Bible Symbols / Bible Numbers and Their Meanings
Why cloak Bible prophecies in Symbols?

Luke 8: 10 ... And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that 'Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.'

Many signs and symbols are contained in the Bible. God had a number of reasons for choosing to use them. Here are a few reasons:

• God knew that if we loved Him, we would search His Word diligently. To understand it as we should, we need to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2: 15). This can only be accomplished by going through many texts not just one or two.
• Many of the apocalyptic prophecies were given while the prophets were in a hostile foreign land. One reason God cloaked the prophecies in symbols was to protect the messages.
• When signs and symbols are used, it tends to anchor the things they represent in our memory longer. For instance, if you here the word eagle many times in connection with the United States, you associate the USA with it.

Animals and their Parts
• Bear = Destructive Power / Medo Persia - (Proverbs 28: 15; 2 Kings 2: 23-24; Daniel 7: 5)
• Beast = Kingdom / government / political power - (Daniel 7: 17, 23)
• Blood = Life - (Leviticus 17: 11; Deuteronomy 12: 23)
• Dove = Holy Spirit - (Mark 1: 10)
• Dragon = Satan or his agency - (Isaiah 27: 1, 30: 6; Psalm 74: 13-14; Revelation 12: 7-9; Ezekiel 29: 3; Jeremiah 51: 34)
• Goat = Greece - (Daniel 8: 21)
• Horn = King or kingdom - (Daniel 7: 24; 8: 5, 21, 22; Zechariah 1: 18, 19; Revelation 17: 12)
• Horse = Strength and Power in Battle - (Job 39: 19; Psalms 147: 10; Proverbs 21: 31)
• Lamb = Jesus / sacrifice - (John 1: 29; 1 Corinthians 5: 7)
• Leopard = Greece - (Daniel 7: 6)
• Lion = Jesus / Powerful King i.e. Babylon - (Revelation 5: 4-9; Jeremiah 50: 43-44; Daniel 7: 4,17,23)
• Ram = Medo Persia - (Daniel 8: 20)
• Serpent = Satan - (Revelation 12: 9; 20: 2)
• Tongue = Language / Speech - (Exodus 4: 10)
• Wings = Speed / Protection / Deliverance - (Deuteronomy 28: 49; Matthew 23: 37)
• Wolf = Disguised Enemies that hunt in a time of darkness - (Matthew 7: 15)

Colors
• Amber = Glory of God - (Ezekiel 1: 3-4; 8: 1-2
• Black = Famine - (Revelation 6: 5-6)
• Blue = Law - (Numbers 15: 38-39)
• Gold = Holiness, Rulership - (Revelation 4: 4; 14: 14)
• Purple = Royalty - (Mark 15: 17, Judges 8: 26)
• Red / Scarlet = Sin / corruption - (Isaiah 1: 18; Nahum 2: 3; Revelation 17: 1-4)
• White = Purity - (Revelation 3: 4,5; 7: 14; 19: 14)

Four Horses of Revelation 6
• Black Horse = Famine (Revelation 6: 5-6)
• Pale Horse = Death (Revelation 6: 7-8)
• Red Horse = War (Revelation 6: 4)
• White Horse = Conquest (Revelation 6: 1-2)

