The number 14 holds deep symbolic meaning in the Bible. At first glance it may seem like just another number, but a closer look reveals there is more below the surface.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The number 14 is connected to deliverance and salvation in the Bible. It derives special meaning from the gematria values of the name David adding up to 14, linking it to the Messiah from David’s line.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the crucial instances where the number 14 appears in Scripture, analyze the significance behind those passages, and see how this number ultimately points to Jesus Christ.
What is Biblical Numerology
Definition and origins
Biblical numerology is the study of the spiritual significance of numbers used in the Bible. It has its origins in ancient Jewish mystical traditions such as Kabbalah, where each Hebrew letter is assigned a numerical value.
By analyzing these numbers, believers aim to uncover deeper meanings and messages in the biblical text.
The basic premise is that God designed the Bible to contain mathematical patterns and codes as a way to communicate spiritual truths. Numbers like 3, 7, 10 and 40 frequently occur and are thought to symbolize divine perfection, spiritual completeness and important biblical events.
Biblical numerologists search for recurring numbers and calculate numeric values of words/names to derive meaning.
While not a mainstream doctrine, biblical numerology has been popular in various cultures and faiths. Works like “Numbers in Scripture” by E.W. Bullinger helped popularize it in modern times. Though sometimes considered a fringe theological method, many still find numerology insights spiritually illuminating.
Principles and methods
There are several basic principles and methods used in biblical numerology to analyze numbers and derive meaning:
- Numerology assigns meaning to different numbers – like 3 represents divinity, 7 means spiritual perfection.
- Certain numbers are linked to specific concepts – like 40 represents testing/judgment.
- Some numbers have symbolic meaning in themselves – like 777 symbolizes ultimate perfection.
- The numeric value of words/names is calculated to derive meaning using various ciphers.
- Identical numbers occurring in different contexts are thought to be spiritually linked.
- Some numbers are seen as astrologically significant – like 12 zodiac signs and 12 tribes.
Additionally, patterns like repeated numbers, ascending/descending sequences, primes, triangular numbers etc. are analyzed. Mathematical techniques like factorization and digit summing are also used. Numerical maps, magic squares and number puzzles may be employed as well.
While sometimes based more on speculation than hard evidence, biblical numerology continues to fascinate many with its promise of uncovering deeper truths encoded numerically in holy texts. Used prudently, it can offer intriguing spiritual insights complementing conventional bible study methods.
Major Biblical Meanings of 14
The number 14 is connected to deliverance throughout the Bible. After being enslaved in Egypt for 400 years, God delivered the Israelites in the Exodus. Exodus 12:40-41 states, “Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, on that very same day, it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Here we see 430 years of enslavement ending on the 14th day of the first month through God’s deliverance.
Later in the Old Testament, we find David recounting how God delivered him from King Saul. In 2 Samuel 22:1, David says, “And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”
This deliverance is commemorated in Psalm 18 which starts, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.”
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is revealed as the savior who delivers people from sin and death. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 explains, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
This passage highlights the salvation made possible by Christ’s death and resurrection.
Furthermore, in Matthew 1:17 we find another connection between 14 and deliverance: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.”
Here the number 14 is linked to the generations leading to Jesus Christ, the savior.
David and the Messiah
The number 14 also connects King David and the promised Messiah in the Bible. David ruled in Jerusalem for 14 years before capturing it as the capital of Israel (2 Samuel 5:5). And there were 14 generations from Abraham to David and 14 more from David to the exile in Babylon before Jesus arrived as the Messiah.
Jesus Christ is the “son of David” who sits on David’s throne forever as the Messiah (Luke 1:32-33).
Interestingly, Matthew highlights 14 generations three times. This seems to emphasize the importance of 14 in moving from Abraham through David and the exile to Jesus Christ, the ultimate deliverer and savior.
Key Bible Passages featuring 14
14 Generations from Abraham to David
The number 14 holds special significance in the Bible as the number of generations from Abraham to David (Matthew 1:17). This highlights God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promise to Abraham that kings would come from his line (Genesis 17:6). The generations are:
This orderly genealogy shows God’s perfect timing in preparing Israel for kingship. It testifies to His faithfulness across generations in fulfilling His word.
