Even though the number 999 is not mentioned explicitly in the Bible, the number 9 appears at least 49 times in the scriptures. The number 9 symbolizes divine completeness and divine finality. It may also represent the fruit of the Holy Spirit which describes the inner workings of God’s spirit in the life of a believer.
But what does 999 symbolize?
Number 999 draws its symbolism from the Holy Spirit. More precisely, the number points to the power of the Holy Spirit through which God accomplishes his will on earth. The number 999 may also symbolize God’s righteous judgment.
Let us take a closer look at these symbolisms below.
The power of the Holy Spirit
The first digit in the number 999 symbolizes the fruit of the spirit of God as outlined by Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Galatians (5:22-23). The Bible calls the 9 fruits (singular) and not fruits to demonstrate that the nine fruits are all characteristics of one unifying Spirit. These are:
- Long-suffering (patience)
But the fruit of the spirit is not the only function of the Spirit. He also empowers the believer for victorious living and ministry through the gifts /abilities/ administrations that God gives believers at his discretion. The gifts of the spirit are not given to believers to make them feel important and superior. On the contrary, they are to be used to eddy the body of Christ and serve humanity. The gifts of the spirit as listed in 1Corinthians 12:7 – 10 are:
- word of wisdom is given by the Spirit
- word of knowledge
- faith by the same Spirit
- gifts of healing
- working of miracles
- discerning of spirits
- various languages;
- The interpretation of languages
The last digit in 999 represents the spiritual power represented around God’s throne. According to Revelation 1:4-5, John the Revelator tells us of the seven spirits of God. By adding the 7 spirits to the father and the son, we get 9 which is why the number can be said to represent God’s power in heaven.
God’s righteous judgment
According to Bullinger, who is an expert on Hebrew numerology, the Greek Gematria making the phrase “my wrath” is equal to 999. One of the most prolific references to the phrase my wrath in the Bible is in the following verse:
As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest. (Hebrews 3:11).
Incredibly, Bullinger also notes that the Hebrew Gematria of Sodom is also 999. We can therefore infer that the number 999 can also be a symbol of God’s wrath which is revealed in his divine judgement. As demonstrated throughout the scriptures, God often delays his judgment to give the unbelievers enough time to repent. This is because he really doesn’t want to judge those living in sin. However, he is a righteous judge and even though judgment can be delayed, it still has to come.
Jesus Christ died at the 9th hour of the day (3. p.m.) as a way of paying the ultimate sacrifice. This is because God had pronounced judgment of death on the sinner. By dying on the cross, Jesus took the judgment on man’s behalf to save us from the looming death and thereby give us a chance to reconnect with God.
The death of Jesus coincided with Yom Kippur, which is considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is a day that commemorates God’s judgment that was released on Israel’s captors (Egypt) thereby resulting in their freedom. This day is celebrated on the 9th day of the 7th month on the Jewish calendar (Leviticus 23:32)
Manifestation of spiritual power
The number 999 may also be used to insinuate the manifestation of spiritual power – whether evil or good. As we have seen, there is a connection between Yom Kipurr (which is celebrated on the 9th day of the seventh month) and the exodus. As the Bible records, the exodus happened after a demonstration of power from Moses. Initially, the Egyptians were not impressed with Moses’ demonstrations because they were able to duplicate the miracles. However, Moses’ rod proved too powerful for their magicians and they eventually threw in the towel.
On one hand, the number 999 can represent the completeness and power of the Godhead. However, the same number could also represent evil power. There are at least 9 distinct passages that talk about sorcery in the Old Testament. These include:
- God declared judgment on the Egyptians who cast spells and practiced other forms of magic (Isaiah 19:3,11 – 12)
- Egyptian magicians counterfeited God’s miracles (Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7,18).
- Balak hired Balaam to use his soothsaying power to curse Israel (Numbers 22, 23).
- Jezebel used evil arts and witchcraft (2Kings 9:22)
- God pronounces judgment on Nineveh for enticing their neighbors like a mistress of witchcraft (Nahum 3).
- Babylonians were known for consulting magicians and sorcerers (Isaiah 47:9 – 13, Daniel 2:2,10, 27).
- Belshazzar called for astrologers to interpret the handwriting on the wall.
- God cautioned his people not to be moved by the signs of heaven like the pagans are with their astrology (Jeremiah 10:2, Micah 3:6 – 7).
- False prophets used divination to deceive others (Jeremiah 14:14, 27:9, Ezekiel 13:6 – 9)
In summary, the number 999 represents the power of the Holy Spirit, empowering believers with gifts and abilities for ministry and victorious living. It also signifies God’s righteous judgment, emphasizing that judgment, though delayed, is inevitable, as exemplified by Jesus’ sacrifice in the ninth hour. Furthermore, 999 symbolizes the manifestation of spiritual power, both for good and evil, echoing the exodus story and warning against the misuse of such power. In essence, 999 encapsulates the intricate interplay between divine completeness, judgment, and spiritual power in the Bible.