The Number 7 and the Book of Revelation

The Lamb Opening the Book with Seven Seals“[T]he book [of Revelation] is saturated with symbolic language. …Especially is this true of numbers.” (Wycliffe Commentary)

Of all the symbolic numbers in the book of Revelation, the number “7” receives prominence.

“7” is the number of completeness, of perfection, and of dispensational fullness. (Dispensational: the divine ordering of worldly affairs.)

And so we have the 7 spirits before God’s throne standing for the infinite perfection of the Holy Spirit. (Revelation 1:4) We have the 7 stars in Christ’s right hand standing for Jesus’ complete authority over the churches. (Revelation 1:16) We have the 7 horns and 7 eyes of the Lamb signifying His almighty power (horn = strength) and supreme intelligence / insight and perfect omniscience. (Revelation 5:6)

We have the 7 churches in chapter 2 and chapter 3 which are symbolic / representative of the entirety of the church of the 1st century and, also (some would suggest), of the church of all ages.

We have the 7 seals written on the scroll (the title deed of earth) symbolic of the complete program of the age of which Christ is the administrator. (Revelation 5:5)

We have the 7 trumpets (contained within the 7th seal) symbolic of the entirety of the judgments of God intended to break the power of evil. (Revelation 8:2-11:16)

We have the 7 vials or bowls (which are contained in the 7th trumpet) symbolic of the fullness of the wrath of God rendered against godless people. (Revelation 15:5-8; 16:1-21)

Though not mentioned directly, we have the 7 attributes of praise to the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:12) and we have the 7 attributes of praise to God. (Revelation 7:12) (The Lamb and God are one and the same.) We also have 7 parts found in Revelation 14:1-20.

There is also a broken “7”. The half of “7” in the Bible is 3 1/2 or “a time and times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25; 12:7) 3 1/2 is also “the half of the week.” (Daniel 9:27) In the Old Testament a broken “7” is used to signify a time of tribulation. In Revelation it is seen in the form of forty-two months (Revelation 11:2; 13:5) or 1,260 days or “a time and times, and half a time.” (Revelation 12:14)

Lastly, we have the 7 rewards of overcomers. We will eat from the tree of life. (Revelation 2:7) We will not be subject to the second death. (Revelation 2:11) We will receive hidden manna and a white stone with a new name on it. (Revelation 2:17) We will be given authority over the nations and the morning star. (Revelation 2:26-28) We will be clothed with white garments and our names will not be erased from the book of life. They’ll literally be on the tip of Jesus tongue! (Revelation 3:5) We will be made pillars in the temple of God and an inscription will be written on us. (Revelation 3:12) Finally, we will sit with Christ on His throne! (Revelation 3:21)

I’m living my life so that I might not miss my reward. I want to hear from Jesus the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

How ’bout you?

(Picture above in the public domain: click here. PD-US)

About Pastor Mike

Pastor Mike is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (A Heart For God) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times.