Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The Number 72

Question?   -   Newsletter   -   New!
Biblical Meaning of Numbers
1   -   2   -   3   -   4   -   5   -   6   -   7   -   8   -   9
10   -   11   -   12   -   13   -   14   -   15   -   17
20   -   21   -   24   -   30   -   33   -   40   -   111
222   -   333   -   444   -   555   -   777   -   MORE!

Meaning of Numbers: The Number 72

The English phrase "seventy and two," used for the number 72, is recorded 5 times in 5 King James Bible verses. The phrase is only found in the books of Nehemiah (3 times) followed by Ezra (2).

The possible meaning of the number 72 is derived from events in Scripture as well as tradition.

Seventy-two (72) plays a central role in one of the most awesome prophecies in God's word! Jesus is crucified Wednesday morning, April 5, in 30 A.D. He then endures excruciating pain until finally dying at 3 p.m.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, with sunset quickly approaching, prepare Jesus' body for burial. They place his body, just as the sun is setting, in a newly hewn tomb. Three full days (72 hours) later, as prophesied by Christ himself, he is resurrected from the dead at sunset on Saturday!

Appearances of Number Seventy-Two

The English word "Amorites" is recorded 73 times in 72 verses in the King James Bible. It is found the most in the book of Joshua (18 times) followed by Deuteronomy (14). The Amorites, who were the descendants of Canaan (Genesis 10:16), lived in Promised Land before, and during, Israel took control of the territory. Although they were mostly a conquered people, they continued to cause God's people trouble and lead them to grievously sin against the Lord.

Again the word of the Lord came unto me (Ezekiel), saying, Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite (Ezekiel 16:1 - 3, KJV).

The Psalms were originally divided into five sections, with Psalm 72 being the last one of section two. Songs in this section have the general theme of the land of Israel with allusions to the creation of the New Testament Church.

This Psalm is believed to be the only song written by King Solomon that is included in the book. Its opening mimics the king's request, early in his reign, that God grant him the wisdom to govern His people wisely.

Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s son; that he may judge Your people in righteousness and Your poor with justice . . . (verses 1 - 2 of Psalm 72, HBFV).

Jewish Tradition

Jewish Angelology teaches that there are seventy angels that each act as a heavenly guardian or prince over a nation. This concept of the world composed of seventy nations or peoples is partly based on Genesis 10. This chapter delineates seventy peoples (twenty-six from Shem, thirty from Ham and fourteen from Japheth) who were born after the flood.

It is also believed that Michael, as Israel's angel-prince, has been set as ruler over the seventy with God over all. It is these 72 spirit beings, according to this angelology, which sit in council when holding judgment over the world (1906 Jewish Encyclopedia article on Angelology).

Genesis 10, in the King James Bible, lists twenty-six descendants from Shem, thirty from Ham and fourteen from Japheth. The Septuagint, however, a Greek-based version of the Hebrew Old Testament, is somewhat different. It lists twenty-seven descendants from Shem and fifteen from Japheth for 72 total from all three sons of Noah.

Number 72 and Punishment

God, through Moses and Aaron, brought ten miraculous plagues upon Egypt. The ninth plague was a profound thick darkness that covered the land for three days (72 hours).

And the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the heavens, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, so that one may even feel the darkness." . . . And there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another, nor did any rise from his place, for three days . . . (Exodus 10:21 - 23).

The Tribes of Israel

The English word "Dan" is recorded 72 times in 64 King James verses. It is found the most in the book of Judges (14 times) followed by Numbers (12) and then the book of Joshua (8). Dan is the fifth of twelve sons produced by the patriarch Jacob.

Dan, after the Exodus, was Israel's second most powerful tribe in terms of fighting men. When they entered the Promised Land, they could field 64,400 men who could go to war (Numbers 26:42 - 43). Their prowess and strength in battle was predicted by Jacob.

Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward (Genesis 49:16 - 17, KJV).

Revelation 7 reveals that in the end time 144,000 descendants of Israel, or 12,000 from each tribe listed, will repent and be converted. Absent from the list, however, is the tribe of Dan!

And I heard the number of those who were sealed: one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel (Revelation 7:4, HBFV).

Revelation, instead of listing Dan, lists the tribe of Manasseh (Revelation 7:6) as well as the tribe of Joseph (verse 8).