Metals, Elements, and Natural Objects
• 12 Foundation Stones of New Jerusalem = Twelve Apostles of Jesus (Revelation 21: 14)
• 12 Gates of Pearl, New Jerusalem = Twelve Tribes of Israel (Revelation 21: 12)
• Ashes = Mankind Is Like Dust and Ashes (Job 30: 19)
• Brass / Bronze, Tin, Iron, Lead, Silver dross = Impure Character - (Ezekiel 22: 20-21)
• Field = World - (Matthew 13: 38; John 4: 35)
• Fig Tree = A Nation that should bear fruit - (Luke 13: 6-9)
• Fire = Holy Spirit - (Luke 3: 16)
• Fruit = Works / Actions - (Galatians 5: 22)
• Gold = Pure Character Precious and Rare - (Isaiah 13: 12)
• Harvest = End of World - (Matthew 13: 39)
• Honey = happy life - (Ezekiel 20: 6; Deuteronomy 8: 8-9)
• Jordan = death - (Romans 6: 4, Deuteronomy 4: 22)
• Mountains = Political or religio-political powers - (Isaiah 2: 2, 3; Jeremiah 17: 3; 31: 23; 51: 24, 25; Ezekiel 17: 22, 23; Daniel 2: 35, 44, 45)
• Oil = Holy Spirit - (Zechariah 4: 2-6; Revelation 4: 5)
• Reapers = Angels - (Matthew 13: 39)
• Rock = Jesus / truth - (1 Corinthians 10: 4; Isaiah 8: 13, 14; Romans 9: 33; Matthew 7: 24)
• Seed = Descendents / Jesus - (Romans 9: 8; Galatians 3: 16)
• Silver = Pure Words & Understanding - (Proverbs 2: 4, 3: 13-14, 10: 20, 25: 11; Psalms 12: 6)
• Stars = Angels / messengers - (Revelation 1: 16, 20; 12: 4, 7-9; Job 38: 7)
• Sun = Jesus / the gospel - (Psalm 84: 11; Malachi 4: 2; Matthew 17: 2; John 8: 12; 9: 5)
• Thorns / Thorny Ground = Cares of this life - (Mark 4: 18-19)
• Tree = Cross; People / Nation - (Deuteronomy 21: 22-23; Psalm 92: 12, 37: 35)
• Vineyard = Church that should bear fruit - (Luke 20: 9-16)
• Water = Holy Spirit / Everlasting Life - (John 7: 39, 4: 14; Revelation 22: 17; Ephesians 5: 26)
• Waters = Inhabited area / people, nations - (Revelation 17: 15)
• Winds = Strife / commotion / "winds of war" - (Jeremiah 25: 31-33; 49: 36, 37; 4: 11-13; Zechariah 7: 14)

Miscellaneous Objects
• Angel = Messenger - (Daniel 8: 16; 9: 21; Luke 1: 19, 26; Hebrews 1: 14)
• Arrows = Bitter Words - (Psalms 64: 3)
• Babel / Babylon = Apostasy / Confusion / Rebellion - (Genesis 10: 8-10; 11: 6-9; Revelation 18:2, 3; 17: 1-5)
• Bread = Word of God - (John 6: 35, 51; 52, 63)
• Clothing / Garments = Character - (Isaiah 64: 6; Isaiah 59: 6)
• Crown = A Glorious Ruler or Rulership - (Proverbs 16: 31; Isaiah 28: 5; Isaiah 62: 3)
• Day = Literal year - (Ezekiel 4: 6; Numbers 14: 34)
• Famine = Death of Truth - (Amos 8: 11)
• Healing = Salvation (Luke 5: 23-24)
• Jar / Vessel = Person - (Jermiah 18: 1-4; 2 Corinthians 4: 7)
• Lamp = Word of God - (Psalm 119: 105)
• Mark = Sign or seal of approval or disapproval - (Ezekiel 9: 4; Romans 4: 11; Revelation 13: 17; 14: 9-11; 7: 2, 3)
• Ring = Authority - (Genesis 41: 42-43; Esther 3: 10-11)
• Seal = Sign or mark of approval or disapproval - (Romans 4: 11; Revelation 7: 2, 3)
• Sword = Word of God - (Ephesians 6: 17; Hebrews 4: 12)
• Time = 360 Day - (Daniel 4: 16; 23, 25, 32; 7: 25; Daniel 11: 13 margin)
• Times = 720 Days - (Daniel 7: 25, Revelation 12: 6, 14, 13: 5)
• Trumpet = loud warning of God's approach - (Exodus 19: 16-17; Joshua 6: 4-5)
• White Robes = Victory / righteousness - (Revelation 19: 8; 3: 5; 7: 14)
• Wine = blood / covenant / doctrines - (Luke 5: 37)

Actions, Activities, and Physical States
• Famine = Dearth of Truth - (Amos 8: 11)
• Healing = Salvation - (Luke 5: 23-24)
• Leprosy / Sickness = Sin - (Luke 5: 23-24)

People and Body Parts
• Eyes = Spiritual Discernment - (Matthew 13: 10-17; 1 John 2: 11)
• Feet = Your Walk / Direction - (Genesis 19: 2; Psalm 119: 105)
• Forehead = Mind - (Deuteronomy 6: 6-8, Romans 7: 25; Ezekiel 3: 8, 9)
• Hand = Deeds / Works / Actions - (Ecclesiastes 9: 10, Isaiah 59: 6)
• Harlot = Apostate church/religion - (Isaiah 1: 21-27; Jeremiah 3: 1-3; 6-9)
• Heads = Major powers / rulers / governments - (Revelation 17: 3, 9, 10)
• Skin = Christ's righteousness - (Exodus 12: 5; 1 Peter 1: 19; Isaiah 1: 4-6)
• Thief = Suddenness of Jesus' coming - (1 Thessalonians 5: 2-4; 2 Peter 3: 10)
• Tongue = Language / Speech (Exodus 4: 10; Philippians 2: 11)
• Woman, Corrupt = Apostate church - (Ezekiel 16: 15-58; 23: 2-21; Hosea 2: 5; 3:1; Revelation 14: 4)
• Woman, Pure = True Church - (Jeremiah 6: 2; 2 Corinthians 11: 2; Ephesians 5: 23-27)

