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Philologos
Bible Prophecy Research
Title: The Number 13
Submitted by: research-bpr@philologos.org
Date: Sept 4, 2000
URL: //philologos.org/bpr/files/n018.htm

The Number 13

4th of Elul
September 4, 2000

 

Excerpt from:
Number in Scripture
E. W.Bullinger

Eight and Thirteen Together

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

GEMATRIA

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 SETH AND CAIN LINES

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.

The Seth Line of Names
Adam 45
Seth 700
Enos 357
Cainan 210
Mahalaleel 136
Jared 214
Enoch 84
Methuselah 784
Lamech 90
Noah 58
Japheth* 490
(8x396) 3168

* Japheth was the eldest son of Noah, though Shem was chosen for the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Taking the Noah group separately, we have:

Noah 58
Shem 340
Ham 48
Japheth 490
(8x9x13) 936

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 Cain Line of Names
Adam 45
Cain 160
Enoch 84
Irad 284
Mehujael 95
Methusael 777
Lamech 90
Jabal 42
Jubal 48
Tubal Cain 598
(13x9x19) 2223

The family of Lamech is also significant if looked at separately:

Lamech and Adah 169 (13x13)
The two wives, Adah and Zillah 611 (13x47)
Jabal, his firstborn, the father of the Bedouin 42 (*the No. of Antichrist)
Tubal Cain 598 (13x46)
The whole family, including the daughter, Naamah 1924 (or 13x148)

* 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.

THE GEMATRIA OF LAMECH'S SONG

in Gen 4:23,24, is 4667 (13x359); while the sentence pronounced on Cain in vv 10-13 is 10283 (13x791).

GENESIS VI

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:

Verses 1-3 amount to 7272 (6x1212).
Verse 2 amounts to 3198 (13x6x41).
Verse 4, "the same were mighty men which were of old, men of renown" 1703 (13x131).
Verses 5-7, which speak concerning the corruption 10335 (13x795).
Verses 1-7 21672 (6x6x602).

But now contrast vv 8-10 concerning Noah--"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD," etc., 7008 (8x876):

Verses 11-17, the end of all flesh, the command to build the ark, and the threat of the Flood 33540 (13x2580).
Verses 14-16, concerning the ark 17668 (4x4417).
Verses 12, 13 and 17 together, concerning the violence and corruption 13320 (666x20).
Verses 18-22, which speak of the covenant to save Noah and his house, while they are stamped with the number 13 (which is the number of atonement as well as of sin, see below), are stamped also with the triple five, the 15 of perfect grace by which Noah was called, and by the number 2, which tells of incarnation and deliverance. The gematria of these verses is 15002 (13x1154).

GENESIS 10:15-18

The Canaanite names:

Canaan 190
And 6
Sidon 154
Heth 408
The Jebusite 93
The Amorite 256
The Girgashite 521
The Hivite 29
The Arkite 385
The Sinite 135
The Arvadite 226
The Zemarite 345
The Hamathite 463
(13x13x19) 3211

THE DESCENDANTS OF JOKTAN (Gen 10:25-29)

Joktan (the 13th from Shem)(13x13) 169
Peleg (his brother) 113
Salah (his grandfather) (13x13x2) 338
His 13 sons:  
Almodad 85
Sheleph 410
Hazarmaveth 744
Jerah 218
Hadoram 255
Uzal 44
Diklah 139
Obal 108
Abimael 84
Sheba 303
Ophir 287
Havilah 59
Jobab 20
(13x212) 2756

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.

THE LINE OF ARPHAXAD (Gen 11:10-27)
Shem 340
Arphaxad 605
Salah 338
Eber 272
Peleg 113
Reu 276
Serug 509
Nahor 264
Terah 608
Abram 243
(8x446) 3568

NAHOR'S FAMILY

Nahor 264
Haran 255
Lot 45
Sarai 510
Milcah 95
Iscah 95
(8x158) 1264

Thus the entire generation is 4832 (8x604).

THE GENERATIONS OF ABRAHAM

Abraham had eight sons. Seven of them were born "after the flesh," while the eighth was "by promise."

(8x31) Abraham 248
(8x2x13) Isaac* 208
(8x57) 456

* Isaac's household was a divided one, as well as Jacob's; hence we have the 13 as a factor as well as 8.

JACOB'S FAMILY
(7x2x13) Jacob 182
Leah 36
Rachel 238
(8x57) 456

Leah's Six Sons

Reuben 259
Simeon 466
Levi 46
Judah 30
Issachar 830
Zebulon 95
(13x2+1700) 1726

Add parents' names (Jacob 182, and Leah 36), and we have 1944 (8x243).

Rachel's Two Sons (Spelling taken as in Gen 35:22-26)
Joseph 156
Benjamin 152
(77x4) 308

Rachel's Maid

Bilhah 42
Dan 54
Naphtali 570
  666

Leah's Maid

Zilpah 122
Gad 7
Asher 501
Add Leah 36
  666

The whole family of Jacob, including Ephraim (331) and Manasseh (395) = 4512 (8x8x8+4000).

THE TWELVE TRIBES

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.

In Deut 32 Simeon is left out.
In Rev 7 Dan and Ephraim are omitted (Joseph and Levi being inserted).
Generally it is Levi that is omitted.
Arranged in their 4 camps, as in Num 2, their value is 3736 (8x467).
Arranged as in Rev 7, the value (according to the Greek spelling, of course) is 8480 (8x1060).
Arranged as in Num 13:3-16, in connection with the rebellion on the return of the 12 spies, we see defection at once; for all the representatives of the tribes failed except Caleb and Joshua (788).
The whole passage = 17654 (13x1358).
From verse 4-16 = 12038 (13x926).

To go back, however, to Genesis, we now take

ISHMAEL'S TWELVE SONS (Gen 25:12-17)
Now these 40
The generations of 836
Ishmael 451
Nebaioth 462
Kedar 304
Abdeel 38
Mibsam 382
Mishmah 450
Dumah 55
Massa 341
Hadar 212
Tema 451
Jetur 225
Naphish 440
Kedemah 149
(13x12x31) 4836

THE ELEVEN DUKES OF EDOM

Gen 36:40-43 is by gematria 9880: thus--

Verse 40 = 5453
Verse 41 = 670
Verse 42 = 1340
Verse 43 = 2417 (as far as "he is Esau")
Total 9880 (13x760)

The word "duke," amounts to 117 (13x9).

And eleven times repeated, it is still a multiple of 13, viz., 1287 (13x99).

THE ABRAHAM-KETURAH GROUP (Gen 25:1,2)
(8x31) Abraham 248
(8x40) Keturah 320
Zimran 297
Jokshan 460
Medan 94
Midian 104
Ishbak 412
Shuah 314
(13x173) 2249

THEIR DESCENDANTS IN GEN 25:3

Shebah 303
Dedan 58
Sons of Dedan 120
(13x37) 481
Asshurim 547
Letushim 385
Leummim 121
(13x81) 1053

THE SONS OF MIDIAN (Gen 25:4)

Sons of Midian 166
Ephah 165
Epher 350
Hanoch 58
Abidah 87
Eldaah 110
(13x72) 936

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.

THE INCESTUOUS CHILDREN OF LOT (Gen 19)

 

Ammon 166
Ammi 120
(13x22) 286

Ben-Ammi (children of Ammi) 182 (13x14)

The whole passage (Gen 19:31-38) is a multiple of 13

GENESIS 19
"And there came two angels to Sodom at even," 640 (8x80)
"And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom"* = 1313
Verse 1. The whole verse, 4299, significant of Antichrist (42) and judgment (9).
Verses 1-25 = 90441 (13x9x773).
Verses 26-29, describing the results of the overthrow = 14274 (13x9x122).
Verses 1-29, the entire account = 104715 (13x9x895).
Lots words in verse 7 = 777.
Verse 25. The work of the LORD in the overthrow = 2888.
The account in the Second Epistle of Peter = 6999

* 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.

THE DESTRUCTION OF JERICHO

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).

THE TWELVE JUDGES

who were raised up as saviours in a time of apostasy and rebellion exhibit both these factors, 8 and 13

Othniel 561
Ehud 16
Shamgar 543
Barak 302
Gideon 133
Tola 506
Jair 221
Jephthah 498
Ibzan 143
Elon 97
Abdon 132
Samson 696
(8x13x37) 3848

Abimelech the usurper (Judges 9) by his name

(13x4) Ben 52
(13x24) Jerubbaal 312
(13x28) 364

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 SAUL GROUP OF NAMES (1 Sam 14:49-51)
Saul 337
Kish 760
Sons of Saul 399
Jonathan 516
Ishui 326
Melchishua 476
Ahinoam 179
Merab 242
Michal 100
Abner son of Ner 565
(13x300) 3900

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

THE LIST OF JUDAH'S KINGS[1]
Rehoboam 320
Abijam 53
[2]Asa 62
Jehoshaphat 410
Jehoram 261
Ahaziah 37
Athaliah 515
Jehoash 322
[3]Amaziah 152
[4]Azariah (Uzziah) 292
Jotham 456
Ahaz 16
Hezekiah 136
Manasseh 395
Amon 97
Josiah 332
Jehoahaz 37
Jehoiakim 181
Jehoiachin 111
Zedekiah 215
(8x550) 4400

1. The spelling, which sometimes varies, is taken according to the first occurrence of the name.

2. In the 39th (3x13) year of his reign he forsook the LORD (2 Chron 16:12).

3. Amaziah = 146 or 152 according to the spelling. If 146, then the total will be 4394 (13x13x13x2). But if we add Saul 337, David 14, and Solomon 375, it is 5120 (8x8x8x10).

4. He had reigned 52 (4x13) years when he apostatized (2 Chron 26:3,21).

THE ISRAELITE KINGS
Jeroboam I 322
Nadab 56
Baasha 373
Elah 36
Zimri 257
Omri 320