Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Number 20

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Biblical Meaning of Numbers
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Meaning of Numbers: The Number 20

The English word "twenty" for the number 20 appears 294 times in 262 King James Bible verses. 282 of these occurrences appear in the Old Testament while 12 of them appear in the New.

The Old Testament writings that use "twenty" the most are the books of 2Chronicles and Ezekiel (35 times each) followed by Numbers (31). The book of Revelation uses the word the most (7 times) in the New Testament.

The number 20, which is one more than nineteen, is twice ten. It can convey a meaning of a complete or perfect waiting period.

Jacob works for a relative named Laban for 14 years in order to have the right to marry his daughter Rachel whom he dearly loved. He then works another six years for Laban in order to build up his wealth. God then commands the patriarch, after working 20 years total for his relative, to leave and travel back to the land of Canaan.

And the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers, and to your kindred, and I will be with you." (Genesis 31:3, HBFV).

The children of Israel, for 20 years, waited to be freed of Jabin, king of Canaan, who oppressed them. God response was to raise up Deborah and Barak, who freed the people from bondage (Judges 4 - 5).

The Philistines, in the days of Samuel the prophet, battled and overcame Israel, taking the Ark of the Covenant back to their land. The Ark brought such calamities on the Philistines that after seven months they gave it back to the Israelites. It ended up in the city of Kirjath-jearim that is several miles west of Jerusalem. Israel had to wait at least twenty years (1Samuel 5 - 7) before the Ark would be moved again.

Appearances of the Number Twenty

Surprisingly, both the Kingdom of Israel (northern ten tribes) and the Kingdom of Judah had 20 rulers before each was conquered and taken out of the land! Israel's kings, after the united kingdom split in 930 B.C., started with Jeroboam I and ended with Hoshea in 723. Judah's line of rulers started with Solomon's son Rehoboam and ended with Zedekiah in 586 B.C.

Of the twenty sovereigns over the Kingdom of Judah, 19 were men and one, Athaliah, was a woman.

Judah's King Ahaz ruled over God's people for twenty years, from 735 to 715 B.C. He is generally considered one of the wicked sovereigns over the Kingdom of Judah.

In the Old Testament, the Biblical chapters of Genesis 12, 23, 33, Leviticus 10, Deuteronomy 8, 17, 20, 30, Judges 14, 15, 2Kings 7, 16, 22, 24, 2Chronicles 21, Nehemiah 2, Job 11, Psalm 9, 49, 66, 72, 77, 147, Ecclesiastes 5, 10, Isaiah 32, Ezekiel 42, Joel 1, Micah 7, Habakkuk 2 and Zephaniah 3 contain 20 verses in the King James Bible.

In the New Testament, the chapters Matthew 28, Mark 16, 1Corinthians 6, 1Thessalonians 2, 1Timothy 1, Hebrews 6, James 5, Revelation 1 and 14 have 20 verses in the KJV.

Solomon's Worthless Gift

Solomon spent seven years building the house of God in Jerusalem and another 13 building his own home for a total number of 20 years.

After Solomon built the temple and his home, he wanted to thank Hiram, King of Tyre, for not only supplying the raw materials for his projects but also for allowing him to use his skilled craftsmen. He showed his appreciation to Hiram by giving him 20 cities in the land of Galilee (1Kings 9:10 - 11). Hiram, however, was displeased at the gift to say the least.

And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him. And they did not please him. Therefore he said, "What cities are these which you have given me, my brother?" (1Kings 9:12 - 13, HBFV).

Hiram thought the cities were good for nothing and ultimately returned them to Solomon (2Chronicles 8:2).

Number 20 and Sleep

The Scriptures record at least 20 separate messages conveyed while a person is sleeping. God, through a dream, warned Abimelech not to go near Abraham's wife (verse 3 of Genesis 20). Jacob dreams of a ladder to heaven (28:12) and is told in a second one to leave his employer (31:10).

Jacob's employer Laban is warned, in a dream, to leave the patriarch alone (Genesis 31:24). Joseph dreamt his brothers bowed before him (Genesis 37:5) then dreamt his parents would do the same (verse 9). A butler and a baker, in an Egyptian prison, dream what their fates will be (Genesis 40).

The Egyptian Pharaoh is informed two different times, while he is sleeping, about the country's food stores over the next fourteen years (Genesis 41). A person in the Midianite army dreams of Gideon conquered his people (Judges 7).

King Solomon, while sleeping, is offered by God anything he wants (1Kings 3:5). Babylon's king has it revealed to him all the world empires to exist until Christ's return (Daniel 2:3) and his punishment for being so vain (Daniel 4). Daniel is also told while he sleeps about four great world empires (Daniel 7).

Only five dreams are mentioned in the New Testament. Three of them occur to Joseph, Jesus' stepfather, regarding the birth of Christ and protecting the young child from Herod the Great's wrath. The Parthian Magi are informed by a dream to not visit Herod on their travel home (Matthew 2:12) and Pilate's wife receives a troubling dream warning that her husband should not do anything to harm Jesus (Matthew 27:19).

More Info on Biblical Meaning of 20

The number 20 is the product of two consecutive positive integers 4 and 5. It is also the product of 2 x 2 (or 2 squared) x 5. Both 2 and 5 are primes.

In Gematria, the number 20 is represented by the 11th Hebrew letter called Kof. In the Greek alphabet it is represented by the letter Kappa.

At the time of King David, only those Levities who were 20 years old or older were eligible to do God's work.

These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward (1Chronicles 23:24, KJV).

Exodus 20 delineates God giving the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel. This chapter in the Bible is reference twice by the Gospel of Mark (Mark 7:10 and 10:19), six times by Matthew (Matthew 5:21, 27, 33, 15:4, 19:18 - 19, 22:39) and once by Luke (Luke 18:20).

Abraham was able to negoiate with God (Jesus Christ in the flesh) that if twenty righteous people were found in Sodom and Gomorrah the cities would be spared destruction.

And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake (Genesis 18:31, KJV).

The Greek word Isaak, Strong's Concordance #G2464, appears 20 times in 18 New Testament Greek verses. It is translated as the name "Isaac" in the King James. Isaac, the only son of Abraham and Sarah, was the "son of promise" who was born after God healed Sarah. Jesus stated that he, along with father Abraham and son Jacob, would be in God's kingdom.

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac (Issak), and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8:11, KJV).

Samson was the twelfth Judge over ancient Israel. Scripture states that he served for 20 years.

Then his (Samson's) brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years (Judges 16:31).

The book of Hebrews uses over 20 different names and titles for Jesus Christ.

Recommended Articles
When Did Solomon Build the Temple?
Where Was Sodom and Gomorrah Located?
What Do Dreams Mean in Scripture?
Learn About the Life of Gideon!
List of the Judges of Ancient Israel!
Who Made the Ark of the Covenant?
Who, in Scripture, Has Seen Visions?
List of Greatest Old Testament Events!

Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Mysterious Numbers of the Jubilee Year!
Mysterious Numbers of Biblical Calendar
Numbers of Israel's Kings   -   Lucky 13!
Infinity   -   Zero
One Tenth   -   One Third   -   One Half
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Prophecy Numbers   -   Numerology
Creation's Numerics   -   Further Study

Series References
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural
Design and Spiritual Significance

Some information on the
meaning of the number 20 derived from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)