By Andrew Harris June 19, 2000 ©
T h i r t e e n
13 - Thirteen - 13
By Andrew Harris 19 June 2000 ©
If twelve represents perfect government, then thirteen is the addition of something that is less than perfect to it. Adding anything to that which is already perfect can only make it imperfect, mar it, corrupt it. Corruption of perfect rule can either be by adding our own mortal, frail, fallible ideas to it, or by taking from it. Deciding which of Gods perfect rules to obey and which to ignore, inventing our own new ones, modernizing them, adapting them. All these things corrupt perfect rule and are a rebellion against God. Thirteen represents the breakdown of perfect government, in short rebellion. It is seen in association with rebellion of all forms. The first time we see thirteen in the bible is:
Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
Here we clearly see the relationship between the numbers twelve and thirteen. This is also part of the introduction to the first war mentioned in the bible.
In mathematics the number one is not considered to be a true prime number. It is regarded as being in a category all its own. So if the prime numbers start with two then thirteen is the sixth prime number. This seems particularly apt since it is in the nature of man (as represented by the number six) to rebel. Not only against God but against virtually all forms of government or rule. It is after all human nature to not like to be told what to do. This line of thought can be extended by noting that the twelfth prime number is 37 - the word of God, the source of perfect government. The thirteenth prime number is 41 - multitudes, the people, those who rebel from Gods rule.
Thirteen is also interesting in that it is one of the few two digit numbers whose digits can be arranged in reverse order and still be a prime number. ie. 13 = Prime and 31 = Prime. It is the first such number, out of only four two digit number pairs. The others are 17 - 71, 37 - 73, 79 - 97. In light of this fact it is interesting that there is a definite relationship between the symbolic meaning of thirteen and thirty one. Thirteen is rebellion, and thirty one is the almighty God, from whom they rebel. 37 - 73 also have a symbolic relationship. At this time (19th july 2000) more research needs to be done to see if the number pairs 17 - 71 and 79 - 97 also have a symbolic relationship.
The Thirteenth Verse
And the evening and the morning were the third day.
The thirteenth verse of the Bible does not have any obvious reference to the theme of thirteen in its text. In fact it is thematically part of the third "day" of creation which starts in verse 9. However it is interesting to note that in the original Hebrew it has six words. The connection between thirteen and six has already been noted above. These six words contain a total of 22 letters. 22 is twice eleven and so can be seen as the opposite of revelation - ignorance, confusion or foolishness. All of which sum up the theme of rebellion. The numeric value of the verse is 1342 = 61 x 22. But even more remarkable than this, is that the numeric value of the first word is 31 - almighty God. While the numeric value of the last word is 650 = 50 x 13. So the verse starts with God but ends in rebellion, which is also how mankind has gone and where they remain without a redeemer. But, praise the Lord, we have a redeemer.
The Thirteenth Chapter
Chapter thirteen covers the story of why Abram and Lot had to split up and go separate ways. Their herdsmen were fighting and so to keep the peace they departed from each other. Here we see division caused by strife. This separation is caused by the strife of rebellion wherever it is found.
8And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
Lot chose the rich fields and pastures of the plains. He would also be close to the cities there, with access to markets and all the goods available in the cities. However the cities of the plains were wicked and in due course they, most notably Sodom and Gomorrah, would be destroyed. Lot was to lose everything, because he chose to dwell close to wickedness. That decision was made here in chapter 13. Abram, on the other hand was left with the rugged country away from the cities and markets. However, he was blessed more than Lot and he never had to go through the destruction of all he had. Thus chapter thirteen is the start of the lesson which teaches the Bible reader that living in proximity to wickedness leads to destruction. We see that choosing the poorer option because of our "principles" will lead to a richer result.