High.”

Thus, the number 31 is associated with offspring.

Thirty-Two (lamed-beth)

Covenant

The number thirty-two in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and beth (house or household). The Hebrew word formed by these two letters is leb, which means “heart.” Another word for heart is lebab (“heart of the father”).

Thirty-two is the number of Covenant. Covenants reveal the heart of the father and bring about a Father-Son relationship.

The 32nd time the name Noah appears in the Bible is in Gen. 9:8, 9,

8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 9 Now, behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you.

Hebrew scholar, Alan Newton, tells me that this literally reads, “I will arise My covenant in you.” The word “covenant” appears 5 times in Numbers and 27 times in Deuteronomy for a total of 32.

The 32nd time the name Abram appears in the Bible is in Gen. 14:19. It is the blessing of Melchizedek in conjunction with the bread and wine, which is a sign of the covenant, as we read in Matt. 26:28,

28 For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Melchizedek is, of course, a type of Jesus Christ, who came as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:17). Thus, when He instituted communion just before His death on the cross, it was according to the pattern set forth by Melchizedek.

The 32nd time the name Abraham appears in the Bible is found in Gen. 20:17,

17 And Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children.

This may seem more akin to the number 31, “offspring,” and indeed, Ed Vallowe miscounted and made this mistake in his book, Biblical Mathematics. (He apparently overlooked Gen. 17:23, where “Abraham's house” was mentioned.) But this does have to do with covenant in that it foreshadows the time when God's covenant will bring forth many sons among all the nations. The Sons of God are only possible by means of a covenant with God.

The first covenant was made with Noah, his sons, and “every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (Gen. 9:16). Thus, there is a tight connection between 31 (“offspring”) and 32 (“covenant”).

The 32nd time that Isaac's name is used is in Gen. 25:28. It is the story of how Esau despised his birthright and sold it to Jacob for a bowl of soup. The birthright determined who would be the inheritor of the covenant with Abraham and Isaac.

The 32nd time that Jacob's name is used is in Gen. 28:18, where Jacob pours oil on the rock that had been his pillow at Bethel. He then makes a conditional covenant with God for divine protection in return for service.

The 32nd time that Jerusalem is mentioned is in 2 Sam. 15:29, where David told Zadok and Abiathar to return to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant.

In the New Testament, Mark 8:27 is the 32nd time Jesus' name is used in his Gospel, and Jesus' name is not mentioned again until the next chapter. In that passage, Peter makes his great confession of faith that Jesus was the Son of the Living God. Because they finally knew by revelation who He was, Jesus then explained to them the purpose of the Messiah—to establish the New Covenant by means of His death and resurrection (vs. 31). It was, after all, a blood covenant, for we read in Hebrews 9 that He entered the Most Holy Place as High Priest, carrying not the blood of goats, but of His own blood (9:12). “And for this reason He is the mediator of a New Covenant” (Heb. 9:13).

Finally, in Acts 10:17 we find the 32nd time that Peter's name is mentioned in the book of Acts. He had just had his great vision of the unclean animals being let down out of heaven by a sheet with the command to “kill and eat.” While Peter contemplated its meaning, a knock came on the door, and then the meaning was clear: God's covenant was being given freely to non-Jews, and Peter then went to the house of Cornelius with the Gospel and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In all these cases, the number 32 has to do with the idea of Covenant in some manner.

Thirty-Three (lamed-gimel)

A Sign

The number thirty-three in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and gimel (camel, or to lift up). Thirty-three is the number of a Sign—that is, the confirming evidence establishing a prophetic word. The prophetic word itself is authoritative (lamed) and the confirming sign upholds it (gimel), presents it, and establishes the prophetic word by the double witness.

The 33rd time Noah is mentioned is in Gen. 9:17, which speaks of the rainbow that was God's promise to Noah and to all flesh,

17 And God said to Noah, “This [rainbow] is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Ed Vallowe says that thirty-three means P romise. I find that this is close, but not fully accurate, because his perspective is not broad enough to encompass all of the biblical examples. For this reason he misunderstands Gen. 9:17, thinking it refers to the promise of God that He will not destroy the earth with a flood again. But he misses the point of the verse, which is that the rainbow was the SIGN of this covenant, or promise.

The 33rd time Abraham's name is mentioned is in Gen. 20:18,

18 For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. 1 Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. 2 So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age...

