The New Testament writers symbolically applied all the basic numbers to express their ideas, but made more references to specific numbers relating to the seven-fold human body, to the divine potential of the human mind and soul and to spiritual destiny.
Many years elapsed between the writing of the Old and New Testaments which allowed time for much expansion of human consciousness. As a result, many more meanings for the numbers had accrued. The use of symbolism had grown and was liberally employed as a means of revelation.
1 - (One)
Is THE ZERO made more manifest; it is the self, independence and unity. "In the beginning was the Word... and the Word was God" (John 1:1). 1 is the basis or cause of a beginning; it is a start, a creative idea for expression.
2 - (Two)
ENCOMPASSES ALL PAIRS of opposites -male and female, spirit and matter, heaven and hell. "No man can serve two masters... ye cannot serve God and Mammon," (Matthew 6:24). There is always a choice to be made between the pairs of opposites; thus we are warned that in duality there is danger. "A house divided against itself shall not stand," (Matthew 12:25). But, "If two agree, it shall be done," (Matthew 18:19).
3 - (Three)
SYMBOLIZES THE TRINITY, triad and trine - the three dimensions. In a larger sense, the 3 stands for multiplication and growth. Three of the disciples went with Jesus into the garden of Gethsemane. They were Peter, James and John; these three stand for light, life and love. "And Jesus went apart and prayed three times..., each time He returned to find them asleep." The inner meaning is that Jesus felt that light, life and love were forsaking Him, as He said in His prayer, "Father let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, Thy will be done" (Matthew 26:37-45; Mark 14:32-41).
Jesus asked Peter three times, "Lovest thou me?" (John 21:15-17). The three inquiries refer to love on the three planes of consciousness -- the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the superconscious mind. "If two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," (Matthew 18:20). This also refers to the three parts of the mind, and avers that if all agree, the Christ power will prevail.
The story of Jesus is a story of 3's. He rose after three days and he was denied thrice by Peter. The fact that Jesus was crucified between two thieves is symbolic of the divided system of belief, which has stolen many of the true teachings. Christ sat down with the twelve, a higher vibration of 3. Judas bargained for thirty pieces of silver, again a vibration of 3.
4 - (Four)
STANDS FOR LAW and order, measurement, the physical and material realms, reason, logic, the square and the cross. Whenever a number is made up of straight lines, it symbolizes the divine principle; therefore the 4 and the 7 are called sacred numbers. The symbols are the square and the cross. The cross is always a sacred symbol wherever found.
Traditionally, the equal-armed cross, represented man. With the coming of Christ, the horizontal line of the cross was raised from the umbilical center to the heart center. It is not necessarily a Christian symbol; other spiritual leaders have died on the cross such as Krishna of India, Thamus of Syria, Hesus of the Druids, Mithra of Persia and Quexalcotl of Mexico.
"And He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan; and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto him," (Mark 1:13). 40 is used in a Scripture to indicate a completed cycle of retreat from things of the world in preparation for something better to follow.
On the morning of the fourth day after he died, Lazarus (meaning lack of spiritual understanding) lay in the tomb, bound hand and foot, with grave clothes wound around him. The fourth dawning day is when spiritual understanding shall release us from the grave of materialism and bring awakening to the one light.
"At the fourth watch, just as gray dawn was breaking, they beheld one walking on the water," (Matthew 14:25). This refers metaphorically to the dawning of Aquarian Age, the age of community.
5 - (Five)
STANDS FOR MEDIATION, understanding and judgment. The ancients represented the world by the number 5, the explanation being that in 5 are represented the four elements earth, water, fire and air, plus the fifth essence, ether or spirit. Five became the number of humanity with the five developed senses. It is the great senses, after which the sixth sense intuition develops.
The five wounds of Christ symbolize the suffering endured while in the flesh, which leads us to turn to God. In the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins (Matthew 25:3), "They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in Testament their vessels with their lamps." The oil relates to the anointed, or those who had light. Human beings can choose the light or reject it by their actions. Interestingly, the word oil is a 9-powered word, which means a completed cycle of attainment.
6 - (Six)
IS THE NUMBER OF BALANCE, harmony, cooperation, marriage, connubiality and beauty. "And there were set there six water pots of stone" (John 2:6) for the wedding feast. A wedding represents love (as does the number 6) at its most blissful state in earthly consciousness. The 6 expresses universal love, for out of the sorrows of personal love, the soul awakens to the higher life which leads to illumination or adeptship. Jesus' first miracle changed six pots of water to wine.
7 - (Seven)
Is THE NUMBER OF REST, cessation but not ceasing, safety, and the full measure of the triad and the quaternary. One of the greatest heritages from the Christian Scriptures is the seven-fold path of the Lord's prayer. The seven statements express the triad and the quaternary (Matthew 6:9-13):
1. Our Father which art in heaven,
2. Hallowed be Thy Name.
3. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
4. Give us this day our daily bread, and
5. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
6. Lead us not into temptation,
7. But deliver us from evil.
The final statement ("For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever") was added much later to symbolize return to the heavenly state.
8 - (Eight)
STANDS FOR INVOLUTION AND EVOLUTION, for cycles of ebb and flow, infinity, rhythm, advancement, strength and confidence.
The 8 is not a primary number in the New Testament. Rather, we find the 8 figures heavily in the eight-fold path of the Buddha and in occult literature.
9 - (Nine)
REFERS TO COMPLETION, attainment, fulfillment, regeneration and revelation. Many words in the Bible are used for their symbolic meanings and teachings mystically concealed. Bread and wine are usually linked together. Bread is a 3-powered word; wine is a 6-powered word; together they form a symbol of the 9-power of regeneration. Thus the serving of bread and wine means that one is to partake of a regenerative process when taking communion.
Read more about the Meaning of Numbers.
Biblical Numerology Resources