Tuesday, September 8, 2009

God's Favorite Numbers

So there are a few specific numbers in that are repeated several times throughout the Bible.  For some reason, this repetition is just really interesting to me.

The Number Three:

Ecclesiastes 4:12 - A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Johah 1:17 - Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.
Matthew 26:34 - "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
Mark 9:31 - "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.  They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."
1 Corinthians 13:13 - And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.
1 John 5:7-8 - For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.  (I can only assume this is talking about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)

The Number Seven:

On the seventh day of Creation God rested from His work. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it.Genesis 7:2-4 - (From the story of Noah) Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate (I always thought it was just two.), and two of every kind of unclean animal (That explains it!), a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.  Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth..."
Joshua 6:4 - Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams horns in front of the ark.  On the seventh day, march around the city seven times with the priests blowing the trumpets.
Proverbs 24:16 - For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again...
Daniel 9:25 - From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven "sevens," and sixty-two "sevens."
Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
In the genealogy of Luke, Chapter three, there are exactly 77 names, with God at the one end, and Jesus at the other. Revelation 6:1 - I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals.
Revelation 8:2 - And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
Revelation 10:4 - And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down."  (I hate secrets!)
Revelation 15:7 - Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.

The Number Forty:

Genesis 7:4 - I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights...
Exodus 16:35 - The Israelites ate manna for forty years...(This has to do with the Israelites being in the wilderness for forty years before reaching the Promised Land.)
Exodus 24:18 - Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain.  And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
2 Samuel 5:4 - David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.
1 Kings 19:8 - So he (Elijah) got up and ate and drank.  Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 Chronicles 9:30 - Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
Ezekiel 29:12 - I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate forty years among ruined cities.
Matthew 4:2 - After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (This was speaking about Jesus' time in the wilderness before he was tempted by Satan.)

What does it all mean?  If you have any idea, let me know.  And if not, I guess I'll just ask the big man himself when I get up there!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I got some awesome insights emailed to me, and I wanted to share them.


This web page makes some interesting comments on the subject, and as you can see, whole books have been written on it.


Rik Rasmussen

On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 8:45 PM, Henrik Rasmussen wrote:

The subject of Numerology is summarized fairly well in this Wikipedia article, giving some insight into the significance of numbers in antiquity:


Rik Rasmussen

On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 7:53 PM, Henrik Rasmussen wrote:

Too much is made over the numbers in the Bible. You have to keep in mind that much of the Bible originated as oral tradition. Certain numbers did take on special significance in the ancient world, but often this may have been to simply make the oral stories easier to remember. When we read that 10,000 people died on a battlefield, we should probably read that as "a lot of people died".

Numbers such as 40 do appear frequently. But keep in mind that many of these same numbers had special significance in the pagan world also. Like many of the stories in the Bible (creation, great flood, etc.) special numbers were often borrowed from older, pagan religions.

We should avoid being distracted by details (often only real in our own minds) and stay focused on the Big Story of the many documents we call our Bible, and that is the story of God's plan, to restore humanity to a right relationship with each other and with God, through his intervention in our world in the form of Jesus of Nazareth and his ministry, with its focus on service to one another, and by that, service to Him.

Rik Rasmussen