The number 9 meaning in the Bible has a special meaning like all other numbers found in the Bible because God is a God of details.
The spiritual significance of 9 in the Bible is no different.
The study of Biblical numerology is to learn deeper truths of God’s Word, to understand the Bible better, and to marvel at the accuracy and intricacy of God’s Word.
Studying and understanding the meaning of numbers in the Bible is never to be used for good luck, a mystical way of picking lottery numbers, a special angel number, or any type of psychic benefit. The numbers in the Bible are not to be viewed as mystical signs or omens from God in our present circumstances or modern culture.
Transferring the use of the meanings of Bible numbers into our current everyday life to somehow enhance our lives is not the reason for understanding the spiritual significance of 9 or any other number in the Bible.
But understanding a bit about Biblical numerology, helps to discover patterns in the Bible, many times giving a clue to a deeper meaning of the words of God.
With this introduction in mind, here are some thoughts concerning both the spiritual significance and the occurrences of the number 9 in the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Mathematics of the Number 9
Number 9 is the last of the single-digit numbers. This last single digit represents finality or divine completeness.
Nine is the square of 3 times 3. The spiritual significance of the number 3 in the Bible represents God. God is both a fruitful God as He is the Creator, and He is the final authority, the only God – the final God.
The number 9 follows the number 8. The spiritual significance of the number eight in the Bible represents new beginnings.
The Biblical meaning of the number nine is the number of finality, the number of completion, maturity, and/or fruit-bearing. All of these attributes would logically follow a new beginning.
The Nine Months of Gestation
It takes nine months for a human to form in the womb of its mother. The Bible phrase is “the fruit of the womb”. This shows both finality and fruitfulness. When a baby is delivered, the pregnancy is finally over and the fruit, the new life has been produced.
The Number Nine in the Story of Abraham and Sarah
God promised the childless couple Abram and Sara that He would give them a child. Years passed without this promise being fulfilled. When they were old and passed normal child-bearing years, God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah and still promised that they would have a natural-born son.
“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” (KJV)
Related: For a 30 day, in-depth Bible study of Abraham and Sarah click here.
“And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.” (KJV)
Sarah was 89 years old, and Abraham was 99 years old when their son was conceived. When Sarah was 90 years old, she gave birth to Isaac. Isaac means “laughter”.
The Day of Atonement
The holiest day of the year of the Hebrew calendar was the day of atonement, which is today commonly known as Yom Kippur. This was celebrated in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month.
“Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” (KJV)
But preparation for this extremely holy day began the day before, on the ninth day of the tenth month. The ninth day of the seventh month was a special sabbath day, a day of preparation for the day of atonement.
“It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” (KJV)
The Last King of Israel Reigned for 9 Years
The kingdom of Israel had a series of kings who all worshipped idols instead of the one true God. Finally, God had enough. Israel’s last king was Hoshea, who reigned for nine years and then God sent judgment in the form of the Assyrians taking His people into captivity.
2 Kings 17:6
“In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” (KJV)
1 Samuel – 9th Book of the Old Testament
The 9th book of the Old Testament is 1 Samuel. This book records the kingdom of the united state of the tribes of Israel, under the kings of Saul, David, and Solomon. While this is a book of history, Bible scholars agree that this book is also a foreshadowing of the last earthly kingdom, that of Jesus Christ during His thousand-year reign. Like the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the reign of Saul, David and Solomon were fruitful times. The last earthly kingdom will be a time of unprecedented fruitfulness.
This fruitfulness of the final earthly kingdom is described in the 9th chapter of Amos:
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.” (KJV)
The 9 Beatitudes Show Both Finality and Fruitfulness
The beatitudes or “blessed sayings” are a particular group of promises by Jesus found exclusively in the Gospel of Matthew. These all begin with the word “blessed” which means happy.
While there are applications of these promises for the modern day, the context of the sermon on the mount was related to the Millennial reign of Christ on this earth. This thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ will be the final earthly kingdom. The nine beatitudes are found in a total of nine verses.
The positive tone of these promises reflects a final, happy contentment, a reward, the fruit that can be expected by those who have met the conditions described.
Here are the verses:
Matthew 5:3-11 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (KJV)
The 10 Lepers and The Nine Unthankful
Ten men afflicted with the disease of leprosy called to Jesus, asking Him to heal them. Jesus simply told them to show themselves to the priests, and as they walked toward the direction of the temple, the leprosy disappeared.
Once this happened, one of them turned around, came back to Jesus thanked Him, and gave glory to God. Jesus asked him the logical question, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” This account is told in nine verses of Luke.
“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (KJV)
The Death of Christ Jesus
Jesus was on the cross for several hours before He died at the 9th hour of the day, which would be 3 PM in modern culture. Here are the scriptures which describe some of the events that occurred at the ninth, His final, hour.
