What Does the Number Seven Mean in Prophecy?
by David Vaughn Elliott

What did the number seven mean in Genesis 41 when Pharaoh dreamed of seven cows? "The seven good cows are seven years." The cows were symbols of years; but seven meant seven.

What did the number seven mean in Revelation 1 when John saw seven candlesticks? "The seven candlesticks... are the seven churches." The candlesticks symbolized churches; but seven meant seven.

The seven heads of the beast in Revelation 17 represent both mountains and kings. But seven means seven.

When they try to convince you that seven means "completeness, perfection, totality," don't believe it. This oft-repeated theory has never been proven. Seven may be the most used number in the Bible. Seven is often connected with sacred things. However, these facts in no way prove that the number seven carries any idea other than the number seven.

Jesus denied the theory that seven means completeness. When Peter asked Jesus (Matthew 18:21,22) if he should forgive seven times, Jesus rejected Peter's seven. Jesus let Peter know that seven was not enough--that seven was not even halfway to totality, not even a tenth of completeness, not even one fiftieth part of perfection. Seven means seven.
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