The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 31
Part of the meaning of the number 31 comes from one of the Hebrew names for God. Gematria is a way of interpreting Scripture by substituting the letters of a Hebrew (or Greek) word by their equivalent numeric values and arriving at a total. One reference to God is El (see Deuteronomy 32:15, 17, Job 3:4, etc. in Hebrew), which is composed of the Hebrew letters Lamed and Aleph. Their numeric values are 30 and 1, respectively, for 31 total.
One of the most commonly occurring names in God's word is Moses. It appears in 31 King James translation books.
One of most frequently mentioned women in Scripture is Rebekah, the wife of the patriarch Isaac. Her name is recorded thirty-one times.
Appearances of the number thirty-one
In the King James Bible, the first chapter of Genesis, Jeremiah 4 and 5, as well as 1Chronicles 24 and 25, have 31 verses. There are forty-two chapters in Scripture that have this number of verses.
The books of Proverbs and 1Samuel number 31 chapters in the KJV.
Josiah (2Kings 22:1), considered one of the best kings of Judah after Israel split into two nations, began his reign at the age of eight and ruled for thirty-one years (from 640 to 609 B.C.).
The thirty-first patriarch in Jesus' lineage is Obed, the father of Jesse. Jesse would ultimately become the father of King David in 1040 B.C.
Josiah was 31 years old when his son Zedekiah was born (1Chronicles 3:15). Zedekiah would assume the throne over the Kingdom of Judah in 597 at the age of 21 (2Kings 24:18). He is important to Biblical history as he is the last human to rule over either Israel or Judah. His rule ended in 586 when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and burned the temple.
Number 31 and the Promised Land
Moses, before his death, aided the Israelites in conquering two kings east of the Jordan (Joshua 12:1 - 6). They were Amorite King Sihon and Og, king of Bashan. Og was especially noteworthy as he was the last of the Rephaim (giants). Scripture states his bed was 13 1/2 feet long (4.1 meters) by 6 feet (1.8 meters) wide (Deuteronomy 3:11)!
The children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, conquered 31 kings west of the Jordan River. These kings were defeated, and land confiscated, toward the goal of fully possessing the Land of Promise (Joshua 12:24).
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 31
Surprisingly, there are no months in the Hebrew calendar that contain 31 days! Five of them always have twenty-nine days, two can have twenty-nine or thirty, and the rest always contain thirty. Compare this to our Gregorian-based calendar that always has seven months with thirty-one days.
Proverbs 31 is famous for being the "virtuous wife" chapter. It reveals the character traits and behaviors of a married woman who not only pleases God, but also blesses her family and is an asset to her neighbors. The chapter, written by a mother for her son Lemuel, is the only one penned by a female in the entire book!
In 31 A.D., the first year after Jesus' death and resurrection, the gospel is being preached in Jerusalem. The apostles, in this year, also begin the long task of compiling his teachings so that a record of what he said and did could be written down (Acts 5 and 6).
The book of Luke contains references to thirty-one Old Testament books, the second highest in the New Testament.