Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Number 91

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Meaning of Numbers: The Number 91

The English phrase "ninety and one," used for the number 91, is not recorded in the King James Bible.

The possible meaning of the number 91 is derived from the Psalms and Biblical history.

The book of Psalms, in the Old Testament's original manuscripts, is divided into five sections. Psalm 91 is the second song of the fourth section that numbers 27 chapters (90 to 106). This section discusses themes related to Israel's regathering after its ruin and the millennial reign of Christ on earth.

Psalm 91 was written by priests from 1010 to 970 B.C. who served under King David. It was meant to offer encouraging and comforting words to those who trust in God and his protection.

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I will trust." Surely He will deliver you from the fowler’s trap and from the destroying pestilence.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night . . . a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes you shall behold and see the recompense of the wicked (verses 2 - 3, 5, 7 of Psalm 91).

Appearances of Number Ninety-One

The Hebrew word malkuth, Strong's #H4438, is recorded 91 times in 82 Hebrew Old Testament verses. It is found the most in the book of Esther (26 times) followed by 2Chronicles (17) and Daniel (16). The word, which means a rule or dominion, is commonly translated as "kingdom," "reign" or "royal" in the King James.

Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom (malkuth) was established greatly (1Kings 2:12, KJV).

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom (malkuth) , and put it also in writing . . . (Ezra 1:1, KJV).

The Biblical patriarch Jacob (later Israel), between the ages of 84 and 91, fathered eleven of his twelve sons and one daughter (Genesis 29:32 - 30:25)! The children, in birth order, are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah and Joseph.

The 1535 Coverdale Bible is sometimes referred to as the "bugs" translation because it has a printing error in Psalm 91. Verse 5 of the Psalm erroneously stated (in the spelling of the time), "Thou shalt not need to be afrayd for eny BUGGES . . ." The King James translation of the same verse is, "Thou shalt not be afraid for the TERROR by night."

Number 91 and Temptation

Jesus, at the start of his ministry, fasted for 40 days during which he was tempted to sin by the devil. His last recorded temptation, according to Luke, was amazingly subtle.

Satan, after transporting Christ to the top of Jerusalem's temple, challenged him by stating, "If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here; For it is written . . ." (Luke 4:9, HBFV). The devil then perfectly quotes two verses of Psalm 91!

He shall give His angels charge concerning You to keep You; And in their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone (Luke 4:10 - 11).

Why was this, according to Jesus, tempting God (Luke 4:12)? It was because the devil, who knew the truth, wanted him to misapply Scripture to justify testing (tempting) God! The promise of verses 11 to 12 of Psalm 91 is meant to apply to accidents that could cause harm. Accidents, by their very nature, are unintentional and unplanned events that occur due to our fallibility, time and chance, the behavior of others and so on.

The devil knew, however, that intentionally placing ourselves in danger with the express purpose of testing God's love was a sin! Satan hoped the Lord, in his physically weakened state, would buy into his deception. Jesus, thankfully, resisted such temptation!

A Miraculous Conception

How old was Sarah when she gave birth to Isaac? When God made a covenant with Abraham he also promised that he would have a son through Sarah (Genesis 17:16). The patriarch, who was 99 years old at the time (verse 1), could hardly believe what he heard.

And Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to him that is a hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear?" (Genesis 17:17).

Was Abraham stating that Sarah would be 90 when she conceived a few month later, making her 91 when she gave birth, or that she would give birth at 90? Several Biblical commentaries state that Sarah would be 90 when Isaac was born. Other commentaries, of course, disagree.

The English word "bear" in Genesis 17:17 comes from yalad (Strong's #H3205) which is generally used to refer to the time when a person is born. That said, it should be noted that the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia supports the belief that Sarah was 90 when she conceived and therefore would be 91 when Isaac came into the world.

"Incredulous on account of Sarah's age (she was ninety), Abraham burst into laughter, wherefor the son was to be called "Isaac" . . . " (1906 Jewish Encyclopedia on Sarah).

More Info on Biblical Meaning of 91

There are 7 words and phrases in the Bible's original languages that are recorded exactly 91 times.

91 is the product of 7 x 13. Both 7 and 13 are prime numbers. Seven symbolizes perfection or completeness, while thirteen generally represents lawlessness and rebellion against God.

The squaring of the first six positive digits, added together, gives us 91. It is equal to (1 x 1) + (2 x 2) + (3 x 3) + (4 x 4) + (5 x 5) + (6 x 6) or 1 + 4 + 9 + 16 + 25 + 36.

Interestingly, the number 91 is equal to adding the first thirteen digits or 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13.

There are no Bible chapters that contain 91 verses in the King James. The only book to have 91 or more chapters is the Psalms.

The English word "Canaan" is found 91 times in 88 King James verses. Canaan is found the most in Genesis (46 times) followed by Numbers (12) and then Joshua (8). The name Canaan, in Hebrew, means "merchant," "traffic" or "lowland."

Canaan was the youngest son of Ham, one of Noah's three sons who survived the great flood. He migrated to an area west of the Jordan River which would ultimately be named after him.

And I will give unto thee (Abraham), and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God (Genesis 17:8, KJV).

The Hebrew word kerub (Strong's Concordance #H3742) is recorded 91 times in 66 Hebrew Old Testament verses. It is found the most in Ezekiel (31 times) followed by 1Kings (20) and Exodus (17). The word is used to refer to a special class of angelic beings known as Cherubs (Cherubims).

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims (kerub), and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24, KJV).

And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims (kerub) (1Kings 8:6, KJV).

Recommended Articles
What Happened to the Tree of Life?
Where Did Noah's Sons Migrate After Flood?
Archangels versus Cherubim
Does the Ark of the Covenant Still Exist?
Map of Canaan Before Israel's Conquests
Jesus' Life and Ministry Timeline!
The Most Encouraging Bible Verses!
Why Did Noah Curse Canaan?

Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Israel's Kings by the Numbers
Lucky Number 13!
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Prophecy Numbers   -   Numerology
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Series References
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural
Design and Spiritual Significance

Quotes related to the
meaning of the number 91 taken from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)