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Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday. Even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.”

For sure, biblically speaking, 70 is a special number that appears over and over again in Scripture. Therefore, 70 is a number of significant importance, especially since 70 represents completeness – the completeness of the nations of the world, the founding members of the Children of Israel, and the components of the authoritative judicial body of Israel. These and other biblical 70 years, according to the Jewish sages, are also why a person who has reached the age of 70 has achieved a “fullness of years.”

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” – Jeremiah 29:10, TLV

“Seventy weeks are decreed concerning your people and your holy city,
to put an end to transgression
to bring sin to an end,
to atone for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the Holy of Holies.” – Daniel 9:24, TLV

In the Torah (Old Testament), the number 70 is often connected with YeHoVaH’s creation of the nations of the world, according to the number of Israel. After the Flood, the world was repopulated through 70 descendants of Noah (Genesis 10). Seventy (70) souls of Jacob’s family went down to Egypt (Genesis 46:27). Seventy (70) elders were appointed to help Moses administer Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 11:16); the people of Judah spent 70 years of exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10). Seventy (70) weeks, 70 units of seven for a total of 490 years, were decreed by YeHoVaH as the period in which Messianic redemption was to be accomplished (Daniel 9:24). In the New Testament, Yeshua sent out the Seventy (Luke 10:1, in some manuscripts the number is 72); Yeshua commanded forgiveness ‘until seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22).  

Once again, even though the Bible doesn’t give specific customs that relate to the celebration of anyone’s 70th birthday,  the Jewish sages not only thought 70 was a special number but also thought that it was definitely appropriate for a person celebrating a 70th birthday to mark the occasion by expressing gratitude for having lived what the Rabbis considered to be “a full life.” Today is my birthday – my 70th birthday.

Thank You, YeHoVaH, for letting me live to see my 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, to me!