The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 3
The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible. It pictures completeness, though to a lesser degree than 7. The meaning of this number derives from the fact that it is the first of four spiritually perfect numerals (the others being 7, 10 and 12). The 3 righteous patriarchs before the flood were Abel, Enoch and Noah. After the deluge there was the righteous "fathers" Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (later renamed Israel).
There are 27 books in the New Testament, which is 3 x 3 x 3, or completeness to the third power.
Jesus prayed three times in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest. He was placed on the cross at the 3rd hour of the day (9 a.m.) and died at the 9th hour (3 p.m.). There were 3 hours of darkness that covered the land while Jesus was suffering on the cross from the 6th hour to the 9th hour. Three is the number of resurrection. Christ was dead for three full days and three full nights, a total of 72 hours, before being resurrected on Saturday, April 8, just before sunset.
Appearances of the number three
There were only three individuals who witnessed Jesus' transfiguration on Mount Hermon. Those who saw Jesus' glory on the mount were John, Peter and James.
The apostle Paul was an exceptionally well educated person. In three different occasions he quotes directly from Greek poets (Acts 17:28, 1Corinthians 15:33 and Titus 1:12). He also was privileged to visit the location of God's throne, which is in the third heaven (2Corinthians 12:2 - 4).
The three words that appear only once in Scripture are Reverend (Psalms 111:9), Eternity (Isaiah 57:15) and Grandmother (2Timothy 1:5).
Only three people were allowed to ask God anything. They were Solomon (1Kings 3:5), Ahaz (Isaiah 7:11) and, of course, Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:9).
The three gifts given to Israel by God were his law, the land of their inheritance, and their calling (the world to come).
The Bible only mentions the name of three angels (Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer).
How is the number 3 related to sex sins?
There are three places in the New Testament where sex sins are specially referenced. The first is in Romans 1:20 - 32, where certain people who reject God are given over to defile themselves in a variety of ways that includes homosexuality (male and female) and overall sexual immorality.
The second mention of sex-related sins is in 1Corinthians 5:1 - 13, where the apostle Paul must handle the problem of the local church allowing a member to openly commit incest. The third sex issue dealt with in the New Testament is in Revelation 2:19 - 25. A female who considers herself a prophetess within the Thyatira church, in the spirit of Jezebel, was teaching believers to commit sexual immorality and spiritual adultery.
Three in Prophecy
Next to seven, 3 is the most commonly found or referenced number in Revelation. An angel is charged to cry three woe's to those who live on earth to warn them of more trials to come (Revelation 8:13). The murdered bodies of the Two Witnesses will not be allowed to be buried but rather will lie openly in Jerusalem for three days before they are resurrected.
Three unclean spirits will be allowed to deceive the whole world to fight the returning Jesus Christ in what is called the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13 - 16). The New Jerusalem, created by God for placement on a new earth, will be shaped like a square with three gates on each side (Revelation 21:13).
Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 3
God is described, in the very beginning of the book of Revelation, as a Being "which is, and which was, and which is to come" (Revelation 1:4).
There are 3 great periods of God's annual Feast days of worship. They are the Spring festivals (Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread), the summer festival (Pentecost) and the Fall festivals (Feast of Trumpets, Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles).