Even Numbers Matter in an Odd Way

The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt.  He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.  You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.  One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.

  • Numbers 1:1-4

I am sure if I told some of you that I was writing a quiz on the numbers found in the Bible, you would guess that the Scripture would come from the book of Numbers.  Then again, the Lord asked for a census, which means a whole lot of counting was about to start.  They would count over 600,000 men over the age of 20, per God’s instructions, but that did not include the Levites.  The Levites were exempt from military duty, because they had to heft the pieces and parts of the tabernacle and the other things God had directed them to make, like the Arc of the Covenant, the lampstand, the altar, etc.  The Levites numbered 22,000 males over one month of age.  So, in preparing the people to leave Mount Sinai, the first step was to do some counting.

My inspiration came from a quiz in The Big Book of Bible Games and Puzzles by Joy MacKenzie and Shirley Bledsoe.  Some of the questions may be similar, hard to avoid some numbers, but I devised my own questions.

In the quiz below, each answer will be a definite number.  After the quiz, a big hint will be provided in case you had most of the numbers already, then a couple of more hints, followed by the Bible references for each question.

The Questions

  1. How many days and nights was Jonah in the fish?
  2. What is the number of the beast, also ‘man’s number?’
  3. This number appears several times in the story of Noah: the number of pairs of clean animals, the number of days that they were sealed in the ark before the rains came, and the number of days Noah waited between sending the dove out to find dry land and sending the dove out again – three flights of the dove in total.  Just to name a few.  But instead of those obscure clues, how many loaves of bread did the disciples find to feed the 4,000 (not the 5,000)?
  4. How many days did the devil tempt Jesus in the wilderness?
  5. How many books are there in the Old Testament?
  6. How many sons did Judah (Israel) have?
  7. How many books are there in the New Testament?
  8. How many commandments did God write upon the tablets?
  9. How many large fish did the disciples catch when the risen Christ suggested they cast their nets again?
  10. How many trained men, born in his household, did Abram send to rescue Lot when Sodom and Gomorrah were attacked, and Lot and his possessions were carried away?

There may be a couple of numbers that people might not know off the top of their heads.  Here is a hint: Add your answers together.  The total of the ten answers equals 1,275.

If that did not help much, the total when you sum the odd numbered questions equals 229, naturally since all the odd numbered questions have answers with odd numbers.  And the total when you sum the even numbered question equals 1,046, naturally since all the even numbered questions have answers with even numbers.

Oh, did I not say that to begin with?  I’m sorry.  I should have mentioned that at the beginning.  I thought hinting of “even” and “odd” in the title might have gotten you to think in such terms.  If not, I will carry the mantle of “You Stinker!” with pride.

But if you still don’t know all the answers, here are …

The Bible References.

  1. Jonah 1:17
  2. Revelation 13:18
  3. Genesis 7:2, 4; 8:8-12; Matthew 15:34
  4. Luke 4:2
  5. No reference here.  Just count them or recite them and keep track of how many.
  6. Genesis 42:13
  7. No reference here.  Just count them or recite them and keep track of how many.
  8. Exodus 34:28?
  9. John 21:11
  10. Genesis 14:14

The answers:

  1. 3
  2. 666
  3. 7
  4. 40
  5. 39.  I was taught this little idea in Sunday school, maybe third or fourth grade.  It works in English, not so much in other languages.  How many letters are in “OLD”? 3. How many letters are in “TESTAMENT”? 9.  Put the 3 before the 9.  There are 39 books in the Old Testament
  6. 12
  7. 27.  I was taught this little idea in Sunday school, maybe third or fourth grade.  It works in English, not so much in other languages.  How many letters are in “NEW”? 3. How many letters are in “TESTAMENT”? 9.  Multiply the two numbers.  There are 27 books in the New Testament.
  8. 10
  9. 153
  10. 318

The last two are such obscure, yet specific numbers.  Someone took the time to count in each case.  Of all the questions that I wish to ask in Heaven, I want to know why those numbers were so specific, and what the meaning might be?  I tried to make the first eight questions easy enough for most people who know their Bible stories.  With the hints for the totals of even and odd numbers, the math would be simple to determine the last number of each group, great for Sunday school groups that are learning that level of mathematics – if they know their Bible stories.

And now for the treat for doing so well on the quiz…  Is there any treat better for a number quiz than to hear the Count counting?

And since the first question dealt with Jonah and the ‘whale,’ I thought I would share Abbott and Costello’s screwed up version of the story – or how to NOT tell a joke.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


Add yours →

  1. atimetoshare.me July 25, 2020 — 9:15 am

    I wonder if we will need to know the answers to those things which puzzle us now,, when we get to heaven. I would guess that everything will be perfect so there would be no need to know. Love the two videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How much do you like to play with numbers? (A lot, I know.) Are you familiar with the series of triangular numbers? 1 = 1; 1 + 2 = 3; 1 + 2 + 3 = 6; 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, and so on. It happens that the number of fish caught in the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection is the 17th triangular number. I don’t know if that means anything, but it’s interesting. And the mark of the beast, 666, happens to be the 36th triangular number–36 being 6 x 6. Interesting, no? J.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I always found numbers and the Bible most fascinating—in that numbers and their significance has mattered to God—or at least mattered in the hidden symbolism offered to us his children.
    And trust me, I’m about to the point that I might have to turn to the likes of Nostradamus regarding the year 2020–or maybe the Mayans, or those most ‘number prophetic’ saints.
    Cause there has got to be something hidden somewhere regarding this most wretched of years.

    Liked by 2 people

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