Timeless passages for the 3-23-23 palindrome and beyond

©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

Every day comes with wonder, but some dates such as 3-23-23 arrive with a twist – as palindromes.  When a date is the same whether we read it backward or forward, it’s known as a palindrome. March 2023 boasts 11 palindromic dates; however, March 20, 2023 was unique in that it’s a palindrome both with the year written out and shortened – 3-20-23 and 3-20-2023.

Palindromic numbers can be short or extensive.  Consider 37973 or stretch it to 98,765,432,132,456,789. You get the picture – or the number, so to speak!

Many common words in our vocabulary such as noon, deed and level are palindromes.  Two of my personal favorites are mom and wow!

Names can be palindromes too.  Perhaps a friend of yours has one?  Eve, the first woman, carried the original palindrome name. Ironically, a well-known palindromic phrase coined by an unknown person is “Madam, I’m Adam.”

What makes palindromes like 3-23-23 fascinating is that even though they are complete, they don’t get stuck going backward but instead they can be reversed and go forward.

So can we.

But if we’re not careful, we may end up going only backward, and we’ll miss out on the joy found in walking forward with the Lord.  The Biblical book of Jeremiah reports God speaking against the following of deceptive practices, engaging in destructive actions, and separating from truth – and yet acting as if the relationship with Him is strong.

But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. Jeremiah 7:23-24 (emphasis added)

And, the book of the Bible right before Jeremiah?  That’s Isaiah, the 23rd book of the Bible, and it contains specific prophesy about the Messiah.

In case you’re wondering, 20 books of the Bible have 23 or more chapters, the vast majority found in the Old Testament.  Proverbs 23:23 reminds us to find the truth and wisdom and hold tight to it… Buy the truth and do not sell it – wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

And, while it doesn’t have a 23rd verse, Psalm 23 has been memorized by many for generations.  Its third verse is “he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”


The previous (and only time) I’ve written about palindromes was for Twosday – 2-22-22! So, I couldn’t let 3-23-23 go by without a nod. Following the last model, I looked for Bible verses that fit the parameter to mark 3-23-23.  These 13 select verses are from the third chapters and 23 verses (3:23) of various books of the Bible. What story do you see?

The Sin

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Genesis 3:23

Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? Job 3:23

The Restoration

Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills and mountains is a deception; surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:23

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:(22) and 23

The Recognition

So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. Ezekiel 3:23

At that time I pleaded with the Lord: “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Deuteronomy 3:23 (and 24)

The Path

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?” Mark 3:23

Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. Galatians 3:23

And you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. 1 Corinthians 3:23

The Purpose

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters Colossians 3:23

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 3:23

A palindrome, be it 3-23-23, Eve, or radar, is the same whether we read it forward or backward.  In Hebrews 13:8 we see this reference to the One who is the same from the past, the present and into eternity.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

When we look back over the centuries, the steadfast love, faithfulness and mercy of God is evident, and we can count on that all the way to eternity.

  • Who can you think of who has a palindrome name or birthday?
  • Were any of the 3-23 verses familiar to you?  Which ones?
  • As you read the 3-23 verses which one is the one you’re most glad you read today?
  • What will you do on 3-23-23?

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 3 John 2-3


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


*Scripture references are from New International Version (NIV)


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