The number 1212 is not mentioned explicitly in the Bible. However, 12:12 can be found in several books of the Bible starting right from the book of Beginnings (Genesis). Additionally, the number might have some significance in Hebrew/Biblical history. By juxtaposing these two scenarios as well as extrapolating meaning based on the number 12, we can find out what the number 1212 means in the Bible.
The number 12:12 symbolizes judgment. From the first time it appears in Genesis 12:12 to the last time it appears in Revelation 12:12, the theme of wrath and judgment is clear. 1212 represents the wrath of God or the judgment of God visited upon the unrighteous.
History and Significance of 1212
In the Book of Judges chapter 3, Israel starts indulging in sin after Judge Othniel died. As a consequence of their sinful ways, God gives Israel into the hands of the King of Moab, This king, together with his allies overpowered Israel for 18 years. However, Israel turns back to God and He responds by raising a deliverer for them
God uses a man by the name of Ehud, who is a left-handed Warrior, to free them from the grip of the Moabites. Ehud then served as the judge of Israel for 80 years, which is the longest period any judge or leader served in Israel. Ehud was Judge between 1292 and 1212 B.C. After Ehud’s death, Israel went back to their sinful ways which again attracted judgment. This time around, the King of Canaan (King Jabin) dominated them for two decades (Judges 4) until God raises Deborah and Barak to free them again.
The death of Ehud and the return of Israel to their sinful ways is seen by some as one of the reasons why 1212 is believed to symbolize wrath and destruction.
Wrath, Death, and Number 1212
The first time the number 1212 appears in the Bible is in Genesis 12:12. Abraham, who God had called and asked him to journey with him finds himself in Egypt. As he is entering there, he gets concerned that his life might be in danger because of his wife’s beauty. He is afraid that the Egyptians will kill him to take his wife. As such, they hatch a seemingly clever plan – they would introduce Sarah as Abraham’s wife.
From this first mention of 12:12 in the Scriptures, we can infer that the number signifies wrath, death, and judgment. Abraham was afraid of death and so he lied. When the king hears that Sarah was Abraham’s wife, he decides to take her but as scripture records, this move attracted God’s wrath and Judgement.
And the story doesn’t end in Genesis – there are many other illustrations in the Bible where 1212 represents wrath and judgment. One of the most remarkable examples is Exodus 12:12 which says;
On that same night, I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. Exodus 12:12
This was years after the patriarch Abraham had died and his descendants were now in captivity. God came through Moses to rescue Israel but Pharaoh wouldn’t let go easily. Interestingly, the first case of Judgement was the case of Abraham Vs. Pharaoh and the second case is with Israel (Abraham’s seed) Vs. Egypt (Pharaoh’s kingdom).
By juxtaposing these two incidents, we can infer that the number 1212 not only reveals wrath and judgment but the judgment is specifically targeting the unrighteous while God’s people are immune to it. It’s almost like the judgment is released for the benefit of God’s people.
Another illustration of the symbolism of 1212 can be found in Jeremiah. Check it out:
“for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other.” (Jeremiah 12:12)
Unlike the other examples, however, this judgment seems to be pronounced against God’s people. The prophet has been complaining about God’s seeming reluctance to deliver them from captivity and verse 12 of chapter 12 is part of God’s answer. In a nutshell, God says that his people rebelled against him and that is why he released the sword of Judgement. So, in a way, the theme of the judgment of evil is still seen – even though in this case, the evildoers are God’s people.
Another example of God’s people being judged can be found in the New Testament. In the book of Luke 12:12, Jesus is seen preparing his disciples for the persecution that would befall them. He warns them how they will be arrested, prosecuted, and judged for preaching the Gospel. However, he tells them not to worry about it because the Holy Spirit will help them know how to defend themselves before the rulers judge them.
The symbolism of 1212 can also be found in the last book of the Bible – Revelation. Here it is:
“Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time.” (Revelation 12:12).
This verse reveals both wrath and Judgement. First, the dwellers of Earth are warned that the Devil will unleash his wrath on them. Secondly, the verse insinuates that the wrath of the devil signifies the looming judgment. This verse amplifies the doctrine of heaven and hell which teaches that God’s people will be raptured and taken to heaven while the devil, the fallen angels, and all those they manage to deceive will be headed for eternal damnation in hell. This will be the final judgment.
The first appearance of the number 1212 is in the first book of the Bible (Genesis) and it symbolizes judgment. Genesis 12:12 is the story of Abraham afraid of the Wrath of the Egyptians and so he lies about his wife being his sister. The last book of the Bible also reveals the theme of judgment in chapter 12 and verse 12. These two alongside other instances in the scriptures confirm that 1212 is the number of God’s judgment.