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Science is discovering that resting one day out of seven is key to physical and mental rejuvenation, good health, and productivity. A cyclical rhythm of sevens is embedded in physical creation, clearly linking Yahweh as the Creator through the significance He places on the sequence of sevens.
As science is learning, living cells operate by a rhythmic clock. This regularity keeps the cell synchronized with other cells, just as it was designed at creation. Scientists in this discipline called chronobiology say seven is the major rhythm in human biology. Many plants, insects, and animals also have biological cycles based on seven.
We humans have at the cellular level internal seven-day clocks regulating and orchestrating our biotic activities like metabolism, maintenance, growth, and reproduction. These sevens, or “septans” lie deep in our neural, metabolic, and hormonal systems.
A seven-day factor is also at work in our immune systems. Polio, small pox, and tetanus each begin to show symptoms after seven days. Chickenpox symptoms typically appear 14 days after exposure to the virus, the same with mumps. Ebola has a three-week, 21-day incubation time. All of these immune-defense clocks are built on a time element of seven.
And there’s more. The defense response to malaria infection and pneumonia peaks at seven days. In organ transplants like kidneys there is a span of about seven days when the body’s immune system may reject the new kidney. It takes seven days for a newborn to fully develop the blood clotting mechanism, and that’s why biblical circumcision is practiced on the eighth day (Philippians 3:5).
The sequence of seven is embedded in the very building blocks of life. Almighty Yahweh wound up the clock of creation and by the time He rested on the seventh day He had left His divine imprint, including the Sabbath, on living systems everywhere. It’s powerful proof of an intelligent Creator.
From the seven days of creation in Genesis to the seven seals of Revelation, the number seven also permeates Scripture.
The Apostle Paul’s observation in Romans 1:20 of the miracle of creation is confirmed. For those who deny a Creator, all they need to do is look at the complex design of creation itself.
Paul writes, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and majesty; so that they are without excuse.” King David wrote, “Only the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no Elohim’” (Psalm 14:1).
Seventh Day Reigns Supreme
The number seven is, hands down, the most significant number in the Bible. The seventh day is the grand finale of the creation week. Seven is at the center of the weekly Sabbath and annual Feasts. These observances will be celebrated in the coming Kingdom.
But that isn’t all. There are Sabbath years called Sabbatical years in the Scripture, and they are key to knowing when the Messiah Yahshua will return in the not-too-distant future.
Yahshua said in Mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made FOR man. Does that mean we can ignore it or change it? If I say, here, this gift is for you, do I expect you to throw it in the trash?
The Sabbath commandment is the only one of the Ten that says to “remember.” It’s a throwback to creation week and the special status Yahweh endowed the seventh day with from the beginning of creation.
Beyond telling us that Sabbath rest is an obligation, the Greek indicates that it is also something imprinted in our being. In the next verse, 28, we read, “Therefore the Son of man is Master also of the Sabbath.” John 1:3 says all things were made by Him. He was the active agent that created the universe.
Consider this: maybe He not just created the Sabbath by resting on it, but in the process of creation He also embedded the seven-day rhythmic cycle of rest into our DNA and behavior. That gives new meaning to His being the master of the Sabbath, while fashioning the Sabbath literally for mankind.
Psychological studies have shown that we humans don’t function well without a day of rest every week. Without it we are more prone to error, suffer more stress and irritability, we don’t rest as well, and live shorter lives.
We read in Genesis 2:3 of that first Sabbath rest: “And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.” Clearly, the Sabbath is more significant than just a day to stop working. The seventh day is firmly infused into creation itself.
Even Land Must Rest
The spiritual benefits of the Sabbath are even more profound. The Sabbath was given to keep us spiritually synchronized with our Maker and His design. He blessed it, and that blessing is passed on to us when we keep it by ceasing from work as He did.
Our understanding of the importance of the number seven really opens up when we trace some of its uses through the Bible.
We learn early on that the rhythm of seven is a pattern not just for the weekly cycle but also for annual obligations.
Most people are familiar with the term Sabbatical, a time when professors take a leave of absence traditionally every seven years to do research or travel. This concept of taking time off for rest comes right out of the Scriptures. There we find Yahweh’s command for a Sabbatical year, when planting and tilling the fields is to stop, thereby giving the soil a rest every seven years.
This land rest rejuvenates the soil and gives nutrients. Exodus 23:10-11 commands: “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 olive yard.”
If today’s agriculture followed the Bible’s Sabbatical year land rest, the soil would be much healthier and the use of chemical fertilizers could be reduced or eliminated. Notice that the Sabbatical year is also a system of welfare, where the poor could go out to the fields at harvest time and gather whatever the spontaneous crops had produced. What was left over the wild animals could eat.
There is another important component of the Sabbatical: financial relief. Every seventh year debts were canceled. Any loan was prorated for the time remaining of the seven years.
