# Is there a set of “base”(factor?) midrashic numbers and what are they?

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?

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Since you're using an ad hoc term ("base"), could you please define more clearly (in the question) how one can determine whether something is a base number? Otherwise, this question is exceedingly vague; I'm sorely tempted to close it. –  msh210 Feb 5 '12 at 3:56
I thought that was clear in my question but I guess not. I guess the proper name is a "factor". But also it should apply to division such that 10/2 gives you 5. –  avi Feb 5 '12 at 7:38
I'm really curious what is so vague when I gave a direct example, and even explained why a number may or may not be base... –  avi Feb 5 '12 at 8:01
For example, how do you know to certainly include 4, as opposed to considering it 2 times 2, but perhaps not 40, which you might consider 4 times 10? I don't see any criteria for considering something a base. –  msh210 Feb 5 '12 at 16:31
It would certainly be useful to show the sources you're aware of. –  Isaac Moses Feb 6 '12 at 3:57

For example, Genesis 5:3-5 contains the equation `130+800=930`.