Robert Belanger (20 June 2011)
"Interesting Numbers: 153, 234, 666"

Dear Doves,

The number 153 is interesting. We hear of the number 153 in the gospel of John regarding the number of fish caught in the net.  John 21:11 “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”

The number 153 appears elsewhere as well. The length of the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Egypt is 153 feet;  the square root of 153 is 12.3693 which when divided into the length of the solar year in days (365.2422) yields 29.528, the number of days in the lunar cycle; the number of courses of masonry from the floor of the King’s Chamber to the summit of the Great Pyramid is 153; the maximum height ever achieved in masonry when building the Gothic cathedrals was 153 meters in the tower of the Beauvais Cathedral in France (it collapsed in a short time, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauvais_Cathedral and view the photo to be impressed by the incredible height of the choir and the vaulting).

Of course the number 153 is interesting in it own right.  Its divisors are 1, 3, 9, 17, 51, and 153.  It is the 17-th triangular number, that is it is the sum of the first 17 digits. Using Gauss’ formula for pairs: (1+2+3+… +16+17)= (1+17)+(2+16) +…+(8+10)+ 9= 8(18)+9 = 153. The number 153 squared is 153x153=23409. The aliquot factors (not including 153 and 1) have a product of 23409 also: 3x9x17x51= 23409. If we pair the factors then their products are all 153: 1x153, 3x51, 9x17. The sum of the cubes of the digits in 153 add to 153: 1x1x1+3x3x3+5x5x5=153.

The sum of the divisors of 153  is 1+3+9+17+51+153=234 which is the number given by Vincent Tan’s angel for gas money (see http://www.choicesforliving.com/spirit/part3/angels.htm). This was the third encounter with the angel on December 23, 1993, and the angel prayed: “Oh most holy and powerful God in heaven, we know you are coming very, very soon. Help us now in your own time and way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

The Bible verses that the angel, who called himself Gabriel, read were: Matt. 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”, Matt. 24:42 “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”, John 14:1-3 “1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”, and Rev. 3:11 “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”.

An interesting puzzle might be to find a fitting number for the servant (4-th) candle in the 7-candle menorah, given the numbers for the 6 arms were: 1,3,9 and 17,51,153. Notice that 3=1x3, 9=3x3, and 51=17x3, 153=51x3.  The sum of the left three candles is 13 and the right three candles is 221 and 221/13=17.  My selection would be 153 as the 4-th candle value, then the divisors needed to obtain the left candles would be the values of the right candles. This provides a symmetrical balance that is pleasing!