The number twenty-three is the ninth prime number and the atomic number of the chemical element Vanadium, a rare, soft, grey metal. A human cell has twenty-three pairs of chromosomes and the earth’s axis is tilted at an approximately 23° angle. The soft drink Dr Pepper apparently contains twenty-three different flavourings – who knew there were so many?
In Islam, Muslims believe the entire Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years. They also believe that the first five verses of the Qur’an were received on the 23rd night of the 9th Islamic month.
In the Bible, one of the most quoted passages is the “Shepherd Psalm”, or Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right pathsfor his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4, NIV)
It takes a great deal of searching for the number twenty-three in scripture and there appears to be no meaning attached. Here is what I have managed to find:
Out of interest, I have looked up chapters 23, verse 23 in the books of the Bible to see if there are any words of wisdom hidden in them. Here are a few of them:
How many children did Adam and Eve have? We know from Genesis 5 that they had more than the three named sons: After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:4) The first-century historian Josephus wrote in his works (The Works of Josephus) that Adam had a total of fifty-six children, twenty-three of whom were girls.
Finally, did you know that Jezebel is mentioned twenty-three times in the Bible? She is the evilest woman mentioned in scripture and yet she gets more mentions than the holier characters, for instance, Mary, the mother of Jesus!
We are happy for you to use any material found here, however, please acknowledge the source: www.gantshillurc.co.uk
Rev'd Martin Wheadon