Discovering the Spiritual Significance of Number 14 in the Bible
The Bible is a rich source of symbolism and hidden meanings, and one of the most fascinating areas of study is the significance of numbers. Numbers are used throughout the Bible to convey deeper truths and spiritual messages, and one number that appears frequently is the number 14.
What Does Number 14 Mean in the Bible?
The number 14 appears in the Bible in various contexts, and it is often associated with the concept of completion or perfection. Here are some examples:
- In Genesis 31:41, Jacob says, "These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten." The phrase "twenty years" is used here as a synonym for the number 14 (since 20 = 2 x 10, and 2 and 10 both represent completion). Thus, Jacob is saying that he has completed his time with Laban.
- In the book of Exodus, the tabernacle was constructed with 14 curtains (Exodus 26:1-14), and there were 14 hooks and 14 sockets used to hold the curtains in place (Exodus 26:19-25). This suggests that the tabernacle represented a complete or perfect dwelling place for God.
- In the book of Numbers, the tribe of Levi was divided into 14 different families (Numbers 3:17-20), and 14 wagons were used to transport the tabernacle and its contents (Numbers 7:1-8). This indicates that the Levites had completed the task of setting up and maintaining the tabernacle.
- In the book of Judges, the judge Abimelech had 14 sons (Judges 8:30-31), which may symbolize his desire for complete power and authority.
- In the New Testament, there are 14 generations listed in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17), which suggests that Jesus' arrival marked the completion of a long-awaited plan of salvation.
The Symbolism of Number 14 in the Bible
Based on the examples above, we can see that the number 14 is often associated with completion or perfection. However, there are other symbolic meanings attached to this number as well:
- The number 14 is twice 7, which is also a significant number in the Bible. Seven represents completeness and perfection because God created the world in 7 days, and there are 7 days in a week. Thus, 14 may represent a double portion of completeness or perfection.
- The number 14 is also associated with deliverance or salvation. In the book of Judges, the judge Othniel delivers Israel from their oppressors after 14 years of bondage (Judges 3:8-11). This may foreshadow the ultimate deliverance that Jesus would bring.
- Finally, the number 14 may symbolize the unity of the Old and New Testaments. The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 lists 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 generations from David to the Babylonian exile, and 14 generations from the exile to Jesus. This suggests that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and the beginning of a new era of salvation.
The significance of numbers in the Bible is a fascinating area of study, and the number 14 is just one example of the rich symbolism that can be found in the text. As we have seen, 14 is often associated with completion or perfection, and it may also symbolize deliverance or the unity of the Old and New Testaments. By understanding the deeper meanings behind these numbers, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the spiritual truths contained within the Bible.