14 Years of God’s Deliverance
The book of Judges mentions two cycles of 14 years relating to God’s deliverance of Israel (Judges 3:8, 3:14). In the first, Israel was subjected to King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram for 8 years. After crying out to God, He sent Othniel as a judge to defeat Cushan-rishathaim and grant Israel peace for 40 years.
However, they again fell into idolatry, so God allowed Eglon king of Moab to oppress them for 18 years. Again Israel cried out, and God sent Ehud to assassinate Eglon and enable Israel to subdue Moab. There was peace for 80 years after this 14-year oppression.
This cycle highlights God’s mercy in delivering His people despite their faithlessness. Though He disciplined them through foreign rule, He heard their cries and showed compassion in providing judges as saviors. The number 14 features prominently as a period of trial leading to redemption.
14 as a Prophetic Number
The number 14 holds special prophetic significance in the Bible:
- Jacob worked 14 years to earn his two wives (Genesis 29:15-30)
- There were 14 Stations of the Cross along Jesus’ path to crucifixion
- The Antichrist’s reign is foretold to last 14 years (Daniel 9:27)
In Hebrew, David’s name adds up to 14 when calculated using gematria (where each letter has a corresponding number). Jesus was the greater Son of David, so this connects 14 to the Messiah.
Jesus and the Number 14
14 and the Crucifixion
The number 14 holds great significance in relation to the crucifixion of Jesus. According to the Gospels, Jesus was placed on the cross at the third hour, around 9 a.m., and darkness came over the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, approximately between noon and 3 p.m. (Mark 15:25, 33-34).
This means Jesus hung on the cross for around 6 hours, from the 3rd hour to the 9th hour. If you add 3 + 9, the total is 14.
Additionally, according to Exodus 12, the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered between the evenings of the 14th day of the first month on the Hebrew calendar. Jesus, who is called “our Passover lamb” in 1 Corinthians 5:7, gave up His spirit and died on Passover day.
So here the number 14 also connects Jesus to the Passover sacrifice.
14 and the Resurrection
There is also significance to the number 14 in relation to Jesus’ resurrection. According to Matthew 28:1, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week.
Now, the Hebrew day began at sunset, meaning the Sabbath ended at sunset, then the next day started at dawn. So 14th Nisan was the Passover preparation day, the 15th was the Sabbath rest, and at dawn in the morning of the 16th Nisan – 14 days into that month – Christ gloriously resurrected!
So in both His crucifixion and resurrection, we see the number 14 representing key points of God’s redemptive plan through His Son. Pretty amazing!
Applying 14’s Meaning to Our Lives
The number 14 holds special significance in the Bible, representing deliverance, salvation, and new beginnings. As we apply the meaning of 14 to our daily lives, there are a few key areas we can focus on.
Seeking Deliverance from Hardship
When we face trials and challenges, we can remember that 14 is connected to deliverance in the Bible. Just as God delivered the Israelites from Egypt after 14 generations (Matthew 1:17), He promises to deliver us from our hardships as well.
We can bring our struggles to God in prayer, trusting that He hears us and will sustain us through even the darkest of valleys (Psalm 23:4).
Finding Salvation in Christ
Fourteen is tied to salvation, seen in the 14 generations from Abraham to David that Matthew outlines (Matthew 1:17). For us today, 14 reminds us to place our faith in Christ alone for salvation. As Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Trusting in Jesus’ death and resurrection provides us eternal salvation.
Embracing New Beginnings
In the Bible, 14 is linked with new beginnings, as Genesis details 14 generations from Abraham to David. For us, 14 can represent a chance to start fresh in life. Through God’s mercy and grace, He provides new beginnings and second chances when we stray.
As Lamentations 3:22-23 declares, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Each day is an opportunity to begin again in following God.
By clinging to the promises of God, we can find deliverance, salvation, and new life. Just as 14 held special meaning for biblical figures, it holds significance for us today in facing life’s challenges while walking in faith.
After analyzing the many significant usages of 14 throughout Scripture, we see it is far more than a common number. Its connection to pivotal concepts like deliverance and salvation show 14 is a number stamped with spiritual meaning.
Most importantly, 14 ultimately directs our gaze upon Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah and source of our eternal redemption. Whenever we encounter this number, let it remind us of God’s great rescue mission to save fallen humanity.