Jaren, Texas, is certainly interesting for many reasons, but mostly because of the 9,261 who were spared from the Sudden Departure. Could there be significance in that total number? I thought possibly so I did a little (kinda crazy) math. Here are three theories I landed on about the number 9,261.
The sum is 18, and 18 is the numerical value of the Hebrew word for “life” (chai). It is customary in certain Jewish circles to give gifts and donations in multiples of 18 as a blessing for long life. In ancient Rome, the number could symbolize a blood relative. The number has significance outside of Abrahamic traditions as well. In Hinduism, there are 18 chapters in the Bhagavad Gita, which is contained in the Mahabharata, which has 18 books. The Mahabharata tells the story of the Kurukshetra War, a battle between 18 armies. The war itself lasts for 18 days. Could the number mean the town is a source for life, as Judaism would suggest, or for battle as Hinduism might suggest?
This sum is 153, which has special significance in the Christian tradition. John 21:1-14 tells the story of a miraculous catch of fish, when Jesus makes his third appearance after his resurrection. The narrative in John specifically mentions the number of fish that are caught: 153. Augustine of Hippo posited that the significance referred to the fact that the sum of the first 17 integers is 153. He went on to theorize that 17 represented the combination of divine grace (the seven gifts of the spirit) and the law (the 10 Commandments). In the 14th century, the artist Duccio created a classic work honoring the scripture passage called The Miraculous Catch of 153 Fish. Could the number 153 have special significance for Jarden as well? Since this miracle occurred at an appearance of Christ after his resurrection, could this be a sign that Holy Wayne might have a resurrection and make a reappearance?
This sum is 927, which is also the year that Moroccan prophet Ha-Mim died. Also known as Abu Muhammad, he was a member of the Majkasa subtribe of the Ghomara Berbers. He claimed to have received a revelation in the Berber language. Roughly translated from Arabic, it begins, “O You who are beyond sight, who watches the world, release me from my sins! O you who saved Moses from the sea…” Ha-Mim died in battle fighting the Masmuda Berbers near Tangier. Could this be significant? Could a new prophet be coming to Jarden? Is he the man who stands atop the tower that overlooks the city? Is he one who might die in battle? We’ve seen Rev. Matt Jamison appear in the trailers for this season...will he oppose the new prophet? Or will he himself become the prophet?