Numbers 8 Through 20
The Number 8
The number 8 consists of seven plus one. Seven denotes perfection, and one represents the beginning of the numerical sequence, so eight is representative of a new beginning.
-The number 8 represents a new first. It is apparent in the days of the week. The eighth day actually begins a new sequence of the seven-day week.
-The octave in music begins again repeatedly on the eighth note.
-Eight people were saved on Noah’s ark and given a new beginning (2 Peter 2:5).
-When a leper was cleansed in Old Testament times, the eighth day marked a new beginning, for on that day he was presented before the priest and declared whole before the Lord (Leviticus 14:10-11).
-Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day of an infant's life, an act which represented the covenant between God and His people (Genesis 17:12). Paul explained the significance of this spiritually in the New Testament as "...putting off the body of the sins of the flesh" (Colossians 2:11).
New Life In Christ
The number 8 represents the Lord Jesus Christ, because the numerical value of His name in Greek totals 888. Jesus was given this name on the eighth day of His life:
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:21)
You learned previously that in Greek, the name Jesus is Lesous.
-The letter "L" has a numerical value of 10.
-The numerical value of "E" is 8.
-The numerical value of "S" is 200.
-The numerical value of "O" us 70.
-The numerical value of "U" is 400.
-The numerical value of "S" is 200.
When the letters in the name Jesus (Lesous) are added up in the Greek, the result is a compound of 8: 10+8+200+70+400+200 = 888.
Why is the number 8 significant in the name of Jesus?
Because He is the only way that you can have a new beginning. The Bible declares:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The number 888 is a unique number for Jesus because He is both the beginning and ending of our faith:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)
It was on the eighth day of the feast that Jesus gave an invitation to all in attendance to experience new life:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38)
After His resurrection, when Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, He said:
...Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)
Why did Jesus appear to Mary Magdalene? Because of His Love for her, knowing her grief, He was concerned about Mary. This is a practical example of how husbands are to go to their wives second only to God.
Eight days later, when Jesus appeared to His disciples, He allowed them to touch Him:
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (John 20:26-28)
After eight days, Jesus had received a glorified body which was symbolic of a new beginning.
If you are longing for a new beginning, the number 8 holds that prophetic promise. It is possible, through Jesus Christ, to begin again.
Being born again , not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:23).
The Number 9
The number 9 is the last of the single numbers, completing the single-digit sequence. The number speaks of the believer's completion in Jesus Christ.
A confirmation of the meaning of this number is seen in the fact that the redemption of mankind from sin was completed in the ninth hour:
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice...and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. (Mark 15:34,37-38)
When Jesus yielded up His Spirit and died on the cross in the ninth hour, the work of redemption was completed. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. (Luke 23:44-45)
In the ninth hour, the veil that limited access to the holy of holies in the temple was torn apart. This opened the way for sinful mankind to once again come into God’s presence through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil , that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Complete In Christ
The following lists of "nines" reflect the complete provision for believers that is available through Christ:
There are nine manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit that are to be developed in your life: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
There are nine major gifts of the Spirit that are to be demonstrated in ministry: The word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.
There are nine "blesseds" in the beatitudes. These statements describe godly attitudes that should be exhibited by all believers:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Matthew 5:3-11)
The Bible declares: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:10).
Declare, right now, the tremendous truth that is revealed through the number 9: "I am complete in Him, Who is the Head over all principalities and powers!"
The Number 10
The number 10 is related to creation, restoration, and that which emanates from God and belongs to Him alone.
Genesis chapter 1 records the words "God said" ten times, a testimony to His divine creative power.
-God said, Let there be light.
-God said, Let there be a firmament.
-God said, Let the waters separate from the earth.
-God said, Let the earth bring forth living things.
-God said, Let there be lights in the firmament.
-God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly.
-God said, Let us make man in our image.
-God said, Be fruitful and multiply.
-God said, I have given you every herb and tree for meat.
-God said, It is not good for man to be alone--I will create a helpmeet.
The number 10 also means restoration.
-Ten lepers were totally restored by Jesus:
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke 17:11-14)
-The parable of the loss and subsequent finding of ten valuable coins also illustrates restoration:
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:8-10)
-Your personal restoration - your redemption from sin - is so complete that the Word gives a ten-fold security clause concerning it:
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, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Here is your security clause: Nothing can separate you from God, be it death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, or any other creature. That is pretty inclusive, is it not?
-The names of ten Old Testament patriarchs contain a hidden message of restoration in their meanings. (Meanings are drawn from word studies in "Strong’s Concordance".)
1. Adam means "mankind".
2. Seth means "is appointed to".
3. Enos means "feeble, frail, mortal".
4. Cainan means "a fixed dwelling place".
5. Mahalaleel means "God who is to be praised".
6. Jared means "comes down".
7. Enoch means "to instruct, train up".
8. Methusalah means "a man sent forth".
9. Lamech means "to be beaten, smitten, and tortured".
10. Noah means "bringing rest, a quiet peace".
The meanings of these names, combined together, read:
Mankind/ is appointed to/ feeble, frail, morality/ a fixed dwelling place/ God, who is to be praised/ comes down/ to instruct/ as a man sent forth/ to be beaten, smitten, and tortured/ bringing rest, a quiet peace.
These names indicate that mankind would be appointed to mortality (death), but that God - who is to be praised--would come down in human form to teach mankind a better way.
Christ's suffering and death would bring rest and peace to sinful mankind. The hidden message of ten generations is a message of restoration.
That Which Emanates From And Belongs To God
The number 10 is actually composed of two sets of five. Five indicates God’s grace, so ten reflects a double-portion of the unlimited grace that belongs to God and emanates from Him.
The Ten Commandments were given by God as an expression of His unlimited grace to mankind by providing guidelines for living in a fallen world of sin (Exodus chapter 20).
The ten plagues in Egypt (Exodus 9:14) were expressions of His grace as, following each plague, He gave another opportunity for repentance.
The tithe is set at ten percent (Hebrews 7:4), the number 10 indicating the portion of our income that belongs to God:
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord" (Leviticus 27:30).
Regarding the importance of the tithe, the Prophet Malachi declared:
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:8-10)
The tithe belongs to God. When you fail to give it, you are actually robbing Him!
Ten "I ams" were spoken by Jesus and are recorded in the book to John. This is another illustration of the number 10 symbolizing what emanates from God. In this case, the statements reveal the essence of Christ's character:
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 bears 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 (11:25).
10. I am the True Vine (15:1,5).
These qualities emanate from the Lord Jesus Christ. When appropriated spiritually, these attributes provide total restoration in every area of a believer's life.
The Number 11
The number 11 does not occur frequently in the Bible, but when it does it seems to relate to judgment. Let's look at some biblical examples.
Judgment occurs in the eleventh year of King Zedekiah's reign:
Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about. So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. (Jeremiah 52:1-5)
Judgment also came in the eleventh year of Jehoiakim’s evil reign:
Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. (2 Chronicles 36:5-7)
Judgment against Tyrus came in the eleventh year also:
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the Lord. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. (Ezekiel 26:1-7)
Judgment against Pharaoh occurred in the eleventh year:
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. (Ezekiel 30:20-23)
A total of eleven rulers in the Bible were judged by God for their rejection of the truth: Pharaoh (Exodus 10:28); Balak (Numbers 24:10); Jeroboam (I Kings 13:4); Ahab (1 Kings 22:27); Naaman (2 Kings 5:12); Asa (2 Chronicles 16:10); Joash (2 Chronicles 24:21); Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:19); Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 26:21); Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:3); and Herod (Matthew 14:3).
They are too numerous to mention. Read the articles on this website which provides numerous practical examples and connections to scripture.
The number 11 is being used deliberately by Satan. God is allowing variants of this number to surface repeatedly to reveal to those with spiritual perception that the true meaning behind these atrocities is judgment.
If you have accepted Christ by asking Him to be your Lord and Savior, then you are a new creature in Him. You are no longer under God’s judgment. You are an heir to His promises:
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4-7)
The judgment for your sin was deferred when you accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the penalty for your transgressions.
As an heir of Christ, you need not fear the judgment represented by the number 11. You are secure as part of the people of God, which brings us to the biblical meaning of 12 - the next number in this study.
The Number 12
The number 12 represents the people of God. Let’s see how this symbolic meaning was derived.
In the Old Testament, God selected twelve men from whom the nation of Israel would be birthed. Likewise, in the New Testament, twelve disciples were selected to be representative of the innumerable host of true disciples who would follow down through the centuries. In both cases, the number 12 represents God’s people.
Another illustration of the number 12 as it relates to God’s people is the healing of the woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years (Mark 5:25). When she touched Christ’s garment, she was immediately healed. The Bible was specific in saying that she had suffered for twelve years and no one could help her. This woman was symbolic of all human suffering. As children of God, we are made whole by His virtue alone. No one else can help us.
When we consider the miracle that Jesus did for a twelve-year-old girl by raising her from the dead, we again see the prophetic significance of this number:
And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. (Mark 5:42)
Why was it important to mention the age of the girl? Because this miracle is representative of the raising up of a people who were formerly dead in sin--the Body of Christ:
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-7)
There is repeated prophetic relevance to the number 12 in the book of Revelation:
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Revelation 21:10-21)
John saw twelve tribes, twelve angels, twelve foundations with twelve precious stones, and twelve gates with twelve pearls. These gates led to God’s city, which measured twelve thousand furlongs
Was the repeated use of the number 12 just a coincidence?
No, it was not. The number relates to the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles, two groups that represent God’s people under the old and new covenants. God’s people from both Old and New Testament eras are represented symbolically through the inscription of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the names of the 12 disciples. The new Jerusalem described in the book of Revelation is God’s city prepared for God’s people. Hence, the number 12 is used symbolically and frequently.
The twelve stars in the crown of the woman in Revelation chapter 12 are also symbolic of the people of God:
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)
Most commentators agree that this woman represents the true church. The woman is clothed with the sun, a striking emblem of Jesus Christ, the light and glory of the church. The woman has the moon under her feet. The moon derives its illumination from the sun, as the church derives its light from Christ. Upon the woman’s head is a crown of twelve stars. This represents the twelve apostles, who were founders of the church and by whom the gospel was extended throughout the world. Again, God's people are represented by the number 12.
