Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Number 12
The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 12
Twelve can be found in 187 places in God's word. Revelation alone has 22 occurrences of the number. The meaning of 12, which is considered a perfect number, is that it symbolizes God's power and authority, as well as serving as a perfect governmental foundation. It can also symbolize completeness or the nation of Israel as a whole. For example, Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, each of which represented a tribe begun by a prince, for 12 princes total. Ishmael, who was born to Abraham through Hagar, also had twelve princes.
God specified that twelve unleavened cakes of bread be placed every week in the temple with frankincense next to each of the two piles that were to be made. The priests were commanded to change the bread every Sabbath day (Leviticus 24).
Christ called and choose twelve men to bear witness to what he did and to spread the good news of the gospel to the entire world. After he was raised from the dead, Jesus told the eleven disciples (Judas had killed himself) that God had given him ALL power and authority in both earth and heaven (God's divine authority - Matthew 28:18).
Twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel (144,000 total) will receive salvation during the end time's Great Tribulation (Revelation 7). Another set of 144,000 (12 x 12,000) will be taken from earth in order to serve and follow the Lamb of God (Revelation 14:1 - 5). Christ's bride in Revelation 12, the church, wears a crown containing twelve stars.
New Jerusalem, which is made in heaven and brought to the earth by God himself, contains 12 gates made of pearl which are each manned by an angel. Over each gate will be one of the names of Israel's twelve tribes. The walls are 144 cubits high (12 multiplied by itself - Revelation 21:16 - 17), with the city itself being 12,000 furlongs square.
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