"Punish you Seven Times"
Leviticus Chapter 26

'seven times' - verses 18, 21, 24, 28


In chapter 26 of Leviticus we encounter the mention of 'seven times' in
four verses. Lev 26:18, 21, 24 & 28. 

It has also been proposed that these occurrences refer to four separate
time periods. 

    Lev  26:18  'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then
                I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

    Lev  26:21  'Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing
                to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues,
                according to your sins.

    Lev  26:24  then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will
                punish you yet seven times for your sins.

    Lev  26:28 then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I,
                even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

What we notice from the above NKJV translation is that there is a slight 
variance in the way the translators have portrayed the Hebrew.

              verse 18   -   "you seven times"
              verse 21   -   "you seven times"
              verse 24   -   "yet seven times"
              verse 28   -   "you seven times"

Some have taught that one of these 'seven times' is a punishment embodied
within a 'seven times' interval of time. Is this true?

What does the Hebrew show.

               verse 18   -   
               verse 21   -   
               verse 24   -   
               verse 28   -   

A literal 'word for word' rendering of these verses reads like this:

  verse 18 - And-if after these not you-will-listen
             to-me then-I-will-continue to-punish you
             seven-time for sins-of-you.

  verse 21 - And-if you-remain toward-me hostile
             and-not you-will to-listen to-me
             then-I-will-multiply on-you affliction
             seven-time according-to-sins-of you.

  verse 24 - Then-I-will-come indeed I against-you with
             hostility and-I-will-afflict you even I
             seven-time for sins-of-you.

  verse 28 - Then-I-will-continue toward-you in-anger-of
             hostility and-I-will-punish you indeed I
             seven-time for sins-of-you.

So if one examines these verses carefully, it can be seen that there is
no significant 'seven times' difference between any of these verses.
Obviously there is an intent to depict the increasing intensity of these

Do we also have an intent to present a time aspect? If so, then all of
these verses would have to be representing a time element.

From the Hebrew above we can see that the notion of 'seven times' comes
from a single word.

                              Hebrew for 'seven'

This word simply means 'seven'.


Leviticus chapter 26 can be divided into several sections,

1) Reminds the Israelites of the Covenant and then lists blessings
   which will result if the statutes and commandments are performed.
   Verses 1 - 13.

2) Initial warning about the consequences of any rebellion.
   Verses 14 - 17.

3) First 'seven' and punishments. Verses 18 - 20.

4) Second 'seven' and punishments. Verses 21 - 23.

5) Third 'seven' and punishments. Verses 24 - 27.

6) Fourth 'seven' and punishments. Verses 28 - 39.

7) If they confess God will remember the covenant made with their
   Verses 40 - 45.

So let us deal with these divisions in reverse order. Let us also
consider them with an 'overall plan of God' perspective.

If They Confess

    Lev  26:40  'But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity
                of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which
                they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have
                walked contrary to Me,
           :41  and that I also have walked contrary to them and have
                brought them into the land of their enemies; if their
                uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept
                their guilt -
           :42  then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My
                covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I
                will remember; I will remember the land.
           :43  The land also shall be left empty by them, and will
                enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them;
                they will accept their guilt, because they despised My
                judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes.
           :44  Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their
                enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor
                them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant
                with them; for I am the Lord their God.
           :45  But for their sake I will remember the covenant of
                their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of
                Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be
                their God: I am the Lord.'"

An important element discussed here is,

        "the land ... will enjoy its sabbaths",

This is very reminiscent of,

    2Chr 36:21  to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of
                Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths.
                As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to
                fulfill seventy years.
The destruction of the house of Judah by the Babylonians in the past is
a type of what would happen in the end-time. In other words the period
of the end-time Great Tribulation would in some symbolic way also allow
the 'land' to 'enjoy' the allotted time for 'her sabbaths'. Also, that
the duration of the Great Tribulation would have a connection to the
number '70', ie 'to fulfill seventy years'.

Fourth Seven

This final 'seven' is very severe!

There is talk of severe famine, cities laid waste, land desolated,
scattering of the inhabitants, great fear and wasting away of the

Also, once again there is the mention of the land enjoying its sabbaths.
(Verses 34 -35.)

