The numeric patterns in scripture are truly an amazing phenomenon to study. Whether the number of years of a wicked king’s reign, or number of days journey to a site, the Bible is full of hidden clues which have been used to construct a full understanding of how God speaks to us through numbers. It should be noted however, that there really are two major paths in numerology, and biblical is only the one path. The other system is Western numerology, which was originally based on the teachings of the Greek wise man Pythagoras, but has expanded down the millennia to the system it is today. These two systems do not have to be seen in opposition, however, but their wisdom can often act in compliment to each other. The interesting thing is, although sometimes similar, the secular and biblical systems can end up assigning very different meanings to numbers.
The ultimate example of this difference is in the number 11. According to secular sources, 11 is one of the most powerful numbers and represents the enlightened “master teacher” (22 is the “master builder”); it is the first number with repeating digits after all. The number is given many spiritual qualities and overall viewed positively with much praise. This is entirely different from the view biblical numerologists have, which is that number 11 has to do mainly with chaos, disorder, and judgement. Now the question arises, can there be truth to both systems, or is one wrong and the other right? The answer is that 11 is an especially complex number, and it is often premature to think we have “figured out” all its aspects.
22 and its relation to 11
Let’s us examine some characteristics of 11 and its counterpart 22.
11 is the number of the prophetic; 22 relates to the apostolic.
11 is the number that represents darkness; 22 signifies light.
11 is the feminine; 22 the masculine.
1 Corinthians 3:10, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise MASTER BUILDER I have laid the foundation”
As the greatest apostle, Paul worked as a master builder. 22 is the number of the apostolic. This is because in the Hebrew alphabet there are 22 letters which are the “building blocks” to form the language of God’ word. Furthermore, in the human body there are 22 amino acids which are the “building blocks” which all proteins are constructed out of. We can therefore see the relationship between 22 and constructing something out of its elemental components. In Isaiah 22:22 it says “The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.” The apostle only appeared in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, you had prophets and kings which were as close to the apostolic as you could get. The apostolic unites the functions of king and prophet into one person, thus being a weighty calling to bear.
In contrast to 22, 11 represents darkness. The 11th hour is the time of strongest darkness, leading into midnight. In Genesis 1:1 God created the world in darkness which is then described in the next verse. Now on the one hand, this may appear very negative and forbidding. Darkness is not all bad however. Eve was created for Adam during the night. We experience the healing and restoration of sleep at night. Romance and intimacy between couples occurs more in evening time than the day. The blackest and darkest soil is always the most fertile for any farmer (it signifies the presence of decaying organic matter). Think of the mother’s womb. It is entirely dark, but the place of growth. Sleep The same principle as a seed being buried underground. The seed can only grow if it is buried in darkness. People were healed when the darkness of apostle Paul’s shadow passed across them. Darkness is the canvas of God’s creation.
Bible verses on the light within darkness:
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places,
Job 28:3,6 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death…. The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold.
1 Kings 8:12 The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
2 Samuel 22:10 He also bowed the heavens down low, and came down with thick darkness under His feet.
Psalms 18:11 He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
Psalms 97:2 Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Genesis 15:12,17-18 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him…. And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.
The 11th tribe
Joseph was the 11th child born to Jacob and his life illustrates number 11 in its full glory. First of all we see Joseph was a strongly prophetic individual, receiving and interpreting dreams which would foretell future events, and we discussed how 11 signifies the prophetic. His life also was incredibly tumultuous with many highs and lows. He started off at a high point in his youth as the most highly-treasured son who was set above his brothers. He then was cast into a pit and sold into a life of slavery in Egypt, reaching a low point lower than any of his brothers would have to feel. Later, he was elevated to the highest place in Egypt, being second only to Pharoah in authority (it should be noted 11 is also related to the number 2, hence being second). So to ask whether 11 is a good or bad number is like asking did Joseph live a good life? His life was very meaningful, but “good” is probably not the best word to describe it; it was tumultuous!
Number 11 is the wildcard that like Joseph, can transform into what is needed. It cannot remain in its original state however. It must move forward and transform, whether for better or worse.
Omission of obedience
Seeing 11 often can be God telling you that you are committing a sin of omission, avoiding doing what He instructed you to do. God’s order is 12 and 11 subtracts from his order; that can mean you took away and blocked one of his words or instructions to you, like Jonah who was called to preach, but hid from his call. Seeing 11 can be a sign that you are falling short of God’s plan for your life in some way, so be sure to pray over this if you are seeing this number.
Seeing 13 on the other hand, represents a sin of commission; that is you are actively engaged in a sinful activity that God needs you to stop doing. Since 12 is God’s order, 13 adds to it, so you are adding an activity which he wants you to cease and desist from. So if you see 11, you need to start doing something, while if you see 13 there is something you need to stop doing.
Chaos of conception: the spiritual gateway
2011 was a very chaotic year. We had the Arab spring uprising and European market crisis as well as the massive earthquake in Fukushima, Japan.
The 11th century was when the Great Schism occurred, dividing Christianity into Western and Eastern halves.
11 is instability. Think of a chair or vehicle; they need at least three legs to be able to sit still in stability without falling over. Pictorially, 11 is like two legs, A bicycle on the other hand, only uses two wheels but the condition is it must remain in continuous motion to support itself. If you stop moving, the bike will tip over. This is like the number 11, it cannot rest in a stable state. It is a ball of chaotic energy which is moving you from point A to B. You cannot ‘rest’ in the state of 11.
