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10/10/10 mania: 'Divine time' or pagan 'divination'?

What is it about the No. 10?

We’re born with 10 fingers and 10 toes, and Top 10 lists are ubiquitous these days.

But get ready for the number to be talked about a bit more than usual in the next month as Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010, will bring about the unique-to-this-century calendar alignment of 10/10/10.

Some people are already excited about the occasion, including Elsie Nelson of Minnesota who will celebrate her centennial birthday then.

“I’ll be 100 on 10/10/10,” she told the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

Across America and the world, there’s a rush among people planning to get married on the date, making it a busy 24 hours for those who perform wedding ceremonies.

“I was booked for 10:10 a.m. on 10th October 2010 many months ago,” Elaine Searle of Australian Marriage Celebrants told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. “I have booked two more ceremonies during the day and could have booked, probably about six more, but three is my absolute limit!”

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And everyone is invited to take part in the “One Day on Earth” project, where participants will record video of anything they like Oct. 10 to culminate in a film documenting the human experience over a 24-hour period.

“We are creating the first truly worldwide film, where each contributor can be publicly acknowledged in an open forum,” said project founder Kyle Ruddick. “All are welcome to participate; the greater the quality and quantity of participation, the greater our impact on society.”

But is there any significance to this triple-10 occurrence, known as a trinumeral? Some suggest there might be some sort of heavenly meaning, despite the fact our calendar today is based on one developed in the pagan Roman world.

“Throughout the Bible, specific numbers are utilized by God as well as Jesus in the New Testament,” said Connie Lemacks-Davis of Long Beach, Calif., who calls 10/10/10 a “once-in-a-lifetime date that could very well represent a divine time or a divine day on God’s calendar or God’s clock.”

She added, “Specific numbers have always been a part of God’s divine plan. This date might just have a significant meaning or again, it may not. Of course, there is no way of knowing for sure.”

Indeed, the Bible does feature numbers, and often links them with recurring themes.

The No. 10, for instance, is associated with completeness of order.

There’s a famous example of the No. 10 being repeated in Scripture, and it has to do with the Ten Commandments, the set of laws etched in stone by God Himself to guide people in dealing with God and their fellow human beings.

A replica of the Ten Commandments stands silently as Sue Renard reads from the Book of Judges during a 90-hour Bible marathon in Stuart, Fla., Nov. 16, 2006  (WND file photo / Joe Kovacs)

Many people are unaware the Ten Commandments actually had to be created twice, since Moses smashed the original set in anger upon discovering his fellow Israelites in rebellion against God.

“The LORD told Moses, ‘Prepare two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.'” (Exodus 34:1, New Living Translation)

Some other uses of the No. 10 in Scripture include the 10 plagues inflicted on Egypt shortly before the Exodus, 10 generations from Adam to Noah, and Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins.

The No. 7 is also found hundreds of times in the Bible, and is often tied to spiritual perfection. Perhaps the most well-known use of it is God’s creation of the seven-day weekly cycle, and his setting apart of the seventh day of the week as a time of rest.

Another frequently mentioned number is 40, and is usually associated with a time of testing or instruction.

It reflects how many days the rain fell upon Noah’s Ark, the years the Israelites were tested by God in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land, the days Jesus fasted while being tempted by the devil, and the days Jesus spent on Earth personally instructing His disciples after He was raised from the dead and before His ascension back to heaven.

Psalm 40 is also the inspiration for the song “40” by Irish rock band U2 which often closes its concerts by putting Scripture to music with the opening lyric: “I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined and heard my cry.”

Though the Bible is replete with numbers, Scripture also warns against something called “divination,” which is defined as “the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.”

One such condemnation is mentioned in the Book of Isaiah: “The LORD has rejected the people of Israel because they have made alliances with foreigners from the East who practice magic and divination, just like the Philistines.” (Isaiah 2:6)

Some might consider attaching some godly significance to dates on our Roman calendar too close to divination for comfort.

One website analyzing the predictions concerning what might happen on 10/10/10 says most opinions are based on or are rooted in its mathematical uniqueness as a number, with three possible outcomes:

1. Something good happens – There is absolutely no scientific basis for this belief. There are no known logical premises for this belief. The belief that something good will happen is based solely on spiritualism, faith, and/or innate optimism. This belief is not necessarily a bad thing; we don’t know everything; the probability is not zero.

2. Nothing happens – This is the most likely scenario. Just because an unusual date number sequence occurs doesn’t mean that something will happen. Usually it’s a non-event.

3. Something bad happens – There is absolutely no scientific basis for this belief. There are no known logical premises for this belief. The belief that something bad will happen is based solely on pessimism of reality. This belief is not necessarily false; after all, things are generally/usually a mess. The probability is not zero.

Some discussion online regarding the upcoming date includes comments such as: