The Number Seventy (70): Biblical/Spiritual Significance

SHALOM!

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Psalm 70 Names of God Bible (NOG)

Psalm 70[a]

For the choir director; by David; to be kept in mind.

Come quickly to rescue me, O Elohim!
    Come quickly to help me, O Yahweh!
Let those who seek my life
    be confused and put to shame.
    Let those who want my downfall
    be turned back and disgraced.
Let those who say, “Aha! Aha!”
    be turned back because of their own shame.
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad because of you.
    Let those who love your salvation continually say,
    Elohim is great!”

But I am oppressed and needy.
    Elohim, come to me quickly.
    You are my help and my savior.
        Yahweh, do not delay!

 

 

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Appearance of the Number Seventy (70) in the Holy Biblical Scriptures:

The number seventy appears several times in the TORAH and elsewhere:

  • Seventy elders of the Jewish nation,
  • Seventy languages and nations of the world,
  • Seventy members of Jacob‘s family that came to Egypt.

The last two examples will give us an insight as to the nature of this number.

 

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Seventy is a double-sided coin, representing on one hand the ultimate unity, and on the other hand, the epitome of disunity.

 

 

When Jacob and his household traveled down to Egypt to be with his son, Joseph, the Bible tells us that,

Genesis 46:26-27 Names of God Bible (NOG)

26 The total number of Jacob’s direct descendants who went with him to Egypt was 66. This didn’t include the wives of Jacob’s sons. 27 Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. The grand total of people in Jacob’s household who went to Egypt was 70.

 

The commentaries explain that the degree of unity among the family members was such that they were as one man, one soul, one drive.

Yet earlier in history, a generation after the great flood in Noah‘s time, a group had arisen to build a structure that would reach the heavens. They would ascend it and fight YAH. This became known as the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:1-8 Names of God Bible (NOG)

The Tower of Babel

11 The whole world had one language with a common vocabulary. As people moved toward the east,[a] they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.

They said to one another, “Let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used bricks as stones and tar[b] as mortar.

Then they said, “Let’s build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the sky. Let’s make a name for ourselves so that we won’t become scattered all over the face of the earth.”

Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower that the descendants of Adam were building. Yahweh said, “They are one people with one language. This is only the beginning of what they will do! Now nothing they plan to do will be too difficult for them. Let us go down there and mix up their language so that they won’t understand each other.”

So Yahweh scattered them all over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. This is why it was named Babel, because there Yahweh turned the language of the whole earth into babble. From that place Yahweh scattered them all over the face of the earth.

Compare:

Book of Jasher Chapter 9:32-33

32 And God said to the SEVENTY ANGELS who stood foremost before him, to those who were near to him, saying, Come let us descend and confuse their tongues, that one man shall not understand the language of his neighbor, and they did so unto them.

33 And from that day following, they forgot each man his neighbor’s tongue, and they could not understand to speak in one tongue, and when the builder took from the hands of his neighbor lime or stone which he did not order, the builder would cast it away and throw it upon his neighbor, that he would die.

 

As punishment for their rebellion, YAH (a.k.a GOD) planted strife and disagreement among them by causing each to speak a different language and not understand his fellow workers. From the unfinished Tower of Babel, the different languages separated from each other, and formed seventy nations.

When disunity came to the world, it took the form of seventy. When we see a true example of togetherness in the Bible, it takes the form of seventy. It’s a number than can be pulled either way, all depending on you.

 

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