The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 26
The Hebrew word adam is translated, in the KJV Bible, as both "man" (meaning humans in general, see verse 26 of Genesis 1) and the proper name of the first human (Adam, see 2:19). This original language word is spelled using the first, fourth and thirteenth letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the Gematria values of which add up to the number 45. The word translated as Eve, spelled with the eighth, sixth and fifth letters, have a combined value of 19.
Scripture states that God made Eve from a rib He took (subtracted from) Adam (Genesis 2:21 - 23). If we subtract the value of Eve's name (19) from Adam's (45), we get 26 (The Universal History of Numbers, figure 20.25).
Verse 26 of Genesis 1 is also noteworthy as it is the first time the Godhead's intention to create beings patterned after themselves is revealed. The verse states, "And God said, 'Let Us make man (adam) in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven . . .'"
Adam represents the first generation of humans living on the earth. Generation twenty-six is represented by Moses, who through the power of God led the children of Israel out of Egypt (Genesis 6:16, 18, 20).
Appearances of the number twenty-six
The Hebrew consonants י (Yod), ה (He), ו (Vav) and ה (He) spell YHWH. This special word, used in the manuscripts of the Old Testament, is known as the Tetragrammaton (shown here left to right, as Hebrew is written right to left). The Gematria values of the letters (10, 5, 6, 5), when added together, equal 26 (ibid. figure 20.23).
One reason YHWH is important is that it reveals the eternal nature of God's existence. It does so because the letters of the word encapsulate the three tenses of the Hebrew verb "to be." These tenses are "He was," "He is" and "He shall be" (ibid. page 254).
The righteous survivor and number 26
Shem, who was 98 years old when he and his two brothers entered Noah's Ark, lived a righteous life. God selected him, and not Japheth his older brother, or Ham, who was younger, to be in Jesus' physical lineage (Luke 3:36).
Genesis 10 is known as the Table of Nations chapter, as it delineates some of the descendants of Noah's sons. It lists, for example, three generations of patriarchs that sprang from Ham (Genesis 10:6 - 8, 13 - 18). Japheth has two generations recorded (verses 2 - 4). Shem, however, has five generations listed which produced 26 patriarchal names in the chapter (verses 21 - 29).
Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 26
The word "God," if we use simple Gematria values for the letters of the English alphabet (A = 1, B = 2, etc.) adds to the number 26. Names such as Leah, Jacob's wife who produced six of his sons, and Obed, the grandfather of King David, also equal twenty-six using this method.
John the Baptist, in 26 A.D., begins his ministry early in the year. He baptizes, in the fall of the same year, Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord's ministry begins a few days after this momentous event! Christ, before the end of the year, chooses at least five of his apostles (and possibly more in number). They are John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael (John 1).