The tithes represent the whole of what was due from man to God, as marking and recognizing God's claim on the whole.
The Redemption Money
The redemption money was ten gerahs, and thus was acknowledged both what God claimed, and what man was responsible to give. Now ten gerahs was half a shekel (Exodus 30:12-16; Numbers 3:47). Every male that was numbered, over 20 years of age, must pay this sum and meet God's claim. *
* When David numbered the people (2Samuel 24 and 1Chronicles 21), this payment was not made and God's claim was not met. Hence the judgment which followed.
But the first-born were to pay ten times as much; for when God took the Levites instead of the first-born of Israel, there were found 22,273 first-born males, but only 22,000 Levites. So that 273 had to pay the ransom money, which amounted to ten times ten gerahs. Thus, though the five shekels looked like a variation, the significance of ten is sustained, for the five shekels were ten times the "half shekel." (See Numbers 3:12,13,40-51).
The Ten Plagues
The ten plagues were representative of the complete circle of God's judgments on Egypt. Exodus 9:14, "I will . . . send all my plagues."
Antichrist's World Power
Antichrist's world power is comprised in the ten kingdoms, symbolized by the ten toes on the feet of the image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2:41), and by the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel's vision (Daniel 7:7,20,24, etc.; Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3,7,12).
Ten nations imply the whole of the nations which are to be the scene of Abraham's covenant possessions (Genesis 15:19).
Abraham's faith was proved by a completed cycle of ten trials:—
- His departure from Haran.
- His flight to Egypt from the famine.
- In the seizure of Sarah.
- In his war to rescue Lot.
- In his taking Hagar.
- In his circumcision.
- In the second seizure of Sarah at Gerar.
- In the expulsion of Ishmael.
- In the expulsion of Hagar.
- In the offering of Isaac.
The Ten Rebellions
The ten rebellions of Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 14:22) mark the completed series of Israel's perversities.
The Silver Sockets
The silver sockets which formed the foundation of the Tabernacle were 10 x 10 (Exodus 38:27). These were made of silver, and silver is significant of redemption (1 Peter 1:18,19). *
* Ten also completed the number of the curtains (Exodus 26:1).
Fire came down from Heaven
Fire came down from heaven ten times, six of which were in judgment:—
- Genesis 19:24, on Sodom.
- Leviticus 9:24, on the first offerings.
- Leviticus 10:2, on Nadab and Abihu.
- Numbers 11:1, on the murmurers at Taberah.
- Numbers 16:35, on Korah and his company.
- 1 Kings 18:38, on Elijah's offering at Carmel.
- 2 Kings 1:10, on Elijah's enemies.
- 2 Kings 1:12, on Elijah's enemies.
- 1 Chronicles 21:26, on David's sacrifice.
- 2 Chronicles 7:1, on Solomon's sacrifice.
Ten Times the People Shouted for Joy
- Leviticus 9:24, when the fire from heaven consumed the first sacrifices.
- Joshua 6:20, at the taking of Jericho.
- 1 Samuel 4:5, when the Ark was brought into the camp.
- 1 Samuel 10:24, when Saul was chosen king.
- 1 Samuel 17:20, when Israel went to fight the Philistines.
- 1 Samuel 17:52, when pursuing them.
- 2 Samuel 6:15 (1Chronicles 15:28), when the Ark was brought back from the house of Obed-edom.
- 2 Chronicles 13:15, when God smote Jeroboam before Abijah.
- 2 Chronicles 15:14, when Asa and the people heard Oded's prophecy.
- Ezra 3:11, when the foundation of the second Temple was laid.
The Ten Virgins
The ten virgins represent the whole of the nation of Israel (as distinct from the elect remnant, which is the Bride); * while the five denotes those who by grace will be able to say, "This is our God, we have waited for Him."
God's Righteous Curses
God's righteous curses are completed in a series of ten:—
- Genesis 3:14, 15, on the serpent.
