Meaning of Numbers: The Number 103
The possible meaning of the number 103 in the Bible is derived from the Psalms and the occurrence of certain words in Scripture's original languages.
The year 103 A.D. contains a part of a Biblical Sabbatical year that is declared every seven years. This Sabbatical period began on Thursday, September 1 in 102 A.D. (Tishri 1 on the Hebrew Calendar). It ended on Thursday, September 21 in 103.
In 103 B.C. Alexander Jannaeus, one of the sons of former High Priest and Ethnarch over Judea John Hyrcanus I, became King of Judea and also served as High Priest. A unique tradition took place each day of the Feast of Tabernacles and on the Last Great Day called the water pouring (libation) ceremony. While it is unclear when the tradition was adopted what is known is that this practice existed when Alexander Jannaeus came into power.
Appearances of Number One Hundred Three
The Hebrew bamah, Strong's #H116, is found 103 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. It is written the most in 2Kings (27 times) followed by 2Chronicles (17). The word refers to something that is elevated or high such as a battlefield, ridge or mountain. In the King James, it is frequently translated as "high places" which many times were elevations of land used either to worship the true God or false deities.
And I (God) will destroy your (Israel's) high places (bamah), and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you (Leviticus 26:30, KJV).
Anna, a prophetess, was of the Israelite tribe of Asher. Scripture states she had lived 7 years with her husband then spent the next 84 years as a widow serving at Jerusalem's temple.
Now there was Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving day and night with fastings and supplications (Luke 2:36 - 37, HBFV).
If she married at age 12, the earliest a woman could wed at the time, she was at least 103 years old (12 + 7 + 84 = 103) when she was allowed to witness baby Jesus being presented before God (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary).
The Psalms and Number 103
Psalm 103 is an amazing song that offers several encouraging passages that those who follow and obey God should remember their entire lives.
Verses 2 through 5 of Psalm 103 offers the precious promises that God will forgive us, heal us of our diseases, redeem us from our destructive way of life and bless us with the good things He can only give.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your desires with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle's (verses 2 to 5 of Psalm 103, HBFV).
Verses 10 through 12 contain the incredibly comforting passage affirming the Lord's mercy and willingness to forget all our sins.
He (God) does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Verses 10 to 12 of Psalm 103, NLT).
Verses 14 to 17 of Psalm 103 affirms both the eternal mercy and love of God and the shortness of man's life on earth.
He (God) remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes, for the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and its place shall know it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him . . . (verses 14 - 17 of Psalm 103, HBFV).
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 103
The phrase "Bless the Lord, O my soul" is only found in the King James Bible translation of Psalm 103 and 104.
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits . . . Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul (Psalm 103:1 - 2, 22, KJV).
The Greek exousia, Strong's #G1849, is recorded 103 times in the Greek New Testament. It is found the most in Revelation (21 times) then the book of Luke (16). The word means influence, authority, power or the ability to freely act as one chooses. Jesus used this word to reveal he freely chose to die for humans and retained the right to reclaim his life.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power (exousia) to lay it down, and I have power (exousia) to take it again . . . (John 10:17 - 18, KJV).
Number 103 is the 27th prime. The prime numbers that come immediately before it are 89, 97 and 101, and those immediately after it include 109, 109 and 113.
The Hebrew word paqad (Strong's #H6485) occurs 303 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. It is recorded the most in the book of Numbers (103 times) followed by Jeremiah (49). The word means to visit someone (or a group) with either a friendly or hostile intent, or it can reference someone with responsibility or power over someone.