Why is the number seven significant in the Bible?


The Number Seven in the Bible

The first use in the Bible for the number 7 appears in the creation week (Genesis 1). God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days, and then rested on the 7th day, for this reason the Lord blessed the 7th day and sanctified it (Genesis 2:2,3). This is how we have the 7-day weekly cycle which has been observed throughout the ages. From the beginning of the world, the number 7 is identified with something being “finished” or “complete.”

After creation, we find the mention of the number 7 in the story of Noah when 7 pairs of each clean animal were taken into the ark (Genesis 7:2).

In the Mosaic era, the 7th day appears again in the only document that was ever written by the finger of God on stone -the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:18). God commanded the people to remember to keep the 7th day of creation holy (Exodus 20:8-11).

Joshua marched around Jericho for 7 days and 7 priests blew 7 trumpets (Joshua 6:3–4). Later, we have mention to the 7 stems on the tabernacle’s lamp stand (Exodus 25:37). And the Lord commanded Moses to offer animals at least 7 days old before being used for sacrifice (Exodus 22:30).

According to Leviticus 25:8, the Year of Jubilee was to begin after the passing of every 49th year (7 X7). In the Old Testament era, we read about the 7 things that the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16).

The “70 weeks” prophecy of the coming Messiah (Daniel 9:24), and the 7 qualities of the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2).

In the New Testament era, we find the 7 parables in Matthew 13, the 7 woes in Matthew 23, and how Jesus told Peter to forgive a wrongdoer “70 x 7” times (Matthew 18:22).

Also, the number 7 is used extensively in the book of Revelation: 7 churches (1:11), 7 golden candlesticks (1:12), 7 stars (1:16), 7 lamps of fire (4:5), 7 Spirits of God (4:5), 7 seals (5:1), 7 horns and 7 eyes of the Lamb (5:6), 7 trumpets (8:2), 7 thunders (10:4), a dragon with 7 heads and 7 crowns (12:3), a beast with 7 heads (13:1), 7 angels having 7 vials (15:1, 7), 7 last plagues to be poured out on those who follow the beast (15:1), and the beast with 7 heads which is also said to be sitting on 7 mountains who is involved with the 7 kings (17:3, 9).

Throughout the Scriptures, the number 7, when used symbolically, is generally understood to indicate completeness, perfection or to God. And the number 6 points to that which falls short of perfection or to man. As an interesting point to contemplate, the book of Revelation points to the number 666 as the number of the Antichrist or the beast (Revelation 13:18).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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