This number occurs frequently in Scripture, and in such connections as lead to the supposition that it has some typical meaning. On the seventh day God rested, and hallowed it ( Genesis 2:2 Genesis 2:3 ). The division of time into weeks of seven days each accounts for many instances of the occurrence of this number. This number has been called the symbol of perfection, and also the symbol of rest. "Jacob's seven years' service to Laban; Pharaoh's seven fat oxen and seven lean ones; the seven branches of the golden candlestick; the seven trumpets and the seven priests who sounded them; the seven days' siege of Jericho; the seven churches, seven spirits, seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, and many others, sufficiently prove the importance of this sacred number" (see Leviticus 25:4 ; 1 Samuel 2:5 ; Psalms 12:6 ; 79:12 ; Proverbs 26:16 ; Isaiah 4:1 ; Matthew 18:21 Matthew 18:22 ; Luke 17:4 ). The feast of Passover ( Exodus 12:15 Exodus 12:16 ), the feast of Weeks ( Deuteronomy 16:9 ), of Tabernacles ( 13:15 ), and the Jubilee ( Leviticus 25:8 ), were all ordered by seven. Seven is the number of sacrifice ( 2 Chronicles 29:21 ; Job 42:8 ), of purification and consecration ( Leviticus 42:6 Leviticus 42:17 ; Leviticus 8:11 Leviticus 8:33 ; Leviticus 14:9 Leviticus 14:51 ), of forgiveness ( Matthew 18:21 Matthew 18:22 ; Luke 17:4 ), of reward ( Deuteronomy 28:7 ; 1 Samuel 2:5 ), and of punishment ( Leviticus 26:21 Leviticus 26:24 Leviticus 26:28 ; Deuteronomy 28:25 ). It is used for any round number in such passages as Job 5:19 ; Proverbs 26:16 Proverbs 26:25 ; Isaiah 4:1 ; Matthew 12:45 . It is used also to mean "abundantly" ( Genesis 4:15 Genesis 4:24 ; Leviticus 26:24 ; Psalms 79:12 ).
The frequent recurrence of certain numbers in the sacred literature of the Hebrews is obvious to the most superficial reader, but seven so far surpasses the rest, both in the frequency with which it recurs and in the importance of the objects with which it is associated, that it may fairly be termed the representative symbolic number. The influence of the number seven was not restricted to the Hebrews; it prevailed among the Persians, ancient Indians, Greeks and Romans. The peculiarity of the Hebrew view consists in the special dignity of the seventh, and not simply in that of seen. The Sabbath being the seventh day suggested the adoption of seven as the coefficient, so to say, for their appointment of all sacred periods; and we thus find the 7th month ushered in by the Feast of Trumpets, and signalized by the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Great Day of Atonement; 7 weeks as the interval between the Passover and the Pentecost; the 7th year as the sabbatical year; and the year: succeeding 7X7 years as the Jubilee year. Seven days were appointed as the length of the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles; 7 days for the ceremonies of the consecration of priests, and so on; 7 victims to be offered on any special occasion, as in Balaams sacrifice. ( Numbers 23:1 ) and especially at the ratification of a treaty, the notion of seven being embodied in the very term signifying to swear, literally meaning to do seven times. ( Genesis 31:28 ) Seven is used for any round number, or for completeness, as we say a dozen, or as a speaker says he will say two or three words.