The Number 13
4th of Elul
that we may afterwards compare and contrast the two. For this purpose we must consider the number thirteen here, and out of its otherwise proper order.
As to the significance of thirteen, all are aware that it has come down to us as a number of ill-omen. Many superstitions cluster around it, and various explanations are current concerning them.
Unfortunately, those who go backwards to find a reason seldom go back far enough. The popular explanations do not, so far as we are aware, go further back than the Apostles. But we must go back to the first occurrence of the number thirteen in order to discover the key to its significance. It occurs first in Gen 14:4, where we read "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they REBELLED."
Hence every occurrence of the number thirteen, and likewise of every multiple of it, stamps that with which it stands in connection with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some kindred idea.
The second mention of thirteen is in connection with Ishmael, Gen 17:25. He was thirteen years old when Abraham circumcised him and admitted him into the covenant to which he was a stranger in heart, and which ended in his rebellion and rejection.
We see it stamped upon the very fore-front of Revelation. For while the opening statement of Gen 1:1 is composed of seven words and twenty-eight letters (4x7), the second verse consists of fourteen words, but fifty-two letters; fifty-two being 4x13 tells of some apostasy or rebellion which caused the ruin of which that verse speaks.
But it is when we come to
that the most wonderful results are seen. These results may be stated thus, briefly: That the names of the LORD's people are multiples of eight, while the names of those who apostatized, or rebelled, or who were in any sense His enemies, are multiples of thirteen. This statement, if it be proved, is one of the greatest evidences of verbal inspiration which the world has yet seen. The discovery of the great principle is due, we believe, to the late Dr. Milo Mahan, of New York, who has given many examples of it in his work already referred to, now long out of print. The effect of this law can hardly be estimated in establishing the presence of an ever-present working of the Holy Spirit in inditing the very words and even the letters of Scripture. No human foresight or arrangement could have secured such a result beforehand; no human powers could have carried it out in such perfection. No matter where we look, we find the working of the law without cessation, without a break, without a flaw from beginning to end. Only one conclusion is possible, and that is that the Bible has but one Author, an eternal, omniscient Author, designing, superintending, working, and carrying out His own infinite plans.
Let us take a survey of this wondrous field
The numerical value of the Seth line of names collectively is a multiple of 8; whilst those of the Cain line collectively is a multiple of 13.
* Japheth was the eldest son of Noah, though Shem was chosen for the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
Taking the Noah group separately, we have:
Without Ham, the three names, Noah, Shem, and Japheth, equal 888. With Ham they equal 936, as above; but this, though it is a multiple of 8, is at the same time a multiple of 13, and of 9 also, the number of judgment.
The gematria of the whole Scripture, Gen 5:6-24, which contains the record of these names, amounts to 62960 (or 8x7870).
The family of Lamech is also significant if looked at separately:
* Please see The Number 42.
The history of the Cain family is given in Gen 4:1-25, and spreads over 130 years (13x10). See Gen 5:3.
Further, the whole Scripture which records the history, Gen 4:1-25, yields by gematria 76882 (13x5914). There is, however, a remarkable exception which "proves the rule." Verse 25 records the birth of Seth, and its value is 6560 (8x820); verse 26, also, which records the birth of his son Enos, and tells how men began then to "call upon the name of the LORD," yields 3064 (8x383).
Contrast this with verse 1, where the numerical value of the words "and she conceived and bare Cain" is 1612 (13x124).
The years of Adam during the days of Cain, before the birth of Seth, were 130 (13x10): see Gen 5:3. While after the birth of Seth he lived 800 years (8x100), Gen 5:4.
in Gen 4:23,24, is 4667 (13x359); while the sentence pronounced on Cain in vv 10-13 is 10283 (13x791).
The record in Gen 6, which gives the apostasy of man, leading up to the judgment of the Flood, is stamped and branded throughout with significant numbers:
But now contrast vv 8-10 concerning Noah--"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD," etc., 7008 (8x876):
The Canaanite names:
THE DESCENDANTS OF JOKTAN (Gen 10:25-29)
The whole passage (Gen 10:25-29) yields the number 10647 (13x13x63). Such are the pains taken to emphasise the rise of the progenitors of the Saracens, for Joktan settled in S. Arabia, while Ishmael settled in Arabia Petrea.
Thus the entire generation is 4832 (8x604).
Abraham had eight sons. Seven of them were born "after the flesh," while the eighth was "by promise."
* Isaac's household was a divided one, as well as Jacob's; hence we have the 13 as a factor as well as 8.
Leah's Six Sons
Add parents' names (Jacob 182, and Leah 36), and we have 1944 (8x243).
The whole family of Jacob, including Ephraim (331) and Manasseh (395) = 4512 (8x8x8+4000).
are enumerated in some 18 (3x6) different ways, in which one is always omitted. For there were 12 tribes; but there were also 13, telling of God's design for perfect government, and of man's apostasy from that government.
To go back, however, to Genesis, we now take
THE ELEVEN DUKES OF EDOM
Gen 36:40-43 is by gematria 9880: thus--
The word "duke," amounts to 117 (13x9).
And eleven times repeated, it is still a multiple of 13, viz., 1287 (13x99).
THEIR DESCENDANTS IN GEN 25:3
THE SONS OF MIDIAN (Gen 25:4)
The phrase which concludes the lists, "All these are the sons of Keturah," has for its value 468 (13x36), making with the numbers above 5213 for the whole group, or 13x401.
The whole passage is also a multiple of 13.
Ben-Ammi (children of Ammi) 182 (13x14)
The whole passage (Gen 19:31-38) is a multiple of 13
* Even the expression in 2 Peter 2:7, "and righteous Lot," is 1326 (13x102).
It will be observed how we have here not only the number thirteen, but also the number nine, which...is the number of judgment.
is also stamped with the number thirteen, though not by gematria, for the city was compassed once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day, making 13 times in all (6+7). "Jericho" is 234 which is 13x2x9 (nine being the number of judgment).
who were raised up as saviours in a time of apostasy and rebellion exhibit both these factors, 8 and 13
Abimelech the usurper (Judges 9) by his name
The Judges period ends under Samuel, 377 (13x29), and the last three names which come before us are--
Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas, which together amount to 462 (42x11).
THE JUDAH AND ISRAEL LINES OF KINGS
are stamped in a remarkable manner with these numbers.
There are two periods specially marked with regard to Israel.
The number 65 is associated with the separate existence of the Ten Tribes in Isa 7:8, "Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people." From that time, that is to say, from the last year of Jeroboam II to the carrying away of Israel was exactly 65 years, or 5 times 13, which characterised the disintegration which was going on in the nation.
But, more than this, the number 390 was also stamped upon Israel as being the whole duration of the separate existence of the Ten Tribes from the day they rebelled against Rehoboam to the day they were led away captive. This we see from Eze 4:4, 5, where the command was given to Ezekiel, "Lie thou upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt be upon it, thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel."
Now 390 is thirteen times thirty,* and the duration of Israel's rebellion is sufficiently and appropriately branded upon it.
* Commentators entirely miss the point when they say that 390 = 10x39, instead of 13x30!
On the other hand, when we turn to Judah we see the number 8 pervading it. For the same prophet, in the next verse, is commanded to lie on his right side forty days to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah--each day for a year. We ought to note in passing that the name of Ezekiel, who foretells the duration and end of this apostasy, is 156 (13x12); while the words of the prophecy, Eze 4:1-6, amount to 36673 (13x13x7x31), and the whole passage, 4:1-8, to 43069 (13x3313).
The fulfillment ought also to be noted. The 390 years were to signify not only the years of apostasy, but were also to signify the 390 days of the siege of Jerusalem; viz., 13 months (30x13). The siege commenced on the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year of Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:1-4), and it was taken on the 9th day of the 4th month of the 11th year of the same king. This gives a period of 18 months. But the siege was raised for about 5 months (see Jer 37), while Nebuchadnezzar's army was withdrawn for fear of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who had come up to meet him.
Thus we have the two numbers stamped by the history; upon Judah 8, and upon Israel 13.
Now look at
1. The spelling, which sometimes varies, is taken according to the first occurrence of the name.