What Does the Number 4 Mean Spiritually: the Number of Material Order

what does the number 4 mean spiritually

What does the number 4 mean spiritually? This number is quite significant in various cultures around the globe and different eras. We live in a world whose dialect is in vibrations and frequency.

This palpable energy of the Universe reverberates at its heart. In many records, numbers are often associated with these frequencies and vibrations. From the old scriptures of Puranas to the Renaissance period’s Paganism, the significance of numbers in the spiritual realm has always been there.

Even in modern times of technology, many people belong to this school of thought. Nikola Tesla said, “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6, and 9, then you would have a key to the Universe.”

There is a whole spectrum of interpretation of this quote, yet a broad section of philosophers relate this to the metaphysics discipline. Many modern practitioners have a keen interest in the relationship between numbers and their associated spiritual meaning.

Let us take a deep dive into the trend of spiritual stories.

Number mysticism, or numerology, believes that a number, besides having quantitative value, also holds significant divine qualities. These qualities are meant to guide human life on earth and help us understand intricate cosmic laws.

It is a widespread belief in spirituality that our’ guides,’ or social beings from other dimensions, help align us to our true divine paths. One medium for this is by sending us messages. These messages come to us in the form of life events, words, people, and numbers.

Once we connect these messages and the lessons we are meant to learn, we can embark on this aspect of our inner journey if we choose to.

What Does the Number 4 Mean Spiritually

Number 4 is also called ‘The Number of Material Order.’

Mostly this number represents stability, order, structure, materialization, and synonyms of such sorts. Almost every culture revolves around the same belief regarding the spiritual understanding of number 4.

Here are a few mentions:

The Mayan Culture

The Mayans come from the Mesoamerican culture and are celebrated for fully developing a written language in ancient times. Their script gives great importance to number 4. Their culture intricately relates 4 cardinal points. These cardinal points also represent the ends of the cross. Their village architecture was also based on a square: 4 roads span out in all 4 directions from the centralized sacred trees. At the exit point, 4 shrines were built for the holy guardians of the village.

The Chinese Culture

This is probably the only culture with a negative notion of number 4. Due to the same pronunciation of the Chinese word ‘she’ meaning number 4 and ‘shi’ meaning death, Number 4 is avoided much like number 13 in western culture. When science still belonged to the future, many believed the earth was rectangular and flat. From this, the Chinese have inspired to bore a liking for 4 and square and gave rise to the word fang. Fang is a Chinese word that means 4 and is written in a court shape.


Hinduism is a dominant religion in secular India. Here, Dharma becomes the fourth pillar of creation and has two meanings: preserving divine order and assisting the beings. This is why most of the representation of gods and goddesses has four hands. The Hindu iconography has symbolized Dharma by the number 4. Also, in India, there are the 4 Vedas or ancient texts.


The Passover Seder was designed over four: the four questions, the four sons, and the four cups of wine. Four is a number associated with directions; thus, 4 angle surrounds the Throne of Glory. Their scripts mention 4 kingdoms in the eschaton. They also have 4 Matriarchs: Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel.

The Greek Culture

Number 4 was considered an ideal number in the teaching of Pythagoreans. Its connection to the material realm came into existence when the cube was regarded as the fourth solid body. Then the cube is also called the shape belonging to the earth. The tetraktys (a shape or formation) is formed by a mathematical pattern 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 was called great all-embracing unity. 4 and 10 were viewed with a similar lens and held a close relationship to each other. Hesiod was possibly the first thinker who mentioned the 4 ages of worlds.

The Biblical Context

There is a strong correlation shown among numbers 4: 

4 direction, and 4 angels or cherubim in biblical tradition. Ezekiel’s vision also talks of 4 creatures: the man, the lion, bullock, and the eagle, considered close to the divine. This later combined with the 4 letters of the divine name through an unknown process. The holy name, which has 4 letters called the tetragrammaton ( YHWH ), is traditionally not pronounced.

The Cabalistic Belief

Cabalistic also agreed with the power of 4. They classified the Universe into 4 parts:

  • the world of emanation called Atzilut
  • the world of creation called Beriah
  • the world of the formation called Yetzirah
  • the world of visible things called Asiyah

The Sioux Culture

The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin were First National people in North America. They were Native American tribes for whom 4 was a perfect number. They had 4 groups of deities named superiors, allies, subordinates, and spirits. They also believed in 4 species of animal grouped as creeping, flying, quadruped, and two-legged. The concept of the 4 ages of human beings (infancy, childhood, maturity, and old age) is found in their beliefs. Their medicine men and women always traveled and performed rituals in 4. Their shield, made in 1866, shows a falcon with 4 feathers representing 4 enemies or 4 major victories.

Video: Meaning of Number 4 in the Bible


What does the symbolism of the number 4 mean?

The symbolism of the number 4 is linked to the cross and concreteness.

Why is number 4 sacred?

4 is considered a sacred number because it represents the order in the universe. Four are the elements, earth, air, fire, and water. The four Seasons. The 4 phases of the moon. The 4 cardinal points.

What does the number 4 represent in the Bible?

The number 4 in the Bible is a symbol of completeness. The Bible speaks of the new Jerusalem as the new earth, which has 4 sides, and the earth, which has four corners (Book of Revelation).


We saw that various cultures belonging to different eras had all converged to a common point. The spiritual essence of number 4 is regarded with material order, stability, and structure but not materialism.

This belief also finds a place in numerology and tarot. Number 4 is also considered lucky in many places because of the 4-leafed clover. The moon has 4 phases-crescent, waxing, full, and waning for those who follow moon cycles. There are also 4 directions in most cultures.

The vibration of any number that is a multiple of 4 is also considered to hold the properties of the number 4 as well. Any number whose digits can be added down to 4 is also treated with a similar value to the number 4.

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