Saturday, May 2, 2015

Numbers and Names

Numbers and Names often have great meaning in scripture. I read recently a commentary on a number which was quite poor.

The commentary was exactly right in its belief that numbers have meaning, but seemed unaware of the fact that the chapters and verses of scripture where a far later addition than the written scripture and are not divinely inspired dividing points.

You cannot thus include the perceived contents of the "eleventh" chapter of many books in scripture into the biblical meaning of eleven. Certainly scripture repeatedly plays on numbers and repeats numbers which are significant for effect so that the significance will be noticed.

But we should always allow scripture to point out significance rather than forcing arbitrary significance where significance is not present. The dividing of chapters and verses in scripture is a blessed convenience to enable the better study of scripture, but not a divine inspiration of God.

Often I find the study of Names in scripture to be of more interest. The Name of a person is supposed to convey identity. The giving of a name is thus the giving of a blessing or curse.

Thus Joseph is a natural name for a blessing, "May Jehovah add/give increase," as well as Daniel, "God is my judge."

It is interesting the naming of names of children who are "sons of sorrow" or other names which reflect the feeling of the parent, but seem not to exist as a blessing. It is easy to read to much in to the giving of names and what was thought or not though.

The point is that the giving of the name is the giving of a blessing. The direction is that it is not about us, but the other. That is the drift of scripture to turn our hearts from inward focus to outward focus at ever turn.

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