The number ten is the first double-digit number and one of the most important in everyday life. It is the base of the decimal numeral system that we use in modern society as well as the number of fingers we have – which are both great ways of helping us with our sums! The metric system is based on multiples of ten, for example, 1 cm = 10 mm.
What else do we know about the number ten? Ten is the sum of the first three prime numbers (2+3+5) as well as the first four positive integers (1+2+3+4). In Roman numerals, the letter X represents the number ten. Ten is the atomic number of neon.
A period of ten years is called a decade, decabeing a Greek prefix meaning ten. A shape with ten sides is called a decagon. A decapod is a crustacean with ten legs. A decathlon is an event in athletics combined of ten field and track events.
So, what importance does the number ten have in the Bible? It is believed the number ten appears 242 times and, for some, is designated a perfect number representing law, responsibility and order. One of the most important instances of the number is the Ten Commandments mentioned in Exodus and Deuteronomy, which is why it is considered to denote the law.
There is, of course, another significant list of ten in the Bible. In Exodus 7-12, God sent ten plagues on Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to let his people go:
Instances of the number ten being mentioned include:
I have discovered a number of other facts about the Bible in relation to the number ten that I thought you may find interesting, for instance, in Genesis 1, the words “God said” are written ten times.
Before the great flood recorded in Genesis 6-9, there were ten generations of man, beginning with Adam and ending with Noah. The ten patriarchs were Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. Remarkably, the average age of these men was 857 years!
There are many deaths recorded in the Bible but only ten of these deaths were caused by women. The female “murderesses” are as follows:
Those of you who have read the Bible carefully may have noticed that some passages refer to other books that are not part of the Bible. There are several non-canonical books that have been combined into the Biblical Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books; however, I have found at least ten that have been completely lost. They are as follows:
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon