The fact has been noticed that the number seven is made very prominent in the Bible--both Old and New Testaments. It is the basis of reckoning, and nearly everything is complete by sevens. It may be both interesting and profitable to look at the many places where it is used.
We have seen already that seven is the basis of the creation week, the ordinary week and the week of thousands. The wave sheaf, and its antitype, the resurrection of Christ, were "when the Sabbath was past"--the eighth day, or first day of a new week. Lev. 23:11, and Mark 16:2. The wave loaf and its antitype, the descent of the Holy Spirit, were on Pentecost, or the fiftieth day, and hence also on the first day of the week. Lev. 23:15-16, and Acts 2:1. And the perfect new creation is not reached until the week of thousands is past, or the beginning of another cycle.
The types of the old creation are seventh day types, and the types of the new creation are first day types. By observing what is said of these types in Lev. 23, it will be seen that these first days were to be holy convocations and rest days, though not by the fourth commandment, which related exclusively to the seventh day. Those who are more interested in commemorating the old creation, will of course observe the seventh day of the week, and those who are more interested in commemorating the dawn of the new creation will observe the first day of the week. But in the New Testament there is no command to observe either. The Christian has been drawn to the first day of the week by the law of association, which is one phase of the law of the Spirit.
The seventh day finds its antitype in the seventh thousand--the Sabbath that remains. When we have entered the Millennial reign, it will not be as it was in the typical observance, one day in seven, but a continual Sabbath. That will be the fulfillment of the Sabbath, or keeping it in the Spirit. There is a sense in which believers now are keeping that continual Sabbath; the same sense in which we are now the body, or bride of Christ; the same sense in which we are now said to have eternal life, and to be in the kingdom. In this sense the gospel age is the age of fulfillment of the seventh day, and we believe the rule will hold good that no type given in the old dispensation, to be entirely fulfilled in either the gospel or millennial ages is to be observed during the gospel age.
But to come to other features: Enoch, "the seventh from Adam," (Jude 14), was translated. He seems to be a type of the perfect earthly man; and we suggest that this case indicates God's way of disposing of such men, during the seventh thousand years. If not for this, why did it happen to be the seventh, [R109 : page 5] and why tell us anything about it? We would not be too positive on such points.
Clean beasts went into the ark by sevens. Gen. 7:2. Seven days was the period fixed for the entrance into the ark, and on the seventh day the waters began to come on the earth. Verses 4:10. It was in the seventh month the ark rested. Gen. 8:4. Noah sent out a dove which returned to him, because it could find no rest; "And he stayed yet other seven days," and sent her out again. Verse 10. This time she brought the olive leaf, then "he stayed yet other seven days" when he sent her out and she returned no more. Verse 12. And it was with Noah's seventh century the new world began. Verse 13. Do all these things come by chance? Others may see more of their meaning than we do.
Jacob served seven years for each of his two wives, Leah and Rachel. Gen. 29:18-30. Jacob is typical of Christ. He stood at the head of the Jewish dispensation with his twelve sons as Christ with His twelve apostles stands at the head of the gospel dispensation. These two equal periods seem to represent the equality of the two dispensations. Jacob served for a wife and got the one first that he did not want, and afterward the one he really loved.
Some one has said there is not even a type of the Jewish church being the bride of Christ in any sense, or that He came to them as the Bridegroom. Will those who accept of the allegorical character of the writings of Moses repudiate this case of Jacob? The Jewish church is often spoken of as the Lord's wife, and as not being true to Him. Jesus says, "All that the Father hath is mine." "He came to His own and His own received Him not." John introduced Him as the Bridegroom. Jno. 3:29. Jesus speaks of Himself as the Bridegroom with them. Mark 2:19-20. There is as much evidence of Christ being the Bridegroom to that typical church, as that He was the Reaper in the harvest of that typical dispensation.
In Pharaoh's dreams which Joseph was called to interpret, there were "seven well favoured Kine," eaten up by "seven other Kine" ill favored and lean fleshed; and "seven ears of corn" on one stalk, rank and good, devoured by "seven thin ears." The dream, as interpreted and fulfilled, referred to seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine, God's mercies and His judgments are complete, but mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
In Leviticus 26, the expression "seven times" is four times repeated in reference to the duration of the rule of its enemies over Jerusalem. It has often been shown that this is the basis and key of the Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24), or the duration of Gentile rule over Jerusalem. A time is a year; a prophetic year is 360 common years and has been so fulfilled. "A time, times and a half" (i.e., 3-1/2 times) has been fulfilled as 1260 literal years in the Papal dominion over the nations, between A.D. 538 and A.D. 1798.
If three times and a half are 1260 years, seven times are 2520 years. From B.C. 606, where the desolation of Jerusalem began, 2520 years reach to A.D. 1914. According to this application of the number seven, Jerusalem will be free at that time, and thence-forward be a praise in the earth. The application is clearly confirmed by the events of to-day--the trouble brewing among the nations, and the beginning of Jewish restoration.
The prophetic argument on the Two Dispensations shows that favor was due to that people in 1878, and the door was legally opened for their return, by the Anglo-Turkish treaty of that year. From 1878 to 1914, is a period of 37 years for their rise, and is equal to the period of their fall, from the time Jesus left their house desolate in A.D. 33, until their complete destruction in A.D. 70.
Their fall was from natural nationality, and they will rise to the same. "This child is set for the fall and the rising again of many in Israel." Jesus has the work of restoring the natural, and also the work of imparting all manner of spiritual blessings.
The long period of 2520 years and their bitter experience under the dominion of the beasts, (human governments, Dan. 7) is clearly represented in Dan. 4, by the "seven times" of Nebuchadnezzar and his bitter experience among the beasts. This being a type covers only seven literal years. Why, if there is nothing in all these things, can such a harmony be developed on the basis of number seven?
J. H. P.