Biblical definition of the number seven
The number 7 has played a significant role throughout biblical history. God has revealed that the number 7 is very important to Him. God defines 7 in terms of completeness, perfection and fulfillment. It also is defined as the end of a work or symbolizes completeness to a divine purpose.
Illustrations of the meaning of the number seven
The Word of God is rich with examples of the number seven used in many applications, symbols and imagery in the Word of God. Interestingly enough 7 is used more than fifty times in the final book of Revelation. There are seven churches listed and the seven spirits before God’s throne both listed in Revelation 1:4,seven golden lampstands(1:12),seven stars in Christ’s right hand(1:16) and there are many other examples found in Revelation.
Genesis, the first book in God’s revelation, we find in the very second chapter the Lord setting the precedent for the importance of the number 7:
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”Genesis2:2-3
God rested on the seventh day after creating the heavens, earth and universe in 6 days. God didn’t rest on the seventh day because He was tired. He rested symbolizing that we are to rest on the seventh day after working for six days. This is the first time in the bible God uses the number 7 to represent a finished work and completion. God also relates to His creation in wholeness and this is the first complete sealing of God’s work in the Word of God.
“Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.” Proverbs 6:31
God reveals the number seven in the book of Proverbs, stating that if a thief gets caught he will repay sevenfold for his crime. The meaning for seven in the context of this verse is God requires a thief to pay complete retribution for his crime. God’s justice is complete and final.
Critical Understanding for the number seven
The significance for the number is central to the message of the bible. God sets the precedent for the number seven in the first book of the bible, Genesis, by resting from His work of creation the beginning of all things as we know it. Revelation, the last book of the bible God wraps up time and creation. God closes His mystery (which was the revelation, incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).The voice of the seventh angel starts the closing of this mystery.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:5-7
Application for the Christian
God uses the number seven from the beginning of creation in Genesis to the consummation of the age in Revelation. He reveals to us that seven is wholeness, completion and perfection. Jesus Christ represents the ultimate number seven in that complete victory over death, sin and Satan. Every non-believer needs to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior because His work on Calvary is the final work for eternal life. Every believer needs to draw closer to God through Jesus Christ because all understanding of God and His ways comes through Jesus.
We covered the importance of the number seven in the book of Genesis where God finished His creative work and rested on the seventh day. Other important concepts were found in Proverbs about God’s complete justice for those found stealing and we concluded with God closing His mystery of Jesus Christ (He began writing from the beginning of time) in the book of Revelation when the seventh angel began to speak. Thank you for reading this article.
What other numbers in the bible do you think are significant?