Archive for category Sabbath
For various reasons, there are those who would dismiss any consideration of the validity of Sabbath Years or Jubilee Years as commanded in Scriptures. (Lev. 25: 1-13)
The Yahu Ranger Report strongly disagrees with this position.
First, the knowledge of the Sabbath and Jubilee Years is essential for any reconstruction of the chronological framework of ancient Israelite history.
Second, once the true Sabbath and Jubilee years are ascertained it allows us to “clock in” and discover which years are presently Sabbaths and Jubilees. This knowledge holds great significance for the followers of Yahweh.
The book of Hebrews, for example, notes that, “The Law,” of which the Sabbath and Jubilee Years are a part, is “a shadow of the coming good things.” (Heb. 10:1) The Sabbath day, to demonstrate, was reckoned as a type of the great sabbatism and rest into which the people of Yahweh will one day enter. (Heb. 3:7-4:13)
There are many who actually believe that the Sabbath year begins with the seventh month of Tishri and not with the first month of Abib (Nisan).
It’s in the Bible, right? Or maybe not. If you really believe it’s in the Bible, then I suggest we take a look at the relevant facts of the matter.
In order to addess this issue we must contend with the concept that the Jews, from the time of their return to Judaea from Babylon in 538 B.C.E. until the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 C.E.), officially began their Sabbath years with Tishri 1 (Sep./Oct.) of the sixth year of the Sabbath cycle, as had become their custom sometime after the Bar Kochba war.
For quite some time now, the serious student of Yahweh’s sacred calendar has recognized that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding the scriptural concept of the Sabbath and Jubilee Years.
It seems that, for many, this subject is irrelevant for us today.
We at the Yahu Ranger Report would have to strongly disagree with those adhering to this “Irrelevant” attitude.
Therefore, to illustrate the importance of the Sabbath years and Jubilees as proclaimed in Scriptures and its relevance for us today, the following has been extracted from the publication by Qadesh La Yahweh Press titled “The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle.”
In Part 3 we will now put all the evidence together to discover not only the location of the SIDL but also if the observance of the Sabbath day in the Hawaiian Islands is affected.
Helpful hint: If you are reading this on Thursday afternoon while sunning yourself on the beach in Waikiki you just might want to order your last Mai Tai and close out the tab before sundown.
Our final conclusion will begin by referencing the scriptural definition for the International Dateline which begins with an important passage found in the book of Job:
The word חג (khug), which, as we have already demonstrated in Part 1, means a “circle, compass, arch.” The term חק (khoq) means, a “statute, law,” “something prescribed, a statute or due . . . prescribed limit, boundary, (BDBG: The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon)” “prescribed, appointed . . . boundary . . . set time . . . statute, (SHL: Student’s Hebrew Lexicon)” “portion, limit (of life) . . . specific time . . . moment . . . boundary, limit (for the sea) . . . definition, rule, prescription, (CHAL: A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament)” “an enactment; hence an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage. (Strongs, Heb. #2706)”
Together, these two words refer to a statute that appoints an arch-shaped line across the face of the water. Meanwhile, תכלית (thaklyth) means “completion; by impl. an extremity:—end perfect (-ion), (Strongs, Heb. #8503)” “end, completeness, (BDBG)” “completeness . . . end or limit, utmost part, (SHL)” “extremity . . . boundary . . . completeness, perfection. (HEL: Hebrew-English Lexicon. Zondervan Edition, 1970)” “consummation, extremity . . . to the end of. (CHAL)” The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon translates this verse to mean, “unto the end of (= boundary betw.) light and darkness,” while the Student’s Hebrew Lexicon gives, “on to the limit of light w. darkness, i.e. where they seem to be lost in one another.”
Therefore, there is a statute that appoints an arch-shaped line across the face of the water which extends out to the boundary between light and dark—which is nothing less than sunset. The LXX version of this verse tells us:
The Vulgate has, “terminum circumdedit aquis usque dum finiantur lux et tenebrae,” i.e., “A marked off boundary is placed around the waters, as far as lux et tenebrae (light of the sun and darkness of night) come to an end. (Vulgate Job 26:10)”
Several modern translations of the MT (Masoretic Text) also express the meaning.
The New International Version, for example, gives an excellent translation when it states, “He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.”
Rotherham similarly has, “A boundary hath he encircled on the face of the waters, As far as where light ends in darkness,” footnoting as a clarification, “Unto the end of (= boundary betwn.) light and darkness.”
