Throughout the Bible, God often gives symbolic significance to mundane items or concepts. For example, in Genesis 9:12-16, God makes the rainbow the sign of His promise to Noah (and by extension, to all mankind) That He will not flood the whole earth again. God uses bread as a representation of Bis presence with His people Numbers 4:7); of the gift of eternal life (John 6:35); and of the broken body of Christ, sacrificed for our sins (Matthew 26:26). The rainbow and the bread are obvious symbols in scripture. Less obvious meaning seem to be attached to some numbers in the Bible, especially the number 7, which at times provides a special emphasis in the text.
The first use of the number 7, to the creation weekend genesis 1. God spent six days creating the heavens in the earth, and then rests on the 7th day. The 7th day was to be set apart and was a holy day of rest (Deuteronomy 5:12).
Right at the start of the Bible the number 7 is identified with something being “finished” or “complete.” From then on, the association continues, as 7 is often found in contacts involving completeness or divine perfection. So we see the command for the animals to be at least 7 days old before being used for sacrifices in ancient times (Exodus 22:30), The command for leprous Naaman to bathe in the Jordon River 7 times to effect complete cleansing (2 Kings 5:10), and to the command to Joshua to March around Jericho for 7 days (and on the 7th day to make 7 circuits) and for 7 priests to blow 7 shofars outside the city walls (Joshua 6:3-4). In these instances 7 signifies a completion of some kind: a divine mandate is fulfilled,
Interestingly, man was created on the sixth day of creation. Some passages in the Bible, the number 6 is associated with mankind. In Revelation 13-18 “The number of the beast” is called the “number of man.” That number is 666 (Revelation 3:23). If God’s number is 7, then man’s number is 6. Six always boss short of seven, just like “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Man it’s not God, just as 6 is not 7.
Series of seven things crop up often in the Bible. For example, we find seven pairs of each queen animal on Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:2); seven stems on the tabernacles lamp stand (Exodus 25:37); seven signs in John’s Gospel; seven things the Lord these in Proverbs 6:16; seven parables in Matthew 13; and seven woes in Matthew 23.
Multiples of 7 also figure into the biblical narrative: “seventy weeks” prophecy and Daniel 9:24 concerns 490 years (7 times 7 times 10). Jeremiah 29:10 predicted the Babylonian captivity that would last for 70 years (7 times 10). According to Leviticus 25:8, the Year of Jubilee was to begin after the passing of every 49th year (7 times 7).
Sometimes, the symbolism of the number 7 is a great comfort to us: Jesus is the seven-fold “I AM” in the gospel of John. Other times, it challenges us: Jesus told Peter to forgive a wrongdoer “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18 22). And then there are passages in which the number 7 is associated with God‘s judgment: the seven bowls of the great tribulation for example in Revelation 16:1, or gods warning to Israel in Leviticus 26:18.
Speaking of the book of Revelation, the number 7 if you use more than 50 times in a variety of contacts: there are seven letters seven churches in Asia and seven spirits before God’s throne (Revelation 1:4)). sevem golden lampstands (Revelation 1:16), seven seals of God judgment (Revelation 5:1), seven Angels rest seven shofars (Revelation 8:2). In all likelihood, the number 7 represents completeness or totality churches represent the completeness of the body of Christ: the 7 The seven churches represent the completeness of the body of Christ. The seven seals on the scroll represents the fullness of God‘s punishment of a simple earth, and so on. And, of course, the book of Revelation itself, with all its 7’s, is the capstone of God’s Word to man. With the complete book of Revelation, the Word was complete (Revelation 22:18).
In all, the number 7 is used in the Bible more than 700 times. If we also include the word related to seven times (terms like seven-fold or seventy or seven hundred), the count is higher. Of course, not every instance of the number 7 in the Bible carry deeper significance. Sometimes a7 is just a 7, and we must be cautious about attaching symbolic meaning to any text, especially which group here is not explicit about such meanings. However, there are times when it seems that God is communicating the idea of divine completeness, perfection, and wholeness by the means of the number 7.