The Hidden Meaning of Number 1209 min read

Number 120

The Hidden Meaning of Number 1209 min read

The hidden meaning of number 120 is one of the many themes that flow through the Bible. The Bible was written by around 40 different people across 1,500 years. Bible themes prove the uniqueness of this library of 66 books. It is not just a collection of disconnected events, for it reveals the purpose of Almighty God..

The Holy Spirit was the real author. The Bible is a well-crafted narrative, where the end is known from the beginning, Isaiah 46:10. The ending is where all evil is thoroughly conquered.

Hidden Meaning of Numbers

Many cultures give numbers spiritual meanings and the Bible is no exception. Numbers give revelation of God’s awesome intent and His divine design. It is like a secret code that adds additional proof that the Holy Spirit inspired the book, revealing the purpose for man, which is to worship the Creator.

First Mention

The law of ‘first mention’ says we must find the first place the word, doctrine, or theme is mentioned in order to better understand what is being revealed. Using this principle, we find the number 120 represents the end of all flesh. It meant judgment and a divinely appointed period of probation. It also pointed to God’s awesome power and His infinite mercy.

Man had an extended life span at that time. Methuselah, the longest living man, died just before the Flood, at a whopping 969 years. However, mankind had sunk to such a low level of depravity, God said He would blot out man, whom He had created, from the face of the land, Genesis 6:6. Being an ever-merciful God He gave man 120 years to repent, Genesis 6:3. The Jewish Talmud states that was the time it took Noah to build the Ark. Only 8 souls heeded God’s warning out of around 174 million. It will be same at the end of this age. Few out of 8 billion people will heed God’s call.

Being an ever-merciful God He gave man 120 years to repent. The Jewish Talmud states that is the time it took Noah to build the Ark. Only 8 souls heeded God’s warning out of 174 million. It will be same at the end of this age.

The number 120 is a continuation of the major theme which began in the Garden of Eden. Disobey God’s word and you will perish, for the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. However, God is merciful and offers the way of salvation, John 14:6. God will judge a sinful world in His appointed time, Acts 17:31, when Christ will return as the righteous Judge, 2 Timothy 4:1.

More Hidden Meaning of Number 120

The Hebrew people were in bondage in Egypt for 400 years, used as slave labour. Only the tenth and deadly plague finally convinced Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people go. It is estimated Moses led around 2 million people out, but the Bible only records the number of 600,000 men, Exodus 12:37. They were the ones who would go to war. That number is 5,000 x 120. Five being the number of grace; spiritual life; blood; and atonement.

Pharoah then had a wake-up call. He was losing his massive economic force. He ordered an army of 600 elite chariots to chase after the departing Hebrews, who were on foot. 600 is 120 x 5.

The Bible says God hardened Pharoah’s heart, Genesis 14:8. God allowed this to happen, as He needed to prove to the Hebrews that He alone was their deliverer. The parting of the Red Sea should have convinced the Hebrews.

Moses had lived in luxury as a son of Pharoah for 40 years. He then spent the next 40 years tending his father-in-law’s sheep in the backside of the desert, Genesis 3:1. Called of God he returned to Egypt and led the captives out of captivity. They ended up taking 40 years to cover what should have been an 11-day journey, Deuteronomy 1:2, because of their lack of faith.

Number 120 in Numbers

We find the number 120 in the Tabernacle of Moses, the holy place where God placed His name. Moses was given detailed instructions for every aspect of the building and operation of the Tabernacle. It was the shadow of things in heaven, Hebrews 10:5. Major themes in the Tabernacle were sacrifice, representing Christ’s death on Calvary, and incense, representing God’s people offering worship and prayers.

There were 12 gold pans full of incense, Numbers 7:86. The gold of the pans weighing 120 shekels. There were three metals used in the Tabernacle. Brass, representing judgement, silver representing redemption and gold representing deity.

Moses Died at 120

Finally, at the age of 120, Moses knew it was time to appoint a successor, Deuteronomy 31:2. Moses would not enter the Promised Land because of his own disobedience, Deuteronomy 20:12. His job was finished. He entered into his eternal rest, aged 120 years, though his eyes were not dim and his vigour had not abated, Deuteronomy 34:7. He died in full health.

Priestly Line

King David tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, but it was a dismal a dismal failure, because of a lack of respect for the holiness of the Ark, 1 Chronicles 15:13. They had tried to transport it on an ox cart and a man lost his life.

Three months later David tried again. He assembled all Israel together for the Ark was the heart and soul of Israel. This time he did it God’s way, on the shoulders of the priests. In the lead were the descendants of Kohath, chief of the Levitical priests, 1 Chronicles 15:5. Their number was 120.

Solomon and the Number 120

There were 120 priests sounding trumpets at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, 2 Chronicles 5:12. King Solomon also gave massive amounts of offerings at the dedication of the Temple, including 120,000 sheep, 2 Chronicles 7:5.

King Hiram had had a significant relationship with Solomon’s father, King David. He played a crucial role in supporting David in the preparation of the Temple in Jerusalem. Cedar logs, carpenters and stone masons were all sent from Tyre for the project. Solomon’s task, after his father’s death, was to build the Temple and he too appealed to the king of Tyre for the same assistance Hiram had given his father, 2 Chronicles 2:3ff. Hiram was instrumental in the success of this project that would forever characterize Israel. He again provided materials and skilled workers, up to 153,600 people. 153,600 divided by 120 = 1280, the number of perplexity. That is just under the 1,290 mentioned in Daniel 12:11 and Revelation 12:6.

After all that, Solomon sold 20 cities in the northern part of Galilee to the king of Tyre. The king was dissatisfied with these ‘worthless’ cities, but he paid Solomon 120 talents of gold, 1 Kings 9:14. Hiram honoured the deal in remembrance of the unique relationship he had had with David, but his relationship with Solomon was never be the same again.

Sheba, the ravishingly beautiful queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, was amazed at the wisdom, and power of Solomon when she visited him with a large retinue. Among the many gifts she gave Solomon, there were 120 talents of silver, 1 Kings 10:10. She was keen to impress and seduce the most powerful man in the known world. However, both Solomon and Sheba had their own agendas.

Ezra and the Number 120

It is estimated that between 14,000 – 18,000 Jews were taken captive to Babylon, if you include all the women and children, Jeremiah 52:28-30. The Israelites were in bondage in Babylon for 70 years, Jeremiah 29:10, before they were finally allowed to return to Israel. Led by Ezra, 42,360 were prepared to return to the hardship of life in Israel, Ezra 2:63. The number 42,360 is 353 x 120.

Having made the arduous journey of 805 kilometres back to Israel, they were met with the sight of a land that had been totally ravaged. Ezra set his heart to study the law of the Lord and practice it and teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel, Ezra 7:10. Tradition says Ezra headed 120 Jewish elders of Priests and Levites to officially collect the writings that would become the Old Testament.

Daniel and 120

The Persian ruler, Darius, set 120 princes to rule over the largest kingdom that was ever established. The Jewish prophet, Daniel, was the first of three presidents that the princes had to answer to, Daniel 6:1.

Daniel remained true to His God, while serving one of the most powerful men in the known world. Captured as a youth of 17, he was carried off to Babylon. Daniel found favour and rose to become a highly influential figure. The story of Daniel proves how faithful God remains to those who honour Him.

Day of Pentecost

A 120 people gathered in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost to vote in someone to replace the traitor, Judas, Acts 1:15. It was 50 days since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Spirit fell and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. This was the beginning of the Christian church, who should operate in the absolute power of the Almighty God.

Paul is a Prisoner

Paul was a prisoner and on his way to Rome to appear before Caesar. The ship encountered a massive storm that threatened to shipwreck them. Paul received a message in the night that they would all survive if they headed to a certain island. After 14 days they took a sounding and found the Adriatic Sea was 120 feet deep and the ocean bed was shelving.

No matter how bad the situation is, God is always near and in control.

Bible Trivia

The number 120 appears 14 times in the Bible. Fourteen has a representation of double measure of spiritual perfection and covering.

The word King is written 120 times in the New Testament. The Greek word ‘dunamis’ meaning unlimited power, appears 120 times in the original text of the New Testament.

The life of a red globule of human blood is 120 days and 120 x 3 equals 360, the days in a year.


The Apostle Paul wrote, ‘We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’, Romans 8:28.

The theme of 120 ends, but the message is eternal. God will judge a sinful world, He is all-powerful and ever-mindful of those who trust Him. Make a firm decision to follow and trust Him in this world of utter chaos. He will never leave you or forsake you, Deuteronomy 31:8. You are not alone.

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Wendy Stenberg-Tendys is a freelance writer who enjoys researching a topic and sharing words of encouragement, particularly from the Word of God.

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