The Number Seven

#7To anyone who has ever read the Bible, the number seven often stands out by representing something significant. In the beginning God created six days and rested on the seventh. It signified that creation was finished and complete. God established the Sabbath day or the seventh day as a perpetual covenant and sign between Himself and Israel forever. (Exodus 31:16, 17)

The seventh year was considered a Sabbath year for Israel. The land was not to be cultivated. God would provide enough the sixth year so Israel would have plenty for the seventh year. Furthermore, at the end of the seventh year, Israelite creditors were required to release any other Israelite from their debt so there would be no poor among them. (Lev 25:1-4; Deut. 15:1-4) And after seven periods of seven years God declared the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. All land was to be returned to the original tenant and slaves were to be reunited with their family. (Lev 25:10)

In their relationship with the Lord, obedience was very important. Concerning blessing and cursing, if Israel obeyed the Lord, He would cause their enemies to flee seven ways before them. However, if they disobeyed Him, He would cause them to be defeated and flee seven ways from their enemy. (Deut. 28:7,25)

When the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan into Canaan they went to battle with the city of Jericho. God commanded Joshua to have seven priests with seven horns march around the city each day. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times and blow the trumpet. When they did, God gave the city over the Israelites. (Joshua 6)

All these sevens and many more in the Old Testament establish the idea that the number seven represents perfection and fullness. So when we read in Revelation chapter one verse four of the seven Spirits before the throne, it must be understood in this context. The Scripture is clear that there is one God and one Spirit, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord,…” (Ephesians 1:4,5) Thus the number seven accompanied with the Spirit is a most significant picture.

As for the rest of the book of Revelation there are seven stars, seven golden lamp stands, and seven churches in chapter one. A lamb as though slain is described as having seven horns and seven eyes. (5:6) There is a scroll with seven seals. (5:1) Seven angels are given seven trumpets (8:2) and seven last plagues. (15:1) In chapter 10 John saw a mighty angel that cried out and seven thunders uttered their voices. Seven thousand people are killed in an earthquake. (11:13) A dragon appears in chapter 12 with seven heads and seven diadems. In chapter 13 John has a vision of a beast with seven heads and ten horns. And in chapter 17 he sees a woman sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. The number seven seems to reach its pinnacle in Revelation. It occurs more times here than in any other book of the Bible.

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