What Does the Bible Say About the Number 420?

The number 420 has taken on a symbolic meaning in popular culture, being associated with marijuana use. However, 420 also appears in the Bible, carrying spiritual significance that is often overlooked.

While 420 has become a code synonym for marijuana, its root lies in the Bible. There, the number 420 points to meaningful spiritual themes that are relevant for believers today.

The Spiritual Significance and Meaning of 420 in the Bible

In the Bible, the number 420 appears symbolically, connected to themes of spiritual preparation, restoration, and deeper relationship with God.

One key passage is Exodus 16:32-36, which recounts God providing manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. Moses instructs Aaron to “take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” An omer was an ancient unit of measurement, equivalent to about 2 liters. Since an omer contained one tenth of an ephah, this means 420 omers (42 x 10) filled an ephah.

So in this story, the amount of 420 omers held deep spiritual meaning. It pointed to God miraculously sustaining His people in a time of difficulty and testing. The manna provision also prepared them for entrance into the Promised Land. In this way, 420 symbolizes God’s attentive care, survival through struggle, and hope for the future.

Another significant mention of 420 is in Ezekiel 4:16. Here, God declares a coming judgment on Israel for their disobedience. The prophet Ezekiel is commanded to lie on his left side for 390 days, followed by his right side for 40 days, to symbolize “the punishment of the house of Israel.” Taken together, Ezekiel laid on his sides for 420 total days.

In this sobering passage, the 420 days represent Israel’s pain and hardship under judgment. Yet even here, the number points to redemption. For God said after the 420 days, “I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you.” So 420 speaks of purification, as God refines and restores His people through loving discipline.

Additional Symbolic Meanings

Drawing on these and other scriptural themes, the number 420 also connects to –

  • A time of testing and trial that leads to deliverance
  • A period of spiritual discipline and refinement
  • A completion of appointed hardships and struggles
  • The promise of restoration after God’s judgment
  • Freedom and provision after wilderness wanderings

So in the Bible, 420 held deep symbolic meaning for the Israelites. Though not random or incidental, the number pointed consistently to times of difficulty and preparation that led to blessing and restoration.

Where 420 is Mentioned in Scripture and What it Represents

Let’s look more closely at the key biblical passages where 420 appears. We’ll explore the context and spiritual significance connected with this number in each case.

Exodus 16:32-36 – Provision in the Wilderness

As mentioned, 420 omers of manna were stored in the ark of the covenant. This manna sustained the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt.

Those years were filled with hardship and difficulty. Yet God faithfully provided manna each morning to nourish His people (Exodus 16:4-5). The manna appeared with the morning dew, representing God’s abundant, overflowing provision.

Storing the 420 omers of manna memorialized God’s faithful care and provision during Israel’s time of dependence and testing in the wilderness. It pointed ahead to God supplying their needs in the Promised Land.

Ezekiel 4:1-17 – Judgment and Restoration

Ezekiel’s bizarre actions with the 420 days symbolized coming judgment on Israel for covenant unfaithfulness. But even in discipline, God’s purposes were loving and redemptive.

The 390 days signified the prolonged suffering coming to the Northern Kingdom – “a day for each year” of their disobedience (v.5). The 40 days represented Judah’s struggle in exile in Babylon.

Yet amazingly, God limited the judgment to 420 “years.” His discipline reflected both justice and restraint. And as we saw, He promised to finally restore and gather His people after this appointed time.

Other Possible References

While less explicit, 420 may also echo in the following passages –

  • 400 years of slavery in Egypt (Genesis 15:13) – The round number of 400 years represents a period of difficult preparation that led to the exodus.
  • 40 years in the wilderness (Numbers 14:33-34) – The 40 years of wanderings were a time of God’s provision and protection, preparing Israel for the Promised Land.
  • 40 days spying out Canaan (Numbers 13:25) – The mission of the 12 spies was a time of testing and a chance to demonstrate faith in God’s promises.

In each case, the themes of hardship and preparation point to God’s redemptive purposes, even in times of struggle and judgment.

The Symbolic Meaning of 420 According to Biblical Numerology

Looking deeper, we can explore the spiritual significance of 420 according to biblical numerology – the study of number meanings and patterns in Scripture.

The Meaning of 4

The number 4 represents –

  • Completeness, totality
  • Universality, encompassing the whole earth
  • The earth, creation

It’s the number of the physical world – 4 seasons, 4 directions, 4 elements (earth, air, fire, water). So it signifies fullness in the material realm.

The Meaning of 20

The number 20 symbolizes –

  • Redemption, return
  • Renewal after captivity
  • Spiritual maturity and completeness

In Scripture, 20 represents an appointed time of waiting that leads to deliverance. After hardship, there are new beginnings and redemption.

The Symbolic Message of 420

Together, 420 combines the meanings of 4 and 20 to symbolize –

  • A complete period of trial and judgment on the earth
  • A set time of discipline leading to renewal
  • Fullness and completion of appointed sufferings
  • Freedom at the end of a divinely ordained time of struggle

So in Scripture, 420 strongly signals God’s redemptive purpose behind seasons of hardship. His plans are fixed, appointed, and for our good and restoration.

While 420 has become associated with marijuana culture, the number had deep biblical symbolism for themes of spiritual preparation, deliverance, and restoration. As we wait on God during difficulty, we can take comfort that He remains sovereign. Our trials have appointed limits, and lead to blessing in His purpose and timing.