The Sacred Seven
Seven is an auspicious number regularly associated with the Sacred. Consider that there are seven sacred rivers: Ganga, Godavari, Yamuna, Sindhu, Saraswati, Kaveri, and Narmada.
There are seven Holy Cities (Sapta Puri) with seven holy sites. The seven Tirtha sites are:
- Ayodhya (Ayodhya Puri),
- Mathura (Madhura Puri),
- Haridwar (Maya Puri),
- Varanasi (Kashi Puri),
- Kanchipuram (Kanchi Puri),
- Ujjain (Avantika Puri),
- Dwarka (Dwaraka Puri)
In cosmology the universe contains seven upper and seven lower lokas. Wikipedia states
… there are 14 worlds, seven higher ones (Vyahrtis) and seven lower ones (Pātālas), viz. bhu, bhuvas, svar, mahas, janas, tapas, and satya above and atala, vitala, sutala, rasātala, talātala, mahātala, pātāla …
Chakra students regularly cite seven chakra zones in our body
Sacred ‘Seven’ in Hebrew Vedas
Since Rivers, Tirthas, Vyahrtis, Pātālas, and Chakras are made complete by ‘seven’, it is not surprising to find that seven was also used to prophesy the coming of the Christ in the Hebrew Vedas. In fact, the ancient sages used seven cycles of seven to pinpoint His coming. We unlock this ‘sevens of seven’ cycle, but first a little review of these ancient Hebrew prophets.
Though separated from one another by hundreds of years, making human coordination amongst themselves impossible, their prophecies centred on the coming Christ. Isaiah used the Sign of the Branch to start this theme. Zechariah prophesied that this Branch would be named Yhowshuwa, (Jesus in English). Yes, the very name of the Christ was prophesied 500 years before Jesus ever lived.
The Prophet Daniel – in Sevens
Now to Daniel. He lived in the Babylonian exile, being a powerful official in the Babylonian and Persian governments – and a Hebrew prophet.
In his book, Daniel received the following message:
while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.Daniel 9:21-26a
This is a prophecy of the ‘Anointed One’ (= Christ = Messiah) predicting when He would come. It would begin with the decree ‘to restore and rebuild Jerusalem’. Though Daniel was given and wrote this message (ca. 537 BCE) he did not live to see the start of this countdown.
The Decree to Restore Jerusalem
But Nehemiah, almost one hundred years after Daniel, saw this countdown begin. He writes in his book that
In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, 2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time….Nehemiah 2:1-6
11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.Nehemiah2:11
This records the order “to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” that Daniel had prophesied would start the countdown. It was in the 20th year of the Persian Emperor Artaxerxes, well-known in history as starting his reign in 465 BCE. Thus his 20th year would place this decree in the year 444 BCE. Almost a hundred years after Daniel, the Persian Emperor issued his decree, starting the countdown that would bring the Christ.
The Mysterious Sevens
Daniel’s prophecy indicated that after “seven ‘sevens’ and sixty-two ‘sevens’” the Christ would be revealed.
What is a ‘Seven’?
The Law of Moses contained a seven-year cycle. Every 7th year the land was to rest from agriculture so that the soil could replenish. So ‘Seven’ is a 7-year cycle. With that in mind we see that the countdown comes in two parts. The first part was ‘seven sevens’ or seven 7-year periods. This, 7*7=49 years, was the time it took to rebuild Jerusalem. This was followed by sixty-two sevens, so the total countdown was 7*7+62*7=483 years. From the decree there would be 483 years until the Christ was revealed.
We have to make one little calendar adjustment. As many ancients did, the prophets used a 360 days long year. There are different ways to designate the length of a ‘year’ in a calendar. The western one (based on solar revolution) is 365.24 days long, the Muslim one is 354 days (based on cycles of moon). The one that Daniel used was half-way at 360 days. So 483 ‘360-day’ years is 483*360/365.24 = 476 solar years.
Arrival of the Christ predicted to the year
We can now calculate when the Christ was predicted to come. We go from ‘BCE’ to the ‘CE’ era with only 1 year from 1BCE – 1CE (There is no ‘zero’ year). Here is the calculation.
|Start year||444 BCE (20th year of Artaxerxes)|
|Length of time||476 solar years|
|Expected arrival in Modern Calendar||(-444 + 476 + 1) (‘+1’ because there is no 0 CE) = 33|
|Expected year||33 CE|
Jesus of Nazareth came to Jerusalem on a donkey in what became the well-known celebration of Palm Sunday. That was the day he announced himself and rode into Jerusalem as their Christ. The year was 33 CE – as predicted.
The prophets Daniel and Nehemiah, unable to know each other since they lived 100 years apart, were coordinated by God to receive prophecies setting in motion the countdown that revealed the Christ. 537 years after Daniel received his ‘sevens’ vision, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Christ. Along with Zechariah’s prediction of the Christ’s name, these prophets wrote amazing predictions so that all can see the God’s plan unfold.
The Arrival Predicted to ‘the Day’
Predicting the year of the entry, hundreds of years before it happened, is astonishing. But they also predicted it to the day.
Daniel had predicted 483 years using a 360-day year before the revealing of the Christ. Accordingly, the number of days is:
483 years * 360 days/year = 173880 days
In terms of the modern international calendar with 365.2422 days/year this is 476 years with 25 extra days. (173880/365.24219879 = 476 remainder 25)
King Artaxerxes decreed Jerusalem’s restoration:
In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year…Nehemiah 2:1
Nisan 1 is assured since it started the Jewish and Persian New Year, giving reason for the King to talk to Nehemiah in the celebration. Nisan 1 would also mark a new moon since they used lunar months. With modern astronomy we know when that new moon marking Nisan 1, 444 BC occurred. Astronomical calculations place the crescent moon of Nisan 1 of the 20th year of Persian Emperor Artaxerxes at 10 PM on March 4, 444 BC in the modern calendar[i]
… to the day of Palm Sunday
Adding the 476 years of Daniel’s prophesied time to this date brings us to March 4, 33 CE, as explained above. Adding the 25 remaining days of Daniel’s prophesied time to March 4, 33 CE, gives us March 29, 33 CE. March 29, 33 AD, was Sunday – Palm Sunday – the very day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey, claiming to be the Christ.[ii]
|Start – Decree Issued||March 4, 444 BCE|
|Add the solar years (-444+ 476 +1)||March 4, 33 CE|
|Add the remaining 25 days of the ‘sevens’||March 4 + 25 = March 29, 33 CE|
|March 29, 33 CE||Palm Sunday Entry of Jesus to Jerusalem|
By entering Jerusalem on March 29, 33CE, mounted on a donkey, Jesus fulfilled both the prophecy of Zechariah and the prophecy of Daniel – to the day.
Daniel had predicted 173880 days before revealing of Christ; Nehemiah had started the time. It concluded on March 29, 33CE when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, all measured in ‘sevens’.
Later that same day Jesus began patterning his actions after Creation Week, another seven. In this way he set in motion the events leading to his battle with his enemy death.
[i] Dr. Harold W.Hoehner, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. 1977. 176pp.
[ii] The coming Friday was Passover, and Passover was always on Nisan 14. Nisan 14 in 33 CE was April 3. Being 5 days before Friday April 3, Palm Sunday was March 29.