REPLY TO ARGUMENTS in “The Lunar Sabbath”

And “Weekly Sabbath Days are Determined by the Moon”


- Billy Duncan



INTRODUCTION – I obtained a copy of Arnold Bowen’s “The Lunar Sabbath” (LS) from the Internet near the beginning of August 2007.  I read it and attempted correspondence with Mr. Bowen.  I began a computer file of notes from reading the material several times and from the correspondence.  The middle of October I requested and was graciously sent a copy of Matthew Janzen’s “WEEKLY Sabbath Days are Determined BY THE MOON” (WSDM) near the end of the month, and found Bowen also listed as an author of it. I have read it also several times and began correspondence with Mr. Janzen.  I have made notes from this material and combined them in the same file due to their close similarity.  They do differ to some extent.


The LS copy I have does not indicate other editions, but my WSDM copy is the Sixth edition.


The arrangement of these notes in the following review under some seven headings is in the approximate order of my study.  Study has overlapped somewhat and the material has had to be rearranged in the notes accordingly.  The “you” in the review sometimes has Mr. Bowen in mind and at others Mr. Janzen, depending upon which material I was studying, or to whom I was corresponding.


The argument in the material under review hinges around a position relative to time and calendars.  It is argued that we can only use the Jewish calendar months of 29 or 30 days, and that we must accept weekly Sabbath days as being only on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of each month determined by the moon.  It is claimed that Sabbaths are not always separated by six days.  The “new moon” days are considered intermissions into the normal weekly count.  There seems to be difficulty in determining the exact day to observe as the new moon in Janzen’s book on moon regulations indicates.


Since whether we are responsible to keep Jewish days is not the focus of the material, the following review simply deals in the main with refuting the material presented.  The intent is to deal with the thrust of the material, and not with every minor detail. It was felt that the Bible teaching with regard to Pentecost furnished evidence that the weekly Jewish Sabbath occurred every seven days in a continual manner.  This, itself, shows that the argument that the weekly Sabbaths never occurred on any day of the month other than the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th is false. This is why the Passover to Pentecost count is considered first.


The LS argument from Josephus that seeks to confirm the arrangement of Sabbaths on 8, 15, 22, & 29, will not stand.  This is considered second. The confusion on the date for Passover observance came up in my study and is presented third.  The position that the day must be counted from evening to evening runs counter to the claim that the evening of the 14th begins the 15th, so that time comes up for consideration fourth.  The various examples thought to substantiate the arrangement (8-15-22-29) for Sabbaths came up for study as a fifth section.  My sixth investigation centered upon the claims for Ezekiel 46:1. Before the Conclusion I will make some observations as seventh. 



I. On the count from Passover to Pentecost. 


  A. Argument relative to the time of Aaron’s golden calf.


The point to be discussed first is with regard to the claim (under COUNT TO PENTECOST – pp. 45 – 49) that Aaron made a calf for worship in connection with the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) in the fourth month (pp. 47-48), giving Exodus 32:5; 31:18; and Deut. 9:11. Exodus 19:1 is not given there, but is assumed (as under SABBATH ON 15th TWO MOONS IN A ROW  - pp. 27 - 28) to be on the 16th of the third month (or moon) and argued that “it was exactly fifty days after the seventh Sabbath that Aaron said it was a feast to YHWH ...” (p. 47), indicating that he meant the Feast of Weeks.


The counting to show this was not given, or I missed it.  So I will give a count using your assumed starting point from Exodus 19:1.  I will not be accepting it as accurate, just using the assumption and place “?” to so indicate.  Where I miss it, one may point out.


It is assumed that Exodus 19:1,2 is about the 16th day of the third month. On the third day (18th?) God spoke from the mount (19:16-20:17). Moses was given instructions for them (20:22-23:33) and he did so (24:3), and built an altar on the next (19th?) day (24:4).  No earlier than the 19th?, Moses took Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders to “worship afar off” (24:1,9) after a reading of the covenant and offerings (24:5-8).  Moses and Joshua left the group and went into the mount (still no earlier than the 19th?) and a cloud covered the mount beyond them for six days (24:15-16).  This would be no earlier than the 19th? through the 24th?.  The seventh day (25th?) He called to Moses in the midst of the cloud and Moses went “into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and nights” (24:18).  He went up no earlier than the 25th? and was there 40 days.  This 40-day count commenced no earlier than the 25th? and no more than six of them would be in the third month (25th? through the 30th?), leaving 34 days till Aaron’s folly on the 5th? day of the fifth month (or moon), for only 29 of the 34 would fit into the fourth.



