Meaning of Numbers: The Number 78
The possible meaning of the number 78 is derived entirely from events and writings delineated in Scripture.
Goliath the giant, the Philistine warrior who battled and lost to a young King David, was at least 9 feet 3 inches tall (2.82 meters). God's word also states he wore a protective coat of mail that weighed 5,000 shekels (1Samuel 17:5). Assuming a shekel weighs between .25 (or 1/4) ounces (U.S.) and .5 (or 1/2) ounces, his battle coat was at least a hefty 78 U.S. pounds (35.4 kilograms) up to 156 pounds (70.8 kilograms)!
Psalm 78 is unique as it is the only place in the King James Bible translation where the phrase "evil angels" is used. The phrase is utilized in relation to the plagues God sent upon Egypt in order to free the children of Israel from slavery.
He cast upon them (Egypt) the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them (Psalm 78:49, KJV).
Verse 49 of Psalm 78 is also unique in that it records God directly using fallen angels to fulfill his will. The Lord also utilized demons to accomplish his goals in Judges 9:23, 1Kings 22:19 - 23, 1Samuel 16:14, John 13:2 and Revelation 2:10.
Appearances of Number Seventy-Eight
King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, holds the distinction of producing the largest family among the rulers of either Israel or Judah! During the king's life he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines (the children produced by concubines could not inherit the throne) 78 women total. The Bible records he produced 28 sons and 60 daughters or 88 children total (2Chronicles 11:21).
Number 78 and the Psalms
Psalm 78 is the first of twelve Psalms written by or for Asaph. He was one of King David's three chief musicians who played instruments and sung at the temple (1Chronicles 15:17, 19). It encourages people to keep God's laws and remember his mighty works lest they rebel against him.
Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will speak dark sayings of old . . .
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel . . . So that the generation to come might know them . . . So that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments (verses 1 - 2, 5 - 7, HBFV).
Verse 2 of Psalm 78 is quoted in Matthew 13:35 and verse 24 is quoted in John 6:31.
Different Names for God
Psalm 78 has the amazing distinction of containing several different Hebrew names for God.
The KJV phrase "the most High," found in verse 17 of Psalm 78, is derived from the Hebrew Elyon (Strong's Concordance #H5945) which means "the Most High" or "Highest." Verse 35's "the high God" comes from El Elyon (#H410, #H5945) which is "God Most High."
Verse 41's "the Holy One of Israel" comes from Qedosh Yisrael (#H6918, #H3478) which is an exact translation of the Hebrew. Finally, verse 56's "the most high God" is derived from Elohim Elyon (#H430, #H5945) which roughly means the same as El Elyon.
And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High (Elyon) in the wilderness . . . And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God (El Elyon) their redeemer.
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel (Qedosh Yisrael) . . . Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God (Elohim Elyon), and kept not his testimonies (Verses 17, 35, 41 and 56 of Psalm 78, KJV).
More Info on Biblical Meaning of 78
78 is the product of 2 x 3 x 13. All three of these, 2, 3 and 13, are prime numbers.
Interestingly, the number 78 is also equal to adding the first twelve digits or 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12.
Psalm 78 is the only Old Testament chapter that contains exactly seventy-two verses. This makes it the fifth largest, in terms of number of verses, in the Old Testament. Only Nehemiah 7 (73), 1Chronicles 6 (81), Numbers 7 (89) and Psalm 119 (176) have more verses.
The Hebrew word shor (Strong's Concordance #H7794) is written 78 times in the original language of the Old Testament. It is recorded the most in the book of Exodus (24 times) followed by Deuteronomy (12). The word is commonly translated as "ox," "oxen," "bullock," or even "cow." Oxen were an integral part of ancient Israel's agrarian society. They were often used in sacrifices to God.
As it was taken off from the bullock (shor) of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering (Leviticus 4:10, KJV).
The are no Biblical chapters that contain 78 verses. The only book to contain 78 or more chapters is the Psalms.