God’s Perfect Numbers: Part 1 :: By Randy Nettles

This article is a continuation and expansion of a previous article I wrote titled, “The Perfect Numbers.” {1} I have mostly used numbers instead of words for maximum emphasis on the numbers significance… for example, 7 instead of seven.

The number 7 is God’s special number that has great significance in biblical scripture. It is one of the 4 so-called ‘perfect’ numbers of the Bible. 3, 10, and 12 are the other perfect numbers. 3 is the number for divine perfection; 7 is the number for spiritual perfection; 10 is the number for ordinal perfection; and 12 is the number for governmental perfection. Although the number 5 is not considered one of the perfect numbers, it is very significant as it signifies grace.

The number 3 is associated with the Godhead, for there are 3 persons in God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The first occurrence of the number 3 is in Genesis 1 and describes the 3rd day of creation. “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so” (Genesis 1:9). On the 3rd day, the earth was caused to rise up out of the water, symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 3 is the number of resurrection, for it was on the 3rd day that Jesus rose again from the dead (Luke 24:7).

God’s attributes are 3: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.

There are 3 great epochs of time – past, present, and future.

There are 3 ways of describing events in grammar: 1st person, 2nd person, and 3rd person. There are 3 degrees of comparison (positive, comparative, and superlative) that complete our knowledge of qualities. Thought, word, and deed complete the sum of human capability. 3 kingdoms embrace our knowledge of matter – mineral, vegetable, and animal.

There are 3 heavens we are aware of. The 1st heaven is our sky, the 2nd heaven is outer space, and God’s throne is in the 3rd heaven.

The first man, Adam, had many children but only 3 that the Bible mentions: Cain, Abel, and Seth. Men began to call upon the name of the Lord during the 3rd generation from Adam (including Adam) by way of Seth’s son Enos. (Genesis 4:26). Enoch of the 7th generation from Adam walked with God 300 (3 x 100) years after his son Methuselah was born and was then taken (raptured) by the Lord. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).

Noah, of the 10th generation, had 3 sons: Ham, Shem, and Japheth. From these 3 men and their 3 wives, the whole earth was repopulated with mankind (Genesis 9:19). Noah was one of the few people of the earth to survive the great tribulation of his time, known as the “Great Flood.” Noah and his sons (and their wives) entered a new (re-formed) world after the flood…one that was totally different than their former one.

When God confirmed the land covenant of Canaan with Abram/Abraham, He had Abram offer a sacrifice of 5 animals: a heifer of 3 years old, a she goat of 3 years old, a ram of 3 years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon (Genesis 15:7-9).

3 heavenly persons visited Abraham when he was 99 years old. The Lord Jesus and two angels (possibly Michael and Gabriel) visited Abraham and Sarah and told them they would have a son in their old age, and he would become Abraham’s true heir. 1 year later, when Abraham was 100 years old, Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). These three heavenly beings could be the same 3 mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel 12:1-7 regarding the last days (known as the Great Tribulation or Jacob’s Trouble).

There were 3 times Abraham was called the “friend of God”: 2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, and James 2:23. The 3 patriarchs of the Jewish race are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3:15).

Jacob’s 1st wife, Leah, gave birth to 6 boys and 1 girl. The 3rd son, Levi, was the patriarch from whom Moses came (Genesis 29-30). Moses’ parents, both of the House of Levi, gave birth to 3 children: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. Aaron was 3 years older than Moses. Moses’ mother hid Moses for 3 months after he was born because of Pharaoh’s new law requiring his people to kill all the newborn sons of the Hebrews (Exodus 2:1-2).

God sent 10 plagues against Pharaoh and Egypt for not letting his people go. The 9th plague was total darkness that covered the land of Egypt for 3 days. The Hebrews had light as usual (Exodus 10:21-23).

After the exodus from Egypt, Moses and the children of Israel came to Mount Sinai in the 3rd month. On the 3rd day after arriving there, God came down Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people (Exodus 19:11). This caused great fear amongst the people, and only Moses was capable of going up to meet the Lord. Moses was a brave man indeed.

3 times per year the children of Israel were to keep a feast (congregation/gathering) unto the Lord where all males were to attend. They are the feast of Unleavened Bread, feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 23:14-17). If you are not familiar with the Feasts of the Lord and some of the prophecies of Daniel, you might want to read “Multiples of Seven” by this author. {2}

God told Moses when they entered the Promised Land that there was to be a year of rest or Sabbath for the land every 7 years. If they obeyed God in this, the land would be blessed in the 6th year and would bring forth fruit for 3 years until the 9th year (Leviticus 25:21-22).

Gideon, one of the Judges of Israel, defeated the Midianites with only 300 (3 x 10 x 10) men which he divided into 3 companies (Judges 7:16-23). Gideon originally had 22,000 warriors, but 12,000 of them were too fearful to fight. That left Gideon with 10,000 men, but God devised a test to see who was qualified to fight. Only 300 men passed God’s test (Judges 7:4-8). Gideon fought the vast host of the Midianites with 3.33% of his army….however, he had the Lord on his side who gave him a great victory (Judges 7:15-25).

God called 3 men his servants: Moses (Numbers 12:7-8), David (2 Samuel 7:5), and Job (Job 1:8). God talked about 3 righteous men to the prophet Ezekiel: Noah, Daniel, and Job. “Though these three righteous men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it (the nation of Israel), they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 14:14).

