72” Were sent out in Christ name

Why “72”? And WHY are numbers in the bible signifient?

by: Patrick Miron

Luke 10: 1-5 “And after these things the Lord appointed also other seventy-two: and he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house.”

Anytime one encounters a number in the bible, it’s important to ask if the number itself has significance. This is based on Jewish Tradition where numbers often have a meaning of their own, known by all, and understood by all for who the teaching or message is immediately intended for.


“In sacred Scripture numbers usually have more significance than their quantitative indicators. More often than not, even when a number is used to indicate a certain quantity, the individual number given may point beyond the numerical value to a symbolic significance. At other times the number given is not to be taken literally and may represent an approximate value, a symbolic value, or may represent hyperbole-an exaggerated value. For example, the six day period of Creation may not be literal but may represent a symbolic period of time that was perfected on the seventh day when God rested-7 being one of the four “perfect” numbers. Or the number of the 144,000 heavenly souls marked with the “seal of the living God” in Revelation chapter 7 may suggest, as Bible scholars both ancient and modern have interpreted it, a number reflecting the symbolic perfection of redeemed man in terms of the “perfect” number 12 which signifies perfection of government in Scripture. 144,000 is the square of 12.”

 http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/the%20significance%20of%20numbers%20in%20scripture.htm: Much additional information can be found on this web site.

ONE: In sacred Scripture “one,” ehad, in Hebrew, represents unity and is the quintessential number of monotheism, the worship of one God.

TWO: This number can mean difference, division or double portion.

THREE: In sacred Scripture the number three represents that which is solid, real, substantial, and something in its completeness. This number usually indicates something of importance or significance in God’s plan of salvation by identifying an important event in Salvation History. This number operates as a “sign-post” in Scripture study for the reader to “pay attention” to the significance of the next event.

FOUR: The number four represents God’s creative works, especially works associated with the earth:

FIVE: This is the number of power and Divine grace.

SIX: Both man and the serpent were created on the sixth day, therefore, the number six represents both man and rebellion. In the Greek alphabet the number six is not represented by an alphabetic letter but is instead represented by a symbol called the “stigma.” In Revelation 13:18 the number of the Beast is written not as 666 but is instead is written with the Greek symbols for 600 and 60 and 6. In his book Numbers in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger observes that these three symbols correspond to first and last letters of the Greek word for Christ = CHRISTOS, with the symbol of the serpent in between the two other numbers of 666 [see Numbers in Scripture page 49]. Perhaps this arrangement can be seen to be Christ the Messiah crushing the serpent as God told the serpent in Genesis 3:15: I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will crush your head and you will strike its heel.

SEVEN: Spiritual perfection and fullness or completion. It is the number of Covenant and of the Holy Spirit.

EIGHT: sh’moneh in Hebrew, from the root shah’meyn “to make fat” or “to cover with fat” which means to super-abound. The first of a new series: there are seven days in a week; the 8th day is the beginning of a new series of days. It is the number of salvation, resurrection, and new birth/regeneration.

NINE: This number is related to the number six, being the sum of its factors (3×3=9, and 3+3=6). It is significant of the end of man and the sum of all man’s works. Nine is therefore the number of finality or judgment.

TEN: Perfection of divine order

ELEVEN: disorder: 10 + 1 or 12 – 1; also disorganization, lack of fulfillment, imperfection

TWELVE: Perfection of government. Twelve is the number of the Church, both the Old Covenant Church of Israel founded by twelve physical fathers (the twelve sons of Jacob-Israel) and the New Covenant Church founded by twelve spiritual fathers (the twelve Apostles). This number also has a relationship with multiples of twelve END QUOTES

So dear friends we can now understand the core message in the choice of using “72.” It does NOT necessarily means that Christ ACTUALLY chose “72” additional disciples, even though it might have been?

 Here “72” represents [6x 12] = “72.” The “6” here represents both man, and man’s natural tendency to rebel against change and authority. While the “12” represents both the responsibility and the necessary POWER of independent-“GOVERNANCE.”

 The message then becomes that man [all mankind] is commanded by God, to “go forth and preach the [His] GOOD NEWS”; but the 6 x 12 lacks perfection and or competition, that the number “84” [7 x 12] would lend to the teaching. So the entirety of the message then is that this mandate becomes an ON-GOING; NEVER-ENDING task for humanity. It applied when Christ was here on earth, and it applies [perhaps even more urgently] to us today; to [1] Know the Good News; [2] to Live the Good News and to [3] SHARE the Good news as God grants us the opportunity to do so.

The “real-kicker” though is that the ability to KNOW the fullness of God’s “Good News“, and therefore the ability to share it [we can’t share what we ourselves do not have] resides exclusively within the confines of the Catholic Church.

 Mt. 15:18-19 “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, [singular] and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

 Jn. 17:18-19 “As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth”

 Jn.20:21-22 “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

 Mk. 16:14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 Mt. 28: 16-20 “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

 And NOW dear friends, you know! Amen!