The Biblical meaning of the Number 2
Are you curious about what does the number 2 mean in the bible?
In the bible, the number 2 has, ironically two different meanings. The first meaning is about unity and reflection, like a mirror or two sides of the same coin. It involves the idea of a witness, a pair or two becoming one. The second meaning is about division or differences and centers around the idea of a choice or a duality in options. The imagery used for this would be life and death, patterns of separation and a delineation between two halves of the same thing.
So what does it mean then? Which one is it for me?
Great questions. And as with all biblical numerology the answer is found in the context of the surrounding situation or presentation of the number. Where are you seeing the number 2, how often, what is the context and what is happening in your life that ties back to the number?
Table Of Contents
- The Biblical meaning of the Number 2
- Origins – The meaning of the number 2
- The Number 2 as a Blessing
- The Number 2 as a Division
- How Do I Know What God is Trying to Say to Me with the Number 2?
- How Do I Apply the Context?
You may also like – What does the number 4 mean in the Bible?
Origins – The meaning of the number 2
We will dive into how to figure out what God is trying to say to you through the number 2 in this article but to get to that point we first need to build a case for the meanings behind the number.
God is always intentional. This is especially true when it comes to the bible and the layers of meaning that are built into the scriptures. More often than not the surface meaning is only the beginning of what God is trying to communicate to us. This couldn’t be more the case than when it comes to biblical numbers and their meaning.
The Number Nines Pictograph (Meaning in Hebrew)
Numbers in the Hebrew language that was used to write the bible are conveyed as images, and also have double meanings as letters in the alphabet.
In the case of the number 2, it looks like this.
|2||ב (bet)||(shnayim) שְׁנַיִם||(shtayim) שְׁתַּיִם|
This image represents beht or Beth which symbolizes a tent, a house or a blessing which is barukh/berakhah in Hebrew which begins with the letter beht. To bless literally means to multiply something…make it bigger. The first letter in the bible is this letter, as it also means “in” and the imagery is of a growing house.
Shtayim(f) and Shnayim(m) mean divide, difference, oppose, discern, judge, witness, conflict blessing, abundance, building, couple, dying to self. Conext of the word always determines the meaning. Ideally two should mirror one, meaning that a pair works better than a single like two ears, two eyes and two people like a marriage.
The Number 2 as a Blessing
As with most numbers, there are multiple meanings to the number 2 in the bible. Context determines the meaning. First, we will look at the idea that the number two represents a blessing, a multiplication or a sense of being complete.
The Number Two in the Beginning
God established this idea of a pair (house) with Adam and Eve. He said that it was not good for a man to be alone, so he created a partnership. This multiplication provided direction (two points make a line), and a double witness so that the will of God can be confirmed.
This initial idea was also echoed in the father and the son. God and Jesus. It has always been a partnership, a reflection and a multiplication. The idea of doing the things of God alone was never the full intention of God. Yes God uses a person, gives them a vision and a purpose and destiny but the fullness and outworking of those things is always done through community and connection to other people.
The Meaning of the Number 2 continues in Scripture
As the story moves forward from Genesis we see a continuation of this idea that the partnership of 2 people is critical. We see this with Adam and Eve, Joshua and Caleb, Moses and Aaron, Ruth and Naomi and Jesus and God.
This idea begins to shift into other areas of scripture as well when it comes to ideas and symbolism. There are two great commandments, two houses of Israel, two sticks, two olive branches, two silver trumpets, two leavened loaves, two cherubim that guard the ark, two good spies, and two witnesses.
Some of these things are seen as opposites, but it is that exact idea that provides the multiplication or compliment. The thing that is opposite is meant for a blessing, the two things together bring the completeness required to experience the blessing.
The Number 2 as a Division
The other meaning for the number two in the bible comes as a division. But rather than being two different things, its one thing seen from two different perspectives. This bears it self out in a number of ways.
- One the second day of creation God DIVIDES the waters into upper and lower.
- The second chapter in scripture reveals two trees one representing life and one death.
- Two sides of the same coin, connected but different
- Heaven and earth are meant to reflect or mirror one another in oneness.
- God created two covenants, to establish direction and truth. A progression of revelation
Two people can be the Reflection of each other in a Conflict
When looking for biblical meaning, often throughout scripture, we see two people that are tied together but opposite of each other. Examples of this would be Sarah and Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Israel, David and Saul and Saul and Paul. These stories all have a significant impact on how we see God and what we know about his character. He uses the narrative to show us the differences between our choices and the consequences of our actions.
The Duality of Man
The greatest example of this in the Bible is probably the concept of the duality of man. This article is not centered on this topic, as it is a big topic, but it bears mentioning here. It’s origins are aligned with the number 2 and it’s meaning in the bible.
