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The Blue Letter Bible

Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 33. Scripture Numerics

Every careful reader of the Holy Scriptures has had his attention called to the frequent use of certain numbers as four, seven, ten, twelve, forty and seventy. These numbers occur with more or less frequency in both the Old and New Testament and indicate that the Scriptures have a "Numerical Structure" that is based on the "Symbolic significance of these numbers.

God has been called "The Great Geometrician," and is said to do everything after a plan and by number, weight and measure. If God is the Author of the Scriptures and the Creator of the world, then the "Word of God" and the "Works of God" should harmonize.

The Scriptures reveal a "Time System" known as the "Weeks of Scripture." They are "seven" in number.

  1. The Week of "Days."
  2. The Week of "Weeks."
  3. The Week of "Months."
  4. The Week of "Years."
  5. The Week of "Weeks of Years."
  6. The Week of "Millenniums."
  7. The Week of "Ages."

See the Chart on the "Weeks of Scripture."

Now this "Scale of Weeks" is common in nature. The hen sits 3 weeks, the pigeon 2, after having laid eggs for 2 weeks. The ova of salmon is hatched in 20 weeks. Of 129 species of Mammalia the majority have a period from conception to birth of an exact number of weeks. The same is true of the human race. Fevers, and intermittent attacks of gout, ague and similar complaints have a "Septiform Periodicity," and the Seventh, Fourteenth and Twenty-first days in certain diseases are known as "critical" days. Then there are 7 notes in the musical scale, 7 colors in the rainbow, 7 rays in prismatic light, and the leaves of plants are largely governed in their forms by the same Law of Sevens.

This agreement of Nature with the Scriptures cannot be a mere coincidence. It reveals the fact that they are both built on a "Divine Plan."

The Number of "Unity."

It symbolizes the Unity of God. Mark 12:32. John 10:30. In Eph. 4:4-6 we have seven distinct "Unities," One Body, One Spirit. One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God.

The Number of "Union."

The Union of Marriage, and "they shall be one flesh." Gen. 2:23,24. The Union of Christ and the Church. Eph. 5:31,32. The Union of the "Two Natures" in Jesus. Luke 1:35. The Union of death and life in the Atonement of Christ, as seen in the "Two Birds" (Lev. 14:4-7), and the "Two Goats." Lev. 16:5-22. The Disciples were named in Pairs (Matt. 10:2-4) and were sent out Two by Two. Mark 6:7. There were "Two Tables" of Testimony, and "Two Witnesses" were necessary to a fair trial, and "Two Witnesses" will testify during the Tribulation. Rev. 11:3.

The Number of "Divinity."

It is called the "Divine Number" because it is mentioned so often in connection with Holy Things. It speaks of the Trinity of God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and the Trinity of Man- Body, Soul and Spirit; of the Three Great Feasts, the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles; the Threefold character of the Baptismal Formula (Matt. 28:19); of the Apostolic Benediction (2 Cor. 13:14); the Three Temptations of Christ, and His Three Prayers in Gethsemane; the Three Denials of Peter and the Lord's Threefold Question and Charge, and the Threefold Vision of the Sheet. The number Three is also associated with the Restoration of Israel (Hosea 6:1,2), the Resurrection of Jonah, and the Resurrection of Christ. Matt. 12:38-40. The number Three is very prominent in the Threefold ascriptions in the Book of Revelation. Jesus Christ is spoken of as He which is and was and is to come; as the "Faithful Witness," the "First Begotten From the Dead," and the "Prince of the Kings of the Earth." The four "Living Creatures" chant "Holy, Holy, Holy" unto the Almighty, and give Him "Glory," and "Honor" and "Thanks." The Book is divided into "Three Parts." There are Three "Woe Trumpets," and Three "Froglike Spirits" issue from the mouth of the Dragon, the mouth of the Beast, and the mouth of the False Prophet. Rev. 16:13,14.

Three plagues are to come upon Babylon, "Death," "Mourning" and "Famine" (Rev. 18:8), and "three classes" of persons shall bewail her downfall, "Kings," "Merchants" and "Seamen." These are but a few specimens of the use of the number Three in the Scriptures.

The number Three is also prominent in nature. The primary colors of "Solar Light" are Blue, Yellow and Red; and the Sun itself is a Trinity whose manifestations are Light, Heat and Chemical Rays. In nature there are Three Kingdoms, Animal, Vegetable and Mineral. Matter exists in Three forms, Gaseous, Liquid and Solid, and the great forces of nature are Gravitation, Light and Electricity. The history of the Earth between the Fall of Man and the Renovation of the Earth by Fire is divided into Three Ages, the Antediluvian, Present, and the Millennial Age, all bounded by great climatic changes.

The Number of the "World."