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The Keys To Unlock Bible Numbers

Many of the numbers in the Bible have deeper prophetic or spiritual significance. Both in the Old and New Testaments, numbers reveal hidden concepts and meanings that commonly escape the casual reader. And throughout history, men with great minds, like Augustine, Isaac Newton, and Leonardo Di Vinci, showed more than just a passing curiosity regarding the importance of biblical numbers. Once more, Jesus said, “The very hairs of your head are numbered” (Matthew 10: 30). So obviously, Bible numbers should be carefully considered.

At least 12 numbers in the Bible stand out in this regard: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 40, 50, and 70. In order to express this truth, one or two biblical examples have been given below. However, much more can be said on this subject, so these examples serve merely as an introduction and are not exhaustive by any means.

• 1 – represents absolute singleness and unity (Ephesians 4: 4–6; John 17: 21, 22.) (We presume readers need no more than these two citations, as most of the biblical information regarding unity and singleness is common knowledge.)

• 2 – represents the truth of God’s Word; for example, the law and prophets (John 1: 45), two or three witnesses (2 Corinthians 13: 1), and a sword with two edges (Hebrews 4: 12). See Mark 6: 7 and Revelation 11: 3. It is also used 21 times in the books of Daniel and Revelation.

• 3 – represents the Godhead / Trinity. The angels cry “Holy” three times to the triune God (Isaiah 6: 3). See also Matthew 28: 19 and 1 John 5: 7, 8.

• 4 – represents universal truth, as in the four directions (north, south, east, west) and the four winds (Matthew 24: 31; Revelation 7: 1; Revelation 20: 8). In Acts 10:11, a sheet with four corners symbolizes the gospel going to all the gentiles.

• 5 – represents teaching. First, there are the five books of Moses. Second, Jesus taught about the five wise virgins and used five barley loaves used to feed the 5,000.

• 6 – represents the worship of man, and is the number of man, signifying his rebellion, imperfection, works, and disobedience. It is used 273 times in the Bible, including its derivatives (e.g, sixth) and another 91 times as “threescore” or “60.” Man was created on the sixth day (Genesis 1: 26, 31). See also Exodus 31: 15 and Daniel 3: 1.

The number is especially significant in the book Revelation, as “666” identifies the beast. “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Revelation 13: 18).

• 7 – represents perfection, and is the sign of God, divine worship, completions, obedience, and rest. The “prince” of Bible numbers, it is used 562 times, including its derivatives (e.g., seventh, sevens). (See Genesis 2: 1–4, Psalm 119: 164, and Exodus 20: 8–11 for just a few of the examples.)

The number seven is also the most common in biblical prophecy, occurring 42 times in Daniel and Revelation alone. In Revelation there are seven churches, seven spirits, seven golden candlesticks, seven stars, seven lamps, seven seals, seven horns, seven eyes, seven angels, seven trumpets, seven thunders, seven thousand slain in a great earthquake, seven heads, seven crowns, seven last plagues, seven golden vials, seven mountains, and seven kings.

• 10 – represents law and restoration. Of course, this includes the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. See also Matthew 25: 1 (ten virgins); Luke 17: 17 (ten lepers); Luke 15: 8 (healing, ten silver coins).

• 12 – represents the church and God’s authority. Jesus had 12 disciples, and there were 12 tribes of Israel. In Revelation 12: 1, the 24 elders and 144,000 are multiples of 12. The New Jerusalem city has12 foundations, 12 gates 12 thousand furlongs, a tree with 12 kinds of fruit 12 times a year eaten by 12 times 12,000 or the 144,000. (See Revelation 21.)

• 40 – represents a generation and times of testing. It rained for 40 days during the flood. Moses spent 40 years in the desert, as did the children of Israel. Jesus fasted for 40 days.

• 50 – represents power and celebration. The Jubilee came after the 49th year (Leviticus 25: 10), and Pentecost occurred 50 days after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2).

• 70 – represents human leadership and judgment. Moses appointed 70 elders (Exodus 24: 1); The Sanhedrin was made up of 70 men. Jesus chose 70 disciples (Luke 10: 1). Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times 7.
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