The Spiritual Significance Of The Number Eleven
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We have established that each number in scripture has its significance in relation to the numbers before and after each number. So then one (1) tells us that all is of God, through God and back to God. Two (2) bears witness to one and three (3) reveals the three steps to spiritual maturity to which four (4), the whole of mankind must come. Five (5) is the chastening grace through faith which the whole (four) of mankind (six) must endure. So then just as six is the number of rebellious mankind and is the disintegration of five, which is the number of grace through faith so too is seven the number which destroys six by revealing six as not being complete.
But a complete Adam must see himself as a seven-headed beast who is nothing more than the offspring of a seven-headed dragon and in dire need of going into perdition as the eighth beast which is of the seven. This eighth (8th) beast is the new man and he finds his life only by losing it (going into perdition) through judgment (nine). Judgment (9) must begin at the house of God. Of course ten reveals that the house of God "has kept all of these ten commandment from its youth up and is blameless according to the righteousness which is in the law. So then it is only after we see our need for dying to what we thought was life, the (blameless life of keeping the 10, perfection of the flesh, commandments. And that brings us to the number before us today. It is the number eleven.
Eleven is one more then ten and is therefore the ruin and disintegration of ten. As eleven reveals the ruin and disintegration of ten, it also heralds the need for the strong and lasting spiritual foundation that is twelve. But eleven is one short of twelve and is that which is not quite able and in fact works against bringing mankind to that spiritual foundation.which twelve signifies. So then eleven with one is a good foundation. But twelve without one, eleven, is simply the ruin and disintegration of the perfection of the flesh.
Genesis 32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
This is while Jacob is leaving Babylon. It is all very instructive for us. This is while Joseph is very young and just before Benjamin, who typifies God's elect, has been born. Jacob is right here acutely aware of all of his past sins. Even though he has been promised lordship over Esau he still feels hopelessly at Esau's mercy and several time calls him "my lord Esau." Jacob knew he had to return to His Father, but he also knew he had to face Esau. It was a time of great confusion and turmoil. It was also a time of great purging.
Genesis 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him (Jacob) thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants [the seed of the serpent-John 8:44]; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
Genesis 32:4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
Genesis 32:18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
Genesis 33:15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he [Jacob] said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
John 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Eleven signifies that time when we have just met Christ and we are just now becoming aware of our total blindness. The time of our judgment still lies ahead of us.
Genesis 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
This is Joseph being given the promise of rulership over the flesh, the same promise his father Jacob had been given.
Genesis 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him [Jacob] thy lord, and all his [eleven] brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
Both go from the promise of rulership into judgment and servitude to the flesh. This is just before Joseph is sold into Egyptian slavery by his 10 brothers. All eleven will bow before him, but it is the ten who so persecute and want to kill him.
Jeremiah 2:18 And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that [it is] an evil [thing] and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear [is] not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
There is a temporary tabernacle which precedes a more permanent temple. But do not think that even the temple is not to be vigilantly purged and purified.
Exodus 26:7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make.
Eleven curtains covered the temporary tabernacle. This tabernacle first received the tables of the first covenant "for the lawless" (1 Timothy 1:9). It endured the trials of the wilderness and the lawless days of the judges. It was covered with eleven curtains.
Deuteronomy 1:2 There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
Twelve days would have taken Israel right into the promised land. Eleven is one day short of twelve, and therefore Israel at this point is not well founded. Korah and his 250 famous men of renown have yet to raise their ugly heads. Here is what happens at the end of "eleven days journey:"
Numbers 14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
Numbers 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
Numbers 14:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, [which were] of the men that went to search the land, lived [still].
Numbers 14:39 And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.
Numbers 14:40 And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we [be here], and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
Numbers 14:41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
Numbers 14:42 Go not up, for the LORD [is] not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
Numbers 14:43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites [are] there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
Numbers 14:44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
Numbers 14:45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, [even] unto Hormah.
Silver is often a symbol for redemption, but when it appears in multiples of eleven it is not for the redemption but for the enslaving of God's people
Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength [lieth], and by what [means] we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred [pieces] of silver.
Judges 17:2 And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed [be thou] of the LORD, my son.
Judges 17:3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.
The last two kings of Israel "did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." They both reigned eleven years:
2 Kings 23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
2 Chronicles 36:5 Jehoiakim [was] twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God.
2 Kings 24:18 Zedekiah [was] twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2 Chronicles 36:11 Zedekiah [was] one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:12 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD his God, [and] humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet [speaking] from the mouth of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 36:13 (a) And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar...
So long as there is a need for a temple, man's incomplete state will be reflected in that temple:
Ezekial 40:49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.
But there will not always be any need for a temple with a porch whose width is eleven cubits"
Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
"No temple.. for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple." Just another one of those statements which to the natural man are a wonder.
When there were but eleven apostles the apostles were not well founded and were unbelieving, confused and afraid:
Luke 24:9 And [the women who had communed with the angels at the sepulcher] returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them [the two men on the road to Emmaus], he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them.
Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luke 24:35 And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Luke 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
Luke 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
This is the condition associated with this number. The last two kings of Israel rebelled against their own oath, and Christ's apostles were upbraided for their unbelief and hardness of heart. But this all changed when Mathias was added to their number just before the day of Pentecost.
Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
This is another one of the shadows of the New Testament. It foreshadows the solid foundation on which God's elect are built when the one is added to the eleven. When that is done this is the difference in our lives:
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Eleven plus one is a solid foundation for those who are God's spiritual temple. Twelve minus one is a rebellious, very confusing, unbelieving state.
This is the spiritual, hidden significance of this number in the word of God which is all a parable meaning not so much what it says as what it means.