I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans

from Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

There are only FIVE oceans in the world.

So, 12 is representing something other than simply the oceans in the world.

12 could symbolize the death of hope in God in religions of the world, since, 12 has numerical significance in many of them:
1. 12 Apostles
2. 12 Deities of Greek Religion
3. 12 “Jyotirlingas” in Hindu Shaivism.
4. 12 tribes of Abraham’s son, Jacob
6. 12 princes of Abraham’s son Ishmael.
7. Crown of Mary in Revelation had 12 stars.
8. 12,000 anointed by God in Revelation x 12 tribes of Abraham
9. 12 Imams, legitimate successors of the prophet Muhammad.
10. 12 is age of mature girl, bat mitzvah in Judaism
11. 12 names for the sun god, Surya, in Hinduism
12. 12 days of Christmas

There are 12 months in a year.
Jesus characterized 12 hours of day and night, apiece.
The zodiac has 12 signs.

However, putting aside the conundrum of “12,” in literal imagery pertaining to a ruined world, we can see some of the destruction already taking place in the sea, as pollution is overwhelming the delicate life balance of our world’s precious oceans, and millions of organisms who reside there.

Passing by shores, there is dead fish and debris, indicative of poisoned seas.

“Rev 8:9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died…”

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