Meaning of Numbers: The Number 98
The possible meaning of the number 98 is derived from both Scriptural writings and the intersection of the Roman Empire with the last living apostle.
Roman Emperor Domitian ruled the empire from 81 A.D. until his assassination on September 18 in 96. During the latter part of his reign, from 94 to 96, he began a campaign of violent persecutions against Christians. One of the consequences of these unwarranted attacks was the exiling of the Apostle John to the island of Patmos "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9).
Nerva, after Domitian's death, takes over as Roman Emperor in late 96 A.D. His short reign (96 to 98 A.D.) begins what is called the "five good emperors" period that would last until 180. It is a period marked by moderate policies that enable unprecedented territorial, economic, and cultural expansion. John is believed to have been released by Nerva in 96, after which he travels to Ephesus.
John lives to the end of Nerva's reign and into the start of Trajan's rule in late January of 98 A.D. While it is unclear how long John lived after 98, he likely died of natural causes, as the last living original disciple of Jesus, around 100 A.D.
Appearances of Number Ninety-Eight
The English word "sea" is written 98 times in 88 King James Bible verses in the New Testament. It is found the most in Revelation (26 times) followed by the gospel of Mark (19) and Matthew (18). The word is usually translated from the Greek thalassa (Strong's Concordance #G2281). Although the word can be used to reference the Mediterranean or Red Sea, it is sometimes used to denote something spiritual in nature.
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind (Revelation 4:6, KJV).
The Hebrew word gur (Strong's #H1481) occurs 98 times in 94 Old Testament verses in Hebrew. The word is written the most in Jeremiah (13 times) followed by Leviticus and the Psalms which both have 11 occurrences each. The word means to sojourn or dwell in a particular place as a stranger. It can also, however, be used to describe someone who is fearful or standing in awe, as well as stirring up strife or quarrels.
And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn (gur) there; for the famine was grievous in the land (Genesis 12:10, KJV).
Verse 98 of Psalm 119 is in a section labeled with the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet called Mem. This section, from verses 97 to 104, praises God's laws and the wisdom they bring. Such laws, if meditated upon, can make a person far wiser than their enemies.
O how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me (verses 97 - 98 of Psalm 119, HBFV).
Number 98 and the Psalms
The book of Psalms, in the original Hebrew manuscripts, is divided into five sections. Psalm 98 is in a section whose general theme is the millennial reign of Christ and shows Israel re-gathered after their ruin. It was written by priests who served under King David.
The Psalm praises God for his wisdom and power. It also encourages singing and making music as an act of worship.
O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre, and the voice of a psalm (verses 1 - 2, 4 - 5 of Psalm 98, HBFV).
The writer of the Psalm refers to God's right hand because it symbolizes His authority, power, and strength (Genesis 48:14 - 19, Exodus 15:6, Isaiah 23:11, 41:10, 45:1).
Verse 3 of this Psalm may be alluded to when Zacharias prophesied about Jesus and praised God for remembering his people in Luke 1.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and has worked redemption for His people . . . To fulfill the promise of mercy made to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant . . . " (Luke 1:68, 72, HBFV).
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 98
98 is the product of 2 x 7 x 7 (7 squared). Both 2 and 7 are prime numbers.
The five shortest books in terms of number of verses (2John, 3John, Obadiah, Philemon, Jude) have 98 total verses.
The Bible continues to be the most translated writing in the world. One or more of its books have been translated into 2,400+ languages. It is available, in whole or in part, to 98 percent of the world's population in a language in which they are fluent.
The Hebrew word shebiyiy (Strong's #H7637) is utilized 98 times in 94 Hebrew verses of the Old Testament. It is recorded the most in Leviticus (20 times) followed by Exodus (17) and then Numbers (13). The word is translated "seventh" in the King James Bible.
And on the seventh (shebiyiy) day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh (shebiyiy) day from all his work which he had made (Genesis 2:2, KJV).