Bible Answer

What is the significance of numbers in the Bible?

What is the significance of numbers in the Bible? Where can I find an overview of what these numbers mean?

The symbolic significance of a number used in scripture is usually not provided in the Bible explicitly. Instead, the symbolic meaning of any number can be determined implicitly by observing the way the Lord uses numbers consistently to convey symbolic meaning. As we observe the consistent way God’s uses certain numbers, we can learn a number’s symbolic meaning.

For example, we observe the Lord’s use of the number seven (7, 70, 777, 7000, etc.) across scripture. Beginning at the Creation and continuing throughout the pages of the Bible, the Lord consistently uses the number 7 to stand for the completion of something.

In the same way that mathematics use 100% to represent the whole of something, the Lord has chosen to use the number 7 to convey the same idea symbolically. The Bible never explicitly states that 7 means “completion" or “perfection,” but by careful observation we can easily see this meaning associated with that number.  

Likewise, as other numbers are used consistently throughout scripture, we come to understand their meaning by observing this consistency. Obviously, discerning the meaning of numbers depends on practicing careful observation skills and detecting patterns, but this can be done with practice. As Pastor Armstrong teaches on the meaning of a number, he is simply applying these rules to his personal exposition of the text. 

You may find the following summary of the meaning of numbers helpful.