Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Largest Numbers!

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Biblical Meaning of Numbers
1   -   2   -   3   -   4   -   5   -   6   -   7   -   8   -   9
10   -   11   -   12   -   13   -   14   -   15   -   17
20   -   21   -   24   -   30   -   33   -   40   -   111
222   -   333   -   444   -   555   -   777   -   MORE!

Meaning of Numbers: The Largest!

This article discusses the largest numbers recorded in the Old Testament version of the KJV Bible. It also explores and explains the only place in Scripture where the word "million" is used! The meaning of such huge sums is not entirely clear other than as an accurate recording of Scriptural events.

Some who read God's word scoff at the idea that its large values are accurate. They argue, for example, that the size of Israel's exodus could not have been as great as Moses recorded (Num. 1:1, 3, 46). They also reject Israel's huge population of men discovered when King David took his famous census of the people (2Samuel 24:9). Our view regarding the validity of the Old Testament's large numbers is aptly summed up by the following.

"The nonsensical proposition that over-enthusiastic, religiously-oriented scribes . . . changed the numbers of the Old Testament in order to make the story more impressive must be firmly rejected as an insult to the intelligence . . ." (Biblical Numerology, Part 2, Chapter 3).

Appearances of Large Numbers

The population of Israel, in the second year after leaving Egypt, totaled 603,550 men at least twenty years old. From this, it is projected that at least 2 to 3 million people, and likely more, left Egyptian bondage under Moses.


Stars at Heart of Milky Way Galaxy
Stars at Heart of Milky Way Galaxy
Hubble Space Telescope

God commanded Moses, prior to his death, to take a second census counting Israelite men age twenty and above.

And it came to pass after the plague, that the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,

Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers' house, all that are able to go to war in Israel (Numbers 26:1 - 2, KJV).

The purpose of the census was to determine who could fight in the Promised Land and who was eligible to receive an inheritance from God (verses 51 - 56). This time the potential army was 601,730 or 1,820 less men than 38 years prior. Why did this population drop?

The number of men dropped, in part, due to factors such as 250 males perishing in Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16:35) along with 14,700 others whom God killed with a plague when the Israelites blamed Moses and Aaron for their deaths (45 - 49). Another 24,000 were put to death by another plague as punishment for worshipping false gods (25:1 - 9).

The Israelites, under Moses, fought and overcame the Midianites who had caused them quite a bit of trouble (Num. 31). One of the spoils of their victory was the confiscation of 675,000 sheep (verse 32), half of which was given to those who fought while the remaining half was divided among the people and the Lord.

Large Armies

King David was enticed to carry out a census to discover the potential strength of his army. Joab, the captain of army, was commanded to travel through all of Israel's tribes and number the men who could go to war. Joab, at the end of his more than nine month task, reported there were 800,000 fighting males in Israel and 500,000 in Judah for a total of 1.3 million.

And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men (2Samuel 24:9, KJV).

King Asa, the third monarch over Judah, amassed an army of 580,000 skilled men out of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin (2Chronicles 14:8).

And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valor (2Chronicles 14:8, KJV).

Asa's army came in handy in 895 B.C. when Ethiopia's military, headed by Zerah, entered Judean territory with an even more massive army.

And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand (one million!), and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah (2Chronicles 14:9, KJV).

Asa, after crying out to God, routes the invaders and carries away great quantities of spoils back to Jerusalem (2Chronicles 14:9 - 15).

King Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, was one of the good rulers over the Kingdom of Judah. Over time, with God's blessing, he amassed a huge army to protect himself against a military conflict with Israel's King Ahab. He was able to field an army of 1.16 million men led by five captains (2Chronicles 17:12 - 19)!

Jeroboam was the first king over the northern ten tribes of Israel after they split from Judah. He went to war, In his eighteenth year of rule, with Judah's King Abijah. Jeroboam's army, at 800,000 fighting men, was twice the strength of his opponent (2Chronicles 13:1 - 3).

And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valor (2Chronicles 13:3, KJV).

Though Jeroboam's army outnumbered Abijah's two-to-one, God decided to deliver the battle to Abijah which enabled him to kill half a million Israelites!

And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men (2Chronicles 13:17, KJV).

Biblical Meaning of Millions

Abraham, wanting to find an acceptable wife for Isaac, sends his most trusted servant to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia (Genesis 24:1 - 10, 40). The servant, before entering the city, asks God to bless his search for a bride. Before he finishes his prayer, an answer appears in the form of a beautiful woman named Rebekah!

Rebekah, in faith, decides to go back with Abraham's servant and marry Isaac. Before she leaves, however, her family offers a blessing where we find the only mention of "million" in Scripture.

And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, 'Our sister, be the mother of thousands of MILLIONS, and let your seed possess the gate of those who hate them' (Genesis 24:60).

Rebekah, after healed of being barren, gives birth to twins Esau and Jacob. The twelve tribes of Israel, which spring from Jacob, continue to grow as each generation passes (1Kings 4:20, Isaiah 10:22) until the present time, fulfilling the blessing of countless millions given to Isaac's wife!

Recommended Articles
Why Was David Punished for a Census?
Why Was the New Testament Written?
What Does Thou Shall Not Covet Mean?
Timeline of Jacob and Joseph
What War Did Abraham Fight?
The Conspiracies of Israel's Kings!
Who Are the Least in God's Kingdom?

Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Mysterious Numbers of the Jubilee Year!
Sevens and the Worship of God
Numbers of Israel's Kings   -   Lucky 13!
Infinity   -   Zero
One Tenth   -   One Third   -   One Half
1    -    2    -    3    -    4    -    5    -    6    -    7
8    -    9    -    10    -    11    -    12    -    13
14    -    15    -    16    -    17    -    18    -    19
20    -    21    -    22    -    23    -    24    -    25
26    -    27    -    28    -    29    -    30    -    31
32    -    33    -    34    -    35    -    36    -    37
38    -    39    -    40    -    41    -    42    -    43
44    -    45    -    46    -    47    -    48    -    49
50    -    51    -    52    -    53    -    54    -    55
56    -    57    -    58    -    59    -    60    -    61
62    -    63    -    64    -    65    -    66    -    67
68    -    69    -    70    -    71    -    72    -    73
74    -    75    -    76    -    77    -    78    -    79
80    -    81    -    82    -    83    -    84    -    85
86    -    87    -    88    -    89    -    90    -    91
92    -    93    -    94    -    95    -    96    -    97
98    -    99    -    100   -   101   -   102   -   103
104   -   105   -   106   -   107   -   108   -   109
110   -   111   -   112   -   113   -   114   -   115
116   -   117   -   118   -   119   -   120   -   121
122   -   123   -   124   -   125   -   126   -   127
128   -   129   -   130   -   131   -   132   -   133
134   -   135   -   136   -   137   -   138   -   139
140   -   141   -   142   -   143   -   144   -   145
146   -   147   -   148   -   149   -   150   -   151
152   -   153   -   154   -   155   -   156   -   158
160   -   166   -   168   -   175   -   180   -   187
200   -   203   -   210   -   211   -   212   -   215
216   -   220   -   222   -   223   -   225   -   234
244   -   250   -   260   -   300   -   303   -   311
313    -    316    -    318    -    320
321    -    323    -    333    -    345
350   -   365   -   367   -   369   -   390   -   400
404   -   411   -   414   -   420   -   430   -   440
444   -   450   -   456   -   490   -   500   -   516
555   -   600   -   613   -   616   -   666   -   700
711   -   717   -   777   -   800   -   808   -   818
888    -    900    -    911    -    999    -    1000
1001   -   1004   -   1010   -   1111   -   1144
1212   -   1222   -   1234   -   1500   -   2000
2222   -   3000   -   4000   -   5000   -   10000
144000   -  500000   -  The Largest!
Prophecy Numbers   -   Numerology
Creation's Numerics   -   Further Study

Series References
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural
Design and Spiritual Significance

Quotes related to the
meaning of the largest numbers taken from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)