The close examination and reading of the bible reveals various patterns of numbers in the bible. The pattern inculcated reveals that they have a special significance in the bible. The study of the bible pattern has lead to the specialization in the field of studying the bible in the context of getting the meaningful ideologies expressed in it. The biblical study of the bible gives the specialty in the perception where a person wants to know the numerology of it. Certain experts who have specialized in the field have identified particular repeated numbers with particular meanings. This trend runs both from the old to the new testament of the Holy Book. Number 12 is the key focus here; it has been identified several times from the old to the New Testament.
Twelve is a number that brings relevant significance, which implies perfection on the part of the government. It is found as a multiple terms in the biblical context and the implication brings the issues that have to do with the ruling. The form of ruling to the extended capacity that brings the perception of a symbolic view on the certain issues governing the universe. The sun, which is the ruler of the day and the moon and the defined galaxies of stars in the sky, brings the consent of passage of the twelve signs of the zodiac that completes the great circle of the heavens, and thus this in a way governs the heavens and the year.
As a symbol, the number also represents the 12 tribes of Israel. The meaning of the 12 tribes bring two different meanings in the context that, the tribes are the sons of Jacob who had 12 sons in the biblical context. The 12 sons came and gave birth to 12 tribes of Israel. The second meaning is attributed to Jacob who was changed to Israel when he wrestled with the angel of God.
In the first concept that brings a clear reflection of the number, the 12 patriarchs denote the lineage of the people in the historical lines in the tribe of Israel. This runs from Shem the son of Noah to Jacob. The lineage of the 12 patriarchs includes; Shem, arphaxad, Salah, Heber, Serug, Nahor, Reu, Terah, Peleg, Abraham, Isaac and then Jacob. The 12 patriarchs in the Israel lineage represent the flow and the growth of the tribes of Israel in the biblical explanation in the Old Testament.
Biblical scholars give the biblical context and the meaning of the number 12 the sign of divinity. This is in relation to the multiples of 12 that have meanings in the development of the flow of the biblical context right through the old to the new testament . Twelve being a product of three and four bring different aspects in general. This is because three is a divine number and four represents the earthly number, as there are four major components of the universe. These are the fire, water, air and finally the earth. The number represents the cosmic number, which is attributed to the cosmos or in other words the administration of the world. The multiples represent the multiplication and the perfection of the world administration.
The temple that Solomon made to the lord had a tabernacle in it and the rest of the temple had a predominating factor of the number 12. Despite the contrasting number 5 written in the tabernacle reveals the glory of the kingdom displayed in the temple. This was marked by the12 statutes of oxen held up in the water basin in the temple that Solomon did made to the lord. (1st kings 7:25)
The number 12 has also been used in the context of the 12 people who were specifically anointed to serve the people in the government. This is because all the people anointed were of different kinds and this ranged from the leapers, kings priests and even the prophets. The various people were given the mandate to anoint the different people in the communities. The book of exodus 6:23 brings the context of the anointing process that took place. This includes the anointing of Aaron and his four sons and the rest were the kings anointed to perform in the various parts of the administration process.
Other concepts about number 12 are shown in the Old Testament when the 12 pillars were erected at Mount Sinai. It marked the exodus of the twelve tribes of Israel from the land of captivity. This was and indication of the representation of the 12 tribes in the Israel fraternity. The act of the 12 pillars further represented the activity of the term of coming into a binding agreement between God and the Israelites. The giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses that he did present to them marked the signing of the oath of the covenant.
Twelve pillars were erected in the Promised Land to the Israelites (Joshua 4:1-9). Canaan the land in the biblical context God promised the people of Israel. The 12 pillars marked the inheritance of the 12 tribes of Israel to the Promised Land. The long biblical journey of 40years in the wilderness was completed in the land of Canaan that was fertile and flourishing to the people to live. On the same context, twelve spies were sent as spies to the land of Canaan (numbers 13:1-15). This was to give the people the feedback of how the land was and the mechanisms and measures that were to be implemented to enter it.
In the biblical context, 12 men were selected to conduct the census of the tribes of Israel. This led to the identification of their numbers. Also on the same issue in the biblical context marked in the Old Testament gives twelve princes selected to bring the gifts to the Israel Holy sanctuary. This was conducted within the twelve days and marked in the book of (numbers 7:10-83).
After the Israelites crossed, the great river Jordan where Jesus was baptized, Moses erected twelve stones as a sign of memorial after leaving the land of captivity (Exodus 24:4). Also in the selection of the priest, twelve stones were attached in the breastplate of the garments. These stones were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel as illustrated in the book of (Exodus 39:8-14).
In the New Testament, Jesus focuses on his mission at an early age of twelve. This is clearly marked by his first words he did utter at that tender age. This is when he questions the scholars in the temple at the tender age of twelve years. This led them to doubt about the kind of a child he was at such a tender age (Luke 2:41). Later in his ministry, Jesus chooses twelve disciples to help him deliver the contents of his preaching to the public (Luke 6:13). The twelve disciples resembles back to the old testament where the tribe of Israel had twelve tribes according to the sons of Jacob.
In addition, when Jesus fed the five thousand crowds who followed him to the mountains to hear his teachings the disciples collected the twelve baskets of the remains of the food consumed. Also in the last supper, Jesus broke twelve loaves of bread, which he gave to his disciplines to eat as the memory of his stay in their hearts.
The bible explains the context of the woman who was relieved by Jesus the burden of hemorrhage which in her life was a curse. The woman was healed when she touched Jesus garments when he was in the crowds.
Back in the old testament the concept of twelve sons of Ishmael and the twelve priests of the chronicles give the number a truly historical background on the concept of the circulated issue revolving throughout the whole bible. The same reflection is seen in the golden table, which had twelve loaves of lasting offerings. In the New Testament in the book of revelation, it states that the kingdom of God has twelve gates and under which are guarded by the twelve angels. (Revelation 21:12). The book further explains that the New Jerusalem will have twelve foundations.
In conclusion the number twelve has been used historically in the bible which brings the context of the relationship of what happened in the old testament in relation to the ones in the new testament.
Eyre & Spottiswoode (Bible Warehouse) Ltd, publication 2001
Senior, Donald; Mary Ann Getty, Carroll Stuhlmueller, The Catholic Study Bible, New York City: . (Publication 2008), pp. 398, 399
Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D., The Symbolism of Numbers in the Bible, June 25, 2011
Margaret Minnicks, Number 12 and its meaning in the Bible, June 4, 2011
Shane Hall, What Is the Meaning of the Number 12 in the Bible? , 2005