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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NUMBERS
See Also BY THE NUMBER
One is the symbol of the unity of God.
Two is for the two natures of Christ, the human and the Divine.
Three is the number of completion, expressive of a beginning, a middle, and an end. In Christian symbolism, three is the Divine number suggesting the Trinity, and also the three days that Christ spent in the tomb.
Four is ordinarily used to suggest the four Evangelists.
Five is symbolic of the Wounds of Christ. and the five senses.
Six is the number of creation, and perfection, symbolizing Divine power, majesty, wisdom, love, mercy, and justice. On occasion it is used as a symbol of imperfection because it falls one short of the number seven.
Seven is the number of charity, grace, and the Holy Spirit. It was also used by the early writers as the number of completion and perfection. Many instances of this use appear in Biblical writings. When the friends of Job came to comfort him, they 'sat down with him upon the ground for seven days and seven nights' [2:13]. Jacob, as a sign of perfect submission, bowed seven times before his brother. Again, there is reference to the sevenfold of the Holy Spirit, the seven deadly sins, and the seven joys and the seven sorrows of the Virgin, as well as the seven seals on the Book of Life and the seven churches in the Apocalypse.
Eight is the number of Resurrection, for it was on the eighth day after His entry into Jerusalem that Christ rose from the grave. Many baptismal fonts are octagonal in shape.
Nine is the angelic number, for the Bible refers to the nine choirs of Angels. Nine is also the number of mystery.
Ten is the number of the Ten Commandments and a number of completion in re the Commandments and the Ten Plagues, for instance.
Twelve, as the number of the Apostles, has always been a favorite number in Christian symbolism. In a more extended meaning it is occasionally used to represent the entire Church. Also the Twelve tribes of Israel.
Thirteen is the number of faithlessness and betrayal. At the Supper there were thirteen persons at the table: Jesus and twelve Apostles, including Judas, who had already agreed to betray his Master.
Fifteen is the number of ascent and progress: there are 15 steps in the temple, 15 gradual Psalms, and 15 Mysteries of the Rosary.
Forty is symbolic of a period of probation or trial. The Jews wandered for forty years in the wilderness and, for a period of time were in bondage to the Philistines. Moses mained for forty days on Mount Sinai. The rain of the Flood lasted for forty days and forty nights. After Christ's Baptism, He was forty days in the wilderness, being tempted by the Devil.
One Hundred as ten times ten is the number of plenitude and completeness.
One Thousand is often used to represent incalculably large numbers and or eternity.