The Four Seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Four points of the Compass, North, East, South and West. The Four Elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The River that flowed out from the "Garden of Eden" was divided into Four Parts. Gen. 2:10-14. Ezekiel had a vision of the Cherubim. They were Four in number and each had Four Faces and Four Wings. The first face was that of a Man. The second that of a Lion, the third that of an Ox, and the fourth that of an Eagle, all of them "earthly" creatures. The great "World Powers" as revealed to the Prophet Daniel were Four in number, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The Four World judgments to come upon the Nations are War, Famine, Pestilence and Earthquakes. Matt. 24:6,7. Four divisions of the human race are Nations, Kindred, Peoples and Tongues. There are Four Portraits of Christ in the Four Gospels. God's Four "Sore judgments" upon Jerusalem are the Sword, Famine, Noisome Beast and the Pestilence. The Brazen Altar had Four Sides and Four Horns, and the New Jerusalem is Foursquare.

The Number of "Division."

This number is not of frequent occurrence. There were Five Wise: and Five Foolish Virgins. Jesus fed the Multitude (Five Thousand men), with Five loaves. David took Five smooth stones from the brook. There are Five digits on each hand and foot. The books of Moses are Five in number. There are Five senses.

The Number of "Man."

Man was made on the Sixth day. His appointed days of labor are Six. The Hebrew slave was to serve Six years. For Six years the land was to be sown and to rest during the seventh. The kingdoms of this world are to last for Six Thousand Years, Moses was compelled to wait for Six days on the Mount before God revealed Himself unto him. Ex. 24:15-18. Six days the Children of Israel compassed the city of Jericho before its walls fell on the seventh. Joshua 6:1-20. There were Six steps to Solomon's Throne. 1 Kings 10:19. It was Six days after Jesus foretold of His coming glory before He took His Disciples to the Mount where He was transfigured before them. Matt. 16:28-17:2. Nebuchadnezzar, a type of those who want to "deify" man, erected a "Golden Image," typical of himself, in the Plain of Dura, and commanded the rulers and people of his provinces to fall down before it and worship it under penalty of being thrown into a burning fiery furnace. Dan. 3:1-30. The dimensions of the "Image" are worthy of note. It was Sixty cubits high and Six cubits broad. It was prophetic of the "Image of the Beast" that the False Prophet will command the people to make in the day of the Beast (Antichrist) (Rev. 13:13-18), and it is significant that the "Number" of the Beast is 666. This is the day when men are seeking the

"Deification of Man,"

and his powers, and dethroning the "Son of Man," and they will reach the consummation of their desire when they for Commercial Reasons (Rev. 13:15-17) will worship the Beast. This is "Man's Day," and its symbol is Six, which stops short of seven.

The Number of "Perfection" or "Dispensational Fulness."

It is made up of the sum of 3 + 4 = 7. That is of the Divine number and the World number. It is more frequently used in the Scriptures than any other numeral. It stands for the Seventh Day of the "Creative Week," and speaks of the Millennial Rest Day.

The Sabbath was the Seventh day. Enoch was the Seventh from Adam. There were Seven days of grace after Noah entered into the Ark. Jacob served Seven years for Rachel. There were Seven years of plenty, and Seven years of famine in Egypt. At the taking of Jericho, Seven Priests, with Seven Trumpets, marched at the head of the people Seven times around the city. There was a Seven-Branched Candlestick in the Tabernacle. The land was to rest in the Seventh year. Solomon was Seven years in building the Temple and kept the feast for Seven days. Job had Seven sons. When his friends came to visit him they sat Seven days and Seven nights in silence, and afterward they were required to offer a Burnt Offering of Seven bullocks and Seven rams. Naaman washed Seven times in the Jordan. The blood was to be sprinkled Seven times before the Mercy Seat. Lev. 16:14. There were Seven Feasts of Jehovah, some of which lasted Seven days. The Saviour spake Seven words from the cross. Seven men of honest report were chosen to administer the alms of the Church. But it is not until we come to the Book of Revelation that we see the significance of the number Seven.

The Book is addressed to the Seven Churches of Asia by Him who stands in the midst of the Seven Golden Candlesticks, and from the Seven Spirits before His Throne, and was to be sent to the Seven Stars, or ministers of those churches. There is a Seven-Sealed Book, which is opened by a Lamb having Seven horns and Seven eyes. Seven Seals are broken. Seven Angels sound Seven Trumpets and Seven Angels pour out Seven Golden Vials containing the Seven last Plagues. There is a Beast with Seven Heads, and a Dragon with Seven Heads and Seven Crowns on the Heads. There are Seven Mountains and in all the number Seven is mentioned upward of 50 times in the Book of Revelation. It is the Book of Sevens because it is the Book of the Consummation of all the Seven Dispensations of God's Plan and Purpose of the Ages, and ushers in the New Heaven and the New Earth, and the New City.

The Number of the "New Order of Things."

