# The Number Nine in Scripture and History :: By Randy Nettles

The number 9 represents finality and/or judgment in the Bible, especially where Israel is concerned. It is a remarkable number in many respects. It is the last of the single-digit numbers in the decimal system and thus marks the end, and is significant of the conclusion of a matter.

“Nine is akin to the number 6, six being the sum of its factors (3 x 3 = 9, and 3 +3 = 6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man’s works. Nine is, therefore, the number of the finality of judgment, for judgment is committed unto Jesus as the Son of man (John 27; Acts 17:31). It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things as to man – the judgment of man and all his works. It is a factor of 666, which is 9 times 74. The sum of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is 4,995 (5 x 999). It is stamped, therefore, with the numbers of grace and finality. The sum of the Greek alphabet is 3,999.” {1}

MATHEMATICAL PROPERTIES OF THE NUMBER NINE

Mathematically it possesses properties that are not found in any other number. I gathered this information (below) from the following Wikipedia page at 9 – Wikipedia.

9 is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1 and 3. It is 3 times 3 and hence the third square number. Nine is a Motzkin number. It is the first composite lucky number, along with the first composite odd number, and the only single-digit composite odd number.

3 times 3 is one more than 2 times 2 times 2. Thus, 9 is a positive perfect power that is one more than another positive perfect power, and it can be proved by Mihăilescu’s Theorem that 9 is the only number having this property.

9 is the highest single-digit number in the decimal system. It is the second non-unitary square prime of the form (p2) and the first that is odd. All subsequent squares of this form are odd.

A polygon with nine sides is called a nonagon or enneagon. A group of nine of anything is called an ennead.

In base 10, a positive number is divisible by 9 if and only if its digital root is 9. That is, if any natural number is multiplied by 9, and the digits of the answer are repeatedly added until it is just one digit, the sum will be nine:

• 2 x 9 = 18 (1 + 8 = 9)
• 3 × 9 = 27 (2 + 7 = 9)
• 3 × 9 = 27 (2 + 7 = 9)
• 121 × 9 = 1089 (1 + 0 + 8 + 9 = 18; 1 + 8 = 9)
• 234 × 9 = 2106 (2 + 1 + 0 + 6 = 9)
• 578329 × 9 = 5204961 (5 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 9 + 6 + 1 = 27; 2 + 7 = 9)
• 482729235601 × 9 = 4344563120409 (4 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 4 + 0 + 9 = 45; 4 + 5 = 9)

There are other interesting patterns involving multiples of nine:

• 12345679 × 9 = 111111111
• 12345679 × 18 = 222222222
• 12345679 × 81 = 999999999

IDIOMS REGARDING THE NUMBER NINE

• “to go the whole nine yards”
• A cat-o’-nine-tails suggests perfect punishment and atonement.
• “A cat has nine lives.”
• “to be on cloud nine”
• “A stitch in time saves nine.”
• “found true 9 out of 10 times”
• “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”

THE NUMBER NINE IN RELIGION AND MYTHOLOGY

Nine is an important number in Indian and Chinese culture and in the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Baha’i Faith, and Christianity (see the above link). It is also significant in Greek, Norse, Aztec, and Mayan mythology. Ramadan, the month of fasting and prayer, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The number 9 is held in great reverence by those who study the occult.

NOTABLE INSTANCES OF THE NUMBER NINE IN THE BIBLE

The first war recorded in the Bible involved four kings opposing five kings, for a total of nine kings (Genesis 14).

God confirmed the covenant with Abram when he was 99 years old. The sign of the covenant was for all male children of Abraham and his descendants to be circumcised. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Genesis 17).

Sarai was 89 years old when the covenant was confirmed. God changed her name to Sarah. God blessed her with the promise of a son who would be born one year later when she was 90 years old. Isaac was his name (Genesis 17).

Regarding the Sabbath and Jubilee years, God said, “I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in” (Leviticus 25:21-22).

In the Old Testament, there are nine people recorded as having leprosy (Moses, Miriam, Naaman, Gehazi, King Azariah, and the four lepers of Samaria found in 2 Kings 7:3).

“In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned for nine years” (2 Kings 17:1).

“It was nine in the morning when they crucified him” (Mark 15:25). Jesus was placed on the cross at 9:00 am in the morning and died 6 hours later.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus died at 3:00 pm (Israel time) in the afternoon.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the one lost sheep (out of 100), whereas the shepherd leaves the remaining 99 sheep to find the one that is lost. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7).

In Luke 17, Jesus heals 10 men who have leprosy. Only one out of ten come back to praise God and thank Jesus. He was a Samaritan. “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well'” (Luke 17:17-19). I believe this is a typology of the gospel going to the Gentiles, as the Jews are largely unresponsive.

THE NUMBER NINE IN CHRISTIANITY

The number 9 also represents completeness and finality in divine things. Nine is the square of three, and three is the number of Divine perfection, as well as the number peculiar to the Holy Spirit. For example, there are nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

There are nine Beatitudes found in Matthew 5: (1) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (2) “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (3) “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (4) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (5) “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (6) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (7) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (8) “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (9) “Blessed are you when [those who] people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

There are nine gifts of the Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 12:7-10: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.