When Judas committed suicide and the number of the disciples was brought from 12 to 11, why did they feel they must replace him? What would be so bad with sticking to the original 11. Why did they feel they must add another one to bump the number back up to 12? The key is, the apostles understood the unstable state of number 11 and that it would have to resolve to either 10 or 12 to have any stability. By adding Barnabas to the mix, they guided the resolution of the instability and restored the 12. Look at the nature of ten and twelve, both represent order. Twelve represents the chosen headship of God which he has divided His authority between. There are also 12 hours in each day and night, signified by the 12 tribes (night) and 12 apostles (day). Ten is order in the cycle of numbers which go up to ten before adding an extra digit. Also we have ten fingers and ten toes (before mathematics, the word “digit” originally meant finger or toe).
Looking pictorially at the number, 11 is like two pillars or walls of a major gateway with a space between them which you want to pass through. Think of when Moses led the people of Israel through the sea and the water was a wall on both sides. 11 is a spiritual gateway; the birthing canal. There is a lot of danger in giving birth, both to the child and mother and this was especially true in ancient times. And yet we realize the necessity and great value of the child that passes through and is born. Despite the danger, it is a necessary and important process. 11 is a number of chaos, but also a number of life. A birthing room is chaotic and a graveyard neat and orderly, but which of the two is the entrance of life? Human life with its free will is chaotic, the potential to make any choice, whether good or evil. A computer on the other hand, simply obeys whatever instructions you code it with, but it is not alive! The 11 can represent the two flames of our soul and spirit together, the inner relationship that makes up human life.
In the eleventh chapter in Genesis, we see the story of the tower of Babel, which was created to act as a spiritual gateway for the Babylonians to climb up to heaven and achieve access to divinity. The name “Babylon” is derived from the original Akkadian Babili which means “gateway of the gods.” Genesis 11:4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens” As we see, the spiritual gateway is not necessarily a positive one nor authorized by God. Seeing 11 could be a sign that there is an open gateway in your life to the demonic. Look over which objects are in your house. Is there artwork of foreign gods? Ouija boards and tarot cards (even if not in use)? Demonic music, vampire romance videos? All of these can open a demonic gateway.
The battle of good and evil
But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
And the Lord said to her:
“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”
The two ‘1’s in 11 can signify twins and the Jacob/Esau battle. Jacob and Esau were struggling within Rebekah’s womb for who would achieve dominance and receive the firstborn birthright. Jacob was a lighter, indoors person while Esau was an outdoor tanned and reddish-skinned person. The conflict between these two represents the battle of light and darkness within a person for which will emerge victorious. The ‘11’ figure represents two roads or paths and the number 11 will often appear to a person when there is a major choice or test before them. In other words, it can be a trial that you will either pass and be promoted, or fail and be punished, but you will not stay at your same level. The number will resolve into either good or evil, success or failure.
Think of the three heavens. You have the 1st heaven (sky, earthly world), the third heaven (God’s domain), but in between these two is the second heaven. This is the layer of stars and planets and associated with Satan’s activity. Right now the devil has been cast out from the third heaven long ago, but he is still fighting to try to keep control of the second heaven. The book of Revelation mentions when he will be cast down from here to the earth. Right now however, this place is the battleground where both light and darkness are in conflict. 11 looks very similar to the Roman numerals for two (II) and there is a strong connection between the two numbers. In Western numerology, 11 is considered like a “higher octave” of the number 2.
Light in darkness
The number 11 is associated with the moon (like the number 2). Pictorially, 11 appears as two candles side-by-side. Now a normal ceiling light or larger torch will obliterate the darkness and light a space up. A candle however, coexists with the darkness and only lights up the necessary area on a desk or table. You could say the fiery sun is like a torch, and the gentle moon like a candle. The sun is the lion, the moon is the lamb. While the sun comes to obliterate darkness, the moon has to coexist with it. At Christ’s first coming he appeared like the moon (lamb). He did not try to dominate or forcefully obliterate the darkness of the world’s system, but rather simply shone his light and provided the teachings of truth. At his second coming however, Christ will return as the lion and sun who forcefully obliterates all opposition and darkness. Until that point however, we as believers, are still functioning as the moon, embedded in darkness, able to shine our light, but unable to forcibly remove the darkness.
If there is one thing we know about the moon, it is an unstable creature and always changing and in motion continuously cycling between forms and phases. The moon also represents the feminine, compared to the sun, just like the prophetic is the feminine pairing to the masculine apostolic, and silver is paired to gold. Now because the angelic ruler of the moon is typically considered to be Gabriel and the sun to be Michael. Just as the sun and moon are the most “obvious” objects in the night sky, Michael and Gabriel are the only archangels mentioned in the standard 66 books of the Bible, although we know there are more, they are “hidden” in the apocrypha.
Let us take a look at what these angels represent. Gabriel is a messenger. He always appears with a momentous divine message from God to a person. He is like the head of heaven’s post office. We do not see this angel in battle ever, but more in the background. Michael on the other hand, is the fierce and courageous warrior angel. He arose to prominence by being David’s guardian angel in which as David conquered and was promoted, God likewise promoted Michael. The book of Revelation speaks of the final end-times battle in which Michael leads the fight in the casting down of the satanic forces from the heavens to earth.