Who knows seventy?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.

  • 1
    f you don't count double answers, but split answers like the ketores (4) and the nesiim (12) my answer count is 61 as of the time of this submission (That includes the answer of the 70 answers). 9 more to go! –
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 17:33
  • 2
    Since the number of answers given to this question on mi.yodeya is not particularly notable in the realm of Jewish life and learning, I think we can ignore that from the list of answers, defusing Dave's paradox.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 18:21
  • 2
    @Shalom - "Crowdsourcing." :)
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 19:01
  • 4
    70 page views!!
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 21:00
  • 2
    I'll take up the list - no incentive needed. Please comment if you disagree with my count. Some answers seem the same to me. Some similar answers can be counted separately if individually significant.
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 1:50

29 Answers 29


70 is/are:

  1. Avrams age when he first came to Canaan- YDK
  2. Years of David haMelech- Shalom
  3. Shekel weight of basin brought by Nachshon be Aminadav- Shalom
  4. Shekel weight of basin brought by Nesanel ben Tzuar- Shalom
  5. Shekel weight of basin brought by Eliav ben Chelon- Shalom
  6. Shekel weight of basin brought by Elitzur ben Sh'deur- Shalom
  7. Shekel weight of basin brought by Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai- Shalom
  8. Shekel weight of basin brought by Elyasaf ben D'uel- Shalom
  9. Shekel weight of basin brought by Elishama ben Amihud- Shalom
  10. Shekel weight of basin brought by Gamliel ben P'dahtzur- Shalom
  11. Shekel weight of basin brought by Avidan ben Gidoni- Shalom
  12. Shekel weight of basin brought by Achiezer ben Amishadai- Shalom
  13. Shekel weight of basin brought by Pagiel ben Ochran- Shalom
  14. Shekel weight of basin brought by Achira ben Enan- Shalom
  15. Bulls for Olah on Sukkos- Shalom
  16. Nations of the world- Chanoch
  17. Descenders to Egypt w/ Yaakov- Chanoch
  18. Defects that render an animal tereifah- Dave
  19. Interval in years between the chilazon's ascent in the sea- Dave
  20. Age at which the אפעה ("vipers" - Artscroll) becomes fertile- Dave
  21. Age at which the carob tree bears fruit- Dave
  22. Man's lifespan- Dave
  23. Age at which man is called a שיבה- Dave
  24. Years of the Babylonian exile- Dave
  25. Weight in Maneh of Tzari in the Ketores- Dave
  26. Weight in Maneh of Tziporen in the Ketores- Dave
  27. Weight in Maneh of Chelbenah in the Ketores- Dave
  28. Weight in Maneh of Levonah in the Ketores- Dave
  29. Interval in years between Shissin cleanings- Dave
  30. 70 nations (mentioned by Chanoch)
  31. Pesukim from beginning of Breishis until Curse of Nachash- YDK
  32. Pesukim from Haman's promotion until his hanging- YDK
  33. Names of Hashem from Breishis until the parashah of the Nachash- YDK
  34. Age that Terach begat Avraham- YDK
  35. Age that Kenan begat Mehalalel- YDK
  36. Days of crying for Yaakov- YDK
  37. Shabbossim/Yamim Tovim in a Solar year- YDK
  38. Names for Hashem- YDK
  39. Names for Yisrael- YDK
  40. Names for the Torah- YDK
  41. Names for Yerushalayim
  42. Years taken from Adam for Dovid
  43. Days from Haman's Iggeres to Mordechai's- YDK
  44. Years of Choni's slumber- YDK
  45. Number of Elders to assist Moshe- YDK
  46. Number of lots with the word "zaken"- YDK
  47. Number on the Sanhedrin acc. to Rabbi Yehudah- YDK
  48. The number of golden chairs set above Shlomo haMelech's throne- YDK
  49. Gematria of Yayin- YDK
  50. Gematria of Sod- Shalom
  51. Facets of the Torah- YDK
  52. Rabbi Elazar's age/appearance when appointed- Dave/YDK
  53. Shmittos from the 1st Churban to the 2nd- YDK
  54. Good years that turn bad b/c of Nivul Peh- YDK
  55. Date trees in Elim
  56. Unit of years that a court is destructive if it executes more than 1 person- Dave
  57. Sifrei Torah written by Rav Huna- Dave
  58. Age of Ramban when he moved to Eretz Yisrael- Dave
  59. Sons of Gideon from wives- YDK
  60. Brothers to Avimelech- YDK
  61. Silver pieces given to Avimelech by Anshei Sh'chem- YDK
  62. Children and grandchildren to Avdon ben Hillel- YDK
  63. Donkeys owned by the above- YDK
  64. Answers to the stirah in Rav Ashi- Shalom
  65. Original Tikkunim in Tikkunei Hazohar- Isaac Moses
  66. Lamps to Shlomo haMelech's Menoros- Dave
  67. Languages to the world- Jeremy
  68. Year CE of the Churban Bayis Sheni- Jeremy
  69. Days Menachos grain was planted before Pesach- Dave
  70. Interval of years between arrivals of an anti-navigational star- Dave
  71. Amos of Heichal (w/o Ulam) in the 2nd Bayis- Dave
  72. Amos (+) to a city's Ibur- Shalom
  73. Translators of the Septuagint (acc. to 1 version- pardon the pun)- Jeremy
  74. Verses in Megillas Esther from Haman's ascension to his hanging)- Alex
  75. Gematria of גוג ומגוג
  • 2
    Can we vote an answer off the list?
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 3:00
  • 4
    Great job! So, you're counting each Nasi's basin separately? I guess if we have to sit through them all on Shabbat Naso, God must think so.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 3:06
  • FTR, I don't think you needed to leave out mi.yodeya.com/questions/2365/shivim-mi-yodeya/2392#2392 .
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 3:08
  • Yasher Koach for the great job. If you want to trim it to 70, you can easily combine 22 and 23.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 3:13
  • 1
    I'm counting the nesiim separately b/c a) Isaac's svara; b) they are seperate people/basins and were brought independently (which could be [a]). I only left out the Ibur b/c you commented recently on 100ths. Dave, I thought that 22 and 23 were independently significant even if they sound the same.
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 3:32
  • Seventy defects that render an animal tereifah (Rambam, Hil. Shechita 10:9).

  • The chilazon that is used in the manufacture of techeiles comes up from the sea once every seventy years. (Menachos 44a)

  • The animal called אפעה ("vipers" - Artscroll) becomes fertile seventy years after birth, and the carob tree does not bear finished fruit until sevety years from its planting. (Bechoros 8a, acc. to Rashi)

  • Seventy are the "days of our years" (Tehillim 90:10), and one who reaches that age is in the category of שיבה (Mishnah, end of Avos).

  • The Babylonian exile lasted seventy years.

  • The first four spices listed in the ketores recipe (tzari, tziporen, chelbenah, levonah) each had a weight of seventy maneh.

  • Once every seventy years, the young Kohanim in the Temple would extract the congealed wine from the shissin into which the Nesachim (libations) were poured. (Me'ilah 11b)


The Possuk וידבר יהוה אל משה לאמר appears 70 times in the Torah.

  • 2
    I'm surprised it's so few.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 15:26
  • Do you have a source for this? Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 15:24
  • @AdamMosheh It's accurate, but it's kind of cheating because it counts Shemot 6:29
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 23:35
  • @DoubleAA - It's not that I don't believe you, I'm just curious to know where it was initially written that it appears 70 times. Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 1:53
  • 2
    @AdamMosheh It was initially written 70 times in the Torah. Go count!
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 2:02

Seventy are the years King David lived.

(It fits the rhythm of the song ... or did we forget all about that a long time ago?)

And the old story of the guy who said the entire book of Psalms every day, his rabbi comments, "it took King David seventy years to write Psalms, and you polish it off in two hours?" (Or something like that; please correct me on the story.)

While on the topic of the Nesiim, seventy are the shekels' weight of the silver basin each Nasi brought, a bit less than three lbs. (Plus the weight of the flour it contained; as we don't know the shape of the basin -- Kodshim experts, do we? -- we can't tell it's volume; though I suppose we could guess some reasonable shapes and calculate accordingly.)

Seventy are the bulls brought as olah-offerings on Sukkot, 13+12+11+10+9+8+7. As the Vilna Gaon famously observed, on some of the days the goat offering is called a "se'ir", and on some it's called a "se-ir izim." (The JPS translation linked just calls both of them a "he-goat.") Sure enough, there are 35 bulls brought on "se'ir" days, and 35 bulls brought on "se'ir izim" days. Question: is the division given in the Chumash the only way to get 35 + 35?

The Sforno says the bulls represent getting the big picture -- love and fear of G-d. And the diminishing means that over history, the Jews will be observing all sorts of rituals, but increasingly missing the big ideas.


70 nations in the world.


Avraham was 70 when he first came to Eretz Canaan and experienced the Bris bein haBesarim. Seder Olam

The Chizkuni explains this in more detail:

  1. During the Bris (Lech Lecha 15:7-21), Hashem says your children will be strangers...for 400 years. However, it says in Bo (12:41) that the Bnei Yisrael went out at the end of 430 years. He differentiates that, indeed, "your children" (starting from Yitzchak) will be strangers for 400 years, but it will be 430 years from the Bris bein haBesarim. Yitzchak was born when Avraham was 100, so the Bris was when he was 70. We know he was in Eretz Canaan because Hashem says He took Avram out of Ur Kasdim to give him "this land".

  2. Another indication that pesukim 7-21 were prior to 1-6 is that the gemara (Brachos 7b) says that Avraham was the first to refer to Hashem as Adon and quotes Pasuk 8. If 1-6 came before 8, the gemara should have quoted pasuk 2 where Avram also uses adnus.

  3. Another indication that pesukim 7-21 were prior to 1-6 is that Avram asks Hashem for a sign that he will posess the land. That's a massive short-coming of Emunah since Hashem just told him that he'll get the land. If 7-21 came first, then the request makes sense- Hashem never promised Avram children yet (that's in 1-6), just the land. Avraham is concerned that Hashem will give the land, but Avram will die without an heir. (Avram wants a sign for long-term ownership.) [#2-#3 don't indicate age, just the order]

  4. An indication that 1-6 was said at a different time as 7-21 (but not of age or order) is that 1-6 was at night (Machaze (1) is a night vision; Count the stars [5]). 7-21 was in the day (the sun was setting[12]

[Another answer to this question is how many answers there will be to this question]

  • I'm told the Netziv doesn't like this, and says that the 430 count is from when Avram turned 70 and things started changing in his life ... though the command to move to Israel wouldn't happen for another five years.
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 20:37
  • 1
    As to answers on this question, we may have the Nesiim effect -- everyone figures they'll leave the easy answers to others, but that's really just a mask for laziness!
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 20:38
  • I maintain a similar concern to Shalom's. Don't be bashful, people!
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 20:57
  • 1
    The Gra on the Seder Olam also didn't like it. His 2 problems are saying Avraham was there 2x (not a strong kasha, I can elaborate if you request) and saying that the parshios are not consecutive- which the Chizkuni makes good arguments to support.
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 20:59

Yaakov Avinu went down to Egypt with a total of 70 people.

  • 3
    Good answer, though I would leave out the word "total" and stick to the Torah's wording.
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 1:38

Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya's appearance in years.

  • 2
    And according to the Yerushalmi in Berachos, that's how old he actually was (or at least close to it).
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 4:33
  • According to R' Elazar ben Azaryah, a court that executes a person once in seventy years (or alternatively, more than once in seventy years) is called חבלנית, destructive. (Makkos 7a)

  • Rav Huna wrote 70 Sifrei Torah in his lifetime (Bava Basra 14a)

  • The Ramban moved to Eretz Yisrael when he was 70.

  • Daniel prophesied (9:24) that the second Temple would be destroyed "seventy sevens" (=490 years) after the destruction of the first.


Seventy are the answers of Rabbi Yosef Engel.

There's an apparent contradiction between R' Ashi's opinion in Pesachim and his opinion in Zevachim; if I understand correctly, in Pesachim, he holds "mishras / ta'am k'ikar medeoraysa", there's a general principle that if food A absorbs a good deal of food B, it now takes on the added halachos of food B. (E.g. if food B is non-kosher). But in Zevachim, concerning various sacrificial meats that absorb from one another, it seems that "mishras / ta'am k'ikar" is ignored, and a specialized kodshim answer is given instead. That's the question.

Rabbi Engel published a book in 1889 giving no less than seventy different ways to answer this problem!

At one point I'd heard there were 70 answers to the question of "what's the miracle of the first night of chanukah", but then they got up to 100 answers (and I think published it as "ner leme'ah").


Shlomo HaMelech made 10 golden menorahs for the Temple (Divrei HaYamim 2, ch. 4), each containing 7 lamps, thus 70 lamps in total. Baal HaTurim finds a hint to this in the verse כן עשה את המנורה -- the value of כן is 70, and the value of עשה equals that of שלמה.


Yosef spoke 70 languages

Moshe translated the Torah into 70 languages.

Yehoshua (or was it moshe?) wrote the Torah in 70 languages on stones in the Yarden.

The Tanakh was translated by 70 rabbis from Hebrew to Greek (The Talmud says 72 (megilla 9b), but maybe the Latin "septuagint" is just rounding down. In any case, as I have heard from my rabbi, it was no miracle that all 72 rabbis--in separate rooms--came up with the same translation. it would have been a miracle to put 72 rabbis in the SAME room and have them agree!)

The second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE (may it be rebuilt speedily in our days!)

(is it possible that I missed these above?)

