10 days, 10 times

Da 1:12 "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink."

Da 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

Forgive me if I shoot past all the really important and obvious stuff in Daniel 1 and go straight for an obscure detail. When I read the Scriptures, I like to look for the bits I haven't seen before as well as reminding myself of what I know already.

This repeating of the number 10 intrigued me. For a start it links these two verses together and implies that the trial they went through was instrumental in the multiplication of their gifts and abilities. No trial seems pleasant at the time, but if we take a step back we can often see God's hand at work, shaping us, strengthening us, and equipping us for what lies ahead. And God is no-man's debtor, whatever we give to him or give up for him, he gives back many times over.

I was also curious to see if like some other numbers, the number 10 was significant in the Scriptures. I have to say that if there is a deeper meaning, I haven't found it yet. There seem to be a real mixed collection of 10s in the Word: 10 commandments, 10 virgins, 10 talents, 10 northen tribes etc.

One thing I did notice almost by accident is that both Joseph, and Joshua both lived to be 110 years old. What a wonderful symmetry there is again in linking these two great types (examples) of Christ in the Old Testament. Joseph who was given over to death, yet was exalted to the right hand of the king in glory, and delivered his people from death, and Joshua who led his people in to conquer kingdoms and fill the whole land. The man who took the people out of Canaan, and the man who brought them back. It is a reminder that God finishes what he starts. The God who took them into Egypt is the same God who led them out. Whatever trials we may be facing we can have confidence that it is not God's will to leave us there, he will deliver us. He will finish the work he has started in us, and he will make us stronger through it; again there is multiplication here: the Israelites were just 1 family when they entered Egypt, but they left it a mighty nation.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chris, isn't it funny that the Prime Minister lives at no 10 Downing Street and Daniel was a Prime Minister too. In these days we certainly need wisdom in No 10. Can you imagine the Tony Blair and John Prescott eating vegetables and drinking water for 10 days?

Anonymous said...

10 lepers, 10 plagues, 10 Lords a leaping, 10 green bottles.

Anonymous said...

Erling is surely creating a blogfest!
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