God allowed Satan to test Job’s faith by causing the death and destruction of his possessions and family. He also lost his health. Job’s 3 friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar came to mourn with him and to comfort him (Job 2:11), but instead only gave him poor advice. Job originally had 7 sons and 3 daughters. After they were killed, and God restored Job again (Job 42:10-12), he had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters (Job 42:13). “And in all the land were no women found as fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren” (Job 42:15).

David, God’s anointed king of Israel, ruled for 40 years: 7 years in Hebron, and 33 years in Jerusalem (I Kings 2:11). He started his reign in Hebron when he was 30 years old. David was the 33rd generation from Adam (1 Chronicles 1 and 2).

Solomon, the wisest man in the Old Testament, had this to say about the number 3: “And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

There were 3 times in the Bible when multitudes of Israelite’s were miraculously fed: Elisha fed 100 men (2 Kings 4:42-43), Jesus fed 4,000 men (Matthew 15:34, 38), and Jesus fed 5,000 men. (Mark 6:38, 44).

The prophet Jonah was in the belly of a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights. “Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17). This event pre-figured Jesus’ death and resurrection. “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

The northern kingdom of Israel was invaded by the Assyrians 3 times. The 1st time was in 743 B.C. (2 Kings 15:19-20). The 2nd time was in 732 B.C. (2 Kings 15:29). The 3rd and final time was in 725 B.C. (2 Kings 17:3-5). The last siege of Israel lasted for 3 years until 722 B.C. when Assyria led the Israelites into captivity.

The southern kingdom of Judah was invaded by the Babylonians 3 times. The 1st time was in 605 B.C. (2 Kings 24:1-2). The 2nd time was in 597 B.C. (2 Kings 24:10-16). The 3rd and final time was in 588 B.C. (2 Kings 25:1-21) and lasted until 586 B.C., when Judah was carried away into captivity by the Babylonians.

Daniel, the prophet and man of God, had 3 faithful and wise friends that were brought to Babylon as servants after Nebuchadnezzar’s victorious campaign against Judah and Jerusalem. They were led away into captivity, and the Babylonians taught them their culture and language. They eventually became advisors to King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel, who was the king’s “right hand man.” Their Jewish names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; but they are better known by their Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (Daniel 1:6-7). We should remember them by their true Jewish names instead of the ones given to them by Nebuchadnezzar.

Jesus himself represents the number 3 in many aspects, even though he is most mentioned as the number 2 deity…the Son. There are 3 years of Jesus’ ministry which testify to the completeness of Israel’s failure to accept him as their Messiah (Luke 13:7). Jesus’ 3-fold “it is written” replies to Satan show that the Word of God is the perfection of all ministry (Matthew 4). The 3-fold voice from Heaven revealed the completeness of God’s approval of His beloved son Jesus (Matthew 3:17 and John 12:28).

It takes two or three witnesses for a word to be established (Deuteronomy 19:15 and Matthew 18:16).  Also, Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

There are 3 witnesses in heaven that testify that Jesus Christ came by water and blood (which refers to his baptism and crucifixion): the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost (1 John 5:7). There are 3 that bear witness in earth: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood (1 John 5:8).

At Jesus’ crucifixion, Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. The writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. The inscriptions of the cross in 3 languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Latin) show the completeness of His rejection by Jews and Gentiles alike (John 19:19).

The perfection of Jesus in regard to his 3 offices on earth is shown in His being prophet, priest, and king, raised up from among His brethren (Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Acts 7:37).

King Herod tried to keep the Messiah from becoming king of the Jews by killing all of the Jewish male babies in Bethlehem that were two years old or younger. However, Joseph was warned by an angel of the Lord to take the young child and his mother, Mary, and flee into Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Jesus was probably born in the autumn of 5 B.C. in Bethlehem because Herod died in 4 B.C. Jesus started his ministry in the year A.D. 30 (3 x 10) at the age of 33.

I believe Jesus was crucified in the year A.D. 33 (3 x 11). He was 36 years old at the time. It was at the 6th hour that he was crucified (John 19:14) with two other people (John 19:18); and it was for three hours (from the 6th to the 9th) that darkness enveloped the land (Matthew 27:45). Jesus’ death came in the 9th hour (3 x 3) when he uttered 3 words: “It is finished.” (John 19:30). In Israel, according to the Hebrew calendar, the 9th hour is 3:00 PM. So in other words, in the year A.D. 33, at 3 PM Israel time, there was darkness in the land of Israel for 3 hours after Jesus uttered his last 3 words… “It is finished.” Mankind’s salvation was now secure and complete for all who put their trust and faith in Him.

Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70, 37 years after Jesus’ death. This was about the same amount of time that Jesus had lived on the earth. The Jews were definitely punished for their part in Jesus’ death.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to 7 of his disciples at the sea of Tiberias. This was the 3rd time that he had showed himself to his disciples. Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him, and 3 times Peter said “Yes Lord” Jesus responded 3 times with “feed my sheep.” This was Jesus’ commissioning of Peter to follow in his footsteps after Peter had denied knowing Jesus 3 times during his arrest and subsequent crucifixion (John 21:15-19).

3 apostles witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus (with Moses and Elijah) on Mount Hermon: Peter, James, and John. Peter wanted to make 3 tabernacles for these 3 great men of faith (Matthew 17:1-4).

3 times the word ‘Christian’ is found in the New Testament: Acts 11:26, Acts 25:28 and 1 Peter 4:6.

Paul said 3 qualities abide for the believers in Christ: faith, hope, and love… these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).