  • Hence also: 70 is the gimatriya of hetev (Sifse Chachamim to D'varim 1:5, note 1).
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 17:34
  • @msh210 - That gematriya doesn't seem to add up... Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 23:38
  • @AdamMosheh, see the Sifse Chachamim.
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 23:48
  • @msh210 - Is that available online anywhere? Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 1:51
  • @AdamMosheh, okay, I'll stop being coy. Sorry. It's at hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9617&pgnum=10 and says (my own translation) "[Rashi knows 'explained the Torah' means in 70 tongues] because in Ki Savo it says 'explained היטב' and היטב rolls out in its combinations to 70: ה [is 5 and] הי [is 15 and] היט [is 24 and] היטב [is 26 for a total of 70]".
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 2:36

As part of the process to produce superior grain for menachos, the wheat would be planted 70 days before Pesach. (Mishnah, Menachos 85a)


Horayos 10a records the statement of R' Yehoshua that every seventy years, a star (Halley's comet?) comes up that confuses the sailors.


The Heichal in the Second Temple measured 70 amos from north to south (not counting the Ullam) -- Middos 4:7


From Bamidbar Rabbah 13:15-

  • Gematria of Yayin is 70 (yud (10) + yud (10) + nun (50))

  • 70 facets to the Torah

  • 1
    Gematra of Yayin -- and also Sod.
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 2:58
  • 1
    Put it as an answer- help out the cause!
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 3:04
  • "70 facets to the Torah" therefore becomes the title of this book: mi.yodeya.com/questions/2365/shivim-mi-yodeya/2393#2393
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 18:14
  • Does the phrase Ayin Panim LaTorah appear anywhere in Talmud Bavli? Commented May 25, 2012 at 16:46
  • @AdamMosheh, I don't know.
    – YDK
    Commented May 30, 2012 at 14:21

70 days from Haman's Iggeres (letter) (13 Nissan) to Mordechai's Iggeres (23 Sivan)

  • 2
    Correspondingly: 70 verses in the Megillah from Haman's ascension (3:1) to his hanging (7:10).
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 17:51
  • 1
    @Alex, you can make that #74 above.
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 3:27

Lifespan of a man according to Tehillim (Said by Dave).

Therefore, in the story of Choni haMagil:

  • Years until the Carob tree bears fruit

  • Choni's years of slumber


70 Date trees in Elim (B'Shalach 15:27)

  • 70 shmittos from the destruction of the 1st bayis until the destruction of the 2nd (Daniel 9:23)

70 is the Gematria not only of "yayin", wine, but of "sod", secret.

Hence the saying, "wine goes in, secret comes out." (Nichnas yayin yatza sod.) Just conservation of gematria, really.


The nominal Tikkun count in Tikkunei HaZohar. (See item 22 here.)


From Bamidbar Rabbah 14:12, the 70 shekel silver basins (mentioned by Shalom) are keneged:

  • 70 nations (mentioned by Chanoch)

  • 70 Pesukim from beginning of Breishis until Curse of Nachash (Arur Atta

  • 70 Pesukim from Haman's promotion (gidal hamelech) until his hanging (vayislu es Haman)

  • 70 names of Hashem from Breishis until the parashah of the Nachash

  • 70 years until Terach begat Avraham

  • 70 years until Kenan begat Mehalalel

  • 70 days of crying in Mitzrayim for Yaakov

  • 70 Shabbossim/Yamim Tovim in a Solar year

  • 70 names for Hashem

  • 70 names for Yisrael

  • 70 Names for the Torah

  • 70 names for Yerushalayim

  • 70 years given from Adam to Dovid (same as Shalom)

  • Phew! Beat that!
    – Shalom
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 2:27
  • 4
    I'm putting a challenge out to get to 70 answers.
    – YDK
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 2:47

Amount of good years that will turn to bad for one who speaks inappropriately about a bride's "purpose". (Shabbos 33a)

  • Gideon had 70 sons from his wives

  • Avimelech had 70 brothers (He was from a pilegesh)

  • The people of Shechem gave Avimelech 70 silver pieces, with which he hired hoodlums

  • Aren't the first two the same?
    – msh210
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 17:32
  • Yes, but to answer a "who knows 70", their different focal points would qualify them as 2 answers (especially if you're trying to get to 70 answers)
    – YDK
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 22:56

From Shoftim 12:14

  • Avdon ben Hillel had 70 children (40) and grandchildren (30)

  • They were privileged to ride on 70 donkeys (see mepharshim for significance)

  • The elders chosen to assist Moshe (b'haalos'cha 11)

  • The number of lots with the word "zaken" (ibid.)

  • Rabbi Yehudah's Sanhedrin (First Mishna in Sanhedrin)

  • The number of golden chairs set above Shlomo haMelech's throne (Targum Sheni- Esther)


70 are the cubits between houses at which point you've reached a city limit, and the 2000 cubits of Tchum Shabbos kick in.

What is the source of this halacha, and why is it 70? Doesn't seem to be related to most of the other seventies here -- at least not at first glance.


Rashi comments on Devarim 27:8 (?) that the Torah was to be translated into 70 tongues.

(cf. Talmud Bavli - masechta Sotah - chapter 7, mishnah 1)


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