The New Jerusalem Bible, in the same vein, gives, “He has traced a ring on the surface of the waters, at the boundary between light and dark,” commenting in his notes that by the expression “traced a ring” it is to be understood as, “circumscribed a limit.”
We can also point to the Jewish Publication Society bible, which renders the passage, “He hath described a boundary upon the face of the waters, Unto the confines of light and darkness.”
Why a Statute Associated With Water?
This statement from Job 26:10, accordingly, has far-reaching ramifications with regard to the Scriptural International Dateline. First we must ask, “Why is a statute connected with the תכלית (thaklyth; boundary between, extremity, limit, completion) of light BESIDE darkness, and why, in turn, are these words connected with the face of the water?”
Light and darkness pass over the landscape every day. Why, then, does this verse consider it something that occurs “as far as,” i.e., away from Israel, and connects it with water?
As the New International Version clarifies, the ordinance that marks out the horizon on the face of the water is connected with the boundary between the light of daytime and the darkness of night. It, therefore, represents the stationary boundary between one date and the next.
In Scriptures, a new day begins with sunset. Also, the sun is constantly setting as the earth turns. With sunset the calculation from one day to the next is always moving across the landmass and oceans. Yet, the boundary between daylight and darkness in this passage from Job is a demarcation point between one day and the next across the horizon of the waters.
Therefore, the terms “statute” combined with “as far as the boundary between” and “upon the face of the waters” indicates something special that is only connected with the face of the waters.
It cannot merely mean the completion of a day, which occurs everywhere the sun is seen setting, but the completion or ending point in a legal sense of the Scriptural International Dateline. Furthermore, this verse indicates that the legal dateline is connected with the face of the waters and not with any landmass.
The Torah Goes Forth From Zion
We must also place this verse from Job in context with those pronouncing that “the Torah will go forth from Zion (Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2),” Jerusalem is “the center of nations (Ezek. 5:5),” and the land of Israel is “the center of the earth (Ezek. 38:8-18).”
These comments mean that the moadim (appointed times) are calculated from Mount Zion and the throne of Yahweh in Jerusalem, all being located within the land of Israel.
The “part of” rule precludes the Promised Land (or any land, for that matter) from being divided by an International Dateline running through its midst (for the “part of” rule, see pp. 6-7 of “Rules for the New Moon”). Yet, it would indicate that Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian (center of the day).
In fact, we know that Israelites, such as Daniel and those living in Babylonia who lived in the lands well to the east of Jerusalem, calculated their days the same as at Jerusalem but started their Sabbath at sunset a half an hour or more prior to its beginning in Jerusalem, which also started at sunset.
SIDL Opposite Israel
If Israel is the center, then it is also implied that the Scriptural International Dateline is on the opposite side of the earth (the beginning/end of the day) and is connected with the water. Key is the fact that the date changes not along an arbitrary longitude but with the line of sunset as it extends along the surface of the earth.
Next, notice that in the above verse from Job 26:10, that light is mentioned before darkness, i.e., “as far as the boundary between light beside darkness.” This brings us to our next three important scriptural statements.
In Psalms, we are told that Yahweh has “called the earth ממזרח שמש (ma-mizrakh shamash; from the place of the rising of the sun) as far as from its going in, (Ps. 50:1)”and, Yahweh has blessed his name from now to olam (a world age), “from the place of the rising of the sun as far as from its going in.(Ps. 113:2)”
In Malachi we are told, “For from the place of the rising of the sun and as far as from its going in, my name (Yahweh) shall be great among the nations. (Mal. 1:11)”
Why limit Yahweh’s realm only from the place of sunrise to the place of sunset, i.e., only during the daytime, and avoiding the night?
Yahweh’s Realm is Light
A legal sense is given these verses by their use of the words “called” and “blessed.” In addition, scripturally, Yahweh is the deity ruling the light, while the evil one rules the darkness. Yahweh blesses and calls the righteous to stand within his light, but darkness (the first half of the day) rules first, then comes the light of day.
The symbolism, as a result, is manifest. With sunset and darkness, a new day begins, first governed by the evil one. Yet with sunrise and daytime comes the enlightenment of Yahweh, who governs the children of light.
Observe that when this concept is expressed in this fashion, the calling and blessing of Yahweh extends only from the place of the sun’s rising to the place of the sun’s setting.
Mt. Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian
Next, Zion is the point of calculation for a legal day but cannot represent the Scriptural International Dateline due to the “part of” rule. Accordingly, Mt. Zion must be the Scriptural Prime Meridian (i.e., the center of nations, of the earth, and of the day), the meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned.
At the same time, the setting of the sun determines the beginning of a new day. Yet, when one begins a calculation from sunrise, he is calculating from the center of the 24 hour scriptural day.
Since Mount Zion is the Scriptural Prime Meridian (center) and the place from which one properly makes these calculations, it becomes clear that at the moment of sunrise (symbolic of the beginning of Yahweh’s rule on earth and the center of the 24 hour day), as seen from Mount Zion, it marks the center of an important boundary.
As one looks to the east as far as where the sun is shining, the region of the legal calling and blessing of Yahweh, he finds it extends to the place of sunset and darkness.
It is the line of sunset as it falls across the earth’s surface that marks the beginning of the next day, thus the legal stationary boundary for the dateline. Therefore, the dateline is drawn along the line of sunset across the surface of the water, not along some imaginary longitude invented by men.
Furthermore, instead of using midnight as the time of a date change, Scriptures uses sunset. Only at the moment when sunset reaches the Scriptural International Dateline does the date on the planet become entirely the same. As sunset moves to the west of the dateline, the new date follows with it.
It is interesting that on the day of the vernal equinox, which stands at the center between the winter and summer solstices, the 12-hour period of daytime is most equal with the 12-hour period of nighttime.
SIDL is 180° From Jerusalem
This detail, in turn, indicates that, at the moment of sunrise from Mount Zion on the day of the vernal equinox, the line of sunset, the Scriptural International Dateline, is approximately 180° from Jerusalem on the opposite side of the earth.
This detail conforms with the statement that Jerusalem is the center of nations and Israel is the center of the earth. Yet, this demarcation of sunset does not run along any of the modern longitude lines, which are arbitrary—although on the day of the equinox the scriptural dateline is very near parallel.
Rather, it follows the sunset boundary across the surface of the earth which represents a stationary line acting as the Scriptural International Dateline.
Based upon all the evidence given in Parts 1-3, the Scriptural International Dateline is determined as follows:
1. The “part of” rule (see pp. 6-7 of Rules for the New Moon) would preclude any landmass from being divided by the Scriptural International Dateline.
2. Zion is the point of calculation for a legal day but cannot represent the Scriptural International Dateline due to the “part of” rule. Accordingly, it must be the Scriptural Prime Meridian, the center of the earth and nations, the meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned.
3. Job’s statement, “A statute circumscribes upon the face of the waters as far as the boundary between light beside darkness” indicates that the prescribed “boundary between” the “light beside darkness,” a phrase which itself would refer to an International Dateline along a horizon, must be connected with water and not with land.
4. At the time of sunrise in Jerusalem, the center of the day, the day is exactly one half over—12 hours have passed to the west and 12 hours yet remain from the approaching sunset in the east. This detail corresponds with the scriptural concept that Israel is the center of the earth.
It also indicates that, at the time of the vernal equinox, which is also a center point that begins the year, sunset (the beginning of the day) is approximately 180° to both the east and the west.
5. The Scriptural International Dateline is determined at sunrise on Mount Zion and, therefore, is subject to the regulations of the sun. The Scriptural International Dateline, which is marked out by the time of sunrise in Jerusalem, in turn, must be determined by the beginning of the solar cycle of the year.
The solar cycle of the year begins at the moment of the vernal equinox. As a result, the vernal equinox is the day by which we measure our limits for the dateline. It is at this precise time of the year that we have the closest to 12 equal hours of daytime and nighttime.
In turn, the vernal equinox in connection with the autumnal equinox determine the placement of the festival days within the solar year. In doing so, they set the timing for the first month and the first day of the year. The vernal equinox, therefore, must also be used to determine the Scriptural International Dateline. It is determined this one time for the entire year.
6. By determining the time of sunrise at Jerusalem, the point of calculation, one extends the daytime realm eastward to the point of sunset, the beginning of the next day (date).
7. The legal definition of “from sunrise to sunset” would extend eastward from the Scriptural Prime Meridian at the point of sunrise to the point of sunset, which in turn becomes the Scriptual Antimeridian or Scriptural International Dateline.
8. On the day of the vernal equinox the shadow of sunset encircles the entire planet, enabling us to mark the dateline across the entire globe, from the north axis to the south axis points. As a result, since sunset extends from pole to pole on this day, the dateline can be extended into the Arctic and Antarctic zones.
Nevertheless, the Scriptural International Dateline cannot be utilized by observing sunset in the Arctic and Antarctic zones, again due to the “part of” rule, since there is no rising and setting of the sun each 24-hour spin of the earth for 365 days a year. These polar regions, which we refer to as the Arctic and Antarctic zones, include all the area above the arctic and below the antarctic circles. Here one sunrise to sunset or vice versa can last several weeks or months.
Since a sunset may not occur for days, these regions are inconsequential to the daily use of a scriptural dateline, although once a line is established it can be utilized in these zones by calcuation, just as one would calculate the hours of a 24-hour day, despite the day and night cycle.
This evidence indicates that the Scriptural International Dateline runs across the horizon of the water and around any landmass which might be divided by it. It follows the line of sunset across the surface of the earth marked at the very moment that sunrise is occurring on the day of the vernal equinox as occurring from Mount Zion. Calculations show that on this day, from year to year, the line of sunset will vary, but only slightly.
Also, it should be noted that it would be erratic to change the dateline every year. Scriptures make it clear that Yahweh does not change (Mal. 3:6), which implies consistency. Therefore, it becomes obvious that a consistent scriptural theme must be established.
Using both the earliest and latest possible times from dawn until the moment of equinox shows that the sunset line varies only about 2° (between 141° W to 143° W) in the north. In addition, the variance is minimized as the line passes through French Polynesia, varying very little through these islands.
Following the “part of” rule, the dateline would, by necessity, have to skirt around the western side of Alaska, since the sunset line crosses that landmass.
By computing the relevant data and applying scriptural principles, the Scriptural International Dateline would run south from the Arctic zone, through the Bering Strait, passing on the west side of Alaska (at about 142.10°), then though Unimak Pass in the Aleutian island chain, the first major separation in landmass.
The islands lying just on the east side of Unimak Island set inside its arm, therefore, are also on the eastern side of the dateline.
From Unimak Pass the line will go directly east to the sunset line, turn south, and pass along this line through the vast open expanse of the Pacific Ocean east of Hawaii (at about 142.53° W), and then through the South Sea islands (at about 142.58° W) down to the Antarctic zone.
In particular, notice that the Hawaiian Islands are located east of the modern Antimeridian but also lie west of the Scriptural International Dateline.
In effect, this means that the Sabbath day along with the High Sabbaths would be observed one day earlier in the Hawaiian Islands than mainland U.S.A. and Canada.
Others falling into the same circumstance would be the Wallis and Futuna Islands, Samoa, and French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Tahiti, etc.).
In other words, if you happen to be sunning yourself at the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii on a Thursday afternoon you had better get ready to observe the Sabbath day at sundown. And you might want to refrain from ordering another Mai Tai!
Check out the following graphic to see how the SIDL lays out.
We concluded our previous excursion in Part 1 by providing various references proving that Scriptures demonstrate the concept of a round or spherical earth.
As we proceed in our quest for discovering the Scriptural International Dateline, in Part 2 we will investigate other sources supporting the idea of a spherical earth.
These sources will include ancient and late Jewish views along with references from ancient Greek philosophers and geographers. Also, additional citations from Scriptures will be provided.
So you’re enjoying your vacation with the family while sunning yourself on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii with no worries. You’ve made all the preparations for the Sabbath day which begins tomorrow at sundown.
As you are sipping on that refreshing Mai Tai suddenly an ugly thought occurs. Because of the location of the Hawaiian Islands in relationship to the International Dateline, could the Sabbath day begin on a different date? If so, would it begin one day earlier or later?
One quick solution to the problem would be to quickly order another Mai Tai, down it, and hope that ugly thought disappears.
Another solution would be to continue reading as we proceed with our investigation to discover if there really should be any concern regarding the Sabbath day in Hawaii.
Now that we have examined the evidence as presented in our last post titled Sabbath or Sunday Resurrection? Part 1, we will now continue our investigation to uncover the truth regarding the resurrection day of Yahushua the messiah.
Assisting us in putting together the various facts pointing to a Sunday resurrection is the important story found in Luke 24. After giving the account of the women coming to the tomb of Yahushua on the first day of the week, just before daybreak, and finding the tomb empty (vs. 1-8), it continues by saying that the women immediately went to the apostles and other disciples to report their findings (vs. 9-10).
These people disbelieved the women, but Keph (Peter) rose up and went to the tomb to see for himself. Finding their testimony true, he returned home wondering about what had happened (vs. 11-12).
Road to Emmanus
We next read:
And behold, two of them (the disciples) were going ON THE SAME DAY to a village being 60 furlongs distant from Jerusalem, which is named Emmanus; and they were conversing with one another about all these things which had taken place. (Luke 24:13-14)
The conversation between the two men, therefore, being “on the same day” that the messiah was raised, occurred on the first day of the week. Their discussion shows that this journey happened after the women had reported the empty tomb to the disciples, and therefore in the daylight hours of that first day.
While these two men were walking along, the resurrected Yahushua drew near and began walking with them. Their eyes being kept from seeing that it was Yahushua, Yahushua asked them why they appeared so downcast. They responded by discussing the great events which took place in Jerusalem:
And answering the one, whose name was Kleopas, said to him, You sojourn alone in Jerusalem, and have not known the things which are come to pass in it (Jerusalem) in these days? And he (Yahushua) said to them, What things? And they said to him, The things concerning Yahushua the Nazaraean, who was a man, a prophet, mighty in deed and word before the deity and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to judgment of death, and put him upon a stake. But we were hoping it was he who was about to redeem Israel. But indeed, with all these things, TODAY IS THE THIRD ἀφ’ οὗ (aph ou; AFTER WHICH) THESE THINGS CAME TO PASS. (Luke 24:18-21)
Therefore, today, being the same day that Yahushua was resurrected, i.e. the first day of the week, was the third day “after which” the messiah was put on a stake and murdered. This important story continues by relating how Yahushua chastised the men for being slow to trust in the things spoken of by the prophets, how it was needful for the messiah to suffer and to enter into his glory.
As Yahushua recited to them various passages from Scriptures concerning himself, they came close to the village to which the two men were travelling, and Yahushua appeared to be going farther still:
This portion of the text demonstrates that when the above comment was made, that “today” was “the third day after which these things came to pass,” it occurred just prior to sunset (i.e. late afternoon of the first day of the week).
Computing the Days
It seems that now is the right time to calculate the days to see how the math works out.
The first day of the week was the third day “after which” the messiah was killed. When we combine this evidence with the sign of Jonah, which foretells that the messiah would be dead and in the earth for “three days and three nights,” we are able to reconstruct the Passover week observed in the year that Yahushua was murdered.
The third day AFTER which the messiah was killed was the first day of the regular week. Therefore, the second day AFTER would be the Sabbath (Friday/Saturday), the first day AFTER would be the sixth day of the week (Thursday/Friday), and THE DAY OF his murder would be the fifth day of the week (Wednesday/Thursday).
The fifth day of the week, therefore, was the day that Yahushua ate his Passover supper and was the 14th of Abib. The sixth day of the week, meanwhile, was the Jewish or Pharisaic Passover meal and their high Sabbath, i.e. the 15th of Abib. The 16th was a weekly Sabbath.
The sign of three daylight periods and three night periods is also accomplished. Counting the daylight part of the 24-hour day first, as instructed:
• Daylight 1 belongs to the fifth day of the week (Thursday afternoon), on the 14th of Abib, during the time of daylight that Yahushua was murdered and placed in the tomb.
• Daylight 2 belongs to the sixth day (Friday), Abib 15, and daylight “three” to the weekly Sabbath, Abib 16.
The three nights are made to follow these three daylight periods.
• Night 1 belongs to the first half of the sixth day (Thursday/Friday), the 15th of Abib.
• Night 2 is the first half of the seventh day (Friday/Saturday), Abib 16.
• Night 3 is the first half of the first day of the week (Saturday/Sunday), Abib 17. This third night likewise belonged to the third day after which the messiah was executed, and therefore complies with all those statements to that effect.
Plain and simple here’s the bottom line. Yahushua was murdered during the afternoon of Thursday, Abib 14. The messiah was resurrected just before sunrise on Sunday morning, Abib 17. The year was 30 C.E. but that conversation is for future post.
A few more points of interest will be presented and addressed as we proceed with our discussion.
What About the Good Friday Theory?
It has long been held by many Christian groups that the messiah died on Friday (called “Good Friday”) and was raised on Sunday morning. As we have already demonstrated, the messiah was murdered and buried on Thursday afternoon and was raised before dawn on the first day of the week.
Some are so insistent on conforming to the Good Friday arrangement that they alter the reading of Luke 24:21, so that it will comply with their own preconceived concept.
The New Jerusalem Bible, for example, goes to such lengths as to translate the clear and undeniable Greek statement of “τρίτην ταύτηνἡμέραν ἄγει ἀφ’ οὗ ταῦτα ἐγένετο (triten tauten hemeran agei semeron aph ou taut egeneto; Today is the third day after which these things came to pass)” to read, “two whole days have now gone by since it all happened.”
This translation is totally unsupported by the text. It is built on the common misunderstanding about the difference between a high Sabbath and a weekly Sabbath. It was this misunderstanding that has confused many theologians unfamiliar with scriptural laws.
When these theologians saw the reference to the death of the messiah as being on the day prior to a great Sabbath, they assumed it referred to the day before the weekly Sabbath. Yet, as we have already demonstrated, it was a reference to the Jewish (Pharisaic) high Sabbath of the Passover Feast.
It is impossible to fit three days and three nights in the period from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning (even if one counts the daylight period of Sunday morning).
Three days would be Friday daylight, Saturday daylight, Sunday daylight; three nights would be Friday/Saturday night, Saturday/ Sunday night, and Sunday/Monday night. This calculation is infeasible since the messiah was already resurrected before Sunday/Monday night. It still leaves the third night missing.
Nevertheless, even a scheme of three days and two nights beginning with Friday is unattainable. The Synoptic Texts clearly state that, when the women arrived at the tomb, dawn had not yet passed.
Further, when they entered the tomb the messiah was already resurrected and was gone. Therefore, it is impossible to count Sunday daylight as the third day. This scenario can only account for two days and two nights.
What About the Wednesday Death/Burial Theory?
Some Sacred Name groups argue that the messiah’s death took place on Wednesday afternoon. In this arrangement they count “three nights and three days,” making them three complete 24-hour periods: Three nights being the nights of (1) Wednesday/Thursday, (2) Thursday/Friday, (3) Friday/Saturday; three daylight periods being Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The theory goes that the messiah was raised immediately at the very end of the Sabbath on Saturday.
This argument fails on three fronts.
• First, our instructions from Scriptures does not say that we are to count three nights and three days. Rather, it specifically states we are to count three DAYS and three NIGHTS, the daylight being counted first (Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:38-40). The Wednesday system, therefore, does not account for the daylight hours of the day when the messiah died and was buried.
• Second, it falsely assumes that the text means three complete 24-hour periods. Nowhere in Scriptures is this circumstance even suggested. To demonstrate, Scriptures never state that Jonah was swallowed by the fish at sunset, that he was spit back up on dry land at sunset on the third day, or that the counting was from sunset to sunset.
Actually, Scriptures only state that the messiah, like Jonah, would be in the heart of the earth (sheol) for three DAYS and three NIGHTS. The texts would have to at least state “three NIGHTS and three DAYS” to even indicate a possibility of three complete 24-hour periods (a Hebrew day beginning with sunset and the night). But it does not.
Even the Pharisees understood the words of the messiah as a reference to his being raised during the third night (Matthew 27:62-64, 28:11-15). In fact, when the guards reported back to the priests that the messiah had disappeared from his tomb, the leaders bought off the soldiers with silver and told them to say that “his disciples came and stole him BY NIGHT, we being asleep” (Matthew 28:11–15).
• Third, since the messiah was actually in the tomb during the last part of Abib 14, he was in the heart of the earth during that day’s daylight period. These facts fully comply with the scriptural definition: three days (daylight periods) and three nights. Corrupting the phrase to the opposite reading of three nights and three days is unwarranted.
Which Day Was the High Sabbath?
The Synoptic Texts provide us with evidence that the 14th of Abib was the true high Sabbath of Passover and was considered such by the followers of the messiah. We uncover this detail in the story about the women who followed Yahushua to his tomb and then later returned to anoint the body.
The Synoptic Texts inform us that at the time that Yahushua was buried, which was on the 14th of Abib before sunset, Mariam (Maria) Magdalene and Mariam (Maria) the mother of Jacob and Joseph were there:
Matthew 27:61. “And there was Maria the Magdalene and the other Maria sitting opposite the grave.”
Mark 15:47. “And Maria the Magdalene and Maria of Joseph beheld where he (Yahushua) had been laid.”
Luke 23:55. “But also women were following who had been accompanying him (Yahushua) out of Galilee, watching the tomb, and how his body was laid.” Luke’s version then follows with this report:
And HAVING RETURNED THEY PREPARED aromatics and ointments, AND ON THE σάββατον (sabbaton; SABBATH) REMAINED QUIET, ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT. But the first of the σαββάτων (sabbaton; week), at ὄρθρου βαθέως (orthrou batheos; just before day-break) they came to the tomb, bringing aromatics which they had prepared, and some others with them. (Luke 23:56-24:1)
First, it was moving toward sundown when the body of Yahushua was laid in the tomb. Yet these women had to first “return” to wherever they were staying. Then, sometime after returning, they set about preparing aromatics and ointments so that they could go back to the tomb and anoint the messiah’s body.
This evidence also means that these women were, for some reason, unable to tend to this chore before Yahushua’s death and burial (suggesting that the 14th was a Sabbath day for them). Further, the women had not attended the second day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread (a non-Sabbath), which took place just after sunset on the 15th.
This sequence of events makes it certain that by the time these women arrived back to their place of residence the sun had already set and a new day (the 15th) had begun. The journey home gave them barely enough time to prepare for and attend the meal for the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Because of the Pharisaic practice of sacrificing the Passover on the 14th and keeping their high Sabbath, which combined the Feast of Passover and their first day of Unleavened Bread on the 15th, all of the merchant stores were closed.
On the Pharisaic high Sabbath the women would be afraid of returning to the tomb, fearing that the Pharisaic Jews might condemn them for breaking the state Sabbath ordered by the Pharisees or of trying to steal the messiah’s body. So instead, they stayed home and prepared aromatics and ointments.
These faithful followers would not have prepared aromatics and ointments on a true high Sabbath. This detail and the timing of the event points to the fact that the 15th was a non-Sabbath for these followers of the messiah.
We should also remind ourselves that on the 14th, even though the messiah was sentenced to death and on a torture stake for hours, none of Yahushua’s followers are said to have prepared ointment or aromatics for his burial. Joseph and Nicodemus apparently used only what they had saved up, making it necessary for the women to later return to finish the task. These details are in harmony with messiah’s disciples keeping the 14th as a high Sabbath.
After the day on which they prepared their aromatics and ointments came “the Sabbath,” on which day they remained quiet “according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56). This statement is very important. It does not say according to the judgments or statutes, which the high Sabbath regulations fall under. Neither does it say “Sabbaths” in the plural, as required if both the 15th and 16th were Sabbaths, but “Sabbath” in the singular.
This singular Sabbath is then followed by the fact that on the first day of the week, just before daybreak, the women came to Yahushua’s tomb bringing the things they had prepared. This singular Sabbath, accordingly, refers to the weekly Sabbath, required by the fourth commandment.
Since they prepared aromatics and ointments before the Sabbath, yet remained quiet on the Sabbath, proves that they did not prepare such items on a true Sabbath. Therefore, these things must have been prepared on the 15th, which for them was not a Sabbath.
To the above statement from Luke 23:56-24:1, we also need to add a remark made in the text of Mark.
And the σάββατον (sabbaton; SABBATH) being past, Mary the Magdalene and Mary of Jacob and Salome bought aromatics, that having come they might anoint him. And very early, the first of the σαββάτων (sabbaton; week), they came to the tomb, ἀνατείλαντος (anateilantos; as was coming to light) the sun. (Mark 16:1-2)
In this version, the two women go out and buy aromatics so that they might anoint Yahushua’s body. Disregarding their personal beliefs, they could not have bought aromatics on the 14th, after the ninth hour, for there was no time left after Yahushua’s body was placed in the tomb, since sunset was approaching.
Indeed, it would have been futile anyway, since as of late afternoon the Jews had closed all of their stores in observance of the Passover sacrifice (beginning at the ninth hour).
For the Jews of this period the Sabbath began in the afternoon preceding the actual Sabbath at approximately the ninth hour, the same time that the messiah died and the Jewish (Pharisaic) Passover lamb was being slaughtered.
Further, because of the requirement to attend the sacrifice at the ninth hour, it is doubtful that any store would have been open after mid-day, i.e. the sixth hour, on the Preparation Day of the Jews.
Josephus Antiquities, 16:6:2, as another example, notes that the Jews did not give bond (appear in court) “on the Sabbath day or on the day of preparation for it after the ninth hour.” To build a fence around the Law, the Jews considered the ninth hour of the day before the Sabbath the time for quitting their work and for beginning their observance of the Sabbath.
This point demonstrates that the Jews would have avoided arresting the messiah in the afternoon of the 14th as well as within the 15th, for no trials could be conducted at that time. Leaving Yahushua imprisoned during that period, on the other hand, would have been too dangerous politically.
Jewish High Sabbath
Meanwhile, the women could not buy aromatics on the 15th because it was the Jewish high Sabbath and the observance of the Pharisaic Passover meal. Even if the Pharisees were totally wrong in making this day a high Sabbath, the other Jewish groups, out of fear of the Pharisees, followed the Pharisaic laws. Even those of the early assemblies greatly feared the Pharisaic Jews at this time (see John 20:19, 26).
Further, the Judaean nation also observed the weekly Sabbath, which fell upon the 16th of that month. Therefore, there were no stores open from the afternoon of the 14th until after sundown Saturday evening, at the close of the weekly Sabbath.
It was only after the weekly Sabbath that these women could go out and buy some additional aromatics in their effort to anoint Yahushua’s body. Accordingly, the women had to wait until both the Jewish high Sabbath of the Pharisaic Passover (the 15th) and for the regular weekly Sabbath (the 16th) had passed.
This evidence shows us that in the last hour of the 14th of Abib the two Marys saw where Yahushua’s body was laid. With the tomb being closed by Joseph and Nicodemus, the women returned to where they were staying, which would have been toward or very near sunset.
At twilight, the women would have observed Abib 15 which was the second day of the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread. Keep in mind that, after the Exodus, the first day of the 7-day Festival (Abib 14) had taken on the additional name of the Feast of Passover (high Sabbath) while the second festival day (Abib 15) along with following days retained their appellation of being the festival days of Unleavened Bread.
At the same time, not only is the first day referred to as the Feast of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread but so is the entire 7-day Festival. (Deuteronomy 16:1-8; 2 Chronicles 35:17; Ezekiel 45:21; Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:1; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:1; Luke 22:7)
Therefore, between their leaving Yahushua’s grave until they observed the second day of Passover Week and Festival of Unleavened Bread there was no time for them to deal with the aromatics and ointments. Yet, the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, observed on the evening of the 15th, could not have been a Sabbath for them because they prepared aromatics and ointments after returning home and before the weekly Sabbath.
Preparation of ointments and aromatics would have taken some time, and there was little time between the return of the women and their observance of the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, it is apparent that they prepared the ointments and aromatics during the 15th, most probably during the daylight or working hours, thus making the 14th the high Sabbath.
The women remained quiet (i.e. not preparing aromatics and ointments) on the weekly Sabbath, the 16th, as ordered by the fourth commandment. This statement proves that one did not prepare such things on a Sabbath. Therefore, the day before the weekly Sabbath they were active, preparing aromatics and ointments.
These circumstances in turn mean that the 15th was not a high Sabbath for the followers of Yahushua, although it was for those following the practices of the Pharisees.
After the Weekly Sabbath
At some point after sunset, when the weekly Sabbath was over, these women went to a store and bought more aromatics so that they could complete their mission. Then late in the night, at early pre-dawn on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb.
The women certainly would have known that the Pharisees had placed Roman guards at the tomb to keep the followers of the messiah away until after the time claimed for his resurrection had passed. They knew that his claim was during the night portion of the third day after his death.
In accordance with this knowledge, the women went to the tomb at the very moment that they knew the guards would be finishing their duty and they could gain access to messiah’s body, i.e. at dawn of the first day of the week.
Having collected their aromatics and ointments, the women returned to the tomb, arriving just as dawn was ending, where they found that the messiah had already been resurrected and had left the tomb.
When all the facts are considered, there is only one truthful conclusion that one can come to. Yahushua the messiah fulfilled the “sign of Jonah the prophet” by being in the state of death for three days and three nights.
The messiah died on a Thursday afternoon (daytime) and was resurrected by father Yahweh on the third day after his murder during the early morning hours (night time) prior to sunrise on Sunday, the first day of the week.
For more information you might want to check out “The Festival and Sacred Days of Yahweh” by Qadesh La Yahweh Press.
Who was that masked man anyway?
The general position of many of the Sacred Name groups today is that Yahushua the messiah was resurrected on the seventh day Sabbath.
For them, it seems that the idea of the messiah being resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday), which would also coincide with the Christian holiday of Easter, is just too repugnant to consider.
Besides, even the term Christian is offensive to many of these groups. Throw in the Roman Catholic Church for most of the blame and now you’re really working up a nasty brew!
Is there any way to determine what day of the week Yahushua the messiah was resurrected?
First, Yahushua tells the scribes and Pharisees that the only sign of his messiahship that would be given to an evil and adulterous generation is “the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
For even as the prophet Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so will the son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:38-40; see Luke 11:29-30)