Two little ducks, twenty-two. The atomic number of Titanium, a very strong metal named after the Greek Titans. The number twenty-two is known as a semiprime, which means it is the product of two prime numbers (2x11). It is also a pentagonal number, a Perrin number, an Erdös-Woods number and a Smith number. Like me, you probably have no idea what any of that means!
The length of a cricket pitch is twenty-two yards, which is equivalent to the length of one chain. On a rugby pitch, the “22” is a line in each half of the field, which is twenty-two metres from the respective try line. A snooker game begins with twenty-two balls on the table (fifteen red, six coloured and one white). In football, there is a maximum of twenty-two players on a pitch at any time.
The human skull contains twenty-two bones: eight cranial and fourteen facial. There are twenty-two Major Arcana cards in a standard Tarot deck. The Hebrew alphabet contains twenty-two letters: alef, bet, gimel, dalet, he, vav, zayin, chet, tet, yod, kaf, lamed, mem, nun, samech, ayin, pay, tsade, qof, resh, shin, tav. In fact, most Semitic alphabets and the Phoenician language contain twenty-two letters.
As mentioned, the number twenty-two is double eleven, which symbolises disorder and chaos in the Bible. As a result, twenty-two can represent disorganisation. The number can also represent the beginning and end of man. In Genesis, God created twenty-two things during the six days of creation. At the opposite end of the Bible, the Book of Revelation contains twenty-two chapters.
The number twenty-two is used around thirty-one times in the Bible, depending on the translation. Here are a few examples:
According to Luke 3:23-38, there are twenty-two generations between God and Abraham:
Although there are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament, the original amount finalised by Ezra the prophet and the Great Assembly was twenty-two. It has also been counted that Jesus quoted from twenty-two Old Testament books. When Jesus was on the cross, Mark 15:34 (NIV) records: “And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).” Although those at the foot of the cross mistakenly believed Jesus was calling out to Elijah, he was, in fact, quoting from Psalm 22:
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
Psalm 22:1-2 (NIV)
To end, I leave you with some words that appear twenty-two times in scripture:
“I’ve got the key to the door, never been twenty-one before!” Twenty-one, also known as the age we pretend we are (“twenty-one again”)! Although the age of adulthood has changed to eighteen in the United Kingdom, twenty-one is still the age of majority in many countries. Other than age-related things, where else does the number twenty-one appear in our lives?
Twenty-one is the atomic number of scandium, a rare-earth element. There are a total of twenty-one spots on a standard die (1+2+3+4+5+6). It is the highest winning score in a game of Blackjack. There were twenty-one shillings in a guinea.
There is a discrepancy about the meaning of the number twenty-one in the Bible. Some say that as twenty-one is the result of three times seven, both considered perfect, the number is perfect by default. Others, however, believe twenty-one represents wickedness, rebellion and sin.
In 2 Timothy 3, the apostle Paul lists twenty-one sins that humans will fall prey to during the end of days:
Also in relation to sin, 1 and 2 Kings reference the sins of Jeroboam, the first King of the Northern Tribes, twenty-one times.
It has been recorded that the number twenty-one only appears seven times in the Bible, however, I have only been able to locate one of them:
There are, however, times where the number twenty-one has been substituted for another phrase, for instance, three weeks (7 days x 3 = 21 days):I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. (Daniel 10:3, NIV)
The most interesting thing I have discovered while conducting my research is there are a total of twenty-one dreams in the Bible. They are as follows:
There are several words that appear twenty-one times in the Bible:
The numbers 16, 2000, 5000 and 20,000 are each used twenty-one times.
There are twenty-one chapters in the Gospel of John and the book of Obadiah contains a single chapter with only twenty-one verses. The book of Hebrews contains twenty-one references to the Old Testament. There are twenty-one epistles in the New Testament: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude. (Paul wrote the first thirteen listed.)
So, does the number twenty-one represent sin, perfection, both, neither or something else? I welcome your thoughts.
I was not at Gants Hill this weekend, instead, I was preaching at Wanstead URC. I thought you might like to read a summary of my sermon.
