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A Familiar Number

A Familiar Number

Genesis 7:2-4a

“Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, … and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also … For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights …” 


The number seven towers in bold print above this chapter in my English Bible, and although chapter and verse numbers were added much later in the process of biblical transcription, this addition is no coincidence. Because, once again, notice what we see repeated between verses two and four: seven pairs of clean animals, seven pairs of birds, in seven days. That’s 777: the number of divine completion. And we’re only in the Book of Beginnings! God hasn’t yet called Abram to venture to Canaan or Moses to cross the Red Sea or David to fight goliath. He hasn’t commissioned Esther to rescue her people from extinction or Elijah to destroy the prophets of Baal or Isaiah to proclaim the coming Messiah. Yet, even still, at the outset, already, while the world is only a few generations old, He reminds us through the repetition of a little number what that children’s chorus taught us all those years ago in Sunday school: “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”


He always has. And He always will.