Monday, October 22, 2012

Lucky Number Seven

Author: Michael Currens
The number seven is considered lucky and magical.  What history of the number gives it such controversial terms? It mostly started with religion. According to Dahloan Hembree, author of the article Lucky Seven? History of the Superstitions of the Number Seven,
The ancient Greeks considered the number seven to be lucky. They believed it to be the perfect number. The Arabs carried on this belief and built seven holy temples.  The Goths made sure they worshiped the seven deities.  The Japanese also had seven gods. Even the Scottish Masons made sure the number seven had relevance in their rites, and their aprons were made with seven tassels on them. (Dahloan)
The Bible also has numerous times when the number seven is mentioned.  Some people consider the number seven the luckiest and most powerful number in the Bible. (Astle)  In the Bible the world was created in seven days and in the battle of Jericho, the Israelite army was told to march around the city seven times.

Lucky seven also comes up when gambling or playing card games.  For example a 5+2 roll or a 4+3 is considered lucky.  It is also one of the most played numbers in a dice game.  

Many other facts and happenings contribute to the number seven being revered as lucky.  For instance there are the Seven Seas, The Seven Sisters, The Seven Ancient Planets, Seventh Inning Stretch, The Seven virtues, The Seven Deadly Sins, and The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. (Seven)  All have the number seven and all have it for a purpose.  It goes back to the culture and religious teachings of the time.  Everyone believed in the extraordinary and seven was considered to be holy, lucky, and magical.  For if something had seven associated with it, it was bound to be a good sign.  Seven has been considered unique and lucky since B.C. times.  The strangest part is that most of the ancient ideas and facts about the number seven still hold to be true today.  To the Greeks there were only seven planets.  This reinforced their thinking that somehow seven was special.  In modern times we have seven days in a week.  The U.S. declared its independence from Britain on the seventh month.  The Constitution itself has seven articles, planned or not, no one knows.  These are all examples of the number seven considered being lucky.  If good things happen when the number seven is involved wouldn’t you believe it too? 
Generally speaking seven has always been a lucky number for people.  It has also had very negative effects on people.  It all depends on your perspective and how you wish to view the number seven.  There are many other lucky numbers, such as 3 and 4, which make up the number seven.  Is it coincidence or not?  I don’t necessarily believe in “luck” or “magical” numbers however it’s usually more fun to go along with the superstitions.  You never know, it could be your lucky day. 

Works cited:

Astle, Cynthia. “The Number 7 in the Bible Is a Source of Good Luck.” Glossary Defines Spiritual Meaning of Numbers in the Bible Dennis, Rabbi Geoffrey W., The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism  Minnesota, Llewllyn Publications, 2007. Web. October 14 2012. 
Hembree, Dahloan. “Lucky Seven? History of the Superstitions of the Number Seven.” Yahoo 2007. Web. 15 October 2012.
“LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN.” Lucky Mojo Curio Co. Yronwode 1995. Web. 14 October 2012. 
"Seven." Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained. London: Chambers Harrap, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 14 October 2012.
"Seven." Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London: Chambers Harrap, 2009. Credo Reference. Web. 15 October 2012. 

Links for further research:
Lucky Numbers
Information on lucky numbers with a list of references.

Facts about the Number Seven
This site gives more facts concerning the number seven in math and religion.

The Biblical meaning of the Number Seven
A very in depth article explain the number seven in the Bible.