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The amazing number 66!  The number that sometimes (often!) seems to associate with "God's people being saved from disaster just in time!"

 

  Social  media sites may not sound like a true source of wisdom, but there is some pretty incredible material that floats through those sites from time to time.  I saw another such thing again just recently involving the quite auspicious number 66. 

  There is something wonderful and very mysterious about this number 66 in the Bible, for instance, but also sometimes outside of it.  That's my take from reading the scriptures.  So the other day I saw something very unlikely about the number 66 on a social media website, posted by a girl I once went to school with, and after reading it I finally decided that the number 66 just deserves an account of its own here on the Deeds of God website. 

  Here's the item that I recently saw posted:

  There are 66 books in a Protestant type of Bible.  And the Bible is called 'the Word of God'.  Jesus Himself is referred to sometimes in scripture as 'the Word'.  So Jesus is the embodiment of the Word in some mysterious way.  He told His followers to 'partake of His flesh', just as Christians are told to keep consuming (reading) the Word of God.  I think there is a relationship between those two admonitions. 

  And we people are all called to become believers in Jesus, to become a part of the Body of Christ. 

  So....with all of that being said and in mind about how the Bible itself has 66 books, suggesting that it is an important number, and remembering that the Bible is 'the Word' just as Jesus is 'the Word', try this: 

 Take your age, subtract it from 66. If the remainder is a negative number, just leave it as a negative number.  Now add 50.  Is that number the year that you were born?  Yes, it is, right?  I am 54.  If I subtract 54 from 66 then the remainder is 12.  If I add 50 to 12 I get 62.  I was in fact born in '62.  In the year 1962, that is.  Doesn't it turn out the same way with you?  Amazing, right?  I don't know who originally discovered this, but I think it's great. 

  It appears to work with everyone. 

  So, that little internet gem involves the number 66, but also the number 50, which is how the ancient Israelites tracked time.  They had 50 year periods, mandated by God in the Laws given to Moses, called Jubilee periods.  They tracked 7 year periods also, but where we track centuries, they tracked time using 50 year Jubilee periods.  

  Every 7th year was a year of rest, mirroring how every 7th day - the Sabbath - was observed by command of God in Mosaic Law and by imitation of God in the days of Adam and Eve we might guess as a day of rest.  You didn't do much commercially in the days when Moses' Law if you were an observant Israelite. 

  But there was even more mandated resting! On both the 49th and 50th year of a Jubilee cycle you rested.  Yes, after 7 consecutive 7 year periods had passed there was an extra year of commercial rest on the 50th year.  On that very special Jubilee Year you were restored to your ancestral lands, etc.  If you were dumb with money or had bad luck and had to sell your house, on the 50th year the people you sold it to generally speaking had to give it back to you, which restored it to your tribe's inheritance.  You can imagine, realtors, how this might have complicated house pricing back 3000 years ago! 

 And that posting shows one of the mysterious associations of the seemingly portentous number 66.

Why is the number 66 mysterious?  Who  says so?  Well, I admit it is only myself that thinks so, so far as I am aware.  But I feel like I have a fair number of reasons for thinking so.  You see, the number 66 always seems to show up in places where God's chosen are saved from a terrible disaster, often at  what seems to be the last possible moment.  I don't know why this is so, but it appears to be a pretty reliable occurrence.   Consider some examples:

1.)  The Bible (the Protestant version) happens to have 66 books and its teachings can save guilty sinners from the unmitigated disaster of dying and going to hell forever.  God, having tried in so many ways to change mans' bad behavior, looks down and  sees us so quickly return to sinning.  So, after many patient and merciful efforts to reform us, He sent one last final emissary...His own Son Jesus... to teach us and then to die for us as atonement for our sins.  It was the most expensive and painfully dear atonement cost that He could have paid to have His human children back, but He loved us so much that He paid it.  His Son is now altered in physical form, apparently forever.  But there is a way for us now...one single path that we humans can take that will allow our souls to be saved.  We can confess, repent, be baptized in Jesus' name, and follow his teachings, telling our fellow man what we have learned.  So, there was a rescue, and it was associated with the number 66.  There are 66 books in the Protestant type Christian Bibles. 

2.)  The first 66 that really shows up in scripture is Genesis Chapter 6, verse 6.  So what is the situation going on in that exact portion of the scriptures?  Rebellious angels who had lost a war in heaven had been thrown down to Earth, and they had lived like mighty kings among men, too strong for man to contend with, and they had spread wickedness among mankind in many forms.  Man in those times had become increasingly wicked like these rebel angels, though we were wicked already on our own!  After all, the first child born to Adam and Eve had killed his own brother out of jealousy.  But as these fallen angels established their reigns on Earth the times grew truly violent, and mankind earned the true wrath of God.  Yet God chose one family, the family of Noah, to spare from the well deserved disaster that He determined to inflict upon every living thing on the face of the Earth.  

Here is Genesis 6:6, in context, via Bible Gateway.  The fallen angels are referred to as 'the sons of God':

 

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

End Quote

  So there is a terrible destruction of a very great many, but God saves His own from it in a miraculous way!  And the number 66 is right there!

  But there are plenty more examples.   

 

3.)  In the days of Jacob, who was renamed to 'Israel' by the order of God, there was a great famine.  The son of Jacob named Joseph was supposed dead by Jacob, his Father.  But it was not true...it was a family treachery.  Joseph's brothers had meant to kill him because he was Jacob's favorite son, and because he was a blessed son, loved by God and with prophetic gifts, etc.  He was a hated younger brother, and they had meant to kill him, but had just enough decency to sell him to slavers headed for Egypt instead.  But they told their father Jacob that they had found him killed by animals, and they showed Jacob a blood soaked piece of Joseph's torn clothing (faked evidence) and Jacob had believed Joseph dead, and mourned for him.   

  Now years later, Joseph had risen in Egypt until he was second in the land.  Only Pharaoh ranked higher.   And Joseph had been given visions foreseeing the great famine gripping the middle east lands.  So Egypt had saved back grain for years.  They had mountains of grain.  While everyone else was starving, Egypt was doing all right.  And Joseph was so important that he was able to bring Jacob and all of his bad brothers and their families, etc., to Egypt to be fed...to be saved just in time before the famine killed them.  How many were there, saved by God through Joseph, saved just in time?  From Genesis chapter 46:

26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six;  End Quote

  So, three score and six (66 in modern English) were saved and brought to Egypt.  66 saved by God just in time.  There is that mysterious number again:  66!

 

4.)  What about book number 6, chapter 6 of the Bible?  That is a 66 of sorts.  So go to Joshua (book #6) chapter 6. 

  There you find a leader with a name that is essentially the same as Jesus' Hebrew name (Joshua, compared to Jehoshua) and that leader chooses to provide protection and rescue to a few certain residents in a town called Jericho.  Those particular residents helped protect the two pre-invasion intelligence gathering Israelite spies sent into Jericho by Joshua.  God has told Joshua to wipe out every living thing in the town of Jericho, like all of the land of Canaan in fact, because all of the Canaanite peoples have become so desperately wicked that God no longer wishes to even look upon them.  So God directed His chosen people, the Israelites, to move in to the promised land (today what was once the Promised Land or Canaan is predominantly located where Israel sits) and the invading Israelites are told to wipe out all of the evil behaving peoples that dwell there.  But in the town of Jericho there is a prostitute or tavern woman named Rahab who hid Israelite spies that had made their way into the city of Jericho but then fallen under suspicion, were pursued by Jericho authorities, and the spies had to run desperately through the city looking for cover.  Rahab had taken them in, saying that she knew, like many other people in her city, that the God of the Israelites was powerful and the Israelites were many, and so Jericho's citizens felt doomed. 

  The Israelite spies told Rahab that because she had saved their lives, that when Jericho was invaded, she and her family, whoever waited within the safety of her lodgings, would be spared.  And later, when they escaped back to the Israelite army, they told their leader Joshua (Moses' chosen successor) about what the woman had done.  So Joshua ordered that the window that had the red cloth hanging out of it - Rahab's residence , it was a sign that the spies had arranged so there wouldn't be a mistake - would not be touched, its occupants not killed or harmed, because of what Rahab had done. 

  And when Jericho was invaded Rahab's family was not harmed.  She became a great grandmother of King David as a matter of fact.  Where is this undeserved salvation enacted?  In the Book of Joshua, which is

Book 6, chapter 6 of the Protestant Bible.  Another 66. 

  Here it is, Joshua chapter 6, again via Bible Gateway:

 

Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord.

And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord.

And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.

And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.

11 So the ark of the Lord compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.

12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.

13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the Lord, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.

15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.

17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.

23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.

25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.

27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. 

End Quote

 

  5.)  In the New Testament, Book 6 is Romans, and its Chapter 6 is about giving up your old life and becoming a slave and true servant to Jesus, who died to redeem your life.  It is about doing what it takes to be rescued, just in time, from hell where our former ways were leading us.  The whole chapter speaks of this rescue of our souls by Jesus, the Son of God and our redeemer.  So there is yet another 66 associated with a rescue of God's people. 

 

  6.)  Did you know that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70 after a long siege?  It's true.  But what does that have to do with the number 66?  Well, it was a very long siege.  It started in A.D. 66.  And in that year, A.D. 66, several Legions of Romans surrounded Jerusalem and set siege.  But then, unexpectedly, they broke the siege for a short time and left to take down some easier more quickly defeated Israelite cities.  When the Israelite armies inside of Jerusalem saw the Romans set the siege but then inexplicably leave the Jewish army in Jerusalem concluded that God had filled the Roman army with fear in order to save His people Israel, so they rallied and streamed out from the gates of Jerusalem to overtake the Roman Army that had just left.  Christians hiding behind the walls of Jerusalem with all of the Jews took advantage of this seeming miracle , and they ran like crazy!  There was no Roman army to kill them for being Israelites, and no Jewish soldiers to kill them for running away like traitors.  They bolted out of Jerusalem and fled to other nearby countries.  To the Decapolis region, for one place.  As for the Jewish army, they caught up with the Romans that had departed Jerusalem, and to Rome's surprise the Jewish army gave then a terrible and humiliating defeat.  And they returned to Jerusalem triumphant and with no real fear of Roman armies at that moment.  But soon enough other Romans Legions returned and reset the siege on Jerusalem.  And 4 years later, after a long cruel and horrifying siege involving battles and disease and starvation, and truly courageous fighting by both sides, Jerusalem fell, with over 1,000,000 having died in its taking.  But no Christians had remained for those horrible years of siege. 

  And so ancient Christian church writers declared that though Jerusalem fell, all of the Christians - the new chosen people of God, the ones who had believed and followed God's Son, had gotten away safely years before in A.D. 66.  A.D. 66!  There it is again. 

  There are 66 books in the Protestant type Bibles, and the Book of Revelation is book number 66.  That book involves God rescuing His people once and for all from the grip of evil through a series of terrible judgements upon the wicked who dwell on the Earth.  And then there will be the great judgement.  And so it involves God's people being rescued from the jaws of evil just at the last moment. 

 

  The Book of Isaiah has 66 chapters.  Some clergy call it 'the Little Bible.'  Its 66th chapter, Isaiah 66, prophetically speaks of God coming at the end of time to punish His enemies, save His people from their trials, and to establish a safe peaceful kingdom for His servants.  God's people, again saved at the crucial moment, by His power.  And once again the number 66 is involved.

 

  Judges 6:6 has us seeing how the depredations of the raiding Midianites had Israel in such a hopeless state of oppression that the cried out to God for help.  And so Gideon arises as a hero of the land in the rest of chapter 6 to lead and save his fellow Israelites and to defeat the vast hordes of Midian via the power and assistance of the right arm of God.  Again, God's people saved from destruction at the crucial moment, and the number 66 is associated. 

 

  In 2 Kings chap 19, we read about when King Sennacharib of Assyria decide top surround Jerusalem with over 185,000 assault troops and sent his General to the wall of Jerusalem to speak to the frightened Israelites looking over the edge.  The General said they should surrender, because their God could not defend them.  He basically insulted God's ability to save His people in the face of such power as the Assyrian army could wield.  Their King, Hezekiah, took that to the Lord in prayer because Jerusalem had no hope against such a giant army.  That night, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers died in their sleep out in the dirt where they camped around Jerusalem.  The Assyrian army awoke, saw what had happened, and they left.  Verse 36 is essentially in the middle of the description of God's response to the vain Assyrians.  And the number 36 is 6 x 6.  Is that cheating?  Or is it the number 66 implanted by God in His word?  God knows....I can only speculate.  Here are the verses from 2 Kings 19, vs. 35 - 37 :

 

   

35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.  End Quote

 

  Now look at the book of Exodus, where the Israelites were mistreated with harsh, crushing, and unrelenting cruelty as slaves of Egypt's Pharaoh.  God sent Moses and Aaron to warn Pharaoh to let his people go, but Pharaoh was vain and proud, he would not listen.  So God sent plagues, that could have warned Pharaoh of God's power and the foolishness of provoking God to rage.  But Pharaoh would not heed.  Finally, God had had enough of Pharaoh, and he decided to end it all.  He decided it was time to drop the hammer on Egypt and save His people out of Egypt before their awful bondage destroyed their last shred of hope. 

  And where does God tell everyone, at the last moment, that it is now time to save His people?  In Exodus Chapter 6, verse 6, (there's that 66 again!) He says these things to Moses in several verses, including verse 6, in which He informs the people of His imminent rescue of them:

1But the Lord said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."
2God spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am the Lord. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.'" 9Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.
10So the Lord said to Moses, 11"Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land." 12But Moses said to the Lord, "Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?" 13But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
 
End Quote

 

 

  The number 66 seems to always be there when God's people are saved at the last moment.  It is a beautiful mystery, but it really does seem to be a pattern that God has placed into history and into His Word.

 

 

 

   

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