The Seven Prophetic Times
From Leviticus 26: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" (verse 18).
It is important to understand
is an English expression translated from the Hebrew word sheva', simply meaning the number seven.
Usually this word is used as an adjective, for example, "seven cows" or "seven days."
However, in Leviticus 26:18, the word sheva' (seven) stands alone-as an adverb-and modifies the verb "punish."
Now, when "seven" stands alone as an adverb,
it may have either one (or both) of two separate and independent meanings.
The word sheva' can convey the sense of increasing intensity in the action.
But sheva' can also refer to the duration, continuance or especially repetition of the action over a period of time.
Read Psalm 119:164 "Seven times
a day do I praise thee"
and Proverbs 24:16 "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again."
The Hebrew for "seven times" in both verses is simply sheva',
exactly the same word, used in exactly the same way (as an adverb), as it is in Leviticus 26!
Now, let's understand the "seven
times" of Leviticus 26.
The context is corrective punishment-punishment for a purpose.
God ever used the prescription of seven times for the corrective punishment
of a person or nation in a place other than Leviticus 26?
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the greatest world
ruler at his time, was punished seven times,
literally seven years, for exalting himself above God (Dan. 4:32).
seven times punishment represents seven years of punishment in Leviticus
26 just as in Daniel 4!
But there is a difference.
Whereas Daniel 4 tells of seven literal years of punishment,
which befell a certain individual, Leviticus 26 tells of seven prophetic years, which befell the nation of Israel.
Now understand the "seven times" or seven prophetic "times." For this is a prophecy.
prophecy, as we will later demonstrate, a "time is a prophetic 360-day
And, during Israel's punishment, each day represented a year being fulfilled.
This "day-for-a-year" principle is explained in two other passages dealing with the duration of Israel's punishment.
One of these we have already covered.
God punished that generation
of Israelites Moses had led out of Egypt,
by withholding from them entry into the promised land forty years.
That promised land was a beginning part of the birthright.
God punished them on the principle of a year for every
forty years duration of punishment for the 40 days of transgression (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34).
Now we come to the expression "then I will punish you seven times more for your sins" in Leviticus 26.
It is evident both by its manner of wording in the sentence and by the fact of actual fulfillment that it was speaking of a duration of seven prophetic "times," or years-seven 360-day years-a total of 2,520 days.
And when each day is a year of
punishment in this case, as in Numbers 14:34, a
withholding of a promised blessing,
the punishment becomes the withdrawing and withholding of the promised blessings, on the "day-for-a-year"
principle, for 2,520 years!
For that is precisely what did happen!
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