- Genesis 3:17, the ground.
- Genesis 4:11, Cain.
- Genesis 9:25, Cainan.
- Joshua 6:17, Jericho.
- Joshua 6:28, Achan, Joshua 7:12, Achan.
- Joshua 9:23, Gibeonites.
- Judges 9:57, Shechemites.
- 1 Kings 16:34, Hiel the Bethelite.
- Mark 11:21, The Fig-tree.
"I Have Sinned."
Ten * persons complete the series of those who uttered this confession, and acknowledged their desert of divine judgment:—
* Of these ten, six were individual (the number of man), while four were on behalf of the nation—"We."
- Pharaoh, Exodus 9:27, 10:16.
- Balaam, Numbers 22:34.
- Achan, Joshua 7:20.
- Saul, 1 Samuel 15:24,30, 26:21.
- David, 2 Samuel 12:13, 24:10,17; 1 Chronicles 21:8,17; Psalm 41:4, 51:4.
- Shimei, 2 Samuel 19:20.
- Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:14 (rendered "offended").
- Job 7:20.
- Micah 7:9.
- Nehemiah 1:6.
The tabernacle is spoken of ten times as the "Tabernacle of Witness," or "Tabernacle of Testimony." Of these, five are Nk@#:$mi mish-kahn, Exodus 38:21; Numbers 1:50,53 (twice), 10:11. This has special reference to the Tabernacle as the dwelling-place of God, from Nka#$af shahcan, "to dwell." Mish-kahn means the dwelling-place of God (Exodus 25:8), and is therefore never used by the Holy Spirit of "whole congregation."
The Ten Words Of Psalm 119
The ten words of Psalm 119 complete the cycle of the Divine description of His Word. One or other of these ten words occurs in every verse (except 122), viz., Way, Testimony, Precepts, Commandments, Laying, Law, Judgment, Righteousness, Statutes, Word. These, the Massorah says, "correspond to the Ten Commandments."
The Tenth Generation
The tenth generation completed and represented the whole existence of the family or nation. In Deuteronomy 23:3 we read that,
"An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever."
The reason is given in verses 4 and 5 as to why an Ammonite or Moabite could not enter into the congregation of the Lord. See also Nehemiah 13:1
The Parables of the Kingdom
The parables of the Kingdom are ten in number in the Gospel of Matthew. Seven in chapter 13, and three in chapters 22 and 25.
The Unrighteous who shall not enter
The unrighteous who shall not enter the kingdom of God are enumerated in ten particulars (1Corinthians 6:9,10).
The Security of the Saints
The security of the saints is set forth in a ten-fold enumeration, which completes the whole cycle of assurance to all who are "in Christ," Romans 8:38,39. They are given in two fives:—
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers; nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature."
The Ten I AM's of Jesus in John
1. "I am the Bread of Life" (6:35).
2. "I am the Bread of Life which came down from heaven" (6:41).
3. "I am the Living Bread" (6:51).
4. "I am the Light of the world" (8:12).
5. "I am One that bear witness of Myself" (8:18).
6. "I am the Door of the sheep" (10:7,9).
7. "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:14).
8. "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (14:6).
9. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (14:6).
- "I am the True Vine" (15:1,5).
The Repeated Names
Ten completes the perfect cycle of the repeated names. Moreover we shall note that these are divided significantly. Of these ten, seven are spoken directly to individual human beings, while three are spoken by the Lord in different connections. Of these seven, four are in the Old Testament, and three are in the New Testament.
Words and Phrases which occur Ten Times
Words and phrases which occur ten times among these may be mentioned:—
The Talmud calls attention to the fact that there are:—
Additional Miscellaneous Illustrations
The observance of ten Passovers are recorded:—
Ten deaths occasioned by women:—
Ten instances in the Old Testament of younger sons being preferred before the elder:—Abel, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Ephraim, Moses, David.
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