There are lots of instances of groups of four in our everyday lives, for instance, classical elements (earth, air, fire, water); suits in a deck of cards; members of The Beatles; Ninja Turtles… (children will know who they are).
Some theologians claim that the number four is associated with creation. As is believed, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. These theologians, however, consider the fourth day of creation to be one of the most important.
“And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” – Genesis 1:14-19 (NIV)
The fourth day of creation is the day God completed the material universe. By creating the sun to divide the day and night, He also invented a way to record time. There are 24 hours in a day – a number that is divisible by four – and four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Continuing on the lines of creation, the fourth of the Ten Commandments mentioned in Exodus 20:9-11 is to remember to keep God’s holy Sabbath day – the day he rested after creating world during the previous six days.
There are many more examples of the number four appearing in the Bible that do not have a direct correlation with the creation story. Whether these instances are significant due to the importance of the number four at the beginning of the world or just mere coincidence is debatable. Here are a handful of examples I have found:
Undoubtedly, I have missed many examples. Can you think of some? What do you think the significance of the number four is in the Bible if any?
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon