Quiz about Sacred Numbers in Genesis
Quiz about Sacred Numbers in Genesis

Sacred Numbers in Genesis Trivia Quiz


Most of the numbers listed in the book of Genesis have a spiritual meaning to them. Genesis goes beyond just using 7, 12, and 40. It also uses multiples and divisions of sacred numbers. The NIV is used for this quiz.

A multiple-choice quiz by BigTriviaDawg. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
404,815
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
122
1. Chapter 5 of Genesis lists the 10 patriarchs from Adam to Noah and gives 3 numbers for each one telling the age of the first son, the remaining life, and total age at death, but these ages are far beyond a normal lifespan. So let's assume for this question we take these values as literal ages and we learn Adam lived for 930 years. Based on these figures, who is the LAST patriarch listed that could actually have been born during Adam's lifetime? (Gen 5, NIV) Hint

Noah's father Lamech
Noah's son Ham
Seth's grandson Kenan
Abraham

2. It is common knowledge that Methuselah was the oldest man listed in the Bible. Based on the chronology in Chapter 5 of Genesis, Methuselah would have died 1656 years after the creation of Adam. What else does Genesis say happens the same year as Methuselah's death? (Gen 5 and 6, NIV) Hint

His son Lamech also died
Khufu's pyramid is completed
Abraham is born
The great flood

3. In Chapter 7 we learn the floods raged for 40 days, but Noah had built a boat to survive the flood according to God's guidance. According to the Genesis text, exactly how long was Noah's family stuck on a floating petting zoo before stepping foot back on dry land? (Gen 7:11 and Gen 8:14-16) Hint

One year and 10 days
80 days
40 days
Unfortunately, Noah was eaten by the lions on level 2 of the ark

4. Here's one more question on the longevity of life. Noah's son Shem would have been 100 when he spent time on the ark. Shem then lived a really long time afterward. Based on the Genesis numbers, did Shem actually outlive Abraham? (Gen 11:11 NIV)

Yes
No

5. The number 7 is a special number in Genesis and pops up frequently. However, another lesser-known number is also considered special in relation to the patriarchs' ages, but it may take you a minute to think about it. Which number might this be? Hint

60
11
99
17

6. In Genesis chapter 23 Abraham's wife Sarah has died and the special number 400 (40 times 10) appears as the price for the field and cave in which he wishes to bury Sarah. In which unit of currency did Abraham pay the 400 units? (Gen 23:15) Hint

Heads of cattle
Shekels of silver
Bushels of wheat
Number of servants

7. In Chapter 32, Jacob sends gifts consisting of 200 goats, 200 ewes, 30 camels, 40 cows, and 20 donkeys to his brother Esau. Why does Jacob send such a lavish gift to his brother? (Gen 33 NIV) Hint

It was Esau's birthday.
In exchange for land to live on.
Repayment with interest for a loan.
Because Jacob stole Esau's birthright.

8. The number 12 is a special number throughout the Bible and is also the number of sons Jacob had. How many of the 12 sons were from Jacob's favorite wife, Rachel? (Gen 35 NIV)
Hint

Four
Two
Seven
Twelve

9. Joseph was clearly his father's favorite son, and if there was any doubt, his father had given him a fancy coat to prove it. On top of this, Joseph had told his brothers he had a special dream where all the brothers would bow down to him one day. So the brothers sold Joseph into slavery for 20 shekels of silver. How did they convince Jacob, the father, that Joseph died? (Gen 37 NIV) Hint

They acted like he was never with them.
They covered his fancy coat in animal blood.
They showed his father a fake grave.
They showed their father the cloak at the bottom of a cliff.

10. Towards the end of Genesis, Joseph has his father and brothers move to Egypt. In all, 70 of Jacob's descendants move to Egypt. In which fertile region does Pharaoh have Jacob's family settle down? (Gen 46:28 NIV) Hint

Goshen
Thebes
Alexandria
Memphis


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Chapter 5 of Genesis lists the 10 patriarchs from Adam to Noah and gives 3 numbers for each one telling the age of the first son, the remaining life, and total age at death, but these ages are far beyond a normal lifespan. So let's assume for this question we take these values as literal ages and we learn Adam lived for 930 years. Based on these figures, who is the LAST patriarch listed that could actually have been born during Adam's lifetime? (Gen 5, NIV)

Answer: Noah's father Lamech

The ages listed in the patriarch list are all sacred numbers. Of course, it is possible for a God who created everything to also extend the life of these 10 figures to any age He desired, but either way, there is a pattern to all 30 numbers with them all being related to either the numbers 7, 60, or a combination of both.

However, it is a bit complex because either total years or total months are considered. Sixty months is equal to 5 years, resulting in intervals of 5 being used at times. So, if we take a look at the case of Adam's age at Seth's birth, you could take 60 years times 2 plus 60 months times 2 which equals 130 years.

