Significance of Number 10 in the Bible
Laban, the father-in-law and uncle of Jacob changed Jacob’s wages ten times. “yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times..” Genesis 31:7
Jesus healed ten lepers. Of the ten only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. The one who return was a Samaritan. Luke 17:12-19
The Ten Plagues of Egypt
The Israelite people were slaves in Egypt. God called upon Moses to go to Pharaoh and request he set free the people of Israel.
Moses and his brother, Aaron, approached Pharaoh and demanded he set the Israelite slaves free.
When the Pharaoh refused to do so, God imposed ten plagues upon Egypt.
It was not until the tenth and final plague that the Pharaoh finally let the people of Israel go.
“The Seventh Plague” 1823 Painter: John Martin. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The stories of the plagues of Egypt are told by Jews, Christians and Muslims, though they have different versions in parts of the story.
The Ten Plagues:
|Blood||Exodus 7:14-25 The water of the river Nile turned into blood, killing all fish and water life.|
|Frogs||Exodus 8:1-8 Invasion of frogs absolutely everywhere.|
|Gnats||Exodus 8:16-19 Gnats covering man and beast.|
|Wild animals or flies||Exodus 8:20-30 Swarms of flies or wild animals harming people and wild stock.|
|Disease on live stock||Exodus 9:1-7 All of the cattle of Egyptians died, but of the people of Israel not one died.|
|Boils||Exodus 9:8-12 Boils breaking out on man and beast through the land of Egypt.|
|Hail storms||Exodus 9:13-35 There was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail.|
|Locusts||Exodus 10:1-20 Locusts covered the face of the land, so that no one could see the land.|
|Darkness||Exodus 10:21-29 Thick darkness filled the land of Egypt for three days. People could not see one another, nor did any rise from his place.At that time the Egyptian believed in the sun god, Ra.This plague seems to demonstrate the power of the God of the Israelites.|
|Death||Exodus chapter 11 and 12 The Angle of Death killed the first-born in every family of Egypt.God told Moses that the Israelites would be spared if they marked their doorpost with blood from a lamb.The Angle of Death passed every home marked with lamb’s blood on the doorpost, sparing all of the Israelite first-borns.|
The Ten Commandments
“The Ten Commandments” Painter: Lucas Cranach the Elder (in the Town hall of Wittenberg)
After the Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt, they started their long journey through the wilderness. Their goal was Canaan, the Promised Land.
When they reached Mount Sinai, Moses went up on the mountain. While on the Mount Sinai, Moses received the Ten Commandments and other laws from God.
The Christian Bible, The Torah, and the Quran all refer to Moses. Moses and all the laws he received are of great significance to the Jews.
The Muslims believe Moses to be a profit.
The Ten Commandments given to Moses are important in the Christian faith.
“Moses and God” 1868 João Zeferino da Costa
I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make yourself an idol.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of God.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Honor your father and mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not steal.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his workers, or his cattle, or anything that is your neighbor’s
The Lord made a covenant to Abraham promising to give his descendants ten nations:
The land of the Ken’ites, the Ken’izzites, the Kad’monites, the Hettites, the Per’izzites, the Reph’aim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Gir’gashites and the Jeb’usites. Genesis 15:19
The Parable of the Ten Maidens (Virgins)
” Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
But at midnight there was a cry, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out and meet him.”
Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.”
But the wise replied, “Perhaps there will not be enough for us and you; go rather to the dealer and buy for yourselves.”
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
Afterwards the other maidens came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.”
Watch therefore, for you do not know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13
“Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins” 1822 Painter: William Blake. Tate Gallery, London
Parable of the Ten Pounds
“A nobleman went into a far country to receive kingly power and the return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds and said to them, “Trade these till I come.”
When he returned, having received kingly power, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading.
The first came before him, saying, “Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.”
And he said to him, “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.”
And the second came, saying, “Lord, your pound has made five pounds.” And he said to him, “And you are to be over five cities.”
Then another came to him saying, “Lord, here is your pound, which I kept and laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.”
He said to him, “I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow?
Why did you not put the money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?
And he said to those who stood by, “Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.”
And they said to him, “Lord, he has ten pounds!”
“I tell you, that everyone who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Luke 19:12-26