The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 44
Part of the meaning of the number 44 comes from Jesus' earthly ministry. The Lord was crucified and killed on Wednesday, April 5 in 30 A.D. He appears, after being resurrected, eight times to different sets of people. His ninth and last appearance in the flesh takes place on Thursday, May 18. On this day he gives his final instructions to his disciples and then ascends to God's right hand (Acts 1:4 - 12). The period between his crucifixion and his ascension is 44 days.
Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, rules over Galilee and Perea as Roman tetrarch starting in 39 A.D. Two years later, he is declared king of Judea. In 44 he decides to have James, one of the original twelve disciples and brother of the Apostle John, put to death (Acts 12:1 - 2). James is the first apostle, called personally by Christ, to die for the faith.
Herod, witnessing how much it pleased the Jews to persecute Christians, arrests Peter. An angel, however, miraculously frees Peter from prison. Later in 44, Herod gives a speech to ambassadors from Tyre and Sidon. His oration is lauded, with the crowd shouting that he spoke like God. Failing to reject the praise and give the true God glory, Herod is killed by the angel of the Lord who allows him to be eaten by worms and perish (Acts 12:20 - 23).
Appearances of the number forty-four
Some words, in the original language text of the KJV translation, appear exactly forty-four times. These include the Hebrew words okel (Strong's #H400), which is usually translated as "food" or "eating" (Genesis 41:35 - 36) and chalab (#H2461) which is translated as "milk" (Genesis 18:8). The Greek dioko (#G1377), translated as "persecute" or variation, is also found forty-four times (Matthew 5:10 - 12) as is Ioudaia (#G2449) for Judea. Judea is the most frequently referenced Roman province in the New Testament (Matthew 2:1, 5).
The forty-fourth book in most modern translations is the book of Acts. The book is unique in that it was written in pieces. Luke, "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14), wrote chapters 1 to 13 from 58 to 60 A.D. He finished the remaining chapters of Acts in early 63 A.D. prior to the Apostle Paul's acquittal and release from a Roman prison (HBFV, second edition, Chronology V). Another interesting fact is that Luke never mentions his own name in Acts!
Isaiah 44 begins an interesting stretch of Scriptural text. Starting in verse 6 and running until 45:22, the Lord proclaims eight times that he alone is God (verses 6, 8, 45:5 - 6, 14, 18, 21 - 22).
Verse 44 of John 6 reveals that a person must be drawn to faith in Jesus by God the Father. Once they are drawn they have the opportunity of becoming a true Christian and, upon being faithful until death, be resurrected from the dead at Jesus' Second Coming.
Verse 44 of Daniel 2 makes the glorious announcement that God's Kingdom will come to the earth after mankind's final attempt to rule himself fails miserably. It will subdue all the human-based kingdoms that came before it. It will be governed by Jesus Christ who will righteously rule with the aid of resurrected saints. This kingdom, unlike all those that came before it on earth, will last forever.
Evangelism and the number 44
The year 44 A.D. is one of the most eventful years in the early New Testament church's history. Other than what is mentioned above, it is the year Paul and Barnabas deliver much needed relief to those in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. The relief is needed as a three year famine, predicted by the prophet Agabus, has come upon the land (Acts 11:27 - 30).
Paul and Barnabas, after arriving back at their base in Syrian Antioch, are ordained as apostles by the local church (Acts 13:1 - 3). They then, in late spring, embark on an evangelistic tour that will become the first of Paul's five missionary journeys he will carry out during his ministry (Acts 13:4 - 52, 14:1 - 25). This journey will take the men roughly two and one half years to complete.
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 44
Jesse, the name of King David's father, is recorded in 44 verses for 47 times total in the KJV Bible. In the New Testament, he is mentioned in Matthew 1:5 - 6, Luke 3:32, Acts 13:22 and Romans 15:12.
Jesse produced a total number of seven sons (David was the youngest) and two daughters (1Samuel 17:12 - 13, 1Chronicles 2:13 - 16). His name is referenced in prophecies that predict the Messiah would come someday and ultimately rule over the world (Isaiah 11:1, 10, Romans 15:12).
Both King Jehoram and King Jotham of Judah died at the age of 44. Jehoram assumed the throne at age 32 and ruled for eight years (853 to 841 B.C.). Jotham began to reign at age twenty-five, ruled for 15 years and was overthrown. He was allowed to live by King Ahaz, who deposed him, until he died at the age of forty-four.
Leviticus 23, 1Samuel 25, 2Kings 4, 1Chronicles 9, Ezra 10, Jeremiah 32, Mark 12, Luke 4 and Acts 27 all have exactly forty-four verses in the King James translation. No book, however, has exactly this many chapters.