Musings on the Number Thirteen

Moonrise over Glastonbury Tor - photo by John MacArthur
The number 13 traditionally is associated with transformation, renewal,
and regeneration – perhaps because there are about 13 full moons in a year.

Pyramidal Earth
A pyramid has 8 edges and 5 surfaces, for a total of 13 elements.

    Popular American phrases with 13 letters:
  • The Spirit of 76
  • July the Fourth
  • American Eagle
  • American Dream
  • Don't Tread on Me
  • An Appeal to God

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President in 1932 and died in office 13 years later in 1945. The 13th President to serve more than one term, Roosevelt put both sides of the Great Seal on the one-dollar bill in 1935.

"It was a bright cold day in April,
and the clocks were striking thirteen

This is the opening sentence of George Orwell's prophetic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The book's hero, Winston Smith, rewrites history at the Ministry of Truth, or Minitrue as it's called in the official language known as Newspeak.

"The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits... but to make all other modes of thought impossible."

The Minitrue building "was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure... soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air."

Moon over the Capstone and Pyramid

"This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." – Matthew 13:13

Is the Great Seal is a kind of pictorial parable?

The only book in the Bible whose 13th chapter has exactly 13 verses is First Corinthians, whose 13th verse is timeless and universal:

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love."

Charles Thomson, principal designer of the Great Seal, also translated the entire Bible from Greek into English.

Time Map: "The thirteen courses of the pyramid may represent
thirteen time-periods of thirteen years each." – Paul Foster Case

Author and webwright: John D. MacArthur