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Seven

Why all the 7s in Revelation?

Many sevens in Revelation

When you read Revelation, it is hard not to notice all the sevens. There are 59 in total, and the whole book is structured around a few sets of seven. John writes to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:4). The visions that John get are introduced by seven seals (Revelation 5:1), seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2), and seven bowls (Revelation 15:7). There is a beast with seven horns (Revelation 17:2), but also the Lamb of God has seven horns (Revelation 5:6).

Seven refers to fullness and completion

Why all these sevens? Of course, Revelation is not the only book in the Bible in which the number seven plays an important role. It starts in the very beginning of the Bible, where we read how God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. From this first example we can learn how the number seven is often used in the Bible: it refers to God, to fullness and completion.

According to God’s plan

The manifold use of seven in Revelation calls to mind these meanings. Seven is the number of God. It shows that what is happening in history is not dependent on man, but happens according to God’s plan. Seven is the number of fullness and completion. Like the seventh day completed the creation week, the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls complete God’s plan for this world. This world is completed, and it is time for the new heaven and the new earth.

Revelation reminds us through all the sevens that the history of this world is in the hands of our almighty God. Our personal lives are in the same hands. We can trust Him!

Also read: Who are the 144.000 in Revelation?

Why all the 7s in Revelation?
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Marten Visser

Marten Visser

Marten Visser (1971), experienced a call from the Lord to be a missionary while in Kindergarten. He received M.Div., Th.M. in Missiology, M.A. in cultural anthropology degrees and a Ph.D. degree in Theology. In 2000 he became a church planting missionary in Thailand with OMF, together with his wife Esther. In 2015 he returned to the Netherlands where he founded GlobalRize. He continues to serve as GlobalRize’s director of evangelism.

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Why all the 7s in Revelation?
E-book for the coronavirus crisis
This e-book has lessons for you from the early church relevant to us today.
Download free e-book