Seven – God’s Perfect Number and it’s Biblical Significance
By Randy Nettles
The number seven is God’s special number, for it signifies spiritual perfection and completion. The Bible mentions it more than any other number. Man considers it as lucky number seven, but with God, there is no such thing as luck. It is all precision and perfection. Luck is a word that is reserved for humans, for it is only another idol…the antithesis of faith.
The number 7 is one of the four so-called ‘perfect’ numbers of the Bible. 3, 10, and 12 are the other perfect numbers – 3 is the number for divine perfection; 7 is the number for spiritual perfection; 10 is the number for ordinal perfection, and 12 is the number for governmental perfection. Although the number 5 is not considered one of the perfect numbers, it is very significant as it signifies grace.
This is an update on an article I wrote a couple of years ago entitled God’s Perfect Numbers: Part 3. I have added many new examples and bible verses wherein the number 7 represents a spiritually perfect or complete meaning. Not all number sevens in the Bible have special significance, but many do. These are the ones we will concentrate on in this work. There are also many listings (of men or subjects) of seven that are mentioned in God’s word that refer to spiritual perfection and/or completion.
“The first natural division of time is stamped by the number seven. On the seventh day, God rested from His work of Creation. The first calendar known to man was the 7-day calendar. When God ordained the ritual of the Feasts of the Lord for the children of Israel, He was pointing humans toward Jesus’ work of redemption. The number 7 is again stamped upon it in all its times and seasons: the seventh day was the holy day; the seventh month was specially hallowed by its number of sacred gatherings (feasts); the seventh year was the Sabbath year of rest for the land; while 7 x 7 years marked the following year as the Jubilee (Leviticus 25:4, 8).”
Meaning of the Word Seven
“In Hebrew, the word ‘seven’ is translated as Sheva. It is from the root savah, which means to be full or satisfied, have enough of. For on the seventh day God rested from the work of Creation. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it. Also, the word shabbath (sabbath), meaning a day of rest, is used for the word seven. The Sabbath or seventh day is universal and immemorial in its observance among all nations and in all times.”
Times Mentioned in the Bible
The words (and numbers) that include ‘seven’ such as seven, sevens, sevenfold, seventh, seventy, thirty-seven, seven hundred, seven thousand, etc., occur 668 times in the Bible. The word ‘seven’ and its compounds (sevens, seventh, and sevenfold) are mentioned 490 (70 x 7) times in the Bible: 392 (56 x 7) times in the Old Testament, and 98 (14 x 7) times in the New Testament. ‘Seven’ is mentioned 368 times, ‘sevens’ is used 2 times, ‘sevenfold’ is mentioned 5 times, and ‘seventh’ is used 115 times for a grand total of 490 times. The number 490 is very significant, as it is the number (70 x 7) mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. These verses are perhaps the most discussed and debated verses in the entire Bible. Leviticus has the most occurrences of the number seven with 66, while Revelation has 57.
Seven is used most frequently in the Bible as related to time and the Feast days of the Lord (including the weekly Sabbath). The words “seven days” (or seventh day) is the most used terminology as it is mentioned 153 times, mainly in regard to the Sabbath day and the length of some of the Feasts of the Lord.
The words “seven years” or “seventh year” is used 53 times, mostly regarding the Sabbath year of rest for the land and people of Israel. In regards to months, “seventh month” is mentioned 34 times, with the majority of times referencing Tishri (the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar) and the Fall Feasts that occur in that month. In regards to weeks, “seven weeks” is used 3 times. The words “seven times” occurs 53 times.
Feasts of the Lord and Calendars
There are seven Feasts of the Lord (actually eight if you are counting Sabbath days/Saturdays). Two of the seasonal feasts are for seven days duration (Feast of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles). Three feasts occur in the spring (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits). One feast transpires during the early summer (Pentecost). Three are fall feasts (Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) and occur in the 7th month.
The 7th month, Tishri, is believed by many to be the month when Jesus will return to the earth and set up His Millennium Kingdom. The last of the fall feasts, Tabernacles, actually lasts for eight days. Tabernacles is first celebrated on Tishri 15th and observed until the 22nd. The 8th day (23rd of Tishri) is for a solemn assembly and offerings of sacrifices.
There are numerous calendars in the world, and they have been revised throughout the centuries; but the weekly calendar of 1 through 7 days (now known as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) has not changed through the millennia. Sunday is the first day of the week and Saturday is the last day of the week or the Sabbath.
There are seven colors of the spectrum and in the rainbow.
In music, there are seven notes of the scale.
In nature and science, there are seven divisions of classification for the animal and vegetable kingdoms: Kingdom, Sub-Kingdom, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. An example would be- Animal, Vertebrata, Mammalia, Carnivore, Canine, Dog, and Golden Retriever.
