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Dictionaries :: Seven

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


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 (Gen 2:2,3). 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 Lev 25:4; 1Sa 2:5; Psa 12:6; 79:12; Pro 26:16; Isa 4:1; Mat 18:21,22; Luk 17:4). The feast of Passover (Exd 12:15,16), the feast of Weeks (Deu 16:9), of Tabernacles (13:15), and the Jubilee (Lev 25:8), were all ordered by seven. Seven is the number of sacrifice (2Ch 29:21; Job 42:8), of purification and consecration (Lev 4:6,17; 8:11,33; 14:9,51), of forgiveness (Mat 18:21,22; Luk 17:4), of reward (Deu 28:7; 1Sa 2:5), and of punishment (Lev 26:21,24,28; Deu 28:25). It is used for any round number in such passages as Job 5:19; Pro 26:16, 25; Isa 4:1; Mat 12:45. It is used also to mean "abundantly" (Gen 4:15,24; Lev 26:24; Psa 79:12).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia


sev'-'-n (shebha‘; hepta).


Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g2033 Greek: hepta


whence Eng. words beginning with hept--, corresponds to the Heb. sheba' (which is akin to saba', signifying "to be full, abundant"), sometimes used as an expression of fullness, e.g., Rth 4:15: it generally expresses completeness, and is used most frequently in the Apocalypse; it is not found in the Gospel of John, nor between the Acts and the Apocalypse, except in Hbr 11:30 (in Rom 11:4 the numeral is heptakischilioi, "seven thousand"); in Mat 22:26 it is translated "seventh" (marg., "seven").

Note: In 2Pe 2:5, RV, "Noah with seven others" is a translation into idiomatic English of the Greek idiom "Noah the eighth person" (so AV, translating literally).

Smith's Bible Dictionary


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 7 x 7 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 Balaam's 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.


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