The Holy Hebdomad

The Holy Hebdomad




And thus the perfect hebdomad, which exists in hidden mysteries, became complete. When she receives the glory, she becomes eleven ogdoads. (The Gospel of the Egyptians)

From Late Latin hebdomada (“number seven; group of seven; seven days”), hebdomas (“number seven; a period of seven days a WEEK; seventh day or Sabbath), from Ancient Greek ἑβδομάς (hebdomás, “group of seven, especially seven days or seven years”),[1]

From Ancient Greek ἑβδομάς (hebdomás). Compare Latin hebdomas.


εβδομάδες G1439.1 - Apostolic Bible Polyglot Concordance, Strongs-AB Number G1439.1



Exodus 34:22 εβδομάδων - of a period of sevens Leviticus 23:15 εβδομάδας - [2periods of seven Leviticus 23:16 εβδομάδος - period of seven Leviticus 25:8 εβδομάδες - periods of seven Numbers 28:26 εβδομάδων - 4period of sevens], Deuteronomy 16:9 εβδομάδας - [2periods of seven Deuteronomy 16:9 εβδομάδας - periods of seven. Deuteronomy 16:10 εβδομάδων - of the period of sevens Deuteronomy 16:16 εβδομάδων - period of sevens, 2 Chronicles 8:13 εβδομάδων - period of sevens, Daniel 9:24 εβδομάδες - periods of seven Daniel 9:25 εβδομάδες - [2periods of seven Daniel 9:25 εβδομάδες - [2periods of seven Daniel 9:26 εβδομάδας - [2periods of seven Daniel 9:27 εβδομάς - [2period of sevens Daniel 9:27 εβδομάδος - period of seven Daniel 10:2 εβδομάδας - periods of seven Daniel 10:3 εβδομάδων - period of sevens

Leviticus 25:8 “‘And you must count for yourself seven sabbaths* of years, seven times seven years, and the days of the seven sabbaths of years* must amount to forty-nine years for you.

Leviticus 25:8 Καὶ ἐξαριθμήσεις σεαυτῷ ἑπτὰ ἀναπαύσεις αὐτῶν, ἑπτὰ ἔτη ἑπτάκις, καὶ ἔσονταί σοι ἑπτά ἑβδομάδες ἐτῶν ἐννέα καὶ τεσσαράκοντα ἔτη. 


“Sabbaths of.” Heb., shab·bethoth´; Lat., eb·do´ma·des, “weeks.”


“Sabbaths of years.” Greek, he·bdo·ma´des e·ton´, “weeks of years.” Compare Da 9:24 ftn, “Weeks.”


Seven comes from the Hebrew "SAVAH" meaning to cease (47x), rest (11x), away (3x), fail (2x), celebrate (1x), miscellaneous (7x).

The Hebrew expression yohm hash·shab·bath´ is drawn from the verb sha·vath´, meaning “rest, cease.” (Ge 2:2; 8:22)


God set the pattern for the whole Sabbath arrangement, from the seven-day week to the Jubilee year that followed the seven-times-seven–year cycle. (Ex 20:10; Le 25:2, 6, 8)


The sabbath is on the seventh day it is a day of rest therefore seven symbolizes rest


The Hebrew word for “week” (sha·vu´a`) literally refers to a sevenfold unit or period. The Greek word sab´ba·ton, in turn, is derived from the Hebrew word for Sabbath (shab·bath´).


Lu 18:12  I fast twice in the week <4521>, I give tithes of all that I possess.


4521. σάββατον sabbaton sab’-bat-on; of Hebrew origin [07676]; the Sabbath (i.e. Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension, a se’nnight, i.e. the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: —  sabbath (day), week. 

AV-sabbath day 37, sabbath 22, week 9; 68

The word translated week here in Luke 18:12 refers to other days in the week as well the Sabbath day (its like saying seven days, a week).   

The Jewish Sabbath is from from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Saturday is named after the planet Saturn.

The Romans named Saturday Sāturni diēs ("Saturn's Day") no later than the 2nd century for the planet Saturn, which controlled the first hour of that day, according to Vettius Valens

Seven is so universally used as a mystical number that its basis must be in some fundamental arrangement of the natural world.

In Christianity 
The word hebdomadary in the Roman Catholic Church is a member of a church or monastery appointed for one week to sing the chapter Mass and lead in the recitation of the breviary.

a member of a Roman Catholic chapter or convent appointed for the week to sing the chapter mass and lead the recitation of the canonical hours



Seven Archangels

(Proverbs 9:1): Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars 

Theodotus: Excerpta ex Theodoto 47 Now the Saviour became the first universal creator. “But Wisdom,” the second, “built a house for herself and hewed out seven pillars” and first of all she put forth a god, the image of the Father, and through him she made heaven and earth, that is “heavenly things, and the earthly” – the things on the right hand and on the left.


These seven pillars being interpreted of the planetary heavens,  the habitation of the Sophia herself was placed above the Hebdomad in the Ogdoad (Excerpt. ex Theodot. 8, 47)


(Proverbs 8:2): She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.


Seven indicates the number of days in a week, the number of planetary spheres (sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) in ancient astronomy, and so the number of kings stationed over the spheres of heaven in the Secret Book of John. The seventh or hebdomad refers to the realm of the planetary spheres, over which the Demiurge is stationed.


Because there were seven planets in the sky (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn),[1] it was commonly agreed that there were seven of these beings ruling as a hebdomad who were called “archontes” (principalities or rulers).[2]


[1.] This dependence upon the number seven is quite common in pre-Christian religion. The Jews, for example, believed that these seven planets were ruled by seven archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel. (Each of which corresponded to the seven days of the week, respectively.)


