Meaning of Numbers: The Number 18
The significance of the number 18 in the Bible comes from its symbolic meaning for bondage. After taking possession of the Promised Land, the children of Israel were in bondage to several nations and peoples before Saul was made king. Two of their enemies, Eglon the Moabite king and the Philistines (with the help of the people of Ammon) oppressed them for 18 years (Judges 3:12, 14, 10:7 - 8).
Bondage can also be spiritual in nature. Jesus healed many demonically possessed or influenced people during his ministry. On one particular Sabbath, while teaching in a Synagogue, Jesus healed a woman that had a "spirit of infirmity" that had bent her over for 18 years!
And lo, there was a woman who had been afflicted with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and she was bent over and unable to straighten herself up. And when He saw her, Jesus called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you have been loosed from your infirmity." (Luke 13:11 - 12, HBFV).
Jesus used the number 18 to teach that time and chance happen to all men without regard for whether others considered them "righteous" or "sinners."
Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you suppose that these were debtors (sinners) above all men who dwelt in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but if you do not repent, you shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4 - 5, HBFV).
Appearances of Number Eighteen
Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land after the death of Moses. Seven years later, in 1398 B.C., he completes the dividing of Canaan among the Israelites. For the next 18 years, until his death at the age of 110, he serves as Israel's first Judge.
In the period preceding Israel's first human king (1398 to 1050 B.C.), a total number of 18 people served as Judges. They were Joshua, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Barak, Eli, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jephthah, Samson, Samuel, Ibzan, Jair, Elon, Abdon and Samuel's two sons Joel and Abiah.
Of the top ten New Testament books that contain the most material from the Old Testament, the book of 1Corinthians has content from 18 books.
The most quoted or referenced Old Testament passage found in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1. It is referenced no less than eighteen times (Matthew 22:44, 26:64; Mark 12:36, 14:62, 16:19; Luke 20:42 - 43, 22:69; Acts 2:34 - 35; Romans 8:34; 1Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1 and Hebrews 1:3,13, 8:1,10:12 - 13,12:2).
A cubit, a unit of length found in the Old Testament, was the distance of a man's arm from the point of the elbow to the end of his middle finger. A cubit is roughly equivalent to about 18 inches (45.7 centimeters).
Two of the longest names in the Bible are composed of 18 letters. They are Jonathelemrechokim (in the title of Psalm 56) and Mahershalalhashbaz (the name of Isaiah's son in Isaiah 8:1, which, when translated, means 'swift is booty, speedy is prey').
The Number 18 and Bondage
This particular type of bondage is mentioned 18 times in Scripture. Its mention in Exodus 20, the chapter that first delineates God's Ten Commandments, is in the context of the first commandment. After the word "bondage," God commands the children of Israel not to worship other gods (Exodus 20:2 - 3).
Serving other gods places people into spiritual bondage under Satan and his demons, which God punishes with physical bondage (see Judges 2:7, 10 - 12, 14) in order for people to reconsider their ways and repent.
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 18
18 is the product of 2 x 3 x 3 (or 3 squared). Both 2 and 3 are prime numbers.
The word "eighteen" appears 22 times in the King James translation. Luke's gospel is the only New Testament writing that uses the word (Luke 13:4, 11, 16).
In the Old Testament, the Biblical chapters of Genesis 13, 20, Exodus 24, 31, Numbers 25, Deuteronomy 13, Joshua 1, 17, Judges 10, Ruth 3, 2Samuel 8, 1Kings 5, 2Kings 1, 1Chronicles 18, 19, 2Chronicles 2, 8, Nehemiah 8, Psalm 10, 83, 88, 115, 132, Proverbs 9, Ecclesiastes 1, 9, Isaiah 23, Jeremiah 20, 39, 41, Ezekiel 8, 31, Zephaniah 1 and Malachi 3 contain 18 verses in the King James translation.
In the New Testament, the chapters 2Corinthians 3, 4, 6, 10, Galatians 6, Colossians 4, 1Thessalonians 4, 2Thessalonians 3, 2Timothy 1, Hebrews 2, James 3, 2Peter 3, Revelation 13 and 17 have 18 verses in the KJV.
The eighteenth verse of Matthew 4, Mark 3 and Acts 21 references three different men named James! Matthew 4 mentions James (the Greater) who is the brother of Apostle John. He became the first of the apostles to suffer martyrdom (Acts 12). Mark 3 mentions the apostle James (the Less), brother of apostles Judas (Lebbaeus) and Simon the Zealot. Acts 21 records that James was the name of one of Jesus' half-brothers. He would eventually become a leader in the church at Jerusalem.
Verse 18 of Leviticus 19 commands God's people not to take revenge but rather to love their neighbor as themselves (a version of the Golden Rule). It is referenced in Mark 12:31, 33, Matthew 5:43, 19:18 - 19, 22:38 - 39 and Luke 10:27.