The Biblical Number Three and the Truth of Spiritual Things



In the related article The Monarch Butterfly Part One, the number four and it's use in Scripture, was exhaustively studied, in terms of its relationship to the physical, natural, created realm along with its transformative processes. The revelations seem to be infinite and I continue to modify the article regularly. In light of this, I thought that a study on three and it's association with spiritual themes would be equally interesting and useful in understanding concepts in the Bible that are confirmed in this way.

That is what I truly love about God's Word. He has made His truth so consistent in so many ways and if you question the literary presentation, He will confirm it in a mathematical or even geometrical conclusion.

This in no way supports any form of numerology that looks to numbers for personal private future foretelling which is clearly forbidden in the Scriptures. We look to God alone for our daily guidance and bread. This is simply a useful tool that God has provided for us to easily categorize and confirm themes He is setting forth in His truth.

Strength and Dependability of Triangular Structures

The above image displays one of the cubes foldable patterns. The video below it animates how that works.

Facts about Three

Three is the first number that can form a geometrical figure, that being a triangle. in other words It takes at least three lines to enclose a space.

E.W. Bullinger, biblical scholar and theologian, who specialized in the study of these number themes also noted that...

three is the symbol of the cube, or solid contents

Three is the number of spatial dimensions needed to mathematically describe a solid (length, width, and height) and therefore expresses that which is solid, real and substantial.

Jesus Christ is the same (1) yesterday, (2) today, and (3) forever. ~
Hebrews 13:8

How this relates to spiritual matters is the consideration that the realm of spiritual things is more real and substantial than that of the physical. The physical, as discovered in the study of four, is ever changing and transforming, but the spiritual things are eternal

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ II Corinthians 4:18

J Preston Eby of Sigler ministries observes something interesting and relatable to the cube as it is used in scripture.

"There are only two cubes described in scripture. One is the Holy of Holies...

And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar ~ I Kings 6:20

...and the other is the New Jerusalem....

The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal ~ Revelation 21:16

The perfect cube in the Holy of Holies finds its fulfillment in the City of God. A cube is the most perfect figure, being equal on all sides = finite perfection. It is the most comprehensive and holds the most. Nothing contains as much as a cube. It speaks of perfection and fullness. It was in the Holy of Holies where God was met and the High Priest was in His presence. It is God's presence that is perfect and fulfilling and nothing can contain as much as His presence does." ~ J. Preston Eby

Three is the first odd prime number. it is indivisible.


The three pillars or foundations of Jewish society consist of the Torah, divine service to God, and acts of service to man. Sound familiar?

The Triangular Truth - Its Stability and Eternality

A triangle (polygon that has 3 angles and 3 vertices), in plane geometry, is the only stable figure with straight lines. Once a triangle is assembled it's angles cannot change, which is why it is commonly used in architecture when building certain structures such as bridges and domes.

Tripods are also noted for their stability and they are commonly used by photographers and surveyors to keep their equipment level and steady. They are much more stable than something supported by four legs.

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes understood the strength and dependability of three

a threefold cord is not quickly broken ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12

God's creation functions with this same truth in design

Silk, the substance produced and used by some worms and spiders to make webs and cocoons is said to be stronger than steel, pound for pound. This is due to the prism like triangular structure of its fibers.

In the Bible, the dependability of a believable witness was largely supported by three

“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” ~ II Corinthians 13:1

With God using His own standard

there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one..~ I John 5:7-8

Truth is expressed as being stable and dependable as well as it is used three times in the following verse in description of the Lord Himself. Notice also the reference to eternity.

we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is (1) true; and we are in Him who is (2) true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the (3) true God and eternal life.~ I John 5:20

...more on this in the next section.

The Hebrew word for truth is emet and consists of three letters as most Hebrew words do, aleph, mem, and tav that act a bit like a tripod confirming the stability of truth. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet, mem is at the very center when including the sofit letters (5 letters that take a different form when they are at the end of a word) and tav is the last letter. If all the letters were placed in a circle and these three letters were placed at the center with legs extended down and outward from them, it would make a tripod upon which all the letters stand It should also be noted that the gematria (Hebrew numerical value associated with the letters) for the emet adds up to 441 which is 3x147. The number of Hebrew Aleph bet letters including the sofit letters is 27 which is 3x3x3

The Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament) consists of three sections known as the Torah (first five books of Moses) the Prophets, and the Writings. The Old Testament itself consist of 39 (3x13) books. The New consists of 27 (3x3x3) with a grand total of 66 (3x22). His Word and Truth are reliable, trustworthy, dependable and even eternal.

Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven ~ Psalm 119:89

The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever ~ Psalm 119:160

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever ~ Isaiah 40:8

I will cap off this section with a word of wisdom as it concerns three and truth from the book of Proverbs.

(1) Incline thine ear, and (2) hear words of the wise, And (3) thy heart set to my knowledge,

For they are pleasant when thou dost keep them in thy heart, They are prepared together for thy lips.

(a) That thy trust may be in Jehovah, I caused thee to know to-day, even thou.

(b) Have I not written to thee three times With counsels and knowledge?

(a) To cause thee to know the certainty of sayings of truth, To return sayings of truth to those sending thee. ~ Proverbs 22:17-21 (Young's Literal Translation)

Can you see that three is sandwiched by truth and trust in the above verse.

Another interesting fun fact concerning the number three and eternity or could we say in this case infinity, the fraction 1/3 is also expressed as .33333333333..... infinitely. 2/3 is expressed as .66666666666.... infinitely..

The remainder of this article will examine this relationship with three and spiritual matters as it concerns the Bible

Symbol of the Alpha and Omega
Symbol of the Alpha and Omega | Source
Notice how perfectly they divide into categories when rolled up like this.
Notice how perfectly they divide into categories when rolled up like this.

The Word of God - Truth - Light

This section will observe how three categorizes the stability and truth as it concerns the Word of God.

Lets begin with the fact that there are 66 (3x22) or (3x2x11) books in the Word of God. 66 is also the 11th triangular number (66 dots can be arranged into a triangle with none left over or missing). In arranging 66 dots into a triangle there will be 11 on every side.

The 66th chapter of the Word of God concerns the giving of Manna in the wilderness which is a type of the Word of God. Click on the blue link for further associations with Manna and the Word of God.

The 66th word of the Bible in Hebrew, its' original language, is et an is also the third word in the very first sentence of the Bible. Et is a, yet to be defined, word that consists of an aleph and a tav, which are the first and last letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet. Think Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alpha-bet and a well known title of the Word of God Himself in person.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city ~ Revelation 22:13,14

The Bible itself in original languages consists of Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New.

If you were line up all the books of the Bible and then roll up that line three times each roll would contain 22 books that form spokes like a wheel. Fascinating that when viewing the three books from each spoke they are consistent in theme and language. There is book titled "Bible Wheel" by Richard Amiel McGough, that is available on Amazon that details the common threads

Just a little side tracking as it concerns 22 and this concept and an excerpt from a previous article "Snowflakes Bees and the Word of God".

April 10, 2014 our church hosted a Jews for Jesus presentation on Christ in the Passover, with the actual Passover being the 15th of April The young lady who presented lodged at my home the night of the presentation. We arrived at my home after dark and when I stepped outside the car and looked up at the sky the moon was encircled fully and thickly with a halo. I looked it up and discovered that this is a natural occurrence when light from the sun or moon is refracted through "hexagonal" (6 - 3x2 sided figure) ice crystals and is known as a 22 degree halo in description of the deviation of angles through these ice crystals. As I looked this up I couldn't help but recall the 22 letters of the Hebrew Aleph-bet and the Bible Wheel discovery...

The 22 degree halo gives us the visual of God's sent light refracting through the wheel of His Word illuminating the darkness.

God said, “Let there be light~ Genesis 1:3

Take note that light is the topic of the third verse of the Bible. Light is strongly associated with the Word of God.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path ~ Psalm 119:105


The Lamp in the Tabernacle of Moses

Light, the Word of God, and the number three are threaded together at the Golden Lampstand, one of three pieces of furniture, in the Tabernacle of Moses. The details in this section are borrowed from a book titled "The Tabernacle of Moses" by Kevin J. Connor.

“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold (symbol of God in purity glory and majesty); the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece (3 in one). And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like (1) almond blossoms on one branch, with an (2) ornamental knob and a (3) flower, and three bowls made like (1) almond blossoms on the other branch, with an (2) ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself four bowls (center) shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand.... ~ Exodus 25:31-40

It will be first noted that this particular lamp burned oil not wax candles, as we moderns might be tempted to think. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, a major theme in this study, and is so very many times associated with anointing and empowering in the Bible as well as the Word of God.

Jesus said...

the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. ~ John 6:63

This statement was launched after a discussion about Christ also being Manna (Table of Bread in the Tabernacle) which also is an image of His Word.

This lamp consisted of a main shaft with three branches on each side of it. This Holy Place item was ornamented with 66 (1) Bowls, (2) Knops, and (3) Flowers, that were separated into three groups. The main shaft contained 12 of these bowls, knops and flowers, which makes for 27 on each side. Now watch this...If we add one side with the middle shaft this equals 39 (12+27), this is the exact number of books in the Old Testament. This leaves 27 on the other side which is the exact number of books in the New Testament. The grand total of Bible books is 66, the same number as bowls, knops, and flowers on the lamp.

Three-Fold Repetitions

In Semitic cultures, something done or said three times is considered permanent. There are four occasions in the Old Testament where words are repeated three times in succession. The first is in reference to God Himself

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!” ~ Isaiah 6:3

The second is God confronting His people that thought they could spare the coming judgment by simply saying "the temple of the Lord" without changing their ways.

“Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’ ~ Jeremiah 7:4

The next is from Jeremiah as well with a warning about what He was about to do to Coniah the king of Judah in judgment.

O earth, earth, earth,
Hear the word of the Lord! ~ Jeremiah 22

The next is in Ezekiel once again pronouncing a judgment against the wicked prince of Israel

Overthrown, overthrown,
I will make it overthrown!
It shall be no longer,
Until He comes whose right it is,
And I will give it to Him ~ Ezekiel 21:27

If your read them all together in succession their is prophetic message in it in and of itself

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!

“Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’

O earth, earth, earth,
Hear the word of the Lord!

Overthrown, overthrown,
I will make it overthrown!
It shall be no longer,
Until He comes whose right it is,
And I will give it to Him

Three Signs of Biblical Covenant

The entire Bible centers around the theme of covenant which was designed to be the foundation of faith, trust, and the entire principle of relationship. The Old Testament gives us three signs of covenant between God and His people.

