What the Number 6 Means in the Bible and Why You Should Care

"So God created man in His own image...male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

What the Number 6 Means in the Bible and Why You Should Care by Steppes of Faith

“So God created man in His own image…Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So, the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:27,31

The Bible contains many numbers that are often multiples of three: God’s trinitarian nature (3-in-1), twelve disciples, twelve tribes of Israel, Jesus rose from the tomb on the third day, and more. Another number is six. It is first mentioned in Genesis 1, when God created man on the sixth day.

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus, the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had done.” (Genesis 1:31-2:2)

According to Bible scholars, the number seven typically signifies completion or perfection, especially of God. Therefore, the number six, being just one shy of seven, often signifies imperfection. More specifically, it refers to the imperfection of man and the sin and weakness he has.

As we all know, Adam went on to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden and broke the connection between heaven and man, allowing sin to enter the earth. Man’s weakness in sin is why the number six is called the “number of man.” But God in His faithful love always seeks to restore us.

Ruins of Jericho after the Israelites marched around its walls seven times.

Ruins of Jericho

Joshua and Jericho

The sixth chapter of Joshua is where we read that Joshua and the Israelites marched around Jericho once a day for six days with seven priests each carrying a trumpet (remember, seven means perfection). It was on the seventh day that the people were to march around Jericho seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets so the city walls would fall.

God commanded the Israelites to march for six days to prove their imperfect ability to demolish Jericho. But on the seventh day, God in His power destroyed the city so that He alone would receive the glory. Only God is perfect, and only He can perform perfect miracles. It is not by man’s power but by the hand of God alone.

A Precursor of Rest

God’s fourth commandment tells us to work for six days and rest on the seventh (Exodus 20:8, Exodus 31:12-17). God may have given us this commandment because He knows we, in our imperfection, cannot continually work seven days a week. Some of us try, but there are consequences, and God wants to spare us of them.

God also commanded the Israelites to harvest their land for six years and then let it rest the seventh year. The seventh year is called the Year of Jubilee. God’s command is not just pure agricultural genius, it illustrates God’s power to restore His creation after man’s imperfect handling of it.

(Related: God also uses the Year of Jubilee as a time of forgiveness of property debts and for giving slaves their freedom. See the story of Jacob here.)

Other Mentions of Six

Not every mention of six in the Bible indicates man’s imperfection. Many times it has a different meaning, if any at all. Here are a few to consider.

  • Jesus turns six pots of water into wine at a friend’s wedding (John 2:6).
  • Moses and Joshua went up to Mount Sinai where the glory of the Lord rested on them for six days before God called Moses to enter the cloud’s midst for forty days and nights (Exodus 24:16-18).
  • The gold lampstand for the holy tabernacle had six branches coming off it (Exodus 25:32.) Remember that Jesus said He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5), which means the lampstand represents Jesus, and the six branches represent man and his imperfection.
  • Boaz gave Ruth six ephahs of barley to take home (Ruth 3:15). The original Hebrew does not indicate how much an ephah weighs, but it may have been as much as 200 pounds, far too much for Ruth to carry especially in her shawl. So, it was likely six seahs of barley weighing approximately 60-80 pounds, which was twice what Ruth was normally gleaning.
  • The Levites had six cities of refuge for accused murderers to stay in until they could have their case heard before the congregation in judgment. Three were in Israel and three were in pagan Canaan (Numbers 35:9-15).
  • Seraphim angels have six wings: two for covering the face, two for covering the feet, and two for flying (Isaiah 6:2).
  • Six days after Jesus told the disciples of His second coming, He took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain to witness His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2). Matthew does not often mention numbers, so the number six here seems to be significant.
  • The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce she would give birth to Jesus when her cousin was already in her sixth month of miraculous pregnancy (Luke 1:26).
  • Jesus was asked six times to show signs that prove He is the Son of God (Matthew 12:38, 16:1, 24:3; Luke 11:16; John 2:18, 6:30. See also Mark 8:11, 13:4).
  • Later, Jesus was found innocent by six different men: Pontius Pilate, Pilate’s wife, King Herod, Judas Iscariot (after the devil left him), one of the thieves hanging on a cross next to Jesus, and the Roman centurion guarding Him during the crucifixion (Luke 23:14, 15, 41, 47; Matthew 27:3, 19).

