The number 14 is mentioned 22 times in the scriptures while the term 14th is appears 24 times. Cumulatively, 14 and 14th appear 46 times in the Bible which makes it one of the most commonly referenced numbers in the scriptures. By this standard alone, the number 14 is clearly an important number in the Bible.
Number 14 symbolizes God’s deliverance or salvation. This is based on the fact that Passover was celebrated on the 14th day of the first month (Nisan). Jesus was also crucified on the 14th day of Nisan during the Passover weekend which also illustrates the significance of 14 in God’s salvation plan.
The significance of the number 14 can also be inferred by extrapolation. The number 14 can be derived from 7 (by multiplying 7 by 2). Since 7 represents perfection, the number 14 amy also represent double perfection. 7 is a very significant number in the Bible as it signifies God’s divine order, completeness, and perfection. Number 14 can therefore be an amplification of these.
The number 14 can also be used as a symbol of advancement and growth. This is because it is viewed as an extension of 7. It is a number that breaks the barriers of perfection by demonstrating that there is always room for growth, development, and maturation.
Usage of 14 in the Bible
The number 14 is used severally in the Bible in relation to events that carry a lot of weight in the Christian faith. Here are some of these events/instances:
The lineage of Jesus
The lineage of Jesus is documented in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 1 and it is broken down into 3 sets of 14 generations. This breakdown serves to emphasize the completeness of the messianic prophecies which were fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Here is the breakdown of the generations in groups of 14 as documented by Mathew.
First Set of 14 generations: Abraham to David
- Perez (by Tamar)
- Boaz (by Rahab)
- Obed (by Ruth)
The first group of 14 generations traces the patriarchs of Israel and provides a link between them and Jesus. The fact that God includes Perez and Boaz in the list is a demonstration of How his grace is revealed in the most unconventional of circumstances.
Second Set of 14 generations: David to the Babylonian Exile
- King David
In the second set of 14 generations, we see the contrast between righteousness and unrighteousness. David is portrayed as a righteous leader but there were many other kinds after him who rebleed against God. It is these rebellious acts that build up to the Babylonian exile.
Third Set of 14 generations: Babylonian Exile to Jesus
- Josiah (captivity),
The last set of 14 generations between Babylon and Jesus illustrates the continuity of God’s promises. Even when man was lost in sin, God’s covenant still remained true and God kept his word to bless and redeem his people.
The use of 14 in the genealogy of Jesus serves to demonstrate God’s perfect order in the scripture because it shows how everything in the Old Testament was leading to the coming of the Messiah.
The Passover and the Exodus
Long before Jesus the incarnate came, the number 14 was used as a symbol of God’s deliverance. In the account of the first Passover to be celebrated in Egypt by the Israelites, they were instructed to select a spotless lamb on the 10th day of the first month. Once they had selected the lamb, it was to be kept until the 14th day. On the 14th day, the lamb was to be sacrificed and his blood was used to mark their doorposts as a signal to the angel of death.
The 14th day was important in this context because it signifies a transition from Captivity in Egypt into freedom. It is the culmination of God’s judgment on Egypt and the onset of his mercy upon Israel. This day became the foundation of subsequent Passover celebrations which are held annually as a way of remembering God’s deliverance.
The 14th day, in this context, serves as a moment of transition from captivity to freedom. It marks the climax of God’s judgment on Egypt and His mercy upon His chosen people. This day of deliverance became the foundation of the Passover feast, which the Israelites were commanded to celebrate annually as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and their liberation from oppression.
The symbolism of 14 can further be seen in Exodus. It took Israel 14 days from the time of selecting the Passover lamb to the time they crossed the red sea. This symbolizes the period of transformation and transition that Israel was going through. During the cause of the 14 days, Israel was taken through a sequence of events that shifted their identity from slaves to free people. The fact that it took them 14 days to get from the Passover to crossing the red sea also tallies the fact that the Passover was celebrated on the 14th day.
Many years later, Jesus, who is the ultimate Passover lamb, was crucified on the cross. As John the Revelator noted during Jesus’ baptism, Jesus was the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. As such, Jesus was crucified during the Passover celebrations on the 14th day of the Nisan in 30 A.D. This date was no coincidence – it was in line with the pattern of the Passover that had been established in the law of Moses. It was a sign that Jesus had paid the ultimate price on the cross for the salvation of mankind.
In conclusion, number 14 mainly represents God’s salvation and deliverance. For Israel, salvation began with God delivering them out of captivity where they had been captive for 430 years. 14 can also be seen as double perfection since doubling 7 gives us 14. God’s plan of salvation was perfect when He sent his son to be the final sacrifice to replace the lamb that was ceremonially slaughtered by Israelites during Passover. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice.