All about the number 22

According to Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, authors of the Dictionnaire des Symboles (1st edition, 1969; revised and expanded edition Robert Laffont, 1982),

“This number symbolises the manifestation of the being in its diversity and in its history… that is to say in space and in time. It totals, in fact, the 22 letters which, according to the Kabbalah, express the Universe: three fundamental letters, the equivalents of Alpha, Omega and M, which are the archetypal figures; seven double letters, corresponding to the intermediate intelligible world; twelve simple letters corresponding to the sensible world. Of course, in this doctrine we are dealing with the Hebrew letters, but they are their analogues in Egyptian hieratic, Phoenician, Ethiopian, etc.

But it is to the ancient Parsis that this interpretation of 22 as a symbol of all natural forms and of the whole history of the creature would go back. The Avesta was composed of books in 22 chapters; the collection of prayers of the same number of prayers. The Apocalypse attributed to St. John also has the same number of chapters. On the other hand, the major arcana of the Tarot are also of this same amount.

In a Fulani tradition, 220 means a very long time. This number is said to have a secret, sacrificial and initiatory meaning.

This number plays an important role in the symbolic thinking of the Dogon and Bambara. For the Bambara, whose mystical knowledge is covered by the symbolism of the first twenty-two numbers, this number represents the total amount of time that has elapsed from the beginning of creation to the completion of the organisation of the world. It is the conclusion of the creator’s work, the end of the words, the number of the universe.

Properties of the number

The human head consists of 22 bones: 8 for the skull and 14 for the face.

Represents creation, which is the manifestation of 21, according to R. Allendy. This is, among other things, the meaning of the “principle of differentiation, 2, which is added to the initial differentiation of the Cosmos 20 to subdivide its parts and thereby generate the complex mechanism of nature – 2 + 2 = 4. (…) With 22, we see the play of opposing particular initiatives – 22 = 11 x 2 -, balanced in the natural mechanism”.


The 22 chapters of the Apocalypse of Saint John, totalling 405 verses. This is Stephen Langton’s current division, used since the 13th century, as for the rest of the New Testament. Note in passing that Revelation also has a total of 405 numbers written in either cardinal or ordinal form: 136 cardinal numbers greater than 1, 59 ordinal numbers greater than 1, 193 times the number 1 in cardinal form and 17 times the number 1 in ordinal form.

Before he died, Jesus cried out “Eli Eli lama sabactani” which is the beginning of Psalm 22.

The alphabetical psalms, whose verses (Ps 111 and 112), stanzas (Ps 37 and 119) or verses (Ps 145) are designated by each of the twenty-two Hebrew letters.

This is the number of letters of the alphabet found in the Pentateuch.

The chronology of the Patriarchs, from Adam to Jacob, includes 22 names.

The reign of Jeroboam lasted twenty-two years (1 Kings 14:20).

Exegetes have noted that there are 22 words in the Bible that have no parallel outside the New Testament. By 1850, a large number (about 1600) of words in the NT and the Greek OT were not attested anywhere else. Between 1950 and 1980, thanks to the discovery of papyri, manuscripts and inscriptions, the number of words not attested elsewhere fell from 46 to 22.

The “Rosary for Peace” consists of the same number of prayers: once the “I cross in God” and seven times the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father. The Virgin Mary in her apparitions in Medjugorje asks to pray this rosary mainly for priests and for peace in the world.

The 22 elements with which God created the world.

At his Ascension, Jesus blessed creation twenty-two times.

The Word of God is on the 22nd level of consciousness. The cosmic consciousness would indeed be subdivided into 24 spiritual or dimensional levels. The highest level of consciousness, the 24th, would be attributable only to the Father-God and the 23rd level would be considered a protective energetic region surrounding the 24th level.

Twenty-two is the number of biblical books in the OT – Hebrew and Protestant. This number is arrived at by counting the twelve minor prophets as one book, as well as Judges, Kings, Ezra, Chronicles – each of which is usually divided into two books. Ruth must also be included with Judges and Lamentations with Jeremiah. And it is thanks to this last restriction that we finally obtain 22 instead of 24. Flavius Josephus – Against Apion, I, 8, 1st c. – is the first to have proposed a division into 22 books.

In the Hebrew Book of Enoch, or Book of the Palaces, we read that “the King of kings of kings, the Holy One blessed be he… has twenty-two seals on the ring of his finger, with which were sealed all the structures of the firmament of Aravot”.

