The Light of the Seven Days

Isaiah in describing the days to come, when great changes in nature will take place, says that the earth will give its increase in abundance, and “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 the seven days. . . .” (1)

One could think that “the light of the seven days” refers to the seven days of creation—however, the actual explanation appears to me to be different: the expression “the light of the seven days” refers, in my view, to the seven days preceding the Flood that are referred to in the verse: “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth. . . . And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the Flood were upon the earth.” (Genesis 7: 4, 10) It is not explained in the text—after seven days of what? But the rabbinical tradition relates that for seven days before the Deluge “the people heard a great commotion in the heaven,” that signified “the end of the age.”

The Talmudic tradition that often reaches much farther into the past than better known sources, like the books of the Scriptures, reveals in this instance a memory not suspected at the reading of the seventh chapter of Genesis. But in view of what we have brought out until now, and what we intend to illuminate on the following pages, the blinding light preceding the Deluge by seven days is an interesting and important detail. The world was in a dazzling light, sevenfold stronger than the light of the sun; the light was so strong and so brilliant day and night alike, that the sun was entirely overpowered by it; and in the days of Isaiah, thousands of years later, the memory of the light of the seven days was vivid in tradition, so that the prophet could refer to it in desiring to describe the solar light of the messianic age.(2)

Numerous Sanscrit texts assert that seven or even twelve suns shone just before the Deluge. “Being ignited, all of a sudden, the entire terrestrial sphere blazed forth.” Twelve suns shone with “dazzling radiance” and consumed the world. (The Skanda Purana in Shastri, The Flood Legend in Sanscrit Literature, p. 86). Cf. similar accounts in the Matsya Purana, ch. ii, the Padma Purana, ch. xxxvi, the Vishnu Purana, ch. iii, the Kalika Purana, ch. xxv, and in the Mahabharata, chapter “Matsyopakhyana.” ].

The light of the seven days was not of solar origin. Of what origin was it? Was it caused by brightly illuminated clouds of ionized hydrogen, or protons, hurled throughout the solar system and poured on earth? In the latter case they could have arrived from the present distance of Saturn in about a week, considering that the proton particles—ionized hydrogen—arrive from the sun in the space of twenty-five hours.(3) This is the time which elapses from a flare-up on the sun (protuberance) to the display of the polar lights—the aurora borealis.

The light of the seven days served the population of the world as a warning of some extraordinary events.(4)


  1. Isaiah 30:26.

  2. [A memory of the light of the seven days may be preserved in the Babylonian account of “flaming torches, lighting up the land with their brightness” just prior to the arrival of the waters of the Deluge. (The Epic of Gilgamesh, transl. by A. Heidel, tablet XI).]

  3. The distance of Saturn from the Sun is about 9.5 astronomical units. See below, section “Saturn’s Golden Age.”

  4. [A warning of seven days’ duration is also a feature of several of the Sanscrit accounts. See S. Shastri, The Flood Legend in Sanscrit Literature (Delhi, 1950), p. 30.]