Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed that numbers are important for everything, that each number has a soul and that they represent equal opposites (odd and even, male and female, good and evil, etc). He believed that number 10 is the most sacred number. Plato encouraged studying of numbers as he considered understanding of numbers as the highest knowledge.
Since ancient times men and women have used numbers to signify beliefs and to perform rituals. Numbers were assigned to deities and believed that if doubled, tripled or multiplied then the strength of the numbers is increased (e.g. reciting a prayer certain numbers of times). Even today many use numbers for spiritual practices. For example in numerology and astrology (fields that study numbers and stars to predict future) certain numbers are considered master numbers: 11, 22 and 33. In Freemasonry the master numbers are 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 21, 24, 26, 27, 33, 36, 40, 47 and 81.
Whether we intend to or not, numbers are important and are always present in our lives: from business, calculating time, measuring things, for rituals and religious practices. Their uses are numerous. Below are some of the meanings of numbers:
1 Leadership, the best. In numerology and occultism 1 represents Zeus (main deity in ancient Greece).
In the monotheistic scriptures (The Bible and Islamic Qur’an) it represents the Oneness of God.
2 Partnership. Duality. Division or two equal opposites. In numerology and occultism 2 represents Hera (wife of Zeus). T
Biblically, this number represents creation (2 lights of creation mentioned in Genesis 1:16), angels (cherubim Exod. 25:22), and witnesses of truth (Matt. 26:60).
In monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam God (Allah) created things in pairs: male and female, birth and death, day and night, physical and spiritual, Heaven and Hell, angels and demons, good and evil, etc.
In Greek mythology “god” Janus had two heads.
3 Good fortune. Unity of the sacred masculine and feminine & their child in numerology (Zeus #1 + Hera #2=3).
In the New Testament, 3 is a divine number representing the Christian triune deity. Prophet Jonah spent 3 days and 3 nights inside a fish (Matt. 12:40). Jesus’ preaching lasted 3 years.
Muslims repeat certain prayer words called remembrance (or dhikr in Arabic language) 33 times. In Islam there are 99 Holy Attributes/Names of God (33×3=99). Arabic phrase “There is no god other than God” has an Arabic numeral value of 165=33×5.
Ancient Greek religion taught about divine trinity: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades.
In Buddhism there are three sacred jewels: Buddha, dharma (Buddha’s teachings) and Buddha’s followers. Buddhists believe that there are three carnal sins: greed, hatred and delusion (symbolized by pig, snake and cock).
Hinduism teaches the concept of divine trinity: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer).
This number represents our world. There are 4 seasons, 4 types of soil and 4 primary directions (east, west, north and south). Prophet Daniel prophesized 4 major kingdoms (Daniel 7:3).
Human body has 4 limbs. There are 4 weeks in a month.
Although Islam teaches that there were hundreds of Messengers of God–and possibly many Revelations, only 4 sacred Books/Revelations were named in the Qur’an: Torah, Psalms, New Testament and Qur’an.
In Greek mythology Helios (sun “god”) had 4 horses. Chinese mythology talks about 4 dragon kings each ruling primary directions of the world (east, west, north and south). Egypt “god” Horus had 4 sons.
5 Marriage. There are 5 work days in a week.
5 symbolizes physical aspects of man: 5 fingers, 5 primary races (in layman’s terms called: red, black, brown, yellow and white), 5 bodily systems (respiratory, digestive, endocrine, nervous and circulatory), 5 basic needs (food, water, clothes, shelter and excretion), 5 essential categories of nutrients (proteins, minerals, vitamins, fats and carbohydrates), 5 types of taste (bitter, sweet, salty, sour and spicy), etc.
5 is symbolic of Grace in the Bible (Leviticus 1-5). Jesus multiplied 5 loafs of bread to feed 5000 people (Matt. 14:17).
Islamic religion has 5 pillars. Muslims perform 5 mandatory prayers a day. As noted earlier, when Arabic phrase “There is no god other than God” is multiplied 5 times based on the numerical values of Arabic letters its value is 165 (33×5=165). 5 Prophets mentioned in Islam with most significance: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
Religion of Jainism teaches of 5 supreme beings, 5 great vows and its flag has 5 colors. In Sikhism religious men are initiated in Khalsa (purity). They would wear 5 Ks symbolizing morality/cleanliness, strength/integrity, courage, self-control and saintliness. There are 5 virtues and 5 evils defined in Sikhism.
