In Genesis 46:26, God is speaking of another class, viz., only those "which came out of his loins"; these were seventy in number:
"All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all. And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy." (Genesis 46:26-27)
The number of people in Genesis 46 who went to Egypt is made up in a remarkable manner, distinguishing the descendants of Leah and her maid from Rachel and her maid,* the latter being a more marked multiple of 7:
* The Gematria (substituting numbers for letters) of their names is just as remarkable. See the number 8.
|The number of Leah's children **:||33 (3x11)|
|The number of Zilpah the maid's children: ||16 (4x4) |
|Together (though not separately) a multiple of 7: ||49 (7x7) |
|The number of Rachel's children: ||14 (2x7) |
|The number of Bilhah the maid's children: ||7 |
|The total number of Rachel's and Bilhah's children:||21 (3x7) |
|Grand total - a multiple of seven: ||70 (7x10) |
** Only 32 are named, because one, Jochebed, the mother of Moses, though conceived, was not born until Egypt was reached (Numbers 26:59), and therefore could not be named here.
These seventy built up the nation of Israel (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5 and Ruth 4:11).
The number 70 and the leaders of Israel and the church
Seventy elders furnished Israel's great Tribunal (Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16, afterwards called the Sanhedrim (Sanhedrin) - see the number 120)
Seventy disciples sent out by the Lord prefigure the mighty host which followed them in spirit and in power:
"After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go . . . "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.' " (Luke 10:1, 7)
The number seventy and Jerusalem
In the Bible seventy is specially connected with Jerusalem.
Jerusalem the city kept 70 years of Sabbaths while Judah was in Babylon:
"And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." (Jeremiah 25:11, NKJV)
Seventy sevens (490 years) were determined upon Jerusalem for it to complete its transgressions, to make an end for sins and for everlasting righteousness to enter into it:
"Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy." (Daniel 9:24)