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Saturday, May 17, 2014

God and the number seven

Have you ever noticed the prominence of the number seven in Scripture? Although what follows is not meant to list all of the occurrences in the Bible of the number seven, it will demonstrate just how prevalent the number is throughout its pages.

Consider the following:

1. We are told that the everything is created in six days, and that God rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 1 and 2:1-3)
2. God gave Noah a notice of seven days that the flood was about to commence. (Genesis 7:4, 10)
3. In the dreams that God gave to Pharaoh, there were seven fat cows followed by seven thin cows and seven full heads of grain followed by seven withered heads. (Genesis 41:1-7)
4. Joseph later explained that the cattle and the grain were symbolic of seven years of plenty that were to be followed by seven years of want. (Genesis 41:25-32)
5. The Israelites were instructed to eat unleavened bread for seven days. (Exodus 12:15, 19 and 13:6-7)
6. God commanded the Israelites to remember the seventh day and keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)
7. God instructed the Israelites to construct the golden lampstand with seven lamps for the Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:37)
8. The consecration ceremony for Aaron and his sons was to last seven days. (Exodus 29:35)
9. The priest was to dip his finger in the blood of the animal sacrifice and sprinkle it before the veil seven times. (Leviticus 4:6, 17)
10. The Israelites were commanded to observe seven annual festivals before the Lord: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Wave Sheaf, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. (Leviticus 23)
11. As part of Pentecost, God instructed them to count seven Sabbaths after the Wave Sheaf Offering. (Leviticus 23:15-16)
12. God told Moses that anyone who touched a corpse was to be regarded as ceremonially unclean for a period of seven days. (Numbers 19:11)
13. At the end of every seven years, the people were to be released from their debts. (Deuteronomy 15:1)
14. God told Joshua to distribute seven trumpets to seven priests and have them march around the city of Jericho for seven days. Moreover, on the seventh day, they were instructed to march around the city seven times. (Joshua 6)
15. We are informed that there are seven things that are an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
16. Isaiah prophesied that the sun would be seven times brighter than normal on the day that God redeems the Israelites. (Isaiah 30:26)
17. Ezekiel prophesied that it would take seven days to consecrate the altar in God's new temple. (Ezekiel 43:25-26)
18. God decreed that King Nebuchadnezzar would lose his mind and wander in the wilderness for seven times. (Daniel 4)
19. Zechariah informs us that God has seven eyes that roam around the earth. (Zechariah 4:10)
20. There were seven loaves of bread and seven baskets of leftovers in the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. (Matthew 15:34-37)
21. Christ told his disciples that they should forgive their brother seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
22. The book of Revelation was addressed to the seven churches of Asia. (Revelation 1:4)
23. In John's vision, there were seven stars and seven golden candlesticks - one for each of the churches. (Revelation 1:20)
24. There were seven seals on the book that the angel was holding. (Revelation 5)
25. There were seven angels with seven trumpets. (Revelation 8)
26. There were seven thunders. (Revelation 10)
27. There were seven angels who had the seven final plagues of God's wrath. (Revelation 15)
28. The woman sat on a beast with seven heads. (Revelation 17)

Hence, we can see that Scripture is insistent and consistent in its assertion that the number seven is significant to God. Nevertheless, we don't need Scripture to assert that this number is important to the Creator - All we have to do is look at the world around us.

Consider the following:

1. Seven is a number that is mathematically unique and significant in ways too numerous to mention here.
2. The phenomenon of a seven day week is universal on planet earth.
3. There are seven colors in the rainbow.
4. There are seven continents on this earth.
5. There are seven Liberal Arts.
6. The number seven is significant to peoples of different cultural and religious backgrounds all over this planet.
7. The concept of there being "Seven Wonders of the World" is well entrenched in human history.
8. There are seven basic notes of music.

Interesting! It appears that seven is significant to God. I'll leave my readers to speculate about why that might be.

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