Jewish Numerology

Christians tend to read numbers in the Bible as just that, the number. We believe that there were 12 disciples (even though there are actually 15 different men named throughout the four Gospels). We believe Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, and the list goes on.

If we look at these numbers though the Jewish system of numerology, called Gematria, we get a richer understanding of what the numbers represented and what the first hearers of these Gospels might have added from their understanding of the symbolism behind the numbers. Gematria is extensive and would take years to learn. Christians reading scripture do not need that level of understanding, we just need to know the basics and know that sometimes a number is more than a number.

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