395. That the words "whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold" signify that to do violence to faith even when thus separated would be sacrilege, is evident from the signification of "Cain" which is faith separated from charity, and from the signification of "seven" which is what is sacred. The number "seven" was esteemed holy, as is well known, by reason of the six days of creation, and of the seventh, which is the celestial man, in whom is peace, rest, and the sabbath. Hence this number occurs so frequently in the rites of the Jewish Church, and is everywhere held sacred, and hence also both greater and less periods of time were distinguished into sevens, and were called "weeks" such as the great intervals of time to the coming of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-25); and the time of seven years called a "week" by Laban and Jacob (Gen. 29:27-28). For the same reason, wherever it occurs, the number seven is accounted holy or inviolable. Thus we read in David: Seven times a day do I praise Thee (Ps. 119:164).
The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days (Isa. 30:26),
where the "sun" denotes love, and the "moon" faith from love, which should be as love. As the periods of man's regeneration are distinguished into six, before the seventh arrives, that is, the celestial man, so also are the periods of his vastation, up to the time when nothing celestial remains. This was represented by the several captivities of the Jews, and by the last or Babylonish captivity, which lasted seven decades, or seventy years. It is also said several times that the earth should rest on its sabbaths. The same is represented by Nebuchadnezzar, in Daniel:
His heart shall be changed from man, and a beast's heart shall be given unto him, and seven times shall pass over him (Dan. 4:16, 23, 32).
And in John, concerning the vastation of the last times:
I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels, having the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1, 6-8);
The Gentiles should tread the holy city under foot forty and two months, or six times seven (Rev. 11:2).
I saw a book written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1).
For the same reason the severities and augmentations of punishment were expressed by the number seven; as in Moses:
If ye will not yet for all this obey Me, then I will chastise you sevenfold for your sins (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28).
And in David:
Render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom (Ps. 79:12).
Now as it was a sacrilege to do violence to faith-since as has been said it was to be of service-it is said that "whosoever should slay Cain, vengeance should be taken on him sevenfold."