The Fruit and the Gifts of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ...
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.
1 Corinthians 12:4ff
|Words with the Value 9|
The Letter Tet
Brother [Gen 24.29]
Ah, Alas [S# H0253]
Clothing [S# H0899]
Treacherous [S# H0898]
Triumph, Gloriously [S# H1342]
Proud [S# H1343]
Familiar spirit [Lev 20.27]
THE NUMBER 9 is the largest digit. It use as a numerical symbol in Scripture is relatively rare and somewhat diverse, so
many commentators have found it difficult to establish its meaning. Almost all begin with the two verses above, which list
nine fruits and nine gifts of the Spirit.
This correlation finds its origin in the creation of Fruit on
the Third Day (9 = 3 x 3) and the
great Spoke 3 theme relating to Food, Nourishment, and the Holy Ghost.
Many commentators also note that there is a certain sense of "finality" associated with the
Number 9 because it is the largest and last digit.
This is particular pronounced in its repdigit form, 999, which is one less than
1000, which is the literal meaning of
the name of the first letter Aleph,
and so seems to bring us back around "full circle" from 1 (God) to a 1000 (= Ho Nikon, The Victor).
In general, the numbers 9, 99, 999, and so forth, are used in contrast with powers of 10 as representative of
something just shy of perfection or completion. This is because powers of ten minus 1 always produce a repdigit of
repeated 9s. The power indicates how many 9s will be repreated. For example:
105 - 1 = 99999 (five 9s).
Jesus used numbers of this form in his parables. For example, he used 99 = 100 - 1 in Matthew 18:12
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray,
doth he not leave the
ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
Likewise, He used 9 = 10 - 1 in Luke 17:17
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
This last example recalls the tithe since 90% remains after giving 10%.
Note that all these examples are based on the
fact that Biblical mathematics is based on the Number 10.
The Ninth Commandment
Further insight into the Number 9 emerges from the
Ninth Commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor." This manifests in one of the primary themes of 2 Thessalonians on
Spoke 9, as discussed in the article Lying Wonders.
The same idea also manifests on the Inner Cycle of the chapter sequence of Romans,
where the elements of the Ninth Commandment appear in the opening verse of Romans 9:
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in
the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I
could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
The reference to the Jews as Paul's brethren recalls the identity brother = ach = 9 as listed in the table.
The reference to "continual sorrow" is prominent in the Roman Catholic understanding of the Number 9 and its
relation to prayer as discussed below.
The Ninth Hour - the Hour of Prayer
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer,
being the ninth hour.
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,
Twice in Book of Acts the "ninth hour" is associated with prayer, and in
both cases the verse indices are a combination of 1 and 3 (Acts 3:1 and 10:30).
The second case is particularly intriguing because the Number 1030 is the value of the word for
intercessory prayer (entuxis) which
is itself twice the value of the fundamental Hebrew word for prayer (tiphlah = 515), and this
is the index of James 5:15, the famous verse concerning the "prayer of faith."
The Biblical association of the Number 9 with prayer led to the
Roman Catholic tradition of the nine day prayer ritual called the Novena, (novem being latin for nine).
Here is how it is defined in
the Catholic New Advent Online Encyclopedia
A nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces.
The octave has more of the festal character; to the novena belongs that of hopeful mourning, of
yearning, of prayer. "The number nine in Holy Writ is indicative of suffering and grief"
(St. Jerome, in Ezech., vii, 24; -- P.L., XXV, 238, cf. XXV, 1473).
Note the contrast with the Number 8. This is but one more example of how
Christians have always recognized the theological significance of numbers.