Cross-section: 1 Timothy (Part 6) – Vav

The systematic cross-section of 1 Timothy continues with Vav.

For a much more in-depth reference on numerical themes and how they correspond to the twenty-two Hebrew letters and are expressed on every level throughout Scripture (even in the books written in Greek), please see the original Bible Wheel book and site. Note that not every verse will thematically carry its numerical theme, but overall, the patterns are clear. If a verse doesn’t thematically carry it, and sometimes even if it does, it tends to have a secondary numerical characteristic that connects, which will also be noted.

Vav – Sixth letter of the Hebrew Alef-bet. Symbolizes connection, nail or hook, man (created on the sixth day), grammatical prefix for “and” or “but”. Aside from this common prefix, there are no key words that begin with the letter vav.

In 1 Timothy, there are six vav verses: the sixth verse of each chapter. Vav and the number six are profoundly imprinted on the book of 1 Timothy with its many connections and lists of six items. Six is the second most important number for 1 Timothy, after its book number of ten.

1:6 – From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

The context here is the end or point of the commandment being love coming from purity and faith, and now here, those who turn from those things. Swerving is a kind of turning aside, being drawn toward something other than the right path. In a physical sense, a swerving path could be shaped like vav, curving aside rather than being straight. And in an inverse sense, this represents the opposite of vav: turning away from rather than being connected to the commandments.

2:6 – Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The context of this verse is the Messiah, and the theme is clear in the sense that his sacrifice forged a new connection between the spiritual and the physical that could not have been possible before that. The Messiah is the only source of salvation and therefore forms the only true connection between mankind and God.

3:6 – Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

This verse contains the sixth negative characteristic that those who would be bishops must avoid, described among ten positive characteristics. The word for “novice”, neophutos (neophuton), clearly contains the same root word as the English “neophyte”. It’s an interesting effect that those who are just beginning something tend to overestimate their skill, compared to those who are more experienced, who tend to underestimate their skill, having a much better sense of how much they still could learn.

4:6 – If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

As a general expression of the connective theme of vav, helping the brethren remember the truth is an effective way for Timothy to perform his duty of being a minister well. There are also some interesting connections in the words. The title of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Iesous Christos, is used fourteen times in 1 Timothy (seven times in the first chapter), and this instance, in this verse where the chapter and verse numbers sum to ten, is the tenth time. Also, the word for good in “good minister”, kalos, is 321, or 3×107, which doesn’t appear to connect to anything else, but the same word used for “good doctrine” is spelled kales, which is valued at 259, or 7×37. This is significant because 37 is one of the fundamental triangular numbers used in Scripture, and it’s also a factor of Iesous Christos = either 888+1480 or 688+1680 = 2368 = 64×37. So a good minister is valuable, but good doctrine is perfect, being from God.

5:6 – But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

There are some interesting connections between living and dead in this verse. The word “liveth” is used twice in the English rendering but only once in the Greek. The Greek verb zao is used four times in 1 Timothy, but the other three times are all used to describe the “living God”. In its conjugation in this verse (zosa), the value adds up to 1008, which is 28×36. Note that on the 22-spoke wheel, 28 is the same as six on the second cycle, so this value triply encodes six. On the other hand, the word for “dead” is used twelve other times in the New Testament (thirteen total), but except for here, which implies spiritually dead, it always means physically dead. The value of the word here (tethneke) is 397, which is prime. So there’s a contrast between the living, with many factors, and the dead, with none (or one).

6:6 – But godliness with contentment is great gain.

This verse seems to be the foundation of 1 Timothy. Much of the book is instruction to Timothy from Paul about how to be godly or content as a good example to the believers he was helping lead. Note that while 10 is the more important number for the book, there is no 10:10 verse since there are only six chapters, so structurally, this verse bears the weight of numerical emphasis on the number six. It also connects godliness (what you do) with contentment (how you feel about it). It is greatly beneficial, much more so than just one or the other, to have both aspects positive. One can grudgingly or unhappily be doing the right thing, or one can contentedly be wandering far off the right path, but it is only if one is contentedly doing good that one will gain the best results.

For chapter 4 alone, the value of its vav verse is unique, not matching any other verses. For all the other chapters, the values of their vav verses are not unique. For chapters 3 and 6, the value actually matches five verses; for chapter 5, the value matches ten verses; while 1 and 2 match three and two, respectively. Note that 4 is the only number that is not a factor of 6 or 10 (but it is a factor of their multiplication into 60). So the values of the vav verses also illustrate the connection between 6 and 10.


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