God’s Divine Design of the Holy Bible
and Its Numeric Connection
Once the original, God-breathed manuscript order of the books of the Holy Bible—the Old and New Testaments—has been restored, God’s divine design of the Scriptures begins to unfold. An essential key to understanding the design of God’s Word is biblical numerics. Such numeric connections and patterns, when searched out and understood, reveal the handiwork of God. Some numeric patterns are obvious, while others are hidden.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God challenges men to know that He alone is Creator. The evidence is readily apparent: The awesome complexity of the earth itself, as well as the infinite vastness of the universe—which man cannot even begin to comprehend—are silent witness of the existence of a Master Creator. Yet, God has numbered and named all of the galaxies—literally every celestial body of the universe: ” ‘To whom then will you compare Me, or who is My equal?’ says the Holy One. ‘Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who has created these things, who brings out their host by number? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power; not one fails.’… He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names. Great is our LORD, and of great power; His understanding is infinite” (Isa. 40:25-26; Psa. 147:4-5).
God designed and created the universe based on mathematical laws—laws that continue to govern the entire creation. Indeed, God has wonderfully revealed Himself through His creation (Rom. 1:20). Though the scientific community has discovered a number of these immutable laws, men actually know “little to nothing” about God’s limitless universe.
Just as God has employed mathematical laws in creating the universe, He has used biblical numerics in the design of the Bible. Indeed, the Scriptures exhibit a numerical design that can only be explained by the direct, divine inspiration of the Creator God.
Emphatically, the Bible is not the product of human ideas. Rather, “holy men of God spoke [and wrote] as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Pet. 1:21). As the apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” Reflecting the very mind of God, the Scriptures are laid out in an orderly, defined and purposeful manner. Upon closer examination it becomes apparent that numeric patterns are interwoven into the very fabric of the Word of God—in both the Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek. Accurate translations retain the significance of such patterns.
Dr. Edward F. Vallowe, in his book Biblical Mathematics, writes: “Numbers are the secret code of God’s Word. Only to the students of the Word, those to whom God’s Spirit has given spiritual insight, will the code be made plain. God has been called ‘The Great Geometrician’ and is said to do everything after a plan by number, weight and measure. If God is the Author of the Scriptures and the Creator of the Universe, and He is, then the Words of God and the Works of God should and will [numerically] harmonize” (p. 19).
Imagine what the Bible would be like without the direct inspiration of a single Author. “[The] various writers of the different books, men who lived in different ages, and most of whom never saw the others, would have crossed up each other had they not all been guided by a master mind, ONE, Who never makes a mistake, and Whose knowledge and wisdom comprehend the events of all time. The precision with which the Bible numbers all fall into their places cannot be accounted for except by the supernatural power and wisdom of a God Who is infinite” (Ibid., p. 20; bold emphasis added).
Stop and think. No other book even begins to approach the interrelated numerical complexity of the Bible. Yet, how many biblical writers were there? There are 32 verifiable writers of the Old Testament—plus an unknown number of individuals who maintained historical records which the writers utilized. The New Testament was penned by only eight men. But again, the writers had access to the personal accounts and records of numerous believers (Luke 1:1-2).
Thus, from creation to about 90 AD, some 40 key writers were involved in compiling the Scriptures. A single author would have to be an absolute genius to develop the numerical design found in the Bible. But 40 separate authors, writing over a period of nearly 3800 years, consistently following a complex pattern of numerics—the odds would be beyond calculation. It would simply be impossible—apart from the direct inspiration of God.
Humanly, men tend towards opposition and variance. Witness the fact that the writings of the major religions of the world—such as those of Catholicism and Judaism—are typically confusing, selfcontradictory and generally lacking in any meaningful design. There is no question that without the guiding hand of God in both its writing and its preservation, the Scriptures would likewise have become thoroughly corrupt, with various parts added or deleted. And while the original manuscripts of the Scriptures—including their authorized copies—have themselves not been corrupted, men such as Jerome have taken it upon themselves to rearrange the order of the books and to include the non-canonical books of the Apocrypha. Beginning in the late 19th century with Westcott and Hort, translators began to take considerable liberty and license with the Scriptures—and even began altering copies of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. This inevitably led to inferior, corrupt translations. Following the lead of James Moffatt—with his liberal Moffatt Translation of 1913—wholesale changes began to appear in various translations. By the end of the 20th century there was a plethora of corrupt translations. The last decade has seen several so-called “translations” that are absolute abominations before God.
Conversely, the men God used were of a converted mind and were led by the Holy Spirit; they would never have presumed to insert their own ideas or tamper with the design and order of the Holy Scriptures.
Amazingly, this extensive corruption has had virtually no effect on the numerical patterns of the Bible—which remain as proof of the divine inspiration of the Word of God. Indeed, it is an absolute miracle of God that the Bible has not only been written with such perfect, harmonious design, but that it has been preserved intact for us today.
The Significance of Biblical Numerics
It is interesting to note that, on average, one in every five verses in the Bible contains a number. Many of these numbers have significance—revealing the mind of God in the Scriptures and the divine design of His revelation to mankind. Primarily, biblical numerics substantiate the inspiration of God’s Word and the unity of Scripture—from Genesis to Revelation. God also uses numerics in conjunction with the “times and seasons” to show the progression of His purpose and master plan of salvation. (Note: All calendar dates refer solely to the Sacred Calculated Hebrew Calendar—the calendar that God gave to the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood for accurately determining the days, months, seasons and years. Moreover, the Scriptures reckon all days from sunset to sunset.)
Biblical numerics is a vast subject. Several books have been written which discuss the numeric connections of the Scriptures in great detail. Therefore, only the most significant numbers that relate to the divine design of the Bible and the numerics of the biblical holy days will be presented. The following numeric points have been stylized from Biblical Mathematics by Vallowe and are noted by (V). Others are by Fred R. Coulter and are noted by (C).
Number 1: Signifies unity and oneness (V). • The unity and oneness of God: “Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD” (Deut. 6:4). Hebrew: “Our one Elohim is Jehovah, Jehovah.” • The unity and oneness of God the Father and Jesus Christ (John 10:30; John17:21). • By His one sacrifice, Jesus removes our sins forever (C). • Jesus is the one Mediator and the one Shepherd (I Tim. 2:5; John 10:16). • There is one body, the Church; one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Eph. 4:4-6). • The eventual unity and oneness of true believers with God (John 17:21) (V).
Number 2: Signifies union, division and verification by witnesses. • The union of husband and wife as one. • The union of Christ and the Church (V). • The unity between the Old and New Testaments. • The witness of God in the Old and New Testaments (C). • God requires a minimum of two witnesses in any trial or dispute. • Jesus sent the disciples out to witness in pairs. • The final witnesses of God during the tribulation—the “two witnesses” (V).