    Lev  26:28  then I also will walk contrary to you in fury; and I,
                even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
           :29  You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall
                eat the flesh of your daughters.
           :30  I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense
                altars, and cast your carcasses on the lifeless forms
                of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.
           :31  I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries
                to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of
                your sweet aromas.
           :32  I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies
                who dwell in it shall be astonished at it.
           :33  I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a
                sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your
                cities waste.
           :34  Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it
                lies desolate and you are in your enemies' land;
                then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
           :35  As long as it lies desolate it shall rest; for the
                time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt
                in it.
           :36  'And as for those of you who are left, I will send
                faintness into their hearts in the lands of their
                enemies; the sound of a shaken leaf shall cause them
                to flee; they shall flee as though fleeing from a
                sword, and they shall fall when no one pursues.
           :37  They shall stumble over one another, as it were
                before a sword, when no one pursues; and you shall
                have no power to stand before your enemies.
           :38  You shall perish among the nations, and the land
                of your enemies shall eat you up.
           :39  And those of you who are left shall waste away in
                their iniquity in your enemies' lands; also in their
                fathers' iniquities, which are with them, they shall
                waste away.

This 4th 'seven times' is the Great Tribulation itself.

In the book of Daniel it is typified by the furnace that was heated
'seven times' more than normal.

    Dan    3:19  ... commanded that they heat the furnace seven times
                 more than it was usually heated.

                 [NB: In this verse emphasis is placed on those found
                      worthy. And so it will be, that those found worthy
                      will also escape the Great Tribulation. ]

Third Seven

This third seven talks about people being gathered together in their
cities due to fear of the sword; and the resulting famine and pestilence.

    Lev  26:24  then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will
                punish you yet seven times for your sins.
           :25  And I will bring a sword against you that will execute
                the vengeance of the covenant; when you are gathered
                together within your cities I will send pestilence
                among you; and you shall be delivered into the hand
                of the enemy.
           :26  When I have cut off your supply of bread, ten women
                shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall
                bring back your bread by weight, and you shall eat
                and not be satisfied.
           :27  'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, but walk
                contrary to Me,

A critical passage here is "ten woman shall bake your bread".

This is a reference to a time when ten symbolic entities will prepare
spiritual food, which shall not satisfy.

The number ten and the end-time setting, brings to mind the 10 horns
of the Daniel 7 fourth beast. Three horns of which are subsequently
removed and the seven horns which remain. It is their followers/
congregations which shall in the later period of this 'seven times'
bring forth spiritual food that will not satisfy.

This period of 'seven' is also mentioned in the book of Daniel.

    Dan   4:16  Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
                Let him be given the heart of a beast,
                And let seven times pass over him.

This fate of Nebuchadnezzar being a type of the fate of God's kingdom,
during the time the bands of iron and bronze would be placed around
the stump of God's Work.

This period of time equating to a duration of 2,520 years. A prophesied
span of time finishing immediately prior to the future Great Tribulation.
The 2,520 years (7 x 360), being derived from 7 years each composed of
360 days.

This period was initiated with the release of the house of Judah from
captivity, ie upon the decree of Cyrus.

Second Seven, First Seven, and Prior Period

There remains now two periods of 'seven' and a possible initial period
which may also represent a further period of seven.

The second seven talks about wild beasts which would remove their
offspring and livestock. 

    Lev  26:21  'Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing
                to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues,
                according to your sins.
           :22  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob
                you of your children, destroy your livestock, and make
                you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
           :23  'And if by these things you are not reformed by Me, but
                walk contrary to Me,

The first seven talks about removing their reason to be proud and the
fruitfulness of their land.

    Lev  26:18  'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then
                I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
           :19  I will break the pride of your power;
                I will make your heavens like iron and your earth
                like bronze.
           :20  And your strength shall be spent in vain;
                for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall
                the trees of the land yield their fruit.

The prior period punishment talks about removing their vision so that
which they plant shall be taken by their enemies.

    Lev  26:14  'But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all
                these commandments,
           :15  and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors
                My judgments, so that you do not perform all My
                commandments, but break My covenant,
           :16  I also will do this to you:
                I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease
                and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause
                sorrow of heart.
                And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies
                shall eat it.
           :17  I will set My face against you, and you shall be
                defeated by your enemies.
                Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you
                shall flee when no one pursues you.

These descriptions appear to span the earlier periods of God's work.
The time of the judges and the kings of Israel and Judah.           


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