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What Is the Number 21 Meaning in the Bible?

The number 21 holds special symbolism in the Bible. Here is an overview of the spiritual meaning and significance of the number 21 in Scripture:

Numeric Meaning

In the Bible, certain numbers hold symbolic meaning that enriches our understanding of God’s word. The number 21 symbolizes exceeding sinfulness of sin and the greatness of God’s forgiveness.

Some key facts about the number 21:

  • It is a multiple of 7, which represents spiritual perfection and completion.
  • It is the result of 3 x 7, with 3 representing the Trinity and 7 representing spiritual perfection.
  • 21 is a signaling of the fullness of time, ushering a new season or completing one.

So in summary:

  • Completion
  • Divine fulfillment
  • Spiritual perfection

Bible Stories Featuring 21

The number 21 appears in several key Biblical narratives:

21 Years of Humility

Jacob humbly served 21 years for Rachel, the love of his life (Genesis 29:20). This expresses Jacob’s commitment to righteousness after taking Esau’s birthright.

21 Sons and Grandsons

Jacob had 21 children and grandchildren in total (Genesis 46:8-27), beginning the eventual 12 tribes of Israel.

21 Days of Purification

Daniel fasted for 21 days to purify himself and receive God’s wisdom (Daniel 10:2-3). This signals a spiritual cleansing.

21 as a Product of 7 and 3

As mentioned, 21 symbolizes completion as it’s the product of two spiritually significant numbers:

7Spiritual perfection and fullness
3The Trinity – God the Father, Jesus the Son, Holy Spirit

So 7 x 3 points to something holy, complete, and ordained by God.

The factors of 21 also anchor it firmly to themes of sin and righteousness:

  • It exceeds the perfect 10 by 1, indicating the excessive sinfulness that awaits God’s redemption
  • It exceeds righteous 20 by 1, showing the extra mercy God offers to forgive generously

Scripture Examples

Here are some Bible verses that provide meaning and context:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This anchors 21 to repentance and abundant mercy.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)

This ties 21 to radical forgiveness, as 7 x 70 = 490.


In Scripture, the number 21 symbolizes exceeding sinfulness purified by complete forgiveness through God’s grace. It signals spiritual perfection plus mercy. The factors of 21 ground it in redemption, tying it to repentance, humility, and the Trinity.

So in God’s word, 21 represents the fullness of righteousness, the abundance of grace, and the greatness of God’s glory.

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