Number 3: Used 467 times; pictures completeness, though to a lesser degree than 7 (V). • There were 3 righteous patriarchs before the flood—Abel, Enoch and Noah. There were 3 righteous patriarchs after the flood—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Peter, James and John, the 3 key apostles who witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration (C). • Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest (V). • Jesus was crucified at the 3rd hour and died at the 9th hour; 3 x 3 = 9 (C). • There were 3 hours of darkness, from the 6th hour to the 9th hour (V). • There are 27 books in the New Testament, which is 3 x 3 x 3—or completeness to the third power (33) (C).
Number 4: The number of creation which marks God’s creative works. It is the signature of the world. • The material creation was finished on the 4th day—with the sun, moon and stars ordained for 4 things: signs, seasons, days and years. • The 4th commandment—”Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy”—was given to man at creation. • The 4 accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry: Matthew, Son of David and King; Mark, The Suffering Servant; Luke, The Perfect Man; and John, The Only Begotten Son of God (V).
Number 5: The number of God’s grace or goodness toward man; mentioned 318 times in the Bible. • The 5 offerings God commanded to be offered on the altar. • The Ten Commandments have 2 sets of 5 commandments—5 toward God and 5 toward neighbor (V). • The Psalms are divided into 5 books. • The 5 books of the Law, also known as the Pentateuch. • The 4 Gospels plus Acts equals 5 books or the New Testament Pentateuch—revealing Jesus’ teachings concerning the Law and the Prophets (C). • The apostle John wrote 5 books centered on the grace of God and eternal life (V). • John 3:16: When these numbers are added (3 + 1 + 6), you get 10—or 2 x 5 • New Testament Greek has 24 letters. However, it has two forms of the letter sigma, σ and ç , making a total of 25 letters. Five is the number of grace, and 5 x 5 = 25, or “grace upon grace” ( >John 1:16) (C).
Number 6: The number of man and human weakness, the evils of Satan and the manifestation of sin. • Man was created on the sixth day. • Men are appointed 6 days to labor. • A Hebrew slave was to serve 6 years and be released in the 7th year. • Six years were appointed for the land to be sown and harvested (V). • Six is associated with Satan in his temptation of Jesus. • “666” is the number and mark of the Beast of Revelation 13. It symbolizes the perfection of man’s system—separated from God and under Satan’s rule—in two ways. First, 6 divided by 2 equals 3. Man’s system is made up of 3 parts, with each represented by a 6: man’s governments under Satan, man’s religions worshiping Satan, and man’s economic systems under Satan. Second, when 666 is multiplied by 7 it equals 4662, which depicts man’s complete imperfection under Satan. When added across, 4 + 6 + 6 + 2 = 18; and 18 divided by 3 is 6 (C).
Number 7: Used 735 times, the entire Word of God is founded on the number 7. “Sevenfold” is used 6 times and “seventh” is used 119 times, bringing the total references to 7 to 860. It is used 54 times in Revelation alone. Seven is the number of completeness and perfection and is tied directly to God’s creation of the heavens and earth. • The word “created” is used 7 times describing God’s creative work (Gen. 1:1,21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4). • There are 7 days in a week. • The Sabbath is the 7th day of the week. • The 7th year is the land Sabbath. • There are 7 feasts of God, beginning with Passover (V). • There are 7 annual holy days. • There are the 7 weeks of the spring harvest. • The cycle of the 7 holy days is completed in 3 festival seasons by the 7th month of the sacred calendar: Passover and Unleavened Bread, 1st month; Pentecost, 3rd month; and Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and Last Great Day, 7th month (C). • In the book of Revelation there are 7 churches, 7 angels to the 7 churches, 7 seals, 7 trumpet plagues, 7 thunders and the 7 last plagues (V). • The first resurrection takes place at the 7th trumpet, completing salvation for the Church. • There are 7 divisions of the Bible: 1) the Law; 2) the Prophets; 3) the Writings, or Psalms; 4) the Gospels and Acts; 5) the General Epistles; 6) the Epistles of Paul; and 7) the book of Revelation. (The seven divisions are covered beginning on page 15.) • There are 49 books in the Bible— 7 x 7 —demonstrating the absolute perfection of the Word of God (C).
Number 8: Coming after 7, which signifies completeness, the number 8 symbolizes a new beginning, or a new order of things, a new creation, a new birth (V), and the resurrection to eternal life (C). • A musical scale has 7 notes, with the 8th note beginning a new scale an octave from the first note. • Eight people were carried in the ark for a new beginning after the flood. • Four is the number of the first creation, and 8 (4 + 4) pictures the new creation after the flood. • David, the 8th son of Jesse, was the new king to replace Saul. • The sum of the letters in Jesus’ name in Greek is 888 (I-10, E-8, S-200, O-70, U-400, S-200 = 888)—the perfect Man, God manifested in the flesh (V). • Christ was selected as the Passover Lamb on the 10th day of the first month, a weekly Sabbath (John 12: 28-29). He was crucified on the 14th day (7 + 7, or double completeness) which was also the 4th day of the week. He was in the tomb exactly 3 days and 3 nights. He was resurrected toward the end of the next weekly Sabbath, the 17th (the number of victory). The 17th was also the 8th day when counted inclusively from the 10th day, the day of His selection. Thus, the confluence of these numbers shows Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and His total victory over death (C). • Boys were to be circumcised on the 8th day (V). • Eight symbolizes circumcision of the heart through Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 2:28-29; Col. 2:11-13). • Those in Christ are becoming a new creation (8), with godly character being created by the power of God’s Spirit (II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10; 4:23-24). • After the 7 weeks of the spring harvest, the next day—the 50th day—is Pentecost (7 x 7 + 1 = 50). This day is also the “8th day of the 7th week.” As such, this 8th/50th day pictures the first resurrection, the day Christians are “born again” from flesh to spirit (I Cor. 15:20-23, 35-55; John 3:3-12; Rev. 14:14-16; 20:4-6). • After the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles, there is an 8th day—the Last Great Day (C). • There were 8 writers of the New Testament, who wrote of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection (V). • The Scriptures were written by 40 different individuals; 40 is 5 (grace) times 8 (a new beginning). By the grace of God mankind has the opportunity for a new beginning—as expounded through the Word of God (C).
Number 9: Used 49 times; pictures finality or divine completeness from the Lord. • Jesus died at the 9th hour, the completion of His physical life. His death was the beginning of the finishing of sin and Satan. • As 8 symbolizes circumcision of the heart and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, 9 signifies the fruit of the Spirit. There are 9 fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) (V).
Number 10: Ten is used 242 times, and “10th” is used 79 times. A historically significant number, 10 signifies testimony, law and responsibility. Ten is also viewed as a complete number, as is 3, 7 and 12. • Ten is made up of 4, the number of the physical creation, and 6, the number of man. • In Genesis 1 we find “God said” 10 times—the testimony of God concerning His creative power. • God gave the 10 Commandments to man. • Ten is the number for law and man’s responsibility to keep the commandments of God. • A tithe is a 10th of our earnings and is a testimony of our faith in the Lord (V). • The Passover lamb was selected on the 10th day of the 1st month (Ex. 12:3), as was Jesus, our Passover Lamb (John 12:28-29; I Cor. 5:7). • The 10th day of the 7th month is the Day of Atonement for the children of Israel, when they received atonement for their sins. Prophetically, the day pictures the removal of Satan, the author of sin, before the millennial reign of Christ begins (Rev. 20:1-2) (C). • The last great world-ruling kingdom of man under Satan is symbolized by the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Revelation 13 and 17 (V).
