The Mysterious Number Three
There is the mythical; religious; scientific; mathematical; superstitious; and literature; that all encompass the history of the number Three, which can be debated forever. I find myself fascinated with it so I must share some of the amazing facts about the number Three. It is a long read but I believe interesting enough to read, or not!
“Three” is common in designating significant lengths of time, such as three days, three weeks, three months or three years (Gen. 40:12f., 18; Ex. 2:2; 10:22; 2 S. 24:13; Isa. 20:3; Jonah 1:17; Mt. 15:32; Lk. 2:46; 3:7; Acts 9:9; 2 Cor. 12:8).” It must be noted that a great many things were certainly said to have happened when the number three was utilized, be it three days, three months, or three years. Therefore, such may involve more than mere coincidence.
It comes as little surprise, then, to note that the number Three and its multiple compounds occurs more than a score of times in the Book of Revelation. It should be pointed out that it is not always easy to determine whether a number in some cases appears to be symbolic, is being used in a literal or symbolic sense or both. Even granted the symbolic use of the number Three in the Bible, one need not dismiss the conventional meaning of numbers altogether in most texts, especially in straight historical narrative.
Many details in the Scriptures are enumerated in terms of the number Three. In many cases, however, in addition to its conventional use, the number Three carries with it accompanying implications or expectations. For example, “A cord of Three strands is not easily broken” (Eccles 4:12). In some cases the number Three may signify completeness or finality. Thus Pope observes that the number Three “naturally suggests the idea of completeness—beginning, middle, end.
Beyond this natural expectation, however, is the realization that “the figure Three is an evocative image, filled with connotations” so that “Three” consecutive occurrences of an event serves as a rhetorical signal indicating special significance. In some contexts the Third day appears to emphasize the presence of new information that will generate further activity.
“The Third day has a ceremonial significance as well … The meat left from sacrifices was to be destroyed on the Third day (Lev 7:17-18; 19:6-7).” Thus nothing spoiled or impure was to mar the spiritual nature of the sacrifice and the Third day itself was to be kept holy and pure.
Righteous patriarchs – Able, Enoch, Noah, / Abraham, Isaac, Jacob / Job was noted to have Three daughters.
Three tribes: Benjamin, Ephraim, and Judah (5:8-10).
Three tribes of- Sacred objects in “The Ark of the Covenant ‘The gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant”
Windows in Solomon’s Palace placed high in sets of Three facing each other and the doorways were in the front part in sets of Three, facing each other.
Triple entrance way marked all four sides of the city of the New Jerusalem in John’s vision (Rev 21:13).
David “bowed down before Jonathan Three times, with his face to the ground” (1 Sam 20:41)
Daniel regularly prayed Three times a day giving thanks to God (Dan 6:10, 13).
Jesus answered Satan’s Threefold temptation by citing three scriptural passages Matt 4:1-11).
Peter denied Jesus Three times.
Paul experienced Three shipwrecks (2 Cor 11:28) and prayed Three times to the Lord for the removal of his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor 12:7-8).
Moses and Aaron petitioned Pharaoh, “Now let us take a Three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God” (Exod 5:3; cf. Exod 3:18; 8:27). The fleeing Hebrews went three days without finding water in the Desert of Shur (Exodus 15:22). When the Hebrews had traveled from Mount Sinai for Three days, the people began to complain (Num 10:33-11:1). When the Hebrews neared the Jordan River they were informed, “Three days” from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own” (Josh 1:11).
Jesus told the Jewish populace at the Temple, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in Three days” (John 2:16),
Moses’ mother was able to conceal her baby for Three months (Exod 2:3).
The ark remained at the house of Obed-Edom for Three months (1 Chron 13:14).
Jesus’ mother Mary visited Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, and stayed for Three months (Luke 1:56).
Paul stayed in Ephesus for Three months and “spoke boldly” in the synagogue there (Acts 19:8), and subsequently stayed Three months in Greece (Acts 20:3).
The Hebrews concerning their conduct after they enter the Promised Land: “When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regards its fruit as forbidden. For Three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten” (Lev 19:23).
During David’s reign a Three-year famine caused the king to seek “the face of the LORD” (2 Sam 21:1).
After the slaying of his brother, “Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there Three years” (2 Sam 13:38).
Isaiah prophesied that “within Three years … Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble” (Isa 16:14). Isaiah himself went “stripped” and barefoot for Three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush” (Isa 20:3).
Daniel and his Three friends were schooled for Three years with regard to the language and literature of the Babylonians (Dan 1:3-5).
The Apostle Paul spent Three years in Arabia apparently to commune with the Lord and receive instruction from him before going to acquaint himself with Peter (Gal 1:18).
“The Third year” … there was a direct divine command: ‘Sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat fruit.’ Here was direct assurance that the people might resume normal agricultural activities with full expectation of eating the fruits of their labor. When in the harvest of the Third year the people ate in abundance, they would know assuredly that God had been in the entire crisis
The Three angels who were called by name could ask God anything.
Solomon (1 Kings 3:5,) Ahaz (Isaiah 7:11) and Jesus Christ (Psalm 2-9).
Three gifts given to Israel by God were his law, the land of their inheritance, and there calling (the world to come).
The Three Angels mentioned by name (Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer).
27 – Books in NT, which is 3x3x3, completeness to the 3rd power.
The New Jerusalem, created by God for placement on a new earth, will be shaped like a square with Three gates on each side (Rev. 21:13).
The Three great periods of God’s annual Feast day of worship – Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets.
Three Times Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was placed on the cross 3rd hour 9 a.m. – died 9th hour at 3 p.m. – there was 3 hours of darkness – Christ was dead for 3 days and 3 nights. 72 hours. (Matthew 26:42)
Three witnesses to Jesus Transfiguration on Mount Hermon… John, Peter and James.
Three Wise men gifts – Magi star watchers (Astronomers) –– gold – (material)
Frankincense – (mind expansion when burned) – Myrrh – (oil) – (for after life)
Trinity – Father – Son – Holy Spirit (Ghost).
God revealed himself to be Three divine personalities.
Jesus teaching on who God is…He described Three… which is, which was, which is to come. Revelation 1:8 “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One…
The number Three was used 467 times in the Bible – means completeness.
Many world religions contain triple deities or concepts of trinity, including:
The Christian Holy Trinity
The Hindu Trimurti
The Hindu Tridevi
The Three Jewels of Buddhism
The Three Pure Ones of Taoism
The Triple Goddess of Wicca
The Roman numeral III stands for giant star in the Yerkes spectral classification scheme.
Three is the atomic number of lithium.
Three is the ASCII code of “End of Text”.
Three is the number of dimensions that humans can perceive. Humans perceive the universe to have three spatial dimensions, but some theories, such as string theory, suggest there are more.
The triangle, a polygon with three edges and three vertices, is the most stable physical shape. For this reason it is widely utilized in construction, engineering and design
Huntington New York 1966 – genetic code structure for DNA identified. (3 rows of triplets) is the key to our DNA language. DNA is divine architecture of who we are.
Isaac Newton – 17 century Laws of molten emerald tablets Hermes Thrice mystery secrets of the universe…believed in longevity – cosmos- Trans mutation – Alcamy.
There are three types of color receptors in the retina.
Alchemy – is salt, sulfur and mercury.
Principles of Free Masonry – third eye is the pineal gland that sees all.
The Triple Bodhi (ways to understand the end of birth) are Budhu, Pasebudhu, and Mahaarahath.
Buddhism began 2,400 years ago in India. Shakyamuni Buddha passed away around 486 BC at the age of eighty. He taught “THE THREE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS”
1. Nothing is lost in the universe
Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents; our children are born of us. We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us; we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.
2. Everything Changes
Everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected happens. Once dinosaurs, mammoths, and saber-toothed tigers roamed this earth. They all died out, yet this was not the end of life. Other life forms like smaller mammals appeared, and eventually humans, too. Now we can even see the Earth from space and understand the changes that have taken place on this planet. Our ideas about life also change. People once believed that the world was flat, but now we know that it is round.
3. Law of Cause and Effect
There are continuous changes due to the law of cause and effect. This is the same law of cause and effect found in every modern science textbook. In this way, science and Buddhism are alike. The law of cause and effect is known as karma. Nothing ever happens to us unless we deserve it. We receive exactly what we earn, whether it is good or bad. We are the way we are now due to the things we have done in the past. Our thoughts and actions determine the kind of life we can have. If we do good things, in the future good things will happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us. Every moment we create new karma by what we say, do, and think. If we understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend. It teaches us to create a bright future.
THE TRIPLE JEWEL and the Wheel of life…The Buddha is the guide. The Dharma is the path. The Songhai are the teachers or companions along the way. The number Three is the great mystery – comes from the great one – power – wisdom – awareness. The wheel of life and death is kept turning by the Three poisons of greed, hatred, and stupidity. By cutting off the Three poisons, we can escape the wheel and become enlightened.
The most spectacular collection of Buddhist cave art in the world is located at the shores of the Yi river where we can find over 1300 ancient caves knows as the Longmen Grottoes which date back to around 493 AD. One of the largest of the over 100,000 stone statues at the site is of the Amitabha Buddha or the Buddha of Infinite Light. He is flanked on either side by his two assistants, and collectively they are known as the Three Saints of the West. These guiding figures represented are exceptional examples of the power of Three manifesting in a sacred and yet mystical way, teaching, helping one to a greater level of consciousness, balance and harmony.
