Numbers in the Bible: The Gospel of Matthew

The first part of the Gospel of Matthew that stood out to me was the number fourteen. It does not play much into the actual storytelling, but why was it to be noted that fourteen generations passed between Abraham and David, David to Babylon (Josiah), and Babylon and Jesus Christ? We discussed the name of God, particularly the word YHWY in the Hebrew language and I did a bit of additional research on the number fourteen in the Bible. The number fourteen is “nun” which associates with David and thus the Messiah. In Aramaic, it means “fish”, and other languages have equivalencies that mean “seed” and “snake”. It appears that all of the symbolism that derives from from the genealogy in the number of generations leading from Abraham to Jesus (2 x 14) points toward meaningful actions of Christ throughout the Gospel of Matthew, with reference to Jesus’s interactions with the fishermen as well as Jesus both having the shadow of a snake and being a seed of wheat to fall on the ground and die. It also symbolizes faithfulness. The letter “nun” can be written in two different ways: ן, is upright and called “the righteous one” and נ, is bent and is called “the faithful one” (Source). Both of these letters, standing and kneeling are clear representations of important elements of the church under the teachings of Jesus. Oh course, much more happens in the Gospel of Matthew, but using the number fourteen during the very first chapter, in verses two through seventeen, serves as a meaningful introduction to the story of the Son of God. More information that is relevant to sections of the Bible other than Matthew is available here.

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