1010 is an incredible number. For starters, it is made of the binary numbers 1 and 0 which are the basis of modern computing. 1010 is also one of the few numbers that look similar in both decimal and binary numbering systems. But this number doesn’t just have mathematical implications – it also has some interesting Biblical symbolisms.
1010 symbolizes God’s salvation plan. We see this from the second king of Israel (David) who rose to power after the first king (Saul) died in 1010 B.C. Jesus was then born from the house of David and made it clear in John 10:10 that he came to give abundant life.
A historical background
David fought and overpowered the Philistines several times between 1020 to 1010 B.C. when he was just a youth. For instance, David was offered the king’s daughter but the dowry price was to be 100 foreskins from the Philistines. David, who was eager to marry the king’s daughter, took the challenge and brought back twice as many foreskins as was requested (1 Samuel 18:25 – 27).
King Saul (The first king of Israel) died in 1010 B.C. and that was an important point in the history of the Nation of Israel as well as the Bible. The King died on Mount Gilboa and shortly thereafter, the tribe of Judah anoint and recognize David as their king of Judah (2 Samuel 2:1 – 4). On seeing this, Abner, King Saul’s military commander, hatches a plan to set up Saul’s son (Ishbosheth) as king. The plan takes him five years to execute but eventually, he is enthroned as king of Israel. However, Judah refuses to participate and continues recognizing David as their king. Shortly afterward, the king of Israel is assassinated by two of his commanders an event that led the other tribes to join with Judah in recognizing David as the overall king of the 12 tribes of Israel. David then rules over Israel for 33 years (2 Samuel 5:1 – 5).
The kingdom of David was part of God’s prophetic agenda to redeem Israel and ultimately birth the church and it is significant that all this started happening in the year 1010. As the prophets had said, David would be the descendant of the messiah. Here are two such prophecies:
The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land … This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our righteous savior.”Jeremiah 23:5-6
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will rest on him. Isaiah 11:1
It is, therefore, safe to infer that the Davidic dynasty that rose from 1010 B.C. was the first step in establishing the root from which the “shoot” would emerge from the “stump of Jesse.” As history records, Jesus was eventually born to a family that had both physical and legal ties to David. This was important because by his birth, the Messiah inherited the Davidic promise which meant that he would occupy the throne forever ((Luke 1:32 – 33).
The symbolism of 1010 in the Bible
The number 1010 can be viewed as 10 repeated twice. As such, the symbolism of 1010 can be said to be tied to the symbolism of 10. 10 is one of the four perfect numbers in the Bible (the others are 3, 7, and 12). The number 10 symbolizes several things including testimony, law, responsibility, and the completeness of order.
In 2 Cor. 13:1, the Bible says a matter shall be established by two testimonies (witnesses). And since the number 10 symbolizes witness, repeating it twice meats the threshold of scripture for the perfect testimony. The number 1010, therefore, represents God’s perfect testimony, God’s perfect order, or God’s perfect plan.
As we have established, the rise of David was a precursor of the prophetic declarations of the coming Messiah. When Jesus was born from the lineage of David, God’s perfect plan of salvation was revealed to mankind. And just like David ruled Israel for 33 years, Jesus the incarnate was on earth for 33 years – which further confirms God’s perfect order and testimony. Another illustration of this relationship can be seen in the reference to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. This was alluding to David who was also a shepherd before he ascended to the palace.
In John 10, Jesus is giving one of his most famous parables – the parable of the good shepherd. In verse 10, he says this;
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
This is a great illustration of the meaning of 1010 in the Bible. In this scripture, God not only makes his perfect plan of salvation clear but he also juxtaposes it with the plan of the enemy for effect. From as early as when he was serving King Saul to when he was an old King., David had to fight many battles. By the time he handed over kingship to Solomon, David had conquered most of the enemies of Israel and the nation enjoyed peace and tranquility.
Similarly, the perfect plan of God’s salvation entailed Christ fighting for man’s victory. As scripture records, he even descended into hell (1 Peter 3:18-20) and he also disarmed the powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15). This was all part of God’s grand plan of salvation. Interestingly, Romans 10:10 (another instance of 1010) explains more about God’s salvation plan.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10
This scripture not only emphasizes that the plan of salvation can only be received by faith as a way of reminding us that salvation – which is God’s perfect plan for mankind – cannot be bought.
The symbolism of 1010 can be derived from history. The rise of King David from the year 1010 B.C. was a symbol that the messiah that was to come was near. And just as the prophets had said, Jesus was born as a descendant of David and paid the ultimate price on the cross.