Since today is 09/09/09, I thought I would share an article on the meaning of the Number 9 in Scripture. It is from Richard's page about Nine. What about you brothers? Do you have any other insights on the symbolic meaning of the Number 9?
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
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.