[2.] In modern Greek, the seven-day week is called an hebdomada.


Hebdomas; The kingdom of the "Seven", referring to the seven Archangels. The seven archangels are name in the First Book of Enoch


The Book of Enoch (also known as 1 Enoch)


8:4 And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven to the holy angels who watch.


20:1 And these are the names of the holy angels who watch.

20:2 Uriel, one of the holy angels, who presides over clamour and terror.
20:3 Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men.
20:4 Raguel, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries.
20:5 Michael, one of the holy angels, who, is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos.
20:6 Saraqael, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit.
20:7 Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the Garden of Eden and the serpents and the Cherubs.
20:8 Ramael, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.

In the book of Jubilees we see the creation of the archangels


The Book of Jubilees


The history of the twenty-two distinct acts of creation on the six days, 1-16. Institution of the Sabbath: its observance by the highest angels, with whom Israel is afterwards to be associated, 17-32. (cf. Gen. i-ii. 3.)


[Chapter 2]

1 And the angel of the presence spake to Moses according to the word of the Lord, saying: Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works.
2 For on the first day He created the heavens (the Pleroma) which are above and the earth and the waters and all the spirits (the Aions) which serve before him -the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, and the angels [of the spirit of fire and the angels] of the spirit of the winds, and the angels of the spirit of the clouds, and of darkness, and of snow and of hail and of hoar frost, and the angels of the voices and of the thunder and of the lightning, and the angels of the spirits of cold and of heat, and of winter and of spring and of autumn and of summer and of all the spirits of his creatures which are in the heavens and on the earth, (He created) the abysses and the darkness, eventide <and night>, and the light, dawn and day, which He hath prepared in the knowledge of his heart.
3 And thereupon we saw His works, and praised Him, and lauded before Him on account of all His works; for seven great works did He create on the first day.
4 And on the second day He created the firmament in the midst of the waters, and the waters were divided on that day -half of them went up above and half of them went down below the firmament (that was) in the midst over the face of the whole earth. And this was the only work (God) created on the second day.

Philo does not have a special interest in the symbolism of the number eight (Ogdoad), but in Opificio Mundi he devotes an extremely long section to speculation concerning the protological and cosmological significance of the number seven (Hebdomad).


The number seven is spoken of in two ways; the one within the number ten which is measured by repeating the unit alone seven times, and which consists of seven units; the other is the number outside ten, the beginning of which is altogether the unit increasing according to a twofold or threefold, or any other proportion whatever; as are the numbers sixty-four, and seven hundred and twenty-nine; the one number of which is increased by doubling on from the unit, and the other by trebling. And it is not well to examine either species superficially, but the second has a most manifest pre-eminence. (92) For in every case the number which is combined from the unit in double or treble ratio, or any other ratio, whatsoever, is the seventh number, a cube and a square, embracing both species, both that of the incorporeal and that of the corporeal essence.


The word Hebdomad occurs also in the Clementine Homilies. The mystery of the Hebdomad there unfolded (Hom. xvii. 10) is an independent exposition of the six days' work of creation, and the seventh day's rest; illustrated by the six directions, into which infinite space extends, viz. up, down, right, left, backward, forward, together with the central point considered as making a seventh.

Pseudo-Clementine Literature/The Clementine Homilies/Homily XVII/Chapter 10


]Chapter X.—The Nature and Shape of God.


“This is the mystery of the hebdomad. For He Himself is the rest of the whole who grants Himself as a rest ( “Rest,” of course, points to the number seven the Sabbath Day.) to those who imitate His greatness within their little measure. For He is alone, sometimes comprehensible, sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes limitable,[1] sometimes illimitable, having extensions which proceed from Him into infinity. For thus He is comprehensible and incomprehensible, near and far, being here and there, as being the only existent one, and as giving a share of that mind (the ogdoad) which is infinite on every hand, in consequence of which souls breathe and possess life;[2] and if they be separated from the body and be found with a longing for Him, they are borne along into His bosom, as in the winter time the mists of the mountains, attracted by the rays of the sun, are borne along immortal[3] to it. What affection ought therefore to arise within us if we gaze with our mind on His beautiful shape! But otherwise it is absurd to speak of beauty. For beauty cannot exist apart from shape; nor can one be attracted to the love of God, nor even deem that he can see Him, if God has no form.


Footnotes[edit]

 The words in italics are inserted by conjecture. “Sometimes incomprehensible, sometimes illimitable,” occur only in onems.
 We have adopted Wieseler’s suggestions.
 This word is justly suspected. The passage is in other respects corrupt.

The hebdomad symbolizes rest, but it is surpassed by the ogdoad, wherein is the promise of gnostic perfection.


Clement of Alexandria says that those who reach the highest levels of perfection have not remained in the hebdomad of rest, but have advanced into the inheritance of the benefit of the ogdoad (ὀγδοαδικῆς εὐεργεσιάς).


- The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex also describes the Pleroma as ‘the body’ of the monad, which is like the mother-city “This is the manner in which they are all within the monad : there are twelve monads making a crown upon its head ; each one makes twelve. And there are ten decads surrounding its shoulders. And there are nine enneads surrounding its belly. And there are seven hebdomads at its feet, and each one makes a hebdomad. And to the veil which surrounds it like a tower, there are twelve gates. There are twelve myriad powers at each gate, and they are called archangels and also angels. This is the mother-city of the only-begotten one.” (Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex)


The material world is a shadowy, flawed version of the Pleroma, the two worlds sometimes being referred to as the Hebdomad (from hebdomas, meaning ‘seven’, a reference to the seven spheres of the material and Ogdoad (from ogdoas, meaning ‘eight’, referring to the eighth heaven), respectively.



Comments