The Bible says 666 is the number of the beast, Satan.

The Number of the Beast

Because the number six can represent imperfection, we have to talk about what is known as the number of the beast—666. The apostle John writes in Revelation 13:18,

“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

Notice there are three sixes. Remember that God is three in one, or perhaps 111 for illustrative purposes. Since God is a perfect holy trinity, then Satan—the beast—is perfectly unholy and evil, and Satan will display his evil power in the last days of the Tribulation period.

In the book of Revelation, God reveals the beast’s power to John as a prophetic warning about the extent of his evil nature and the destruction he will spread:

  • He will break his covenant with Israel and set up an image of himself in Jerusalem’s temple in what the Bible calls the abomination of desolation (Revelation 13:14-15; 17:14)
  • He will set up a global paganized religion (Revelation 17:1-18)
  • He and his allies will wage war against Israel (Daniel 11:40-45; Joel 3:9-17; Zechariah 14:1-3; Revelation 16:14-16)
  • He will restrict the buying and selling of goods to those who do not take his mark, 666 (Revelation 13:16-17)
  • He will behead anyone who refuses to submit to him (Revelation 20:4)

These are only some of the terrible things he will do. For these reasons, God warns us to pay attention to the signs of His return when He finally defeats the beast, gathers His children, and establishes His eternal kingdom on the earth.

What’s Most Important

It is very important is that believers should not analyze every single number in the Bible or get caught up in what some call “angel numbers,” which is false teaching. But if there is anything we can learn from looking at the number six, perhaps we should notice how it shines a spotlight on man’s weaknesses while also highlighting God’s power to restore what once was lost.

But, let us not lose sight of what is always most important of all: God’s grace is eternal, His love is true, He is forever faithful, and He will stop at nothing to show us.

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67 Replies to “What the Number 6 Means in the Bible and Why You Should Care”

  1. Regarding the number of a man 666. Just as satan has lack of understanding of who the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is. So does man. If you want living proof of this scripture, look at current events of the political state of mind we are at. “The truth is not the truth”. To comprehend this you must understand satan’s “mo”. Satan is the father of lies. So the number of a man(men, women, children) is incomplete of the true knowledge of God. Man believes, he can do a better job than God. I believe we are witnessing souls being lost by political convictions of a man…the “mark’s of the beast”…January 6th.

  2. Much educating.
    My desire is at least to understand the Bible better than any other book.
    To me understanding every number in the Bible makes me like reading it.
    JESUS IS LORD!!!!!

  3. Am so blessed immeasurably by this wonderful piece…it gives me chills in my body… More of God’s revelation by multiplied in Yhu @Gina.

  4. I would also like to add a response that I saw just now when studying the word of John. In verse 6 it says “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was the sixth hour.” Then verse 7 goes on to introduce the arrival of the woman at the well. I also believe this was a sign to show the imperfection of man through this woman who arrived. I’m a new believer but just as I read this verse the holy spirit ushered me to do some research into why the hour was even mentioned in the first place. Then I stumbled upon your awesome work. God bless you for your research and may the Holy Spirit continue to open all our eyes to the marvellous and wonderful ways in which God works!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I pray the Holy Spirit continues to reveal God’s glory to you every day. God bless!

    • God Bless you, as You mention that you are a new believer, but looking the way you have the understanding, this is a good sign that Holy Spirit is working on you and He will use you in your next time with a great teaching

      May God always be with you

      • Thank you, Patar. I’m not a new believer, but I appreciate you sensing my heart for God. Yes, the Holy Spirit is always working on me. I pray He is with you too. God bless.

        • Hi Gina,
          My name is Gina too . Just go through your research… Very helpful. It’s amazing all the study you did. May the Holy Spirit continue to use you each and every day

  5. Very helpful. Would also appreciate how the order of GOD’S feasts factor . Also see a strong link in the 6th commandment & man’s adulterous nature . Thank you & Blessings.

