Biblical numerology is the study of numbers in the Bible. Which, even when literal, can be symbolic. For example, seven is the number of perfection or completion. In Genesis, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh.
On the seventh day, God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. (Genesis 2:2)
And in Revelation, seven is God’s number.
From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God. (Revelation 4:5)
The number three is also divine, as the Trinity consists of: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Four is the number of creation: four corners of the earth (north, south, east and west) [see Job 37:3, Matthew 24:31 & Revelation 7:1]; four seasons (Daniel 2:21, Psalm 104:19, Galatians 4:10); the four creatures around the heavenly throne (Ezekiel 1:15, Revelation 4:6, 6:1).
Six is the number of man, created on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-27)
The mark of the beast is said to be the number of a man, 666, which also represents a false Trinity.
Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:18)
40 is the number of trial. The floodwaters came upon the earth in judgment and it rained 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:4-12). The Israelites were in the wilderness 40 years (Exodus 16:35, Numbers 32:13, Deuteronomy 8:2). Jesus fasted in the wilderness 40 days and was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).
Twelve is the number of God’s people. There were twelve tribes of Israel and there were twelve Apostles who took the Gospel to the nations.
On the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed… And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:12-14)
1,000 is not always exact, but indicates a large number of something.
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10)
And they will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
While Biblical numerology can be a fascinating study, it’s often abused. Like trying to calculate who the Antichrist is or the identity of the seven kings in Revelation 17:10:
Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.
Many false teachers have tried to crunch Bible numbers and predict the day of the Rapture. But, Jesus said we will know neither the day nor the hour of His return.
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Matthew 24:36)
Numbers in the Bible reflect God’s consistent and divine plan, but they don’t reveal any hidden messages.
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and is through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-5)
The Bible reveals Jesus, the one true and living God.
…when we understand the text.