The Number “7”

(Completeness & Perfection)

 

Meaning and Symbolism

  • Seven is one of the most significant numbers in the Bible because it is the number of both physical and spiritual perfection. It derives its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things.
  • The number 7, according to Ambroise, corresponds to the Old Testament but he sees it also as the number representing the virginity. Thibaut of Langres gives also this attribute to this number because it is the only one of the first nine numbers which does not father and the only one which is not fathered. It is considered as virgin and representative of the Holy Spirit to which are attributed to the same properties. Macrobe goes, in the same way, telling that it symbolizes Minerve, born of his father without passing by a mother.
  • The seven indicates the senses of a change after an accomplished cycle and of a positive renewal.
  • Perfect number and symbol of the divine abundance, it is also according to the Bible the number of the punishment, the purification, and the penitence.  
  • It is the number of the perfect man, complete and perfectly realized as the sum of the four females and the three males.
  • Symbol of the totality of the created Universe (3 the sky + 4 the earth), it expresses the creation within which the man evolves.
  • Saint Augustin sees the seven like the perfection of the Plenitude. He made it also the number of the creature, considering not the life of this one but its become, the evolution.
  • Symbol of the infinite numbered in its return to the principle, that of the snake which bites its tail, according to Abellio. It would be also the number of achievement in space-time.
  • It is the number of the initiation, that is to say, the union of exhibited with the infinity.
  • Symbol of eternal life for the Egyptians: it symbolizes a complete cycle, a dynamic perfection.
  • For the Indians in the prairie and the “Pueblo” Indians, the number seven represents the cosmic coordinate of the man.
  • In Africa and for the Bambaras of Senegal, seven is a symbol of the perfection and the unity.
  • The “Dogons” consider the number seven as the symbol of the union of the opposites, of the resolution of dualism, therefore as a symbol of unity and perfection. It is also the mark of the master of the word.
  • The seven symbolizes the cross with its six directions plus the center – indefinite extents moving toward the top, the bottom, the right, the left, forwards and backward.
  • The dice symbolizes the seven: the dice itself, 1, having 6 faces.

