When events happened in the Bible they were often marked by specific numbers. All throughout scripture the LORD speaks with the authority of time marked by numbers. In Genesis, one sees, from the beginning, that God is setting creation in a time frame. Each day is significant, not just for it’s numerical purpose, but each number of the day becomes significant for its spiritual connotation as well. Genesis tells us, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which he had done” (Gen. 2:2). Seven is a great place to start this blog because it allows us to see that God didn’t just choose a random number to finish His creation. Each and every thing within scripture is significant and profitable to our soul. Seven is the day of rest. From this point God looked and saw that His work was perfect and complete and nothing could be added to it. The seventh day is considered holy. The seventh year was a sabbatical – a rest for the land. So in this sense, one can see that seven represents spiritual perfection and completion, security and satisfaction, and it also represents a time of rest and refreshing.
Seven also gives us a mark for time – seven days in a week. Seven sets the outline and setting for the Menorah (3 on each side with one down the middle). Abraham received a seven-fold blessing (Gen. 12). The seven seals and seven trumpets of revelations also mark an extraordinary finishing and powerful event taking place. The list goes on and on.
If God would choose so many examples of how the number seven relates to scripture, physical time, and spiritual significance why wouldn’t He use numbers to speak to us whether in the natural or through dreams? In fact, dreams that carry numbers are very powerful, and it is up to the dreamer to determine whether it is a spiritual connection the Lord is speaking of or a natural link of time. For example: when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of the seven skinny cows eating the seven fat cows he knew that it referred to a length of time, and yet the spiritual connotation is there as well. Seven good years where rest will be enjoyed will be then changed over to seven bad years of famine; however, for those who prepare ahead there will not be any stress or strain, but the provision will be available; therefore, the method is complete and finished. Joseph knew this, and he helped prepare the people and the land for what was to come.
What about the number 40? Biblically, this number has been associated with trial, probation, ruling and reigning (whether good or bad), and chastisement of sons and the covenant people. It also speaks of grace (no. 5) leading to revival and renewal (no. 8) ==== (5×8=40). The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because of their complaining and attitude. This became a time of “probation” for them because the more they walked the more they seemed to forget the mighty miracles the LORD had done on their behalf. Moses is called up to the mountain with God to receive the Law, and he is on the mountain forty days and forty nights (Exodus 24:18). When Elijah escapes from Jezebel angels came and touched him and said, “Arise and eat.” It then says that Elijah went on the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights as he journeyed to Mount Horeb where he receives the revelation of God. In Elijah’s case, he was running from the enemy, and God was going to show Him through gentle rebuke and chastisement that Elijah is not the only one who has not bowed a knee to Baal. God allows Elijah to see that He alone, the Mighty King of Israel, is the Ruler of the World.
It rained forty days and forty nights, and the rain flooded the earth in the days of Noah. This was a time of judgement on the earth, but Noah found grace and favor in the eyes of God. He and his family are spared. Forty days Jesus is tempted by the devil while in the wilderness (Matt. 4;2). He ruled and reigned over His flesh and took dominion through His defeat of the enemy during this wilderness trial. Then after the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus is seen by His disciples for forty days speaking of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:2). His Kingdom and dominion is forever. Wow! Can you see the connection to the spiritual significance? If God would use numbers to represent something powerful and in a repetitive manner in the Biblical times, why wouldn’t He do it now? Pay attention to numbers when they come in a dream. As you pray and discern, notice what the Lord is showing you. Is it spiritual, or is it a literal marking of time? Could it be both? When we dream, we dream in a numerical sense. There may be one person, three cars, two dogs, and one church; however, we don’t often think numerically while dreaming. It is only when these numbers are counted out, spoken, or brought to light that one can see that the number has a significant point or value within the dream. For example: I dreamed that my sister was 17 months pregnant. In the dream she tells me this number. I am amazed because she is (I say this in the dream) 5 months overdue. When I wake up, in the natural, I send her the dream, and I’m like, “You are five months over due!” Then it hits me. Wait a minute! As a woman we are normally 4o weeks pregnant or typically we say nine months, which would mean that she is really 8 months overdue!! Yet, I have to go with the significance of what the dream states, not what I know about numbers in the natural. In the dream, I think 5 months overdue.
17 means the perfection of spiritual order. It can also denote a sense of immaturity and need for growth. The number 5 means grace and favor, and the work of our hands. It also means divine strength added to and made perfect in weakness (4 = the vanity and weakness of man; world and 1 is equal to divinity)====(4+1=5). So if favor is equal to grace what does this mean? Favor shown to those who are downtrodden and miserable is considered mercy, right? So then favor to the poor would be pity. To those who are suffering favor would be considered compassionate, and to the obstinate person then favor would be considered patient. It is amazing how one number can mean so many different things and yet carry the same meaning.
Notice that David chooses five smooth stones to defeat Goliath. Why five? Here again, the number five is showing favor and grace of God, while supplying David strength in his own weakness. David, you will see as you read 1 Sam. 18:40, was much stronger in his own weakness than clothed in all the fine array of armor by Saul. The result? David defeated Goliath, not with all the five stones he had taken but with one stone (4+1). One is divinity and divine strength. Wow!
A Few Other Numbers to Look at:
3 = solid, substantial, complete, Divine perfection, resurrection, . There are three divisions of time: past, present, and future. Three persons in the God-head: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three-fold nature of temptation: Lust of the eyes, Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of life. The three-fold promise from God while the earth remains: Seed, time, and harvest will remain. Jesus arose on the 3rd day, and it was at the 3rd hour that He was crucified. There are 3 gifts of grace: Faith, hope, and love. ……..
12 = Perfection of government and also Unity. There were twelve sons of Israel. Jesus was twelve years old when He first speaks and/or makes His appearance in public (Luke 2:42). There were twelve disciples. After Jesus fed the 5,000, His disciples took up twelve baskets of fragments (Matt.14:20).
24 = Associated with Heavenly government, worship. It also means to divide and judge something to determine whether it is good and acceptable or rejected. In Revelation 4 you will see that there are 24 elders around the throne.
The Word of God never ceases to amaze me! I could literally go on and on, but I’m going to leave you with these few interpretations. I pray that you search out in your daily life, in dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, etc. the spiritual and physical meaning of any numbers you hear. What is God trying to say? Anything and everything He gives us is worthy to ponder and study. I want to hear with open ears each and every revelation that comes my way. This should be all of our heart’s cry, right. I pray blessings over you and your household. May you continue to dream in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Be blessed!