What Does the Number 18 Mean in the Bible

Last updated on February 8th, 2022 at 06:23 pm

Looking for the Biblical Meaning of the Number 18?

What does the number 18 mean in the bible?

In the bible the number 18 was written using the two Hebrew letters, Yod and Chet. Yod means 1 and Chet means 8. This signifies the outworking of a fence, which brings men into bondage or oppression. Eighteen is the number of oppression or bondage, this can be spiritual in nature (most likely) or physical in nature.

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The Number 18 Pictograph

Biblical numerology always has multiple layers to it. We look at what the words mean, what their pictures mean and where they are found in scripture.

The number 18 is CHAI or Life, and if often thought of as a good thing. In Judaism, they would give gifts in multiples of 18 as a sign of good luck. Of course in Christianity, there is no such thing as good luck. Life however is a great sign, but this life may be the result of perseverance and battling through something that is meant to oppress.

Gathering Meaning of 18 From the Bible

Often in the bible when a word is used for the very first time that gives a strong indication as to its meaning. We call this precedence. This becomes increasingly true if the same meaning is given further into the story.

Here are times that 18 is prominent in the bible and the meaning

  1. The 18th time Abram is mentioned in Genesis 12:18 it is where his wife was in bondage in the house of pharoh.
  2. The most quoted or referenced Old Testament passage found in the New Testament is Psalm 110:1. It is referenced no less than 18 times (Matthew 22:44, 26:64; Mark 12:36, 14:62, 16:19; Luke 20:42 – 43, 22:69; Acts 2:34 – 35; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1 and Hebrews 1:3,13, 8:1,10:12 – 13,12:2).
  3. The 18th time Ahraham is mentioned in Genesis 18:19 the Lord speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah who were in bondage to sin.
  4. The 18th time Israel in mentioned is found in Genesis 46:8, and this is the beginning of Egyptian bondage.
  5. In the period preceding Israel’s first human king (1398 to 1050 B.C.), a total number of 18 people served as Judges. They were Joshua, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Barak, Eli, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jephthah, Samson, Samuel, Ibzan, Jair, Elon, Abdon and Samuel’s two sons Joel and Abiah.
  6. The 18th time Jesus is mentioned in the gospel of Luke is in Luke 5:19, this is where a man oppressed by paralysis was trying to see Jesus for healing

And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, should she not have been released from this bond on the sabbath day?

Luke 13:16

An Alternative Thought on 18

Even though there are multiple reasons to believe that 18 is about bondage, there is also a case to be made that 18 could be about being alive or coming out of that bondage. Seeing the bigger reason for the bondage. Often bondage or oppression is a tool used to sharpen our skills, create in us an overcomer and turn our hearts back to God.

There is a type of bondage is mentioned 18 times in Scripture. In Exodus 20, the chapter that presents God’s ten commandments, the bondage is in the context of the first commandment.

After the word “bondage” God commands the children of Israel not to worship other gods (Exodus 20:2 – 3).

Serving other gods places people into spiritual bondage under Satan and his demons, which God punishes with physical bondage (see Judges 2:7, 10 – 12, 14) in order for people to reconsider their ways and repent.

The thought of 18 meaning simply bondage or oppression may be true, but I believe it is in the context of pushing through that oppression in order to find life.

What Do I Do If I am Seeing the Number 18?

If you are seeing the number 18 a lot in your life, it would be good to take a pause and ask why. It is likely that God is trying to highlight something to you that may have you in bondage, or something is coming that will try and put you in bondage.

IF you are already there it is time to get your freedom, identify the root of the bondage and break it off. If you are coming close to entering some kind of bondage, either relationally or spiritually be aware of that and get more clarity.

Perhaps God is warning you of the inevitable like He did with Joshua and the 7 years of famine. Take heed and prepare.

He may also be warning you to go no further in a contract or a relationship because it will lead to bondage.

He may also be showing you that yes you are going to enter a difficult season, but the perseverance and overcoming ability is within you to get through it.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9 
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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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2 years ago

Thank you for this article regarding the Biblical number 18. The Lord shows me numbers on a regular basis, but this week upon awaking from a dream, I heard a voice saying, “18 days”. According to your article, there are different ways to understand the application of the Biblical meaning to my life/situation, and honestly, any one of them could apply. I have more study and praying to do, but the Bible references that you site in the article will be valuable in my efforts to understand what I believe was given me to ponder.