Closing up the wombs of Abimelech's household was a sign that the prophecy was not to be fulfilled through the Philistine king, but through Abraham and Sarah.

The 33rd time that the name Isaac is mentioned is in Gen.26:1, where he too went to the land of Gerar, ruled by Abimelech (“Father-King,” the title of all the Philistine kings). In that passage (verse 4), God says that his seed would become like the stars of heaven. So in this case, the stars of heaven were the sign of Isaac's many children.

The 33rd time that the name Jacob is mentioned is in Gen. 28:20-22, where Jacob vowed a vow, promising as follows:

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21 and I return to my father's house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. 22 And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that Thou dost give me I will surely give a tenth to Thee.

In this case, the stone was the sign, a type of Christ in that it was anointed.

In the New Testament, the 33rd time that Peter's name is mentioned in the book of Acts is in Acts 10:18. Peter had just received the vision of the unclean animals being lowered from heaven in a sheet, and God had told him to “kill and eat.” Peter did not know the meaning of this vision until a moment later when the men sent by Cornelius knocked on the door. In this case the vision was the confirming sign by which Peter knew that he was to go with them to Caesarea.

The 33rd time Paul's name is mentioned is in Acts 17:2, where he is seen explaining the Old Testament signs that proved Jesus to be the Messiah.

Thirty-Four (lamed-daleth)

Identification

The number thirty-four in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and daleth (a door). It has to do with the authority to walk through the door or to enter a house. One may lawfully enter after one has identified himself. And so thirty-four is the number of identification.

Ed Vallowe tells us that thirty-four is the number of the naming of a son. I find this definition to be too restricted, for although it certainly includes this, the number is also used to identify even demons (as we will see shortly). Vallowe bases his view primarily on Gen. 21:3, which he mistakenly said was the 34th time the name Abraham appears in the Bible. That verse speaks of Abraham calling his son Isaac.

The 34th occurrence is actually the previous verse, Gen. 21:2, which says,

2 So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him.

This verse does speak of a son being born to Abraham, but the real focus here is the timing of his birth. The appointed time is an identification of what later came to be known as a feast in Israel. I believe this to be either the feast of Trumpets, foreshadowing the birth of Jesus Christ, or perhaps the first day of the feast of Tabernacles, which is the time of the birth of the Manchild company of overcomers.

In Gen. 9:18, we find Noah mentioned for the 34th time in connection with his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

18 Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan.

These names identify Noah's sons. Another example is Jerusalem, or the “City of Salem.” Salem occurs in Gen. 14:18 in connection with Melchizedek. The 34th time that either Salem or Jerusalem appears in Scripture is found in 2 Sam. 16:3,

3 Then the king [David] said, “And where is your master's son?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem,” for he said, Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.

On the surface, this verse deals with the identification of Jerusalem in answer to the question, “Where is your master's son?” But there is an underlying question revealed here. Ziba was a servant of Mephibosheth, who was of the house of King Saul, the former ruler of Israel. Mephibosheth was hoping that civil war between David and Absalom would weaken the house of David and allow Saul's family to regain the throne of Israel.

Thus we see that the 34th time Salem or Jerusalem is mentioned has more to do with identity of the true king than with the naming of a son as such.

In Luke's gospel the 34th time that the name of Jesus appears is found in Luke 8:30,

30 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him.

Here we see that the entities being identified are not sons, but demons.

The 34th time that Paul is mentioned is found in Acts 17:4. It has to do with the people who believed Paul, who had identified Jesus as the Christ. Verses 3 and 4 read,

3... “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.

Here Paul identifies Jesus as the Christ at the synagogue of Thessalonica.

In Matthew 9:12 the 34th time the name Jesus appears in that book is when Jesus identifies those that He has called—not the healthy, but the sick, not the righteous, but the sinners.

Going back to the Old Testament, the 34th time the name Abram appears is in Gen. 14:22, where he identifies El Elyon, the Most High God. This is where Melchizedek, king of Salem, brings bread and wine for Abram on his return from saving his nephew, Lot. Incidentally, Melchizedek is a title that means “King of Righteousness.” This king's name was Shem, who had inherited the birthright of Adam, including the dominion mandate to rule the earth (Gen. 1:26). The numeric value of the name Shem is 340, or 34 x 10. Shem means “name,” which, of course, is the primary means of identification.

The 34th time Isaac appears is in Gen. 26:6, where he misidentified Rebekah as his sister, rather than as his wife.

