Reading the Bible, it’s noticeable how many times seven is used in over 600 passages. Why does the Bible focus so much on the number seven or its exact multiples? Is it a sign of the Bible’s supernatural design?
“So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
The Bible is said to have a Heptadic structure. Heptad means a Group of Seven. As you read the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, you’ll find groups of seven listed from start to finish.
We know that there are seven days of the week, and we are told in Genesis that God created the world in seven days. From there and throughout the Bible, the sevens keep coming.
We go on to find the Sabbath on the seventh day, seven years of plenty throughout Egypt, seven years of famine, the “seventy ‘sevens'” or 70 weeks of Daniel. King Solomon built the temple in seven years (1 Kings 6:38). Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive a brother who sins against him up to seven times. Jesus said, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22).
Hebrew letters also have a numeric value. In Jewish culture, Gematria is a technique of assigning a numerical value to a name, word, or phrase according to an alphanumeric cipher. In this system, several values can result depending on the cipher used. Similar systems exist in other languages and cultures. The Greeks used isopsephy, which is related to Gematria.
An excellent lecture on the idea that sevens point to a grand design and structure for the Bible was given by the late Dr. Chuck Missler in a video entitled “sevens in the Bible.” Missler is not only a theologian, but he’s also an engineer. In the lecture, he shows numerous examples of the mathematics involved throughout the Bible and how numbers of words and numbers of letters both can be divided by seven evenly. This also includes vowels and consonants and both the Hebrew and Greek languages. He also shows a mathematical probability chart, which is where we really begin to see the odds against all the sevens working out – yet they do. Dr. Missler advocates that these odds infer the hand of the divine in the creation of the Bible, comprising 66 books or more by over 40 different authors that didn’t know one another.
One place in the Bible where sevens are particularly abundant is the book of Revelation. There are the seven seals, trumpets, vials, churches, angels, kings, heads, crowns, horns, Spirits of God, golden candlesticks, stars in Christ’s hand, mountains, offenders, and more.
Two sites on the Internet that have started a list of all the “7s” in the Bible are the ones at Sevens in the Bible.com and at Believers Portal. These lists are far from complete but worthwhile in terms of becoming familiar with some of the most well-known examples of biblical sevens.
One of the most interesting studies on biblical numerology was made by Russian-born Dr. Ivan Panin. He eventually immigrated to the United States and studied at Harvard University. After his graduation, he converted from agnosticism to Christianity.
Panin discovered mathematical designs in both the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and Greek text of the New Testament. He devoted more than 50 years of his life to exploring the numerical structures of the Scriptures, which resulted in over 43,000 detailed pages of analysis, according to Koinonia House.