What follows is this writer’s rendition of Chapter Four of the Sefer Yetzirah. When possible, unnecessary repetition has been omitted for clearer comprehension. Text is again in Boldface.
The Holy One formed the Seven Double Letters, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Kaf, Peh, Resh, Tav, each having Two voices, either plosive or fricative, serving as a model of hardness and softness, strength and weakness. These are the Foundations that serve to signify the antitheses to which human life is exposed: Life or Death, Peace or War, Abundance or Lack, Favor or Disgrace, Wisdom or Folly, Fertility or Sterility, and Mastery or Slavery. These are Double, because their opposites take part in life.
At the Time of writing the Sefer Yetzirah, these Seven Letters had two sounds. In Modern Hebrew only Bet, Kaph, and Peh retain dual sounds. In Arabic, these Double Letters are still preserved. These Seven pairs, of opposites, it may be said, comprise most of human existence.
These Seven Double Letters indicate the dimensions, East, West, height, depth, North, South, with the Holy Temple in the middle, sustaining all things.
This is similar to the Cosmogony given in Chapter One using the Letters of the Divine Name. There are various interpretations of these directions, but “Tav” in the Center for the Merkabah is always the only constant.
These Seven Double Letters the Holy One formed, designed, created, and combined into the Stars of the Universe, the days of the week, the orifices of perception in humans; and from them made Seven Heavens, and Seven Planets, all from Nothingness, and, moreover, has preferred and blessed the sacred Heptad.
The recurrence of the Number Seven in the Hebrew Scriptures is indeed Legendary.
From Two Forms the Holy One built Two Houses; from Three, Six; from Four, Twenty-Four; from Five, One Hundred and Twenty; from Six, Seven Hundred and Twenty; from Seven, Five Thousand and Forty; and from thence their numbers keep increasing in a manner beyond reckoning; and are incomprehensible.
“Forms” of course, means “Double Letters”, and the referent is to combinations. Actually, the next Numbers in this series of mathematical combinations are 40,320 and 362,880. These are hardly incomprehensible Numbers, by modern standards!
These Seven Letters are Planets of the Universe, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; the Seven days are the days of creation; and these are the Seven Gateways of a human: Two eyes, Two ears, Two nostrils and a mouth, through which one perceives by the senses.
These Seven Gateways are also said, by many commentators, to reflect the Lower Seven Sefiroth on the Tree of Life.
By these Seven Letters Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Kaf, Peh, Resh and Tav were also made Seven Worlds, Seven Heavens, Seven lands, Seven seas, Seven rivers, Seven deserts, Seven days, Seven weeks from Pesach to Shavu’ot, and every Seventh year is a Jubilee. The Seven Double consonants were crowned, combined, and changed by God. Hence, the Holy One loves the number Seven under the Heavens. The Double consonants are Seven, and not Six, they are Seven and not Eight; reflect upon this fact, inquire about it, and see that it is self-evident, that the Creator be acknowledged to be on the Holy Throne. The Seven Planets in the material World are: Sol, Luna, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, and there are Seven Days of the Week
Here, it seems that God desires acknowledgement, and why not? Did Rabbi Akiva know about the Seven Continents? Maybe!
The Holy One crowned, combined, and formed Bet, and produced Sol in the Universe, Sunday, and the left nostril. The Holy One, crowned, combined and formed Gimel, and produced Luna in the Universe, Monday, and the right ear. The Holy One crowned, combined and formed Resh, and produced Mars in the Universe, Tuesday, and the left ear. The Holy One crowned, combined and formed Peh and produced Mercury in the Universe, Wednesday, and the right eye. The Holy One crowned, combined and formed Kaf, and produced Jupiter in the Universe, Thursday, and the left eye. The Holy One crowned, combined and formed Dalet, and produced Venus in the Universe, Friday, and the right nostril. The Holy One crowned, combined and formed Tav, and produced Saturn in the Universe, the Sabbath, and the mouth.
Once again, the choice of which orifice goes with which Hebrew Double Letter varies from one edition of the Book of Formation to another, but these seem to be the most frequent. The main Idea here is to bring, once again, the Macrocosm into the Microcosm, and to reiterate that the Divine is within all of us, a concept that carries over, to the fullest extent, to Modern Metaphysics. In Judaism, Kabbalah, Nova Thought, and Metaphysics, there is no Concept of the separation of God from the Universe. All is One.