Reading: Luke 8:26-39 (NIV)
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Doctor Luke wrote this Gospel around AD 60. It is fascinating a reading, posing questions, such as:
Jesus was clearly pushing the boundaries; he appears to have been deliberately trying to become ritually unclean: he was meeting Gentiles in a graveyard. Jesus has disturbed a community, he has disturbed the status quo and he is about to change one man's life forever but, in consequence, many people's lives will be changed, unwillingly.
Jesus drove the demons out of the man. Commentaries say there may have been between 2000 and 6000 pigs nearby and it is into them that the demons chose to go. The following destruction of the pigs to save the man was not welcomed. For the farmers, the economic cost of losing so many pigs must have been immense. I think Jesus freed the man and it was the demons who chose to enter the pigs, therefore, Jesus is not to blame for the subsequent financial disaster, however, I note that Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), an African theologian, and Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), an Italian theologian, interpreted this story to claim that Christians have total dominion over animals.
Jesus has performed an extreme makeover and now the man is at peace, wanting to follow Christ. Jesus, interestingly, sends him back, merely asking that he tell people about what Jesus has done to save him.
After this event, the disciples must be feeling very confused. In the previous chapter, Jesus healed a Roman centurion's servant at long distance, raised a widow's son from death in Nain, had his feet anointed, redefined what family meant and calmed a frightening storm. All this, as well as healing a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years and raising a girl to life, showed the miraculous power of Jesus. His disciples must be wondering, "Who is this man?" They too, in Chapter 9, will be sent out in the name of Christ to do similar acts. What are the disciples to think? What would we think if we had witnessed the same miracles?
The reading does not ask us to convert anyone to Christ but simply requests that we tell people what Jesus has done and what difference he makes in our lives. That is all we, today, are asked to do; it is the Holy Spirit that converts, all we are asked to do is to proclaim the Gospel and tell of the difference Christ has made to us.
I have recently seen the film Rocketman. It was most enjoyable and Elton John, alongside being a musical genius, certainly had his demons, including drugs, sex, food and alcoholism. Having realised the destruction these addictions were having on his life, he took action to rid himself of these constraints. The film ends saying that he has been sober for twenty-eight years. This led me to research a little about Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step programme they use as a framework of healing. Five of these contain God, with number three saying, "Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God as you understand Him."
It was also interesting to note that the AA uses the Serenity Prayer at the beginning of their meetings. This prayer is written by Reinhold Niebuhr, the most well-known part being, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference." The prayer, I believe, is on the back of medals that are given out when people have achieved six or nine months of abstinence.
This lovely reading from Luke challenges us to look at our own lives and to examine our habits and the powers that control us. As Christians, we are encouraged to have values and beliefs that give hope for the future. The reading alongside Luke is Galatians 3:23-29 where, in essence, we are reminded that we were imprisoned by sin but our faith in Jesus is the key that has set us free. We must ensure that we grasp that freedom, enjoy God's love, allow ourselves to be clothed in Christ, which Colossians 3:12 reminds us is compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness all wrapped in love.
So, as we go about our lives, may we proudly show Christ's clothes as we live free of demons, and not fall back into the prison of sin.
Including this one, I have now written a score of articles about numbers in the Bible. A “score”, of course, is another way of saying twenty. We use the term 20/20 to denote perfect vision, although what this actually means is that you are capable of seeing something clearly at a distance of twenty feet.
Twenty is the atomic number of calcium, an essential element for our health. It is the international dialling code (+20) for Egypt. There are twenty possible moves at the beginning of a game of Chess, and you’ve no doubt heard of or even played the game Twenty Questions.
In Hebrew numerals (gematria), the letter kaph represents the number twenty. It is written as a palm shape or open hand, which people have attributed the meaning of redemption. The hand shape has been interpreted in two ways: one, giving freely or freedom, and two, covering up sin. In the Bible, the number twenty has also become associated with a complete waiting period.
Genesis 31 tells us Jacob had to wait twenty years to be freed from the control of Laban and receive his wife and property. “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks… It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.” (Genesis 31:38, 41, NIV)
In the book of Judges, the Israelites waited twenty years to be freed from the oppression of King Jabin of Canaan. Through Deborah and Barak, God saved his people from this bondage. “Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.” (Judges 4:3, NIV)
As recorded in 1 Samuel, the Philistines overcame the Israelites and took the Ark of the Covenant back to their land. As a result, they suffered severe consequences from God, which urged them to return the Ark to the Israelites, where it ended up in the city of Kirjath Jearim. The people of Israel had to wait another twenty years until the Ark could be moved again. “The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time--twenty years in all.” (1 Samuel 7:2, NIV)
King Solomon had to wait twenty years until both the Temple and his own home were fully constructed. The Temple took a total of seven years, and his home took a further thirteen. “At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildings—the temple of the Lord and the royal palace…” (1 Kings 9:10, NIV) As a way of thanks to Hiram, the king of Tyre for his support with the lengthy project, Solomon gifted him twenty towns. “King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted.”
