The number 19 appears only thrice in the Bible but that doesn’t mean it is not important. Number 19 is the 8th prime number preceded by 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, and 17. As such, numerologists attach special significance to the number but it also has lots of spiritual significance too.
Number 19 is a combination of 10 and 9. Number 9 symbolizes divine completeness while number 10 symbolizes testimony, law, responsibility, and the completeness of order. As such, number 19 represents God’s perfect order and completeness in his judgments.
In order to understand number 19 and its significance, let’s take a closer look at 9 and 10, which are considered its main building blocks.
Significance of 9
The number 9 is mentioned 49 times in the Bible and it symbolizes divine completion. For instance, Jesus died at the 9th hour of the day to denote that God’s plan of salvation had now been completed on the cross. Also, Yom Kippur, which is the only annual feast that requires the people to fast commences on the 9th day of the 7th Hebrew month (Leviticus 23:32). This feast commemorates the day of atonement as a testament to God’s saving power and grace that was revealed in the deliverance of Israel from captivity. For the New Testament church, this feast is a parallel to the atoning work of the cross. The fact that the feast starts on day 9 symbolizes God’s completion of atonement since Christ was the ultimate sacrifice.
Significance of 10
The number 10 is quite popular in the bible – it appears 242 times. 10 is one of the four perfect numbers in the Bible – the other three are 3, 7, and 12. The number 10 is derived from adding 4 (which symbolizes the physical creation), and 6 (which is the number of man). As such, number 10 represents the law, testimony, responsibility, and perfect order. This may explain why God gave Moses 10 commandments that were written on two tablets of stone. In the Genesis account of creation (Genesis 1), the phrase “God said said” appears 10 times to represent God’s creative power and order. Additionally, the Passover lamb was to be selected on the 10th day Israel was delivered from captivity after 10 plagues. The 10 plagues coupled with the fact that the Passover lamb was to be selected on the 10th day served as testimonies of God’s saving grace.
Significance of number 19
By combining 10 and 9, we can infer that the number 19 signifies divine completeness and perfect order in his judgments. If the names Adam and Eve were to be substituted for numbers, they would add up to 19 which is the first hint that the number 19 represents perfect order in judgment. Even though Adam and Eve had been placed in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience to God attracted judgement which resulted in them being kicked out of Eden.
Appearance of 19 in the Bible
As we have seen, the number 19 appears is only mentioned three times in the Bible. The first time is in Genesis 11:25 which records that Abraham’s grandfather lived for a hundred and nineteen years. This is an important passage because shortly afterward, God commands Abraham to leave his father’s house behind and start on a journey towards what was later to be termed the land of promise (Genesis 12:1).
Another time 19 is mentioned is in 2 Samuel 2:30. David’s army has just returned from war and a headcount confirms that they lost only 19 men as opposed to the 360 men from their enemies. This was to demonstrate that God “resists” those who go contrary to him and sends help to those who walk in paths of righteousness.
Number 19 is also mentioned in Joshua 19:38 when the tribe of Naphtali receives 19 cities as their inheritance (Joshua 19:38). Many years later, in Isaiah 9, the prophet foretells how the land of Naphtali would become a shining beacon. This prophecy was fulfilled by the coming of the ministry of Jesus as recorded in the gospel of Mathew:
This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah: “In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined. (Matthew 4:14-16).
The Jewish calendar also uses the number 19 a lot. For starters, the number of days spent observing God’s annual feasts (also known as holy days) makes a total of 19 days. These are made of;
- Passover (1)
- Days of Unleavened Bread (7)
- Pentecost (1)
- Day of Trumpets (1)
- Day of Atonement (1)
- Feast of Tabernacles (7)
- Last Great Day (1).
In addition, the Hebrew Calendar tracked time by repeating a cycle of 19 years. In order to keep the solar years in synch, the Hebrew calendar typically adds a 13th month in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 for each cycle. The use of 19 as the cycle time is a symbol of God’s perfect order in creation. It is during the creation that God created the greater light to rule by day and the lesser to rule by night. In Pslams 19, David goes to great lengths to explain how these lights display God’s message for all creation to see.
To wrap it up, number 19 is not a popular number in the Bible. It is only mentioned 3 times which is very few mentions when juxtaposed to other more popular numbers like 10. However, number 19 is still a very important number in the scriptures. Whether from explicit or implied mentions, this number has an important message because it symbolizes God’s completeness and perfect order in judgment. In other words, God is a righteous judge and his judgments are done in an environment of righteousness which promotes perfect order.