The Number Twenty-two in the Bible

The Number Twenty-two in the Bible is my last study that will mirror the year. They have encouraged me to focus on my writing and I have learned plenty. Believing in God and doing lucky numbers just don’t fit together in my brain. Father God made numbers for our benefit and He uses them to speak to us in His Word. 

The Letter

The twenty-second letter of the Hebrew alphabet is tav or taw. When applied as a number, tav is four hundred. Because of its last position in the alphabet, it represents truth. Chabad.org explains the truth of a thing is known when the thing is done. The term for truth is emes.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/137287/jewish/Tav.htm

Psalm 119, which is an acrostic, has been my influence on the series of posts on numbers. In keeping with the meaning of tav I would recommend you read Psalm 119:169 -176. They seem to represent points that are relevant at the end of the matter. I did an alternate approach to read this Psalm. I separated the twenty-two sections into eight sections twenty-two verses long. It is fun to speculate about who composed the longest Psalm. Solomon would be the first guess, but I can’t help thinking Hezekiah may have made it to praise God for fifteen more years of life. 

The Number Twenty-two

With the aid of research tools, like Bible Gateway, you can get an easy look at the occurrences of a word. This time I found that for the NIV you need to use twenty-two and 22 (two separate searches). In trying to make sense of how God used it is His Word, I saw three general groupings: counts, things that “died”, and rulers. This number, more than some others I have studied, has several examples of thousands-22,000. 

I found no references in the New Testament to the number twenty-two. There may be hidden ones. The individuals who count uses of words or the times something appears in Scripture amaze me. If you do an internet search, there are interesting things to be found. Please do your own study to verify how important or real these are. Different translations may have varying counts of words and sentence structures. So, making meaning from your counts in your favorite translation may not carry over in another work. (Sorry, Jesus did not speak King James English.)   

Examples  

Remember this is from the NIV. I choose five verses to go into the “counts” list; I will feature two. 

            Counts 

  • 2 Chronicles 13:21 Abijah, a good king, was growing in strength. The chroniclers showed this by utilizing numbers- fourteen wives, twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. (I like including the daughters.) His total count of children was thirty-eight. This also is an important number in Israel’s history.  
  • Numbers 3:39 tells the total number of Levite males. There was a redeeming process for these 22,000 males from among all of Israel. I am uncertain how these fit with the other 22,000 verses.
  • Joshua 19:30 Asher’s towns, 1 Chronicles 12:29 may talk about 22 officers from the clan of Zadok, 1 Chronicles 15:6 220 relatives of Merari (I still used it:).

Died or 22,000

  • Judges 7:3 22,000 men left Gideon’s army, so I think they were “dead” to his cause. They were the ones who trembled because of the battle.
  • Judges 20:21 tells of the Benjamites killing 22,000 men who came to punish them for the sin they were defending.
  • 2 Samuel 8:5 and 1 Chronicles 18:5 tell when David killed 22,000 Arameans who supported the king of Zobah.
  • 1 Kings 8:63 and 2 Chronicles 7:5 speaks of Solomon dedicating the Temple and offering 22,000 cattle. This sacrifice was probably to feed the people that showed up for the dedication.

The leader portion covers several quantities and time periods.

            Leaders

  • Judges 10:3 talks about Jair, who judged Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who had thirty donkeys, and they ruled thirty cities.
  • 1 Kings 14:20-Jeroboam who leads the Northern Kingdom away from God reigned twenty-two years.
  • 1 Kings 16:29-Ahab ruled in Samaria for twenty-two years. Omri, his father, was an evil king who set an awful example for his family.
  • 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2- Ahaziah, who was a poor king of Judah, was twenty-two years old when he became king. His mother, Athaliah, was Omri’s granddaughter, enough said. Jehu killed Ahaziah and Joram.
  • 2 Kings 21:19 and 2 Chronicles 33:21 mention Amon. He was the son of Manasseh, the worst king of Judah, and the father of Josiah, one of the best kings of Judah. Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king.

There are other 22,000+ numbers, I choose not to include them.

The numbers twenty-two and 22,000 are connected with interesting things in the Bible. In my research, I saw a lot about it representing chaos, confusion, and other bad things. Some sites had good with twenty-two. I will say that there were a lot of poor kings that had a twenty-two connection. The other references don’t support chaos. Like tav many things ended when twenty-two was involved.

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