Numbers in the Bible can usually be understood literally, but sometimes numbers are employed as symbols or representations of a larger idea. The setting in which the numbers are used normally designates whether they are being used to symbolize something beyond their numerical value.
For example, “one” is used as a symbol for the idea of unity. Jesus prayed to God that his followers “may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you.”— John 17:21.
Discover significant Bible verses about numbers that reference either a literal or symbolic meaning from this collection of scripture quotes!
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2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.
3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.
4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’
7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.
9 “ ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.
1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said:
2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.
3 You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.
4 One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.
5 These are the names of the men who are to assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur;
6 from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;
7 from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab;
8 from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar;
9 from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon;
10 from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;
11 from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni;
12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;
13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Okran;