What’s the deal with the number 3 in the Bible? It comes up a lot; is there special significance to it?

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What’s the deal with the number 3 in the Bible? It comes up a lot; is there special significance to it?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:16 am

Three has much significance in Scripture, largely because it is a reflection of the Trinity—one God in “3” essences (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). Christ powerfully describes Himself in three parts to the apostle John: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty”—Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:8. In addition to that, there are a number of additional uses of that number. Jesus used it to answer the Pharisees’ constant request for a sign: Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth—Matthew 12:38-40. There were a total of three crosses raised on the day Jesus died. Jesus had an inner circle of three disciples—Peter, James and John. There are only three angels specifically named in the Scriptures: Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. The number three was the number of days involved in each dream of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker when Joseph interpreted their dreams. Three Hebrews—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—were thrown into King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. There were three major festivals on the Jewish calendar to which God commanded special attendance: Spring (Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread), Summer (Pentecost) and Fall (Feast of Trumpets, Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles). Daniel prayed three times a day, causing the confrontation with the king’s law that led to lions’ den. Peter denied Christ three times prior to the crucifixion. Paul was blind for three days following his encounter with Christ while on the road to Damascus. God sent Peter the vision of unclean animals three times until Peter finally understood the message. Paul’s famous love chapter ends like this: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love—Paul, I Corinthians 13:13. Three times Paul pleaded with God to take away his “thorn in the flesh.” At the beginning of his Christian life, Paul spent three years in “Arabia and later returned to Damascus” before finally going to Jerusalem to meet with Peter and, later, James (the Lord’s brother). And, according to the apostle John, writing in his first letter, Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement—I John 5:5-8. Obviously, particularly because of its connection to the Trinity, the number 3 is of great importance in Scripture.

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