Unless you are a mathematician, there is very little of note about the number thirty-five. It is the atomic number of bromine and those interested in puzzle games, such as Tetris, may be interested to know it is possible to make thirty-five different shapes or hexominoes with six squares. If you have been married for thirty-five years, you celebrate your coral wedding anniversary.
The German philosopher and Lutheran Protestant theologian and mystic Jakob Böhme (1575-1624) called the number thirty-five “the eternal residence of the soul,” although I am not sure why. Looking at the appearances of the number in the Bible, of which there are five, there is no obvious meaning or symbolism attached.
According to the visions of Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (1602-1665), it was on the thirty-fifth day of Jesus’ forty days in the desert when the devil began to tempt him.
The number thirty-six holds more meaning for Christian theologians. If we add up all the numbers from one to thirty-six we reach a total of 666, which as we know is believed to be the number of the devil.
In Jewish tradition, the number thirty-six has a couple of special significances. The first is the belief that when God created the light on the first day, it shone for exactly thirty-six hours. Secondly, in the Torah, Jews are commanded thirty-six times to love, respect and protect the stranger.
Before we look for the number in the Bible, I have found out a few interesting things about the number thirty-six. Firstly, it is the atomic number of Krypton, which comes from the Greek word kryptos, meaning “hidden one”. It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas.
There are thirty-six inches in a yard. A pipe wrench is also thirty-six inches long. A standard beer barrel can hold thirty-six gallons (163.7 litres). There are thirty-six possible outcomes when rolling two dice.
The number thirty-six only appears twice in the Bible:
In the Book of Revelation, there is a record of thirty-six visions; perhaps this is another reference to the devil? Speaking of the devil, the word “beast” is used thirty-six times in Revelation and the name “Satan” appears both thirty-six times in the New Testament and thirty-six times in the Old Testament.
Finally, it is thought there were a total of thirty-six years between the crucifixion of Christ and the death of Saint Paul.
Once again, I am combining two numbers in one post. There may not be many appearances of the numbers thirty-three and thirty-four in the Bible but it is worth looking at some of the theories and examples and judging for ourselves whether there is any correlation.
Thirty-three is the atomic number of arsenic. Water boils at thirty-three degrees on the Newton scale. The human spine is made up of thirty-three vertebrae.
In Islam, prayer beads are arranged in sets of thirty-three. In the Vedic religion, there are thirty-three deities. In Buddhism, the second level of heaven is called Trāyastrimśa, which means “of the thirty-three (gods)”.
In Christianity, it is believed that Jesus was thirty-three when he was crucified, although there is no direct acknowledgement of this in the Bible. The number thirty-three is only written six times:
The number thirty-three is sometimes linked to the promises of God. The thirty-third time that Noah’s name is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 9:8 in which He tells Noah and his sons that He wishes to establish a covenant with Noah, setting a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of His promise.
The thirty-third time that Abraham’s name is mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 21:2 just after God had fulfilled his promise: Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. (NIV)
In Genesis 28, Jacob had a dream in which he saw a “stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (28:12 NIV) It is then that Jacob promises to God a tenth of all he owned. This was also the thirty-third time Jacob’s name was mentioned in the Bible.
Let’s have a look at our next number, thirty-four – the atomic number of selenium.
The number thirty-four only appears once in the Bible:
It has been calculated that the word “devil” appears thirty-four times in the Bible. Interestingly, some versions of the Bible translate the original word as “enchanter”.
Leah, Jacob’s first wife was mentioned thirty-four times in the Bible. Thirty-three of these instances were in the Book of Genesis, the other can be found in Ruth 4:11 (NIV): Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.”
Finally, the last thing I will mention is the Book of Deuteronomy. This is the eighth longest book of the Bible and contains a total of thirty-four chapters.
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.
Thirty: the minimum age for senators in the United States of America. Did you know a shape with thirty sides is called a tricontagon? I have looked it up online and at glance, a regular tricontagon could be mistaken for a circle. All its interior angles are 168°.
Written as -30-, this is a copy editor’s typographical notation indicating the end of a newspaper article. In years of marriage, a thirtieth wedding anniversary is represented with pearls. In tennis, the number thirty represents the second point gained in a game.
Thirty days has September, April, June and November. The Thirty Years War lasted, would you believe it, thirty years. The address of The Gherkin in London is 30 St Mary Axe.
In the Bible, it has been calculated that there are approximately eighty-seven instances of the number thirty. Scholars have interpreted the number’s meaning as a symbol of devotion to a particular task or calling. According to Numbers 4, Aaronic priests were allowed to serve from the age of thirty. It was believed that this was the age when a person reached both physical and mental maturity and, therefore, could be trusted with major responsibilities.
The link between maturity and responsibilities or callings continues throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament where we know from Luke 3:23 (NIV) that “Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.” It is also believed John the Baptist was thirty when he began to preach.