In the Hebrew Book of Enoch, or Book of Palaces, the distances of Heaven are mentioned: “Between the rivers of fear and the rivers of awe 22 myriads of parasangles. Between the rivers of hail and the rivers of darkness 36 myriads of parasangles. Between the chambers of lightning and the clouds of consolation, 42 myriads of parasangias. Between the clouds of consolation and the chariot, 84 myriads of parasangias.”

In “Lamentations Rabba”, the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are called to witness against Israel’s transgressions: “Your sons have sinned and transgressed the whole Torah and the 22 letters therein.”

The Mezuzah contains fifteen verses from the last book of the Old Testament, Deuteronomy, VI, 4-9 and XI, 13-21, a total of 170 words, again written in 22 lines. This small scroll is inserted into a wooden or metal tube and is attached to the upper right-hand side of a doorframe, according to the Bible’s commandment: “And you shall write them on the doorframe of your house”.

In his book “Homilies on Numbers I”, Origen mentions that God’s creatures have 22 species.

The 22 chapters of the Vendidad, the book of the Avesta, written by Zoroaster.

The 22 prayers – Yeshts – of the Khorda-Avesta.

In Buddhism, the Indriya represents the same number of physical and mental faculties.

The god Chronos was surrounded by the same number of principal assistants and the same number as secondaries, according to the Phoenician Sanchoniaton.

For Muslims, the Qur’an is the record of the oral revelation given by the grace of God to the Prophet of Islam over a period of almost 22 years, at the beginning of the seventh century of the Christian era – from 610 to 632.

According to S. Doucet and J.-P. Larosée, man is composed of twenty-two evolutionary bodies grouped into four categories: subtle bodies, energetic bodies, galactic bodies and the temporal bodies. Each of these 22 bodies is made up of 1296 “walls” which they call circumferences, each vibrating at a precise frequency. This number 1296 is called the ‘Energetic Number’, since it is the product of 12 – the Cosmic Number – and 108 – the Universal Number. Multiplying 22 by 1296 gives the total number of 28512 circumferences making up the 22 evolutionary bodies of man, which they say is the number of man and also the number of Infinite Energy.

According to Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, the primitive alphabet of all mankind, in the period of Ram – the Adamic alphabet or Watan – would have contained 22 signs.

Salemi points out that the Hebrew Candlestick has 22 chalices, apples and flowers, counting the upper point of the axis.

“Of the twenty-two Grand Masters of the Order of the Templars from its creation to its end, seven lost their lives in battle; five died of their wounds, one of voluntary fasting, having fallen into the hands of the infidels. Finally, Jacques Molay was to be burned alive under Philip the Fair, but the Order was dissolved when this crime was committed. Thus a total of thirteen Grand Masters in office paid with their lives for the honour of commanding Christ’s soldiers. (John Charpentier)

The 22 cards of the Tarot – the 22 major arcana.

The Cosmos is said to contain 22 Super-Universes.

Pythagoras’ initiation with the Egyptian priests lasted the same number of years.

The twenty-two channels linking the ten Sephiroth together in the Sephirotic Tree of Kabbalah.

In his book “Pseudomonarchia daemonum”, Wier speaks of Pursan, the great king of hell. He appears in human form, in the costume of the time, with a head reminiscent of a lion. It seems that he is the father of the good familiar spirits. Twenty-two legions receive his orders.

Twenty-two regular polygons can be inscribed in a circle: 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 90, 120, 180, 360. These are twenty-two of the twenty-four divisors of 360, the first two, 1 and 2, not defining polygons.

The total number of stars in the Little Dipper. However, only seven of them are visible to the naked eye.

22 divided by 7 gives the number pi, which is the mysterious and approximate ratio of the perimeter of a circle to its diameter.

The sum of the first 22 decimal places of the number PI (3.1415…) gives 108.


The warning cry “22!” was used by typographers to warn themselves of the arrival of the foreman. The number is obtained by adding the numerical values of each letter of the word “chief” according to their position in the Latin alphabet: C=3, H=8, E=5 and F=6.


This number is used 13 times in the Bible.

The OT book of Leviticus uses a total of 22 different numbers, the largest of which is 10,000 (Lev 26:8).

The number 400 is used the same number of times in the Bible.

The word universe is used 22 times in the OT and the words balance, marriage, day and creation 22 times in the Bible.

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