The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 490
The spiritual significance of the number 490 comes from the fact that it is seven times seventy (7 x 70).
Lamech, a descendant of Cain, killed a young man (possibly unintentionally) in self-defense. He warned that if he were killed because of the death that his murder would be avenged seventy times seven (490, see Genesis 4:23 - 24).
How is number 490 related to prophecy?
The prophet Daniel was a member of Judah's royal family. When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon first attacked Jerusalem in 605 B.C. he took a very young Daniel, as well as others of the royal family, captive. This captivity of the Kingdom of Judah was allowed by God as punishment for their long history of sin and disobedience to him. After living several years in Babylon, Daniel discovers something very revealing while reading the word of God.
In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years, which came according to the Word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years (Daniel 9:2 , HBFV).
Jeremiah's prophecy foretold that the Jewish people (which included Daniel) would be taken captive for a period of time (Jeremiah 25:7 - 12). The desolation of Jerusalem began in 586 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar, for the third time, attacked the city.
In Nebuchadnezzar's previous two campaigns into Judean territory (605 and 597 B.C.) he left Jerusalem and the temple pretty much intact. In 586, however, he destroyed the city and burned the temple built by Solomon completely to the ground. God's house of prayer stayed destroyed for seventy years until 516 - 515 B.C., when it was rebuilt under the reign of Persia's Darius I.
The discovery of Jeremiah's prophecy within the word of God brought Daniel to his knees in prayer. As he prayed something unique and rare occurred. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to him in order to give him understanding and wisdom regarding certain prophetic events.
It was revealed to Daniel that another prophecy would affect both the Jews and Jerusalem. It is commonly referred to as Daniel's 70 weeks (490 prophetic years, see Ezekiel 4:1 - 5) prophecy. The prophecy begins in Daniel 9:24 which states, "Seventy weeks are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin . . ."
The first of this three-part (7 weeks, 62 weeks and 1 week) 490 total years prophecy was prophecied to begin from the decree "to restore and to build Jerusalem" (see Daniel 9:25). This proclaimation took place in 539 B.C. under Persian king Cyrus the Great (Ezra 1:1 - 4). Many events have already taken place, with more to come in the near future, before the fullness of Daniel's 70 weeks is fulfilled. Thus, the number 490 marks the product of spiritual perfection (7) with regard to the working out of Jerusalem's number (70).
Additional info on the Biblical Meaning of 490
Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. Christ responded by stating, "I do not say to you until seven times, but until seventy times seven (490)" (Matthew 18:22). While this is a large number, the Lord was making the point that we should forgive others as often as it is needed. Our mercy and love is not to be limited if we are to mimic the character of our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:48).