It is thought the number twenty appears 288 times in the Bible, however, not all of these are in relation to waiting. Here are some other examples I have found:
Number nineteen: the eighth prime number and the atomic number of potassium. There are not that many instances of the number in our everyday lives. In Canada, it holds some importance because nineteen is the age of majority, similar to age eighteen in the UK. In golf, the clubhouse bar is jokingly called “the 19thhole”. The strategy game Go is played on a 19 x 19 square board.
In the Bahá’í faith, the year is made up of nineteen months, which each contain nineteen days. In Islam, the Qur’an states there are nineteen angels guarding Hell. In the Qur’an, chapter nineteen, verse nineteen, the birth of Jesus to his mother Maryam (Mary) is announced.
In the Bible, the number nineteen does not have its own meaning but combines the numbers ten and nine, which represent perfection and completeness. The number nineteen only appears in the Bible three times:
Nahor, the man mentioned in Genesis 11:25, was the grandfather of Noah. He lived for 119 years AFTER the birth of Noah’s father Terah; therefore, he was of a considerable age at his death.
The cities mentioned in Joshua 19:38 are the inheritance of the tribe of Naphtali in the Promised Land. This was in the northernmost part of what would become Israel. It included the entire western side of the Sea of Galilee. Isaiah prophesiedthat the lands of Naphtali and Zebulon (Naphtali’s neighbour) would one day see a shining beacon in their lands:
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:1-2, KJV)
This prophecy is eventually fulfilled in Matthew 4 during the life of Jesus Christ:
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Matthew 4:13-16 KJV)
After the death of the Solomon, the Promised Land was split into two territories: Judah in the south, and the remaining ten tribes, including Naphtali, in the north, which would later become known as Israel. From this point until the Assyrian’s conquered the land in 722 BC, there were nineteen kings of Israel:
Just for fun, I have found examples of things that appear nineteen times in the Bible:
Eighteen: the age when one becomes an adult and can vote in public elections. It is an important, even life-changing, age in the United Kingdom. No longer constricted by parental consent, eighteen-year-olds have legal control of their lives, actions and decisions. In Chinese tradition, eighteen is also a lucky number because it sounds similar to a word that means, “Definitely get rich”.
In chemistry, the periodic table is comprised of several groups. The eighteenth group is known as the Noble Gases. These include Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon. The number eighteen is also the atomic number of Argon.
Traditionally, there are eighteen holes on a golf course and in Australian football each team has eighteen players on the pitch during a game. Some countries refer to the penalty area on a football pitch as “the 18” due to it extending 18 yards in front and to either side of the goal.
The Hebrew word for “life” (chai) has the numerical value (gematria) of eighteen. As a result, it has become customary for Jews to give donations in multiples of eighteen as an expression of a blessing for long life. The American author Joseph Heller was initially going to name his well-known novel Catch-18due to the Hebrew meaning of the number, however, it was changed to Catch-22to avoid confusion with another book of a similar name.
In the Bible, the number eighteen has come to mean bondage or slavery. Before Saul was made king of Israel, the Israelites were made slaves to many nations. A couple of their enemies, Eglon the Moabite king and the Philistines and Ammonites, held them in bondage for eighteen years:
In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “bondage” in relation to the Israelites is mentioned eighteen times. In all these instances, it is through God that they are saved: I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3, KJV)
Another form of bondage has a more spiritual nature. Many people in the Bible are slaves to the demons that possess them or are influenced by other people. During his ministry, Jesus healed many of these people including a crippled woman. “… a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteenyears. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” When Jesus healed her he announced, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” (Luke 13, NIV)
There are other occasions when the number eighteen is mentioned in scripture, but not all of these relate to bondage and slavery. Here are a few examples I have found:
When reading the Bible, you will have noticed that buildings are often described in great detail, down to the exact measurements. You will have also noticed that these measurements are usually recorded in cubits. This was the length of a man’s forearm from the tip of his middle finger to the point of his elbow. It is believed the average man’s forearm is about 18 inches long.
The book of the New Testament 1 Corinthians has references or content from eighteen books of the Old Testament. One of these is Psalm 110:1, which throughout the New Testament, plus the original verse itself, is referenced eighteen times.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the knowledge that there are two eighteen-lettered names in the Bible:Jonathelemrechokim and Mahershalalhashbaz, the latter being Isaiah’s son.
Seventeen: a prime number that is also the sum of the first four prime numbers (2+3+5+7). It is the atomic number of Chlorine. It is the number of syllables in a haiku poem (5+7+5). It is the number to call for the police in France. It is also the apparent percentage of alcohol in Baileys Irish Cream.
In the Harry Potter world, seventeen is the age when wizards come of age, rather than the traditional eighteen. In the UK, seventeen is the youngest age at which you can give blood and the minimum age for taking driving lessons. On the other hand, in the USA, seventeen-year-olds can apply for private pilot licences!
The fear of the number seventeen is called “heptadecaphobia” or “heptakaidekaphobia”; although why people should fear the number, I am not sure.
In the Bible, the number seventeen has become associated with victory and overcoming enemies. It is believed that Jesus Christ was resurrected, thus overcoming death, on the seventeenth day of the month Nisan (8thApril 30 AD).
In the Book of Genesis, God began to flood the earth on the seventeenth day of the second month, in order to overcome the sins of the people who had turned away from him. As we know, only Noah and his family were saved; Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month.
In Judaism, Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, occurs on the tenth day of the seventh Hebrew month. One of the key themes of the festival is the binding of Satan. Therefore, the number seventeen (10+7) has come to symbolise this.
Let’s take a look at some example where the number seventeen is written in the Bible. It is believed there are at least thirteen instances (depending on the version) of the number but I will leave it up to you to find them all!
Seventeen enemies of Israel have been recorded throughout the Old Testament:
It is believed the apostle James wrote his Epistle seventeen years after the crucifixion of Christ. He also used material from seventeen books of the Old Testament. Likewise, the book of 1 Corinthians has seventeen direct quotes from the Old Testament.
Obadiah, the seventeenth book of the Bible is also the shortest.
Finally, I leave you with the knowledge that there is a seventeen-letter name in the Bible: Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. (Judges 3:8, KJV)
I was fortunate enough to be invited to afternoon tea in Milton Keynes at the head office of World Vision - No Child Without A Future. There were many interesting presentations, which I thought you might be curious to know about.
Globally, World Vision reaches 100 countries with 45 thousand staff helping 150 million children. The organisation is making a difference in their world. For example, in 1990, 12.5 million under-fives died of things that could have been prevented. By 2015, that figure had been halved. Good things are happening throughout the world that are making a difference and countries, such as Mozambique or Bangladesh, are much more prepared for the inevitable natural disasters, resulting in thousands of fewer deaths.
World Vision works with the most fragile of countries, mainly through sponsorship of children in developing areas where they also concentrate on digging water holes or providing agricultural knowledge and education for girls. One local initiative was providing school children with bicycles so that they could get to school more quickly, less tired and more able to cope.
World Vision is a Christian organisation but it helps wherever there is a need with the desire to making a better place for the world's most vulnerable children to live. Its recent initiative was called Take the Matthew 25 Challenge. This is a week-long disciple-making experience where, throughout the week, there is a daily challenge based upon Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 25. The focus of the chapter is about feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty a drink, inviting the stranger and looking after the sick.
"For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"
The challenge before us is do we wish to accept a week of daily, sacrificial challenges, engaging in God's love to care for our neighbour? If anyone from the church is interested, please let me know.
Sweet sixteen; the smallest number with five divisors: 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16. Those who still use the imperial measurement system will know there are sixteen ounces in one pound, and other cultures also counted many things in groups of sixteen, for instance, Chinese Taoists used their fingertips and joints of the fingers to count up to sixteen on each hand.
In science, sixteen is the atomic number of sulphur, which is apparently the fifth most common element on Earth. Those interested in psychology will know there are sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types. In music, a semiquaver lasts for one-sixteenth of a semibreve and is, therefore, known as a “sixteenth note” in America. In a game of Chess, there are a total of sixteen pawns on the board at the beginning of play.