In the Bible

    • The seven demons that came out of Mary Magdalene. (Lk 8,2)
    • The seven indictments to the scribes and to Pharisees announced by Jesus. (Mt 23,13-31)
    • The seven requests in the prayer of the Our-Father.
    • The seven words of Jesus pronounced on the cross:
      1. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mt 27,46)
      2. In truth, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise – to the good thief (Lk 23,43)
      3. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Lk 23,46)
      4. Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing. (Lk 23,34)
      5. Woman, this is your son, (to John): This is your mother. (Jn 19,26)
      6. I am thirsty. (Jn 19,28)
      7. It is fulfilled. (Jn 19,30)
  • The hunted demon brings back with him seven others stronger than he.
  • The seven deacons of the primitive Church: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolaus. (Act 6,5)
  • The number seven is often used in Revelation:
    • the seven golden lamp-stands (Rv 1,12-20)
    • the mystery of the seven stars (Rv 1,16-20)
    • the seven seals (Rv 7 and 8)
    • the seven letters addressed to the seven churches (Rv 2 and 3)
    • the seven trumpets (Rv 8,6 and 11,15)
    • the seven thunders (Rv 10,3-4)
    • the seven kings (Rv 17,9)
    • the seven heads of the Beast (Rv 13,1)
    • the seven plagues of the seven bowls (Rv 15,5)
  • “Bush of thorn”, during one of her visions, has understood that the seven lamps and the standard lamps mentioned in the Revelation, represented the seven principal Churches or Beliefs, that is to say: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, Anglican, Protestant, etc. but only the Roman Catholic Church is remained lighted with the true fire of the Holy Spirit.
  • The seven donations of the spirit of Yahweh: Wisdom, Insight, Counsel, Power, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of God. (Is 11,2-3)
  • The light of the seven days. (Is 30,26)
  • Ecclesiasticus, chapter 17 verse 5, enumerates 7 senses in the human being that are, in addition to the five known senses, the intelligence and the word (Si 17,5). This verse does not appear in the Bible of Jerusalem. We find it however in some Greek manuscripts.
  • In Mt 25,35-36, Jesus enumerates six charitable actions that will be considered in the last Judgement for man salvation: to visit invalids, to quench the thirsty, to feed the hungry, to repurchase the captives or to visit prisoners, to dress those who are naked and to welcome foreigners. But to the 13th century, someone discovers in documents of Lactance the seventh act of mercy: to bury the deads. This one was ratified in 1220 by the canonical collection of Raymond of Penafort.
  • The gift of the stupid will bring you no advantage, his eyes look for seven times as much in return. (Si 20,14)
  • Solomon’s wedding lasted seven days.
  • In Psalms, it is written: “Seven times a day I praise you for your upright judgments” (Ps 119,164) and again “which comes from the earth seven times refined” (Ps 12,7). The psalmist also talks about the seven clamors of God that appear in the celestial phenomena.
  • The seven psalms of penitence: 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142.
  • The Leviticus prescribes a penitence of seven years for each sin.
  • Number of time that a leprous is sprinkled with the blood of a sparrow.
  • The number of days during someone was impure if it touched a corpse.
  • The mourning for the people of Israel lasted seven days. (Gn 50,10; Jdt 16,24; Si 22,12)
  • The infidelity receives a sevenfold punishment.
  • They immolate generally seven animals of the same kinds. (Lv 23,18; Nb 23,1 and 28,11; Job 42,8)
  • The sprinklings are repeated seven times. (Lv 4,6; Nb 19,4)
  • The seven lamps and the seven nozzles on the golden standard lamp, in the vision of Zechariah. (Zc 4,2)
  • Zechariah speaks about the seven eyes of God which supervise all the peoples of the earth. (Zc 4,10)
  • The seven steps of the staircase of the southern porch of the temple of Ezekiel. (Ez 40,26)
  • The candlestick of Hebrews has seven branches.
  • Balaam erected seven altars. (Nb 23,4)
  • There are seven patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David.
  • Seven nations that had the promised earth were exterminated in front of Israel. (Dt 7,1)
  • There are seven weeks between Easter and the Pentecost. (Lv 23,15)
  • The Jewish Easter holidays lasted seven days.
  • There are seven feast days of Tabernacles. (Lv 23,34)
  • The feast of the Dedication of the temple of Solomon succeeded immediately at the one of the Tabernacles and lasted seven days.
  • The seven priests carrying seven trumpets, during the catch of Jericho, have to walk, the seventh day, seven times around the city. (Jos 6,11-16)
  • The seven husbands that had Sarah, daughter of Raguel, before marrying Tobias. Those previous husbands had been killed on their first wedding night by a demon. Tobias, thanks to an incense, escaped from it. (Tb 7,10-11)
  • The reign of David in Hebron lasted seven years. (1 K 2,11)
  • The friends of Job remained near him for seven days and seven nights to comfort him.
  • The construction of the Temple built by Solomon lasted seven years – 4th year to 11th year of his reign. It contained three squares and seven enclosures. (1 K 6,38)
  • Seven times, Elisha laid down on the child and brought him back to life. (2 K 4,35)
  • The leprous Naaman dives seven times in the Jordan and then was cured. (2 K 5,14)
  • For though the upright falls seven times, he gets up again. (Pr 24,16)
  • Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread. (Ex 12,15)
  • It takes seven days for the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and the altar. (Ex 29,35-37)
  • If you buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve six years; but on the seventh, he will be free without anything to pay. The slaves were released the seventh year which corresponded to the Year of the Sabbath named also Year of Exemption. (Ex 21,2)
  • The Jewish year began in joy with the New Moon of the seventh month, the day of Trumpets.
  • And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat” and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. (Ex 23,10-11)
  • The seven thin and fat cows, as well as the seven full and empty corns, seen in a dream by the Pharaoh and interpreted by Joseph as being seven abundance years and seven years of famine. (Gn 41,17)
  • Jacob served seven years for Rachel. (Gn 29,20)
  • Cain would be avenged seven times if someone killed him. (Gn 4,15)
  • Joseph remained in prison for seven years when he was falsely accused to have slept with the woman of his master.
  • The seven ewes gifted to Abimelech by Abraham. (Gn 21,28)
  • The seven couples of each kind of cattle which entered in the ark of Noah and were saved from the flood. (Gn 7,2)
  • On the seventh day, the Sabbath, God rested. (Gn 2,2)

Occurrences

  • The number 7 is found 463 times in the Bible.