The English word "Gad" is written 72 times in 69 King James verses. It is found the most in the book of Joshua (20 times) followed by Numbers (19) and 1Chronicles (11). Gad, whose name means "troop," was the seventh of twelve sons produced by the patriarch Jacob. His inheritance in the Promised Land entailed territory located east of the Jordan River.

And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about (Numbers 32:33, KJV).

More Info on Biblical Meaning of 72

There are 8 words and phrases in the Bible's original languages that are recorded exactly 72 times.

72 is the product of 2 x 2 x 2 (2 cubed) x 3 x 3 (3 squared). Both 2 and 3 are prime numbers.

The city of Galilee is mentioned, by name, seventy-two times in the KJV translation.

Around 72 B.C. Herod the Great is born to Antipater I the Idumaean. Antipater's Roman connections would eventually lead to Herod, at age twenty-five, being made governor of Galilee. A few years later, he is elevated to the rank of tetrarch of Jerusalem and Galilee. The Roman Senate then appoints him King over Judea in 40 B.C. when he is roughly thirty-two years old.

Psalm 78 is the only Old Testament chapter that contains exactly 72 verses. This makes it the fifth largest chapter, in terms of number of verses, in the Old Testament.

Mark 14 is the only New Testament chapter that contains exactly 72 verses. This makes it the third largest chapter, in terms of number of verses, in the New Testament. Only Matthew 26 and Luke 1 have more verses.

Recommended Articles
Timeline of Jesus' Last Days!
Where Was the City of Dan Located?
Where Did the Amorites Live?
Why Is Tribe of Dan Not in Revelation?
What Is the Table of Nations?
What Is God's Glory?
How Did Noah Walk With God?
Who Is the Angel of the Lord?

Biblical Meaning of Numbers
Introduction   -   Book of Numbers
Forgiveness Numbers  -  Abraham's Numbers
Mysterious Numbers of the Jubilee Year!
Sevens and the Worship of God
Numbers of Israel's Kings   -   Lucky 13!
Infinity   -   Zero
One Tenth   -   One Third   -   One Half
1    -    2    -    3    -    4    -    5    -    6    -    7
8    -    9    -    10    -    11    -    12    -    13
14    -    15    -    16    -    17    -    18    -    19
20    -    21    -    22    -    23    -    24    -    25
26    -    27    -    28    -    29    -    30    -    31
32    -    33    -    34    -    35    -    36    -    37
38    -    39    -    40    -    41    -    42    -    43
44    -    45    -    46    -    47    -    48    -    49
50    -    51    -    52    -    53    -    54    -    55
56    -    57    -    58    -    59    -    60    -    61
62    -    63    -    64    -    65    -    66    -    67
68    -    69    -    70    -    71    -    72    -    73
74    -    75    -    76    -    77    -    78    -    79
80    -    81    -    82    -    83    -    84    -    85
86    -    87    -    88    -    89    -    90    -    91
92    -    93    -    94    -    95    -    96    -    97
98    -    99    -    100   -   101   -   102   -   103
104   -   105   -   106   -   107   -   108   -   109
110   -   111   -   112   -   113   -   114   -   115
116   -   117   -   118   -   119   -   120   -   121
122   -   123   -   124   -   125   -   126   -   127
128   -   129   -   130   -   131   -   132   -   133
134   -   135   -   136   -   137   -   138   -   139
140   -   141   -   142   -   143   -   144   -   145
146   -   147   -   148   -   149   -   150   -   151
152   -   153   -   154   -   155   -   156   -   158
160   -   166   -   168   -   175   -   180   -   187
200   -   203   -   210   -   211   -   212   -   215
216   -   220   -   222   -   223   -   225   -   234
244   -   250   -   260   -   300   -   303   -   311
313    -    316    -    318    -    320
321    -    323    -    333    -    345
350   -   365   -   367   -   369   -   390   -   400
404   -   411   -   414   -   420   -   430   -   440
444   -   450   -   456   -   490   -   500   -   516
555   -   600   -   613   -   616   -   666   -   700
711   -   717   -   777   -   800   -   808   -   818
888    -    900    -    911    -    999    -    1000
1001   -   1004   -   1010   -   1111   -   1144
1212   -   1222   -   1234   -   1500   -   2000
2222   -   3000   -   4000   -   5000   -   10000
144000   -  500000   -  The Largest!
Prophecy Numbers   -   Numerology
Creation's Numerics   -   Further Study

Series References
Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural
Design and Spiritual Significance

Quotes related to the
meaning of the number 72 taken from
Holy Bible Faithful Version (HBFV)