The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 47
The venerable King James Bible (KJV), commissioned by King James I of England, was published in 1611 A.D. This English version of Scripture was created to correct perceived problems with previous translations. Although a total number of 54 scholars were initially approved to work on the project, only 47 of them actually took part in the work. The KJV Bible, even in the 21st century, remains one of the most popular versions of God's word!
The Apostle Paul completed his first missionary journey, undertaken with fellow apostle and evangelist Barnabas, in the fall of 46 A.D. They then both reside in Syrian Antioch, serving the church, until the end of the year. They also stay in the city through 47 and 48, finally leaving it in the late summer of 49 A.D.
Appearances of number forty-seven
Genesis 47 records the pivotal moment when Egypt's Pharaoh allowed Jacob (Israel) and his entire family to dwell in the land of Goshen. The family, at the behest of Joseph who was the second most powerful person in Egypt, left Canaan due to a severe drought. The Israelites will end up living in the country for the next 200+ years until, under Moses, they are freed to return to their ancestral home.
Genesis 47 also records Joseph introducing his father Jacob to Pharaoh. At the time of the historic meeting Jacob was 130 years old, an age that was fascinating to the Egyptians possibly due to their shorter lifespans (Genesis 47:8 - 9).
Rachel, Jacob's beloved wife, is mentioned 47 times in the Bible, the second most of any woman. The word "Israel" appears in 47 Biblical books or 71.2% of all books in Scripture.
The book of 2Thessalonians, written by the Apostle Paul in 51 A.D., has 47 verses. The book of Nahum, written by the minor prophet in 711 B.C., numbers only 3 chapters and 47 verses.
Number 47 and Bible translations
The book of 2Corinthians, written by the Apostle Paul in 57 A.D., is the forty-seventh Biblical book found in most modern translations. This chronological fourth book of Paul's was penned in Ephesus during his third missionary journey.
The forty-seventh book, however, of the originally inspired arrangement of Biblical books is Titus. Written in 63 A.D., this next to last work by Paul was written to Titus on Crete in order to guide his oversight of the island's church.
Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 47
The books of 1 and 2Kings, which records the history of Israel's kings, have a total number of forty-seven chapters.
Leviticus 11, 1Chronicles 11, Nehemiah 12, Jeremiah 48, Mark 15, Luke 20, John 5 and Acts 2 all have exactly 47 verses.