The 34th time David appears is in 1 Sam. 17:45, where David is about to fight Goliath and identifies the One in whose name he fights:

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.

So as we can see, these are all examples of identification. Names are part of it, but the number is used scripturally in a broader sense.

Thirty-Five (lamed-hey)

Vindication

The number thirty-five in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and hey, which, at the end of a word, means “what comes from.” The number itself, then, indicates “what comes from authority. When there is an unresolved question or dispute among men, a ruling is necessary from a higher authority. And so thirty-five is the number of vindication.

Ed Vallowe says it is the number of hope, but he offers no convincing proof in his book, Biblical Mathematics.

The 35th time the name Abram appears is in Gen. 14:23 where he tells the king of Sodom that he will not take so much as a shoelace of the spoils of war, “lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich'.” Abram was concerned that the king of Sodom would vindicate the wickedness of the city essentially by bribing Abram.

The 35th time the name Abraham appears is in Gen. 21:3,

3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.

Abraham and Sarah had waited patiently for many years for the promised son. No doubt many shook their heads, saying, “Poor Abraham; when will he ever learn?” But when Isaac was born, it vindicated their faith.

The idea of vindication carries with it some sort of closure, or conclusion. In this sense, the 35th time the name Isaac appears is in Gen. 26:8,

8 And it came about, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out through a window, and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah.

The context of this verse is that Isaac and Rebekah had gone to the land of the Philistines, and Isaac had told them that Rebekah was his sister. The 35th time that Isaac's name is used in Genesis brings this deception to a conclusion. It does not vindicate Isaac, but it does vindicate Abimelech, as the next few verses show.

The 35th time the name Jacob appears is in Gen. 29:4. Jacob has arrived in Padan-aram (Haran) and is looking for his uncle Laban. He asks some local men if they knew Laban, and they do. Thus, he has concluded his trip, and his purpose was vindicated.

The 35th time the name Joshua appears is in Joshua 3:5,

5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

Israel had reached the Jordan River, and the people were about to cross into the Promised Land after being in the wilderness forty years. It was the conclusion of their long journey. It was the time of vindication for all those who retained the hope of returning to the Promised Land, as God had promised. The wonder that God did at this time was to cause the waters of the Jordan River to be blocked upstream, so that the Israelites were able to cross the river on dry ground. God vindicated their faith.

In the New Testament, the 35th time the name Jesus appears is in Matt. 9:15. The disciples of John had come to Him, questioning why they and the Pharisees fasted, but Jesus and His disciples did not fast. Jesus vindicated Himself and His disciples in verses 15-18,

15 And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. 17 Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins....

The 35th time the name Paul appears is in Acts 17:10. The apostle and his friends in Thessalonica had been opposed by the Jews in the synagogue and had caused Jason to be arrested for helping Paul. Jason posted a bail and was released. Then we read,

10 And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.

We see here that the Scriptures vindicated the Berean synagogue for its open mindedness and desire to know the truth. The vindictive and jealous leaders of the synagogue in Thessalonica were NOT vindicated in this account.

Thirty-Six (lamed-vav)

Adversary, Enemy

The number thirty-six in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and vav (a nail, peg, that which joins, or the conjunction “and”). These two letters in themselves do not tell us what is being joined with (or by) the power of divine authority. But when we see that thirty-six is the number associated with His adversaries (or enemies) and how God deals with them, the meaning becomes clearer.

God is the creator of evil as well as of good (Isaiah 45:6). He uses both for His purposes, for what men call evil is generally the means by which God judges men and nations. So also by His sovereignty, God intends to reconcile all of creation back to Himself (Col. 1:16-20; 1 Cor. 15:27-28). Reconciliation means to make peace between enemies (Rom. 5:10), by means of the cross. Nails (vav) were used to nail Jesus to the cross, and so we might read lamed-vav to mean “the authority of the nail,” which reconciles His enemies back to Himself.

We find that God judges His adversaries, but also that He uses them for a good purpose in His overall plan.

The 36th time Noah is mentioned is in Gen. 9:20. It shows how his son Ham became an enemy under a curse.

The 36th time Abram is mentioned is in Gen. 15:1, where God tells him not to be afraid, because He is Abram's shield.

