Who knows one hundred eighty-eight?
Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will:
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188 is half of the gematria of שלום. It thus represents machlokes (breaking "peace" in half). Appropriately, the word פקח has this numerical value, and is the adjective used to describe the prototypical quarrelsome person, Korach (as in Rashi to Num. 16:7).
One wonders, then, how this relates to the gematriaos that Gershon mentioned! Does anyone comment on the equivalence of עשו and שלום?
188 years passed between the times that the Jewish People had to tangle with Midian. The first was in Moshe's times, after the Midianites sent their women to instigate idolatry and immorality among the Jews, for which Moshe was told to fight a war against them (Num. ch. 31); this was in the year 2488 since Creation. The second was when the Midianites began raiding the Land of Israel after the death of Devorah (Judg. 6:1ff), in 2676.
These 188 years break down as follows: 28 for Yehoshua, 40 for Osniel ben Kenaz, 80 for Ehud, and 40 for Devorah.
The name יעקוב is sometimes spelled with a ו which = 188 which is exactly half of the Gematria of עשו which = 376. As עשו was originally the Bechor his name equaled double.