The numbers found in the Bible reflect the very mind of God and show that its arrangement is in a divinely ordered and purposeful manner. Upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that patterns are interwoven into the very fabric of the Word of God. The Eternal wants us to discover the patterns he created for ourselves (Proverbs 25:2). The searching out of these "secrets" is both a royal and honorable work (Psalm 111:2 - 3).
The divine hand of God, manifested through numbers, is sometimes obscured in Scripture because of man. For example, almost all modern Biblical translations list 39 books in the Old Testament. The originally inspired count of books, however, finalized (canonized) by Ezra the prophet is 22. Twenty-two corresponds to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet that are used to create the Old Testament's words.
God's word is called a lamp (Psalms 119:105, Proverbs 6:22) and is the light by which we are to live. The word light occurs 264 times in the King James Version translation. When twelve (symbolizing divine authority) is divided into 264, we come up with 22, meaning God's inspired word is the light of Israel and the world. Scripture, as a whole, was originally divided into seven (7) major divisions. The total books in the original compilation were forty-nine (49), or 7 times 7. Seven is the only one of many numbers found in God's word that symbolizes spiritual perfection.
Writers of the Word
There are twenty-eight writers of the Old Testament (Amos, Daniel, David, Davidic priests, Esther, Ezekiel, Ezra, Habakkuk, Haggai, Hezekiah, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, Joel, Jonah, Joshua, Malachi, Micah, Mordecai, Moses, Nahum, Nehemiah, Obadiah, Ruth, Samuel, Solomon, Zechariah, Zephaniah), which is 4 times 7.
There are eight writers of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Jude, Paul). This represents 2 times 2 times 2 (or 2 to the third power). Together, we have 36 writers (6 times 6). Of the 21 Epistles of the New Testament, 14 (Romans, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, Hebrews,1Timothy, 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon), which is 2 times 7, are by the apostle Paul. Four other writers have written the seven other epistles.
There are four numbers deemed perfect. They are three (symbolizing divine perfection), seven (symbolizing spiritual perfection), ten (symbolizing numeric perfection), and twelve (representing a perfection of government). The product of these forms a chronological perfection, 3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2,520. This total represents both the times of Israel's punishment and the Gentile dominion over Jerusalem.
The divisions of Genesis
Genesis is divisible into 12 sections. The number twelve represents divine authority and appointment, as well as completeness. These divisions are the introduction (chapter 1), the Heavens and the Earth (2:4 - 4:26), Adam (5:1 - 6:8), Noah (6:9 - 9:29), the sons of Noah (10:1 - 11:9), Shem (11:10 - 26), Terah and Abraham (11:27 - 25:11) and Ishmael (25:12 - 18). The last four sections in Genesis center around Isaac (25:19 - 35:29), Esau (36:1 - 8), Esau's posterity (36:9 - 37:1) and Jacob (37:2 - 50:26).
Names of the Apostles
The names of the Apostles conform to God's consistent use of numbers in His word. Peter occurs 245 times (7 x 7 x 5), Simon (used of Peter) occurs 50 times (5 x 5 x 2), James (known as James the Greater) occurs 21 times (3 x 7), James (known as James the Less) occurs 21 times (3 x 7) and John occurs 49 times (7 x 7). Additionally, Simon Zelotes occurs 4 times (2 x 2) , Matthew occurs 8 times (2 x 2 x 2), Philip occurs 16 times (4 x 4), Paul (Apostle) occurs 160 times (4 x 4 x 10) and Saul (Paul's name before conversion) occurs 25 times (5 x 5).
Lists of the apostles
There are four lists in the Word of the Apostles' names (Matthew 10:2 - 4, Mark 3:16 - 19, Luke 6:14 - 16, Acts 1:13). Three of these occur in the Gospel accounts and one occurs in Acts. The first name in each grouping is the same. In addition, although the order of names in each group varies, the names composing a group remain the same.
Regarding how numbers found in the Bible relate in the four lists, it should be noted that four of the apostles (Peter, Philip, James and Judas Iscariot) hold the same numeric place in each list, with Judas Iscariot always being listed last. Additionally, each group lists at least one of the writers of the New Testament. The first group lists Peter and John, the second lists Matthew and the third list James and Jude.