6 Beauty. The number of Man.
According to the Bible Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, Friday (Genesis 1:31). There are total 66 books (doubled 6) of the Bible (Old and New Testaments combined). 666 is considered an evil number by Christians as it is representative of the Antichrist.
Star of David is a 6-pointed star. Jewish seder meal on Passover contain 6 items: maror, hazeret, haroseth, karpas, zeroa and beitzah.
In Islam the 6th day of the week, Friday, is the day of congregation, contemplation, celebration and prayer. This is a special day when Muslim men are required to pray extra prayer at the mosque as required by the Qur’an (Muslim Holy Book) in chapter 62, verses 9-10. Muslims believe that Adam descended to Earth on Friday. Also, according to the Qur’an chapter 5, verse 3 the sixth day of the week is when the Revelation of Qur’an was completed. During his ascension to Heaven, Messanger Muhammad pbuh met Moses pbuh in the 6th heaven.
In Buddhism the Samsara (or wheel of life) has 6 spheres. There are 6 types of creatures identified in Buddhism: demonic/beings in Hell, ghosts, animals, Asuras (rebellious semi-gods), humans and Devas.
Muslims must abide by 6 aspects of their spiritual faith: 1. belief in God, 2. belief in the existence of angels, 3. belief in the truth of Revelations, 4. belief in the truth of Messengers of God, 5. belief that all happens by God’s Will and 6. belief in the truth of Judgement Day.
7 Perfection. Luck. For many it represents the Divine, Divine perfection, completeness.
There are 7 days of the week. There are 7 ancient wonders in the world, 7 liberal arts (grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, astronomy, music and geometry).
According to the Old Testament the creation was completed by the 7th day. Jewish Sabbath is on the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Jewish Menorah has 7 branches.
7 men were mentioned as “man of God” in the Bible: Moses, Shemaiah, Elijah, Elisha and Igdaliah. Paul gives Jesus 7 titles in Hebrews. Jesus gave 7 parables in Matt. 13. Jesus’ instructed one of his disciples to forgive 70×7 times in Matt. 18:22. Mary Magdalene was said to had had 7 demons that were exorcised from her (Luke 8:2). Hebrew slaves were freed in the 7th year (Exod. 21:2). In the Revelation of John mentioned are 7 churches, 7 angels, 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 plagues and 7 thunders. In Judaism and/or Christianity, there are 7 holy days (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and Last Great Day), all completed in 3 festival seasons. According to New Testament, Jesus performed 7 miracles on the Sabbath Day (Saturday, 7th day of the week).
There are 7 verses in the first chapter of Qur’an. According to Islam there are 7 gates of Hell (Qur’an chapter 15:44) and Hell has 7 layers. During the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Muslims circle Kaaba (House of God, most sacred site in Islam) 7 times. Part of the pilgrimage ritual is also to walk/run 7 times between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah. Another part of the pilgrimage ritual is to throw 7 pebbles at the 3 erected stone pillars/walls (this is symbolic stoning of the devil). According to the Qur’an chapter 18 there were 7 Sleepers in the Cave who were made a miracle to humanity (they were the only believers among their people and God had them asleep in a cave for over hundred years. When Messenger Muhammad pbuh ascended to the Heaven, he went through the 7 Heavens. The 7th Heaven is where he met God (Allah).
In Greek mythology 7 was sacred number of Apollo. He was believed to be born on the 7th day in the 7th month. In English language Sunday is the 7th day. Sun-day meaning the day of the Sun. Apollo was believed by Greeks to be god of the sun.
Egyptian myths claim that Seth (god of the underworld) gave Isis (one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt) 7 scorpions for protection against Osiris.
During the Iranian New Year, a special meal is expected to be served with 7 special items.
8 Sideways, 8 represents infinity. In numerology, number 8 signifies “drive, ambition, authority, efficiency, organization, management, discipline, control, abundance, business, career and intelligence” (numerology.com). Also, numerologists believe that 8 represents building and destruction. Scorpio is the 8th zodiac sign.
