I've always wanted to do an analyses of the Torah based on the numbers given and their midrashic meanings. Specifically, I'm looking for "base" numbers: that is, which are meaningful inherently, not only as factors or products of other meaningful numbers.
An example of what I mean: 40 is the number given to explain a complete change or growth. 40 happens to be the number of weeks for the average pregnancy, so this makes sense for that meaning. However, 40 is also a product of 4 and 10. 4 is a number which represents the earth, and 10 is a number which represents a complete set. So, 40 could also mean, the complete set of the growth from the earth, which has the same symbolic meaning of the full term of a pregnancy. I'm not sure yet if 40 is a base number or if it's just a product of 4 and 10. (It sort of depends on how much of a stretch the explanation is....) On the other side, the fact that 4 is 2 times 2 doesn't mean 4 is not a base because 2 is Zugim or Binary opposites. 2 sets of Zugim or opposites, don't directly relate to the 4 corners of the earth or the 4 elements of the earth, which the number 4 represents in Midrashim. If there is a way to explain the midrashic meaning of 2 so that 2 x 2 = the midrashic meaning of 4, then 2 would be a base, and 4 would not.
The numbers I have so far come up with are:
- 1 Hashem or Unity
- 2 Pairs which have a negative connotation, or opposites
- 3 Chazakas, stability
- 4 Not something I fully understand, but something about humility, the elements and winds of the earth, and something very "natural" but which has a divine cause or basis.
- 7 The entire natural cycle or cycles in general.
- 8 Spirituality or one beyond the cycle, a restart.
- 10 Total completeness
- 12 The nation of Israel
- 13 Mercy
- 26 The loving relationship between Gd and the Jewish people. (possibly a combination of opposites and Mercy)
- 40 A complete growth (possibly the complete outcome of the natural world with a divine basis?)
- 70 Diversity of the world (Possibly the complete set of natural cycles??)
- 600 A very large number of something.
- 613 The Mizvot
Numbers I am not sure about, are 5, 6, 9 and 11. (I'm not aware of independent midrashic meanings for them outside of the song)
Are there any other base numbers that I'm missing?