In this blog I should like to shed more light on the topic of biblical gematria and the number 22. This is not an exhaustive study, rather, it’s just some relevant information that pertains to the nearness of the Lord’s return. The Bible is God’s holy and His inspired Word to humanity. It’s ‘His story,’ a road map for people to discover their Creator and receive His needed forgiveness for their sin within the short span of their life, however long it may be.
The Bible is full of numbers, even the 4th book is called Numbers. In both the Greek and Hebrew language, each letter of the alphabet is assigned a number. Gematria is the practice of calculating the numerical equivalent of words and phrases by adding up the numbers associated with each letter. While we don’t know just when the Hebrew gematria was introduced, it would appear in happened around the time of the second temple in Jerusalem. Gematria is interesting, but like numerology, there is a lot of misinformation and garbage. However, there are many amazing examples of biblical gematria that defy belief and reveal the fact that the Bible is God’s holy Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and a message of hope to humanity.
I should like to take a closer look at the biblical gematria for the number 22 in the Bible. The number 22 is one of a few key numbers within biblical gematria; mainly because it’s associated with Jesus. The Bible contains 66 books, 3 sets of 22 books, each set of 22 is led by Genesis, Song of Solomon, and Acts. There are 22 chapter 22’s in the Bible. The number 22 is the only chapter number in the Bible with the same number of chapters. There are 66 books total in both the OT and NT of scripture. If you divide 22 into 66 you get 3, the number for, among other things, the Trinity. The number 22 is the number of ‘revelation’ and there are 22 chapters in the book of Revelation. The number 22 unites the whole Bible and reflects the 22 foundational Hebrew letters.
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.” – Isaiah 22:22
- In this verse, the Prophet Isaiah is writing things concerning the house of David. In context, it is pertaining to Christ’ millennial kingdom. Jesus will rule the earth from the ‘throne of His father David.’ >>> See my blog on the Millennial Reign of Christ for more information.
When Jesus was dying on the cross He quoted from Psalm 22, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?” – Psalm 22:1
- When you add up all of the ‘letters’ (aka epistles) in the New Testament, between the four Gospels and the Book of Revelation, there are 22 of them.
The number 22 is also the number of light. In the Gospel of John, the word ‘light’ is used 22 times and the 22nd time that it is used, Jesus is the one speaking,
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” – John 12:46
The NT notes that Jesus quoted from the OT 22 times; as you know, Jesus never quoted from the NT (hello).
The creation account in Genesis 1 records that in the six days of creation, God created 22 different and specific things.
“In the beginning God created the heavens (1) and the earth (2). 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (3). 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; (4) and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, (5) and the darkness He called Night. (6) So the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament (expanse) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, (7) and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. (8) And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, (9) the herb that yields seed (10) according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, (11) whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: (12,13) the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars (14) also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures (15) and every living thing that moves, (16) with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird (17) according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle (18) and creeping thing (19) and beast of the earth, (20) each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man (21) in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female (22) He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” – Genesis 1
- While some may debate this division of created things, it’s becomes clear that God was very specific in His allocation of creation. He did it all in six, literal 24 hour days. That was quite a week.
If you take the number 22 and you rotate the 2 on the left ‘180 degrees’ (meaning ‘to repent and turn around’) and touch them together (meaning ‘to love’), you get the Greek word for omega, which means ‘last.’ This letter is in the shape of a love heart. This is interesting because love is the major theme of the Bible. God asks us to turn around from our sin and turn back to Him; to love Him. He asks us to repent, turn from our selfish ways, and align ourselves with His will.
Numbers 22 is a fascinating chapter as it sums up the gospel message. Like with Isaiah, ‘all we like sheep have gone astray, each one of us has turned to his (or her) own way, and God has laid upon Him (Jesus), the iniquity of us all.’ (Isaiah 53:6). We are all being invited to turn around, to acknowledge our mistakes, and to get back on the straight and narrow path. Jesus is the only name we can call upon where we can be saved, repent, and turn back. This ‘turning around’ is God’s clarion call for sinners to repent and come to faith in Him before they die.
If you take the year 1948, when Israel became a nation again, and add those numbers together, you get 1 + 9 + 4 + 8 = 22.
The Hebrew year 5782 officially ended on Rosh Hashanah 2022, however, this year 5782 doesn’t ‘biblically’ end until March 22/23 on the Spring solstice. The number 5782 when added up (5+7+8+2) = 22
If you add seven years to 5782 + 7 years you get 5789. 5+7+8+9 = 2,520. This is the exact number of days of the seven-year tribulation. The relevant theory is that the Rapture of the Church may occur sometime between now and the Spring solstice. This would support a 2022 Rapture even though we are in 2023 (Gregorian).
There are 58 chapters in the Bible that end with 22 verses. The number 58 is the Gematria numerical value of ‘Noah’ and ‘grace.’ The Torah has the greatest number of chapter verses that end with 22. The book of Isaiah has 7 chapters that end in 22. Job has 6 chapters that end in 22. Jeremiah has 5 chapters that end in 22.
There are 22 generations from Adam to Jacob. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The word ‘Lord’ and ‘twelve’ occurs 22x in Revelation (12 means ‘divine government’). The word ‘love’ occurs 22x in John.
The word ‘vision’ occurs 22x in Daniel. In the entire Bible, the words ‘Jubilee, vexed, moment, shaken, tribulation, marriage, taste, partake, overcome, sins, adversary, graves, Jezebel, deliver (a Rapture word in Hebrew), spring (inferring the month of Adar, ‘the glorious month’), humble, and learned’ all occur 22x each.
Ruth, the story of a Jewish man (Boaz) taking a Gentile bride (Ruth) is a type and shadow of Jesus, as the bridegroom, taking a Gentile bride (His Church). Chapter 1 and 4 have 22 verses. The book of Lamentations has 5 chapters, in chapters 1,2,4 & 5 they all have 22 verses, and chapter 3 has 66 verses (which is 3 x 22).
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm of all 150 psalms. It’s place in the Bible is two psalms from the exact center of the Bible, (Psalm 117). Psalm 119 has 22 verses of eight lines. The first word of each line of the 22 verses start with each of the 22 Hebrew letters, from Aleph through to Tav, the first and last of the 22 Hebrew letters.
Get this, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible; 176 verses that are divided into 22 sections. Each section contains 8 verses and is dedicated to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet in order. 176 verses is 22 x 8.
For the Tau, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the first two verses of this last section in Psalm 119 say, “Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. 170 Let my (prayer of) supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your word.” – Psalm 119:169,170
The word for ‘deliver’ (Hebrew: natsal) used here means ‘to snatch away’ (in a good or bad sense). In our case, it will be a good sense, it will be the Rapture of the Church! Psalm 119 is all about praising God, respecting His Word, and understanding that God’s Word really is ‘a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’
While we associate the number 22 with, among other things, the person of the Christ, we can quickly see that it’s placement in scripture is prominent and sure. It also says something significant about both years, 2022 and 1948. This being said, if you see the number 22 a lot, be mindful that God is near and watching, are more importantly, He is coming soon.
The number 153 from the 153 fish in John 21 speaks of, among other things, the Church. The number 888 is another number that speaks of Jesus. There have been 888 months between May 1948 and May 2022; which is Israel 74th birthday. The Figtree Generation extends until just before Israel turns 81, which means that its prophetic significance is still in play; come quickly Lord Jesus!
While this is not an exhaustive study on biblical gematria, at least we can get a taste of this particular style of study and the number 22 in the Bible. I am not a calculus professor or anything like that, but me thinks that we’re getting really close.
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northwest Missouri. He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry.