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[GR] > The Number 9 - Fruit of the Spirit, Hour of Prayer

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.

Galatians 5:22f

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?

Luke 17:17

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:

Romans 9:1-2

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.

Acts 3:1

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,

Acts 10:30

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 This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window

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.

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