The 108 Buddhist Pagodas – One of the most famous scenic spot in the Qingtongxia is one hundred and eight Pagodas, located in the Yellow River west bank on a steep hillside. This 108 pagodas form in 12 rows, the overall layout is narrow on the top and wide on the bottom, form an isosceles Triangle, which is a unique style.
In Hinduism, Shiva is often pictured with a Trident, the prongs representing his Three fundamental powers: will action and knowledge. He is also often illustrated as having a Third eye in the middle of his forehead. With that eye, he can see things. He has clairvoyance
Pyramids – Giza –4, 000 years ago made of Three sides (triangle).
The Three virtues of Humata, Hukhta and Huvarshta (Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds) are a basic tenet in Zoroastrianism.
Three is a very significant number in Norse mythology, along with its powers 9 and 27.
Prior to Ragnarök, there will be three hard winters without an intervening summer, the Fimbulwinter.
Odin endured Three hardships upon the World Tree in his quest for the runes: he hanged himself, wounded himself with a spear, and suffered from hunger and thirst.
Bor had Three sons, Odin, Vili, and Vé.
In other religions:
The Wiccan Rule of Three.
The Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone; the Three fates.
The Three sons of Cronus: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
In ancient Greece Three faiths that are divine, mystical and scared. Mystical tradition dates back to thousands of years that can still be found today in art, architecture, mythology, science, literature and religion.
The Greek and Roman tradition – all system are out of the number Three.
Hindu god – Third eye is divine energy.
Tricolon i.e. (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness); (I came; I saw; I conquered.)
The Three attributes of discourse (Roman) The composition, the elegantia and the disnitas.
The Three fates – Clotho (the spinner), Lachesis (the dispenser, and Atropos (the cutter).
The Three “R”s – Elementary school (reading, ‘riting, and rithmetic).
The Three sons of Adam and Even – Cain, Able, and Seth.
The Three wise men – or three kings, three maji, etc. Balthazar, Caspar, and Melchoir.
The Three witches – Shakespeare’s three weird sisters in Macbeth.
Pythagoras introduced in Greece in 6 century BD the knowledge of A2 + b2 = c2 lived 2500 years ago basked on Egyptian pyramids. He believed everything in the Universe has a Three part structure – the Triangle was the key to all hidden mysteries.
FRANCE – Monoliths – geometric Triangles – Avery and Stone hedge were based on A2 + b2 = c2. Nathagerus believes is the code of the universe.
In East and Southeast Asia, there is a widespread superstition that considers it inauspicious to take a photo with three people in it; it is professed that the person in the middle will die first.
There is another superstition that it is unlucky to take a Third light that is, to be the Third person to light a cigarette from the same match or lighter. This superstition is sometimes asserted to have originated among soldiers in the trenches of the First World War when a sniper might see the first light, take aim on the second and fire on the third.
The phrase “Third time’s the charm” refers to the superstition that after two failures in any endeavor, a third attempt is more likely to succeed. This is also sometimes seen in reverse, as in “Third man to do something, presumably forbidden gets caught”.
Luck, especially bad luck, is often said to “come in Threes”
Three times a charm!
In association football in almost all leagues, and in the group phases of most international competitions, Three are awarded for a win.
In Gaelic football, hurling and camogie, a “goal”, with a scoring value of Three, is awarded when the attacking team legally sends the ball into the opponent’s goal.
In baseball, Three is the number of strikes before the batter is out and the number of outs per side per inning; in scorekeeping, “3” denotes the first baseman.
In basketball: A shot made from behind the Three-point arc is worth three points (except in the 3×3 variant, in which it is worth two points).
A potential “Three-point play” exists when a player is fouled while successfully completing a two-point field goal, thus being awarded one additional free throw attempt.
On offense, the “Three-second rule” states that an offensive player cannot remain in the opponent’s free-throw lane for more than Three seconds while his team is in possession of the ball and the clock is running.
In the NBA only, the defensive Three-second violation, also known as “illegal defense”, states that a defensive player cannot remain in his own free-throw lane for more than Three seconds unless he is actively guarding an offensive player. The “3 position” is the small forward.
In gridiron football, a field goal is a scoring play in which a kicker kicks the football from behind the line of scrimmage through the goalposts on the opponent’s side of the field. This play, if successful, is worth Three points.
A hat trick in sports is associated with succeeding at anything three times in Three consecutive attempts, as well as when any player in ice hockey or soccer scores Three goals in one game (whether or not in succession). In cricket, if a bowler takes Three wickets in a row it is called a hat trick.
A “threepeat” is a term for winning Three consecutive championships.
A triathlon consists of Three events: swimming, bicycling, and running.
A pin (professional wrestling) in professional wrestling is when one’s shoulders are held the opponent’s shoulders against the mat for a count of Three.
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. drove under the number Three for most of his career for car owner Richard Childress.
I have re-read this article Three times to make sure there were no errors! I hope someone finds this interesting.