The Number 11

The number eleven is important in that it can symbolize disorder, chaos and judgment. In the Bible, number 11 is used twenty-four times and “11th” can be found 19 times.

Coming after 10 (which represents law and responsibility), the number eleven (11) represents the opposite, which is the irresponsibility of breaking the Law, which brings disorder and judgment.

In Genesis 11, men rebelled against God and built the tower of Babel. He judged them by confusing their language, resulting in chaos. Jehoiakim, one of the last kings over Judah, ruled for 11 years (609 to 598 B.C.). His successor, King Jehoiachin, rules for only three months before the Babylonians take control of Jerusalem. After overcoming the city, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon sets up Zedekiah as a puppet ruler of Judea. Zedekiah, however, soon rebels against his masters. His reign is ended in 586 B.C., after only eleven (11) years, when Nebuchadnezzar once again conquers Jerusalem but this time he destroys the city and temple.

The apostle John saw 11 things in connection with the final judgment (Revelation 20:12 – 14).

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 11 caves on the upper northwest shore of the Dead Sea, just thirteen miles east of Jerusalem. The total number of fragments found exceeds 95,000.

The 11 New Testament books that do not contain ANY direct quotes from the Old Testament are Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, 1John, 2John, 3John, Jude and Revelation.

The third and fourth most referenced Old Testament passages, found in the New Testament, occur 11 times. These passages are Daniel 12:1 and Isaiah 6:1.

Scripture lists at least 11 kings or high-ranking officials who were offended when they were told the truth by one of God’s servants. The men who offended themselves included the Pharaoh of Egypt (Exodus 10:28) and King Balak of Moab (Numbers 24:10). Kings Jeroboam (1Kings 13:4) and Ahab (1Kings 22:27) of Israel also got upset when told the truth.

Several Kings of Judah got angry when confronted with words they did not want to hear including Asa (2Chronicles 16:10), Joash (2Chronicles 24:21), Uzziah (2Chronicles 26:19), Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 26:21) and Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:3). Naaman (2Kings 5:12), captain of the King of Syria’s army, felt insulted when he was told by the prophet Elisha to wash in the Jordan to be healed. The last of the 11 who did not want to hear the truth was Herod Antipas (Matthew 14:3).

The gospel of John records eleven very special promises.

  • A person can receive everlasting life by believing in the Son of God (John 3:16).
  • A person can have eternal life by eating, spiritually, Jesus’ body (John 6:54).
  • By following Jesus you will not walk in darkness (John 8:12).
  • Those who continue in Jesus’ word will be set free (John 8:31 – 32).
  • A person will truly be FREE if made so by Jesus (John 8:36).
  • God the Father will honor those who serve Christ (John 12:26).
  • Those who believe in Jesus will do greater deeds than he did (John 14:12).
  • Those who obey Christ’s commands will receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:15 – 16).
  • Those who keep Jesus’ commands will be loved by both him and God the Father (John 14:21).
  • Those who abide in Jesus will be fruitful (John 15:5).
  • The last of the 11 promises is that a person can be Christ’s friend IF they obey him (John 15:14).

The dukes of Edom (Edom was another name for Esau, Jacob’s brother) were 11 in number. Although closely related to the house of Israel, a bitter hatred existed between the two peoples. The dukes, or chiefs, of Edom were Timnah, Alvah, Jetheth, Aholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram (Genesis 36:40 – 43).

Jesus was about 33 years (a multiple of eleven) when he died (‘cut off’ in Daniel 9:26) for the sins of mankind. The eleventh book, found in most versions of Scripture, is 1Kings. Moses was commanded to make 11 curtains for the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 26:7 – 8).

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