The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 22
The number twenty-two, being the double of eleven, has the significance of that number in an intensified form, — disorganization and disintegration, especially in connection with the Word of God.
The number twenty two is associated with the worst of Israel's kings: Jeroboam (1Kings 14:20), and Ahab (1Kings 16:29), each reigning 22 years.
Eleven, we have seen, derives its importance by being an addition to Divine order (10), and a subtraction from Divine rule (12). These are two of the three ways in which the written Word of God can be corrupted — the third being alteration. "The words of the LORD are pure words" — words pertaining to this world and therefore requiring to be purified (see number 7). But these words have been altered, taken from, and added to by man. Is there anything in this which connects it with the fact that the letters of the alphabet (Hebrew) are twenty-two in number? Does it point to the fact that the revelation of God in being committed to human language and to man's keeping would thereby be subject to disintegration and corruption?
The number twenty-two and the death of Jesus
Jesus quoted from Psalm 22, written by King David, when he cried from the cross:
"Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?' that is, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' " (Matthew 27:45-46)
Those near the cross who heard Jesus cry out mistakenly thought he was asking Elijah for help (Matthew 27:47-49, Mark 15:35-36). The verses Jesus was quoting came from the first few verses of Psalm 22:
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent." (Psalm 22:1-2)