>Friday the 13th and the Bible

>John Roach, writing for the National Geographic News wrote the following about Friday the 13th and the Bible:

As for Friday, it is well known among Christians as the day Jesus was crucified. Some biblical scholars believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on Friday. Perhaps most significant is a belief that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.

There is also a biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.

The number 13 never appears in the Bible as an evil or unlucky number. This is what the Bible says about the number 13:

1. Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised (Genesis 17:25).

2. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, during the Feast of Booths or Sukkot, the people of Israel should offer 13 young bulls as a burnt offering to the Lord (Numbers 29:13).

3. The inheritance of the tribe of Simeon was 13 towns and their villages (Joshua 19:6).

4. The Levites were allotted 13 towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin (Joshua 21:4).

5. The descendants of Gershon were allotted 13 towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan (Joshua 21:6).

6. It took Solomon 13 years to complete the construction of his palace (1 Kings 7:1).

7. The width of the gateway in Ezekiel’s temple was 13 cubits (Ezekiel 40:11).

8. The sons and brothers of Hosah, a descendant of Merari, totaled 13 (1 Chronicles 26:11).

So, the number 13 is unlucky only in the imagination of superstitious people.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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