1. The Sabbath:

Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’” ~ Exodus 31:14-17

2. The rainbow

God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that ison the earth.” ~ Genesis9:12-17

3. the circumcision

This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. ~ Genesis 17:10-11


Holy Spirit - Vision - and the Number Three

In terms of understanding and our ability to see as it concerns the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, third member of the Trinity, is required. Sight or revelation, interestingly, is threefold - physical, mental and spiritual. according to Thomas Newberry English Bible Scholar and writer who says in his book "Types in the Levitical Offerings" (highly recommended read by the way)

"The eye gazes on the type, reason may form it's conclusions, but the Holy Ghost alone can communicate the mind of God concerning truths contained in it...but as the spirit of man alone knows the inward thoughts of man so these deep wondrous thoughts of God can only be communicated to us by the Spirit of God Himself. Moreover as the Word of God endures forever, and the heavens and the earth may pass sooner than one jot or tittle of the laws, may fail, we have in these types, in all their minuteness of detail, a record for eternity imprinted by the Spirit of God on the pages of the eternal Word, for the instruction of the inhabitants of heaven and the universe, throughout countless ages of eternity..." ~ Thomas Newberry

Gimel, the third letter of the Hebrew Aleph-bet is represented by a camel, and can symbolize in some ways the Holy Spirit, which will be looked at a little later. The Hebrew word for revelation is galah and begins with a gimel. one interesting feature of a camel that relates to the number three, spirit, and vision is that the the camel has three eye lids. Two of them have eyelashes but the third innermost one is a thin layer that acts like a windshield wiper and clears off the eye as the camel traverses through a windy dusty vision distracting climate. The Holy Spirit serves all of these functions that we might see with utmost clarity the things of God.

Would it be surprising that our human eye, the organ of sight, which is designed for the purpose of receiving light, which is an image of revelation, consists of three layers? fibrous tunic, vascular tunic, and nervous tunic. Human vision the retina contains three types of color receptor cells, or cones

Newberry also comments on the "meat" or "meal" offering mentioned in Leviticus chapter 2, and its connection to these ideas.

"The ..."Gift offering," a beautiful type, similar to that of the manna representing Christ as the Gift of God in a threefold point of view.

First, as the gift of the Father. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16); again, "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven" (John 6:32)

Secondly, as Christ's gift for the Church, for "Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25)

Thirdly, the gift of the Holy Ghost, for He takes of the things of Christ and reveals them unto us; He makes Christ ours, so that the individual believer can say, "He loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20)

The threefold purpose of the Holy Spirit is

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, (1) He will convict the world of sin, (2) and of righteousness, (3) and of judgment: (1) of sin, because they do not believe in Me; (2) of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; (3) of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. ~ John 16:7-11

Back to the camel...

A camel can drink up to 30 (3x10) gallons of water in 15 minutes. Water, by molecule, made up of three atoms (two hydrogen and one oxygen), can be another symbol of the Holy Spirit

The chart you see above was taken from a clip in the video below. As you see the Hebrew Aleph-Bet including the sofit letters (letters that are changed to a different form when they appear at the end of a word) are arranged in rows of the three. When you add up the rows according to their Gematria value that appear in the corresponding boxes below them and divide that sum by three it equals the middle number. Example: 1+2+3 = 6 and 6 divided by 3 is 2 which is the center number of the equation.

The hour long video above is a teaching on the Hebrew letter gimel, the third letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet, and includes some information also on three. It is presented by Mark Blitz of El Shaddai Ministries.

The thirty minute video below is also on the letter gimel and centers on it's concept of "lifting up" which will be a common theme throughout the remainder of this article, in relationship to the number three. This one is presented by Dr. Danny Ben Gigi former professor of Hebrew at Arizona State University. He is being hosted by Jaime and Neal Lash of Jewish Jewel's Ministry.

Both are interesting teachings that I hope you will take the time to view and learn.

Third Letter of the Hebrew Aleph - Bet

As was mentioned above, the third letter of the Hebrew Aleph- Bet is gimel and is imaged by a camel. In fact the Hebrew word for camel gamal is closely related and shares the very same letters.

The first three mentions of the camal are in relation to the wealth and riches of the first three patriarchs Abraham (Genesis 12:16), Isaac (Genesis 24:10), and Jacob (Genesis 30:43). ~ borrowed from "The Bible Wheel" Richard Amiel McGough

He also writes

"The Camel itself is an excellent metaphor of the Holy spirit who carries the children of God through the dry dessert of this world. He sustains us, nourishes us, and gives us all we need in our earthly pilgrimage. He weans and ripens (another use of gamal) the children of God as we grow into spiritual adulthood. Desert dwelling Bedouins call the camel the Gift of God because their entire substance - food, drink, clothing, fuel, and travel - depends on it."

For this section I borrow from another article about how each letter of the Hebrew Aleph - Bet represents a facet of God which displays and images for us some functions of God's Spirit.

Gimel "ג" is the third letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and it is a picture of a camel. In a previous hub "Bless and Knee" it was noted that the camel could be viewed as a bestower of blessings and benefits. The Holy Spirit can be shown in this concept.

A camel traverses through the wilderness to bestow benefits

Just as the Holy Spirit is a bestower of Christ to man. We see this in the beginning in the creation narrative.

(1) The earth was without form, and void; (2) and darkness was on the face of the deep. (3) And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters ~ Genesis 1:2

Notice it is the third phrase in verse 2 where the Holy Spirit is mentioned.

We can see a vast wilderness of nothingness that is dark and deep and the Spirit of God brooding over it.

A camel (gimel) is noted for its kneeling as well as its lifting up. It was the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead...and bestowed the treasures from above to us. Resurrection and its association with three will be noted later.

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. ~ Acts 2:33

Some more on the benefits bestowed...

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him ~ Acts 10:38

This next verse ties together the first three letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet in showing us a facet of God.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~ Romans 5:5

It is the Love of God the Father (Aleph) poured into our hearts through His Son (Bet) by the Holy Spirit (Gimel) who was given to us (bestowed upon us).

Once again we see the Trinity on display. John witnesses this in his experience of heaven in the throne room of God's presence where the living creatures issue their triple cry of

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come! ~ Revelation 4:8

God's attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence

Many debates surround the "doctrine" of the Trinity, could this be a revelation of that?

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ~ Matthew 28:19

The third word of the Bible is Elohim, translated God in Hebrew, and is actually a plural word followed by the verb "created" in it's singular form.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth ~ John 4:24

Quoting Bullinger

God's attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence

Three times is the blessing given in Numbers 6:23, 24:--

  • "The LORD bless thee and keep thee (the Father);
  • The LORD make His face shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee (the Son);
  • The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (the Holy Spirit). ~ Bullinger

Notice LORD is used three times

In Genesis 18:2, the same three persons appear to Abraham. Abraham "looked, and, lo, THREE men stood by him." But verse 1 declares that it was "Jehovah appeared unto him." It is remarkable that Abraham addresses them both as one and as three... Abraham brought "three measures of meal" for his heavenly Numbers 15:9, we read, "Then shall he bring with the bullock a meal offering of THREE tenth deals of flour." This was the measure for the whole burnt offering, and also for great special occasions such as the New Moon and the New Year, etc. It was also the special measure for the cleansing of the leper (Lev 14:10). The poor leper had several gracious blessings beyond others. He alone was favoured with the anointing which was given only to the Prophet, Priest, and King! He alone had the priestly consecration. It is sinners who are now singled out from the mass of those who are lost, and dead in trespasses and sins, to be anointed with the Spirit, and made, in Christ, kings and priests unto God.~ Bullinger

This word "fulness" is remarkable, occurring only three times, and in connection with the Three Persons of the Trinity:

  • Ephesians 3:19, "The fulness of God.
  • Ephesians 4:13, "The fulness of Christ."
  • Colossians 2:9, "The fulness of the Godhead." ~ Bullinger

Goel - Redeemer

The Hebrew word for redeemer is goel and used to describe one in the family who settled accounts. If a family member was sold as a slave it was the goel's responsibility to buy them back. If a family member was killed it was the goel's responsibility to avenge his member's blood. As we can see in these descriptions, Jesus, is in fact our goel/redeemer

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” ~ Galatians 3:13

you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. ~ I Peter 1:18-19

The Hebrew word pictograph lends to our redeemer being lifted up and resurrected and begins with the first letter gimel. As was discussed before is this letter is imaged by a camel and comes with the concept of being lifted up. the last two letter are aleph (ox- strong and dependable) and lamed (shepherd) and spell the Hebrew word el meaning God. All taken together we have redemption occurs when God is lifted up. This concept was borrowed from Mark Blitz at El Shaddai Ministries and the video on the right, in the above section, contains this revelation.

The story of Ruth really captures this concept and can be studied further by clicking on the highlighted name Ruth in this sentence. It is a five part series.


The Bestowal of Three Gifts

Some time after Christ was born, the Magi or Wise men who came to see the King whose birt was announced by the star in the East, brought three gifts with them.

when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: (1) gold, (2) frankincense, and (3) myrrh. ~ Matthew 2

The God announced His role as King. The frankincense announced His role as Priest and the myrrh announced his role as a prophet or suffering servant.

As it concerns camels, resurrection, and the bestowal of gifts, a portion of Isaiah that foretells of this event will help us out

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, The dromedaries of (1) Midian and (2) Ephah; All those from (3) Sheba shall come; They shall bring gold and incense, And they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord . ~ Isaiah 60:1‭-‬6 NKJV

Notice the three countries represented and the mention of Sheba. Where might we have heard of Sheba before, in association with wisdom, riches and camels?

when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare (1) spices, and (2) gold in abundance, and (3) precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart...

...when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built

And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her.

And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:

Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.

Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.

Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the Lord thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.

And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon...

...And king Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants

~ II Chronicles 9:1-12

Solomon types and shadows the coming royalty of the Messiah Jesus, the only wise God and King of Kings full of riches and grace carried and delivered by His Holy Spirit. Could the queen of Sheba be His church, much like Mary who chose to come and sit His feet and was so richly blessed by that.


The Three Hours of Prayer

(1) Evening and (2) morning and at (3) noon (mid-day)
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice ~ Psalm 55:17

Prayer in and of itself is a primarily a spiritual activity. In Jewish tradition there are, what is known, as three hours of prayer, that date back to biblical times and observances.

when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days ~ Daniel 6:10

The New Testament observes this as well...

So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense ~ Luke 1:8-11


The Altar of Incense and Prayer

The Altar of Incense also known as the Golden Altar, was to image the prayers of the people going up to God. It was the third piece of furniture in the Holy Place. It was 3 feet high and burned three types of fire: wood on the top, coal in the middle, and a perpetual fire from the ashes at the bottom.

And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand ~ Revelation 8:4

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice ~ Psalm 141:2

Some of the following information is borrowed from Agape Bible Study in an article "The Hours of Prayer for the Old Covenant Church in the 1st century AD" which was written by Michael Hunt.

In calamity there is hope, for the end of a dark night is the dawn.


Back to the three prayers...The first hour of prayer is at 9 (3x3) a.m. when the temple gates opened. It was the third hour from sunrise. The sun rising images the idea of resurrection daily.

A Quote from in reference to these morning prayers in an article titled Shacharit- Morning prayers Rise and Climb.

The sun has risen; a new day beckons.

It’s time to climb a ladder, to ascend to the heavenly spheres and fortify our sensitivity for G‑d and spirituality. After this daily booster we descend, equipped to tackle the day and the struggles it will present.

This hour of prayer was known as the Shacharit. Shacar, according to Gesenius, is a Hebrew word meaning to break forth as the light of dawn, to break in, to pry and seek. What an appropriate description of prayer. 3

The modern tradition comes with the idea of an awakening with progressive steps and likened to climbing up the rungs of a ladder. The first rung is praising the Almighty God, Master of the Universe and includes a recitation of Psalm 30 (3x10) which begins with the language of resurrection and the concept of going up. More on resurrection to come.

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit ~ Psalm 30:1-3

"Pit" as we shall see later represents a death. Healing and resurrection will also be seen connected throughout the remainder of this article.

In the opening of the book of Acts this particular hour is mentioned and specifically concerns the Holy Spirit.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance....Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day

Mark records that it was at this time that Jesus went to the cross which also would have been the time of the morning sacrifice.

Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him ~ Mark 15:25

The second hour of prayer was at 3 p.m. it was also the time of the second sacrifice of the day and consistent with the thought that this was the hour Christ died at 33 (3x11) years of age. This hour was known as the Minchah which means gift offering and was also the "hour of confession"

The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour ~ Acts 10:9

Another spiritual event took place at this particular hour of prayer and includes a healing and a type of resurrection that will be discussed a little later in this article.

Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth (3x3) hour ~ Acts 3:1

How interesting that in association with the gift offering Peter tells the lame man asking for a gift of alms, this

“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk ~ Acts 3:6

Between the first and second hours of prayer there were 3 hours of darkness that covered the land while Jesus was suffering on the cross from the 6th hour to the 9th hour

Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. ~ Mark 15:33

The third hour of prayer is called the ma'ariv , simply meaning of the evening, and began at sundown.

Jesus teaching His disciples to pray
Jesus teaching His disciples to pray | Source

Ask Seek and Knock

Luke chapter eleven opens with our topic.

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray... ~ Luke 11:1

Following this question Luke delivers the Lord's prayer in three sections with the first section in three clauses.

(1) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, (1) Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (2) Thy kingdom come. (3) Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

(2) Give us day by day our daily bread.

(3) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. ~ Luke 11:2-4

This tutorial in prayer by Jesus is immediately followed by parable on persistence in prayer that includes the number three and the language of resurrection. Notice rise is used three times in this portion of scripture.

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot (1) rise and give thee.

I say unto you, Though he will not (2) rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity (begging -maybe even nagging) he will (3) rise and give him as many as he needs ~ Luke 11:5-8

Jesus explains on the value of persistent prayer

And I say unto you, (1) Ask, and it shall be given you; (2) seek, and ye shall find; (3) knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

For every one that (1) asks receives; and he that (2) seeks finds; and to him that (3) knocks it shall be opened ~ Luke 11:9-10

Jesus then gives three hypothetical considerations.

(1) If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or (2) if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Or (3) if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? ~ Luke 11:11-12

He caps off this teaching with the connection of prayer and the giving of the Holy Spirit

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? ~ Luke 11:13


Prayer and the Garden of Gethsemane

Just prior to His crucifixion Jesus retreats to the Garden of Gethsemane with three of His disciples

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James and John according to Mark) He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me

(1) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

(2) Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy

(3) So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going (Luke says Rise and Pray. See, My betrayer is at hand.”~ Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus prays three times and makes it clear that His strength to do God's will is drawn from that when He chides His disciples for sleeping rather than praying that they may be able to resist temptation Luke's account of this event informs us that as Jesus prayed

Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him ~ Luke 22:43

It is Peter He predominantly addresses and it is Peter who will later deny Him three times.

After Jesus death Peter is reinstated in a threefold manner

(1) So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

(2) He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

(3) He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep ~ John 21

This Garden hearkens back to another Garden in Genesis chapter three that involved the fall of man based on three temptations

(1) when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (2) that it was pleasant to the eyes, (3) and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate ~ Genesis 3:6

In between these two gardens was a wilderness that involved three temptations and three scriptural rebuttals which are recorded in the three Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke. Matthew's account begins with

Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit (Mark) Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil ~ Matthew 4:1

(1) If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

(2) Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

(3) Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Emphasis in this account is fasting and prayer. Jesus was on a forty day fast just after His baptism. It was the Spirit and the angels of God who strengthened Him. It also might be observed that the phrase "It is written" is used three times in this account and once again substantiating the truth and dependability of God's Word.

How fitting that the Hebrew word for garden is gan, and begins with a gimel. The other letter of this word is a nun and photographically depicts perpetual life. So we could say that a garden is a place that lifts up life or living things. What a lovely picture of prayer.


Peter James and John

The Garden of Gethsemane account is one of three events that three of the twelve disciples are present. A second instance occurs just after returns from his deliverance trip across the lake. When He arrives back on the other side...

one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” So Jesus went with him ~ Mark 5:22-23

The woman with the issue of blood interrupts this scene with her need to be healed and Jesus heals her then....

While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James...Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Luke adds...Then her spirit returned Immediately the girl arose and walked ~ Mark 5:35-37

A third event, where all three of these are present is on the Mount of Transfiguration presented in three Gospel's again

Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them ~ Mark 9:2

There are three having a discussion

And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” ~ Mark 9:4-5

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only ~ Matthew 17:5-8

Three That Bear Witness

The following in this section is still in process and furthers the look at the three witnesses of heaven and earth and is therefore incomplete. You may skip it until completion or add to the conversation concerning it in the comments section if you like.

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: (1) the Father, (2) the Word, and (3) the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: (1) the Spirit, (2) the water, and (3) the blood; and these three agree as one.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. ~ I John 5:6-13

The very first time blood is mentioned is in Genesis chapter four in reference to Cain killing his brother Abel

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's bloods crieth unto me from the ground. ~ Genesis 4:10

Blood is in plural form in the Hebrew which is why I added the "s" to it. This takes us to one of the other three times alluding to blood's cry for vengence

I will avenge the bloods of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu ~ Hosea 1:4

Hebrews chapter eleven and twelve give us the application in threefold form.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks Hebrews 11:4

Did you catch that? "through it"...through what? through Abel's faith in the sacrifice God required to cover his sin

And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering ~ Genesis 4

unlike Cain's

Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. ~ Genesis 4

There was no blood in Cain's offering and he didn't even bother to bring what was first.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us (1) lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us (2) run with endurance the race that is set before us, (3) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him (1) endured the cross, (2) despising the shame, and has (3) sat down at the right hand of the throne of God... have come to Mount Zion and to (1) the city of the living God the heavenly Jerusalem, to (2) an innumerable company of angels, to (3) the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to (1) God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to (3) Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to (3) the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel ~ Hebrews 12:1-3, 22-24

Hebrews 11:4 says that though Abel is dead, God's testimony through that sacrifice for sin still speaks. It is eternal.

The violence of men continues until the time of Noah where there is a judgment of water. We can assume the Spirit of God in this.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters ~ Genesis 1:2

The next place we see blood and water is with Moses when rivers of water were turned to blood. It was the third sign that it was God who had sent him.

thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land ~ Exodus 4:9

The next event of water and blood occurs when Moses is before Pharaoh and challenging him to release God's people according to God's instruction

smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood ~ Exodus 7:17

Another Old Testament image that has to do with the water and blood concerns the laws of leprosy and being cleansed from it. Leprosy in scripture is a picture of sin. A ceremony was prescribed in order to declare that the person was cleansed from it. This ceremony looks much like the Scape Goat in the Day of Atonement sacrifice. There are three mentions of blood and water together in this chapter. The first having to do with persons...

This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:

And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;

Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:

And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

~ Leviticus 14

The final having to do with homes

And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:

And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:

But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.

This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,

And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,

And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:

To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy. ~ Leviticus 14

Isaiah attaches the concept of blood and water that substantiate a cleansing

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the bloods of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. ~ Isaiah 4:4

Water can be symbolic of the Spirit and eternal life. This living water is expressed in the New Testament in a couple of places.

The first is at Jacob's well, where Jesus and a Samaritan woman, who had five husbands and was living with one that wasn't her husband. They are having a conversation about worship. It is here that Jesus identifies Himself as the Messiah and speaks of this living water.

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water

The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life ~ John 4

The next occasion of living water is John 7 and lets us know that this living water concerns the Holy Spirit and once again truth is substantiated

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. ~ John 7

John's account of Christ's crucifixion involves the combination of blood and water.

one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out ~ John 19:34

A water molecule consists of three atoms; two hydrogen and one oxygen.


The Red Heifer and the Waters of Purification

This theme of blood, water, cleansing and three continues in Numbers chapter 19

Instructions for purification included the sacrifice of a red heifer that was to be killed outside the camp unlike the other sacrifices that were killed at the door.

and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned. And the priest shall take (1) cedar wood (2) and hyssop (3) and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening. And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening. Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of separation; it is for purifying from sin. And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. It shall be a statute forever to the children of Israel and to the stranger who dwells among them.

‘He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. ~ Numbers 19:4-12 (the relationship between three and seven will be addressed in an up and coming article)

‘This is the law when a man dies in a tent: All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days; and every open vessel, which has no cover fastened on it, is unclean. Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

‘And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin, and running water shall be put on them in a vessel. A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave. The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean.

‘But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person shall be cut off from among the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. The water of separation has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. It shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water of separation shall be unclean until evening. Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.’” ~ 14-22

Blood is mentioned three times in this account as well as the phrases "third day" and "bathe in water". This indicates that these are spiritual transactions.

I can't help but think of the event between the first and third days which involved a separation of waters.

Luke the Third Gospel and Acts

Luke the third gospel was written by Luke the physician, which made him a dependable technical recorder.

In The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (1915), Ramsay said: "Luke's history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness" (p. 81)

Luke also wrote the book of Acts which gives reason for the two books being very related in theme and function. Both contain a high number of references to the Holy Spirit. There are twelve occurrences in Luke which is twice more than any of the other Gospels, and the Book of Acts carrying a whopping 44 references

Luke makes it his mission to validate the claims of Christ and His followers

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs.being seen by them during forty days (post resurrection) and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God ~ Acts 1:1-3

Following this account the Holy Spirit is promised and a new apostle to replace Judas is chosen. One of the requirements for the new apostle to be a valid witness was that he had to have been witness to the resurrection

of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection ~ Acts 1:21-22

The resurrection is noted ten times in the book of Acts more than any other book of the Bible.

