Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Holy Hebdomad

The Holy Hebdomad

We will begin this study with a reading from The Gospel of the Egyptians

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”), from ἑπτά (heptá, “seven”) + -ᾰ́ς (-ás, suffix forming abstract nouns of number from numerals). The word is cognate with French hebdomadaire, hebdo (“weekly periodical”), hebdomadairement (“weekly”), Portuguese hebdomadário (“weekly periodical”), Spanish hebdomadario (“weekly; weekly periodical; hebdomadary”).

hebdomad: (Greek, “group of seven”) The seventh planetary sphere or seventh heaven, lair of the archons. The chief archon or Demiurge is sometimes considered to reside in the hebdomad and sometimes in the Ogdoad. Hebdomad can also refer to a grouping of seven beings (for instance, archons) in Gnostic texts.

In Orthodox Church
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

Biblical Use

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., shabbethoth´; Lat., ebdomades, “weeks.”

“Sabbaths of years.” Greek, hebdomadeseton´, “weeks of years.” Compare Da 9:24 ftn, “Weeks.”
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.

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 shavath´, 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” (shavua`) literally refers to a sevenfold unit or period. The Greek word sabbaton, in turn, is derived from the Hebrew word for Sabbath (shabbath´).

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

4521. σάββατον sabbaton sabbaton; 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.

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

Seven Hevens and Seven Archangels

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

The seven pillars which wisdom built a house are understood by Theodotus to refer to the planetary heavens, the habitation of the Sophia herself was placed above the Hebdomad in the Ogdoad (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus. 8, 47):

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. (Extracts from the Works of Theodotus)

The seven pillars are normally interpreted as seven virtues. The seven virtues are understood to be the seven spirits of Isaiah 11:2–3 the Spirit of the Lord, and the Spirits of wisdom, of understanding, of counsel, of might, of knowledge and of fear of Yahweh, here are represented the seven Spirits, which are before the throne of God. The reference to the lamb in Revelation 5:6 relates it to the Seven Spirits which first appear in Revelation 1:4 and are associated with Jesus who holds them along with seven stars

The seven Spirits of God (Greek: τα επτα πνευματα του θεου, ta hepta pneumata tou theou) are mentioned four times in the Book of Revelation, and in the Book of Isaiah it names each Spirit.

However the Greek term "Dynamis" (translated by some as "Virtues") suggests a class of exalted spiritual beings; perhaps parallel to the "chief Princes" (Sar rishown) in the Old Testament, of which the Archangel Michael is stated to be one (Daniel 10:13). "Dynamis" is used by the Apostle Paul to refer to spiritual beings in Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12; and Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15. "Powers and principalities" can apply to both angelic beings and earthly rulers, but more often in the New Testament to earthly rulers.

The idea of seven archangels is most explicitly stated in the old testament Apocrypha, Book of Tobit when Raphael reveals himself, declaring: "I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand in the glorious presence of the Lord, ready to serve him." (Tobit 12:15) The other two archangels mentioned by name in the Bible are Michael and Gabriel.

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 discussing Isaiah 11.2–3 (“And the Spirit of God will rest upon him, a Spirit of wisdom and understanding …”), Irenaeus, like the Valentinians, uses number symbolism to connect the Scripture and the natural world. According to this verse there are seven virtues that come upon the Messiah: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, piety, and the fear of the Spirit. Irenaeus explains that the virtues refer to the seven heavens, the model Moses used for the seven-branched candlestick, in obedience to the command to fashion things as a type of what was revealed to him on the mountain (Exodus 25.40).

Irenaeus The Proof of Apostolic Preaching

9. Now this world is encompassed by seven heavens, [87] in which dwell powers and angels and and angels and archangels, doing service to God, the Almighty and Maker of all things: not as though He was in need, but that they may not be idle and unprofitable and ineffectual. [88] Wherefore also the Spirit of God is manifold in (His) indwelling, [89] and in seven forms of service [90] is He reckoned by the prophet Isaiah, as resting on the Son of God, that is the Word, in His coming as man. The Spirit of God, he says, shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, (the Spirit of knowledge) [91] and of godliness; the Spirit of the fear of God shall fill him. Now the heaven which is first from above, [92] and encompasses the rest, is (that of) wisdom; and the second from it, of understanding; and the third, of counsel; and the fourth, reckoned from above, (is that) of might; and the fifth, of knowledge; and the sixth, of godliness; and the seventh, this firmament of ours, is full of the fear of that Spirit which gives light to the heavens. For, as the pattern (of this), Moses received the seven-branched candlestick, [93] that shined continually in the holy place; for as a pattern of the heavens he received this service, according to that which the Word spake unto him: Thou shalt make (it) according to all the pattern of the things which thou hast seen in the mount. (The Proof of Apostolic Preaching, 9)

The number seven as it pertains to heavens was mentioned by Clement of Alexandria and Origen, who probably were relayed the idea from first century Jewish mysticism (Bereshith Rabba, 19, fol. 19, col. 3 contains a later Jewish presentation of the idea, but being that the seventh heaven contains the Shekinah [Sophia] glory of God, the Jewish mysticism was ironically Gnostic in nature–the Quran also contains a similar reference in Surah 67).
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, 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; 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 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. (
Clementine Homilies Chapter 10)

- 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 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 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.

In modern Greek, the seven-day week is called an hebdomada
The Hebdomad is used of the seven seven archangels and the seven heavens
The Hebdomad symbolizes seven spirits of virtue
The Hebdomad symbolizes the seven spirits of God 
The Hebdomad symbolizes rest
The Hebdomad is a copy of the Pleroma

1 comment:

  1. "On the first day He created...." is a good story & before He was creating the universe/earth and so forth :) before anything there was the Father, the Immeasurable one who brought forth Himself who is She and She did asked Him and He saw Her asking was good and from the goodness of Her asking She received and from the receiving came forth the Christos the true light of the Father who is the only begotten Son of the Mother-Father. The creator G-d who's name is not able to be pronounced is as a reflection unseen of the true light of the Father & whom without the Wisdom of God would be no creation at all and without the Christ there would be no Son to call Man... Its a strange little story unfolding , the truth is not divided.