Deuteronomy 15:1-2 says, “At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called Yahweh’s release.”
Borrowers would not be burdened by heavy debt from a lifetime of financial strain at high interest fees. Throwbacks to the Sabbatical still exist today in the world of finance, where banks hold certain records accessible for seven years while certain financial instruments have a seven-year depreciation clause. Copyrights are good for the life of the holder plus 70 years.
A person is considered an adult with adult privileges at 21 years of age (3 x 7 years).
Anciently, Hebrew slaves were to be freed on the seventh year, Deuteronomy 15:12 tells us.
Jubilant Seven Sevens
It goes even deeper. Every 50 years, after seven Sabbaticals of 49 years, is another great Sabbath year command known as the year of Jubilee. Look up the word jubilee and Webster’s will tell you it’s a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating 25 or 50 years.
Have you ever felt “jubilant”? Maybe you attended a diamond jubilee celebration. These terms are based on the biblical Jubilee. There’s even an apocryphal Book of Jubilees.
You find many Jubilees observed around the world at any given moment. And the concept comes right out of the Bible.
In the Scriptures the word “jubilee” is derived from the Hebrew teruah, which means “a sound of joy or alarm.” It was the ram’s horn or shofar trumpet that announced the beginning of the Jubilee year.
Leviticus 25:9 says: “Then shall you cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.”
The biblical Jubilee comes after seven cycles of seven and was a time when the land was to go back to its original owner. This ensured that the tribes of Israel did not lose their promised inheritance.
The law of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years is one of the more intriguing subjects in Scripture.
Important events of history and prophecy are tied up in these specially sanctified times.
Feasts Rest on Sevens
Yahweh’s days are universally overlooked, in the same way the first day of the biblical month is ignored today, even when the thin new moon crescent appears visibly in the sky and shouts to all the earth, “This is the first day of the month.”
This natural phenomenon goes right over most heads today because the moon has been factored out of our Gregorian solar calendar.
Much more significance remains with the number seven. We find throughout the year seven sacred observances that Yahweh commanded His people to celebrate as part of His covenant with us.
These Feasts or holy days are the only annual observances given in the Scriptures. Holiday is a contraction of the words “holy day.” Each is tied firmly to the number seven either by when they occur or by their length of observance. The Feast of Unleavened Bread in the spring and the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall are each seven-day observances.
Four of these observances are in the seventh biblical month. They are: the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day.
Prophetic Keys in Feasts
If you want to understand the prophetic plan for this earth and the return of the Savior, important keys are in the Feast days. Each reveals facets of the Messiah’s coming and the setting up of His kingdom on earth in the future Messianic age. Each gives insight into what’s ahead for this world. Yahweh’s Feasts are the only holidays sanctioned in the Bible. They were all observed by Israel in the Old Testament, kept by the Savior and His apostles in the New Testament, were taught by the apostles, and will be enforced in the coming Kingdom (see RSB chart).
As critical to Yahweh’s Truth as these days are, the vast majority of Bible believers are ignorant of them, just as 2Peter 3 describes most people in a different context.
Along with the seventh day of the week, these seven annual observances have been neglected or mostly ignored through the centuries by the vast majority of Bible believers and self-confessed followers of Scripture.
In every key aspect of our existence, we see a prominent rhythm of sevens. We see it in Yahweh’s physical creation, in His command to pause and worship, in His salvation plan, in the prophetic timetable – sevens are everywhere.
Unlike our months and years, our seven-day week has no astronomical basis; you can’t look to the sky or out into space and determine the starting and ending of a week. There is no planet, star, sun or moon that sets the weekly Sabbath. The Sabbath is based totally on what Yahweh put into effect at creation when He rested on the seventh day. It was Yahweh alone who gave each week a starting point and an ending point. The week is divine.
Like the institution of marriage and family, Yahweh Himself established the Sabbath in Eden. That is why He is called the master of the Sabbath.
Even the calendar on your wall continues this biblical institution of ending the week on the Sabbath. Our week that begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday is the same consecutive order of days in effect for thousands of years. The Sabbaths that Abraham, Moses, and King David observed are in the very same weekly sequence that still operates today.
None of the days of the week have gotten out of the weekly order.
Some have argued that the Sabbath sequence was altered in the switchover from the Julian to today’s Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII. The problem was that by 1752 the Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, had drifted out of sync with the seasons as it moved slower than today’s calendar.
To catch the calendar back up with astronomical reality, 11 days (dates) were dropped in the new Gregorian calendar, creating an irregular month. But even with the loss of dates, the Sabbath cycle didn’t change.
The seven-day week has been in force worldwide from creation, although some countries have tried to alter it, France and Russia being two of them. Both of their secular attempts to change the week failed.
Deuteronomy 5:15 in the restatement of the 4th commandment, gives some additional insights into the larger concept of “Sabbath.”
