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[Topics] > The Number Seven and Scripture

And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

Genesis 21.29

From the Seven days of Creation to the Seven Seals of Revelation, Scripture is saturated with the Number Seven. Just listing all the occurrences would take several pages. Essentially all biblical scholars, regardless of their stance with respect to the meaning of numbers in Scripture, have recognized the special symbolic use of this Number. It is simply impossible to miss.

The discovery of the symmetric sevenfold Canon Wheel and its corresponding representation in the form of the Menorah is like a capstone to the study of the Number Seven in Scripture. We now can see this number emerging from all levels of the Biblical revelation. It is found in the microstructure of the text (e.g. the seven words and 28 letters of Genesis 1.1), in the plain message of the text (as mentioned above) and now with the advent of the Canon Wheel we see it shine in the largescale structure of the entire Bible. The question now is this:

Why did God do this? What is the meaning of the Number Seven? Why did He indelibly mark his Word with this Number?

HebrewSheva
EnglishSeven
GermanSieben
Old SaxonSebun
SanskritSapta
LatinSeptem
GreekHepta

The answers to these questions yield great insight into the Mind of God, His Wisdom, and the Promise revealed in His Holy Word. I begin with the meaning of the Hebrew word for seven, (Sheva), and roots that are closely related to it. This word is often transliterated as Sheba, with a hard Bet (b), but as far as I can tell, the soft Bet (v) is more accurate. The sidebar compares the word for Seven in various languages. Note that words with both the hard Bet (b) and soft Bet (v) appear in the list. The phonetic resemblance is striking, especially since there is a strong similarity between the Hebrew and Sanskrit which are supposedly independent language groups.

Sheva is closely related to two other triliteral roots spelt with the same three consonants that differ only in vowel points. Thus, there are three Hebrew roots that look identical. Here are three representative entries from Strong's Concordance:

Strong's #Meaning
S# H7646saba: satisfy, fill, full, plenty, satiate
S# H7650shaba: sware, charge, oath
S# H7651sheba: seven

The triliteral root (Shin - Bet - Ayin) therefore carries three fundamental meanings:

1) Seven
2) Full/Complete
3) Oath/Sware.

These three ideas are found associated throughout the Bible. For example, the reason for seven angels with seven final plagues is explained in terms of fullness in Revelation 15.1:

And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Thus we have one very obvious answer to our question:

God marked the Bible with the Number Seven because it is the fulness of God's revelation!

Yet there is more, much more. The relation between the Number Seven and the idea of an oath is explained in the passage from Genesis 21 quoted at the head of this page. This is especially insightful because these passages reveal the etymology of Sheva/Sheba in the surface text of Scripture. Here, the Bible is serving as its own etymological dictionary.

Genesis 21, which corresponds to Shin within the chapter sequence of Genesis, gives a detailed introduction to the various meanings of the Shin KeyWord (Sheva/Saba). I begin with the question posed by the verse itself "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs?" The next verse gives the answer:

And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

The name Beersheba means Beer (well) of the Sheba (Oath). Thus Scripture clearly displays the Number Seven with its associated meaning of Oath, and we have another very obvious answer to our question:

God marked the Bible with the Number Seven because it is His Oath! His Promise! His Covenant!

This further integrates with gematria. The fundamental Greek word for Scripture is (graphe). Its nweight coincides exactly with that of the fundamental Hebrew word for Covenant (B'rit). We have the identity:

(Graphe, Scripture) = 612 = (B'rit, Covenant)

The depth of this relation is greatly amplified by this phrase that appears four times in Scripture (e.g. Numbers 15:39):

All the commandments of the LORD

pic

Kol Mitzvoth YHVH

= 612

These are the fundamental terms used throughout Scripture for All, Commandments, and LORD. The word (Kol, All) is particularly interesting because it is geometrically integrated with the Aleph and the Tav on the Wheel.

