The number 222 is not mentioned explicitly in the scriptures. However, like many other numbers that are not necessarily mentioned, it can still have a lot of Biblical symbolism. These symbolisms can be derived from the sequence of two in the scriptures as well as from Jewish history.
So, what is the meaning of 222 in the Bible?
Number 222 can have a number of meanings in the Bible. Its symbolism could be derived from the Genesis account of Adam & Eve’s creation as well as the return of Jesus, who is also referred to as the second Adam. The Jubilee year – a time when the land was restored to its original owners – could be another significance.
Let us examine each of these in more detail below:
Biblical significance of the number 2
Because the number 222 doesn’t appear explicitly in the Bible, we can interpret its significance by looking at the meaning of the number 2. Number two has several symbolisms in the scriptures but there are three important ones. These are:
Division can be seen in the number 2 from as early as Genesis. The story of creation has several examples of division where God would separate things into two. For instance, he separated the day into two – the day and the night. He separated the earth into two – dry land and the waters. The theme of dichotomy plays out in other sections of the Bible including the division of Israel into two as well as the division of the Bible into the old and new testaments.
Number 2 can also be seen as a symbol of companionship. In the Garden of Eden, Adam was alone until God made him a helper (Eve). When Noah built the ark, we see some of the species entering the ark in twos (Genesis 7:15). The picture of 2 to denote companionship is also seen in the revelation of John where he documents how the two witnesses will prophesy for 1260 years (Rev. 11:3).
Lastly, the number 2 is a symbol of testimony. The 10 commandments of Moses were written on two tablets of stone as a symbol that the law would be a witness against any offender. Apostle Paul made this clear in Romans 3:19 when he said the law was used to silence the whole world as well as to hold everyone accountable to God. Apostle Paul also taught that matter should be established by the mouth of two (or three) witnesses (2 Cor. 13:1).
Understanding the significance of 222 in the Bible
- The symbolism of companionship
The number 222 is not mentioned in the scriptures but we can find the sequence in several passages. Going by the law of first mention, the 222 sequence first appears in the Bible in Genesis 2:22, a scripture that talks about marriage and companionship. Here it is:
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22.
From this passage, we can infer that woman was not a separate creation. this is because God made them out of man. God did it this way to illustrate the purpose of companionship that he had for man and woman. As we have already established, the number 2 denotes companionship, and this tallies well with the lesson in this first instance of the number 222 in the Bible.
God values the close relationship between man and woman in marriage so much that he pronounces judgment on those who commit adultery. According to Deuteronomy 22:22, (another sequence of 2s), the adulterous man and woman were to be killed as a way of preserving the sanctity of marriage.
- The symbolism of atonement
Luke 22:2 and Luke 22:22 are other interesting references. Remarkably, both verses are about the conspiracy to kill Jesus. The first verse documents the plot to kill Jesus (before his appointed time on the cross) while the second verse documents the plot to betray him and ultimately get him killed on the cross. The number 222 can therefore be interpreted as the number of atonement. Without the death of Christ on the Cross, man would not obtain the forgiveness of sin.
In the Book of Psalms 22:22, David publicly praises His God for saving him. David also refers to the Lord as a Rock and Deliverer in 2 Samuel 22:2. Apostle Paul would later reveal that the Rock that David was praising in the two scriptures was actually Jesus Christ. We can infer from context that this was a precursor of the atonement. Just like God saved David from his perils, Jesus paid the ultimate price on the cross to save the rest of humanity.
Another interesting illustration can be found in the book of Acts 22:22. In this scripture, Paul has just defended his ministry to the public but the zealots would have none of it. They issue the judgment that Paul was not fit to live and he should be killed immediately. Much to their dismay, Paul is arrested instead and this arrest led to him preaching the gospel even further and writing most of his epistles. In a way, this is a picture of the grace of God that saves humanity from death.
The symbolism of atonement in the number 222 can also be confirmed by looking at the history of the day of atonement. The Biblical day of atonement, which was a season of Jubilee, began on October 2 in 222 AD. Jubilee was celebrated every 50 years (on the 50th year) and it was a time when slaves were released and property returned to their original owners. The first Jubilee ran from October 2, 222 to September 13, 223. The first day of atonement can be viewed as symbolic since it marks the beginning of the season and that is why 222 is thought of as symbolism of atonement.
To summarise, the number 222, which is derived from repeating 2, can be seen as a symbol of atonement. Even though companionship is a possibility, we can also look at marriage as a metaphor for atonement because the church is referred to as the bride of Christ.