Meaning of Numbers
in the Bible
The Number 18
The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 18 *
The significance of the number eighteen comes from its symbolic meaning for bondage. The children of Israel were in bondage twice to their enemies for 18 years.
"And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord . . . So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years." (Judges 3:12, 14, NKJV throughout)
"So the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the people of Ammon. From that year they harassed and oppressed the children of Israel for eighteen years - all the children of Israel who were on the other side of the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, in Gilead." (Judges 10:7-8)
Jesus healed a woman whom Satan had bound for 18 years.
"Now He (Jesus) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, 'Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.' And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." (Luke 13:10-13)
Stephen spoke of Israel’s enslavement by the Egyptians as bondage.
"But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years. 'And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.' " (Acts 7:6-7)
The number eighteen and slavery
This particular bondage is mentioned 18 times in Scripture. The 10th time is in Exodus 20, in the context of the first commandment. After the word "bondage" God commands the children of Israel NOT to worship other gods:
"'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.'" (Exodus 20:2-3)
The Israelites Leaving Egypt
Serving other gods places people into spiritual bondage under Satan and his demons, which God punishes with physical bondage:
"So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua . . . When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.
"Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.
"And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies." (Judges 2:7, 10-12, 14)