I see no evidence for the six days to have anything to do with days before them, or the days following.  Moses went up into the midst of the cloud to the Presence of God, and was there forty days (Exodus 24:18).  The second time (Exodus 34:28) he was “with the LORD forty days and forty nights” and “did eat neither bread, nor drink water.”  In the mention of the first forty in Deuteronomy (9:9-13), it is also noted that he went without food or water (v. 9).  He spent forty days where he went up to receive the tables both times.


It seems clear to me that Aaron’s folly had nothing to do with any festival originated by God.


  B. Bible count for Pentecost compared with LS count:


Leviticus 23:15-16 – “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day ye brought the sheaf; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; ...”   But LS (COUNT TO PENTECOST on p. 45) says “but you ‘number’ for the 50th day from the morrow after the 7th Sabbath complete.”  Note the difference between “from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day ye brought the sheaf” (Bible) and “from the morrow after the 7th Sabbath” (LS).  The Bible has the count beginning with the Sabbath of the bringing of the sheaf, and not from the morrow after the seventh Sabbath.  The morrow after the seventh Sabbath is the terminal point of the count, not the beginning – “Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath.”  Ye shall “number fifty days” beginning with the day of sheaf offering (from), and ending with the morrow after the seventh Sabbath (even unto).


Note again on this 45th page of LS.  “This is why it is called the Feast of Weeks (forty nine days) and the Feast of Pentecost ... ” Being a one-day feast, how can it exist in two days fifty days apart?  And how can LS believe the Feast of Weeks is called so by a 49-day period of seven Sabbaths complete, since LS does not accept any such period of seven Sabbaths complete that contains exactly 49 days?  Yet seven Sabbaths do involve a continuous seven-day count (notes at end of William Whiston’s Josephus, Complete Works), accepted practically universally.


On the weekly Sabbath count, Whiston gives, on pp. 732 – 737 (1960 Edition), a list of testimonies and records cited by Josephus.   On p. 737 he gives “Philoponus, De Creatione, VII. 14.  See also V. 19.   This is agreed to by all, that there are only seven days; which by a continual circulation compose all time, &c.”  (emphasis mine – bd).


The one day of the feast is “after your weeks be out” (Numbers 28:26) and is called Feast of Weeks because of being after those seven weeks in 49 days, and is the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1) as it is the “day of the first-fruits” (Num 28:26) on the 50th day after the offering of the sheaf.


  C. Paul’s trip in Acts 20 – 21.


Possibly my taking a look at your understanding of Paul’s trip to Jerusalem in Acts 20 and 21 might help to further clarify that the day of Pentecost is the 50th day following the “Wave Sheaf” of Leviticus 23:9-11.  The places in the copy of “The Lunar Sabbath” booklet downloaded from the Internet where you use Paul’s trip are on p. 16 and on pp. 49, 52 and 53.


On page 16 you seem to be quoting (using quote marks) and then making a comment, when you say, [quote from your book]: “They sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, 23rd or 24th and came unto them in Troas in five days (26th), where they stayed seven days.” (The five days was five days from the days of Unleavened Bread, not a five-day boat ride because it is only 150 mi. or less from Philippi to Troas)” [End of quote from your book].


I want to look at this first.  The sentence as it appears in Acts 20:6 concerns a trip from Philippi to Troas, it began after the days of Unleavened Bread, and ended on the 5th day of the trip. The basic sentence is “we sailed ... and came ... in five days. From what the record says explicitly there is no way to tell which day it was after the days of Unleavened Bread that they sailed from Philippi.  The 23rd or the 24th is a reasonable guess, since Paul was hastening to be at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost with the alms he was carrying (Acts 20:16; 24:17).  A casual reading of the verse indicates a five-day trip. 


Acts states neither a beginning nor an ending date it merely gives the length of the trip.  It does not mean that Paul had been separated five days from the group that were waiting for them at Troas (Acts 20:5) by saying “and came unto them at Troas in five days,” nor is he saying that they arrived on the fifth day “after the days of unleavened bread.”  It merely says that they sailed from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread and came to Troas in five days.  This is evident to the translators.


