What does the number 6 mean in the Bible?

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Theology | 0 comments

Number 6 is an incredible number that has noteworthy significance. In Hebrew, the number 6 is denoted by the letter Vav while in Greek it is denoted by the letter Digamma. From the story of creation all through the Bible until revelation, the symbolism of this number is laid out in the scripture. 

Mankind was created on day 6 and as such, the number 6 represents the imperfect and incomplete man. However, scripture also refers to the number of the antichrist (666) as the number of man. This is because the number will be imposed on man by the devil. As such, the number 6 can also represent satan’s evil.

Number of man 

In the Genesis account of creation, Man was created on the 6th day. As a result, the number six is often described as the number of man. Even though man was created in God’s image and after God’s likeness, man was anything but perfect as evidenced by his susceptibility to the temptation of satan that resulted in his banishment from Eden. Number 6 can therefore be seen as a symbol of man’s imperfection and incompleteness. 

The first miracle that Jesus did was in Cana of Galilee where he had gone to attend a wedding. While at the wedding, they ran out of wine and got stranded. Jesus intervened by telling the servants to fill the available jars with water and as the Bible records in John 2, they filled 6 jars with water. After they were filled, he turned the water into wine.  The wine was so good that the the master of ceremony commented how he was impressed that they had served fine wine till the end of the ceremony. 

Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:9-10

The use of 6 vessels in Jesus’ first miracle has great significance. The vessels that were made of clay represented humans who were also made of clay. The fact that they were six n number represents the entire humanity because 6 is the number of men. By filling the jars with water and then turning the water into wine, Jesus was demonstrating how the grace of God would be revealed to mankind through him. Wine represents the Holy Spirit which was at work in him as he quotes in Luke 4:18. 

The water that was used in the jars represents the futility of human effort. It represents how man cannot attain the gifts of God through human effort. The miraculous conversion of the water into wine symbolizes how the grace of God can overcome the weakness of man. 

Numer 6 is one digit short of 7 which is considered a perfect number. As such, number 6 can be seen as falling short of the divine nature. This is one of the reasons why the number 6 represents human imperfection and weakness. Another illustration of the point can be found in the Genesis story of creation. After God created everything in six days, he rested on the 7th day. When issuing the 10 commandments, Moses clarified that God rested as a way of instituting the law of the Sabbath. God understood the imperfection of the human body and knew that man would need to rest in order to continue functioning. 

Number of satan’s evil work

We know from the account of creation that the number 6 represents the 6 days of God’s work of creation. However, the number six can also denote the work of the enemy. The human system can be divided into three main components – Economic, Religious, and Political. All these systems are somehow influenced by the devil who is described as the god of this age in 2 Corinthians 4:4. 

So how does six relate to satan’s evil? Well, the best illustration of this is found in the Book of Revelation where the phrase number of man is used in reference to the antichrist. 

This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. Revelation 13:18

Even though the number is described as the number of man, it is clear that is not just an average man. The chapter describes the antichrist who will come to do the evil of satan as a way of trying to dissuade believers from the path of God. 

We also see how six represents evil in how the ministry of Jesus was attacked by the skeptics. The gospels record 6 different accounts of Jesus being asked to produce a sign to prove he was God’s son.

  1. The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign to prove his power because they had just accused him of using the power of Satan to cast out demons. Jesus responded by telling them that the only sign they would get was that of Jonah the prophet (Matthew 12:38, Mark 8:11).
  2. The Sadducees and Pharisees tried to entrap Jesus by asking him for a sign (Matthew 16:1).
  3. Even though the disciples were not skeptics, they asked Jesus to clarify to them what the signs of the end times would be (Matthew 24:3, Mark 13:4).
  4. A group of people who saw Jesus cast out demons from a person and asked him to perform a sign from heaven (Luke 11:16).
  5. Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem and cast out the merchants that had turned the house of God into a “den of thieves.” On seeing this, some of the Jews asked him for a sign  (John 2:18).
  6. After Jesus miraculously fed a group of people, they still went ahead and asked him for a sign so that they may believe in him (John 6:30). 

The fact that all these people asked Jesus for a sign even when he was clearly displaying God’s power proves that the devil was working against the ministry of Jesus. Interestingly, when Jesus was arrested and falsely accused, a total of 6 people found him not guilty of any of the offenses he was being accused of. These were Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:3), Pontius Pilate’s wife (Matthew 27:19), Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:14), Herod (Luke 23:15), the thief that was crucified next to him (Luke 23:41) and a Roman centurion (Luke 23:47). However, Jesus was still crucified because it was God’s redemptive plan. 

Conclusion

To sum it up, number 6 represents man in his imperfections and weakness. This can be seen in how man often falls short of the divine nature which explains why God had to sent his son to die for man. However, the number 6 may also represent the works of satan as described in the book of Revelation. 

 

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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