Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Numbers of Forgiveness

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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!
How does the usage of the numbers 7, 50, 70, 100, 490, 500 and 10,000 in the books of Matthew and Luke illustrate God's forgiveness? How do they reveal how serious our Creator is in terms of wanting us to forgive others who sin against us?

The Numbers 50 and 500

Our first example uses the numbers 50 and 500 to illustrate forgiveness. Jesus, while dining at a Pharisees' house in the summer of 28 A.D., is approached by a well-known sinful woman who humbly washes his feet with her tears and anoints them. The Pharisee, who notices this behavior, condemns Jesus in his heart for allowing such a notorious "sinner" near him (Luke 7:36 - 39).

The Lord, knowing the Pharisees' thoughts, uses numbers 50 and 500 to highlight God's willingness to bestow his forgiveness. They also show there exists different responses to this merciful act of perfect love.

"There were two debtors of a certain creditor; one owed five hundred silver coins (denarii), and the other fifty. But when they did not have anything with which to pay him, he forgave them both. Tell Me then, which of them will love him most?" (Luke 7:41 - 42, HBFV throughout).

The debt of 500 denarii, equivalent to more than 16 months of wages, was a substantial amount! The number symbolized the depth of the woman's appreciation, love and faith for receiving forgiveness. Although the Pharisee answered the above question correctly (Luke 7:43), he was nevertheless chided for his own lack of love and common courtesy toward the Lord (verses 44 - 50).

The Numbers 7, 70 and 490

According to Jesus, the best way to resolve issues between people is for the person who felt they were wronged to humbly and privately confront the person who wronged them. If the issue between them is resolved then the offended person should forgive the one who "sinned" against them (Matthew 18:15).

Peter, on the heels of Jesus' teaching about conflict resolution, asks how many times he should forgive someone (Matthew 18:21). He then offers his belief that forgiving someone 7 times (seven is the number of complete perfection) seemed quite generous to him. Peter's feeling of generosity, according to Barnes' Notes on the Bible, is based on the Jewish teaching that a person should only be forgiven three times. Jesus' response to Peter uses both the numbers 7 and 70.

Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you until seven times, but until seventy times seven (490)." (Matthew 18:22).

The Lord is not offering 70 times 7, or 490, as some new upper limit that, after the number is exceeded, justifies not forgiving someone. It is rather meant to symbolize that we should forgive others as often as is needed just like our heavenly Father is willing to do for us (1John 1:9).

The Numbers 100 and 10,000

Jesus continued his discussion about forgiveness in Matthew 18, delineated above, with a rather surprising parable that shows how seriously God treats forgiveness. In his parable he uses the numbers 100 and 10,000 to showcase this point.

Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is compared to a man, a certain king, who would take account with his servants. And after he began to reckon, there was brought to him one debtor who owed him ten thousand talents. (Matthew 18:23 - 24).

How much is 10,000 talents of gold? Assuming a modern price of $1,900 per troy ounce, this number of talents would be worth $20.78 billion U.S. dollars today!

The servant, who cannot immediately pay off his enormous debt, pleads that all he has, including his family, not be sold to pay what is owed. The king, taking pity on the servant, forgives the debt (Matthew 18:25 - 27).

Pettiness

The forgiven servant then goes to his friend, a fellow servant, and demands he pay him the 100 silver coins (denarii) he owes him. A denarii, at the time of the New Testament, was considered a single day's wages (about 16 cents a day). When the friend begs for more time in order to pay his debt he is thrown in prison! The king, who eventually finds out what took place, summons the servant he offered debt forgiveness and condemns him.

"You wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you implored me. Were you not also obligated to have compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had compassion on you?" (Matthew 18:32 - 33).

The king then reinstates the debt and throws the servant in prison.

Meaning of the Parable

Jesus uses 10,000 in the above parable on forgiveness to represent the countless number of sins we commit against our Creator (whether we are aware of them or not). He uses 100 to symbolize the relatively few sins committed against us by our fellow man.

God is more than happy to forgive us of our sins IF we also forgive those who sinned against us (see Matthew 6:12 - 15). Jesus informs us, however, in no uncertain terms, that if we harden our hearts against others then God will hold our sins against us!

"Likewise shall My heavenly Father ALSO DO TO YOU, if each of you does not forgive his brother’s offenses from the heart." (Matthew 18:35).

If our great heavenly Father is willing to extend forgiveness for our many sins, which are countless in number, then it only makes sense we should also forgive our fellow humans.

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The BEST Bible Verses on Forgiveness!
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Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Apostle Paul's Seven Churches
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
129   -   130   -   131   -   132   -   133   -   134
135   -   136   -   137   -   139   -   140   -   143
144   -   145   -   146   -   150   -   152   -   153
155   -   156   -   160   -   168   -   175   -   180
200   -   203   -   210   -   211   -   212   -   215
216   -   220   -   222   -   223   -   225   -   234
250   -   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
numbers of forgiveness taken from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)