The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 500
The possible meaning of the number 500 is derived from a variety of Bible facts, including a sacred recipe whose duplication would be severely punished by God!
On the surface, Genesis seems to state that Noah was 500 years old when he produced sons Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 5:32). This, however, is not entirely true. Noah was 600 years old when the flood occurred (7:6). Scripture states, two years later, that Shem at 100 had his firstborn son (11:10). This means Shem was born when Noah was 502. Japheth, the oldest son (10:21), was the only one born when his father was 500. Ham, the youngest, was likely born when Noah was between 503 and 510 years old.
Speaking of Shem, he lived another 500 years after his firstborn son Arphaxad was born (Genesis 11:11). His long life after the great flood enabled him to witness Abraham's 149th birthday! He died in 1811 B.C. at the age of 600.
The manuscripts commonly used for the translation of the Old Testament into English are the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. The Masoretic text is the textual tradition and marginal notes of the Levitical scholars known as Masoretes who were active from about 500 to 950 A.D.
In the Middle East, before 500 B.C., it was harder to find silver than gold. This is likely why silver is mentioned before gold in regard to Abraham's wealth (Genesis 13:1 - 2, 24:35) and the riches the Israelites took from the Egyptians when they left the country (Exodus 3:22, 11:2).
Appearances of Number Five Hundred
Jews within the Persian Empire, during the reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes in the Greek), are saved from annihilation by Queen Esther and Mordecai. Instead of being slaughtered on Adar 13 (Esther 9:1 -2), the Jews were able to take vengeance on their enemies throughout the empire. This revenge included those at the king's palace.
And the Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, and slaughter, and destruction; and did as they pleased to those who hated them. And in Shushan the palace the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men (Esther 9:5 - 6).
Job's remarkable wealth, before God allowed the devil to test him, included 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels, along with 500 each of oxen and female donkeys (Job 1:3). His riches were such that he was considered the "greatest of all the men of the east."
The city of Thebes (referred to as No in the King James, Jeremiah 46:25 - 26 and Ezekiel 30:13 - 16), was located more than 310 miles (500 kilometers) from the mouth of the Nile River. It was known for its wealth, splendor and as a worship center for the Egyptian pagan deity Amon (Amun).
One of Jesus' shortest parables involves a man who owes 500 silver coins and another who owes 50 to the same person. The creditor forgives the debt of both men when he discovers they are poor. The Lord's question of who loves the creditor more, asked of his self-righteous Pharisee host, was correctly answered (Luke 7:41 - 43).
The Lord manifested himself alive nine times after his resurrection. His fifth appearance was before more than 500 people according to the Apostle Paul (1Corinthians 15:6). Although God's word doesn't specify a date, this particular manifestation was likely between April 17 and May 17 in 30 A.D.
Number 500 and a Sacred Recipe
God commanded Moses to make a special holy oil to anoint the wilderness tabernacle, its furnishings, the Ark of the Covenant and the priests who served within it (Exodus 30:22 - 30). This sacred mixture was to contain 500 shekels (roughly 12.5 U.S. pounds or 5.67 kilograms) each of pure myrrh and cassia, 250 shekels (6.25 U.S. pounds or 2.83 kilograms) each of sweet cinnamon and calamus, and a hin (1 U.S. gallon or 3.7 liters) of olive oil.
This unique recipe, because of its sacredness, was not to be duplicated for any other use on pain of being cut off from God (Exodus 30:31 - 33)!
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 500
The letter Phi, the 23rd letter in the classical Greek alphabet (from the fourth century B.C. forward), is also used to represent the number 500.
500 is equal to 2 x 2 (or 2 squared) x 5 x 5 x 5 (or 5 cubed).
This number is often used at the end of many NASCAR races to designate the length (in distance or laps) of a particular race (e.g. Indianapolis or Daytona 500).