Have you ever noticed why the numbers 40 and 70, and 7 are repeated so often in the Bible?
Numerology is very important to the Hebrew tradition. 4 means earth = north, south, east and west, or winter, spring, summer, fall. 0 means infinity or eternity- no beginning or end. (Alpha and Omega- God).
So the 40 days in the wilderness Jesus spent wrestling temptations, the 40 years in the desert the Hebrews spent with Moses, the 40 days and 40 nights it rained on the ark – it all translates to “Heaven’s time on earth” or “in God’s time”.
Seven is taken from the Hebrew word sheva which also means complete or full. The earth was created and on the 7th day God rested. In Leviticus, after 7 years a debt is forgiven (our bankruptcy laws still follow this rule for the most part). When asked how often we are to forgive our neighbors, Jesus responded 70X7 – which means in completeness into eternity. (The zero, remember?)
Every word in the Bible is spirit breathed. I truly believe that. It is living and purposeful to every generation. But to know the root meanings behind some of it is like knowing the meaning of some of our slang today. For example, hundreds of years from now, will they know that for our youth when something was “sick” it meant it was really amazing.
Jesus spoke in parables and used common terminology to get the message across. When he told them to forgive 70×7, no wonder they took three steps back, and in today’s lingo probably said, “Whoa, really?”
3 is divine- Father Son and Holy Spirit. It also stood for the sun, moon and stars and also earth, wind and fire- all divinely made.
And what about 12? It means perfection on earth. It is three x4. It is no coincidence there were 12 tribes and 12 apostles.