Luke was the only Gentile to write a book of the Bible


First Mention

The very first mention of the actual word "three" is found in Genesis chapter 5 and connects us with the theme of resurrection

Enoch walked with God three hundred years...And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him ~ Genesis 5:24

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him ~ Hebrews 11:5

Foreshadowing a later resurrection that occurred after three days

Him (Jesus) God raised up on the third day ~ Acts 10:40

This was done by the power of the Holy Spirit

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you ~ Romans 8:11


Three Heavens

It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows ~ II Corinthians 12:1-3

In this portion of scripture Paul is speaking of a highly spiritual experience. He is not even sure if he was in his body or not. He also speaks of a third heaven which is also a patterned in scripture.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ~ Genesis 1:1

Some translations including the King James, make heavens singular, but the actual Hebrew word for heavens/heaven (shamayim שָׁמַיִם), as is used in the Old Testament, is plural in form. The plurality of heavens is recorded in the following verses

Praise Him, you (1) heavens of (2) heavens,
And you waters above the (3) heavens! ~ Psalm 148:4

Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God ~ Deuteronomy 10:14

will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You ~ I Kings 8:27

You alone are the Lord;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens ~ Nehemiah 9:6

The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s ~ Psalm 115:16

It is interesting that the heavenly bodies in the creation account are listed as three; the sun, moon, and stars.

In an online article at The Bible Genesis and Geology titled "The Structure of Things Biblical" the author looks back to the ancient view of the heavens. He asserts that on day two of creation, the Bible speaks of a firmament separating the waters above and waters below. It is thought that the waters below speak of the ocean or seas of the earth and the waters that are above is another sea existing above the two atmospheres (heavens) of earth and space. The third heaven is the abode God that sits above all of these layers. As quoted in the article

This is the "sea" that John saw in his visions:

"And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind."
(Rev 4:6 KJV)

He created a boundary which presently exists between the two lower heavens (which constitute the firmament) and the third heaven (where the throne of God is). That boundary is that "Sea," and again that "sea" is above the two lower heavens of the firmament. It is also likened in places to crystal or smooth glass:

"And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above."
(Ezekiel 1:22 KJV)

The reason it appears like a smooth, crystal surface is because it is frozen:

"The waters are hid as [with] a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen."
(Job 38:30 KJV)

"And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."
(Exodus 24:10 KJV)

This three tiered structure is imaged for us in a couple of other places, beginning with Noah's ark, which is full of threes in its entire structure.

And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks ~ Genesis 6:15-16

Not only does the ark image for us the three heavens by it's compartments but it also is resurrected on the waters and placed above the destruction that occurred on the earth.

The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth ~ Genesis 7:17

The concept of three and resurrection will be examined further in the next section.

The second place we see three tiers is in Ezekiel's vision of the future temple which is riddled with threes in its description as well, beginning in chapter 40. The first occurrence in this description uses three, three times.

In the eastern gateway were three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; the three were all the same size... ~ Ezekiel 40:10

The Eastern Gate in the Old temple structure still exists today and is known as the "Golden Gate" or the "Gate of Judgment and or Mercy" Wikipedia has an interesting spiritual application to this

According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Anointed One (Messiah) comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3)

It has also been associated with the "Beautiful Gate", would you believe, in Acts chapter three, which we shall see contains the language of a sort of resurrection

Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth (3x3) hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them— (1) walking, (2) leaping, and (3) praising God ~ Acts 3: 1-8

The text continues in the theme of resurrection and mentions three covenant patriarchs, which will be expounded upon later in the Old Testament section

Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of (1) Abraham, (2) Isaac, and (3) Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all ~ Acts 3:11-16

Acts chapter three ends with this statement concerning the resurrection

God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities ~ Acts 3:26

Back to Ezekiel's Temple. The northern gate follows the same pattern with three gate chambers on each side. Today this gate is known as the Damascus gate which consists of three entrances. The center entrance is the largest with two smaller ones on each side. It is thought that it may have been this gate that the Messiah carried His cross through on his way to the outside of the city. It is the largest and busiest of all the gates.

Three gates are also mentioned in reference to the vestibule of the temple

the width of the gateway was three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side ~ Ezekiel 40:48

Now for the three tiers which concerned the chambers of the walls that surrounded the entire structure.

The side chambers were in three stories, one above the other, thirty chambers in each story;...and opposite the pavement of the outer court, was gallery against gallery in three stories...For they were in three stories ~ Ezekiel 41:6, 42:3,6

Three stories is mentioned three times in this account.

Let us also note that the temple structure in all it's forms included three main areas; and outer court, Holy place, and Holy of Holies thus expressing the spiritual heavenly and divine purpose of this structure.

^Introduction to Tony Robinson's series on three and its relationship to resurrection

The Number Three and Resurrection

Tony Robinson with "Restoration of the Torah Ministries", has a video series on You Tube discussing this very revelation of how three is connected to the idea of resurrection.

He notes that there are three resurrections by prophets in the Old Testament and there are three resurrections in the New Testament by Jesus. In his online series he also discusses how they are also paired together.

The first event is with the widow of Zarephath's son who had died, and the prophet Elijah in I Kings 17:17-24

he (Elijah) stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived...Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth ~ I Kings 17:21-22

Notice the reference to the "truth" in the above passage. Also "stretched himself out" is reminiscent of Christ's outstretched arms on the cross. This theme continues in the next example.

The Second event is found in II Kings chapter four, and involves the prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman's son for whom Elisha prayed to be born, who also had died.

When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his (1) mouth on his mouth, his (2) eyes on his eyes, and his (3) hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out ~ II Kings 4:32-37

The third account is in II Kings 13. Elisha the prophet that succeeded Elijah had died and was buried and another man who had died after, was put into Elisha's tomb

Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year (Passover time). So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet ~ II Kings 13:20-21

The New Testament Resurrections done by Jesus begin at Nain

Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region ~ Luke 7:11-17

The second New Testament account was the occasion of Jairus' daughter

behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples...When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went out into all that land ~ Matthew 9:18-26

The third resurrection is recorded in John 11 and is the account of Lazarus.

“Lazarus is dead...Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days...

Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”...Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”...they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them,“Loose him, and let him go.” ~ John 11

Jesus Himself is the Resurrection and the Life and was noted for three witnessing testimonies of miracles, wonders, and signs.

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by (1) miracles, (2) wonders, and (3) signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

I Corinthians chapter 15 expounds greatly on this. I would encourage you to read the entire chapter as it concerns the necessity of a resurrected man and Christ's fulfillment of that

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures ~ I Corinthians 15:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ~ I Peter 1:3

The Spirit is the attributed power that enacts this feat.

if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you ~ Romans 8:11

Romans 8 is another great read referencing the Spirit 21 (3x7) times in its 39 (3x13) chapters.

Jesus Himself speaks of His death and resurrection three times and all three are presented in three of the Gospels

Beginning with Matthew

(1) From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day ~ Matthew 16:21

(2) “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up ~ Matthew 17:22-23

(3) the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again ~ Matthew 20:17


(1) He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again ~ Mark 8:31

(2) The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day

(3) Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again ~ Mark 10:33-34


(1) The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day ~ Luke 9:22

(2) Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. ~ Luke 9:44

(3) Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again ~ Luke 31-33


Three Post Gospels Resurrections

The first of these occurrences is recorded in Acts chapter nine

At Joppa there was a certain disciple named happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room...Peter...When he had come, they brought him to the upper room...Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. ~ Acts 9:36-42

The resurrection is repeatedly God's tool of substantiating His dependable trustworthy and true salvation and deliverance.

The second post Gospel Resurrection is in Acts chapter 20

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed.And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted. ~ Acts 20:7-12

The third resurrection is less obvious and is not conclusive according to all Bible scholars but I think its fair to assume that it was, considering that God is faithful to His patterns, and this would be the third. Not to mention that it is noted a few verses earlier that Paul was in this region for three months

Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe ~ Acts 14:19-20


Good Great and Chief Shepherd

In the New Testament Jesus is referred to in three terms for Shepherd. The first concerns His death.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep ~ John 10:11

The second concerns His resurrection

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20

The third is in reference to the glory of the resurrected life.

When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. ~ I Peter 5:4

As It Concerns Three Christ and the New Testament

The following is borrowed from Wikpedia's compiliation of the number three as it concerns Jesus.

  • The threefold office of Christ is a Christian doctrine that Christ performs the functions of prophet, priest, and king.
  • The ministry of Jesus lasted approximately three years (27-30 AD)
  • Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death (Sunday April 9, 30 AD).
  • The Magi - Zoroaster priests astronomers/astrologers from Persia- gave Jesus three gifts.
  • There are three Synoptic Gospels and three epistles of John.
  • Paul the Apostle went blind for three days after his conversion to Christianity.

As we begin the next section which more concerns the Old Testament and is known as the Tanakh to the Jewish people. They divide it up into three sections.

  1. The Torah - First five books
  2. The Prophets
  3. The Writings

This again evidences the authorship of this Word.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ II Timothy 3:16-17

Please note that the New Testament had not been written and compiled at Paul's writing to Timothy. All they had was the Tanakh.


An Old Testament Creation/Resurrection

The actual very first resurrection recorded in scripture occurs on the third day of creation. with the earth being resurrected from the waters.

“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

The third day also images death and resurrection for us in the bringing forth of plants from seed, and are listed in three categories.

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth (1) grass, the (2) herb that yields seed, and the (3) fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day ~ Genesis 1:9-13

This concept is reiterated in the New Testament.

“How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies...So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption... ~ I Corinthians 15:35,42

The book of Exodus follows this same pattern in a sort of resurrection of a people who were promised a land but were dead in slavery in Egypt. God determines to resurrect this people from their hopeless bondage by sending them a deliverer, Making Moses a type and Shadow of the forthcoming Messiah. He is given three signs to perform turning his staff into a serpent, leprous hand healed, and water from the Nile poured out turning to blood on the ground symbolizing satan, sin, and the blood - life spilled on the ground.

Their deliverance/resurrection follows the creation account beginning with light.

God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day ~ Genesis 1:3-5

Exodus follows suit after the Passover Lamb was slain imaging Christ's death they set forth to go to the promised land

the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night ~ Exodus 13:21

The second day of creation involved the dividing of the waters.

“Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”...So the evening and the morning were the second day. ~ Genesis 1:6-8

The second event and possibly the second day of the Israel's deliverance included the parting of waters

the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But (1) lift up your rod (wood - cross), and (2) stretch out your hand (Christ's arms stretched out) over the sea and (3) divide it ~ Exodus 14:15-16

The third day of creation as noted above records the resurrection of land and plant life through the death of a seed.

The parting of the waters in Exodus that exposes (resurrects) the dry land so the children of Israel may cross over to another side, is once again a type of resurrection

the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea ~ Exodus 14:16

Resurrection and faith go hand in hand as was exhibited in the section on truth in connection with God's trustworthiness

so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses ~ Exodus 14:31

It is so interesting that the heavenly bodies were created after the resurrected land and herbage.