Number 11: Signifies disorder and judgment. Used 24 times; “11th” is used 19 times. Coming after 10 (law and responsibility), 11 represents the opposite—the irresponsibility of breaking the Law, which brings disorder and judgment (V). • In Genesis 11, men rebelled against God and built the tower of Babel. God judged them by confusing their language, resulting in chaos (C). • In the 11th year of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, God executed His final judgment against Judah with the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the exile of the remaining Jews to Babylon. • The apostle John saw 11 things in connection with the final judgment of Revelation 20:12-14 (V).
Number 12: Represents divine authority and appointment, as well as governmental foundation and perfection; shows completeness. Used as a signature of Israel. Twelve is found 187 times and is used 22 times in Revelation. Truth is symbolized by 144, or 12 x 12. • There are 12 divisions of heaven called the Mazzaroth, which God uses for signs and seasons. The testimony of the stars is numerically in harmony with the Bible: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psa. 19:1). • There were 12 sons of Jacob, whose families formed the 12 tribes of Israel with 12 princes; there were also 12 princes of Ishmael. • The high priest’s breastplate, used for judgment, had 12 stones representing the 12 tribes. • The “showbread” consisted of 12 loaves. • During the period of the judges, 12 judges judged Israel. • Solomon appointed 12 officers over Israel (V). • At age 12, Jesus appeared at the temple. • Jesus ordained 12 apostles, who were sent with authority to preach the Gospel and to be witnesses of His resurrection. After His resurrection, Jesus told the apostles that He had been given all authority in heaven and earth—the divine authority of God. • During the tribulation, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel are saved, totaling 144,000 (Rev. 7). A second 144,000 are gathered from the earth to serve the Lamb and follow Him (Rev. 14:1-5) (C). • The bride of Christ is pictured with a crown of 12 stars (Rev. 12:1). • The New Jerusalem has 12 gates of pearls, 12 angels at the gates and the names of the 12 tribes of Israel over the gates. The wall of the city has 12 foundations of precious stones; in them are the names of the 12 apostles. The wall is 144 cubits high (12 x 12). The city is 12,000 furlongs (1500 miles) square (V).
Number 13: Associated with rebellion and depravity. Used 15 times in the Bible. • All the names of Satan are divisible by 13. • Nimrod, the chief rebel after the flood, was the 13th in the line of Ham. In their 13th year of servitude, the kings of the nations rebelled (Gen. 14:4). • Twelve represents the government of God and 13 represents the governments of men in rebellion against God. • Moses wrote of Israel’s 21 rebellions in Deuteronomy 31:27: “For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD…” (V). When this scriptural reference is added across (3 + 1 + 2 + 7), you get 13, the number of rebellion (C). • Haman the Agagite had a decree signed on the 13th day of the first month that on the 13th day of the 12th month all Jews in the Persian Empire were to be killed. (Esther 3:8-13). • Dragon, a symbol for Satan, is found 13 times in Revelation. Satan is behind all rebellion against God. • Jesus mentions 13 things that are in the hearts of the depraved and rebellious (Mark 7: 21-22). In Romans 1, Paul lists 23 things against sinful men; the 13th is haters of God (V).
Number 14: Represents deliverance or salvation. Used 22 times; “14th” is found 24 times (V). • The 14th day of the first month is the Passover—when God delivered the firstborn of Israel from death. • Some 430 years earlier, on the night of the 14th day of the first month, God made two covenant promises to Abraham—one of the physical seed, Isaac, and his descendants, and one of the spiritual seed, Jesus Christ, and the sons of God who would come through Him, who would shine like the stars of heaven (Matt. 13:43). On the day portion of the 14th, God confirmed the promises with a special covenant sacrifice (Gen. 15:1-11). • On the 14th day of the first month, the Passover day in 30 AD, Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh, the only begotten Son of God the Father, and the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, was crucified as the perfect sacrifice to save mankind from sin. Jesus’ death on Passover completed His ministry in the flesh. Seven is the number of completion—thus 7 + 7 = 14, indicating a double completion: 1) His ministry in the flesh was completed; and 2) His sacrifice ended or fulfilled the need for animal sacrifices (C).
Number 15: Pictures rest, which comes after deliverance, number 14. • The 15th day of the first month is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a day of rest for the children of Israel. The 15th day of the 7th month begins the Feast of Tabernacles, also a day of rest (V). • God delivered Israel’s firstborn from death on the 14th; then, at the beginning of the 15th day at sunset, the children of Israel began to leave Egypt by night. This night is called “The Night to Be Much Observed Unto the Lord” (Ex. 12:40-42; Num. 33:3; Deut. 16:1). • On this same day 430 years earlier, after the sun had gone down ending the 14th, God told Abraham in a vision that his descendants through Isaac would end up as slaves in a foreign country—but that He would release them from this bondage after 400 years (Gen. 15:12-16). Exactly 430 years later—on the same night—this prophecy was fulfilled as the children of Israel left Egypt on the 15th day of the first month (Ex. 12:40-41). • On the same night—in order to guarantee His covenant promises to Abraham—the Lord passed between the parts of sacrificial animals, as evidenced by a burning lamp and a smoking furnace, which wholly consumed the sacrifices (Gen. 15:17-20). In performing this ceremony, God was pledging His future death as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world—guaranteeing the future “rest” from sin for all who inherit eternal life. • On this same day—the 15th day of the first month in 30 AD, as the sun was setting to end the 14th—Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb. Thus, Jesus began His three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. • For Christians, the 15th day of the first month, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, pictures rest from their sins, having had them removed by Christ’s shed blood on the 14th. • The 15th day of the 7th month begins the Feast of Tabernacles. For the children of Israel, it pictured rest from the long harvest season. They were to dwell in booths in remembrance of their trek in the wilderness. • Prophetically, the 15th day of the 7th month pictures the coming Millennium when the world will have rest from sin because of the binding of Satan on the Day of Atonement. Under Christ’s reign, salvation will then be offered to all the world—the great spiritual harvest of God for 1,000 years (C).
Number 16: Symbolizes love. • There are 16 names of God in the Old Testament that signify His steadfast love for the children of Israel (V). • The converted believer is to become perfected in the love of God and in showing love toward others (Matt. 22:37-41). This duality of spiritual love is signified by 8 + 8 = 16. • In I Corinthians 13:4-8, Paul says 16 things about the quality of love. The 16th time the word “love” is used in I John it says, “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18) (C).
Number 17: Signifies “vanquishing the enemy” and “complete victory in Christ.” • During the days of Noah, God vanquished rebellious mankind by the flood which He began on the 17th day of 2nd month. The ark came to rest on the 17th day of the 7th month (V). • Jesus was victorious over death when God raised Him from the dead on the 17th day of the first month. • The 17th time love is mentioned in I Corinthians 13, it says, “[The] greatest of [all] is LOVE” (verse 13). Hence, the love of God (John 3:16) is victorious in all things. True believers will be victorious over death at the resurrection (I Cor. 15:54-55). • The beasts of Daniel 7 have 7 heads and 10 horns, totaling 17. The beasts symbolize world-ruling kingdoms from Daniel’s time to the return of Christ—kingdoms which reign victoriously over the nations that reject God’s rule. Revelation 13:1-8 depicts Satan’s end-time system as having 7 heads and 10 horns, again totaling 17. The whole world will worship Satan and the Beast, and no one will be able to make war against him (v. 4, 8); he will make war against the saints (v. 7) and have a temporary victory over them. The saints will ultimately be victorious over the Beast when God raises them from the dead at the first resurrection (Rev. 15:2; 20:4). • On the 10th day of the 7th month, the Day of Atonement, Satan is bound (Rev. 20:1-3). Thus, 10 + 7 = 17, depicting Jesus Christ vanquishing Satan (C).
Number 18: Stands for bondage. • The children of Israel were in bondage twice to their enemies for 18 years (Judges 3:14; 10:7-8). • Jesus healed a woman whom Satan had bound for 18 years (Luke 13:16). • Stephen spoke of Israel’s enslavement by the Egyptians as bondage (Acts 7:6). This particular bondage is mentioned 18 times. The 10th time is in Exodus 20:2, in the context of the first commandment. After the word “bondage,” God commands the children of Israel: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (V). • Serving other gods places people into spiritual bondage under Satan and his demons, which God punishes with physical bondage (Judges 2:10-15) (C).
Number 21: Pictures the exceeding wickedness of sin. There were 21 major rebellions by the children of Israel during their wilderness journey. Thirteen, the depravity of sin and rebellion, and 21 are closely associated; 21 is the outgrowth of 13 and pictures the fruit of that nature (V). • “Rebellion and depravity” (13) plus a “new beginning” (8) equals 21, portraying one’s “new beginning” into the depths of satanic depravity. • In II Timothy 3:2-5, Paul writes of 21 sins which show the exceeding wickedness of self and sin. • On the 21st day of the first month, the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, God executed His final judgment against Pharaoh and his armies—the symbol of the exceeding wickedness of sin. • The 21st day of the 7th month, the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, portrays the end of the Millennium when Satan and the demons are temporarily loosed. Immediately they lead people into war and rebellion. Then God executes His final judgment against Satan and the demons—the ultimate in the exceeding wickedness of sin (Rev. 20:10) (C).
Number 22: The Hebrew alphabet is made up of 22 letters—which are used to compose the Word of God. The Bible is called a lamp (Psa. 119:105; Prov. 6:23), thus it is the light by which we are to live. • The word light is found 264 times in the Bible; when divided by 12 (divine authority) we have 22, the number of light (V). • God created 22 things in the six days of creation. There are 22 books in the Aaronic/Levitical Old Testament—the light of God for Israel (C). • From Adam to Jacob are 22 generations. When Moses raised up the tabernacle of God, the number of Levites consecrated to serve was exactly 22,000. • Light is used 22 times in the Gospel of John (V). The 22nd time John uses the word, he quotes Jesus: “I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46) (C). • Christians are to walk in the light of Christ (John 3:21), and be the light of the world (Matt. 5:14-15) (V). • Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, written to Greek-speaking Jews and Gentiles, is the 22nd book of the New Testament (C).
Number 24: Associated with the priesthood. There were 24 courses of priests and singers at the temple. Around God’s heavenly throne are 24 elders, each wearing crowns and sitting on thrones, who apparently assist God in the governing of the universe (C). • Psalm 72 lists 24 things that Jesus Christ—as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek—will do when He sits upon His throne and rules as King and Priest during the Millennium (V).
Number 25: Pictures “grace upon grace.” Redemption (20) plus grace (5) equals 25 or “grace upon grace” (also 5 x 5 = 25). Levites were to begin serving at age 25 in assisting with sacrifices—which were a physical type of forgiveness and redemption for the people (V).
Number 30: Pictures dedication. Aaronic priests were dedicated to serve at age 30. John the Baptist, the son of a priest, began his ministry at age 30, six months before Jesus began His at age 30. • Thirty also portrays the blood of Christ. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. When he threw the silver back into the temple, the priests said: “It is not lawful to put them [the 30 pieces of silver] into the treasury, since it is the price of blood” (Matt. 27:6). The money was used to buy a field that was called the “Field of Blood” (v. 8) (V). • On the Passover day in 30 AD Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross—the blood of the Lamb to take away the sin of the world (C).
Number 33: Connected to promise. The 33rd time Noah’s name is used, God promised to never again destroy the world with a flood and sealed His promise with the sign of the rainbow. • The 33rd time Abraham’s name is used, Isaac—the child of promise—was born (Gen. 21). • The 33rd time Jacob’s name is mentioned, he promised to give a tenth of all to God. • At age 33, Jesus died on the cross to fulfill all the promises concerning the Messiah—(C).
Number 34 may relate to naming a son; the 34th time Abraham’s name is mentioned is when he named Isaac (V).
Number 40: Mentioned 146 times, 40 points to trial and testing, or probation. Trial and testing: Christ was tempted of the Devil 40 days and 40 nights. • Jesus was seen 40 days by His disciples after His resurrection. • It was 40 years from the crucifixion of Jesus until the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD. • Moses was 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in the desert, and 40 years in the wilderness leading the children of Israel. • Moses was on Mount Sinai twice with God for 40 days and 40 nights receiving the Law. • Twelve spies investigated the Promised Land for 40 days. • Elijah was 40 days at Mount Horeb. • Jonah preached that judgment was to come to Nineveh in 40 days. • Ezekiel laid on His right side for 40 days symbolizing Judah’s sins (V). Prosperity and probation: 40 years under Othniel • 40 years under Barak • 40 years under Gideon • 40 years under David • 40 years under Solomon • 40 years under Jeroboam II • 40 years under Jehoash • 40 years under Joash (V). The Bible was written by 40 different people—and 40 pictures probation. Christians are under judgment now—under probation—based on how they live by every word of God (C).