The Eighth Day is the beginning of a New Week. The Jewish Sabbath was on the last or Seventh Day of the week, Jesus rose on the First day of a new week or the Eighth day. His Resurrection introduced a New Order of Things, the Christian Sabbath and the "New Creation," or Regeneration of the Soul, and points to the New Heaven and the New Earth, which will be the Eighth Dispensation, following the Seventh or Millennial Dispensation.

God commanded Abraham to "circumcise" every male child on the Eighth day. Gen. 17:11-14. Any who were not "circumcised" were to be "cut off" from the people-the Hebrew Nation. Isaac was "circumcised" on the Eighth day. What did Circumcision symbolize? It symbolized that Abraham and his descendants were a New Race, who by Circumcision were "cut off" from the old Adamic Headship, and entered into a new relationship with God.

Noah was the Eighth person (2 Pet. 2:5), and his family consisted of Eight persons (1 Pet. 3:20), and they populated the new earth after the Flood. David was the Eighth son of Jesse, and he introduced a new order in Israel. 1 Sam. 16:10,11. The leper was cleansed on the Eighth day from his leprosy, thus proclaiming a new man. Lev. 14:10,23. The sheaf of "First Fruits" was to be waved before the Lord on the Eighth day, or the "Morrow After the Sabbath" (Lev. 23:11), and 50 days later, on the same day of the week the Feast of Pentecost was observed, which typified the sending of the Holy Spirit, Who inaugurated the new Gospel Dispensation. Lev. 23:16.

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted for seven days, but on the Eighth day a "Holy Convocation" was to be held. Lev. 23:36. The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the three great Festivals, and came at the close of the harvest, and during it the Children of Israel dwelt in booths. It is typical of God's eternal rest.

The Number of "Worldly Completion."

It is made up of the sum of the World number 4 and 6 the Number of Man. It is probably based on the decimal system, suggested by the 10 digits of hands or feet. It was looked upon as a complete number, and was used as such in the Ten Commandments. In the parable of the Ten Virgins it gives the legal number necessary for a Jewish function. In the Ten Toes of Nebuchadnezzar's Image, and the Ten Horns of Daniel's "Fourth Beast," that point to the Ten Kings, or Kingdoms, typified by the Ten Horns of John's "Beast" (Rev. 17:3,12), we see the summing up of Gentile power in Ten Federated Kingdoms, which will be the completion of worldly Gentile rule, and which will be destroyed by the "Stone Kingdom" of Christ. Then we have the Ten "pieces of silver" (Luke 15:8), and the Ten servants to whom were entrusted Ten pounds and one rewarded by being given authority over Ten cities (Luke 19:13,17) and the Ten plagues of Egypt, and other uses of the number Ten scattered through the Scriptures.

The Number of "Eternal Perfection."

It is the product of the Divine number 3, and 4 the World number, There were Twelve Tribes of Israel; Twelve stones in the High Priest's Breastplate; Twelve cakes of Shewbread: Twelve wells of water at Elim; Twelve spies were sent into Canaan; Joshua placed Twelve stones in the bed of Jordan; Elijah built an altar of Twelve stones; Solomon's "Molten Sea" stood on Twelve brass oxen. In the New Testament we read that at Twelve years of age Jesus visited the Temple; that He chose Twelve Apostles. and that His Father would send at His request Twelve Legions of Angels. Then there was the woman who was diseased for Twelve years, and the Twelve-yearold daughter of Jairus.

In the Book of Revelation we read of the woman with a crown of Twelve stars, and that the New Jerusalem has Twelve gates, and at the gates Twelve angels; that it has Twelve foundations, and in them the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb: that its trees bear Twelve manner of fruits: that it lieth foursquare and measures Twelve thousand furlongs on a side, and that the height of the wall is 144 cubits, or 12 × 12. We are also told that in the "Regeneration" the Twelve Apostles shall sit on Twelve Thrones judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Matt. 19:28. Thus it is clear that in the final consummation of all things Israel and the Church shall have their place in the New Earth and the New City.

The Number of "Probation."

At the Flood it rained Forty days and Forty nights. Moses was on probation Forty years in Egypt, Forty years in the desert, and Forty years with Israel in the Wilderness. The Spies were Forty days spying out the land and Israel wandered Forty years in the Wilderness. The reigns of Saul, David and Solomon each lasted Forty years. Goliath defied Israel for Forty days. Nineveh was given Forty days to repent. Elijah fasted Forty days and Forty nights. Jesus was tempted Forty days and appeared eleven times during Forty days after His Resurrection. Punishment by flogging was limited to Forty striperssave one. All these instances show that God was not hasty in His judgments, but gave man ample time for a fair trial. There are other numbers mentioned in Scripture as Seventy, One Hundred and Twenty, "One Hundred and Forty-four," etc., but it is not necessary to pursue the subject further as we have seen that there is a symbolism attached to the numbers of Scripture.

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