Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance
by E.W. Bullinger
If ten is the number which marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. So that whether we regard it as being 10 + 1, or 12 - 1, it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.
There is not much concerning it in the Word of God, but what there is is significant, especially as a factor.
THE DUKES OF EDOM
were eleven in number (Gen 36:40-43), and Edom, though closely related to Israel, was different from it in order and government, while the bitterest hatred existed between them. The word for "Duke" is a multiple of 13.
THE ELEVEN SONS OF JACOB
told of the disintegration and disorganization in Jacob's family, which made it possible for it to be said "one is not."
FROM HOREB TO KADESH BARNEA
was a journey of eleven days (Deut 1:2). One more day would have carried them to the complete administration of all those wonderful laws which God had given them.
ELI, HOPHNI, AND PHINEHAS
have for their gematria the number 462, the factors of which are 11 and 42; both significant of the disorder in Eli's house, and of disintegration in Israel.
JEHOIAKIM REIGNED ELEVEN YEARS
when Nebuchadnezzar came up and began his disintegrating work on Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:36, 34:1; 2 Chron 36:5,6).
ZEDEKIAH REIGNED ELEVEN YEARS
when Nebuchadnezzar completed the work by putting an end to Israel's rule in Jerusalem (2 Chron 36:11; Jer 52:1), for "in the eleventh year the city was broken up" (Jer 39:2).
THE ELEVENTH YEAR
in which Ezekiel prophesied against Tyre (Eze 26:1) and against Egypt (30:20 and 31:1) was the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in which Jerusalem was broken up. And the threefold repetition of it is to impress us with the fact that Tyre and Egypt should be broken up, as Jerusalem had been.
THE ELEVEN APOSTLES
witness of disintegration even amongst the Twelve (Acts 2:14, etc.); while
THE ELEVENTH HOUR
(Matt 20:6,9) is proverbial as being contrary alike both to what is right in order and arrangement.
THE LIFE OF OUR LORD ON EARTH
was about 33 years (3 x 11), and then He was "cut off," and "we see not yet all things put under Him" (Dan 9:26; Heb 2:8).
occurs only twice, both referring to days of defective administration, marked by the fact that there was "no king":--
- Judges 16:5, the Philistine bribe which deprived Israel of their mighty judge and deliverer, Samson.
- Judges 17:2, etc., connected with the introduction of idolatry into Israel, which brought with it trouble and disintegration; added to God's order and ordinances for them; and in the end caused the ruin and loss of all government.
Dan and Ephraim were the two offending tribes, for Micah, who made the image with the eleven hundred shekels, was an Ephraimite, and the tribe that stole it and his priest was the Tribe of Dan. Both are omitted from the tribes in Revelation 7, according to the declaration of Jehovah in Deuteronomy 29:18-20, that the "man, woman, family, or tribe" which should introduce idolatry into Israel, "the LORD shall BLOT OUT HIS NAME."
ADDITIONAL MISCELLANEOUS ILLUSTRATIONS
Eleven kings and rulers offended with God's servants for telling them the truth:—
- Pharaoh, Exo 10:28.
- Balak, Num 24:10.
- Jeroboam, 1 Kings 13:4.
- Ahab, 1 Kings 22:27.
- Naaman, 2 Kings 5:12.
- Asa, 2 Chron 16:10.
- Joash, 2 Chron 24:21.
- Uzziah, 2 Chron 26:19.
- Jehoiakim, Jer 26:21.
- Zedekiah, Jer 32:3.
- Herod, Matt 14:3.
Joseph was eleven years in Potiphar's house:—
He was 30 years of age when he stood before Pharaoh (Gen 41:46) 30 He was 17 years old when sold (Gen 37:2,36) 17 He was 2 years in prison (Gen 42:1) 2 19 30 minus 19 11