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[GR] > The Number 17 - Goodness and Sacrifice

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1.4

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

Jeremiah 16.16

Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

John 21:11

The Number 17






Zebach !" ` Da B

Kid, Young Goat



There is a deep link between the symbol of Christ as the Fish/Fisherman, the Sacrifice, the Passover (153), the Covenant (612 = 4 x 153), and the Net (1224 = 2 x 612) in John 21:11 that caught the 153 fish. The Number 153 is the seventeeth triangular number, hence also is the sum of the integers from 1 to 17:

T(17) = 1 + 2 + ... + 16 + 17 = 153

This relation has been known and meditated upon as early as the 5th century when Augustine commented on it in his Tractate 122 This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window on John 20:30-21:11. He understood the Number 17 as the sum of 10 + 7 representing the Ten Commandments (Law) and the sevenfold Spirit (Grace). While these may be valid "overtones" or "harmonics" of the Number 17, they certainly are not derived directly from the context of John 21:11 and so offer little true understanding of why God was so specific in recording the number of fish. A more satisfying understanding comes from obvious use of the biblical symbol of fish (men) caught by fishermen (apostles). Jesus told Peter and Andrew that they would be "fishers of men" (Matt 4:19). In Hebrew, the word for "fisherman" is dayag = 17, a denominative verb derived from the noun fish (dag = 7). This correlation is amplified by the words of Ezekiel 47:10:

And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En Gedi even unto En Eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.

The word fishers is the plural form based on the root dayag (S# H1770). The name of the first spring spring (en, root of the name of the 16th letter Ayin) is Gedi, and anagram of dayag and so of the same numerical value, 17. It means a "young goat" or "kid." Note the phonetic similarity bewteen "kid" and "gedi." Now the verse says that the "fishers" (dayag) shall stand upon the river from the spring of Gedi to the spring of Eglaim. We have the identity:

Eglaim = Ayin (70) + Gimel (3) + Lamed (30) + Yod (10) + Mem (40) = 153

From Gedi = 17 to Eglaim = 153! Now this seems like quite a little more than a "mere coincidence."

Factors: Prime

Related Numbers: 1717, Sum(17) = 153

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