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (KJV)
This was the last question, the final question of Jesus’ life. This translated into the English language contains nine words.
After Jesus asked His final question, He yielded up the ghost.
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (KJV)
The Gospel of Matthew does not record exactly what He said, but John quotes Him.
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
These final utterances of Jesus all occurred at the ninth hour.
The Ninth Hour of Prayer
There is no specific time of the day to pray, it seemed that in Jewish tradition, the 9th hour, or 3 PM for us, was the hour associated with prayer time. Perhaps this particular time was associated with the death of the Lord Jesus Who gave up His spirit at the ninth hour. Regardless of why the ninth hour was for some a specific time of prayer, the apostles, Peter and John, both Jewish men, went to the Jewish temple to pray.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” (KJV)
Before they could enter the temple, they were asked by a lame man for alms. Instead of giving them any money, which they didn’t have anyhow, Peter, using God’s power, healed the lame man.
In the 9th verse of the book of Acts chapter 3, is the fruitful result of this action:
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God”. (KJV)
Acts 10 – the 9th hour for Cornelius
The book of Acts describes the conversion of the first Gentile believer. God had publicly opened the way of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations. This devout Gentile man was praying to God at the ninth hour of the day. And when he prayed at this time of day, at the ninth hour, he had his prayer answered.
“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” (KJV)
And again this is repeated as Cornelius, following the instruction of the angel, sent for the apostle Peter and told Peter about his unique experience.
Acts 10:30 &31
“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.” (KJV)
Cornelius was the first Gentile convert of Peter but since God especially showed Peter that he, as well as the other apostles were to go with His message of forgiveness to the Gentile nations, this paved the way for the Apostle Paul to also have fruit among other Gentiles as he wrote to the Christian believers at Rome.
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.” (KJV)
The 9 Different Sign Gifts
The early church starting with the apostles, were given specific sign gifts of the Holy Spirit to help spread His word and His message. God allowed His people to use these special helps during the transition time between the ascension of Christ Jesus back into heaven and the completion of the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 12:8-11
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (KJV)
The nine different sign gifts are:
- The word of wisdom
- The word of knowledge
- Gifts of learning
- Working of miracles
- Discerning of spirits
- Interpretation of tongues
While Paul listed the nine sign gifts, in the next chapter, he also warned that these special and fruitful gifts would be for only a particular time. There would be an end to these fruitful expressions.
1 Corinthians 13:8
“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (KJV)
Galatians – 9th Book of the New Testament
The book of Galatians, the ninth book of the New Testament, also has the undertones of both finality and fruitfulness. In this book written by the Apostle Paul, he urged the Christian believers to finally put away the law of Moses and instead embrace and practice the fruitful law of Christ Jesus.
In this book, Paul also describes the 9-fold fruits of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is singular, “fruit”, not “fruits”. But this specific fruit has nine distinct attributes:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (KJV)
The Destruction of Babylon
The exact phrase “one hour” is mentioned exactly nine times in the Bible. The last three references are found in the book of Revelation, and they all have to do with the final judgment of the wicked city of Babylon.
“For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” (KJV)
Significant 9-word Bible Phrases
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (KJV)
Significant 9-word Bible Verses
Here are some interesting verses each containing 9 words. Each verse has the idea of finality or fruitfulness.
Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye land.” (KJV)
This nine-word verse describes the fruit of our mouth.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
This verse is part of the prayer of Jesus before He went to the cross. He was praying for His disciples when He asked God His Father to sanctify them through God’s Word. God’s Word is and will be the final authority.
1 Corinthians 15:26
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
Death in itself is final. Finally, this terminal enemy itself will be destroyed. This is a glorious promise!
The holiday of Thanksgiving and even the concept of giving thanks are many times related to harvest – fruitfulness.
The words thanksgiving and thanksgivings appear nine times in the New Testament.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; (KJV)
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (KJV)
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (KJV)
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (KJV)
1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (KJV)
1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (KJV)
Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
Christian 9-Letter Phrases
As with anything, Christianity has its own vocabulary. Here are some 9-letter “ultimates”.
Lord Jesus – the ultimate Man – Acts 4:33 “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (KJV)
Holy Bible – the ultimate Book – Psalm 138:2b “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (KJV)
King James – the ultimate English translation- Ecclesiastes 8:4b “Where the word of a king is, there is power”. (KJV)
Holy Ghost – the ultimate spirit – Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (KJV)
Born again – the ultimate experience – John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Testament – a holy promise – Hebrews 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” (KJV)
This article is not an exhaustive resource on the number 9 meaning in the Bible since the Bible itself is inexhaustible. But hopefully, this article gave some thought-proving ideas concerning not only the number 9 but the study of other numbers in the Bible.
If you like this study on the number 9 meaning in the Bible, you may also enjoy learning about the 8 different dispensations in the Bible.