The various periods of gestation are commonly a multiple of seven, either of days or weeks: The mouse = 21 (3 x 7) days. The hare and rat = 28 (4 x 7) days. The duck is = 42 (6 x 7) days. The cat is = 56 (8 x 7) days. The dog is = 63 (9 x 7) days. The lion is = 98 (14 x 7) days. The sheep is = 147 (21 x 7) days. The human species gestation period is = 280 (40 x 7) days.
There are seven ages of man according to Philo: Infancy (child), Childhood (boy), Youth (lad, stripling), Adolescence (young man), Manhood (man), Decline (old man), and Senility (aged man).
In the Bible
The entire Bible, both Old, and New Testament are divided into seven major divisions: the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels and Acts, the General Epistles, the Epistles of Paul, and the book of Revelation.
David had this to say about the number 7 and God’s word: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6); and “Seven times a day do I praise you because of your righteous judgments” (Psalm 119:164).
Listings of Seven in the Old Testament
There are seven men in the Old Testament that are specified as a man of God: Moses (Joshua 14:6), Samuel (1 Samuel 9:6, 14), David (2 Chronicles 8:14), Elijah (1 Kings 17-18), Shemaiah (1 Kings 12:22), Elisha (2 Kings 5:8), and Igdaliah (Jeremiah 35:4).
The Lord told Abram (Abraham) to move unto a land that God would show him. In return for his faithfulness, God gave Abraham a seven-fold blessing as described in Genesis 12:2-3.
1) I will make of you a great nation. 2) I will bless you. 3) I will make your name great. 4) You shall be a blessing. 5) I will bless them that bless you. 6) I will curse him that curses you. 7) In you shall all families of the earth be blessed.
The Lord told Moses he had heard the groanings (of slavery) of the children of Israel and remembered His covenant with them. Jehovah told Moses, in Exodus 6:6-8, what He would do for the Israelites in the form of a seven-fold blessing: 1) I will bring you out from Egypt. 2) I will rid you of the Egyptian’s bondage. 3) I will redeem you. 4) I will take you to Me for a people. 5) I will be to you a God. 6) I will bring you in unto the land. 7) I will give the land to you. Seven times does the expression, “I will” occur in these three verses, ensuring God’s spiritual perfection.
During the 5th Feast of the Lord known as Atonement, blood was sprinkled seven times before the mercy-seat by the High Priest to mark the perfection of accomplished atonement:
1) On the mercy-seat per Leviticus 16:14.
2) Before the mercy-seat per Leviticus 16:14.
3) Before the veil per Leviticus 4:17.
4) On the horns of the golden altar per Exodus 30:10.
5) On the horns of the brazen altar per Leviticus 16:18.
6) Roundabout upon the altar per Leviticus 16:19).
7) The blood that was left poured out at the foot of the brazen altar per Leviticus 4:18.
In the Old Testament, the book of Psalms is stamped with the number seven as the number of spiritual perfection. There are 126 (7 x 18) psalms which have titles. There are seven names mentioned in the titles as the authors of these psalms:
1) David wrote 56 psalms (7 x 8).
2) The sons of Korah wrote 11 psalms.
3) Asaph or his descendants wrote 12 psalms.
4) Heman the Ezrahite wrote 1 psalm.
5) Ethan the Ezrahite wrote 1 psalm.
6) Moses wrote 1 psalm.
7) Solomon wrote 1 psalm.
King Solomon mentioned seven things the Lord hates: “These six things the Lord hates: yes, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah and that the Spirit of God would manifest upon him (Isaiah 11). The seven Spirits are- Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of Wisdom, Spirit of Understanding, Spirit of Counsel, Spirit of Might, Spirit of Knowledge, and Spirit of the Fear of the Lord. In Revelation, John also talks of the sevenfold Spirit of God.
The Word Seven in the Old Testament
The word seven is mentioned 392 (56 x 7) times in the Old Testament. During this time, the most famous event (regarding the number 7) for the newly formed nation of Israel, after entering the “promised land” of Canaan, was the fall of the city and walls of Jericho. This fall was the result of God intervening on behalf of Israel in their war against the Canaanites (descendants of Ham). The city of Jericho, built thousands of years before Joshua was born, was one of the oldest cities in the world. In some places, it had fortified walls up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. Jericho was a symbol of military power and strength, and the Canaanites considered it invincible.
“And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. This shall you do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:2-5).
These instructions were repeated by Joshua to the priests, and they were carried out daily for six days and then fulfilled on the 7th day. The seven priests blew their trumpets one time for 6 days in a row. This would be 42 (6×7) times the trumpets sounded in a six-day period. 6 is man’s number and is incomplete (not perfect), so the walls of Jericho did not come down yet. On the seventh day, the seven priests (and all the children of Israel) made seven laps around the walls of Jericho, blowing their horns each time; for a total of 49 (7 x 7) times. 7 is God’s number and is perfect and complete. On this day, after the 91st (13 x 7) time that the trumpets sounded, the walls fell down after everyone shouted. I believe the Lord also shouted with them at this time; as He will do at the Rapture.
