Numbers and Other Symbols in the Bible

Throughout the Bible, numbers are often used , especially when it comes to passages that refer to prophecies and making a reference to the future. In this article, you will learn about the significance of the numbers six, seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, thirteen, and forty, as well as other symbols of the Christian faith, such as butterflies and eagles.

Significant Numbers of the Bible

The number six is used to make a reference to the number of days that God took to create the world. The number is also symbolic of imperfection because it is one day less of what is seen as the ‘perfect number seven.’ Represented perfection, seven is the day that God rested after created the world. The number also appears in the Bible when Paul lists seven gifts of the Spirit, Jesus also spoke seven utterances from the cross. The Book of Revelation, which deals with the concepts of the apocalypse, uses the number seven, including references to seals and churches.

The number eight is used to represent regeneration or resurrection, which is why many baptismal fonts possess eight sides, as well as the baptismal cross. Mystery or angels are represented by the number nine, which comes from the nine choirs of angels. The notion of something being complete comes from the number ten, which serves as a symbol for important events and beliefs associated with the Christian faith, such as the Ten Commandments and the Ten Plagues.

Since there were 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles, the number twelve has often been used to make a reference to the whole church. Betrayal is often represented by the number thirteen because of the 13 people that were present at the Last Supper.

Forty days is a popular length of time that many figures in the Bible spent during a trial or test in their life. This is the number of days that Moses stayed on Mt. Sinai. Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty days. Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness lasted for forty days. Because of this, adherents of the Christian faith observe the Lenten Season for forty days. In regards to the Bible story regarding Noah and the flood , the rains came down onto the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.

Other Christian Symbols

The butterfly is a symbol of the Christian faith that represents resurrection, as the creature slips into his cocoon only to emerge more powerful and beautiful than before. Around Eastertime, it is not uncommon to see butterflies as a symbol to represent the resurrection of Christ after three days in the grave. The creature also serves as a symbol of the hope of resurrection after death.

An eagle is another symbol of resurrection for the Christian faith because it has the ability to soar upward in the sky. The eagle is a symbol for baptized Christians, who are seen to have symbolically died and risen with Christ. When the eagle appears with a halo, he serves as a representation of John the Evangelist.