Meaning of Numbers
in the Bible
The Number 9
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The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 9
Used 49 times in Scripture, the number 9 symbolizes divine completeness or conveys the meaning of finality. Christ died at the 9th hour of the day, or 3 p.m., to make the way of salvation open to everyone. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the only one of God's annual Feast days of worship that requires believers to fast for one day. This special day, considered by many Jews to be the holiest of the year, begins at sunset on the 9th day of the seventh Hebrew month (Leviticus 23:32).
Nine also represents the fruits of God's Holy Spirit, which are Faithfulness, Gentleness, Goodness, Joy, Kindness, Long suffering, Love, Peace and Self-control (Galatians 5:22 - 23).
Appearances of the number nine
Hoshea, who was Israel's last king before the kingdom fell to the Assyrians in 723 B.C., reigned for just 9 years (732 to 723 B.C.).
The total destruction of Jerusalem's temple began, on the Hebrew Calendar, on Ab 9. It was also on this day that the second (also known as Herod's) temple was burned to the ground by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The first battle mentioned in God's word is between a confederation of 4 kings against another which has 5 kings for a total of nine (Genesis 14:1 - 2).
In was at the 9th hour of the day that a Roman Centurion named Cornelius was told, in a vision, to contact the apostle Peter. Cornelius would eventually be baptized and receive God's spirit, becoming the first recorded Gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10).
How is the number 9 related to Old Testament Sorcery?
In the Old Testament there are at least nine groups or individuals who practiced sorcery. Although modern culture and entertainment tends to paint those who practice such 'arts' in a benign or even positive light (e.g. stories and movies directed at children), the motives of Old Testament sorcerers was evil to the core.
God promised to punish the Egyptians and to destroy the counsels of their charmers, conjurers, magicians and those who cast spells (Isaiah 19:3,11 - 12)
Egypt's Pharaoh called upon his sorcerers and magicians to confront the miracles God was doing through Moses and Aaron (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7,18)
Balak employs the services of Balaam, who is a well-known soothsayer, to curse the newly freed Israelites (Numbers 22, 23)
Jezebel, the wife of Israel's evil King Ahab, used witchcraft and the evil arts to get her way (2Kings 9:22)
God promised to punish Nineveh for enticing a number of their neighbors like a "mistress of witchcrafts" to indulge in idolatrous practices (Nahum 3)
The Babylonians were well-known for using the services of magicians, astrologers and sorcerers (Isaiah 47:9 - 13, Daniel 2:2,10, 27)
Belshazzar called upon his astrologers and wise men to interpret the "handwriting on the wall" done by the finger of God (Daniel 5:7,15)
God warns his people not to be troubled by "the signs of heaven" as the pagans are with their astrologers (Jeremiah 10:2, Micah 3:6 - 7)
- False prophets use divination to deceive others into thinking that they are speaking for God (Jeremiah 14:14, 27:9, Ezekiel 13:6 - 9)
Additional information on the Biblical Meaning of 9
There are nine people recorded as having leprosy (Moses, Miriam, Naaman, Gehazi, King Azariah and the four lepers of Samaria found in 2Kings 7:3.
The act of executing a criminal through stoning is believed to have originated with the ancient Hebrews. The actual witnesses of the crime were required to cast the first stone at the law-breaker (John 8:7). The nine people recorded as being stoned are a Sabbath-breaker (Numbers 15:36), a blasphemer (Leviticus 24:14), Abimelech (Judges 9:53), Achan (Joshua 7:25), Zechariah (2Chronicles 24:21), Adoram (1Kings 12:18), Naboth (1Kings 21:10), Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7) and the apostle Paul (Acts 14:19).