All spiders have 8 legs. 8 is the anatomic number of oxygen. In technology, a bite is 8 bits. Chinese and Japanese believe 8 to be a lucky number.
Eight represents something new in the Bible. For example, 8 people survived the Great Flood. Also, first circumcision happened on the 8th day according to Genesis 17:12. New Testament books were believed to be written by 8 people: Mark, Luke, Matthew, John, Paul, James, Jude and Peter. Abraham had 8 sons. Jesus appeared 8 times after his resurrection. Jewish holiday Hanukah has 8 days. Antichrist is said to be the 8th king.
Buddhists have Dharmachakra symbol. It is an 8-pointed wheel symbol symbolizing dharma (state of nature, Law of nature). A branch of Buddhism also teaches about the Eightfold Path (Noble Path) and 8 Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings). Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on the 8th day of the Chinese fourth month.
Muslims believe that there are 8 angels carrying the Holy Throne of God (Allah).
Taoists believe that there exists 8 immortals.
Hindus believe that for two people to be compatible to marry their horoscopes must show 8 important parameters with certain marks to add up to 36. Krishna was the 8th avatar of Vishnu and had 8 primary wives. Lakshmi, Hindu deity of wealth, is symbolized by the 8-pointed star (two interlocked squares).
In Norse mythology their chief deity, Odin, received 8 rings every 9th day.
Ishtar, Babylonian female deity (known as Inanna in Sumeria) is symbolized by a 8-pointed star. She was known as Queen of Earth and Heaven, “godess” of love and war.
9 Wisdom, patience, harmony, perfection and inspiration. Number of man (nine months inside the womb).
Ancient Nordic religion taught that “Odin” their deity “hung for 9 days in Yggdrasil. Aegir had 9 daughters. Thor took 9 steps before falling dead” (mysticalnumbers.com).
In Freemasonry it represents eternity.
In magic practices there are nine numbers inside the square of Solomon. Nepali Bible has 9 books called Dharmas.
According to the New Testament, Jesus died in the 9th hour. Paul documented 9 spiritual gifts from God and 9 fruits of Spirit. There are 9 choruses of angels. Holy of Holies was separated by 9 enclosures.
Baha’i religious symbol is a 9-pointed star (representing unity of 9 great religions: Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Jainism, Hinduism, Shinto and Sikhism). Baha’i temple has 9 sides, spiritual assembly or House of Justice has 9 Baha’i members. Word Baha in Arabic language means “Glory” and its numerical value is 9 (by the numerical values of Arabic letters).
In the Old Testament there are 10 commandments given to Moses. 10 women were named by name in the Bible who caused deaths of others. According to Old Testament there God sent 10 plagues to Egypt.
In Sikhism there is belief that God’s Word came through 10 gurus.
11 Spiritual messenger, highest spirituality/enlightenment, link between the mortal and immortal/link between opposites. In the occult circles and in numerology, 11 is considered one of the master numbers. What this means is that the characteristics assigned to number 1 are doubled in 11. Numerologists also believe that 11 contains traits of numbers 2 (1+1) and 3 (again, 1 representing divine masculine, but since it is two 1s then they may come to be 2, which then produces 3 in magical/occult practice).
According to the church of satan, there are 11 satanic rules of Earth.
In English language, the titles: Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, God Almighty have 11 letters. WWI ended on 11/11/1918, on the 11th hour.
12 Cosmic order and completion of a cycle. 12 months of the year. 12 hours is half of one day (24 hours). Zodiac sign of Pices is represented by 12. There are 12 zodiac signs. In Tarot cards Hanged Man is represented by 12 meaning self-sacrifice and meditation, and if reversed then it means selfishness. Juries usually have 12 jurors.
12 is considered a higher vibration of number 3 in astrology, a blend of numbers 1 and 2 (1+2=3). It signifies philosophy, intellect, higher consciousness, higher wisdom,
There are 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas, 12 tribes of ancient Israel, 12 significant numbers in the Bible (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 40, 50, and 70).
In Shia Islam there is a belief in 12 divinely appointed Imams, the 12th being the most important.
In Greek and Roman mythology there were 12 Olympians/deities: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter and Hestia. Greeks believed in 12 labors of Heracles.
Old and New Testaments