There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit ~ I Corinthians 15:40-45

It was also a fulfillment of prophecy that God made to Abraham.

Then He brought him (Abraham) outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be ~ Genesis 15:5

blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven ~ Genesis 22:17

He reiterates the promise to Isaac his son

I swore to Abraham your father.And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven ~ Genesis 26:3-4

Did you notice that this promise was made three times?

Man is a Spiritual Being

More from the beginning...

So God (1) created man in His own image; in the image of God He (2) created him; male and female He (3) created them. ~ Genesis 1:27

The third mention of the word "created" is actually repeated three times in this one little verse. It is only used twice prior to this. Once in the first verse noting the heavens and the earth, and the other is in verse 21 in reference to living beings that move other than man.

The Hebrew word "created" is bara and is only used in the scriptures in reference to something God does. We see that man is different in all that God made with these three usages.

And the Lord God (1) formed man of the dust of the ground, and (2) breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and (3) man became a living being ~ Genesis 2:7

Enoch, Moses, and Elijah

What might Enoch, Moses, and Elijah have in common?

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him...By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him ~ Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5

Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven ~ II Kings 2:11

Deuteronomy records that Moses died and that God buried him in a place that no one knows. He is the only one that the Scriptures say that God Himself buries. But we also find Moses again appearing in the New Testament.

behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them (disciples at the transfiguration), talking with Him (Jesus) ~ Matthew 17:3

Here we have three men that through some spiritual means are translated, and transported, in both time and place

Noah, Daniel, and Job

The prophet Ezekiel notes three men, and one of them, namely Daniel, three times in his prophecies and confrontations.

The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God ~ Ezekiel 14:14

even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord God, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness ~ Ezekiel 14:20

The first two are in regards to the righteousness of these three and the third mention of Daniel makes note of his wisdom.

The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Because your heart is lifted up,
And you say, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of gods,
In the midst of the seas,’
Yet you are a man, and not a god,
Though you set your heart as the heart of a god
(Behold, you are wiser than Daniel!
There is no secret that can be hidden from you! ~ Ezekiel 28

All three men, noted for their righteousness, have a connection to resurrection that spares some from a coming judgment.

Noah, as discussed earlier, images a resurrection remnant with the lifting up of the ark above the waters.

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly ~ II Peter 2:4-5

Only three men believed Noah's preaching of righteousness and they were his sons.

The book of Daniel ends with a resurrection remnant concerning the end

many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever...But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days ~ Daniel 12:2-3,13

Job gives a similar rendition of a resurrection remnant

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
If you should say, ‘How shall we persecute him?’—
Since the root of the matter is found in me,
Be afraid of the sword for yourselves;
For wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
That you may know there is a judgment. ~ Job 19:25-29

*Concepts borrowed from W.A. Criswell

Job's Pit of Despair.

The pit being a picture of death, as will be discussed later, is an accurate metaphor concerning Job's undeserved suffering. Job in it's entirety is full evidence that all come to God through His redemptive gift even righteous Job.

Elihu, the only of Job's counselors to not be included in the punishment declares to him in his misery that..

The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life...

Yes, his (the chastened man) soul draws near the Pit,
And his life to the executioners.

“If there is a messenger for him,
A mediator, one among a thousand,
To show man His uprightness,
Then He is gracious to him, and says,
‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit;
I have found a ransom’;
His flesh shall be young like a child’s,
(1) He shall return to the days of his youth.
(2) He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
(3) He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness.
Then he looks at men and says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it did not profit me.’
He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.

“Behold, God works all these things,
Twice, in fact, three times with a man,
To bring back his soul from the Pit,
That he may be enlightened with the light of life.

~ Job 33:4

The Ancient Near Eastern Treaty of Kadesh
The Ancient Near Eastern Treaty of Kadesh | Source

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

There are three major Old Testament Patriarchs of the Old Testament, namely Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that bear significance to the themes of this lesson. Their relate predominantly to the covenant promise made to Abraham by God.

In the Ancient Near East their were three types of covenants. This might be evidence that these types of arrangements were not changeable contracts but spiritually backed eternal agreements. That God and all the spirit realm honored.

The first was known as a "Parity Treaty" this was an agreement between two equals. This is an important observation when considering What Christ did for us.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father ~ Philippians 2:5-11

The second type of covenant was known as a "Suzerain - Vassal" treaty according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is when...

"a powerful region or people controls the foreign policy and international relations of a tributary vassal state while allowing the subservient nation internal autonomy"

These types of covenants included curses and blessings for the breaking or keeping of the agreement. Think Deuteronomy.

A third type is known as a "Royal Grant" treaty and explained clearly by wikipedia

the "royal grant", was similar to the Biblical covenants where God, the superior party binds Himself to be the beneficiary as an inferior party with no set conditions imposed upon him. In this type of "royal grant" covenant, a king or other person in authority rewards a loyal subject by granting him an office, land, exemption from taxes, or similar

Such covenants are also referred to as covenants of promise or unconditional covenants. The covenants God made with (1) Noah (Genesis 9:8 - 17), (2) Abraham (Genesis 15:18), and (3) David (2 Samuel 7; 23:5) fit this pattern. In each of these cases, it is God alone who binds himself by a solemn oath to keep the covenant.

The Abrahamic covenant promising him three things

  1. To make him a great nation
  2. Give his descendants land
  3. promise of a seed

A "one and only son" is the implication of that seed that will be the beginning of an innumerable proliferation of descendants and will eventually produce the Messiah, was solidified by three sets of three sacrifices

“Bring Me a (1) three-year-old heifer, a (2) three-year-old female goat, a (3) three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon ~ Genesis 15:9

You may notice there are a total of five things mentioned if you include the birds which ties us to the idea that, for this surely true covenant to come to pass, it will be by God's grace alone. It is next recorded in those very terms that God alone passes through the pieces and parts as Abraham is incapacitated in a deep sleep.

Just prior to Isaac's conception Abraham is visited by three which is speculated to possibly be the one and only God.

Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground ~ Genesis 18:1-3

Another verse showing how three relates to God is found in Deuteronomy as God instructs His children just prior to entering the promised land and at the renewal of His covenant, as God's name is delivered three times.

what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul ~ Deuteronomy 10:12

Genesis 17 examples for us.

I will confirm my covenant as a perpetual covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you

The promise is reiterated to Isaac as God renews it in him

Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” ~ Genesis 26:2-5

Jacob the third to receive the promise, carries on the heritage of the promise when God appears to him in a dream and again we can read the language of resurrection.

“I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

Then Jacob rose early in the morning

~ Genesis 28:13-18

Christ can be seen in fulfilling all three types of covenants in that He was God's equal (Parity) who humbled himself and became one of us and submitting in perfect obedience as a man to a sovereign (Suzerain - Vassal) and is given a Royal Grant that He extends to all. Back to Abraham...

Abraham is considered a father to the Jewish people and in covenant/special relationship with God by virtue of him. John the Baptist confronted those who believed that their tickets were punched simply because they were born as a descendant of him. They neglected the main point of God's relationship with Abraham and his descendants and that was faith, the only way to obtain this right standing with God which would come through God's one and only Son.

he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness ~ Genesis 15:5

But when he (John the Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones~ Matthew 3:7-9

Abraham and Isaac illustrate this point of faith in the salvation that God provides and will resurrect

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off... Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided...So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together~ Genesis 22:1-4

What third day experience did Abraham see afar off that involved the riding of a donkey, wood for a sacrifice, and a sacrificial substitution?

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense ~ Hebrews 11:17-19

Abraham's faith paved the way for the Son of God to come and die that we might be resurrected.

The covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would become the foundation from which God would honor His end of the agreement He had made with His people. Sometimes they were spared only because of it.

Three Day Darkness

Just before the death of the first born plague in the book of Exodus there was a three day darkness that plagued the land of Egypt. This was part of God's plan to resurrect His people from slavery in Egypt.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. ~ Exodus 10:21-23


A Resurrection in the Wilderness

Exodus chapter 19 opens with some stunning imagery of resurrection and the number three, with some key words and phrases

In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai...So Israel camped there before the mountain...Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself ~ Exodus 19:1-4

My favorite of these images is the last bold phrase. What a stunning thought that God's purpose in resurrection is to bring us to Himself. Mountains are many times used to image heavenly things. The mountains of Jerusalem are three (Ophel, Moriah, and Zion)

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel ~ Hebrews 4:22-24

"Going up" is phraseology for a heavenly meeting in reference to this particular experience

the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven ~ Exodus 20:22

Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth ~ Deuteronomy 4:36

This resurrection life results in an exalted position

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel ~ Exodus 19:5-6

Another great revelation in the following verse shows us that resurrection occurs because God came down

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people...And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day ~ Exodus 19:10-11

I apologize for copying most of this chapter but the resurrection language along with the number three was just too important to not do so. This next portion brings together the whole concept of God coming down so that He could raise us up.

Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were (1) thunderings and (2) lightnings, and a (3) thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. ~ Exodus 19:16-19

Observe that God's presence is described by three things, thunderings, lightnings, and a thick cloud.

So we have Moses (lifted from the water) the third son of Amram (My people are lifted up) thirdly descended from Levi which became the priesthood by his three sons (Gershon, Kohath, and Merari) and they were (1) chosen (Numbers 18:6), (2) gifted (Numbers 18:7), (3) and anointed by God (Numbers 18:8) and separated for three reasons (1) to be brought near to God (2) to do the service of the tabernacle (three part structure - outer court, inner court, and Holy Place) (3) stand before the congregation and minister to them (Numbers 16:9) , the third son of Jacob who was the third patriarch of God's covenant with Abraham, sanctifying the people (Priest, Levite, and common people) to bring them up before the Lord on the third day of the third month.

Just an additional note that Jochebed, Moses' mother also was from the levites and her name means Yahweh's glory. It's pictograph includes a nail between Yah and glory. It was the nailing of Christ to the cross for our sins that purchased our redemption and forgiveness that made us fit for resurrection. It is to His glory that that we are forgiven and lifted up.

As it concerns the entire chapter the phrase "third day" is repeated four times, indicating that God came down to the earth (4) in order to resurrect us (3) which images for us the most notable and important resurrection of all.

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven,that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven ~ John 3:13

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures ~ I Corinthians 15:3-4

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world...“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”~ John 6:51

Another event that follows with three and revival occurs in Exodus chapter 15

So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to (1) Marah, they could not drink the waters of (2) Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called (3) Marah And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree (think cross). When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet ~ Exodus 15:22-25

It noted that there are three occasions that water is the issue of complaint with the children of Israel. (Exodus 15, 17, and Numbers 20) Water is symbolic of life and the Holy Spirit as we shall look at later.

Glen Carpenter in his book "Connections" makes an interesting observation concerning this text and compares it to another wilderness experience in the New Testament.

Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way ~ Matthew 15:32

Glen writes...

"We see the spirit of the multitude being revived after three days" both accounts.

Later in the book of Numbers as this wilderness journey continues, Moses invites his father-in-law to come with them. After this event

And they departed from the mount of the Lord three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.

And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.

And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel. ~ Numbers 10:33-36

We see once again a hint of the purposes of Christ death and resurrection

You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong. He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross. When he disarmed the rulers and authorities, he exposed them to public disgrace by leading them in a triumphal parade. ~ Colossians 2:12-15

3000 Perish - 3000 Saved

A couple of mirror events occur in both Old and New Testament that involves 3000 people on either side. In one event there is a death and the other there is a salvation.

The Old Testament event occurs after Moses first forty days and nights on Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law. The children of Israel thought things were taking too long and conspired with Aaron to make a new god to worship. They donated some gold and "out came this golden calf" as Aaron explained to Moses. God sent Moses down from the mount and breaks the covenant tablets before them and demands that they make a decision right then there if they are going with the one and only true God or not. Those who chose not to come to the Lord's side of the matter where killed as was commanded by Moses.

So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day ~ Exodus 32:28

The New Testament event occurs at Pentecost and the giving of the Spirit.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.... And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly" received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them ~ Acts 2

Paul gives this explanation to new converts, in reference to law/Spirit and death/resurrection

...clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart...the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:6


Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

Numbers chapter 16 records a narrative involving "up" and "down" and three men. And it also includes another revelation of the purpose of Christ's resurrection.

Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath (Kohath had four sons), the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel ~ Numbers 16:1-2

Fourth generation from Levi and one of four sons indicates a worldly type of uprising.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber ~ John 10:1

These usurpers are jealous of Moses and Aaron's positions in the priesthood and accuse Moses of what they are really guilty of themselves.

And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord ~ Numbers 16:3

Moses the mediator and picture of Christ, does this

when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face ~ Numbers 16:4

Moses next prepares a test to prove the Lord's appointment of priestly duties by

And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow (1) the Lord will shew who are his, (2) and who is holy; (3) and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.

This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company;

And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi ~ Numbers 16:5-7

The text continues with a bitter conversation between them. Moses makes an appeal that they ought to feel honored by their position and lists three of their honorable purposes

Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, (1) to bring you near to Himself, (2) to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and (3) to stand before the congregation to serve them. and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also?...And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab,.. but they said, “We will not come up!~ Numbers 16:9-10,11

The rebel's replies with three accusations countering Moses' three purposes...

Is it a small thing that (1) you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, (2) to kill us in the wilderness, (3) that you should keep acting like a prince over us? Moreover you have not brought us into a (1) land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of (2) fields and (3) vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!” ~ Numbers 16:14

I wonder if this was a slap in Moses' face from an earlier event when Moses thought to deliver his people in a mistaken way long before they ever left Egypt

Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, “Why are you striking your companion?”

Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”

~ Exodus 2:11-14

Moses is angry and so is God and the contest begins with all bringing their censers of incense to the door of the tabernacle. Recall the door in John chapter ten that all must come through.

God next instructs Moses and Aaron to step away from the all because he is going to destroy them but once again they mediate, as the priesthood is to do, on behalf of the people, revealing what Jesus Christ our great and High Priest does for us.

Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation ~ Numbers 16:22

just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned ~ Romans 5:12

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. ~ Romans 8:4

God is about to do a separation by calling some up, out, and away from three

“Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram... Then Moses rose...he spake unto the congregation, saying Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.”So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side...~ Numbers 16:24-27

The occasion ends with the earth swallowing up the rebellious and sparing those who turned away from them and the censers being made into memorial plates that will always remind them of God's directive for the priesthood. but....immediately after the congregation is now disgruntled against Moses and complain that he has killed the people of the Lord. Once again God tells Moses and Aaron to step away that He may consume them. What happens next is nothing short of glorious in terms of an illustration of what Christ has done for us, as we see Moses the mediator once again mediate for the congregation

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people ~ Numbers 16:46

...if a man should sin, remember that our advocate before the Father is Jesus Christ the righteous, the one who made personal atonement for our sins (and for those of the rest of the world as well). ~ I John 2:10 (JB Phillips Translation)

The following verse will give in full description what the lifting up Christ did for us...

And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. ~ Numbers 16:48

Our plague is sin.

No one has ever been up to Heaven except the Son of Man who came down from Heaven. The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of men—as Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert—so that any man who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life. ~ John 3:15-16

Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. ~ John 12:31-32


Balaam Beats His Donkey Three Times

Numbers chapter 22 begins the occasion of Balaam being hired to curse Israel by a Midianite king Balak who fears their expansion.

Balaam is instructed of the Lord concerning this...

“If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab...Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him ~ Numbers 22:20-22 (notice there are three people present, Balaam and his two servants)

At first glance you may wonder why God was mad when it appears he told him he could go but if you read the text carefully you will notice that God said "if the men come to call you" which the text doesn't give an account of. This reveals the evil purposes of Balaam to sell out the Israelites to an enemy through a spiritual attack.

Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness ~ I Peter 2:15

Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit ~ Jude 1:11

On Balaam's way an unseen to Balaam event occurs. Three times gives us a clue that this visit was a spiritual one.

Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So (1) Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so (2) he struck her again. Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and (3) he struck the donkey with his staff.

Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.”

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.” ~ Numbers 22:23-33

The phrase "three times" is used three times. "The donkey saw the Angel of the Lord" occurs three times.

The Lord allow Balaam to continue but warns him to only speak what he is told. Balaam tries to curse Israel but a blessing comes out instead with a hint of the coming redeemer

...from the top of the rocks I see him,
And from the hills I behold him.... ~ Numbers 23

Balak thinks if they move to a different place maybe it will work the same thing happens and this time the language of resurrection pours forth.

And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!

Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. ~ Numbers 23:18-24

The third time...

when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him ~ Numbers 24:2

Balak is a mess

And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times ~ Numbers 24:10

We see here that loyalty to God and the benefits there of is secured in the spirit. As we continue to remain under the jurisdiction of the Lord God Almighty we can count on His provision and protection.

The plague came to them when Balaam figured out another way they could get cursed and that was through disobedience.

the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel... those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand~ Numbers 25:1-3,9

This is actually explained later in the book of Numbers when the Israelites war with the Midianites...

these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. ~ Numbers 31

...and confirmed in the New Testament letter to the third church Pergamos in Revelation

I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality ~ Revelation 2:14

The Spiritual Component to Blessing and Cursing

I discovered a fascinating study written by Mako A. Nagasawa titled "Literary Analysis of the Pentateuch" The author displays the literary structures found within the first five books of the Bible, which can help us more clearly see the patterns God is trying to communicate to us. The following information is borrowed from that study and the website will be listed in the sources section at the end of this article 5

The author compares the narrative themes of the magicians of Pharaoh and Balaam the Magician, which contain three elements signifying once again the spiritual component to the sin and salvation dilemma.


An interesting side note - the serpent in many mythological concepts represents both good and evil, medicine and poison.

First, both sections of Biblical text contain the presence of a serpent. Moses turns the staff into a serpent which swallows the serpents of Pharaoh.(Exodus 7:7-12) An interesting side note that Pharaoh wore a serpent on his crown. This reveals to us the authority that the enemy gained over us as he held us captive to his whim and will. Understanding something about Egyptian mythology may shed a little light on this According to the Atlantis Quest website

"The serpent Nehebkau (he who harnesses the soul) was the two headed serpent diety who guarded the entrance to the underworld"

Just prior to the encounter with Balaam attempting to curse God's children on behalf of the Midianite king Balak, in Numbers chapter 21 the children of Israel complained in their discouragement of wilderness experiences and the Lord sent fiery serpents to bite their heels. The cure was for Moses to lift up a bronze serpent on a pole that they could look to and be delivered. This describes how that serpent gained entrance by not being content with God and His provision. The New Testament explains how this cure works.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him ~ II Corinthians 5:21

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up ~ John 3:14

Can we see how these two serpent experiences hearken back to a first serpent on a pole of wood (tree) event in the Garden of Eden. Which totals three serpent events that have to do with dealing with a temptation beginning with a complaint of discontent, a sin, and a serpent bondage and lordship through that.

Second, both Pharaoh and Balak feel threatened by the expansion and growth of the people of God. This reveals to us what the enemies motivation was in the Garden.

Thirdly, both Pharaoh and Balak make three attempts to counteract God's blessing. Pharaoh

  1. put slave masters to oppress them (Exodus 1:11-14)
  2. commanded the Hebrew midwives to kill the male children (Exodus 1:15-21)
  3. commanded that every male child be thrown into the Nile river (Exodus 1:22)

The curse turns into a blessing because this event introduces the birth of God's chosen deliverer, Moses. Can we see Jesus in that?

Balak also made three attempts to curse Israel and after the third attempt the prophetic announcement of a savior and deliverer pours forth

“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel ~ Numbers 24:17

We can see in this that the transactions of our sin were very spiritual in nature that issued forth the natural consequences. It had to be a spiritual transaction that would resurrect us from it.


First, both sections of Biblical text contain the presence of a serpent. Moses turns the staff into a serpent which swallows the serpents of Pharaoh.(Exodus 7:7-12) An interesting side note that Pharaoh wore a serpent on his crown. This reveals to us the authority that the enemy gained over us as he held us captive to his whim and will. Understanding something about Egyptian mythology may shed a little light on this According to the Atlantis Quest website

"The serpent Nehebkau (he who harnesses the soul) was the two headed serpent diety who guarded the entrance to the underworld"

Just prior to the encounter with Balaam attempting to curse God's children on behalf of the Midianite king Balak, in Numbers chapter 21 the children of Israel complained in their discouragement of wilderness experiences and the Lord sent fiery serpents to bite their heels. The cure was for Moses to lift up a bronze serpent on a pole that they could look to and be delivered. This describes how that serpent gained entrance by not being content with God and His provision. The New Testament explains how this cure works.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him ~ II Corinthians 5:21

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up ~ John 3:14

Can we see how these two serpent experiences hearken back to a first serpent on a pole of wood (tree) event in the Garden of Eden. Which totals three serpent events that have to do with dealing with a temptation beginning with a complaint of discontent, a sin, and a serpent lordship through that.

Second, both Pharaoh and Balak feel threatened by the expansion and growth of the people of God. This reveals to us what the enemies motivation was in the Garden.

Thirdly, both Pharaoh and Balak make three attempts to counteract God's blessing. Pharaoh

  1. put slave masters to oppress them (Exodus 1:11-14)
  2. commanded the Hebrew midwives to kill the male children (Exodus 1:15-21)
  3. commanded that every male child be thrown into the Nile river (Exodus 1:22)

The curse turns into a blessing because this event introduces the birth of God's chosen deliverer, Moses. Can we see Jesus in that?

Balak also made three attempts to curse Israel and after the third attempt the prophetic announcement of a savior and deliverer pours forth

“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel ~ Numbers 24:17

We can see in this that the transactions of our sin were very spiritual in nature that issued forth the natural consequences. It had to be a spiritual transaction that would resurrect us from it.


The Three Pilgrimage Feasts

In the Old Testament there were three feasts in which all the males were required in the Torah (God's instructions), to "go up" to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and present themselves for. These were Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. The command is presented three times in scripture.

“Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: (1) You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); (2) and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; (3) and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

“Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God ~ Exodus 23:14-17

and again this is reiterated in a little more detail later in the book at the renewing of the covenant in chapter 34 of Exodus

(1) “The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt.

“All that open the womb are Mine, and every male firstborn among your livestock, whether ox or sheep. But the firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you will not redeem him, then you shall break his neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem.

“And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.

(2) “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, (3) and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end. ~ Exodus 34:18-23

“Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year ~ Exodus 34:19-2

It's final occurrence is in Deuteronomy Which details this even further which actually begins in verse one but for the sake of space and time I will simply give the main occurrence.

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed

The Passover, being the first of these, is reminiscent of this "going up" phraseology.

“Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage" ~ Judges 6:8

The second observance, the "Feast of Weeks" which concerns the grain harvest, is the New Testament Pentecost ( a word only used three times in scripture) and symbols the giving of the Holy Spirit. It is

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~ Acts 2:1-4

Thirdly the Feast of Tabernacles, concerns the fruit harvest, and expresses our waiting and preparing for, in these human tents of flesh for the redemption of our souls to a resurrected eternal life with Him.


Psalms of Ascent

There were 15 (3x5 - grace) Psalms that were sung by those "going up" to the house of the Lord to observe these three feasts and are known as the Psalms of ascent meaning going up. The Psalms of ascent are Psalm 120- 134. Three of them contain the resurrection language including healing, we have become so familiar with throughout this study.

(1) Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground ~ Psalm 147:1-6

(2) Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away....

...For His name alone is exalted;

His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the Lord! ~ Psalm 148:1-14

Take note in the Psalm above to all the references to things that are above.

(3) Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament ~ Psalm 150:1

The Psalm begins with three praises and totals 12 (3x4) in it's entirety. His sanctuary - firmament is the highlight here.


The Levitical Priesthood

The Priesthood of the tabernacle/temple included a threefold priesthood consisting of a High Priesthood, Aaronic Priesthood, and Levitical Priesthood. The temple assembly and service was assigned to the Levitical priesthood which consisted of the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the third son of Jacob who was the third patriarch of the covenant, and their instructions for service are recorded in the third book of the Bible Leviticus.

The purpose of the tabernacle/temple was to meet with and worship a Holy God who could in no other way be accessed by human means. And they were also to uphold the three territories of law which were Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil.

Richard Amiel McGough, once again offers this observation concerning the offerings

"The great theme of giving (as was seen with the camel in an earlier section) fills the first seven chapters of Leviticus where God defined the five offerings. ...J. Sidlow Baxter noted that the first three offerings are described as voluntary and yield a sweet savor unto the Lord"

The Levitical cities they occupied were were 48 (3x16)

An interesting note that High priests from the time of Moses were to be appointed for life. At the time of Jesus they were appointed by the Roman government of which three are acknowledged in the New Testament. (Annas and Caiaphus, and Ananias at the time of Paul)

The requirement for service is interestingly phrased seven times

And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,

From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation ~ Numbers 4:1-3

I couldn't help but be reminded that Jesus was about thirty years of age when He began His public ministry

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age ~ Luke 3

He came to fulfill the entire duty of all the Priesthood in bringing us near to God.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:14-16

The Priestly blessing consisted of three parts, each beginning with "The Lord"

“(1) The LORD bless you and keep you; (2) The LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; (3) The LORD lift up His face on you and give you peace.” ( Numbers 6:24-26)

The Three Tithes

There were three tithes that were required in the Old Testament as it concerned the priesthood and the poor. The first tithe, known in Judaism as the maasher rishon, is described in Numbers chapter 18, and was for the support of the Levites, who preformed all the temple rights and duties on behalf of and in mediation for the entire congregation. They sincerely had not other means of support.

“Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting ~ Numbers 18:21

The priesthood was required to lift up a tenth of the best of this tithe offering unto the Lord and the rest was theirs.

you shall also offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Israel, and you shall give the Lord’s heave offering from it to Aaron the priest. Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them.’ Therefore you shall say to them: ‘When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress. You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting ~ Numbers 18:28-31

The second tithe was known as the maasher sheni and was considered the tithe of the feasts and it involved the bringing of a tenth of their increase for consumption at the three feasts in which they were required to appear before the Lord.

“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always ~ Deuteronomy 14:22-23

The third tithe known as the maasher ani was offered every third and sixth year of their seven year agricultural cycle and this was to support both Levite and the poor. The poor were classified in three categories.

“At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your gates. And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and (1) the stranger and (2) the fatherless and (3) the widow who are within your gates, may come and eat and be satisfied, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do ~ Deuteronomy 14:28-29


Threes in the Tabernacle

It was mentioned before but the Tabernacle itself was composed of three main areas. The outer court, inner court, and Holy Place. It was also noted that the inner court consisted of three main pieces of furniture; the table of bread, the table of lights, and the altar of incense.

The Holy Place contained the Ark of the Covenant which three layers (gold/wood/gold - think Father Son and Holy Spirit again) This was where the presence of God was.

There were a total of three Arks in all of scripture, the first being Noah's ark, a picture of salvation in and of itself. The second Ark was the basket of Moses (same word as was used for Noah's Ark) again a picture of salvation. The third Ark is this Ark of the Covenant which inhabited three different sanctuaries The first was known as David's tabernacle...

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God ~ I Chronicles 16:1

...of which there are three main references

In mercy the throne will be established;
And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David,
Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness ~ Isaiah 16:5

“On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old ~ Amos 9:11

After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up; ~ Acts 15:16

This Ark contained three items; the Ten Commandments, The Golden Pot of Manna, and the Budding Rod of Aaron. The third item is to represent resurrection.

A type of the miraculous attestation of the unchangeable priesthood of Christ. God, who "fulfills himself in many ways," about, hereafter, to replace the priesthood of Aaron by a Priest chosen by himself, after the order of Melchizedec. This priesthood attested by a resurrection (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 5:9, 10), of which the resurrection of this dead tree was a type. And now that the risen Christ is in the holiest place, in the presence of God, his resurrection and reign in glory are signs to all murmurers of his appointment as the one High Priest and King, who "shall send forth the rod of his strength," and reign till all enemies are placed beneath his feet. ~ E.S. Prout

There were three precious metals used in the Tabernacle and these were Gold, silver, and brass

Gold represents God and His attributes

Silver is the price of redemption...literally 30 pieces. See this prophecy concerning the coming Messiah in Zechariah

“If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.

And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter. ~ Zechariah 11:11-13

Fast forward to the New Testament to a scene involving Judas and thirty pieces of silver. A phrase used three times in the account.

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him...Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders...Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced Matthew 26:15, Matthew 27:3, Matthew 27:9

The third metal mentioned is brass and could mean copper. According to Kevin J. Connor in his book "The Tabernacle of Moses", Brass symbolizes judgement.

Christ once again fulfills all in that He being God (gold) redeemed us by paying the price (silver) and bearing our judgement for sin (brass)

Isaiah the prophet records a vision concerning the temple with a three times repeated cry

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw (1) the Lord sitting on a throne,(2) high and lifted up, (3) and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: (1) with two he covered his face, (2) with two he covered his feet, and (3) with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!” ~ Isaiah 6:1-3

Kevin J Connor, his book "The Tabernacle of Moses" observes that there were three pieces of furniture in the tabernacle that were of the same height, one was in the Outer court, (Brasen Altar) one was in the Holy place (Table of Showbread) and one was in the Holy of Holies (the Ark of the Covenant) all representing the same truth. We see the body and blood of Christ in the first two and sprinkled on the mercy seat of the Ark on our behalf.

^Tony Robinson teaches on Jeremiah and Joseph's symbolic deaths and resurrections

Jeremiah's Resurrection by Thirty

Tony Robinson also expounds on Jeremiah chapter 38 concerning when the prophet Jeremiah is thrown into a pit for prophesying an unpopular message about submitting to the captivity that was about to occur.

they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon (pit - same Hebrew word used of Joseph's pit) of Malchiah the king’s son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon (pit) there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire ~ Jeremiah 38:6

The pit is a picture of death

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit ~ Psalm 30:3

An Ethiopian eunuch named Ebed-Melek (servant of the king) makes an appeal to King Zedekiah for Jeremiah's life to which the king responded in language that reflects that of being resurrected.

“Take from here thirty (3x10) men with you, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies...So they pulled Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the dungeon (pit) ~ Jeremiah 38:13

Another Psalm of David expresses what Jeremiah might have felt for this deliverance as should we

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps ~ Psalm 40:2


Joseph, the Butler, the Baker, and Three Days

In the prior section it was noted how Joseph was thrown in a pit, by his envious brothers, like Jeremiah, that represents a death and as far as Jacob understood, as was implied by his other sons, Joseph was dead. Jacob said...

A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days ~ Genesis 37:33-34

We also see a substitution death much like we previously saw with Abraham, When Joseph's brothers...

took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood ~ Genesis 37:31

Joseph too experiences a sort of resurrection

so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt...And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate ~ Genesis 37:28,

While Joseph was in his exalted position he was falsely accused of attempted rape and thrown in prison where he maintained his resurrected status

But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper ~ Genesis 39:21-23

While in prison two men, a baker (think bread) and a butler (think wine), (think the Lord's supper) were also in prison and both had a dream that included the number three. Note also, that the story centers around three men in prison

Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. ~ Genesis 40:9-13

Notice that three is used three times in this passage. Next is the Butler.

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” ~ Genesis 40:16-19

We see four threes in this account. Four is the number of the physical natural as is represented by the bread a symbol of flesh that is subject to the limitations of this natural realm.

He (God) remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again ~ Psalm 78:39

The wine imaged by the butler, symbols the spirit

do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit ~ Ephesians 5:18

With the conclusion of this we can also see a second resurrection of Joseph.

Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged (talah - crucified) (on a tree vs.19) the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. ~ Genesis 40:20-22

Signals to us a second resurrection.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation ~ John 5:28-29

This also is a foretelling of what Christ has done for us

who Himself bore our sins in His own body (flesh) the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed ~ I Peter 2:24

The blood rose with Him and was offered on our behalf in heavenly temple

but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption ~ Hebrews 9:12


Saul's Anointing

This portion deals with what is known as an anointing, which is a ritual of applying oil to a person who is about to be appointed as well as empowered from on high to a position or assignment. Oil in scripture is heavily connected with the Holy Spirit.

In first Samuel the people decided they wanted a king like all the other nations had. They must have been teenagers in spirit at this point in their development. God is a bit upset about this because it appears that they think their salvation lies in politics rather than the Lord Himself, but He grants them their request nonetheless. He decides to pick them a tall dark and handsome guy named Saul and the record of this process included three men, three things two of which there were three of and three is also used three times on this occasion..

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his (Saul's) head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance? shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. There three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. ~ I Samuel 3


King Hezekiah's Third Day Resurrection

King Hezekiah, the thirteenth King of Judah, was noted for his religious reform by getting rid of idols, restoring the temple, the priesthood. and re-instituting the Passover. He was known as a good king but fell ill with some type of infectious sore that the prophet Isaiah told him he would not recover from. The text clearly says that

Hezekiah was sick and near death. ~ II Kings 20:1

Hezekiah is deeply grieved by this.

Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how (1) I have walked before You in truth and (2) with a loyal heart, and (3) have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly ~ II Kings 20:2-3

God replies with three things.

And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “ (1) I have heard your prayer, (2) I have seen your tears; (3) surely I will heal you ~ II Kings 20:4-5

He details this with a third day resurrection style promise

On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen (3x5 - 5 is the number of grace) years ~ II Kings 20:5-6

Isaiah further's this account with Hezekiah's response to what God has done for Him in the language of a resurrected from death experience. We can see how death is illustrated once again by a pit.

in all these things is the life of my spirit;
So You will restore me and make me live...

...You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption,
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back

For Sheol cannot thank You,
Death cannot praise You;
Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth

The living, the living man, he shall praise You,
As I do this day ~ Isaiah 38:16-19

A worthy observation from this text is that with God's resurrection there is also healing as is also exampled in Acts.

“Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health.” – Acts 4:8-10 NASB

The Third Temple

The third temple in Scripture is known as Ezekiel's temple and is recorded in Ezekiel chapters 40-48. The first temple that sat on the mount in Jerusalem was Solomon's temple. It was destroyed and the people taken captive to Babylon. After the captivity the people returned and rebuilt. The details of this rebuilding can be found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. It should be noted that more text is spent on this temple than any other structure in the Bible. This structure remained until it's destruction in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed it after Christ's death.

There have been many speculations about Ezekiel's temple and what it means considering that it hasn't been built. Many assume that in these end time events it will be rebuilt on the temple mount. I guess prior to this study I had no clue how to interpret that but after all we have learned about three I think it is obvious. The third temple is a spiritual temple and contains a resurrection of sorts.

Either way I think it is worth a look to pull from the threes in this structure and see what the resurrection of a third temple contains.


Additional Commentary

"There is a lot of going up/going down, standing up/sitting down, picking up/casting down in the first half of Jonah. The wickedness of the Ninevites has “risen” up to God, so Jonah is told to “get up” and go there (Jonah 1:2). Instead, he “goes down” to Joppa, then further down into the ship (Jonah 1:3), and further still into the ship’s hold (Jonah 1:5). Each time, the author uses the verb ירד(yarad) to connect the three actions into a single act. Even the word used for Jonah’s deep sleep in Jonah 1:5 (וירדם, vayeradam), though derived from a completely different word, sounds like yarad. It connects Jonah’s slumber to his overall descent into disobedience. Later, he’s cast into the depths of the sea. The point is: Things ascend toward God and descend away from Him" 4 ~ From an article titled "Word Play in Jonah" at Bible Study Tools

Jonah - Three Days and Three Nights

Jonah was a prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel. God instructed him to preach a message of repentance to the the inhabitants of Nineveh. He runs from God's directive because he fears that God will forgive their wickedness and not visit them with the punishment that Jonah thinks they deserve.

The narrative opens with the language of descending and resurrecting. Going up, going down, and arising are all major themes of this account. The presence of the Lord is also a notable and three times repeated phrase.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord

The Lord sent a storm that was breaking up the ship and terrifying those on it.

But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep ~ Jonah 1:5

What does this remind you of?

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He (Jesus) was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing ~ Mark 4:37-38

Back to Jonah...

So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish ~ Jonah 1:6

Once again quoting from the New in matching the language with the Old

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.” ~ Ephesians 5:14

The mariners understand now that this event was because...

he (Jonah) fled from the presence of the Lord ~ Jonah 1:10

Jonah suggests that that they throw him overboard, considering that he bears the responsibility for the problem. They are initially reluctant but it gets so bad that they pray and ask God not to hold it against them and toss him into the sea.

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights ~ Jonah 1:17

Reminiscent once again...

An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here ~ Matthew 12:39-41

As Jonah is in the belly he prays a prayer carrying the language, once again of being resurrected from a pit of death

I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord, my God... my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple~ Jonah 2:6,7

The Lord causes the fish to vomit Jonah out onto dry land then...

the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey ~ Jonah 3:1-3

He preaches the message and the people respond in three ways

they (1) believed God, (2) proclaimed a fast, and (3) put on sackcloth ~ Jonah 3:5

the king of Nineveh; and he (1) arose from his throne and (2) laid aside his robe, (3) covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. ~ Jonah 3:6

God's mercy prevailed

Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it ~ Jonah 3:10


Nine (3x3) Fruits of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-24 records nine fruits of the Spirit. C.I. Scofield, Bible scholar and commentator categorizes them for us in three sets of three.

Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of nine graces:

love, joy, peace--character as an inward state;

long suffering, gentleness, goodness--character in expression toward man;

faith, meekness, temperance--character in expression toward God.

Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ, and may be taken as the apostle's explanation of Gal 2:20 "Not I, but Christ," and as a definition of "fruit" in Jn 15:1-8 This character is possible because of the believer's vital union to Christ Jn 15:5 1Cor 12:12,13 and is wholly the fruit of the Spirit in those believers who are yielded to Him. Gal 5:22,23.

The Old Testament gives us image of fruit being of the Spirit and given by grace.

And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of

The above depicts that fruit is of the Spirit by the three years. Recall that fruit trees were the third created herbage that was created on the third day.

But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord withal.

And in the fifth (number of grace) year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the Lord your God

~ Leviticus 19:23-25

The eating of it in the fifth year is symbolic of God's grace to give us His fruit.

Jesus tells a parable centering around this same concept

He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down ~ Luke 13:6-9

The first three years, recall, were for tree and fruit maturation, and the fourth year fruit was to be the Lord's but it had not produced any at all.

How interesting that this event immediately follows

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen (3x3x2 or 9x2) years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God ~ Luke 13

Since the beginning fruit spoke of something that God caused to be produced and the produce of the field represented the works of man. Fruit is dependent on God and the two stories progressively show us that. We cannot produce fruit in our own works nor can we anywise raise ourselves up. Both are works of the Holy Spirit.

The next tells us that obedience and dwelling in God's territories is a necessity to bearing fruit. Notice the ninth year mention.

Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.

And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.

And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? (Sabbath and Jubilee Sabbath) behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:

Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year ~ Leviticus 25

This faith in His grace is expressed in terms of rest (Sabbath and Jubilee)

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience ~ Hebrews 4:11-12

Current Events

According to NASA 2016 (3x672) is set to end with three super moons . The first one occurred on October 16, the other two will be on November 14th and December 14. A super moon is a full moon when the moon is closest to the earth that gives it an increase in the appearance of its size and brightness. The October and December moons fall on the same day as perigee (closest to the earth) the November one is is within 2 hours and will be the brightest most pronounced this won't occur again until 2034 (3x678). A chiastic set of super moons you could say.


If the Article seems to dangle it does.As it was with the number four in "The Monarch Butterfly Part One" revelations will be infinite and will therefore be updating this article as they are discovered. It is so characteristic of His Eternal Word. He is infinitely all wise as expressed in His Word. Anything you might wish to add I would be pleased to share.

Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth. ~ Hosea 6:1-2

Extra Material for Consideration

Three fold voice from heaven

Three languages at the cross.

John the Baptist was a priest/prophet who wore camel's hair clothing. He passed the mantle of service at the Baptism much like Elijah to Elisha with a double portion. The very center of the Torah (first five books) is Leviticus 13:33

Numbers chapter 20 seven mentions of water in reference to their being none. Miriam has died. the other water event occurrence is after Miriam's song and dance they encounter the bitter water. The name Miriam contains the Hebrew word for water mayim. Moses gets mad and God gets mad at Moses for getting mad. He then recounts their journey with the expression "our fathers went down into Egypt" God makes clear that neither Moses nor Aaron will enter the land and Aaron is going to die

So Moses did just as the Lord commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. Now when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days ~ Numbers 20:20-28

Three men were present at the top of this Mount.

Third Temple (Ezekiel's)

Sources Copyright 2005 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.

3The content in this page is produced by, and is copyrighted by the author and/or If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you do not revise any part of it, and you include this note, credit the author, and link to If you wish to republish this article in a periodical, book, or website, please email

4Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Logos Bible Software. Each issue of Bible Study Magazine provides tools and methods for Bible study as well as insights from people like John Piper, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Kay Arthur, Randy Alcorn, John MacArthur, Barry Black, and more. More information is available at Originally published in print: Copyright Bible Study Magazine (Mar–Apr 2010): pgs. 46–47.



© 2016 Tamarajo

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MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for this interesting study on the significance of 3 in the Bible, especially in the resurrection and the fruit of the spirit. I learned some new meanings.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 7 weeks ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi MsDora, I am glad that the study is useful and interesting. I really didn't know myself how frequently the resurrection was themed throughout the entirety of scripture until this study and the revelations just keep rolling in. I just read a big one that I will be adding to the article found in Exodus 19, when another writing opportunity comes along.

I very much appreciate your visit comment.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

" He has made His truth so consistent in so many ways and if you question the literary presentation, He will confirm it in a mathematical or even geometrical conclusion." It is so amazing, Tammy. God's truth is always plain to all who want to see. Another in-depth article of our great God.

By the way, I saw the super moon on October 16. Just another way God speaks through His creation.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 6 weeks ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Agreed Bill, on how amazing God's truth is and how He has given us pattern upon pattern, layer upon layer of consistency. It is evident that He really doesn't want us to miss it.

I caught the Super moon too more by accident then intention which worked out great in the timing of this study. I also wholeheartedly agree with you that He speaks through all that He has made. I think all the patterns in the created world around us are consistent with His Word. How could they not be when it was His Word that made them. I like what Job said. ..

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;

And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;

And the fish of the sea will explain to you.

Who among all these does not know

That the hand of the Lord has done this,

In whose hand is the life of every living thing,

And the breath of all mankind?

Thanks for the visit and comment.

God bless!

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