Is Number Thirteen Good or Evil?

Number Thirteen

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many associate the number 13 with rebellion and anarchy and bad luck. The Bible has a different perspective. Beliefs and customs around the number 13 range from the fantastic to the impossible. Including Sarah Winchester’s Mystery Mansion. Here are some positive and negative theories on Number 13.

Fear Of The Number 13

The fear of the number 13 is known as Triskaidekaphobia and was an infliction of many famous people. Winston Churchill refused to sit in row 13 in an aircraft. Both, Napoleon and Christopher Columbus feared the number 13.

A Norse myth started the theory that number 13 was unlucky. 12 gods were having a dinner party. The trickster god, Loki, the uninvited 13th guest, arranged for Hoor to shoot Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow, starting the rumour that number 13 was an ill omen.

In ancient cultures the number 13 represented femininity and fertility. This came from women having 13 menstrual cycles in a year.

Savoy Hotel, London

Make a booking for a table of 13 guests at the Savoy Hotel, London, and they will set the table for 14. Kasper, a three-foot sculptured cat will be in the 14th guest. They will serve him all the same dishes as the other guests. Kasper has lived at the hotel since 1920.

13 full moons in a year was considered to be the herald of bad luck. A typical century has around 37 years, which have 13 full moons. So, 37 years of bad luck in 100 years.

A hangman’s noose is definitely unlucky for some. It has 13 knots tied in the rope.

Friday 13 Paranoia

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the paranoia of Friday 13th. Commercial enterprises have turned black Friday into a massive bonanza, thanks to the Internet. Bargains abound and it is a win win situation for both buyer and seller.

Friday and the number 13th became connected in the 19th century. It was a day that was said to be inauspicious, but for what reason, no one is certain.

Christian authorities began a campaign, branding the goddesses of Friday 13th as being wicked. Those who worshipped her were proclaimed witches, with nasty results.  

The attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II occurred on Friday 13th.

Sarah Winchester, wife of firearms magnate, William Wirt Winchester, is among the most outlandish believers of superstitious number 13.  

Hotels, companies and manufacturers avoid using the number 13.

A devil’s dozen, or a baker’s dozen is 13, but whether that is good luck or bad, no one is sure.

King Solomon took 7 years to build the Temple, but 13 years to build his own house. He may have been the wisest man around, but he had 700 concubines and 300 wives. Hardly the actions of a wise man. His foreign wives turned his heart away from worshipping the one true God. His passion was horses, gold and women. Sounds as bad as unlucky number 13.

Biblical Perspective

Meanings are given to numbers in numerology. One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight and Forty are just a few of the number of associations in the Bible. There are many books written on numerology and are worthy of a deeper study.

Many people violently object to saying that number 13 has positive association when it comes to the Bible. But, there were 13 pillars in Moses’ Tabernacle. Five pillars at the gate of the Outer Court. The Holy Place had four pillars and five pillars stood at the entrance to the most Holy Place.

There were 12 tribes in Israel, plus the priests, making 13 groups.

Twelve disciples, plus Jesus makes 13 seated at the Last Supper.

There were 12 male judges in Israel. Deborah was a female, and the 13th judge.

Number 13 And Change

In the Bible, the number13 signifies change. The beginning of something new.

Abraham circumcised his son, Ishmael, aged 13. A Jewish boy matures at 13 and becomes Bar Mitzvah, a full member of the Jewish faith.

Haman wrote orders to kill the Jews on the 13th day of the 1st month. The executions were to take place on the 13th day of the 12th month. Instead, the Jews defended themselves and defeated those who had murder in their heart. The Jews entered a new era of freedom, thanks to Queen Esther.

Jeremiah was 13-years old when he began his impressive ministry.

Joseph spent 13 years in slavery, before becoming second in command in Egypt.

13 times on the 7th day, the people circled the city of Jericho and the impossible happened. The walls tumbled down. Only Rahab and her family were saved.

Other Number 13 Associations

King Arthur had 12 knights at the Round Table, making 13 seated.

The American seal has several 13s, including 13 stars, and the chest shield has 13 stripes, representing the first 13 colonies.

In astronomy, there are 13 constellations.

Medieval texts listed 13 Treasures of Britain.

13 Tuesdays of St. Anthony, involves praying to the saint every Tuesday for 13 weeks.

In Iran, they dedicate the 13th day of each new year to spending time outdoors and a festival of playing pranks.

France considers number 13 as lucky.

Italy considers number 13 to be lucky in the football pools.

United States Colgate College considers number 13 to be a good omen. 13 men founded the college on 13 dollars, saying 13 prayers. Their address is 13 Oak Drive. Their Senior Honor Society has 13 men and 13 women. The satirical newspaper, The Monthly Rag, had a slogan, “13 Writers, with 13 stories, after 13 beers”.

Taylor Swift considered 13 her lucky number. She often performed with the number 13 written on her hand.

Associations with the number 13 is up to the individual. It is all in the eye of the beholder. Like Sarah Winchester, it can be a mystery, or an obsession.

Every woman is unique and has a unique voice in her orb of influence. Memories, superstitions, obsessions, or dreams should not stop her from living for today.

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