Since this study concerns the “seven Spirits of God,” we would do well to consider the spiritual meaning of seven. In his book, The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty, Dr. Stephen E. Jones wrote the following.
Zayin is a weapon in Hebrew. The perfect weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, by which spiritual warfare is accomplished, for “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal” (2 Cor. 10:4).
Seven is the biblical number of completion and spiritual perfection. As such, Psalm 7 speaks of the two floods by which the earth is cleansed and brought to the perfect order of the Kingdom.
Seven days completes a Sabbath cycle. In Rev. 10:7 the mystery of God is finished when the seventh angel blows his trumpet. In Rev. 16:7 “it is done” when the seventh angel pours out the seventh vial into the air. It took seven days to consecrate Aaron and his sons to the priesthood (Lev. 8:31-35) before emerging from the tabernacle on the eighth day. Joshua and the Israelite army had to march around Jericho seven days (Joshua 6:15) before the city fell.
In his book, Biblical Mathematics, here’s what Ed F. Vallowe wrote (bolding mine).
When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number four and added to it the perfect divine number, three, and got seven, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven—the four-square earth plus the divine completeness of God. So we have seven expressing completeness through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God, save the number one.
“Completion,” “spiritual perfection,” the “union of earth with heaven”; that’s the spiritual meaning of seven. We can also say that it represents “fullness” or “maturity,” for an excellent example of seven is the ripened fruit of a tree. When a fruit tree reaches maturity, it has reached its “seven,” able to produce fruit for consumption and much more seed for further planting. No wonder Jesus likened us to “trees” which bear “fruit” (Matt. 7:17).
In his book, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, E.W. Bullinger wrote the following.
It is seven, therefore, that stamps with perfection and completeness that in connection with which it is used. Of time, it tells of the Sabbath, and marks off the week of seven days, which, artificial as it may seem to be, is universal and immemorial in its observance amongst all nations and in all times. It tells of that eternal Sabbath-keeping which remains for the people of God in all its everlasting perfection.
In the creative works of God, seven completes the colors of the spectrum and rainbow, and satisfies in music the notes of the scale. In each of these the eighth is only a repetition of the first.
“Fullness,” agrees with “completion.” Google defines “fullness” as, “The state of being filled to capacity.” We can also use the word “fulfilled” which simply means “filled to the full,” agreeing with our definition. In scripture, prophecy regards a future event, but once a prophecy comes to pass or is “fulfilled,” it has reached its “seven.”
The number seven saturates the scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments. It is especially prominent in the book of the Revelation. The Greek transliteration for seven is hepta, used 88 times in the King James New Testament, 55 in Revelation. Five just happens to signify “grace” while two speaks of “a double witness” (Jones), so in our number 55, we have a “double witness” of God’s “grace” in all the sevens recorded in this remarkable book.
As a matter of study, there are six important sevens found in Revelation. They are the “seven stars” and “seven lampstands,” symbolic of the “angels of the seven churches” and “the seven churches” respectively (Rev. 1:20; NKJV). We then find seven prophecies to the seven churches in Revelation, Chapters Two and Three, followed by a “scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1; NKJV). Finally, we have “seven trumpets” (Rev. 8:2; NKJV) and “seven bowls” (Rev. 15:1, 7-8; NKJV). I believe these six important sevens connect with the following from the book of Matthew.
Matthew 1:1, 17 (NKJV)
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham… 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
In the “genealogy of Jesus Christ,” there are three segments of “fourteen generations.” Three is the number of “a complete witness” (Jones) while fourteen means “deliverance or release” (Jones). Coincidence? I think not! In our “genealogy,” we find a pattern, one that correlates with Revelation 17:14.
Revelation 17:14 (KJV)
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Abraham to David [Called]
David until the Captivity in Babylon [Chosen]
Captivity in Babylon until the Christ [Faithful]
Three times fourteen is 42 while six times seven is also 42. Another coincidence? Not at all! Please consider.
Revelation 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months (forty and two months; KJV).
Revelation 13:5 (NKJV)
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months (forty and two months; KJV).
At his website, biblenumbersforlife.com, Mark Lane cites the spiritual meaning of 42 as “evil man.” When considered in light of the context of our preceding passages, we have a match.
It’s also appropriate to consider 42 as “forty and two” as it’s rendered in the King James. Dr. Jones tells us that “forty is the number of trial or probation” while again, “two signifies either division or a double witness” (Jones). Again, in light of our preceding passages, we have a match.
Our passages from Revelation 11 and 13 seem to reflect a negative connotation, do they not? However, because we have a particular length of time, we can see 42 as positive, signifying the end of “evil man” and our “trial” and “probation.” Since two is prominent in our “forty and two months,” it suggests that all of this ends with a “double witness” of Christ to the world (see the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew, Chapter 25). This makes perfect sense when we understand that the tribulation of God’s people is a necessary thing, instituted by our gracious heavenly Father to bring us to the fullness (7) of Christ (John 16:33; Acts 14:22; Heb. 12:1-13).