JUDGMENT AND THE NUMBER NINE

The number 9 also represents judgment in the Bible. Nine seems to be an especially unlucky number for Israel. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes” (2 Kings 17:6).

“In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it” (Jeremiah 39:1).

“And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land” (Jeremiah 52:6).

Av is the 5th month on the Jewish calendar. Tisha B’Av is not one of the appointed Feast days of the Lord but is a fast and a day of mourning. The first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av are collectively known as “The Nine Days” (Tisha HaYamim) and are a period of semi-mourning leading up to Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of Av on which both Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. Throughout Israel’s history, the ninth of Av has witnessed eight of the greatest disasters in their nation’s history (see below). If there is a next time, it will be the ninth disaster for Israel on this day.

1. Twelve Jewish spies survey the Promised Land – 1444 BC
2. The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by the Babylonians – 586 BC
3. The destruction of the second Temple by the Romans – AD 70
4. The Romans plowed Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – AD 71
5. The destruction of Simon Bar Kochba’s army – AD 135
6. England expelled the Jews – AD 1236
7. England expelled the Jews – AD 1492
8. Russia Mobilized for WWI and launched persecutions against the Jews – AD 1914

For more information on these disasters regarding the children of Israel, see The Dog Days of Summer (rev310.net).

CHAPTER NINE IN SCRIPTURE

Many books of the Bible talk about judgment from God. Interestingly, in numerous instances, chapter 9 of these books is one that deals with this prevalent subject of the Bible. Here are some examples:

Genesis 9 – Ham’s descendant, Canaan, is cursed by Noah due to Ham’s disrespect for his father, as per Genesis 9:21-27.

Exodus 9 – This chapter in Exodus describes the fifth, sixth, and seventh plagues upon Egypt as a judgment against Pharaoh for not letting God’s people go.

Deuteronomy 9 is a review from Moses regarding the children of Israel’s rebellions against God during their 40 years of wandering in the desert. If Moses hadn’t talked to God and convinced Him not to kill the people for their worshipping a molded calf idol, God would have destroyed them.

Judges 9 – God judges the wicked judge Abimelech and the evil men of Shechem. “Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he had done to his father by killing his seventy brothers. And all the evil of the men of Shechem God returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal” (Judges 9:56-57).

2 Kings 9 – God judges King Joram (son of Ahab) of Israel, King Ahaziah of Judea, and Queen Jezebel of Israel and uses Jehu as His tool to bring about their deaths.

Psalm 9 is a psalm of David regarding prayer and thanksgiving for God’s righteous judgments. “But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness” (Psalm 9:6-8).

Isaiah 9 is a judgment of destruction against the northern kingdom of Israel. Isaiah issues this prophecy by the Lord against Israel for their exceeding sinfulness. “Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, and the people shall be as fuel for the fire; no man shall spare his brother” (Isaiah 9:19).

Jeremiah 9 is a judgment of destruction against Judea and Jerusalem for their rebellious and disobedient actions toward God and His word. “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 9:11).

Ezekiel 9 is a judgment against the men and women of Israel who were worshipping idols and committing abominations in the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. The Lord sent six angels to kill those who were performing these atrocities. One angel’s job was to place a mark on the ones who were innocent of these deeds. The other angels’ mission was to kill the ones who didn’t have this mark. As soon as this was accomplished, the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the Temple.

Daniel 9 – God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel so we could be informed of the future of Israel and Jerusalem. This prophecy is known as Daniel’s Seventy-Sevens and includes the future judgment for Israel and the world in regard to the last seven years of human history.

Hosea 9 is a judgment against the northern kingdom of Israel. “The days of punishment have come; The days of recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool, The spiritual man is insane, Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity” (Hosea 9:7).

Amos 9 is another prophecy and judgment against Israel for their sinfulness. “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” Says the Lord” (Amos 9:8). However, Amos 9:11-15 describe Israel’s future restoration during the millennial reign of the Messiah.

Revelation 9 describes the horrific judgments against the world during Daniel’s 70th seven, otherwise known as the Tribulation. This chapter details the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments that will occur before the mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation.

The Rapture will occur at least 7 years before the start of Daniel’s Seventieth Seven (Jacob’s Trouble/Day of the Lord). It would not surprise me in the least if the Rapture transpired two years before the Tribulation. That means the Rapture might take place nine years before the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth. The world will be judged at the Rapture – those who believe in Lord Jesus and those who do not. Those who believe will be rewarded with entry into heaven, and those who do not believe will be punished with “hell on earth.”

Two is the number for division, and the world will be greatly divided (literally, as well) during the two years between the Rapture and the “confirming of the covenant” by the Antichrist, which begins the Tribulation. Only time will tell if this is correct or not, but I believe there has to be a significant gap of time that transpires between these two major events so the Antichrist can build up enough influence and power (within the 10 kings or kingdoms) to authorize and confirm this covenant. He will be judged nine years later for this unrighteous act and his rebellion against God by the Lord Jesus Himself and will be condemned to the Lake of Fire for eternity.

“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:14-15).

Randy Nettles

rgeanie55@gmail.com

Endnotes: {1} Number in Scripture by E.W. Bullinger