24


I really intended to read all of Genesis this morning, just to refresh and enjoy the Word. I opened my scribbled-in Interlinear Bible that I can’t bring myself to trade for a single, larger print and lightweight version. The cover is pulling away and I never look at the NIV version, so why carry it around? Oh, well. 

Opening to page one, I read Genesis chapter 1, enjoying the margin notes I had made. Did you know that on the second day (Monday), God never said “and it was good”? If that doesn’t make you laugh on a Monday morning, nothing will. 

I pressed onto chapter two. As usual, I got derailed from my reading plan pretty quickly.


In Genesis 2:23, after God had presented a woman, Adam was stoked.


Gen 2:23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.”

Naturally, my mind jumped to us being called out of the world as the Bride of Christ. And that got me wondering just how many ribs the human body has. I admit it was a loosely-made connection.

Did you know that there are 24 ribs in the typical human body? Unless, of course you’re some nutty Hollywood starlet who has her ribs removed to have a smaller waist. Our thoracic cage or rib cage is composed of 12 pairs of ribs, sternum, cartilages and thoracic vertebrae. Of the 12 pairs of ribs, the first 7 pairs (1-7) are attached to vertebrae posteriorly and sternum anteriorly (with costal cartilage). I have no idea what that medical jargon means. But, these seven rib pairs are called true ribs

The other 5 pairs are not attached to the sternum directly, and are called false ribs. Wonder which kind of rib Eve came from…? (Sorry, ladies.)

The fact that there were 24 ribs, and 24 hours in a day, got me wondering about all the other significant times the number 24 is used in scripture. Here’s a partial list:

  • There are 24 courses of worship in the priesthood that were assigned by David.
  • There were 24 miraculous cures made by Jesus, out of a total 33 miracles.
  • There are 24 elders on 24 thrones in Revelation
  • There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet
  • There are 24 chapters in the book of Luke
  • Matthew 24 is Jesus telling his apostles what the end of days would look like
  • Specifically, Matt 24:24 warns of false Christs, and false prophets, who will be able to perform great signs and wonders that would fool even the Elect, were it possible

Hmmmm. Twenty-four looks an awful lot like completion of something massive. Twelve is a complete number, but two sets of twelve make it really complete, like the two sets of twelve stones in Joshua. I moved on to Genesis 2:24 to see if there is a completion there.


Genesis 2:24  Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.


Yep. Completion.

Well then. How many times is the theme of marriage the center of God’s plan? Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah, Ruth and Boaz, Jesus and the church… And here we are, right after Adam’s bride is pulled out of “man” and presented as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, in order to complete his marriage.


I decided to pick apart verse 2:24 in Hebrew, counting the number of times a letter was used.


Letter
Times Used
Symbolizes
א
Aleph
7
God the Father
ו
Vav
7
Man’s World of Sin, Thousand
ב
Beyt
5
God the Son
י
Yood
4
Ordinal Perfection
ת
Tav
3
Divinely Ordained Period of Time
ש
Sheen
3
Gospel of Christ, Victory Over Death
ד
Dalet
2
Creation, Door
ל
Lamed
2
Blood Sacrifice
ע
Ayin
2
Nations
ך
Noon
1
Deliverance, Jubilee
חמזקכהר
1
New Life, Probation to Renewal, Divine Completion, Children of Promise, Salvation thru Atonement, Grace, Sufficiency only thru God

Very cool. The story of the Gospel is entirely contained in this verse when one looks at the symbolism of the Hebrew letters used:


“God the Father (sends to) man’s world of sin, God the son (in) ordinal perfection (at a) divinely ordained period of time, (bringing) the Gospel of Christ and Victory Over Death. The creation of a door, through (his) blood sacrifice, for the nations – (bringing) deliverance.”


Verse 2:24 has a total of 43 characters in it. The number 43 didn't initially mean anything to me, but a little internet jaunt brought me some interesting occurrences of 43:

  • The 43rd time that Abram is mentioned in Scripture is in Gen. 15:18, where God gives his descendants possession of Canaan. "To your descendants I have given this land." When the time came to possess it, of course, Israel had to contend for possession of the land.
  • Abraham is mentioned for the 43rd time in Gen. 21:12, "through Isaac your descendants shall be named." This is the divine decision after Isaac and Ishmael had contended for the birthright.
  • The 43rd time that Isaac is mentioned is in Gen. 26:20, where he is seen contending with the herdsmen of Gerar for the well of Esek.
  • Also, at the conclusion of 430 years, Moses contended with Pharaoh, and God sent 10 plagues to bring Israel out of Egypt. This was a time of great contention.
  • The 43rd time Jerusalem is mentioned is in 2 Sam. 20:7, where David's army went out to pursue Sheba, who was contending or quarreling with David for the throne. In verse 18 Sheba was killed, and "thus they ended the dispute."
  • In the New Testament, the 43rd time that Jesus' name is mentioned in the book of Luke is found on the mount of transfiguration in Luke 9:33. Peter wants to build three tabernacles, but God’s voice contends with Peter and tells him to listen to Jesus.
  • The 43rd time that Peter's name is mentioned in the New Testament is found in Acts 5:29, where we find him contending with the high priest, who had commanded them to stop preaching in the name of Jesus.

So, when we see the 43rd time something occurs, there's contention involved.

Could it be that because this significant verse has 43 letters in it, that it also paints the picture of us contending with this sinful world, in order that we receive salvation by faith? Awesome. Every time I open up the Bible, there's something even more amazing in it.

Here's Psalm 43 for you to enjoy:

1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.


4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.


5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.


I hope this portion of my journey blessed you today. Eyes up!




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