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What Is the Number 45 Meaning in the Bible?

What Is the Number 45 Meaning in the Bible

Numbers in Scripture often carry deeper symbolic meaning beyond the surface level mathematical value. The number 45, while not frequently referenced, connects to some key biblical themes when it does appear in special contexts. By examining these instances closer, we can better understand the significance this number seems to hold.

Old Testament Appearances of 45

One important appearance of 45 happens in 1 Kings 7 during Solomon’s construction of the holy Temple. Specific dimensions and details are given on components of the Temple, with verse 45 highlighting:

“the pots, the shovels, and the bowls. All these articles that Huram made for King Solomon in the Lord’s temple were made of polished bronze.” (v. 45)

It’s interesting this verse stresses these particular Temple instruments were made of bronze. Bronze has symbolic meaning too, mainly associated with judgment and testing. This fits with other uses of 45 we’ll see shortly.

Another potential link comes from Ezekiel’s vision of the new Temple. Ezekiel 41:13 measures one of the temple walls at 45 cubits long. Cubits were a form of measurement, but many scholars see deeper meaning in the dimensions given in Ezekiel’s vision. This context likely ties to themes of preparation and spiritual maturity as well.

The Life of Jesus and Number 45

One prominent appearance of 45 happens before Jesus began His earthly ministry.

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:1-2)

The number 40 often symbolizes a time of testing. It rained for 40 days/nights in Noah’s flood. Israel wandered for 40 years. Many see Jesus’ 40 day fast as fulfilling a similar period of trial before starting His ministry. But when you add the extra note of “forty days and forty nights” in Jesus’ fast, we get 40 + 5 = 45 days and nights.

This seems to build on 40’s symbolic purpose, with the added 5 bringing the total to 45 for more emphasis. The five could represent a small grace period, while still echoing the core meaning of a fixed time of testing. After this intense 45 day spiritual preparation, Jesus began His public ministry full of God’s power.

45 Years of Persecution

Outside direct Scripture, early church history also demonstrates symbolism for 45. Around 303 AD the Roman Emperor Diocletian severely persecuted Christians for destroying imperial property. Historical records suggest this intense persecution then continued in various forms for a period of 45 years.

Like the bronze instruments in Solomon’s Temple and Jesus’ days of fasting, this brutal suffering of early believers echoes themes of judgment, testing, and spiritual refinement. The pattern of 45 marking key times of maturation continues.

Theological Number Patterns

On a theological level, biblical numbers often have deeper meanings based on other numerical patterns. The number 5 commonly signifies testing or grace in Scripture. The number 9 can indicate finality or divine fullness.

When you multiply 5 and 9 you interestingly get 45 (5 x 9 = 45). So this could provide more symbolic meaning to 45. It encompasses both the testing/grace notion of 5, alongside 9’s sense of fruition. Nine also represents the Biblical fruits of the Holy Spirit, which emerge after difficult seasons of pruning.

Why 45 May Be Significant

Stepping back, we can summarize a few key reasons why 45 seems to carry consistent important meaning in the Bible:

  • It generally appears during contexts of testing and preparation
  • Ties thematically to judgment and spiritual refinement
  • Links numerically to other symbols (5 and 9)
  • Reinforces number patterns seen across Scripture

So while not frequently used, the rare instances where 45 does show up act as pivot points. The number marks key transitions turning spiritual intensity into greater ministry purpose. This explains why God may choose 45 at times rather than a more round number like 40 or 50 in key biblical passages.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

In the few times it appears symbolically, the number 45 represents an intense period of testing and preparation aimed to strengthen God’s servants. By persevering trials lasting around 45 units, believers emerge purified and ready to serve God’s purposes.

Key takeaways on the significance of 45 include:

  • Marks notable times of spiritual testing/judgment
  • Period of trial preceding transition into greater ministry
  • Associated with bronze and other symbols of testing
  • Links to numbers 5 (grace, testing) and 9 (divine fullness)
  • Consistent theme across Old and New Testaments

While not the most commonly used number in Scripture, 45 holds valuable symbolic meaning in the special contexts it arises. Paying attention when 45 appears can reveal when God’s people endure a bout of testing in Scripture. This then prepares them for the working of the Holy Spirit to accomplish great things for His glory.

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