What Does the Number 8 Mean and Signify in the Bible?

If you have spent any time in Bible study, chances are you have come across the number 8 several times. So what does the number 8 mean and signify in the Bible?

Both the Old Testament and New Testament contain several references to the number 8. There are many theories surrounding the numerology of prophecy, but we will stick to what we see in the text of Scripture.


Biblical Meaning of the Number 8

Scholars have spent significant time understanding the meaning of numbers in the Word of God

The number 8 usually represents a new beginning. It is often linked to a brighter future, new horizons, and a new life in general. In the historic Christian Church, the number 8 also represents Jesus’ resurrection.

I also discovered something that I didn’t know before: many church baptismal fonts are eight-sided to signify a fresh start and spiritual life. Now I will be counting font sides in every church I visit!

I clearly remember my baptism at 23 years old on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday. It was the beginning of a new era and work of the Lord in my life.


What Does the 8th Day Represent in the Bible?

The eighth day is the day associated with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension. It is also the number of a new beginning and the dawn of the new creation that appears for the first time in the Book of Genesis. 

The eighth day has long been associated with the number of new beginnings, namely the eternal life that God alone provides.

The eighth day also held a special meaning for the children of Israel as the day that every male child was circumcised. Jewish traditions of circumcision continue today, alongside Christians across the globe: 

This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring” (Genesis 17:10-12).

Circumcision on the eighth day is also mentioned by the Apostle Paul: “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).  

The shape of the baptismal font then reflects this “circumcision of the heart” and the new birth of water and the Holy Spirit that takes place in baptism.


Where Does the Number 8 Appear in the Bible?

The biblical meaning of number 8 begins in Genesis and goes into the New Testament. Here are the most significant and familiar occurrences of the number 8.

1. The Great Flood

The number eight recalls Noah’s ark and how eight people were saved from the Great Flood. “When God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water” (1 Peter 3:20).

Genesis chapter 6 tells us, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:11-13). 

The story of Noah reveals our Lord God tearing down the corruption of the world and starting over with only eight faithful people. A new covenant, a new order, and a bright future.

rain, weep

2. Jesus’ Resurrection

Sunday is the first day of the week. It was the eighth day after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection on Easter Sunday, He appeared to Mary Magdalene and His disciples a total of eight times before His ascension.

  • Mark 16:9 – “Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.” 
  • Matthew 28:9-10 – “And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
  • Luke 24:13-15 – “That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”
  • John 20:19 – “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'” 
  • Mark 16:14 – “Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”
  • John 21:1 – “After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias.”
  • Matthew 28:16-17 – “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.”
  • Acts 1:3 – “He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”
Jesus wept

3. Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles celebrated by the Israelites (and is still celebrated to this day) takes place over the course of seven days. 

On the day after, another feast is celebrated, known as the Last Great Day, so all in all, this makes for an eight-day celebration.

Jesus spoke on this Last Great Day: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37).

delphi greece

4. The Beatitudes

The number 8 is also associated with the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are a set of eight statements attributed to Jesus. Each of these statements contains a blessing for a particular group of people. 

The eight Beatitudes appear in chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew. Four of the Beatitudes are also listed in the Gospel of Luke 6:22.

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
  • “Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land” (Matthew 5:4).
  • “Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:5).
  • “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill” (Matthew 5:6).
  • “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
  • “Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
  • “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
  • “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
bible study

Bottom Line

Numbers can contain significant meaning in the Bible. However, nothing is more significant than the perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sins. God bless your study time.

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About the Author

Donna is a sought-after speaker, multi-published author, and Bible teacher. Her path from being unchurched to becoming passionate about sharing Jesus was not easy. Read about her God-breathed journey: “From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker.” If you want to send Donna a quick message, then visit her here.

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