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What is the number 70 meaning in the bible

What is the number 70 meaning in the bible

The number 70 holds special meaning throughout the Bible. But what is the significance behind this number, and why does it keep appearing in Scripture? In this article, we’ll explore the symbolism and importance of the number 70 in the Bible.

The number 70 represents completion, restoration, and a new beginning in the Bible. It’s connected to key events like the 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the 70 elders who assisted Moses, and the 70 disciples sent out by Jesus in Luke 10. Keep reading to learn more about the meaning of this biblically significant number.

What Does the Number 70 Symbolize in the Bible?

In the Bible, certain numbers held symbolic meaning by representing different spiritual truths. The number 70 signifies completion, restoration, and new beginnings:

  • Completion – 70 concludes periods of judgment and initiates times of restoration. Many key Biblical figures lived 70 years.
  • Restoration – After 70 years of exile, the Israelites returned to their land. Jeremiah prophesied 70 years of Babylonian rule.
  • New beginnings – The 70 elders assisted Moses in leading Israel. Jesus sent out 70 disciples to preach his gospel message.

Seventy combines two perfect numbers, 7 (representing perfection/completion) and 10 (representing order and God’s law). This symbolism underpins its biblical usage.

Why is 70 Years Significant in the Bible?

The number 70 is connected to the 70 years of servitude when the Israelites were exiled in Babylon:

“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.” (Jeremiah 29:10).

Jeremiah prophesied that God’s people would be in Babylonian captivity for 70 years then be restored to their homeland. 2 Chronicles 36:21 tells us this period of exile fulfilled the “word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah.”

So 70 came to represent a period of judgment and exile, followed by deliverance and restoration. Other Bible characters like King David and Isaiah lived 70 years, underlining how one phase or generation ends and another begins after the 70-year mark.

What is the Significance of the 70 Elders and Moses?

In the Book of Exodus, we read how Moses chose 70 of Israel’s elders to come before the Lord with him:

“The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders…I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone” (Numbers 11:16-17).

These 70 elders were filled with the Holy Spirit to assist Moses in leading God’s people. The elders represent the 12 tribes of Israel (12 patriarchs x 70 elders = 720). The number 72 also appears in some texts, but 70 is more common.

Here we see a transition of leadership to a new beginning as the 70 elders are appointed to shepherd God’s flock.

What is the Meaning of the 70 Disciples in Luke 10?

In the New Testament, Jesus chooses 70 disciples to go out in his name:

“After this, the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go” (Luke 10:1).

Just as the 70 elders helped Moses spread God’s message, Jesus commissions 70 followers to declare the gospel in the towns and villages. As the Messiah, Jesus came to restore and regather God’s people spiritually.

The 70 disciples represent this mission as Jesus prepares to “make all things new” through his death and resurrection. He sends out 35 pairs of disciples to build up the new house of God.

What is the Seventy Weeks Prophecy in Daniel?

One of the most complex and highly-debated numbers is the “70 weeks” prophecy in Daniel 9. The angel Gabriel tells Daniel:

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness…to bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24).

Most scholars believe one “week” equals 7 years. So the 70 weeks refer to 490 years allocated for the Jews to repent and turn back to God. Afterward, everlasting righteousness will come to Israel – ultimately through Jesus, the Messiah.

Why Does 70 Occur over 50 Times in Scripture?

Throughout Scripture, the number 70 occurs over 50 times in connection with key spiritual events. Here’s a quick overview:

  • 70 descendants of Jacob entered Egypt
  • 70 elders went up Mt. Sinai and saw God’s glory
  • 70 years of Babylonian captivity
  • 70 years from when Jerusalem was destroyed to when the Jews returned
  • 70 disciples sent out by Jesus
  • 70 “sevens” are decreed for Israel’s restoration

From Genesis to Revelation, we see how 70 marks various times of judgment, exile and the promise of salvation for God’s people. The restoration of Israel ultimately finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus.

Conclusion: Why the Number 70 Matters Today

For us today, the number 70 represents God’s faithfulness across generations and how he brings redemption out of exile. Seventy reminds us that after turmoil comes peace, after judgment comes grace.

No matter what sins or judgments we face, we serve a God who restores, forgives and makes all things new. He has allotted 70 “sevens” to cleanse humanity and usher in everlasting righteousness through the work of the cross. Thanks be to God for his redemptive plans across the ages!

Key Takeaways on the Number 70:

  • Symbolizes completion, restoration and new beginnings
  • Seventy years of Babylonian captivity fulfilled
  • Seventy elders assisted Moses in shepherding Israel
  • Jesus sends out 70 disciples to declare gospel
  • Daniel’s 70 “sevens” prophecy points to salvation in Jesus
  • Occurs over 50 times regarding God’s redemptive plan

I hope this overview gives you a better understanding of the number 70’s spiritual significance. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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