The 36th time Abraham is mentioned is in Gen. 21:4, which says,

4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

The act of circumcision signifies the cutting away of “the flesh,” our great enemy, so that we might walk by the Spirit of God. Gal. 5:17 says,

17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

Romans 8:6-8 says,

6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

A good illustration of the flesh in operation is found in the 36th time that the name Isaac appears in Scripture. It is found in Gen. 26:9, when Abimelech sent for Isaac to ask him why he had lied to him about Rebekah being his wife. Isaac's fleshly nature had made him fearful of telling the truth.

The 36th time that David's name is mentioned is in 1 Samuel 17:48, when “David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine” (i.e., Goliath, his adversary).

Ed Vallowe points out that the 36th time that the names of both Esther and Haman appear is in Esther 7:6, which reads, “And Esther said, ‘A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman'!”

In Joshua 7, we read the story of the battle of Ai, which immediately followed the battle of Jericho. Because of the sin of Achan, who took some gold, silver, and a garment from the battle of Jericho, which were supposed to be dedicated to God, Israel lost the battle of Ai, and 36 Israelites were killed. This is a good example of the fact that when Israel was disobedient, God became their enemy, as the prophet tells us in Isaiah 63:10,

10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy; He fought against them.

In the types and shadows of the Old Testament, we find the same principle established in the law of Exodus 22:31, which is the 36th time the word “flesh” is used (including “flesh hook”). It says,

31 And you shall be holy men to Me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

The reasoning behind this law is stated in clearer fashion in Lev. 17:13-15. Animals that die by themselves retain the blood in the flesh, and the people were prohibited from eating blood—not only in Lev. 17:14 but also in Acts 21:25. Drinking blood or eating meat full of blood signifies being “bloodthirsty.” Those who do not hate this bloodthirsty attitude are enemies of God—that is, of His Spirit. God condemned Mount Seir (Edom) for this fleshly attitude in Ezekiel 35.

2 … Set your face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it… 5 Because you have had everlasting ENMITY… 6 therefore, as I live, declares the Lord, “I will give you over to blood(shed), and blood(shed) will pursue you; since you have not hated blood(shed), therefore blood(shed) will pursue you.

Death itself is said to be “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26). Thus, we find that the 36th time the name Jesus is named is in Matt. 9:19, when a certain official told him that his daughter had just died. Jesus went and raised her from the dead.

The 36th time the name Jesus appears in the book of Luke is in Luke 8:35 was when Jesus had healed the demoniac who had been afflicted by “Legion.” The local people “were gripped with great fear” and asked Jesus to leave their town. Fear is an enemy, and fear makes people think Jesus is their enemy.

The 36th time the name Paul appears is in Acts 17:13,

13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica found out that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea also, they came there likewise, agitating and stirring up the crowds.

Paul knew their carnal mindset, because he had been one of the first to persecute the early Church before Christ revealed Himself to him. Paul writes in 1 Thess. 2:14-16,

14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles [ethnos, “nations”] that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins [Matt. 23:32]. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

Finally, if we add all the numbers from one to thirty-six, they come to a total of 666 a tripling of man's number that generally has adversarial implications.

We see then that there are numerous examples of the meaning of number 36 as it is used in the Bible. It is not surprising, then, that the 36th psalm (Psalm 37) speaks of God's enemies, “evildoers,” those carnally-minded people who oppose Him and refuse to live by His Spirit.

Thirty-Seven (lamed-zayin)

Inheritance

The number thirty-seven in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and zayin (weapon, to cut or pierce). Our inheritance from God comes by means of “cutting a covenant,” as the Bible puts it. When God made His covenant with Abraham in Gen. 15:10, He required Abraham to cut the animals in half (except for the birds). Verse 18 reads, “ On that day the Lord made [karath, “cut”] a covenant with Abram.

Thirty-seven is the number of inheritance, which is established by God “cutting a covenant” with us. It is often associated with Jesus Christ the ultimate Inheritor of the earth, but it is also applied to inheritance in general. Further, one's land inheritance was said to be “divided” among the people. The land was “cut” or “divided” in that sense in order to give each his portion.

Perhaps the most striking example that shows the meaning of this number is the fact that the name Caleb appears precisely 37 times in the Bible. Caleb is best known for inheriting Hebron. When Joshua gave the Israelites their inheritances, we read in Joshua 14:5-14,

5 Thus the sons of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they divided the land. 6 Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and CALEB the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea… 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully'…” 13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully.

Besides the name Caleb, the 37th time Noah is mentioned is in Gen. 9:24, where Noah awakes from his drunken stupor, learns what his sons did, and then put a curse upon Ham, and blessings upon Shem and Japheth. This determined the future inheritances of his three sons.

Because of that curse, Ham's son, Canaan, was disinherited according to the factor of Cursed Time, which is the meaning of the number 414. (See my book, Secrets of Time.) And so, precisely 828 years (414 x 2) after Noah's curse, Joshua led Israel into Canaan and disinherited the Canaanites and gave Hebron to Caleb as his inheritance.

The 37th time the name Abram is used is in Gen. 15:1, where God said to Abram,

1 …Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great.

Abram's reward was his inheritance. The 37th time the name Abraham is used is in Gen. 21:5,

5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Abraham's inheritance properly began with the birth of Isaac, the heir. The number 100 indicates fullness—in this case, the fullness of time. Interestingly, the 37th time that the name Isaac appears is in Gen. 26:12,

12 Now Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy.

Isaac did not own any land inheritance, because, like his father, he was a stranger in the land of Canaan. Yet God had promised that he would inherit the land some day, and we know from hindsight that his descendants would inherit it at the end of Canaan 's Cursed Time. The purpose of Cursed Time is to provide a grace period to give the people time to repent and come into Blessed Time (period of 490 years). The Canaanites did not do so, and so they were disinherited 828 years from their offense and from Noah's curse.

The 37th time Moses is mentioned is in Ex. 6:2 at the burning bush:

2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the Yahweh; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but by My name, Yahweh, I did not make Myself known to them. 4 and I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned.

Once again we see the connection with Israel 's inheritance, the land of Canaan. Yet also foreshadowed in this is the fact that God was the inheritance of the priesthood (Num. 18:20).

The 37th time that the name Joseph appears is in Gen. 40:12, where he interprets the butler's dream, telling him that he would be restored to his position (inheritance) within three days.

The 37th time that Jerusalem is mentioned is in 2 Sam. 19:19. David was returning to reclaim His throne, which was his inheritance, after Absalom had usurped the throne for a time.

Thirty-Eight (lamed-chet)

Work, Labor

The number thirty-eight in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and chet (inner chamber, including the heart). Thirty-eight is the number of work, or labor. It includes the idea of one's calling, or life's work and purpose, for this is the true authority that each one possesses in his heart.

A biblical example of this number is found in Deut. 2:14, where Israel entered its calling after a delay of 38 years:

14 Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered, was thirty-eight years; until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them.

In John 5:5 we read of the man who had been sick for 38 years until Jesus healed him. Jesus said to him in verse 8, “ Arise, take up your pallet, and walk.” In verse 10 the Jews criticized him for working because that day happened to be a Sabbath. In fact, they often criticized Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath, considering that to be “work.” If they had understood the principle of the “rest-work,” where a person ceases from his own works to do the works of God (Heb. 4:10; Isaiah 58:13), they would have rejoiced that the sick had been healed instead of grousing that it was done on a Sabbath.

Ed Vallowe says that thirty-eight is the number of “slavery,” but I find no particular evidence that this time of work is necessarily slavery. Adam was given work to do even before he sinned (Gen. 2:15). After he sinned, the work became more difficult (Gen. 3:17-19). Eve's work also became more difficult in childbearing.

The 38th time that Abram's name appears is in Gen. 15:2,

2 And Abram said, O Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?

This has to do with childbearing. Likewise, Eliezer was the head steward, or servant in Abram's household. So this verse is also about the head worker being the heir if God's promise to Abram were not fulfilled. Furthermore, it has to do with one's callings, for if Sarah were to die childless, Eliezer would receive the calling given to Abram.

Interestingly enough, the 38th time that Abraham's name appears is in Gen. 21:7, and it also deals with bearing children:

7 And she [Sarah] said, Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.

In these examples, we must keep in mind that Abram was a type of believer without the Holy Spirit, while Abraham was a type of Spirit-filled believer. The Hebrew letter hey that God added to the middle of his name is the breath of God and indicates inspiration or revelation. It also has to do with entering into God's Rest. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, man works hard for the things of life, whereas with the Holy Spirit, man's work is a “rest-work.”

When Abram attempted to do the work of God by his own strength, his work only brought forth Ishmael. But after being empowered by the Holy Spirit (with his name change at the age of 99), he brought forth Isaac.

The 38th time that Isaac's name is mentioned is in Gen. 26:12,

12 Now Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundred-fold. And the Lord blessed him.

Here again we find work to be a blessing to Isaac. He did not sow the land as a slave under compulsion. Furthermore, the Lord blessed him a hundredfold.