Other Religions

  • Jesus would have fallen on the path of the cross seven times, according to visions of Ann-Catherine Emmerick.
  • The seven virtues. Three theologicals: faith, hope, love – or charity. Four cardinals: force, justice, prudence, and temperance.
  • The seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penitence, Unction of the patients, Order, Marriage.
  • The number seven is a characteristic of the Virgin Mary: the seven mysteries of the rosary commemorating the pains of the Virgin Mary; we represent the Virgin with a crown of seven roses to a heart and also seven daggers stung in her heart (from where the designation “Our-Lady of the Seven Pains”), 3 on a side and 4 of the other; the seven feasts of the Virgin Mary celebrated in the catholic Church: the purification, the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Assumption, the Nativity, the presentation of the Virgin and the Immaculate Conception; the Christians of the first centuries were making born the Virgin Mary gave birth after seven months of gestation.
  • The seven Archangels who are stood continuously in front of God: Gabriel, Michael, Uriel, Raphael, Chamuel or Samael or Sealtiel, Japhiel or Orifiel or Jehudiel, Zadkiel or Zachariel or Barachiel. In messages given by the Virgin Mary to “Bush of thorns”, May 28, 1995, the Virgin specified that each one was subjected to the guards of one of the seven sacraments of the Church: The Eucharist is assigned to Michael, the Baptism to Gabriel, the Confirmation to Uriel, the Penitence to Jehudiel, the Extreme-Unction to Raphael, the Order to Sealtiel and the Marriage to Barachiel.
  • The seven capital sins, corresponding to the seven material desires: the pride, the avarice, the impurity, the envy, the greed, the anger, and the laziness.
  • The seven worlds in the purgatory.
  • According to the Gospel of Barnabe, chapter 26, Abraham was seven years old when he began to look for God.
  • In the Hebraic language, the word that signifies “seven” means at the same time “to make oath”.
  • The Bambaras, the Buddhist and the Talmud count seven levels, or degrees of the perfection, in the Sky.
  • The Holy Family remained seven years in Egypt, in Heliopolis, according to visions of Mary Agreda.
  • In one of the seven visions that received Ezra, that is described in his second book from the documents of the library of Qumran, he speaks about the seven days when the world will remain in the paramount silence such as it was in the beginning before the new world awakes.
  • In the Book of Enoch, apocryphal book, it speaks about the seven watchmen, the seven great mountains, the seven great rivers, the seven great islands, etc.
  • Adam groans seven times more than he rejoices when he sees the souls out of their body go to perdition rather than to life, according to the testament of Abraham from the documents of the library of Qumran.
  • The seven paths to the paradise, each one having to be traversed by the body, the heart, and the spirit in a unique communion.
  • The seven “Sleepers of Ephesus”. According to a Syrian legend, in the Christian and Islamic mythology (Koran 18), it is seven young peoples who, locked up in a cavern, were miraculously saved from the persecutions of Christians at the period of Dece (250 after the Christ) by a prolonged sleep. This sleep lasted near two centuries, and towards 447, under the emperor Theodore, quite Christian, that the seven young people awoke.
  • In the Islamic religion: the Koran has seven esoteric senses, according to Muslim mysticisms (sometimes they talk about seventy senses); there are seven consonants, called sawakit, that are not in the first verse of the Koran; there are seven towers at the Mecca; during of the pilgrimage to Mecca, they have to undertake seven turns of the Kaba and seven courses between the mounts Cafa and Marmia; the soul of the deads remains seven days beside the tomb and the new-born baby receives his name the 7th day; the cats and the dogs have seven lives; the Fatiha counts seven verses (opening the Koran); the seven gates that possess the Hell which are in relation with the various torments it contains, and there would be also seven hells: Gehenna, Ladha, Hatorna, Sair, Sakar, Jahim and Hawiyat; the Koran says that Allah has created seven skies and as many lands. (Koran 65,12 and 41,8-11)
  • The man would be composed of seven souls according to Plato and also according to Hindus.
  • The seven emblems of the Buddha.
  • Some agree to say that the size of the lobes of the ear determines the degree of spiritual affinity of an individual. Lao-tseu, the founder of the Taoism, had they said, ears of seven inches, having the nickname of “long-ears”. Also, in the Oriental iconography, Buddha is always represented with excessively long lobes.
  • The Sufism names seven cosmic plans: Zat, the not-expressed; Ahadiat, the conscience; Vahdat, the self-interior; Vahdamiat, the internal light; Arwah, the spiritual plane; Ajsam, the astral plane; Insaam, the physical plan. It recognizes also seven aspects of the manifestation: the stars, the moon, the sun, the reign mineral, vegetable, animal and human.
  • The man comparatively to a tree is equipped with seven roots (number of terrestrial forces which feed him) and with seven branches (in the ether).
  • The seven “chakras” (called wheels, Lotus or subtle centers) according to the hinduists: Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara.
  • To the image of the man, the Earth is composed of seven “chakras” and it is located in the seventh super-universe.
  • The man is composed of seven bodies: physics, etheric or vital, emotional or astral, causal, mental, the body of divine vitality or bouddhic, and the body of divine spirit or atomic.
  • The etheric body of the man is completely developed and installed only around the age of seven.
  • The seven symbolic colors of the Tarot.
  • The seven pillars of the Wisdom.
  • One of the twelve works of Hercules consisted to cut in only one stab the seven heads of the Hydra of Lerna.
  • The seven cords of the lyre of Hermes and the seven cords which has the “vina”, an instrument of India.
  • A Tibetan manuscript has a title “The seven books of the Wisdom of the Great Path”.