“And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Yahweh thy Elohim brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore Yahweh thy Elohim commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”
Why does He bring the issue of slavery in conjunction with the Sabbath? Because on specific Sabbath years slaves or bond servants were set free. That is, on the Sabbatical every seventh year, and on the Jubilee, which falls every 50th year. The Jubilee is also a Sabbath year. On this 50th year Sabbath, slaves were given their freedom.
Israel was taken into captivity for 70 years for not keeping the land Sabbath. The lesson is that not keeping the Sabbath, either weekly or annually, leads to slavery in various ways. By not keeping the weekly Sabbath, slavery to the world and all its pressures and enticements is fortified. Observing the Sabbaths frees us from slavery to this world.
Yahweh took two key actions with the Sabbath at creation: “He blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it,” Genesis 2:3. In doing these, He established its significance throughout the rest of Scripture and history. He sanctified it or set it apart as completely given over to Him. This is the essence of the Fourth Commandment, which mandates the complete cessation of all mundane work and the total devotion to Yahweh Himself.
Now, the trumpet call of the Jubilee directly parallels the trumpet that will announce the return of the Messiah Yahshua to this earth, which prophecy and Yahshua Himself indicated will occur on either a Sabbatical or a Jubilee year. Returning on the Jubilee could explain why Yahweh let Israel lose track of the Jubilee so that no one would determine the time of the Savior’s return.
In Luke 4:18 we read that on a weekly Sabbath in Nazareth, Yahshua went into the synagogue and read from Isaiah 61:1-2:
“The spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the glad tidings to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of Yahweh.”
“Preach” here means to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity, and authority. It is more than just talking; more than just teaching. The terminology fits perfectly the significance of the trumpet sound proclaiming the Jubilee at Atonement.
In quoting Isaiah 61, Yahshua stopped in the middle of verse 2, which demonstrates that as the fulfillment of this prophecy that He was now calling people out of the world to become His followers. The end of the verse refers to the Day of Judgment, which at that time obviously was far into the future.
Here we can see how Yahshua rightly divided the word. The “acceptable year” refers to the beginning of the Jubilee year as the welcome year. Another translation refers to it as Yahweh’s amnesty year.
Note what the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says, “Acceptable year – an allusion to the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:10), a year of universal release for person and property.”
Wesley’s Notes adds, “The acceptable year – plainly alluding to the year of Jubilee, when all, both debtors and servants, were set free.”
Yahshua came to preach the Good News to the meek and humble, those whose hearts were soft and teachable, to give them the truth to set them free.
The Jubilee is couched in the middle of a directive in Leviticus 25 to keep the Sabbatical year. The Jubilee is marked by:
• land rest
• land going back to the original owner
• Israelite slaves freed
In quoting Isaiah 61, Yahshua said, “This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears.” It indicates that He was speaking on the Jubilee year and that He Himself would accomplish this. It hints that He began His ministry on the Jubilee.
Death Penalty Paid
The Jubilee is all about freedom. He frees us by releasing us from the death penalty if we repent and follow Him.
The universal mantra in religious venues everywhere is that obedience to the Word is unnecessary and even a bad thing. The reasoning is that if you try you are rejecting what your Savior did for you. But what did Yahshua tell the young man in Matthew 19:17? “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” John 14:15.
What did He mean by “His” commandments? Was He changing what His Father had already given?
If you are concerned that becoming obedient will take away the forgiveness Yahshua offers for your sins, you have nothing to worry about. We are all sinful enough that we cannot achieve sinlessness on our own. We will always need Yahshua’s blood to cover our disobedience. At the same time we are to strive to walk in Yahshua’s footsteps of obedience.
John 12:49-50 in the NIV reads, “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Yahweh insisted on obedience to the law throughout the Old Testament, and Malachi 3:6 says He does not change. Yahshua simply took those commands and lived them as an example of righteousness for everyone to follow. He kept the Sabbaths, Feasts, Ten Commandments, moral law – everything commanded by Yahweh His father.
He did it all for a reason, not just to prove that He could. He was without sin. Even the law of sacrifice He adhered to and ultimately satisfied with His own blood.
He led His life to show you and me that this is what His Father expects of us. He applied His Father’s statutes in all aspects of life as He experienced them. That way we could use His example in our own lives and experiences.
If you buy into the notion that obedience is wrong, then you are not following the law-keeping, law-loving example of your obedient Savior who as the judge has the power to grant your salvation.
Just as He was cut off (meaning died) in the middle of the week as He foretold, so Yahshua left unsaid the rest of Isaiah 61:2, which tells of the vengeance that would follow His return. Note the latter part of this verse: “And the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn” (Isa. 61:1-2). He’s not returning with smiles and hugs all around. He’ll be swinging a sword against the unrighteous, Revelation 1:16.