In America, girls celebrate a “Sweet Sixteen” party on their sixteenth birthdays; however, the age was not good for the fictional Briar Rose in Sleeping Beautywho was cursed to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" on her sixteenth birthday.
In Chinese history, between the years AD 304 to 439, the country was split into sixteen kingdoms. In Ancient Greece, a symbol known as the Vergina Sun had sixteen rays. In Japan, the Imperial Seal of Japan, also known as the Chrysanthemum Seal, is made up of sixteen petals.
In the Bible, the number sixteen is said to represent love and loving. God’s name is written in various ways in the Old Testament, however, sixteen of these, when written in Hebrew, have meanings that indicate His constant, never-ending love for His people. Also, the phrase “the Father”, appears sixteen times in scripture.
The number sixteen itself has been counted only twenty-one times in the Bible. Here are a handful of examples:
Since there are so few occurrences of the number sixteen, it is unlikely that it held any particular value in these examples; its meaning of love has been added much later. The meaning has likely derived from the well-known verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, wrote that there are sixteen distinct qualities of God’s love:
In addition to this list, the Book of 1 John mentions the word love numerous times, the sixteenth being “There is no fear in love.” (1 John 4:18, NIV)
In the Old Testament, between the times the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land until Saul was anointed their first king, there were a total of sixteen judges who governed the whole of or part of Israel:
Finally, just as I did with the number fifteen, I have found a few words in scripture that are sixteen letters long!
In comparison to the previous numbers we have looked at, there are not as many instances of the number fifteen in our everyday lives. The most obvious is the quarter hour, which is made up of fifteen minutes. Sports fans will be quick to point out that there are fifteen players in a rugby union team and in tennis, the number fifteen represents the first point scored in a game. The chemists will also inform us that fifteen is the atomic number of phosphorus.
In my research, I came across the term quinceañera, which is the title given to a Catholic Latina girl on her fifteenth birthday. Another Spanish phrase, “la niña bonita”(the beautiful girl), is what Spanish Bingo callers announce when the number fifteen comes up.
There are three Jewish festivals that begin on the fifteenth day of the month. Passover (the Feast of the Unleavened Bread) begins on the fifteenth day of Nisan, the first month. Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) begins on the fifteenth day of Tishrei, the seventh month. Finally, Tu Bishvat begins on the fifteenth day of Shevat, the eleventh month.
Interestingly, the number fifteen does not follow the usual method of numbering in the Hebrew numbering system. Numbers are represented by letters and, whilst 13 is combined of 1 and 3, and 14 of 1 and 4, the numbers 1 and 5 spell out one of the Jewish names for God. Therefore, the number is written with the letters representing 9 and 6, instead.
It is thought that in the Bible the number fifteen represents rest after deliverance. This is based on the events that occur in Exodus when the Israelites were delivered from slavery. God had told Abraham in Genesis 15:12-16 that his descendants would be enslaved and mistreated, however, they will eventually be let free. In Exodus 12, the enslaved Israelites are instructed to put sheep or goat’s blood on their doors on the fourteenth day of the month, so when God passes through the land that night striking down all the firstborn sons, they will be spared. The very next day, the fifteenth day of the month, Pharaoh orders the Israelites to leave.
Exodus 12:41 says, “At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt.” This is referring to the moment God told Abraham about the fate of his descendants. Not only were the Israelites freed on the fifteenth, but Abraham also received his message on the fifteenth. (The date was not recorded in Genesis because the Lord only established when the first month was at the beginning of Exodus 12.)
Another event that occurred on the fifteenth day of the first month, or Nisan, was the burial of Christ in the tomb. As the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John record, this was the beginning of the Jewish day of Preparation and the Sabbath was about to begin.
Although there are many references to Passover in the Bible, there are not as many occurrences of the number fifteen. I have, however, managed to locate a handful of examples. Not all of these have a correlation with the idea that the number fifteen represents rest after deliverance and, therefore, may not have a particular meaning.
To finish, I have found a few fun appearances of the number fifteen in scripture:
We are happy for you to use any material found here, however, please acknowledge the source: www.gantshillurc.co.uk
Rev'd Martin Wheadon