The number nine is understood in Judaism to express the concepts of work, deed, outcome or result. A common illustration that is offered is a woman is pregnant for nine months and then the outcome / result of this pregnancy is manifested. Although the number appears several times in the Old Covenant, in general it is used to simply express an allotment of time; that is, something that happened in the ninth year. 

It is when one considers the appearance of the number nine in the New Covenant that the interpretation for the number becomes clear. In the book of Luke, Yeshua ministers to ten lepers. As these ten lepers obey Yeshua’s command to go and show themselves to the priests, they were healed. Only one of those who were healed went back to thank Yeshua. The nine apparently continued on towards the priests. The point is that the one leper who returned to Yeshua really was the only one who was changed; the nine were only healed outwardly.

Biblically, leprosy is not the disease that most of the world usually assumes, a natural skin ailment that is highly contagious. In the Bible, leprosy is also highly contagious, but its cause is pride and unkind speech. Hence, it was the one who returned to Yeshua that really had been healed not only outwardly, but inwardly too, as he did not think of only being pronounced clean by the priests, but first he wanted to thank Yeshua. Thanksgiving is an act of humility and not pride. The nine who were healed and did not return to Yeshua, only focused on the outcome of the miracle. In other words, they only looked to the deed or the work of Yeshua and not the spiritual aspects of their situation.

When studying the number six, we also spoke about the number nine. Please note that many English translations, even some of the more literal ones, still make interpretations for the reader which are not warranted. This is often the case when hours (time of day) are mentioned. The ninth hour is actually three in the afternoon. Therefore, instead of leaving the text in its original manner, many translations prefer to change the ninth hour to three in the afternoon without informing the reader of the literal rendering. In doing so, the translation robs the reader of being able to benefit from the significance that a proper understanding
of numbers adds to the text.

In the example given in our study of the number six, it is stated that there was darkness over the earth from approximately the sixth hour until the ninth (see Matthew 27:45). It was interpreted that the use of the numbers six and nine together expressed that Yeshua being on the Cross was the deed / work (9) that made the grace of God (6) possible. Likewise, in the next verse (Matthew 27:46), Yeshua cries out at about the ninth hour, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me.” This statement speaks about the outcome / result of sin. Not Yeshua’s sin (God forbid), as He was without sin! 

However, Scripture states that this One Who knew no sin; that God made Him sin for us, so we could become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). The point is that Scripture mentions the ninth hour to reveal the outcome of Yeshua becoming sin on our behalf, i.e. His death. Sin and death are inherently related in the Bible, so it is also at the ninth hour the outcome / consequence of sin, is manifested. It is clear that Yeshua dying at the ninth hour was not a random happening. It pointed to the work of the Messiah, dying for the sins of the world.


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