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Updated on January 25, 2012




Have you ever wondered why so many objects or patterns are based on the number twelve? The word origin of dozen is based in Latin and roughly translated means two plus ten, but it's further refined through the old form of the French word douzaine, which means a group of twelve.

We now have entered the twelfth year of this second millenium, Anno Domini and hopefully we will survive ths year in the flesh even if we can't survive it on the big screen. Why twelve anyway, would it not have been easier with say ten? I mean to say that I only have ten fingers, correction digits can't count those thumbs as fingers right? O.K. really now who started this and why and what purpose does it serve to have this ten plus two as a unit of measure?

A time for everything

Well at least as far as the calender is concerned I have read through historical documents that several cultures have and do base their calenders on twelve months. Hebrew, Islam, Indian, Chinese and many other cultures including the U.S. use twelve months as their normal basis for measuring a year, there are variances of course for correction of time, like a leap year for me as is currently scheduled this coming February. The Hebrew calender adds a thirteenth month seven times in a cycle of nineteen years, its name is Adar II. Did you notice that nineteen minus seven equals twelve?

The Babylonians seemed to have had much influence in the previously mentioned calender and from this the Romans developed their own calender. With the following of the cycles of the moon and with seasons such as winter, summer, spring and fall the natural year lends its self to following a twelve month pattern. This does not surprise me and my reason being that I am a follower of Christ, Jesus who had twelve disciples and who was sent forth to give the "Good News" first to the twelve tribes of Israel and then the Gentiles. This number twelve appears in various relationships like the disciples or the twelve gates of Jerusalem. You may want to explore the Bible for more reference, but I will stop there.

What about those clocks or watches, why twelve numbers? The Earth is approximately 25,000 miles around and spins at just over 1,000 mph doing the math and dividing the girth by the speed it rotates we find an approximate 24 and considering night and day which are ruled by two celestial bodies we have twelve hours of day and twelve of night. You know I was not trying to make this hub about divine presence, but how can I not see my God at work in this?

Everyday occurrence

One dozen or twelve have you noticed how many things around us use twelve? The fan, is the twelfth man on the field in the sport of football. There are twelve face-cards in a deck of playing cards. A pair of dice have twelve faces and there are twelve inches in a foot.

This year 2012 has a certain feeling lent to it by the Mayan calender, supposedly the cycle of 5125 years comes to an end and signifies an end to the Earth as we know it, of course this is in the twelfth month on the 21st.

Have you any stories, any history with regards to this seemingly popular number? Looking forward to hearing your comments.


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    • Reginald Boswell profile image

      Reginald Boswell 5 years ago from Alabama

      Interesting. Much thought and research applied with Dozen a good resource.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Very good hub and interesting. When those who followed Jesus asked him when the world would end, he told them only God knew. Not even himself, Only God.