בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ — In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth —
Why does the first verse of Genesis have seven words?
According to the Baale Turim, the first verse of Genesis contains seven words that allude to the importance of the Sabbath—the crown of Creation. From its inception, the Sabbath was set apart from all the other days of Creation to eventually be observed by all humanind (cf. Isa. 56:2-7) through witnessing Israel’s devotion to the Sabbath (Exod. 31:16-17). Patterns of seven, representing full circle or completion of a cycle, figure prominently in other scriptural passages, e.g., the seven years of the Sabbatical year cycle (Lev. 25:1-7), and the seven Sabbatical Years of a Jubilee cycle (Lev. 28:5-13). The common thread, in each of these numerological parallels, emphasizes God as Originator and Preserver of the created order.