In the garden when Adam sinned the idea of this duality in man begun. The central concept is that there is two people living on the inside of us. Paul echos this in Romans chapter 7
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.Romans 7:14
He echos this idea of a duality in a man in Colossians
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.Colossians 3:9-11
His central point is that there are two sides to each person. The sinful side and the redeemed side, and the war inside of us rages between them.
When you are looking for meaning in the number 2 this could be part of what you are looking for. There is an identification of the darkness within us and an urging to come into the light. Jesus continues to call us forward, out of our patterns of destruction and sin, and wants us to live in His peace, love and resurrection power.
How Do I Know What God is Trying to Say to Me with the Number 2?
Here as they say is the rub.
If you are seeing the number two in obvious places repeatedly then it would be worth looking into these meanings and seeing what the Spirit of God may be trying to say to you. Biblical meaning is a great place to start.
Here are some telltale signs that you should be paying attention to the number 2
- You see it in a dream
- You notice it on things when you are going about your day
- You see it in the time of day repeatedly
- Media, either online, social, TV or other
Typically we say that three times is a good amount to know that something is up. If you see the number three times through various circumstances then you may need to dig a little into what is happening. I also often feel my spirit move inside me when I see something that God is trying to use to get my attention. It’s not just seeing the thing but feeling something that connects that thing to you in a strong way.
This is especially true with dreams.
How Do I Apply the Context?
So if you know that God is trying to get your attention, and he is using the number 2, then it is time to apply the context to see if it is a multiplication and blessing thing, or a warning about conflict or division.
It’s hard to give a full answer here but we can definitely provide some guidance.
If you are seeing the number two connected to people in your life there is a strong possibility that that person is a David or a Saul in your situation. To figure out which one you can ask God for further confirmation. However, if some other symbol is used in conjunction with that person that will be your answer. If it is positive and has a light attached to it you may have found a partner, if it is negative you may want to reevaluate that relationship.
It doesn’t always necessarily mean that you eliminate that person from your life. Remember that David honoured Saul. It is about understanding what God is trying to tell you about them. Sometimes the opposite is required to shine the original. God may be using that person to highlight something in your life or to position you in a way for greater influence.
There are many stories of partnerships in the bible, and one of the strongest ones is of David and Johnathon. Their partnership and brotherhood were a representation of unity and love. Not only that, but also a showcase of preferring someone else and recognizing their calling and supporting that.
If you are seeing a person and the number 2 it could be that God is highlighting to you a person that you can trust, and work with. It may be that this person multiplies your effectiveness and you multiply theirs. If you believe this to be the case what other indications do you have to support that? Often signs and symbols will come together. These additional signs create the context you need to determine the message God is giving you.
You could also look at this as ministry or calling, essentially this is about how you are impacting other people through your giftings, calling and daily life. God will use the number 2 to remind you that His spirit is best experienced in community with other people, which may suggest you are trying to hard to do everything yourself.
He will also use the number 2 to showcase that sometimes the greatest breakthroughs are set up with the greatest roadblocks or conflicts. You can’t become an overcomer without something to overcome. If you are experiencing resistance, strife or confusion and then you are seeing the number 2, that would be a clear indication that God is reminding you to persevere, stay the course and overcome.
Create Your Boundaries
It is hard at times to remove people from your life. It can be hard because many people don’t enjoy conflict, but it can also be hard because you have to spend time with those people because you work with them or they are your family.
If you feel like you are seeing the number 2 because God is warning you about a divisive influence in your life you need to pause and reflect on how to best implement changes. Complete elimination may not be the best course of action, but it may also be what is required.
Either way adjusting the amount of influence that person has on your life is critical to align with what God is telling you. You may also need more information, and when you get to this point it is definitely worth asking God for clarity, and speaking with a trusted spiritual advisor.
As with most numbers in the bible, the number 2 has more than 1 meaning, and it really depends on the context. The symbol means a house or a in but the eventual meaning may have more to do with multiplication, blessing or division and opposite.
Prayer and reflection is often the best tool to find out exactly what it is that God is trying to say to you. He has your attention because you are reading this, now you just need to lean in a little more and see what it is that He is saying.
What does the Number 2 Mean in a Dream?
Dreams are funny things. Often there is so much going on that it is hard to separate the symbols and images and build meaning on them. Usually, they are connected to each other and require each other to really get to the central meaning.
In a dream, the number 2 will either mean more of that thing or less of that thing. As mentioned above it will be about blessing and multiplication through partnership or division and separation through partnership.
What does that mean?
The example we give is like Ruth and Rahab or like David and Saul. All of those characters are connected, partners…they are parts of the same story. But in Ruth and Rahab’s case, their partnership amplified each individual’s part in the story. They blessed each other.
In the case of David and Saul, they were opposite sides of the same coin, both kings, both anointed, but the outcomes differed significantly.
If God is showing you the number 2 in a dream the next question is why. Is it about someone you need more of or someone you need less of, and there will be a clue in the dream or outside of the dream that will confirm that for you.