What Does the Number 11 Mean In the Bible?

Last updated on December 21st, 2023 at 10:51 am

What Does the Number 11 Mean In the Bible?

In the biblical context, the number 11 often symbolizes disorder, chaos, and judgment. It is typically associated with situations where things are imperfect and disorganized, or where judgment is being enacted. This interpretation arises because 11 comes after 10, which represents law and responsibility in the Bible (10 commandments, for example). Thus, 11 is seen as adding to or breaking the law, leading to disorder or chaos.

Also Read – The Number 10 in the Bible

For example, in Genesis (old testament), Jacob’s 11th son, Joseph, had dreams that made his brothers jealous, leading to disorder in his family. In the New Testament, after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, the group of apostles was reduced to 11, symbolizing a break from completeness and harmony. So the number 11 can be about something that brings disorder.

The Christian Bible uses numbers not only for quantification but also for symbolic and prophetic purposes. The biblical meaning of a number may be literal and prophetic.

Understanding the spiritual meaning behind a specific number can deepen your biblical comprehension, and it will also deepen your connection to the Holy Spirit through discernment.

While some numbers are explicitly mentioned in bible verses, others, like the number 11, have implied or anecdotal spiritual significance. This doesn’t lessen their value; we can still derive meaningful insights from them.

The number 11, for instance, holds special meaning beyond its literal value, discernible through biblical texts, stories, and characters.

Meaning of the Number 11 In the Bible

Most important is the meaning of the number 11, because if you do not understand the meaning of the number, you may not fully understand the significance of its appearance in the Bible or it’s spiritual meaning.

The number 11 can have a few different meanings, though they are still related. It can mean judgment, chaos, or disorder– or some combination of the three.

The number 11 comes right after the number 10, which serves to represent order in the Christian Bible. It comes right before the number 12, which is about governmental perfection and authority.

11 means the complete opposite of this– the irresponsibility that is breaking God’s Law, which will then result in and bring disorder and judgment.  It is also about something that is incomplete or imperfect. The number 11 stands in between two perfect numbers, and as such often speaks of dissonance, disorder and confusion. It can be a great signpost though, showing us the way NOT to go. This number combined with the Holy Spirit in our lives can give us a word of caution. This was true for the apostle John, Jesus Christ and King Nebuchadnezzar.

A perfect example of the breaking of the Law and its results is in the story of Babel. This occurred in Genesis 11, hence the symbolism of the number 11 here. This is when the men rebelled against God and created the Tower of Babel. To punish them for their disobedience and flagrant disregard of the Law, God mixed up their language and wrought judgment upon them. This then led to confusion and utter chaos as people were no longer able to communicate freely with each other in the same language. We will go into greater detail on the appearances of the number further in the article.

Biblical Numerology and the Number 11

Biblical numerology is the study of numbers in the bible, and the use of those understandings to guide us and give us prophetic meaning. The number 11 can symbolize disorder, it represents law, the final judgement, and the old testament and has a negative meaning. This doesn’t mean that it is bad, it just means that it is a caution and a warning. Like when the children of Isreal went into the promised land they had milk and honey but still had to deal with bees and cows. The Holy scriptures are presented to help us but also warn us and as god promised to lead us into truth and our destiny.

Appearances of the Number 11 in the Bible

There are plenty more appearances of the number 11 in the text of the Bible, further reiterating its biblical meaning. For instance, one of these is that there are 11 kings or other officials of high rank who were offended when told the truth by a disciple of God. Some of these men were the Pharaoh of Egypt, King Jeroboam and King Ahab of Israel, and King Balak of Moab. The others were Kings Asa, Zedekiah, Joash, Uzziah, and Jehoiakim of Judah, as well as the captain of the Syrian army, Naaman, and Herod Antipas.

11 is prevalent in the gospel of John, where he has recorded 11 different and special promises. These are as follows: 

  1. Those who believe in God and the Son of God can receive everlasting life (John 3:16).
  2. You can receive eternal life by eating of, spiritually, Christ’s body (John 6:54).
  3. If you follow Jesus, you will not walk alone or in darkness (John 8:12).
  4. If you continue in Christ’s word, you will be set free (John 8:31 – 32)
  5. If made so by Jesus, a person will be set free (John 8:36).
  6. God will honor those who choose to serve Jesus (John 12:26).
  7. People who believe in Christ will be able to do even greater things than He did (John 14:12).
  8. If you obey Jesus’ commands, you will receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:15 – 16).
  9. If you keep Christ’s commands, you will be loved by Him and God (John 14:21).
  10. A person who abides in Jesus will be fruitful (John 15:5).
  11. A person can be Jesus’s friend if they obey Him (John 15:14).

In Genesis 11, humanity defies God by constructing the Tower of Babel. God responds by confounding their languages, leading to widespread disarray. Jehoiakim, one of Judah’s last kings, reigned for eleven years, from 609 to 598 B.C. His reign was followed by King Jehoiachin, who governed for a mere three months before the Babylonians seized Jerusalem.

Following the conquest of Jerusalem, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar installed Zedekiah as a puppet ruler or fake king over Judea. However, Zedekiah eventually revolted against Babylonian rule. His rebellion was short-lived; his eleven-year reign concluded in 586 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar recaptured Jerusalem, this time devastating both the city and its temple.

