Teaching Paper 015Seven Days At The Beginning of John’s Gospel

Have you noticed the progression of days in the first chapters of John’s Gospel? Each of the days are explicitly punctuated with the phrases ‘the next day’ or ‘the following day’. 

If the beginning of John’s Gospel is the first day, then the following table tabulates the ongoing progression:

After this, the next reference to days occurs in the first verse of the next chapter (in John 2:1), where a jump of three days is inferred. John 2:1 states that ‘On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee’. The progression of four days in John 1 is therefore now extended to seven days:

The above table completes the textual references to the progression of seven days, but why is this significant? Well, the wedding at Cana where water was turned into wine, can be seen to be on the third day as explicitly stated in John 2:1 and, when all the days are considered, the wedding at Cana is also on the seventh day. So, from the beginning of John’s Gospel until the wedding at Cana, there is an emphasis on the third and seventh day. 

This emphasis precisely matches the days of water sprinkling prescribed by the Hebrew Law of Purification in Numbers 19:19 – namely the third and seventh day.

Numbers 19:19 The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day.

Remember that the first sign miracle (of water to wine at this wedding) symbolically represents the ‘better covenant’ (Hebrews 7:22) of Jesus’s blood that supersedes the ceremonial water contained in the six stone water pots which was prepared according to Law of Purification (described in Numbers 19)! The first chapter of John’s Gospel, therefore, builds up a perfect fit of the progression of days with the Hebrew Law of Purification! 

This timing alignment (of the opening of John’s Gospel with the Hebrew Law of Purification which defined how the ceremonial water stored in the pots was prepared), focuses the reader onto the redemptive work of Christ through His shed blood, as represented by the new wine at the wedding at Cana. The opening grand statements of John 1:1 ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ together with the ‘Word became flesh’) find an emphasis in Jesus’ water to wine miracle at this very blessed wedding. 

The Hebrew way is all about symbolism, metaphor and type and the first chapters of John’s Gospel do not disappoint! The work of God is no longer to prepare ceremonial water according to the Levitical Law of Purification (prescribed in Numbers 19 with the Red Heifer sacrifice), rather the work of God is now to believe.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

How pertinent that at the end of the wedding at Cana, the narrative states that the disciples believed in Jesus:

John 2:11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

The Hebrew Wedding of Seven Days

This symbolism is further sealed by the fact that Hebrew Weddings were seven days long (see Genesis 29:27 and Judges 14:17). 

In the great biblical timeline of seven thousand Bible Years, it is only at 6000 Bible Years that ‘physical death’ is finally loosed off all believers at the conclusion of the first resurrection. Just as just as Adam was made perfect on the sixth day of creation (Genesis 1:26-31) so all believers will be raised to physical life and will receive their new incorruptible resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53) at the closure of 6000 Bible Years. 

This correlates well with the new wine conversion and its resulting benefits, being served towards the end of the wedding.

John 2:10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

Indeed, in the progression of days of John’s Gospel, the wedding at Cana was on the seventh day. The full benefits of the new wine may, therefore, be metaphorically seen to be fully realised on the seventh day in this progression of John’s Gospel. The fully realised benefits being resurrection life and resurrection bodies for all believers from the previous 6000 Bible Years and being given just before the seventh day’s rest (of the Millennial Kingdom).

The number of pots (at the wedding in Cana) is important because these six stone containers subtly depict the higher time frame of 6000 Bible Years. Not only because of the obvious ‘six’ but because the numerical value (in the original Greek) of the stone water pots is ‘613’ – the number of commandments in the Hebrew Law (Torah) which holds believing humanity in physical death for 6000 Bible Years. It is the Law which condemns us to death (Romans 7:9-10). Of course, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law and paid the price for all sin resulting in a new believer immediately being born again and receiving spiritual life. However, physical death still has a hold on believers until the conclusion of the first resurrection at the close of 6000 Bible Years. The replacement of water to wine (in the six stone water pots) literally brought joy near the end of the seven days at Cana, just as the first resurrection will bring joy and life to all believers at the end of 6000 Bible Years in the higher time frame of the 7000 Bible Years assigned to creation.

As a majestic seal to this truth, the number ‘613’ is the 112th prime number which is the number of rows in the Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 triangle. A triangle which represents the whole of creation subject to the Law (and the grip of physical death) until towards the end of God’s working week (at the end of day six) and the beginning of His seventh day’s rest of the Millennial Kingdom.