I have nothing to tell you about the number fifty-one other than it is the atomic number of antimony. It does not appear in the Bible. The number fifty-two, however, does.
The number fifty-two is the atomic number of tellurium. There are fifty-two weeks in a year and fifty-two white keys on a piano. There are also fifty-two cards in a pack of playing cards and the British Grand Prix consists of fifty-two laps. The Ancient Mayans divided their calendars into periods of fifty-two years.
The number fifty-two appears in the Bible six times. Twice, it is mentioned that Uzziah became king when he was sixteen and reigned in Jerusalem for fifty-two years (2 Kings 15:2 and 2 Chronicles 26:3). In 2 Kings 15:27 it is recorded that “In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years.” (NIV)
In Ezra 2:29 and Nehemiah 7:33, a census of the people of Israel logs that there were fifty-two descendants of a man named Nebo.
Finally, Nehemiah writes that the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. (Nehemiah 6:15)
The number fifty-three does not appear in the Bible, although you may be interested to know that the First World War lasted fifty-three months. It is the sixteenth prime number and the atomic number of iodine. The fictional Volkswagen Beetle Herbiehas the number fifty-three painted on its side and bonnet. In Catholicism, there are fifty-three beads on a standard rosary.
Apparently, the phrase “I am” appears fifty-three times in the Gospel of John. On three occasions, John the Baptist utters this phrase and Jesus speaks the remaining fifty.
The number fifty-four does not appear in the Bible either. In case you are wondering, it is the atomic number of xenon. There are fifty-four coloured squares on a Rubik’s cube. In golf, a score of fifty-four is referred to as a perfect round. There are fifty-four countries in Africa. In Judaism, the Torah is divided into fifty-four weekly sessions, which are known as Paracha or Sidra. These are read in the synagogue during the morning of the Sabbath.
Now, you’ll be pleased to know there are two instances of the number fifty-five in the Bible, although they both record the same thing. Fifty-five is the atomic number of caesium and is represented by the emerald in wedding anniversaries.
The first instance of the number fifty-five in the Bible is in 2 Kings 21:1 (NIV): “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.” This is repeated word for word in 2 Chronicles 33:1.
Fifty-six, the atomic number of barium, only appears once in the Bible. It records the number of decedents of a man named Netophah in the census mentioned in Ezra 2:22.
Fun fact: Shirley Temple wore fifty-six curls in her hair as a child. Her mother set her curls every day and ensured there was the exact number. Another point of interest is that Aristotle believed there were fifty-six layers of the universe.
Fifty-seven, fifty-eight and fifty-nine do not appear in the Bible. Just for fun, here are some general facts about these numbers.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon