The Seven of Swords usually refers to deception and betrayal. We can see the thief seems to be sneaking off with some swords but the soldiers in the distance may be well aware of his actions. He may be caught simply because he was not careful enough. As we all know, it's often very difficult to "get away with something." When we do something in secret and think we are safe and undiscovered, something goes awry and our secret is revealed to our embarrassment.
This card urges caution when attempting to use cunning to gain an advantage, because it could very well backfire upon us. The Seven of Swords also may refer to the need to act shrewdly and the long run, deception does not produce the reward we desired and may in fact cause much damage to our relationships and reputation
In a reading, this tarot card is an indication that caution and wisdom are necessary in the face of a temptation to achieve gain by dubious means. Sometimes the Seven of Swords means that you are running from something - commitment, responsibility, hard work, love. You may be letting problems slip because you don't want to deal with them but we have to face what has to be faced and the Seven of Swords lets you know when you might be making things worse by running away.