The results were exactly as the Lord had described them to Joshua. It was a great victory for the newly formed nation of Israel. Jericho’s destruction was perfectly complete… never to be rebuilt again. From Joshua 6, verse 3 to verse 16, there are 14 (7 x 2) mentions of the number 7…a double dose of completeness. In the entire book of Joshua, there are 19 mentions of the word seven or seventh.
Listings of Seven in the New Testament
Jesus made seven statements from the cross. They were recorded in the Gospels and are found in the following passages: 1) Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” 2) Luke 23:34: “Verily I say unto you, today shall you be with me in paradise” 3) John 19:26-27: “Woman, behold your son…Behold your mother” 4) Matthew 27:46: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” 5) John 19:28: “I thirst.” 6) Luke 23:46: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” 7) John 19:30: “It is finished.” When Jesus uttered his last three words, it is finished, he was referring to the fact that he had completed his perfect mission of salvation that God the Father had assigned to him.
There are seven parables told by Jesus in Matthew 13 regarding the Kingdom of Heaven: 1) The parable of the four soils. 2) The parable of the weeds. 3) The parable of the mustard seed. 4) The parable of the yeast. 5) The parable of the hidden treasure. 6) The parable of the pearl merchant. 7) The parable of the fishing net.
God has given seven different gifts to members of the body of Christ: 1) Prophecy/preaching God’s messages 2) Ministry 3) Teaching 4) Exhorting/preaching 5) givers 6) Rulers/administrators 7) He that shows mercy or compassion.
Ephesians 4, verses 4-6 talk about the unity and oneness in the church for all believers. There are seven parts to this unity: 1) One body 2) One spirit 3) One hope 4) One Lord 5) One faith 6) One baptism 7) One God and Father of all.
James 3, verse 17 mentions seven characteristics of wisdom that come from God: 1) Purity 2) Peacefulness 3) Gentleness/considerate 4) Open to reason or helpful 5) Merciful 6) Non-partial 7) Non-hypocritical.
The Word Seven in the New Testament
In the New Testament, the book of Revelation best portrays the meaning and importance of the number 7. Revelation is about God’s perfect plan of redemption for mankind and the earth and God’s complete victory over Satan and death. The book of Revelation also focuses on Jesus Christ, his 2ndComing, his victory over the Anti-Christ and his evil followers, and the establishment of his Millennium Kingdom. The apostle John is given a vision of prophecy by the Holy Spirit regarding the end times. First, John is given a series of messages from Jesus to the seven churches of Asia. Then, Jesus calls John (or his spirit) up into Heaven where he is shown how the end times for mankind and planet Earth is going to transpire.
The word seven is mentioned 57 times in Revelation. The exact word of “seven” is used 56 times and “seven thousand” is used 1 time. 56 is the product of 7 and 8. 7 is the number for spiritual perfection and 8 is the number for great abundance. As day 7 was the number for completion and rest, so the 8th day was over and above this perfect completion and is the first of a new series, as well as being the 8th. It is a “new number 1,” if you will.
In Revelation, John mentions 14 (2 x 7) words that have the number 7 preceding them: seven churches, candlesticks, stars, Spirits of God, lamps, seals, horns, eyes, angels, trumpets, thunders, plagues, crowns, and golden vials full of the wrath of God. All of these sevens are definitely symbolic of God’s spiritual perfection and completion. The last 7 years on the Earth before the Millennium begins is the time known as the Tribulation/Daniel’s 70th Seven/Jacob’s Trouble. It is a time of chastisement the world hasn’t seen since the Great Flood or Sodom and Gomorrah.
Multiples of Seven
There are some multiples of the number 7 that should be mentioned: namely 42 (6 x 7), 70 (7 x 10), 77 (7 x 11), 49 (7 x 7), 490 (7 x 7 x 10), 7000 (7 x 10 x 10 x 10). The product number exhibits the significance of each in an intensified form. For example, 42 is the sum of 6 x 7. As mentioned before, 6 is Man’s number and signifies rebellion, while 7 is God’s number and signifies completeness…42 is the number associated with mankind’s total rebellion against God. The Anti-Christ’s absolute rule will only last for 1,260 days or 42 months.
The number 49 is very important as it represents seven 7’s or seven cycles of completeness. For instance, there must be 7 Sabbaths or 49 days (plus one day) to transpire between the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Pentecost. Also, every 7 years, the land (and people/work animals) is required to rest, where no work is to be done, for it is the Sabbath year. Then after 7 years of rest for the ‘land’ has been observed, the 50th year (49 plus 1) of the Jubilee can occur. The Jubilee can never take place until all 7 Sabbath years of rest have occurred for Israel. Once the 50th Jubilee has occurred, the following year starts the cycle over again with it being the new number 1 year. There is no evidence of Israel ever observing a Sabbath (seventh) year of rest for the land, much less a Jubilee (50th) year.
70 (7 x 10) signifies perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and meaning. 70 is a very significant number as it is the product of two perfect numbers, 7 and 10…both spirit and order are greatly emphasized: 70 elders were appointed by Moses; 70 descendants of Jacob built up the nation of Israel; David died at the age of 70; Gideon had 70 sons with his many wives (and 1 with his concubine); 70 years was prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah for Judah to be in captivity to Babylonia; 70 elders were the total for Israel’s great Tribunal, afterwards called the Sanhedrim; 70 disciples were sent out by Jesus to preach the gospel; Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.
Moses said man’s life on this earth would only last for the duration of 70 to 80 years (Psalm 90:10). ‘Seventy’ is mentioned 60 (6 x 10) times in the Bible… man’s number 6, multiplied by 10. God’s number for the amount of men He would need to accomplish a certain task or mission was sometimes 70.490 (7 x 7 x 10) is a very significant number in the Bible. 490 years or 70 ‘weeks’ ( more accurately translated as ‘sevens’) were determined upon the Jews and upon Jerusalem to complete its transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness, according to Daniel 9:24-27.
In other words, the prophecy would not end until seventy 7-year time spans had elapsed, or more precisely 490 years. 483 of those years have already been accomplished, which ended with the death of Jesus Christ. One day soon (a relative term), Daniel’s 70th Seven prophecy will resume, and 7 years later the total prophecy of 490 years will be completed. This will be fulfilled when Jesus returns and sets up His Millennium Kingdom on earth. The 70th seven will see God’s perfect and complete plan for mankind come to fruition. Prophecy will also end at this time.
Isaiah the prophet had this to say about Jesus’ return: “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the breach of his people, and heals the stroke of their wound” (Isaiah 30:26).
The last 7 years of the Tribulation will be for 2520 days, as a year on the prophetic calendar is for 360 days. 2520 is a very remarkable number in 3 different ways: It is the summary of all the primary rectilinear forms. It is the product of the four great numbers of completion or perfection (3 x 7 x 10 x 12 = 2520). It is the Least Common Multiple of all the ten numbers from which our system of notation is derived (the L.C.M. of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, is 2520).
Let’s examine Daniel 9 verse 27: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (7 years or 2520 days): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” This verse is referring to the last 7 years of mankind before the Millennium Kingdom begins. These 7 years will commence when the antichrist confirms a covenant (peace treaty) with Israel. This event starts the time known as the Tribulation, otherwise known as Jacob’s Trouble, and/or Daniel’s 70th week.
In the midst of the seven years, the antichrist will stop the sacrifices in the newly built temple (the 3rd one) of Israel. The false prophet will have a statue or image of the antichrist erected in the newly built Temple in Jerusalem and demand all the citizens of the earth to worship him as God. This event is known as the Abomination of Desolation. 1260 days will transpire between the midst of the Tribulation (A.O.D.) to Jesus’ return at the Battle of Armageddon. These last 3.5 years are known as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21).
Jesus was once asked by his disciples when would be the end of the age. He replied: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: so likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all these things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:32-35).
When Jesus told his disciples “this generation shall not pass away,” he was saying that all the end-times signs would be fulfilled within the lifetime of the people being born when the end-time signs began. The beginning sign was when Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948.
According to Moses in Psalm 90:10, a generation is about 70 to 80 years in duration. The modern nation of Israel turned 70 years old in 2018. Israel will be 77 (7 x 11) years old in 2025. 11 is the number for disorder and disintegration, which aptly describes the chaos of the end times; yet multiplying it by 7 means that God will have the final word; and His will shall always be accomplished. Israel will be 80 (8 x 10) years old in 2028. 8 is the number for new beginnings and 10 is the number for divine order.
Some Bible scholars believe there will be 6000 (6 x 10 x 10 x 10) years of mankind before the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus comes, whereas He will rule and reign for 1000 years. Thus, mankind will have been on the earth for a total of 7000 (7 x 10 x 10 x10) years before God creates a new heaven and earth for redeemed humans and righteous angels. We are rapidly approaching those 6000 years of mankind’s history before the Millennium Kingdom of Lord Jesus begins.
Whatever the timing of Daniel’s 70th Seven and the Second Coming of Jesus, we know the end is drawing near. You can compare God’s word to the daily headlines and realize the “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8) are getting more frequent and severe. As believers in Jesus Christ, we await the rapture of the Church, not the pre-tribulation wars or the 7-year Tribulation. However, as we see these signs getting close, it means the Rapture is even closer.
Comfort one another with the Apostle Paul’s words. “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.