Sometimes the number 11 appears in more subtle ways within the text. Jesus was also 33 years old when he died, which is a multiple of 11. For the tabernacle in the wilds, Moses was commanded to create 11 curtains, and the 11th book that is found in most versions of the Scripture is 1Kings.

Additional Reading – biblical meaning of other numbers.

What Does the Number 9 Mean in the Bible?

What Does the Number 4 Mean in the Bible?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is special about the number 11?

The number 11 has some unique features that make it special among other numbers that add to its biblical meaning.

For example, it is a palindrome, meaning that it is the same when read backwards and forwards. It is also the fifth prime number. In numerology, 11 is a karmic number, is associated with spiritual awakening.  Obviously this isn’t a biblical thing, but isn’t it interesting that they think it could be God telling you something about change.

In the New Testament the apostle John in John 11:11 recounts Jesus saying “our Friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up. The number 11 means imperfection or incomplete so recounting Lazarus here makes sense. Jesus Christ had to complete the situation and bring him back to life. Biblical prophecy and spiritual significance and biblical meaning for numbers can come from the actions Jesus takes around those numbers.

What does number eleven stand for?

The number 11 is seen as an incomplete number, it isn’t 10 and it isn’t 12 which means it lives in the incomplete and in between. This number spiritually is also seen as a more man-centred number than a God-centered number because of the two symbols in Hebrew used to write the number – the hand and strength. Jacob and Jacob’s brother Esau were descendants of Isaac and started as an imperfect pair. Jacobs’s sons then perpetuated some of that as the story moves forward.

It’s shouldn’t be seen as a negative number or a number of the devil, it is rather a reminder that the story isn’t finished and that God may be doing something to take you from 11 to 12. This symbolism may mean you are right next to the promise or close to seeing the fulfillment and you need to persevere to see God move. But it is just about to happen.

What is the 11th hour in the Bible?

The number 11 does also appear in the Bible, for example, when pertaining to the 11th hour. If you are unfamiliar with the 11th hour, this comes from a parable in Matthew. It is a phrase that refers to the story of some vineyard workers. In the story, a few vineyard workers are hired much later than the others but still paid the same wage. Though they were brought in after eleven hours of work, in the “eleventh hour”, they were still not too late. The 11th hour is now used to describe the latest possible time.

You can also see in Revelation that John connects 11 things to the final judgment. (Revelation 20:12 – 14).

We can also use this for other measurements of time, like 11 days, 11 hours and eleven years. Although they may not be the 11th hour, they all represent a transition or something incomplete. The in-between time in our daily life, or “in the waiting” is where a significant amount of God’s work is done. We can think about the whole joy in the journey thing. Eleven years would be an example of this, as typically 12 years means something governmental or authoritative.

What Scripture is 11 11 in the Bible?

11:11 refers to Jeremiah 11:11. Although this isn’t about the number eleven, it can directly influence how we think about the number eleven.

In this verse, Jeremiah warns that something terrible and horrible is headed towards the people, as a punishment and result of them sinning against God.

No matter what they do, he warns, they will not be able to escape this awful threat. In the King James translation of the Bible, the verse reads as the following: “Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”

What does the Number 11:11 mean in the Bible?

There is no explicit mention, spiritual meaning or biblical meaning attached to the number 11:11 in the Bible. While the Bible does sometimes use numbers symbolically, there’s no widely accepted interpretation or significance given to the number 11:11 specifically. It’s biblical meaning may be interpreted by the context and the person rather than a literal meaning.

That being said, some people attach personal or spiritual significance to seeing recurring numbers like 11:11, outside of a specifically Biblical context. This is often tied to numerology or other spiritual practices, rather than traditional Christian theology or Biblical exegesis. It’s also worth noting that the concept of “11:11” as a time on a digital clock would not have been relevant in the biblical period, as they did not measure time in this way.

11:11 could be interpreted as a call to spiritual awakening, a reminder to focus on positive thoughts or a sign that you are connected with your higher divine purpose. Repetition is used in the Bible to teach a few things.

  1. Emphasis: When something is repeated in the Bible, it’s often to place emphasis on that particular point or idea. This is similar to how we might repeat ourselves when we want to stress the importance of something.
  2. Memorability: In ancient times, many of these stories and lessons were passed down orally. Repetition makes the lessons more memorable, and thus easier to recite and pass on to others. Eternal life for example is repeated numerous times to give us an understanding of it.
  3. Symbolism: Repetition can also be symbolic, especially when it comes to numbers. For example, the number seven is often associated with divine completeness or perfection in the Bible, and its repeated usage emphasizes this symbolism.
  4. Clarification: Sometimes, an idea or event is repeated with slight variations to provide different perspectives or to clarify its meaning.

It’s important to interpret repetition in its appropriate context, considering both the immediate text and the broader themes and teachings of the Bible. Biblical scholars often use a method called “exegesis,” which involves a deep, careful analysis of the text, to interpret such devices.

However, always remember to be cautious and critical when considering non-biblical interpretations or meanings attached to scripture. If you’re looking for a specific meaning in the Bible, it can be helpful to consult with a trusted religious leader or a scholarly commentary.

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About the author

Lucas is a former worship pastor and Hillsong College graduate (2005). He has spoken at churches, conferences and worship events and loves inspiring people to be more than just a Sunday service-goer. He founded 15 Degrees NE and is one of our leading authors.

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