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What is the significance of the number seven in the Bible?

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The number 7 is important in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It seems that numerology was so important that representing an event or series of events with the number 7 helped prove that the story was true. The number 7 was of special importance in the Zoroastrian religion, where there were 7 creations, 7 regions of the world, 7 Amesha Spenta (who became the 7 archangels of Judaism), and so on. This would have a great influence on the evolution of numerology in Judaism. However, the number 7 was already significant in Judaic numerology, indicating some earlier influence.

Some examples of 7 in the Old Testament: the first creation story in Genesis, written during or just after the Babylonian Exile, has seven days; Noah took every clean beast and every bird by sevens, and in seven days it rained; Jacob served seven years for Leah and seven years for Rachel; Egypt had seven years of plenty and seven years of famine.

Luke's Gospel demonstrates that Jesus was predestined for greatness because great men occurred in multiples of seven generations starting from Adam, Enoch at 7, Abraham at 21, David at 35 and Jesus at 77, while Matthew demonstrates that Jesus was predestined for greatness because there were 14 generations from Josiah to Jesus, just as there had been 14 generations from David to Josiah and from Abraham to David (14 being 2 times 7).

There were seven heavens and the apocryphal Ascension of Isaiah had the Son descend into the lower world and then re-ascend to the seventh heaven.

The New Testament has the seven loaves and fishes; seven devils exorcised from Mary Magdalene; forgiveness seventy times seven. Also, Revelation has seven churches and many symbols are seven fold, usually because of the 7 angels (archangels).
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  • The number seven symbolizes God's perfection, His sovereignty and holiness. God created earth - seven days; One seven-day week is a reminder of our creator; God blessed the seventh day, making it holy (Exodus 20:8-11)

The best work on numbers is that written by Bullinger "Numbers in Scripture". It has detail as to the meaning of numbers based upon biblical texts, with accurate references,

Another answer: Certain numbers have symbolic meaning, but only within the context of the Scriptures in which they are used. For example, the number four is used to denote allness or universalness. This idea is conveyed in such expressions as "four extremities of the earth" and "four winds of the heavens." (Isaiah 11:12, Daniel 8:8) When the number seven is used in a symbolic way, it represenrs completeness. (Leviticus 4:6, Hebrews 9:24-26) These and other symbolic numbers used in the Scriptures gain meaning from their prophetic context. Although the Scriptures give a measure of importance to certain numbers, the Bible does not encourage us to link the letters of certain words with numbers to uncover mystical truths. (See Jehovah's Witnesses official website 9/8/02 Awake Should You Look to Numbers for Guidance?)
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