General

  • Each of the four lunar periods lasts seven days.
  • The seven tubes of the panpipes.
  • The seven sages of ancient Greece: Thales of Milet, Solon of Athena, Chilo of Lacedemone, Pittacus of Mitylene, Bias of Priene, Cleobule of Lindos and Periander of Corinth. If you should turn your tongue seven times before talking, it is possibly because 7 was the number of these sages.
  • Sinbad tells of his seven travels.
  • The seven towers “resonating” in Byzance.
  • The seven Greek vowels used by the gnostic: alpha, epsilon, eta, iota, omicron, upsilon, omega.
  • The earth of “Mu” had seven great cities, according to the English archaeologist James Churchward.
  • The seven visible stars to the bare eye of the Great Bear and the Little Bear.
  • A man cannot have more than seven transverse lines on his front.
  • The seven historical monuments or wonders of the world:
    1. the Pyramids of Egypt
    2. the Walls of Babylon
    3. the Suspended gardens of Babylon
    4. the Statue of Olympian Jupiter
    5. the Temple of Diane to Ephesus
    6. the Colossus of Rhodes
    7. the Tomb of Mausole
  • The seven possible crystalline configurations: triclinic, monoclinical, orthorhombic, rhomboedric, quadratic, hexagonal, cubical.
  • The fall of a stone in the water provokes seven important waves, then become flat whatever is the mass of the object and the nature of the fluid. This example taken among many others makes say to Roger of Lafforest and James Langlois that the most part of the dynamics of things seems to refer to a standard model of evolution in successive phases of order 7, conceived according to a law of evolutionary vibrations.
  • The seven types of characters of the traditional astrology.
  • The seven branches of the sacrificial and cosmic tree of the Shamanism.
  • The ceremonies in the cult of Apollo were celebrated the seventh day of the month.
  • In China, popular feasts took place on the seventh day.
  • The red lamp of the Chinese secret societies has seven branches.
  • The Buddha would have taken the measure of the universe by making seven steps in each of the four directions.
  • A Hindu tradition attributes to the sun seven rays.
  • In Iran, at the time of the childbirth, one puts on a tablecloth a lighted lamp and one furnished the tablecloth with seven kinds of fruits and seven aromatic seed species. The child received generally his name on the seventh day.
  • The 7 is often found in the superstitions. In Portugal, the woman who wears seven superposed underskirts is sure of happiness. The seventh son of a family will be always protected by the gods. For Scottish, the seventh son of a seventh son will have the donation of second sight. In the homeland of the doctor Faust, we know that the pact signed with the devil lasts seven years. If someone breaks a mirror he will be submitted to the bad influences during seven years. In Morocco, the sterile women roll up their belt seven times around the trunk of some trees, then attach it to one of the seven cords that are fixed there. In Syria, a young girl without pretender exorcises the bad influences that prevent her to find a husband by bathing in the sea and by letting seven waves to pass above her head. When seven young girls assist a family meeting, one of them will get married during the year.
  • For the “Maya-Quiehe”, the great God of the Sky is also God-Seven, or seventh, surround by six suns: he constitutes thus the group of the agrarian gods.
  • At the Mayas, the seventh day, placed in the middle of the week of thirteen days, is a lucky day.
  • The goddess Seven, called seven snakes or seven ears, placed in the middle of the series 1 to 13, symbolizes the heart of the man and the corn.
  • In the temple of Coricancha to Cuzco, where was summarized all the pantheon of Incas, a wall near the cosmic tree had a drawing representing seven eyes named “the eyes of all things”.
  • The sovereign god Faro, god of Water and Word, resides in the seventh sky with the fertile water which he dispenses into the form of rain.
  • In Persia, 7 was a sacred number with its seven initiatory grades of the cult of Mithra: raven, griffon, soldier, lion, persian, heliodrome (mail of the sun), father. The ceremonial scale had seven levels, each level was made from a different metal. By climbing this ceremonial scale, the initiate traversed the seven skies, then rising the “Empyrea”.
  • Seven is the number of the female initiation, in the legend of the Grail, which presents 7 virgins defended by 7 knights confronting the hero Galaad.
  • The seven skies of Zarathustra.
  • The seven oxen pulling the chariot of the sun in the Scandinavian legends.
  • The seven rituals of the Sioux: guards of the soul, the rite of the purification, the entreaty of a vision, the dance face to the sun, rites of puberty, the political alliance and the games of the ball.
  • Rome is built on seven seven hills.
  • The summer solstice takes place when the sun passes in the 7th zodiacal sign, the winter solstice when it traversed seven signs starting from this last. There are seven signs from an equinox to the other.
  • There is seven months in the year which have seven letters or more (written in French): janvier, février, juillet, septembre, octobre, novembre et décembre.
  • Anniversary of marriage: copper or wool’s wedding.

In the Human Body

  • The number seven regulates the life of the man:
    • after 7 months of gestation, the fetus is viable.
    • Seven marks the periods of the life: the first childhood until 7 years which is the age of reason.
    • 7 x 2 years, end of the childhood.
    • 7 x 3 years, maturity, end of the adolescence.
    • 7 x 4 years, youth.
    • 7 x 5 years, adult age.
    • 7 x 6 years, maturity followed by the decline of the forces.
  • It is also the duration of the human cycle: every seven years, the man is regenerated entirely.
  • The seven regulates the rhythm of development of the woman:
  • at 7 months, the appearance of the baby teeth which will be lost at 7 years old;
  • at 7 x 2 years, the appearance of the menstruation
  • at 7 x 7 years, it is the menopause.
  • The seven bones composing the tarsus of the human skeleton and the seven orifices in the head of the man.

Science

  • The alchemists distinguished seven metals derived from a unique principle, formed under the influence of the planets, to which are attributed a divinity and a fundamental color: gold, money, mercury, tin, iron, copper and lead.
  • There are seven rare gases.
  • The seven fundamental notes, or modulations, of the musical scale.
  • The seven colors of the rainbow – visible spectrum only.

Math and Gematria

  • Among all prime numbers, seven is the first number that does not enter in the Euclidean circle – the heptagon cannot be built in a circle of 360 degrees like the triangle or the pentagon.
  • The number 7 has some curious particularities. For example 1 divided by 7 gives a simple recurring decimal of six digits:
    0.142857142857142857…
    and this one multiplied successively by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, gives products where we find the same numbers in the same order:
    142857 x 2 = 285714 
    142857 x 3 = 428571 
    142857 x 4 = 571428 
    142857 x 5 = 714285 
    142857 x 6 = 857142 

 

For More Studies on Numbers Please Visit the “Number Studies” page.

 

Sources:

https://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu7.php

http://www.astrovera.com/bible-religion/176-bible-number-7.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7