In Genesis, Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh (41:46). In 1 Samuel, we are told that Saul became king at the age of thirty (13:1), as did David (2 Samuel 5:4). Ezekiel was thirty years old when he received his first vision of God (Ezekiel 1:1).
The first book of the Bible also reveals three men who became fathers at the age of thirty:
The number thirty can also represent the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. It is generally believed that Jesus was crucified in the year AD 30. Prior to his death, Judas had betrayed Jesus in return for thirty silver coins (Matthew 26:15), which Judas tried to return after he saw that he was condemned (27:3).
Judas’ betrayal for thirty pieces of silver had been alluded to in Zechariah 11:12:
It appears in the Old Testament that the period of mourning was thirty days long. Numbers 20:29 tells us that when the Israelites heard about Aaron’s death, they mourned for thirty days. In Deuteronomy 34:8, it is recorded that the Israelites grieved for Moses for thirty days “until the time of weeping and mourning was over.” (34:8)
In 2 Samuel 23, there is a list of names that make up King David’s mighty warriors. They are known as “The Thirty”.
Let’s look at some other examples of the number thirty in the Bible. I won’t bore you by listing them all:
The number thirty has appeared in a number of visions during the past millennia. Of course, we cannot assume these are correct since there is no means of backing up these claims, however, they are interesting nonetheless.
Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (1602-65) claimed that when the Virgin Mary reached the “perfect” (i.e. physically and mentally mature) age of thirty, she stopped ageing. The visions of Maria Valtorta (1897-1961), a Franciscan tertiary, revealed that Joseph was thirty when he married the then twelve-year-old Mary. Anne Catherine Emmerich’s (1774-1824) vision told her that Jesus was thirty-years-old when his (step) father Joseph passed away.
The little known Saint Epiphane began the tradition that Lazarus was thirty when he died and was subsequently resurrected by Jesus. Lazarus went on to live for an additional thirty years after this event.
I finish this article with one word that occurs thirty times in the Bible: empire. Whilst it appears twenty-seven times in the Old Testament, it only appears three times in the New Testament.
Twenty-eight is the atomic number of nickel - a metal that can be found in a number of coins, including the 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. There are twenty-eight days in February (yes, there are twenty-eight days in all months!) except in Leap Years. There are twenty-eight letters in the Danish, Swedish, Arabic and Esperanto alphabets. There are approximately twenty-eight grams in an ounce.
In India, there is a trick-taking card game called Twenty-Eight, although, some people confusingly also call it Twenty-Nine! There are twenty-eight Domino tiles in a standard Domino set.
Apparently, twenty-eight is the age when a man finishes growing, and women will know that a menstrual cycle is roughly twenty-eight days. If you have been married for twenty-eight years (congratulations to you), you are celebrating your tourmaline-wedding anniversary.
In the Hebrew alphanumeric code Gematria, koakh, which means either “power” or “energy”, corresponds to the number twenty-eight. Whether or not this influences the use of the number twenty-eight in the Bible is undisclosed, so let’s look at a few examples and see if there is any link.
Twenty-eight known authors wrote the Old Testament:
The Gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts contain twenty-eight chapters, making them the longest in the New Testament – although, from previous articles, you will know that Luke is longer by word count.
According to the visions of Ann-Catherine Emmerich, twenty-eight armed Pharisees escorted Jesus whilst he carried his cross to Golgotha.
The name David appears in twenty-eight different books of the Bible. The phrase “the Lamb” in reference to Jesus Christ appears twenty-eight times as does the word “Hallelujah”. The words “discipline” and “celestial” are also used twenty-eight times.
I am going to gloss over the number twenty-six because there is only one mention in the Bible. Perhaps I could coin the phrase, “as rare as the number twenty-six in the Bible”? In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.(1 Kings 16:18 NIV).
One more thing to mention, however, is there are twenty-six generations between Adam and Moses:
Moving on to twenty-seven, the atomic number of cobalt. (Twenty-six is the atomic number of iron if you are interested.) There are twenty-seven letters in the Spanish and Hebrew alphabet (as opposed to our twenty-six). There are twenty-seven bones in the human hand.
In recent years, the term “27 Club” has been formed, which is a list of popular musicians, actors and artists who have died at the age of twenty-seven. Although it has been disproved by science that stars are likely to die at that age, there is an awful lot of them who have. The list includes Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
Now, we know there are twenty-seven books in the New Testament, but does the number appear anywhere else in the Bible? The answer is yes; there are six mentions of twenty-seven:
According to the visions of Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (1602-65), Jesus was twenty-seven years old when he knew how and when he would die. Whether or not this is true we will never know. One thing that has been disproven, however, is the French philosopher Nostradamus’ (1503-66) prediction that the war led by the Antichrist would begin in the year 1999 and last twenty-seven years. Unless we are in the middle of a war we know nothing about, it is safe to say Nostradamus was very, very wrong.
The twenty-seventh book of the New Testament is Revelation written by John. Saint John’s feast day is celebrated on 27th December.
Final fun fact, the word “candlestick” appears twenty-seven times in the Old Testament.
