Seventeens in Scripture (7)

The boast of Paul listed in 2 Corinthians 11:23–26 contains seventeen ‘perils’…

I have:

  1. worked much harder
  2. been in prison more frequently
  3. been flogged more severely
  4. been exposed to death again and again.
  5. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
  6. Three times I was beaten with rods
  7. once I was stoned
  8. three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea
  9. I have been constantly on the move.
  10. I have been in danger from rivers,
  11. in danger from bandits,
  12. in danger from my own countrymen,
  13. in danger from Gentiles;
  14. in danger in the city,
  15. in danger in the country,
  16. in danger at sea; and
  17. in danger from false brothers.




  1. Why don’t ministers ever teach a series on this sort of thing? I find it absolutely fascinating 🙂

    • I guess it’s because most people know about the Gnostics but they don’t realise that
      (a) many of them were Pythagoreans
      (b) that means they had an interest in mathematics
      (c) that there was one number Pythagoreans wouldn’t use and so the use of it in Scripture is pro-Jewish and anti-Gnostic.

      You may not have noticed it, Lyn, but I’ll point out that I’ve deliberately chosen passages from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, the Book of Acts to include Luke and several instances from Paul. I’ve also included Hebrews in case it wasn’t written by Paul and Revelation in case John the Elder is not the same person as John the Apostle. The point is: this is a pervasive structural device across the New Testament.

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