The 38th time that Jacob's name appears is in Gen. 29:11, “Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice, and wept.” The book of Jasher tells us that he wept because he had no dowry with which to obtain a wife, for the dowry had been stolen by Eliphaz, son of Esau while he was on his way to Haran (Jasher 29:31-38). Later, Jasher 30:8 and 9 says,

8 And when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, he ran and kissed her, and lifted up his voice and wept. 9 And Jacob told Rachel that he was the son of Rebecca, her father's sister, and Jacob continued to cry because he had nothing with him to bring to the house of Laban.

And so, for this reason, Jacob had to work 7 years as a substitute for the dowry. He worked for 14 years for the privilege of marrying Leah and Rachel.

The 38th time Joseph's name is mentioned is in Gen. 40:16, where the baker asked him to interpret his dream. The baker was hoping that Pharaoh would raise him out of prison and give him his old job again, but this did not happen. Again, it involved work (his job).

The 38th time that the name Israel is mentioned is in Exodus 18:8, where Moses told his father-in-law how God had delivered Israel from the house of bondage in Egypt. In that case, the work was bondage.

In the New Testament, the 38th time that Jesus is mentioned in the four Gospels is: Matt. 9:23; Mark 9:25; Luke 8:40; and John 4:34. In each case, Jesus was doing His work, healing and casting out demons. Of course, in each of these cases, Jesus was not in “slavery,” unless one considers Him a bond slave to His Father.

But it is better to consider the number 38 to speak of the work that one is called to do. In fact, the 38th time that the Hebrew word Elohim (God) appears is in Gen. 2:7,

2 Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

This was the crowning achievement of His work of creation, performed by the authority of the heart of God.

Thirty-Nine (lamed-teth)

Infirmity

The number thirty-nine in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and teth (serpent). Thirty-nine is the number of infirmity. When Adam and Eve sinned by falling for the temptation of the serpent, they inadvertently gave up their God-given authority to the serpent, who subjected them to disease, infirmity, and ultimately to death itself.

The only time that the number 39 appears in Scripture is found in 2 Chron. 16:12,

12 And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.

In addition to this, however, we find that the 39th time Noah's name is mentioned is in Gen. 9:29, “So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.” The 39th time that Joshua's name is mentioned is found in Joshua 3:10, where the people were ready to cross the Jordan River. Crossing the Jordan speaks of baptism, as well as death and resurrection.

The 39th time that Abram's name is mentioned is in Gen. 15:3, where he confessed that he had “no seed” to inherit the promises of God. This was his infirmity for many years until God worked a miracle in his life to bring forth Isaac, the promised son.

The 39th time that Israel is mentioned is in Exodus 32:13, where Moses had to intercede for the people for worshiping the golden calf. The golden calf was Israel 's spiritual infirmity on a national level.

In the New Testament, the 39th time that Jesus' name appears in the gospels has to do with disease or infirmity. Matthew 9:27 speaks of two blind men that Jesus healed. Mark 9:27 speaks of a man being healed of an evil spirit and being raised up as if dead. Luke 8:41 tells us of Jairus who pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his daughter who was deathly ill. Even in John's gospel, the 39th time Jesus' name is mentioned speaks of a prophet being without honor except in his own country—which is the infirmity of a prophet as he tries to convey the word of God to the general public. All of these are examples of disease or infirmity on some level.

The 39th time that Paul's name appears is in Acts 17:16, where the apostle saw that Athens was totally given over to idolatry and to pagan philosophers such as the Stoics and Epicureans. It is not hard to see in this the spiritual and moral disease of the city.

Thirty-nine has to do with the authority of the serpent, which believers are called to overcome and overthrow wherever it is found. For this reason, Jesus healed the sick, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead, and preached the Word of Life.

Forty (mem)

Trial, Probation

The number forty in Hebrew was written with the letter mem (water, flowing or coming from). Forty is the number of trial or probation. When viewed as a time cycle, we find that Israel spent 40 years being tested and tried in the wilderness. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness being tested of the devil. The number 40 can be viewed negatively in terms of the full 40 days/years of trial, but it can also be viewed positively in that it is the END of the time of trial or testing. In the positive sense, then, forty (i.e., mem) speaks of Israel crossing the Jordan River (water) after 40 years in the wilderness. In that sense also, Israel came from the wilderness and flowed into the Promised Land.

Forty is the product of eight and five. Eight is the number of New Beginnings, while five is grace. Thus, forty can be seen as entering grace after a period of trial, as well as the beginning of something new. Obviously, these are both factors in the cases of Israel and Jesus.

Likewise, Dr. Bullinger's Number in Scripture, p. 267, points out the fact that there are eight forty-day periods mentioned in the Bible. They are:

    1. Forty days Moses in the mount (Ex. 24:18) to receive the law.
    2. Forty days Moses in the mount after the Golden Calf incident (Deut. 9:18, 25).
    3. Forty days of the spies (Num. 13:26; 14:34).
    4. Forty days of Elijah in Horeb (1 Kings 19:8).
    5. Forty days of Nineveh 's probation (Jonah 3:4).
    6. Forty days Ezekiel lay on his right side for Judah (Ez. 4:5).
    7. Forty days Jesus was tempted of the devil (Matt. 4:2).
    8. Forty days from Jesus' resurrection to His ascension (Acts 1:2).

The total of these eight forty-day periods is 320 days. Since 32 is the number of Covenant, we see a special connection with the idea of covenant. In fact, God made a covenant with Israel twice while they were in the wilderness. The Exodus covenant (Ex. 20) came at the beginning of their 40 years at Mount Horeb, and the second covenant (Deut. 29:1) came at the end of their 40 years in the wilderness of Moab, just before they entered the Promised Land.

These two covenants provided a double witness to the Old Covenant that God made with “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38). Yet they prophesied of the two-fold aspect of the New Covenant while the New Testament Church spent 40 Jubilees in a wilderness of its own (33-1993 A.D.). The “Exodus” covenant was made at the cross through the feast of Passover, while the Deuteronomy covenant is made as we enter the Promised Land in the Age of the feast of Tabernacles.

The 40th time Noah's name is mentioned is in Gen. 10:1, “These are the generations of Noah.” It speaks of a new beginning (eight), a new generation, as if Noah's time of trial on earth had been completed.

The 40th time that Abram's name is mentioned is in Gen. 15:11, where he made a covenant with God, cutting three animals in half, but leaving the turtledove and the pigeon. When the fowls came to consume the carcasses, “Abram drove them away.” Here we see the covenant theme associated with this example of forty. Abram's driving away the fowls also speaks spiritually of driving away “the evil one,” for Jesus identified the fowls as such in the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:4, 19). And so we see that a primary purpose of a forty-day or forty-year testing period is to learn to drive away the evil one, that is, to overcome temptation.

The 40th time that Abraham's name is mentioned is in Gen. 21:9, where we see Hagar “mocking” Isaac. The Apostle Paul says in Gal. 4:29 that son of the bondwoman “persecuted” Isaac, and he makes the point that this is a pattern of Old Covenant behavior. Hagar represents the Old Covenant, Paul says (Gal. 4:24), and her son the children (i.e., adherents) of Old Covenant religion.

This pattern is set forth not only in Hagar and Ishmael, but also in Israel under the Old Covenant, who desired to stone both Moses and Joshua at times. Likewise, we see King Saul persecuting David, and later, Saul (Acts 8:1) persecuting the New Testament Church.

It is with good reason, then, that the 40th time Abraham's name is mentioned has to do with Hagar and Ishmael's defective spiritual condition. This was the same spiritual condition found during Israel 's forty-year testing, as well as King Saul's forty-year rule. It makes us wonder if perhaps the New Testament Saul was converted at the age of forty, or perhaps came to be renamed “Paul” when he was forty.

The 40th time Joshua's name is mentioned is in Joshua 4:1. Israel had just crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land.

The 40th time David's name is mentioned is in 1 Sam. 17:51, which says that he cut off Goliath's head with his own sword. The purpose of a time of trial or testing is to overcome the flesh and subject it to the rule of the spirit. Goliath, as a Philistine, depicts the flesh prophetically, and David subdued this “giant” in a great type and shadow.

In the New Testament we find that Jesus ascended after appearing to His disciples (and to about 500 people) over a period of forty days (Acts 1:3). When He ascended, He said He would return in like manner. Perhaps this forty-day period is prophetic of a forty-Jubilee period, wherein He has continually taught us since His resurrection. Perhaps He will return some time after forty Jubilees of the Church's time of trial and testing. If so, we are in that season now, for 1993 was the 40th Jubilee of the Church's wilderness time.