Numbers thirty-one and thirty-two are not as common in the Bible compared with the number thirty. Their meanings are also a little ambiguous. Therefore, I have combined both numbers into one article.
Let’s start with the number thirty-one. It is a prime number and the atomic number of gallium – a soft, silvery-blue metal. In ice hockey, the goalkeeper or goaltender often wears the number thirty-one. January, March, May, July, August, October and December all have thirty-one days. There are thirty-one letters in the Macedonian alphabet. In France, there is a card game called Trente et Un, which translates as thirty-one. There are thirty-one flavours of ice cream sold by the American chain Baskin-Robbins. In Japan, the company is known as 31 Ice Cream.
The longest reigning pope was Pope Pius IX who served for thirty-one years between 16th June 1846 and 7th February 1878.
The number thirty-one appears only four times in the Bible. According to the psychoanalyst René Allendy (1889-1942), the meaning of the number can be derived from either combining the meanings of thirty and one (Jesus’ death and his relationship with God) or from three plus one, which equals four (creation).
Here are the four examples of the number thirty-one in scripture:
Since the verses in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles record the same situation, there are really only three different uses of the number thirty-one.
It has been calculated that the name Moses appears thirty-one times in the Bible as does Rebekah (or Rebecca), Isaac’s wife. The words “freedom” and “eagle” also appear thirty-one times.
Apparently, the Gospel of Luke references material from thirty-one books of the Old Testament.
Let’s move on to number thirty-two. It is the atomic number of germanium and the freezing point of water in degrees Fahrenheit. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote thirty-two piano sonatas. On a chessboard, there are thirty-two black squares and thirty-two white squares. An adult who has gone through the pain of growing wisdom teeth has a total of thirty-two teeth. There are thirty-two counties in Ireland. The average picture book and comic book have thirty-two pages.
The number thirty-two appears eleven times in the Bible. René Allendy wrote that the number represents the “differentiation appearing in the organised world.” Others have said it symbolises the totality of men on earth and some claim it represents truth. Pythagoras, on the other hand, believed the number was a symbol of justice.
Here are some of the examples of thirty-two in the Bible:
In the book Parole d’armourby the semi-anonymous Gemma, she claims that Jesus revealed that while he was on the cross, thirty-two of his bones were fractured.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” is used thirty-two times. Throughout the entire Bible, the word “liberate” appears thirty-two times. Finally, in the Hebrew Bible, “Elohim,” one of the words for God, is written thirty-two times.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon