Judeo-Christian Scriptures: Symbolism in Book of Revelation

Judeo-Christian Scriptures:

 Symbolism in Book of Revelation

By Nicholas J. Frederick

Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University

symbols in revelationSymbolism in the Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation is filled with symbolism that can be difficult to interpret. The following charts can be used as a tool to help you study and understand John’s vision. The information comes from a variety of sources..


  • 7: completion; a number often taken to represent God and His divine Creation (Revelation 5:6).
  • 3½: incomplete; half of 7 (Revelation 11:9); sometimes expressed as 1,260 days (3½ years; Revelation 11:3), 42 months (3½ years; Revelation 11:2), or “a time, and times, and half a time” (Revelation 12:14).
  • 4: pertaining to the earth; four corners/four directions (Revelation 7:1).
  • 6: divine counterfeit; a number that is close to 7 but comes up short.
  • 666: likely representing the counterfeit trinity of the dragon and the two beasts—they are a “false godhead”; historically it likely referred to the Roman emperor Nero (Revelation 13:18).
  • 12: pertaining to Israel; twelve tribes of Israel; New Jerusalem measures 12,000 stadia (Revelation 7:5–8).
  • 1,000: a number signifying “a lot” of something (Revelation 5:11).
  • 144,000: (12 x 12 x 1,000), the number of the elect, perhaps signifying that there are a lot of them (Revelation 7:4).



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