Number 50: Used 154 times. The 50th year is the Jubilee, the year of release and redemption. • Fifty is also connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit (V). • On the Wave Sheaf Offering Day (Lev. 23:9-11), Jesus ascended to heaven for the first time, to be accepted by the Father as the first of the firstfruits. Beginning with that day, there is a 50-day count to Pentecost, the Feast of Firstfruits, when the Holy Spirit was first poured out upon the Church—the firstfruits of the spiritual harvest (C). • God the Father did not send the Holy Spirit until Christ, as the new High Priest, placed His blood (30) on the altar of atonement (20)—which equals 50 and points to Pentecost (V). • Pentecost is also the 8th day of the 7th week in the 7-week count to Pentecost; it is also the first day of the 8th week. As such, 8 (new birth) and 50 (the day/year of redemption) picture the first resurrection of all who are Christ’s at His coming—the day they are “born again” from flesh to spirit (I Cor. 15:20-23, 35-55; John 3:3-12; Rev. 14:14-16; 20:4-6) (C).
By any measurement (no pun intended), the numbers outlined in this brief summary barely scratch the surface of biblical numerics. Even after translating the Bible and dividing it into chapters and verses, the biblical numerics have not been lost. In fact, God’s guiding hand is evident in the way the Bible is divided up into chapters and verses. For example, the reader is encouraged to do a study of all the places in the New Testament where a chapter three and a verse 16 are found (following the well known John 3:16). You’ll find that each of these “3:16” verses tells a revealing spiritual story. Advocates of biblical numerics have also found astounding patterns in the number and frequency of certain Hebrew and Greek words—which is additional proof that God inspired not only every word of the Bible, but the arrangement of the books in their original autographs as well.
God’s Sevenfold Division of the Bible
As we have seen, there are 49 books (7 x 7) in the Bible in its original order—22 for the Old Testament and 27 for the New Testament. However, there is yet another pattern of seven that God has used for the overall framework of the Scriptures—the sevenfold division of the Bible—symbolizing the highest degree of completeness or perfection. The seven divisions of the Bible are: 1) the Law, 2) the Prophets, 3) the Writings 4) the Gospels and Acts, 5) the seven General Epistles, 6) the Epistles of Paul, and 7) the book of Revelation. Furthermore, within each of the seven divisions are additional numerical patterns that further confirm the inspiration of God.
The Three Divisions of the Old Testament
The first three divisions of the Bible comprise the Old Testament—the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Three signifies completion, but to a lesser degree than seven. The 22 books of the Old Testament are formed in two patterns of five and six. There are five books in the Law, followed by six books of the Prophets, making a total of eleven. These are followed by the eleven books of the Writings, which is the sum of five and six. Since two is the number of union and verification, these two patterns of five and six portray the unity of God’s dual witness to the children of Israel and mankind through the Old Testament. As we will see, additional subdivisions can be found within the overall three-fold structure of the Old Testament.
The First Division—the Law: Genesis, the first book of the Law, is the foundation for the entire Bible. It gives the account of God’s creation of the heavens and earth, Adam and Eve, their sin and fall by disobeying God—as well as the lawless civilization formed by their descendants that resulted in the destruction of all flesh by the flood in the days of Noah. Following the flood, the earth was replenished with the animals Noah released from the ark, and human life resumed from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives. In Genesis 12, God called one man, Abram, whom He later renamed Abraham. Because of Abraham’s faith, love and obedience to God, He specially blessed him and his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob. All the rest of the Bible and the plan of God—physically and spiritually, from Genesis to Revelation—flows from these faithful patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their descendants. All histories and prophecies of the Old Testament point toward the central figure of the Bible: Jesus Christ—Who was the God of the Old Testament before He was Jesus Christ of the New Testament, God manifested in the flesh. Indeed, in Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy of the Bible was spoken by God Himself after Adam and Eve sinned, paving the way for a Savior to come and redeem mankind from sin and Satan.
The Law contains five books. Five symbolizes God’s graciousness and goodness toward the children of Israel in giving them His laws, commandments, statutes, judgments and testimonies contained in the Law. Moses testified to the children of Israel concerning the greatness of God’s Law and the covenant that He made with them: “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it. And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is whenever we call upon Him?” (Deut. 4:5-7). The Law describes five major prophecies of the coming Savior: Gen. 3:15; 15; 22; 49:10; Deut. 18:15-20.
The Second Division—the Prophets: There are three sections within the Prophets—again, a number of completeness. The first is called the Former Prophets and has two parts: 1) Joshua/Judges, counted as one book; and 2) the Book of the Kingdoms, made up of I & II Samuel and I & II Kings—also reckoned as one book.
The second section of the Prophets is called the Latter Prophets and is composed of three books: Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These three are also called the Major Prophets.
The third section is designated as The Twelve—because it contains twelve short books from twelve different prophets of God. They are also referred to as the Minor Prophets—not because they contain “minor or insignificant” prophecies, but because they are smaller in size (combined, they are two-thirds the size of Isaiah).
The second and third sections of the Prophets are filled with major prophecies regarding the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, and the world-ruling kingdom He will establish when He returns. However, a majority of these prophecies cannot be properly interpreted without the New Testament.
The Third Division—the Writings: These eleven books are divided into three sections of three, five and three books respectively. The first section contains Psalms, Proverbs and Job. These books were to be read—or sung, in the case of the Psalms—”at the portal of the men’s portion of the court of the Israelites … near the priestly section of the Temple. The Psalms were written by kings, for kings, or by and for priestly rulers” (Ernest Martin, Restoring the Original Bible, p. 129). The books of Proverbs and Job were intended as well to be read and studied by leaders and rulers.
The second section of the Writings contains five books and is called in Hebrew the Megillot; they are also known as the Festival Books. There is a feminine aspect to three of these books: 1) the Song of Songs, by Solomon, is a deeply romantic book symbolizing the marital bond between husband and wife and has numerous prophecies that relate to Christ and His Bride, the Church; 2) Ruth; and 3) Esther. The priests at the temple and rabbis in the synagogues were to read one specific book during each of the five annual festivals. Three were read during the commanded festival seasons of the Lord: 1) the Song of Songs at Passover/Unleavened Bread; 2) Ruth at Pentecost; and 3) Ecclesiastes at the Feast of Tabernacles. The other two were read at feasts instituted by the Jews: 4) Lamentations was to be read each year on the 9th of Ab, which was the eve of the destruction of the temple in 586 BC and again in 70 AD. (It is ironic that, in 70 AD, as priests were reading Lamentations in the temple commemorating its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, the Roman armies were beginning their assault into the temple grounds.) And, 5) the Book of Esther was read during the feast of Purim on the 14th and 15th of Adar to celebrate God’s deliverance of the Jews from genocide under Persian rule.
The third section of the Writings contains three books—Daniel, Ezra/Nehemiah (counted as one book) and the Book of Chronicles (I and II Chronicles are also reckoned as one book). The Book of Daniel—although it contains important prophecies from Daniel’s time to the end of the age and Christ’s return—is not included in the Major or Minor Prophets because Daniel wrote in Babylon during the Jews’ 70-year exile. Ezra/Nehemiah recounts the return of the Jews from Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. To finalize the Old Testament, Ezra wrote the Book of Chronicles which contains the history of the kings of Judah, of the house of David. A similar history was written before the captivity in the Book of the Kingdoms, which included the northern ten tribes of Israel and their kings. However, Ezra’s focus was on the kings of Judah, Jerusalem and the temple. His accounts in the Book of Chronicles includes information not found in the Book of the Kingdoms.
Other Required Times for Reading the Old Testament: God commanded Moses that all five books of the Law were to be read at the end of every seventh year, the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 31:9-13). As the Old Testament was being canonized, any recently added books or psalms were likewise to be read during the year and at the festivals.
When God gave the plans for the temple to King David, He also gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests to serve at the temple. The serving priests were divided into 24 courses or shifts (I Chron. 24). Each course would serve one week, from noon Sabbath to noon Sabbath, twice in a year. All courses would work during Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. The singing Levites were also divided into 24 courses and served in a similar manner. Certain portions of the Law and the Prophets were assigned to be read aloud, and certain portions of the Psalms were to be sung as a part of worship services at the temple.
After the Jews returned to Judea and Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile, Ezra and the Great Assembly, or synagogue of priests and Levites finalized the cannon of the Old Testament. They also established a set pattern of required readings from the Law, Prophets and Writings at the temple, and in all Jewish synagogues throughout Judea and the Diaspora. These required readings were known as the Triennial (or three-year) Cycle. The cycle of reciting Scripture and singing Psalms began with the first month of the year. A combination of designated sections from the Law, Prophets and Writings was to be read every Sabbath and during the festival seasons as they progressed through the Triennial Cycle—until the entire Old Testament had been read to the people. This cycle was to be repeated every three years (Jewish Encyclopedia (1912), vol. XII, “Triennial Cycle,” pp. 255-256).
The Complete Old Testament: With the completion of the Old Testament, we have the Word of God given to Moses, the prophets and those who authored the Writings. These first three divisions of the Bible are founded on the patriarchal covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and on the covenant He established with Israel. All the books of the Old Testament look back to Moses, the Law and the patriarchs, while at the same time they look forward to the coming Messiah, the Savior of Israel and the world, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Indeed, while the Old Testament was finished with Ezra’s canonization, throughout its writings God also showed that more was to come—the completion of the Law and the Word of God through Jesus Christ and his chosen apostles in the form of the New Testament and the New Covenant of eternal life.
The Four Divisions of the New Testament
Both the Old and the New Testaments are needed to complete the Word of God. Combined, they represent God’s full revelation to mankind. The Old Testament is comparable to a set of locks, and the New Testament is comparable to a set of matching keys. It is evident that locks without matching keys are of little value; conversely, keys without matching locks present a problem as well. Obviously, both testaments have great spiritual value—and both are required if men are to grasp the glorious, spiritual treasures buried within God’s Word. Unfortunately, some religions reject one Testament while accepting the other. Witness the hostility of Judaism toward the New Testament, and Orthodox Christendom’s surreptitious resentment of the Old Testament.
After His resurrection, Jesus explained to the apostles that His life and teachings—which were to become the basis of the New Testament—were the very keys needed to unlock Old Testament prophecy. “And He said to them, ‘These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘According as it is written, it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And in His name, repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. For you are witnesses of these things‘ ” (Luke 24:44-48).
In Jesus’ validation of the Scriptures, He confirmed the three divisions of the Old Testament, which Judaism also accepts. However, if Judaism and Orthodox Christianity fully accepted the sevenfold design of the Bible in its original order—Old and New Testaments—they would have both the locks and the keys necessary to open the doors of God’s Word.
To further establish the interlocking relationship between the Testaments, the New Testament writers authoritatively quote the Old Testament a total of 326 times. Almost half, or 158, of these quotes are found in the Gospels and Acts alone. When these direct quotes are combined with other allusions to the Old Testament, fully one-third of the New Testament functions as an “extension” of the Old Testament. Clearly, the New Testament is built squarely upon the foundation of the Old.
Just as a house is built upon its foundation, Christ “built” His spiritual teachings of the Kingdom of God on the foundation of the Law and the Prophets. Jesus’ teachings, prophecies and interpretations hold a greater final authority because He—as God manifested in the flesh—personally taught them. As Jesus said, “The Law and the Prophets were until John; from that time the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone zealously strives to enter it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:16-17). Therefore, the New Testament, though it is built on the foundation of the Old, is greater because it elevates all the teachings of God to a higher spiritual level (Matt. 5-7).
Jesus also told His disciples that His teachings would demystify prophecies, increase spiritual understanding and enhance the knowledge of the Kingdom of God in ways the prophets and righteous men of old could never experience. “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [those who do not believe the Bible] it has not been given. For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him…. But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard…things hidden from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 13:11-12, 16-17, 35).
In writing to the Colossians, the apostle Paul amplified what Jesus said: “Even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints; to whom God did will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:26). Likewise, he wrote to the Ephesians that they too would be able to comprehend the mystery of Christ “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Eph. 3:4-6).
Therefore, the New Testament’s teachings of the spirit of the Law became superior to the Old Testament’s teachings of the letter of the Law. In addition, because the New Testament has the keys needed to unlock and interpret the Old Testament and its prophecies, it is the greater. However, this does not mean that the Law or the Prophets have in any way been abolished or diminished. (See Appendix I, “A Comparison Between the Old and New Covenants.”)
The Fourth Division—The Four Gospels and Acts: The fourth or “middle” division of the Bible is the central focus of Scripture—the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is also the first division of the New Testament. As such, it is comparable to the first division of the Old Testament, the Law—also called the Pentateuch. Just as the Pentateuch has five books, the four Gospels and Acts make up a five-book “spiritual Pentateuch.” And, just as the Pentateuch defines the letter of God’s laws and commandments, Christ’s teachings in the “spiritual Pentateuch” magnify and glorify the Law in order to bring out its spiritual meaning and intent (Isa. 42:21).
Each Gospel account contributes important details needed to form a complete picture of the life and teachings of Jesus. With their many similarities and parallel accounts, the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, fulfill God’s requirement that a matter be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. The fourth Gospel, John, is considered the most spiritual; its structure follows the sequence of the biblical festival seasons during Jesus’ ministry. Acts begins with Jesus’ final ascension to heaven in 30 AD and abruptly ends with the apostle Paul in prison in Rome in 63 AD.
Matthew: As God used priests and Levites to write much of the Old Testament, He used a Levite, the apostle Matthew, to write the first book of the New Testament—thereby establishing the New Testament as an extension and fulfillment of the Old Testament. Matthew begins his Gospel with “the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,” which is an extension of Ezra’s genealogy in the last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Chronicles. Matthew quotes the Old Testament 56 times to prove that Jesus’ ministry and teachings were prophesied.
Mark: While Mark was not an apostle, he was the apostle Peter’s amanuensis, or secretary. “The ancient testimony of Papias, in the early second century, that Mark was the secretary of the apostle Peter (not an actual eyewitness himself [of all of Jesus’ ministry]) has good credentials, and the internal evidence of the Gospel itself … [is] that the Gospel of Mark is really the Gospel of Peter” (Martin, Restoring the Original Bible, pp. 335-336). There are 26 quotes from the Old Testament in the short Gospel of Mark.
Luke: Like Mark, Luke was not an apostle or an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry. He was a Greek physician who was converted in Antioch, the apostle Paul’s headquarters Church. Luke accompanied Paul on his journeys and became his secretary. (From the Greek text, it is evident that Paul dictated many of his Epistles to Luke.) Because Luke wrote under Paul’s supervision, the Gospel of Luke could very well be called the “Gospel of Paul.” In the opening verses of his Gospel, Luke informs us that he gathered his information from other written eyewitness accounts. It is also apparent that he interviewed such eyewitnesses. He quotes the Old Testament 25 times in his Gospel account.
John: Known as the apostle whom Jesus specially loved, John was also the apostle of belief, faith and love—all themes of his writings. At the beginning of his Gospel, he wrote of Jesus’ preexistence as God, Who shared glory with the Father. As one of the leading apostles, John and his brother James, along with Peter, were the only apostles to see the vision of Jesus’ transfiguration. As the longest lived apostle, John was the last to finalize his Gospel—perhaps some time before he wrote Revelation and canonized the New Testament (with the help of Phillip, Andrew and Mark). John undoubtedly placed his Gospel after Luke’s as a confirmation and endorsement of the synoptic Gospels. Furthermore, John’s Gospel was affirmed by the three mentioned helpers as recorded in John 21:24: “This is the disciple who testifies concerning these things and who wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.“
The Book of Acts: Luke accompanied Paul on his travels and was an eyewitness to most of his ministry—and clearly wrote Acts under Paul’s supervision. As a continuation of Luke’s Gospel, Acts is a historical account of the apostles’ early travels and teachings. However, from Chapter 13 to the end of the book, it is a history of Paul’s journeys and his preaching of the Gospel. Of this Martin writes: “The first [four] books account for the period when Christ taught in the flesh (both before and after His resurrection) and the fifth book [Acts] occupies the period from the conclusion of His earthly teachings (Acts 1:4-11) and continues with the progression of that teaching (now directed [by Jesus] from heaven) until it reached the city of Rome…. ‘The whole purpose of the Book of Acts … is no less than to be the Gospel of the Holy Spirit’ ” (Ibid., p. 332).
Thus, Acts rightly belongs in the fourth division of the Bible as a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In accordance with God’s design, there are five books in the Old Testament Pentateuch, and there are five books in the “New Testament Pentateuch.” Five is the number of grace, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called “the gospel of the grace of God” in Acts 20:24. Finally, there are 35 quotes from the Old Testament in the book of Acts—making a total of 158 Old Testament quotes in the fourth division of the Bible.
The Fifth Division—The Seven General Epistles: The correct order of the seven General Epistles is: James; I and II Peter; I, II and III John; and Jude. Their proper position is immediately after Acts and before the fourteen Epistles of Paul. There are five important reasons for this arrangement: 1) It is based on the principle that the Gospel was to be preached to Jews first, then to Gentiles (Rom. 1:16). 2) Three of the four who wrote the General Epistles were apostles before Paul was ordained an apostle. 3) Rather than being written to individuals or particular congregations, these were General Epistles written to Christian Jews spread abroad in the Diaspora (though they were not intended to exclude Gentiles). 4) They all uphold the believer’s faith, hope and belief in Christ, the love of God and of the brethren, as well as commandment-keeping being a requirement for salvation, which truly reflects a person’s inner faith. 5) They provided the proper foundation to fully understand Paul’s often-difficult doctrinal Epistles.
Martin further explains the placement of the General Epistles: “The principle of rank and subject is the reason that the Epistle of James must precede that of Peter, and Peter those of John and that of Jude. Professor Scott [writes:] ‘In keeping with this principle [of superior rank], the first place of all was accorded to the Epistle of James.’ This is true enough. Even Paul recognized the rank of the pillar apostles in this fashion, ‘And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John who seemed to be pillars…’ (Galatians 2:9). The order of these ‘pillar’ apostles is exactly in conformity to the principle of rank. Is it no wonder that the General Epistles follow this exact order in the New Testament canon…. Notice once again the authors of the seven General Epistles. James and Jude were legal brothers of Christ. This makes James and Jude of royal Davidic stock. Since the book of Acts ends with the teaching of the Jews in Rome about the Kingdom of God, the very next section of the New Testament is dominated by James and Jude (two royal scions of David) who carry on the theme of entering the Kingdom of God [James is the first writer of the seven Epistles and Jude is the last]. Both Peter and John take inferior roles in this regard. Peter was actually from ordinary Jewish stock … while John was of priestly ancestry. Though Peter was clearly the top apostle in rank, James (the brother of Jesus) was of Davidic blood and he became head of the Jerusalem congregation. These men (James and Jude) were the top representatives of the Davidic dynasty, Peter was the ‘top apostle,’ and John was part of the Aaronic priesthood” (Martin, Restoring the Original Bible, pp. 352-353).
There are 20 quotations from the Old Testament within this fifth division of the Bible. For additional commentary on the placement and themes of the seven General Epistles, see “The Original Placement of the General Epistles in the New Testament,” beginning on page 1120.
The Sixth Division—The Epistles of Paul: There are also five important reasons why Paul’s fourteen Epistles are placed after the General Epistles:1) The seven General Epistles contain only general teachings. 2) Christ called Paul last of all. 3) Though he first went to the scattered Jews in the Diaspora, Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. 4) Paul was from the least tribe of Israel—Benjamin. 5) Paul was the last apostle to be ordained. That Paul understood all of this is obvious: “He [Jesus] appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen asleep. Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage. For I am the least of the apostles, and am not fit even to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me has not been in vain; rather, I have labored more abundantly than all of them; however, it was not I, but the grace of God with me” (I Cor. 15:5-10).
Martin comments on Paul’s ancestry: “Though he was a Jew by religion [Judaism] and upbringing, Paul was a descendant of the Tribe of Benjamin. This may appear at first to be an insignificant distinction; but to first-century Jews, among whom genealogical matters were of utmost importance (I Timothy 1:4; Titus 3:9), it had a bearing on authority and prestige. The fact is, Benjamin was the last born of Jacob’s sons. There was no tribe in Israel on a lower rung of authority by reason of birth. Even in the list of the twelve tribes recorded in the Book of Revelation, Judah is placed first (Revelation 7:5) and Benjamin last (verse 8)” (Martin, Restoring the Original Bible, p. 353).
This follows a pattern that God has often used—wherein “the last shall be first.” Many major biblical characters were youngest sons—Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Ephraim, David, etc. Moses was younger than Aaron but greater in authority (Ibid., p. 353). Likewise, Paul—the last and the least of the apostles—was perhaps the hardest working and most productive of all, as evidenced by his fourteen Epistles and his extensive travels.
