The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 8
The number 8 in the Bible represents a new beginning, meaning a new order or creation, and man's true 'born again' event when he is resurrected from the dead into eternal life.
Like the Old Testament Passover lamb, Jesus was selected as the Lamb to take away man's sins on the Hebrew day of Nisan 10 (April 1, 30 A.D. - John 12: 28 - 29). He was crucified on Nisan 14 (Wednesday, April 5 in 30 A.D.). His resurrection occurred, exactly as he stated, three days and three nights after he was buried, which was at the end of the weekly Sabbath day that fell on Nisan 17 (seventeen symbolizes victory).
Nisan 17 was also the eighth day, counting inclusively, from the time Christ was selected as man's sacrificial Lamb. All this bears record of Jesus' perfect sacrifice and His complete victory over death.
Boys were to be circumcised on the 8th day. The number 8 symbolizes circumcision of the heart through Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:28 - 29, Colossians 2:11 - 13). Those in Christ are becoming a new creation, with godly character being created by the power of God's Spirit (2Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10; 4:23 - 24).
After the 7 weeks of the spring harvest, the next day, the 50th day, is Pentecost. This day is also the eighth day of the seventh week. This 8th and 50th day combination pictures the first resurrection when the saints will be raised from the dead and made immortal (1Corinthians 15:20 - 23, John 3:3 - 12, Revelation 20:4 - 6). After the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles there is an 8th day, called the Last Great Day.
Forty different people wrote the Scriptures. Forty is a number composed of five (symbolizing grace) times 8 (symbolizing a new beginning). It is therefore only by God's grace and love that man will someday be given a chance for a new beginning, as promised in the Word of God.
Appearances of the number eight
The New Testament was penned by only eight men (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, Peter, Jude, Paul).
Abdon (in the East) was a Judge of Israel who served 8 years (Judges 12:13 - 14).
The most joyous Feast period of the year is the eight day period of the Fall Feast of Tabernacles followed immediately afterward by the Last Great Day.
Abraham, the father of the faithful, had 8 sons total. They were Ishmael, Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
One method of timekeeping used in Israel was called a 'watch.' Watches were time periods in which guards were placed on duty. Although days were initially divided into 6 equal watch periods (Judges 7:19), by the time of the New Testament days were divided into 8 equal parts (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48).
First watch - Sunset to 9 p.m. Second watch - 9 p.m. to Midnight Third watch - Midnight to 3 a.m. Fourth watch - 3 a.m. to Sunrise
First watch - Sunrise to 9 a.m. Second watch - 9 a.m. to Noon Third watch - Noon to 3 p.m. Fourth watch - 3 p.m. to Sunset
How is the number 8 related to Jesus' resurrection?
Jesus showed himself alive eight times after his resurrection from the dead. His first appearance alive was to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9 - 11). He then showed himself to two disciples traveling to Emmaus (Luke 24). Next, he appeared to all the disciples except Thomas (John 20:19 - 24) then a week later to all them when Thomas was present (John 20:26 - 29).
According to the apostle Paul, Christ also was seen by 500 believers at one time (1Corinthians 15:4 - 7). Jesus also met his disciples at the appointed place in Galilee (Matthew 28:16 - 17) and on Galilee's shores (John 21:1 - 24). His final meeting was on the Mount of Olives, where he gave his followers instructions before ascending to heaven (Acts 1).
Additional info on Biblical Meaning of 8
God saved eight people on the ark in order to have a new beginning for mankind after the flood. Since the meaning of four is derived from God's creation of everything, 8 (4 + 4) pictures the new creation after the flood.
Eight is the number of Jesus, whose name in the Greek adds up to 888.