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(Greek, hepta; Latin, septem; German, sieben; Anglo-Saxon, seofan; etc.). A holy number. There are seven days in creation, seven spirits before the throne of God, seven days in the week, seven graces, seven divisions in the Lord’s Prayer, seven ages in the life of man, and the just fall “seven times a day.” There are seven phases of the moon, every seventh year was sabbatical, and seven times seven years was the jubilee. The three great Jewish feasts lasted seven days, and between the first and second of these feasts were seven weeks. Levitical purifications lasted seven days. We have seven churches of Asia, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven trumpets, seven spirits before the throne of God, seven horns, the Lamb has seven eyes, ten times seven Israelites go to Egypt, the exile lasts the same number of years, and there were ten times seven elders. Pharaoh in his dream saw seven kine and seven ears of corn, etc.

It is frequently used indefinitely to signify a long time, or a great many; thus in the Interlude of the Four Elements, the dance of Apetyte is called the bestthat I have seen this seven yere.” Shakespeare talks of a man being “a vile thief this seven year.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Set-to (A)
Setting a Hen
Setting a Saw
Setting of a Jewel
Setting of Plaster or Paint
Setting of Sun, Moon, and Stars
Setting the Thames on Fire
Settie your Hash (To)
Seven Bibles (The) or Sacred Books
Seven Bodies in Alchemy
Seven Champions of Christendom
Seven Churches of Asia
Seven Deadly Sins (The)
Seven Dials (London)
Seven Joys of the Virgin
Seven Sages of Greece
Seven Senses
Seven Sisters

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Sleeper (The)