  6. I had a dream last night where my grandfather was soooo happy to see me and pick me up over his shoulder, we were both laughing and happy…(he passed away last year and I miss him alot).

    We entered the house and he disappeared.

    My mom and her sister (I don’t get along with either as they wish bad open me). I had to write a letter to my other aunt (whom I love alot) to ask her what’s happening. She told me that my grandfather as 6 weeks to live and there is nott doctor’s can do.

    I was heart broken when I woke up.

  7. Had a very unusual experience today I’m a born again believer so I know this was the Lord showing me something. I went to turn my turn my time sheet in inmy building which is suite 323 on the TOP FLOOR . I’m talking on my phone to a friend that was my only reference to what happened . I get off the elevator which looks darker than normal and I see the numbers on a suite in front of me which is not how my floor is set up I tell her this is weird tge number is saying numbers that start with 6 . I keep walking get to where my office should be the name on the door is not correct all these guys turn and look so I turn and walk away as I’m telling my friend. I get back on the elevator saying I know I pushed 3 so I look just like I already know there’s the top floor number 3. I proceed to my office put timesheet in the slot. I pass the window look out even though I know there’s 3 floors to see if I’m crazy. I’m of course seeing the flat top of the building which is the 3 floor I tell my friend she says get out of that building you could have went on a secret floor. I told her there’s 3 floors like there has always been and I’m looking at tee top of the build there’s no other floor above it. Thank you I think received insight one of tge post refers to being in control trying to handle things on my own Guess he was showing if I have to I can take the impossible and make it possible now you see I’m well capable.

    • I can’t say for sure what God was trying to show you, or even if it was God at all. Your experience sounds rather unsettling and (dare I say) weird. I can’t see that God was in that, but I am very glad you’re okay. Surely God was protecting you from spiritual enemies. But I can’t help but wonder how that all happened and if it will happen again.

  8. I have been wondering about this topic of late and was thinking of searching the internet to increase my knowledge. Thank God that I visited your website otherwise I wouldn’t have come across such a nicely-written article. Once I liked this particular post, I was going through few other posts as well. I simply loved them! Kudos to the writers who work hard to write these.

  9. First and foremost God bless you and I thank you for your wonderful observation and your knowledge and wisdom on the number factors of the Bible. I too have noticed significant signatures of Gods thumbprint on various scriptures. That’s a lot of God’s most powerful scriptures have the same numbers each book. The signature of representations or referring, such as three for confirmation and seven for completion and eight for new beginning. Here is one example John 3:16 for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son! 3 confirmation 8+8=16,
    8 new beginning and 2 unity.
    Eighth to the second power is 16.
    So as you so wonderful to put it in the restoring of unity!!!

  10. For some reason I was looking at the calendar and saw today 10/20/2020 was the 294th day of the year with 72 days remaining. I calculated the numbers to see if today was a 8; my number. I discovered it was a 6. I looked for the day of 8 and realized all days are 6. WOW. I googled the number 6 and read your article. It got me to thinking that everyday is a day to renew, recreate ourselves. God gives us every day to be reborn. What are your thoughts? Did you know everyday is a 6?

    • I’m afraid I don’t pay much attention to numerology, so I’m not quite sure how you know if it’s an “8 day” or “6 day” or any other number. I agree with you, though, that every morning God allows us to wake up and get out of bed is an opportunity to be about the Father’s business and seek His righteousness. It’s my belief that seeking the Lord is far more important than counting numbers so we are not led astray by false teaching. I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

    • The Bible isn’t explicit in explaining why they took only six steps before making an offering. We might assume that King David stopped the ark bearers after six steps in recognition of man’s sin, which they then made the offering as a means of atonement. One thing we do know, though, is that the offering was only made after the first six steps, not every six steps. Hope that helps.

      • Absolutely profound. Thank you Gina for the deep insights and revelatory knowledge. I woke up this morning with deep yearning to enquire about the number 6 and the month of June which is my birth month. In addition for the past 5 years I always see this number 704 almost every week. Don’t know the reason or significance.