Leviticus 12:5 ‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks (Hebrew: dual heptad; Greek: twice seven days), as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty–six days.
The Hebrew has the dual suffix, which indicates two times, in reference to time. It has other nuances of meaning with other perspectives. Here, it means “two heptads” or “two periods of seven”. The Greek has “twice seven days”. Therefore, the Hebrew and the Greek bibles agree. One should appreciate that these periods of seven could begin at any moment of any day of the week. The date of birth would have governed the pattern of these dual sevens in relationship to the time of the mother’s uncleanness. As the date of birth is inconsistent, the Hebrew term for “heptad” was the preferred expression. One should appreciate that occasionally the birth of a daughter came on the Seventh Day Sabbath – just as the Passover does occasionally; however, the majority of time the birth would not have come on the Seventh Day Sabbath; and even when it did occur on the Sabbath, it could be at anytime of the day; therefore, the correct expression in Hebrew is in heptads. This also helps us to comprehend the difference in the nuance of a “heptad” versus “The Seven Days of Sabbath” – the “Hebrew Week” and why the languages have all three terms: In order to specifically express the subject matter at hand.
Heptads of Years
The Heptad or Septenary of the Land Sabbath & The Heptads or Septenaries of the Jubilee
Third of the Three Verses from the Septuagint
LXE Leviticus 25:8 And you shalt reckon to yourself seven sabbaths of years (seven cessation-of-activity years), seven times seven years; and they shall be to you seven weeks (septenaries) of years, nine and forty years.
NKJ Leviticus 25:8 ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty–nine years.
In our study of Passover and “Pentecost,” we observed heptads of days; here, we have heptads of years. This verse only hints at the Land Sabbath, which came every seventh year. The focus of the verse is the Jubilee, which began at the end of the seventh of the Land “Sabbath” septenaries. Here, the word “Sabbath” denotes “rest” for the land. In the first phrase, the Masoretic Text has “Sabbath of years” and the Septuagint has “seven cessation-of-activity years”. In this first phrase, the Masoretic Text is vague. One would have to understand the law of the Land Rest and Jubilee to guess at the meaning of the word “Sabbath” in this phrase, as used in the Masoretic Text. This is the very problem we have already seen in the discussion of “Pentecost”. However, one proposition is that the Masoretic Text occasionally used the term “Sabbath” in place of the term “heptad”. The Septuagint is straightforward: “Seven cessation-of-activity years” = Seven Land Rest Septenaries.
In the second phrase, the Masoretic Text has “seven Sabbaths of years” and the Septuagint has “seven septenaries of years”. The language of each equals forty-nine years, according to the conclusion of the text of each language: “and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty–nine years”. Therefore, in this scripture, we have a precedent that the Masoretic Text occasionally used the term Sabbath for the term heptad. One should keep this example in mind when studying Leviticus 23:15-16, in the KJV & NKJ, which use “Sabbath” and in the other English translations that use “week”. One should not pass by this perspective too quickly without letting it sink in that here we have an example where the Hebrew uses the term Sabbath unrelated to the Seventh Day Sabbath. Moreover, the term Sabbath, as used in this verse, is also unconnected to the seven days of the Hebrew Week, for it began on the Day of Atonement – the 10th day of the month regardless of which day that may have been in the Hebrew Week. The context reveals that the Masoretic Text used the Sabbath Term in place of the term Heptad occasionally.
The 50th year was the Jubilee. The Day of Atonement (Tishri 10) began the Jubilee. The people of the land had harvested all of their crops by this time, and everyone was off to keep the Autumn Festival beginning with the first day of Tishri – the beginning of the civil year. Atonement (Tishri 10) arrives 10 days after New Year’s Day (Rosh Hashanah – Tishri 1) and the first day of Tabernacles (Succoth) begins on Tishri 15. The context specifies “seven years” as the length of the “period of the septenary”; and it specifies forty- nine years as the length of the “seven periods of seven”. The proposition is that the Land Sabbath, which came at the beginning of every seventh year, also began on the Day of Atonement, after the farmers had stored the previous year’s harvest. Therefore, the seventh heptad of the seventh Land Rest Heptad ended at sunset of Tishri 9; and the Jubilee began at the same moment launching the 50th year, from the perspective of the heptads of the Land Rest and the Jubilee. The result is that the land rested two years back to back – the 49th and 50th years. Of course, the laws of the Jubilee were more encompassing than were those of the Land Rest. The Land “Sabbath” and the Jubilee were important laws necessary to insure a free, healthy, and vibrant economy.
Leviticus 25:10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land to all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family.