Q: #314. What is the significance of the number 6 (six) in the Bible?
By: Steve Shirley
A: First off, let me begin by saying that I think we need to be careful about searching for hidden messages, meanings, or codes in certain significant numbers in the Bible. If you put the word "Numerology" in a Google search, what you get for a definition is: "The branch of knowledge that deals with the occult significance of numbers." Hence, "numerology" is associated with such things as the occult, the paranormal, astrology, paganism, divination, and wiccans." But, if we put "Biblical" in front of "numerology" ("Biblical Numerology"), this is then supposed to make searching for the significance of number meanings in the Bible acceptable.
Now, I am not saying that there isn't some significance to certain numbers in the Bible, all I am saying is that we should be careful about trying to interpret what these meanings are. Ultimately, I believe God did have reasons for using certain numbers over and over in the Bible, but only He may know the true reasons. Having said this, I do think it is fascinating to see how many times certain key numbers are used over and over in the Bible. In six studies, we will be looking at how six of what I believe are the most key numbers in the Bible are used: 3, 6, 7, 10, 12, 40.
The second number we are looking at is the number "6." Many who look for significance in numbers in the Bible believe that this number stands for incompleteness, imperfection, and weakness. It is said to be associated with both man and Satan. The number "7" is associated with God and perfection, so the number "6" is one number short of perfection. Although a case can be made for this in some places in the Bible, I also see the opposite in other cases. Again, we need to be careful about assigning too much meaning to certain numbers. Let's look at some significant uses of the number "6" in the Bible.
The Earth and all things were created in 6 days (Gen 1:31-2:2)(Ex 20:11)(Ex 31:17).
Man was created on the 6th day (Gen 1:26,31).
God flooded the whole world when Noah was six hundred years old (Gen 7:6,11).
Abraham interceded on behalf of the people of Sodom 6 times (Gen 18:16-33).
Leah had 6 sons (Gen 30:19-20)(Gen 35:23).
The Israelites were to gather Manna for 6 days (Ex 16:5,22,29).
The 6th Commandment is "thou shalt not murder" (Ex 20:13)(Deut 5:17).
A Hebrew slave was only to work 6 years and then be released (Ex 21:2)(Deut 15:12.18)(Jer 34:14).
God commanded the Israelites to give their land a Sabbath rest after 6 years of farming it (Ex 23:10-11)(Lev 25:1-7).
The glory of the Lord covered Mt. Sinai for 6 days (Ex 24:16).
The gold lampstand in the Tabernacle (which signified Jesus) had 6 branches coming out of it (Ex 25:32-35)(Ex 37:17-21).
Two onyx stones, each with 6 names of the sons of Israel were put on the ephod of the High Priest (Ex 28:9-12).
There were 6 "cities of refuge" in the land of the Levites (Num 35:6,13,15).
Jephthah judged Israel 6 years (Judg 12:7).
Goliath's height was 6 cubits and a span (1 Sam 17:4).
When the Ark was being brought to Jerusalem, after the Levites took 6 steps, David sacrificed sheep and oxen (2 Sam 6:13).
There was a giant that had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot (2 Sam 21:20).
Solomon's throne had 6 steps (1 Kin 10:19)(2 Chr 9:18).
Joab remained in Edom 6 months until he had killed every male (1 Kin 11:16).
Evil Queen Athaliah's reign was 6 years (2 Kin 11:3)(2 Chr 22:12).
Boaz gave Ruth 6 ephahs of barley (Ruth 3:15,17).
The Seraphim angels have 6 wings (Isa 6:2)(Rev 4:8 ?).
After 6 days, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up the mountain for the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1)(Mk 9:2).
In the 6th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce she would give birth to Jesus (Lk 1:26:36).
In Jesus' first miracle, He changed 6 waterpots into wine (Jn 2:6-10).
Mary anointed Jesus' feet 6 days before Passover (Jn 12:1-3).
At about the 6th hour, Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold your king" (Jn 19:14).
When Peter received his vision from God opening the door to the Gentiles, it was the 6th hour (Acts 10:9).
The number of the Antichrist (or beast) is 666 (Rev 13:17-18).