Interestingly, there are biblical numerics connected with Paul’s Epistles, showing the handiwork of God. Paul wrote fourteen Epistles—the number of deliverance and redemption; fourteen is seven (completion) doubled—picturing the twofold completeness of his Epistles. In addition, these are divided into three subsections (three also being a number of completion). The first is made up of nine (3 x 3) epistles written to seven churches—Rome, Corinth (twice), Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and twice to Thessalonica. The second is the general Epistle to the Hebrews, which was written for all the churches—Jews and Gentiles. The final subsection consists of four Pastoral Epistles—two to Timothy, one to Titus, and one to Philemon. The correct placement of Hebrews is important as it separates Paul’s congregational Epistles from his Pastoral Epistles.
Another vital consideration is that while the Gospel of Luke and the book of the Acts were written by Luke, his work was completed under Paul’s supervision. If these two books were added to Paul’s fourteen Epistles, it would mean that he was responsible for sixteen books—or nearly twothirds of the New Testament. Sixteen (8 + 8) represents love—and eight (new beginning) doubled signifies a double “new beginning” or a twofold “blessing of redemption.” This theme is reflected in the openings of seven of Paul’s Church Epistles and three of his Pastoral Epistles—pointing again to completion. Paul’s opening to the Church at Ephesus illustrates how he invokes the double blessing of God the Father and Jesus Christ: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ” (Eph. 1:1-3).
Finally, Paul quotes from the Old Testament 145 times: Romans, 60; I Corinthians, 16; II Corinthians, 9; Galatians, 10; Ephesians, 5; Philippians, 1; Hebrews, 43; and I Timothy, 1. If the 25 Old Testament quotes from Luke and the 35 from Acts are included, then Paul and Luke combined are responsible for 205 of the New Testament’s 326 quotes from the Old Testament.
The Seventh Division—The Book of Revelation: Unlike the other six divisions which have five or more books, the book of Revelation alone makes up the seventh and final division of the Scriptures. The apostle John wrote Revelation in unsophisticated Koiné (common) Greek. Its heavy use of symbolism, however, makes it the most difficult book of the Bible to understand. Built carefully upon the preceding divisions of the Bible, Revelation is the capstone and crowning glory of God’s Word. While most prophecies of the Bible only begin to foretell of God’s amazing master plan, Revelation completes the picture. It alone contains the keys that are essential to unlocking prophetic mysteries—such as those of the books of Daniel and Isaiah.
Perplexed by the visions he had been given, the prophet Daniel asked what they meant. But Daniel was told that the prophecies were closed—sealed until the time of the end: “And I heard, but I did not understand. Then said I, ‘O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand’ ” (Dan. 12:8-10).
From Daniel’s time to the present, the full meaning of his prophecies could not even begin to be understood until: 1) the book of Revelation itself was written; 2) the “time of the end” actually arrived; and 3) God began to reveal the true interpretation of these complex prophecies to his true servants—those who love Him, keep His commandments and have the testimony of Jesus. Only then would the matching keys of Revelation open the locked and sealed prophecies of the end time.
Revelation opens with John proclaiming Christ’s all-powerful, glorious return: “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” John then quotes Jesus, saying, ” ‘I am THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING.’ says the Lord, ‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty‘ ” (Rev. 1:7-8).
Jesus, when compared with key Scriptures from Isaiah, reveals that He is none other than the Lord God of the Old Testament, the Creator of heaven and earth—the God of Israel: “Who has planned and done it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST; I AM HE.’… ‘I AM THE FIRST, AND I AM THE LAST; and besides Me there is no God.’… ‘Hearken to me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I AM HE; I AM THE FIRST, I ALSO AM THE LAST‘ ” (Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12). In addition to these, Jesus used this same phrase—”I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST”—four times in Revelation for a total of seven times in the Bible.
A fundamental key to the mysteries of Revelation is that one must begin at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis. Then one must first come to have a working knowledge of the entire Bible. This is why Jesus’ opening proclamation of Revelation begins with “I AM … THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING …the Almighty.” It is utter folly to try to comprehend this book in isolation, when one knows very little about the rest of God’s Word.
The Biblical Numerics of Revelation: The biblical numerics embedded in this final, 49th book reveal the awesome truth that Jesus Christ will finish the work which He began in the Garden of Eden. Throughout the Bible, seven and three express completeness and perfection. Therefore, it is not surprising that these two numbers are used throughout Revelation. The number seven is used a total of 54 times. Most notably are the seven churches, stars, angels to the churches, spirits of God, golden lampstands, and lamps of fire; the Lamb has seven horns and seven eyes; there are seven seals, seven angels who blow seven trumpets, and seven thunders; seven thousand men are slain; the beast has seven heads and ten horns; there are seven crowns and kings; and there are seven angels with the seven last plagues in seven golden vials.
The second most used number in Revelation is three, also a number of completeness. Three is used 11 times and “third” is found 22 times, for a total of 33. The number 33 is the product of 3 times 11, which pictures judgment. Thus, Revelation illustrates God’s complete, final judgment of the world—accomplished in the final three-and-a-half-year period leading up to Christ’s return.
Found 21 times, the third most used number in Revelation is twelve, symbolizing governmental foundation. (Note that 21 is the product of 7 x 3—the numbers for completeness and perfection.) The most prominent use of twelve is in reference to the twelve tribes of Israel—where 12 x 12,000 equals 144,000 (see Rev. 7). The crown of the Bride of Christ has twelve stars.
The remaining eight uses of twelve describe the New Jerusalem. Since eight points to a “new beginning,” perhaps this combination of eight and twelve stands for the ultimate new government of the God Family—which will be administered for eternity from the New Jerusalem.
In this astounding yet mysterious book, Jesus reveals that all the prophecies in the Bible concerning the end of the age will ultimately dovetail—climaxing in God’s judgment against a rebellious, deceived mankind led by the Beast, the False Prophet, and Satan the devil and his demons. Once the final wrath of God is poured out through the awesome seven last plagues, Jesus Christ and all the resurrected saints—from Abel to the “two witnesses”—will descend from the “sea of glass” in the clouds over Jerusalem for the final, victorious battle of the age. The last armies of men will be destroyed, and the Beast and the False Prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. Christ will then have an angel bind Satan and the demons, locking them in the abyss.
Jesus Christ and the saints will establish the Kingdom of God on earth and rule for a thousand years. After Christ’s final judgment, a new heaven and a new earth will be established. All those who are in the first resurrection will dwell in the New Jerusalem and the nations that are saved will dwell on the new earth. Thus, God’s revealed Word, from Genesis to Revelation, will be completed. John writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men [made perfect as spirit beings]; and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be any more death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away.’
“And He Who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new [God’s plan for the rest of eternity].’ Then He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts, I will give freely of the fountain of the water of life. The one who overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son’ ” (Rev. 21:1-7).
Copyright © 2020 A Faithful Version. All Rights Reserved