10 “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
Zechariah 2:10-11, NIV
8 ” ‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes [d] on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
Zechariah 3:8-9, NIV
Much like the book of Revelation, Zechariah is filled with symbolic prophesy. I am always curious of all of the symbolism used in the Bible and I must admit I am puzzled by two recurring numbers in these particular chapters and I am asking for insight on what these mean from the readers of this blog. I am giving what I think may be what this symbolism means, but I am by no means a Bible scholar. I am just offering my lay person’s perspective. The two recurring numbers are 4 and 7. Four, or some multiple of, is used 7 times:
- On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month (Zechariah 1:7)
- Then I looked up—and there before me were four horns! (Zechariah 1:18)
- Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. (Zechariah 1:20)
- “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the LORD. (Zechariah 2:6)
- I looked up again—and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains (Zechariah 6:1)
- The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits [k] of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. (Zechariah 6:5)
- In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. (Zechariah 7:1)
The word seven, or a multiple of, is used in the following:
- Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years? (Zechariah 1:12)
- See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes [d] on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ (Zechariah 3:9)
- I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. (Zechariah 4:2)
- These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth. (Zechariah 4:10)
- ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? (Zechariah 7:5)
I never think that it is an accident why certain symbols and numbers of these symbols are chosen. I also certainly believe that the two scriptures in the “Scripture” section of this post are Messianic predictions of the coming of Jesus. I can only think that the “seven” can represent the 7 continents and 4 can represent the 4 directions (North, South, East, and West – these are even used in the symbolism, with the North having a special significance). My thought is that all of this symbolism is to remind us that Jesus and his Father, God ,are omnipotent and omnipresent – everywhere at all times; on all seven continents, covering all four directions or bearings.
How quickly we forget how big God really is. he has created everything, knows everything, and is everywhere. This is such a hard thing to fathom. I cannot seem to wrap my meager little mind around it, but it is true. It seems easy to take for granted when we get busy, but one of the very first things we should do in prayer is acknowledge just how big God is and thank Him for being that way and giving justice and balance to this world. He also gives us a reason to live, and eternal hope through his Son. I thank Him for bold predictions like these that I can use in an apologetic way, to help people understand how many prophecies came true about Jesus and how these prophesies were predicted hundreds to thousands of years before he got to Earth. These can help us “defend our faith” as these predictions and Jesus’ coming were no accident and no conspiracy. They were predicted by God’s chosen people. We need to thank him for every word chosen in His book, even though we don’t always understand all of the symbolism and may not fully understand all of it this side of heaven. It is just amazing to me just how big God is – on all seven continents, all four bearings; everywhere, all the time, and all knowing. Whew!!
Lord God, please forgive me for forgetting how big you are. Every battle I face in this life, you know about already. You have chosen every path that I will take. You have chosen my destiny, just as you do for everyone. You chose every word that is used in your book to teach us more about you. Thank you for all of it. Thank you for the conduit to you that you have given to us in Jesus Christ. Thank you for just being so….well…BIG!! Lord, I love you, and may I never take you for granted. Amen