Twenty-four: the number of hours in a day; the atomic number of chromium; the number of carats in pure gold; the number of letters in the Greek alphabet; the maximum number of Knight Companions in the Order of the Garter; the number of blackbirds baked in a pie in the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence.
In Indian religions, the Ashoka Chakra, which represents the Dharma Chakra, has twenty-four spokes. This is the symbol shown in the centre of the Indian flag.
In the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, there are twenty-four books. In our Bible (protestant) there are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament but, despite being shorter, the Hebrew Bible manages to encompass the same material.
In the Bible, the number twenty-four takes its meaning from the number twelve. As we know, the number twelve is a perfect number representing God’s power and authority. The number twenty-four, therefore, is an even stronger demonstration of God’s strength.
The number is also associated with the priesthood, who oversee God’s work on Earth. This is due to the Divisions of Priests recorded in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19, also known as the descendants of Aaron. “With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelek a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering.” (1 Chronicles 24:3, NIV) They are as follows:
The number twenty-four is written approximately twenty times in the Bible, depending on which translation you read. Many of these occur in the Book of Revelation. In Christian apocalyptic literature, the number twenty-four represents the church because it is the sum of the number of tribes of Israel (12) and the Apostles (12). Here are the examples of the number twenty-four in Revelation:
Other examples from the rest of the Bible include:
There are twenty-four chapters in the Book of Joshua, 2 Samuel and the Gospel of Luke. Although the Book of Acts has twenty-eight chapters, the Gospel of Luke contains more words, making it the longest book in the New Testament.
The Gospel of Mark, whilst being the shortest of the four gospels, contains references to twenty-four books of the Old Testament.
In my research, I have discovered a couple of examples of twenty-four that are not in the biblical canon. For example, Saint Ann, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was supposedly twenty-four years old when she was married to Saint Joachim, according to the visions of the Franciscan abbess Mary Ágreda. In the Gospel of Thomas, it is written that twenty-four prophets appeared in Israel before the arrival of Jesus.
The word “judges” is used twenty-four times in the New Testament.
The word “lamb” appears twenty-four times in the book of Revelation.
The words “water” and “spirit” both appear twenty- four times in the Gospel of John.
I’ll leave you with the weirdest fact about the number twenty-four. Whether or not this is true, the Ancient Egyptians apparently discovered that the monkey urinates regularly twenty-four times a day!
The number twenty-five is a Square Number (5x5) and the sum of the first single-digit odd numbers (1+3+5+7+9). It is the atomic number of manganese and the number of years in a silver wedding anniversary. In baseball, the number twenty-five is generally reserved for the teams best “slugger”, i.e. the person most likely to hit the ball the hardest.
In the USA, twenty-five is the minimum age to serve in the US House of Representatives. There are also twenty-five cents in a quarter dollar. In Great Britain, the slang term “pony” refers to £25. In Ireland, there is a card game known as Twenty-Five. The national game of India “Pachisi” means twenty-five in Hindi.
In Islam, there are twenty-five prophets mentioned in the Qur’an but where does the number appear in the Bible? It is believed that the number twenty-five symbolises grace upon grace due to it being composed of the numbers twenty (redemption) and five (grace). Five (grace) multiplied by five (grace) equals twenty-five (grace upon grace).
The number twenty-five plays a significant role in Ezekiel’s Temple Vision. “In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the Lord was on me and he took me there.” (Ezekiel 40:1, NIV) During this vision, the measurements of the prophetic temple are revealed, five of which are twenty-five cubits long.
These are not the only mentions of twenty-five in the Book of Ezekiel.
It is thought there are about thirty mentions of the word twenty-five in the Bible. Let’s have a look at a few examples:
Although the number is not mentioned directly, there are twenty-five thrones mentioned in Revelation 4:4 (NIV): Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. Twenty-Four plus one equals twenty-five.
During my research, I found information about the number twenty-five that does not appear in the Bible but is believed to be true by some groups of Christians. Ann-Catherine Emmerich, for example, had a vision that revealed that the Three Magi travelled for twenty-five days to reach Bethlehem, which was a distance of 672 leagues (approximately 2016 miles). Another vision revealed to Emmerich the twenty-five paths converging to the Tower of Babel and the twenty-five tribes that took part in the building work.
Ann-Catherine Emmerich’s visions have also revealed that Luke wrote his Gospel twenty-five years after the Ascension of Jesus, and the apostle John was twenty-five when he was called to be a disciple, as was Judas Iscariot.
The apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas mentions twenty-five miracles of Jesus Christ. The gospel, however, generally contradicts the New Testament and has strong parallels with the Islamic faith; therefore, we do not give Barnabas a lot of attention.
The book of Acts contains material from twenty-five books of the Old Testament. The book of 2 Kings is made up of twenty-five chapters. Philemon and Jude, however, only contain twenty-five verses. Finally, to end this article, the Holy Spirit is quoted twenty-five times throughout the four Gospels.
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!
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:
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon