[St. Pachomius Library]


X. On Numbers

Translated by Karen Rae Keck, 1996

In truth, we interpret, however briefly, these numbers of perfect names. The mystical account of these examples makes them more honored among the blessed.

I. This number refers to the unity of the divinity; in the Pentateuch: hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one. [Deut. 6:4]

II. [This number refers] to the two testaments; in Kings: and He made in Dabir two cherubim in the measure of 10 cubits. [III(I) Kings 6:23]

III. [This number refers] to the Trinity; in the epistle of John: three are those who bear witness: water, blood, and spirit. [I John 5:8]

IV. [This number refers] to the four evangelists; in Ezekiel: and from the middle of them the likeness of four animals. [Ez. 1:5]

V. [This number refers] to the five books of Moses; in the apostle: I wish to speak five words in the church with my mind. [I Cor. 14:19]

VI. [This number refers] to the sixth day on which the Lord made man along with all the animals of the land; in Genesis: let us make man in our image and likeness; the same a little later: and it was done, evening and morning, the sixth day. [Gen. 1:26; Gen. 1:31]

VII. [This number refers] to the seventh day on which God rested after all that He had done; in Genesis: and he rested on the seventh day from the whole work that he had accomplished. [Gen. 2:2]

VIII. [This number refers] to the day of the Lord's resurrection, that is, the eighth day; in the title of a psalm: into the end for the eighth [Shemi-nith, the eighth part in Hebrew]. [Ps. 11(12):1 Vulgate]

IX. [This number refers] to the sacrament because at the ninth hour the Lord let loose his Spirit; in the Gospel: about the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice. [Matt. 27:46]

X. [This number refers] to the decalogue; in the psalm: I will sing to you with a ten-stringed lute. [Ps. 143(144):9]

XII. [This number refers] to the apostles; in the gospel: these are the names of the twelve apostles. [Matt. 10:2]

XIV. [This number refers] to the Lord's vow to the generations; in the gospel: from Abraham to David were in all fourteen generations. [Matt. 1:17]

XV. [This number refers] to the 15 steps of the temple.

XVI. [This number refers] to the number of the prophets.

XXII. [This number refers] to the promise of [the number of] divine books, according to the Hebrew alphabet.

XXIV. [This number refers] to the mystery of the number of elders; in the Apocalypse: and on thrones twenty-four elders were sitting. [Apoc. 4:4]

XXX. [This number refers] to the fruit of faithful unions; in the gospel: and they gave fruit, some a hundredfold and others sixty- and thirtyfold. [Matt. 13:8]

XXXIII. [This number refers] to the mystery of the age to which the Lord lived in the flesh; in the apostle, as can be seen from this: until we have become, in the unity of faith and in the suffering of the Son of God, perfect men in the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ. [Ephes. 4:13]

XL. [This number refers] to the promise of Lent; in the gospel: and he was led by the spirit in the desert for forty days. [Luke 4:1-2]

XLII. [This number refers] to the number of stopovers in the desert or to the number of generations from Abraham through the [birth of the] Lord Jesus Christ. [cf. Matt. 1]

L. [This number refers] to the Pentecost; in the acts of the apostles: and when the days of Pentecost were completed. [Acts 2:1]

LX. [This number refers] to the fruit to widows or to the debt to those who restrain passion; in the gospel: and another gave fruit sixtyfold. [Matt. 13:8]

LXXII. [This number refers] to the number of elders of Moses or the number of disciples whom the Lord chose; in the gospel: after that the Lord named 72 others and sent them, before His own face, two by two into the whole world. [Luke 10:1]

C. [This number refers] to the fruit of the martyrs or of the virgins; in the gospel: and others gave fruit a hundredfold. [Matt. 13:8]

We have put forth, therefore, as examples those certain and holy numbers. Assuredly, more beyond these exist, and you will find that almost all, which are made by the very means of divine reading, are sacred.

The St. Pachomius Orthodox Library,  St. Innocent of Alaska, 1999 
Have mercy, O Lord, upon Thy servant, the translator Karen! 
               THE END, AND TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Return to St. Pachomius Library