My visiting JW visited today and we got talking about the belief the Jehovah’s Witnesses subscribe to that 2520 years since 607 BCE when Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians lead to 1914 AD being a prophetic date for “Satan being cast down to earth from heaven”.
The number seven is at play here with 2520 = 7 x 360, and I was therefore reading through a list of references to the number seven that feature in the Bible, such as seven angels, and trumpets, and how seven represents completeness; there being seven days of the week for example.
In addition to all of this, the number seven features in Islam / the Qur’an, in particular I recently came across mention of Mohammad’s “Night Journey and the Seven Heavens”, and of the many chakras within the human body, seven are identified as major.
Then my friend Bri mentioned C. S. Lewis after I blogged about my reading pile. My brain jumped to thoughts of Lewis Carroll instead and I was reminded of seven maids with seven mops who are mentioned in Carroll’s whimsical poem The Walrus and the Carpenter which I read recently in my Children’s Encyclopedia.
Here is part of it:
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
Whimsical, perhaps, or maybe Carroll was alluding to something more. The ancient Egyptians apparently used a 360-day calendar, and the Mayan Long Count Calendar, the equivalent of the year, the tun, was also 360 days. Half a year, i.e 360 / 2 is 180, and if we take Carroll’s two lots of 7 (his “maids with mops”) we end up with ((7 x 2) x 180) = 2520! Or perhaps Carroll meant that half that time (7 x 180 = 1260 years) is not enough time, or is an incomplete period of time – the “maids with mops” would not complete their cleaning up of the “sand”. It seems to me that both Carroll and these interpretations of the Bible paint a similar picture of the damage that is being done to our planet or world by our harmful and sinful ways, leading to a dead desert earth with no clouds or birds in the sky.