Meaning of Numbers: The Number 20
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, for 20 years, waited to get possession of his wives and property, and to be freed from the control of Laban his father-in-law (Genesis 31:38 - 41). 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, the Levities who were 20 years old or older were eligible to do "the work for the service of the house of the Lord" (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).
God promised Abraham that if he found only twenty righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, he would not destroy both of these sinful cities (Genesis 18:31).
Samson was a Judge over Israel for twenty years (Judges 16:31).
The book of Hebrews uses over 20 different names and titles for Jesus Christ.