Yet this is but the beginning! The phrase seven times is used frequently in Scripture to mark the work of God. The Levitcal Priests were told to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice seven times, Joshua was ordered to march around Jericho seven times, and Namaan was told to wash in the Jordan seven times to be cleansed of leprosy. In all these cases, the phrase used is:

Seven Times

pic

Sheva Pawmim

= 612

The word (Pawmim) is the plural of (Pawm) which carries the meanings of stroke, beat, foot, step, anvil, or occurrence. It is best understood as the sound of a foot striking the ground, or the "pawm pawm pawm" of a drum. It is translated as "anvil" in Isaiah.

Thus Holy Scripture - God's Covenant - is numerically equivalent to this central phrase which may be interpreted as Seven Occurrences, Seven Beats, or Seven Anvils. We have therefore a fourfold identity based on the Number 612 which reveals the Number Seven as the heartbeat of Scripture!

The Number
612
Scripture
Covenant
Seven Times
All the Commandments of the LORD

I particularly enjoy the meaning of Sheva Pawmim as Seven Anvils in view of the symmetric sevenfold Canon Wheel upon which countless scholars will undoubtedly break many of their hammers!

These identities are further amplified by the explicit statement of the Word concerning itself (Psalm 12.6):

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Yet for all this, we have not come close to exhausting the richness found in the Number Seven. One of the most significant uses of the phrase seven times is found in these words of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 18.21):

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

There is a an entire constellation of reasons why the omniscient Lord Jesus Christ chose the number 490 = 70 x 7 to represents the perfection of forgiveness. First, there is the immediate, double integration with the meaning of Seven as Perfection and Completeness. The duplication emphasizes the meaning, as when Jesus says "Truly, Truly" to emphasize the importance of what He is saying. But the integration goes much deeper than this.

Returning to Genesis, we find that the seventh occurrence of the name Noah is used in the phrase (Genesis 6.9) "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations." The word translated as perfect is (Thammim). We have the identity:

(Thammim, Perfect) = 490 = 70 x 7

Consider the degree of integration represented here: The Hebrew word Thammim literally means perfect, which is the symbolic meaning of Seven; Thammim first appears in conjunction with the seventh occurrence of Noah's name; the numeric weight of Thammim is both a multiple of seven and exactly equal to the value the Lord chose to represent the perfection of forgiveness! There is no end to the wonder of God's Wisdom!

Yet this is but the beginning. My database has a huge set of identities relating to large prime multiples of seven which are semantically integrated with the idea of Perfection and Completion. I begin with these verses from II Corinthians (vss. 12.7f):

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness . Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The word translated as "weakness" is (asthenia). We have the identity:

 (Asthenia, Weakness) = 281

The Number 281 is prime. This number and its associated idea of weakness further integrates with the symbol of Christ as the sacrificial Lamb of God, as in Revelation 5.6:

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

The Lamb represents the perfection of weakness that Almighty God accepted when he went to the Cross. We have the identity:

(Arnion, Lamb) = 281

These ideas are inextricably integrated with the power of God . The word translated as "power" is dunamis. It is used elsewhere (e.g. II Corinthians 13.4) in the essentially equivalent phrase "the power of God." In the nominative case, we have the identity:

The Power of God

pic

Ho Dunamis tou Theou

= 1967 = 7 x 281

Interpreting this with the associated concepts, we have this relation:

The Power of God = 7 (Perfection) x 281 (Weakness)

  • I) The root of the name of the Number Seven means Perfect, Complete, or Satisfied.
  • II) Thammim means perfect, and its numeric weight is 70 x 7, which is the number the Lord used to describe the perfection of forgiveness.
  • III) Thammim first occurs in conjunction with the seventh occurrence of the name Noah.

Thus we see the explicit message of Scripture encoded in the intrinsic alphanumeric structure of the Greek language! Such is the Widsom of God.

Many other highly significant, deeply integrated, and self-reflective identities based on the meaning and value of the Number Seven may be found in the article Multiples of Seven.






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