A Key Lost and Found
There is no record that Israel or Judah faithfully kept all the Sabbaticals and Jubilees, and therefore we have little to go on in determining the year they should be kept. Regardless, Yahweh knows our desire to do the best we can in obedience. These times will be enforced when His Kingdom comes to earth.
Daniel 9 begins with a reference to the 70 years of Judah’s Babylonian captivity. The reason they were sentenced to a captivity of 70 years is that they had not kept 70 Sabbatical years and had to catch up (Lev. 26:34-35, 43; 2Chr. 36:21-23).
The chapter begins with a reference to the missed Sabbatical years in 70 Sabbatical cycles, and ends with a discussion of another 70 Sabbatical cycles.
The weekly Sabbath every seven days, the Sabbatical year every seven years, and Jubilees coming after every 7×7 years as well as the 1,000-year reign following 6,000 years of man are each a part of Yahweh’s design.
Yahweh marks weeks, holy days, years, and millennia in bundles of sevens. The word ‘week’ in Hebrew is the same as the number 7, shabua. It literally means “sevened.” Shabua has a dual meaning as well, and also connotes oaths. Yahweh is telling us by this word with two meanings that a powerful relationship exists between the number seven, representing Sabbaths, and an oath.
Is it any wonder then that the Sabbath is a sign between Yahweh and His people? It is a sign of the oath or covenant.
We can go even further. You could say the Feast of Weeks or Shabuot is a feast of oaths. His law by most accounts was given on the Feast of Weeks as well as the Holy Spirit in the New Testament to enable obedience to that law. You become eligible for that spirit when you obey Him, Acts 5:32. With both His Spirit and His laws working in you, you become a part of a sacred oath or covenant as His people.
Sevens in the Feasts
The feasts of the biblical calendar are also marked by seven days, which is the length of both the Feast of Unleavened (bread) and of the Feast of Tabernacles. Pentecost (seven times seven days plus one), or the Feast of Weeks, is celebrated seven weeks from unleavened bread.
The commands for these days are found in Exodus 12 and 23, and Leviticus 23.
With many important meanings and lessons, Yahweh’s Sabbaths are also great equalizers. On the 7th day, for example, both the powerful and the weak become irrelevant, as even the ox is liberated and given the same day of rest.
To counter any greed in the 7th year, debts are forgiven. And to counter over-farming and depletion of the soil, the land rests in the 7th year. After 7×7 years, all debts are forgiven and lands are then returned to the original owners. That ensures that property rights remain in a family and the land especially given by Yahweh to the various tribes remained with them.
Today some Torah-observant Jews will lease their land to a gentile for the year, thinking they can skirt the Sabbatical Law. Biblical laws were not given to appease Yahweh but are for the benefit of the individual, family, and community (1John 5:3). We defeat their purpose when we evade them and look for loopholes.
Yahweh’s Laws for Our Good
Yahweh says don’t eat fat. We now know that fat contributes to all kinds of health problems.
Yahweh says don’t eat swine. Science has learned that the omnivorous pig is a garbage disposer and natural incubator, allowing viruses to jump the species gap between beast and man.
The Bible has been proven invaluable by modern science when it says let the land rest and renourish for a year to rebuild the soil naturally. Many enlightened farmers today allow their fields to lie fallow for the same reason.
These are only a few ways that Yahweh’s laws benefit us physically. But the spiritual benefits are far greater. Paul told Timothy, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahshua,” 2Timothy 3:15.
We can’t take Yahweh’s commands lightly, thinking they were made only for someone else, like the Jews. They apply to all ages and all people.
The magnificent number 7 is a profound key to Yahweh’s design in the universe and in His faith.
The number 7 (the number of perfection) is not just related to the reoccurring of the Sabbath and Sabbatical cycles but by sequences of seven it reckons the counting of the calendar. Yahweh’s seven biblical appointments, as seen on the cover of this booklet, demonstrates a symbolic representation of Yahweh’s perfect order, typified with the Feast of Trumpets in the center, designating Yahshua’s return at the last trump. Most miss the fact that the Last Great Day (the eighth day as it is called because it follows the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, Leviticus 23:34-36) is a separate observance in the Feast cycle. Those who do not understand the first fruits offerings to Yahweh try to account for this by inserting a made up “Feast of Firstfruits.” Unleavened Bread and Pentecost both include the firstfruits by their very nature, as they are harvest festivals, which include firstfruits offerings to Yahweh through the barley and wheat harvests. The firstfruits, and more specifically the Abib barley harvest, which sets the yearly calendar, are key to understanding the Holy Day cycle, revolving around the harvest and the future spiritual harvests at Yahshua’s return. Reckoning the calendar with the firstfruits barley as Scripture shows, will align us with Yahshua’s return as He reaps His firstfruit harvest of the faithful.