Some of these equations get complicated, but there are several great resources online that explain each one. Another interesting fact about the 30 ages listed is they all end in 0, 2, 5, 7, or 9.

This leaves out half of the possible numbers! This would be like flipping "heads" 30 times in a row. There is definitely a pattern here. Either God or the composer of Genesis (or both!) has a love for symmetry.
2. It is common knowledge that Methuselah was the oldest man listed in the Bible. Based on the chronology in Chapter 5 of Genesis, Methuselah would have died 1656 years after the creation of Adam. What else does Genesis say happens the same year as Methuselah's death? (Gen 5 and 6, NIV)

Answer: The great flood

Lamech died 5 years before Methuselah. Based on the figures of Chapter 5 of Genesis, it is easy to tabulate there being 1656 years occurring between Adam's birth and the Great Flood, as well as Methuselah's death. Interestingly, there are three versions of the patriarch list.

The Hebrew version is the one we find in the Bible, while there is also a Samaritan list and a Septuagint list. Since these lists have different ages for births and deaths, the date of the Great Flood is different in each list.

The Samaritan list has the flood occurring 1307 years after Adam's birth and the Setuigent has it occurring 2242 years after Adam's birth. The Samaritan version actually has Noah as the longest-lived person at 950 years, compared to Methuselah who "only" lived for 720 years.

The oldest copies of the Septuagint actually had Methuselah surviving 20 years past the Great Flood! Makes me wonder why Noah didn't invite grandpa Methuselah on the boat with him, but maybe hundreds of years of family drama interfered...
3. In Chapter 7 we learn the floods raged for 40 days, but Noah had built a boat to survive the flood according to God's guidance. According to the Genesis text, exactly how long was Noah's family stuck on a floating petting zoo before stepping foot back on dry land? (Gen 7:11 and Gen 8:14-16)

Answer: One year and 10 days

Yes, it did rain for 40 days, but then it flooded for another 150 days and then it took another 150 days for the water to subside. Both Genesis 7:11 and Gen 8:14 are very specific on exactly when Noah entered and left the ark and taken together it is one year and 10 days. Noah entered on the 17th day of the second month of his 600th year and left the ark on the 27th day of the second month of his 601st year.

Interestingly, the famous dove that did not come back, was released on Noah's 601st birthday and Noah could see the ground was dry at this point...but he waited another 57 days before he left the ark! I can see his wife asking, "Can we PLEASE get off this boat already?" To which Noah might have replied, "Alas, my dear, God said we are not allowed to leave this ark until it is tidy." Incidentally, 57 is a sacred number because it is 10 times 5 plus 7.
4. Here's one more question on the longevity of life. Noah's son Shem would have been 100 when he spent time on the ark. Shem then lived a really long time afterward. Based on the Genesis numbers, did Shem actually outlive Abraham? (Gen 11:11 NIV)

Answer: Yes

Based on the Bible this is true! Shem is listed as living for an additional 500 years after the flood and would have died 2156 years after Adam's birth. Abraham would have been born 1948 years after Adam's birth and proceed to live for 175 years placing his death at 2123 years after Adam's birth, which is 23 years before Shem's listed death! Shem would have outlived 8 of the 9 generations after him with only his great-grandson Eber outliving him.

Interestingly, both the Samaritan list and the Septuegent list have the time distance from the flood to Abraham's calling on the scale of over 1000 years as opposed to the 427 years listed in the Hebrew Bible, which of course would mean Shem would have been long dead by the time of Abraham. One other fascinating number value of the age lists of the patriarchs is when the main patriarchs' total ages from Adam to Moses are added together the total is exactly 12,600 years, which is similar to the apocalyptic Revelation in the New Testament seen in chapters 11 and 12 as 1,260 days.

There are 12,600 days in 35 years, which is half of 70 years, so this also has some special significance. For further information search online for the "Day-year principle".
5. The number 7 is a special number in Genesis and pops up frequently. However, another lesser-known number is also considered special in relation to the patriarchs' ages, but it may take you a minute to think about it. Which number might this be?

Answer: 60

All of the first 10 patriarchs have ages that are related to the numbers 60, 7, or both. The number 60 was also special to the Babylonians so there is a connection there for scholars to argue who decided it was a perfect number first. In our modern day, we still use the base of 60 for the seconds and minutes on our clocks.

Another similarity for the specialness of 7 and 60 is based on the sun and the moon. The moon takes 28 days to fully wax and wane, and the ancients considered the earth to take 360 days to orbit the sun. During the time of Genesis, astronomers knew there were 365 days in a year but they simply made a year 360 days and every 6 years added an extra 30 day month to the calendar.
6. In Genesis chapter 23 Abraham's wife Sarah has died and the special number 400 (40 times 10) appears as the price for the field and cave in which he wishes to bury Sarah. In which unit of currency did Abraham pay the 400 units? (Gen 23:15)

Answer: Shekels of silver

A biblical shekel of silver is thought to be about 11 to 14 grams - or about the weight of a US half dollar coin. If the weight of the shekel is correct then the field and cave were sold for 4.5 to 5.5 kg of silver. Some scholars speculate the true value of the 400 shekels to be around the order of $100,000 in modern value. By comparison, the typical unskilled laborer in ancient Canaan could expect to earn about 10 to 15 shekels a year in wages.

