What Does 3 Mean in the Bible?

The Bible is full of symbolism that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. One recurring symbol is the number three. From the Holy Trinity to the three wise men, the number three appears throughout the Bible in significant ways. 

In this post, we will explore the meaning of the number three in the Bible and its significance in various stories and verses.

The Trinity

The most well-known use of the number three in the Bible is in reference to the Holy Trinity. Christians believe in one God who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

This concept is central to Christianity and is referenced in many verses throughout the Bible, such as Matthew 28:19, which instructs believers to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Three Wise Men

 Another well-known example of the number three in the Bible is the story of the three wise men who visited Jesus after his birth. In this story, the wise men brought three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which are believed to represent Jesus’ role as king, priest, and sacrifice. 

The three wise men are also sometimes interpreted as representing the three races of humanity: Asian, African, and European.

The Three Temptations

 In the New Testament, Jesus faced three temptations from Satan in the desert. Each temptation was a test of Jesus’ faith and resolve, and each time he resisted the temptation. 

This story is seen as a representation of the power of the number three in the Bible and the significance of overcoming temptation in the face of adversity.

The Three-Fold Cord

In Ecclesiastes 4:12, the Bible speaks of the strength of a three-fold cord, which is not easily broken. This verse is often used to represent the strength of relationships between three people or entities, such as the Holy Trinity or a marriage between a man, a woman, and God.

The Three Crosses

In the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, he was hung on a cross alongside two criminals. This imagery of the three crosses is seen as significant because it represents the idea of redemption and the power of the number three in the Bible. The two criminals represent sin and death, while Jesus represents salvation and eternal life.

The Three Days

In several instances throughout the Bible, the number three is associated with a period of three days. For example, Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days before being spat out on the shore. Jesus was also in the tomb for three days before rising from the dead. This symbolism of three days is often interpreted as representing a period of trial and testing before a new beginning or transformation.


The number three holds significant meaning in the Bible, from the Holy Trinity to the three wise men, the three temptations, the three-fold cord, the three crosses, and the three days. These examples show the power of symbolism in the Bible and the importance of paying attention to the details in order to fully understand the meaning of each story and verse.