The Numbers 13-20
The numbers 13-20 are used less frequently in scriptures, but they still have significant meanings.
The Number 13
The number 13 is symbolic of rebellion against God, lawlessness, and God's judgment of such evil conduct.
-It is said of Nimrod, the mighty hunter, that he was "'before the Lord"--meaning that he tried to take the place of God (Genesis 10:9). He was the 13th in Ham's genealogy (Ham was one of Noah's three sons who survived the flood).
-Haman had a decree signed that on the 13th day of the first month all the Jews in the Persian Empire were to be killed (Esther 3:7-9).
-The number 13 was involved in the destruction of Jericho. The Israelites marched around the city once a day for six days, and on the seventh day they marched around seven times, making a total of thirteen.
-The number 13 is associated with evil to this present day. According to pagan superstition, Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. Many modern high-rise buildings do not have a 13th floor because of wide-spread aversion to this number.
-The number 13 holds no threat for a true believer who is walking in obedience to God's Word.
The Number 14
The number 14 is double the number 7, which implies double spiritual perfection.
-The 14th day of the first month is the Passover, marking the day when God delivered the firstborn of Israel from death, thus perfecting and completing their deliverance from slavery which is symbolic of sin.
-The genealogy of Jesus Christ listed in Matthew chapter 1 is divided into three sets of 14 generations, indicating total perfection (Matthew 1:17).
-On the 14th day of the first month in 30 A.D. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father, was crucified as the perfect sacrifice to save mankind from sin. Old Testament sacrifices were no longer necessary. The sacrifice for sin was complete.
The Number 15
The number 15 means spiritual rest. The 15th day of the first Hebrew month (Nisan) is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is a day of rest for the nation of Israel. The 15th day of the seventh Hebrew month begins the Feast of Tabernacles and is also a day of rest.
The Number 16
According to the Old Testament record, both Azariah and Uzziah were sixteen years old when they began to rule as kings (2 Kings 14:21 and 2 Chronicles 26:1). Both men and King Jotham reigned for 16 years, indicating that perhaps the number 16 is related to government instituted by man. Some commentators also see this number as being related to God's love, as in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 there are 16 qualities of Godly love listed. Perhaps a contrast between human government and God's loving reign is suggested?
The Number 17
In the Bible the number 17 symbolizes complete victory over the enemy.
-God overcame the sins of rebellious humans when He began the flood on the 17th of the second Hebrew month. Noah's ark and its eight passengers rested on the mountains of Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month.
-One of the major themes of the Day of Atonement, which occurs in the seventh Hebrew month on the tenth day (totaling 17), is the spiritual symbolic binding of Satan.
-Jesus Christ gained complete victory over death and the grave when God resurrected Him on Nisan 17.
-The seven beasts in Daniel's vision had seven heads and ten horns, for a total of 17. These beasts represent world-ruling powers from Daniel's time to the Second Coming of Jesus. The number 7 does not mean the devil's plan is perfect, rather that his defeat will be complete.
-The devil's end-time system is symbolized in scripture as having seven heads and ten horns, which totals 17 (Revelation 13). Ten plus 7 equal the number 17, which testifies to Christ's perfect victory over Satan's evil system of government (Revelation chapter 20).
The Number 18
The number 18 is symbolic of bondage. Because of their sin, the children of Israel were in bondage to Eglon, a Moabite king, and the Ammonites and the Philistines who oppressed them for 18 years (Judges 3:12, 14, 10:7-8).
God freed the Israelites from Eglon through Ehud, who later became one of Israel's judges. Jephthah and Samson were used by God to free his people from the bondage of the Ammonites and the Philistines.
Bondage can also be spiritual in nature. While teaching in a Synagogue on the Sabbath day, Jesus healed a woman who had been in bondage to a spirit of infirmity for 18 years.
The Number 19
The number 19 implies a period of mercy before God's judgment is manifested.
The united kingdom of Israel split into two segments after the death of Solomon--which, of course, was not the perfect will of God. The portion referred to as Israel or the Northern Ten Tribes, had Jeroboam as their first king.
Including Jeroboam, Israel was ruled by a total of nineteen kings before God allowed them to be conquered by the Assyrians and removed from their land due to their sins against God. Throughout the nineteen years of God's merciful delay of judgment, they did not repent or reunite with Judah.
The Number 20
Twenty means a complete or perfected waiting period.
-Jacob waited 20 years to take possession of his wives and property and be freed from the control of Laban, his father-in-law (Genesis 31:38-41).
-For 20 years the children of Israel waited to be freed from Jabin, king of Canaan, who oppressed them. Finally, Deborah and Barak were raised up by God to free the people from bondage (Judges 4-5).
-In the days of the Prophet Samuel, the Philistines battled Israel and seized their Ark of the Covenant. This resulted in such calamities on the Philistines that after seven months they sent it back to the Israelites. The Ark ended up in the city of Kirjath-jearim, several miles west of the Holy City, and it was some 20 years before it was returned to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 5-7).