In the Genesis dialogue that occurs between the Hittite owner of the field and Abraham, it is very clear that the 400 shekels is only a trifling sum of money for both men to the point where the seller tries hard to simply give the land to Abraham for free.
7. In Chapter 32, Jacob sends gifts consisting of 200 goats, 200 ewes, 30 camels, 40 cows, and 20 donkeys to his brother Esau. Why does Jacob send such a lavish gift to his brother? (Gen 33 NIV)

Answer: Because Jacob stole Esau's birthright.

In Genesis 27 we learn that the twins Jacob and Esau's father is dying, and their mother Rebekah really wants Jacob to secure the birthright by dubious means if necessary. The father, Isaac, is tricked and Esau is furious so Jacob flees and spends the next 20 years with his soon-to-be father-in-law. Even though 20 years have passed, Jacob is concerned his brother might still want to kill him.

As for our numerical pattern, we have two cases of 40 times 4, a 40, and a half of a 40. The 30 is one half of a 60 so it fits with our sacred number theme.

In the passage, Jacob also gives 20 male goats, 20 rams, and 10 bulls. The 20 years Jacob has spent were broken down into two sets of 7 years (7 for each wife) and two sets of 3 to total 20 years. In the end, Esau is just happy to see his brother and says he already has plenty of livestock!
8. The number 12 is a special number throughout the Bible and is also the number of sons Jacob had. How many of the 12 sons were from Jacob's favorite wife, Rachel? (Gen 35 NIV)

Answer: Two

Out of the 12 sons and one daughter, only the very last two sons were from Jacob's favorite wife, Rachel. The other 10 were from a combination of 3 women. His first wife Leah and both Leah and Rachel's maidservants provided the 10 sons and 1 daughter. Leah and Rachel's father, Laban, was a bit of a swindler and tricked Jacob into working 14 years for him for his daughter's hand in marriage. Leah was the older sister but apparently not as attractive to Jacob as the younger Rachel.

By the time Rachel birthed Joseph, Leah had already birthed 6 sons and a daughter and the two maidservants had produced another 2 sons each. Sadly, Rachel dies in childbirth with the last child Benjamin.

The number 12 is frequently mentioned throughout the Bible both as the 12 tribes of Israel, which consist of all of the sons of Jacob except Reuben and Joseph.

Instead, Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh replace the brothers as the actual tribes. Of course, there are also the 12 apostles.
9. Joseph was clearly his father's favorite son, and if there was any doubt, his father had given him a fancy coat to prove it. On top of this, Joseph had told his brothers he had a special dream where all the brothers would bow down to him one day. So the brothers sold Joseph into slavery for 20 shekels of silver. How did they convince Jacob, the father, that Joseph died? (Gen 37 NIV)

Answer: They covered his fancy coat in animal blood.

The brothers covered the coat with goat blood and showed it to their father Jacob and asked if he recognized it. (Gen 37:31-32 NIV) Originally the brothers wanted to murder Joseph, but the oldest brother Reuben convinced them it would be better just to throw Joseph in a cistern where Reuben could rescue him later.

The other brothers agreed, but then sold Joseph before Reuben could get back to rescue Joseph. The 20 shekels are half of the sacred number 40. Joseph is 30 when he rises to head of pharaoh's household which is half of 60.

Then Joseph predicts the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. So once again we see several instances of sacred numbers. One other example happens when Joseph gives his brother Benjamin 5 times the amount of food he gives his other brothers.
10. Towards the end of Genesis, Joseph has his father and brothers move to Egypt. In all, 70 of Jacob's descendants move to Egypt. In which fertile region does Pharaoh have Jacob's family settle down? (Gen 46:28 NIV)

Answer: Goshen

Goshen is the prime Egyptian real estate listed in Genesis for raising livestock. The sacred number here is 70, which of course is 7 times 10. Jacob's 12 sons and their families account for a total of 70 people once all are counted. The 49th chapter of Genesis finishes with Jacob's passing. Jacob lived 147 years, which of course is a factor of 7 (70 times 2 plus 7). Joseph had his father embalmed in the Egyptian style and they had a period of 40 days of mourning as was customary for Egyptian royalty. We are told at the end of Genesis that Jacob was buried in the ancestral property bought by Abraham for Sarah's tomb. Joseph dies soon after in the last chapter of Genesis, and he finishes his days at 110 years old.
Source: Author BigTriviaDawg

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