See 26 Translations at Acts 20:6.  The TCNT for “and came unto them to Troas in five days” (KJV of the trip) has “and joined them five days later at Troas,” Lamas has “and arrived at Troas in five days,” while Norlie has “and came to them at Troas. It took us five days to get there.”


The “in” in “in five days” is from Strong # 891, achri, which Strong says indicates “terminus” or “until” or “up to.”   Thayer says the Greek phrase in Acts 20:6 means “even to the space of five days, i.e. after [AV in] five days.”  A. T. Robertson in his comments at Acts 20:6 (Word Pictures) shows clearly a five-day trip. “In five days (achri hemeron pente).  Up to five days (cf. Luke 2:37).  D has pemptaioi, “fifth day men,” a correct gloss.  Cf. deutraioi, second-day men (Acts 28:13).  In Acts 16:11 they made the voyage in two days.  Probably adverse winds held them back here.”  Such conditions would account for the hesitancy to go by Ephesus (Acts 20:16).


This would place them at Troas no earlier than the 27th, possibly the 28th.  Since he “hasted” to be at Jerusalem for Pentecost (Acts 20:16) and stayed seven days to wait for the first-day of the week service at Troas, it appears that they had just missed the first-day of the week when they arrived, and that they were on their sailing trip on the Sabbath day of the prior week.


To merely assert that Paul kept a Sabbath meeting in the Acts 20-21 period does not prove anything.


On page 49 you argue “Paul kept a latter Pentecost because if you Count the days in Acts 20:6-38 and 21:1-30. It shows the Apostle Paul keeping Pentecost beyond fifty days from Passover to Pentecost. Pay close attention to the phrase many days. (Ask for my detailed map of Paul’s Journey}” So I made a count. 


  Left Philippi. . . . (v. 6) 23rd  of 1st mth  or  24th  of 1st mth   At Troas on 5th day . (v. 6) 27th . . . . . . or  28th . . . . .   Left on 7th day (vv. 6,13) 3rd  of 2nd mth  or 4th of 2nd  mth      Assos, Mitylene (vv. 13-14) 5th . . . . . . or  6th . . . . .    To Miletus . . . (v. 15) 8th . . . . . or 9th . . . . .           Left Miletus . (20:17-21:1) 12th . . . . .  or  13th . . . . .    New Ship for Ph. . (21:1,2) 15th . . . . . . or  16th  . . . . .   To Tyre  . . . . . .(21:3) 17th  . . . . . . or  18th . . . . .   At Tyre till . . . . 21:4) 23rd . . . . . . or  24th . . . . .    To Ptolemais . . . . (21:7) 24th . . . . . . or  25th . . . . .   At Caesarea . . . . (21:8) 25th . . . . . or 26th . . . .  


From the 23rd or 24th day of 1st month to the 25th or 26th of the second month no more than about 33 days have elapsed, by a reasonable count.  Counting that Paul may have stayed at Philippi six or seven days past the “Wave Sheaf” we are in the position to consider the “many days” at Caesarea and the couple of days to Jerusalem.  How many are the “many days”?


On page 52 you suggest that, “many days not mean 2 or 3 days.”  I decided to check Conybeare and Howson’s The Life and Times of the Apostle Paul, and was surprised to find on page 543 that they count 37 days to have elapsed from Passover to Paul’s arrival at Caesarea, leaving thirteen days till Pentecost, “which is more than the conditions require.”  They consider their count fair, and could admit addition of two or three days and still fit the conditions.


If Paul had had an extra 49 days more than the 50 from Passover to Pentecost (as your count of 49 or more plus 50), it seems strange that he was in such a hurry that he did not go by Ephesus (Acts 20:16).  He was in the hurry because he had only the 50, the two- or three-day trip from Philippi had taken five days. The smaller ship had to stay close to the shore and made numerous stops.  But the good fortune of finding a ship (Acts 21:2) that made good time leaving the coast line and sailing directly from Patara to Phenicia, created a leisure time from there on, and so the use of “many days” for the time at Caesarea.  


What about the “many days”?  The word for “many” here is pleion, Strong #4119. It fits the time that is under consideration.  It is translated “many” in Luke 11:53; Acts 2:40; 13:31; 21:10; 24:17; 25:14; 27:20; 28:23; 1 Cor. 10:5; 2 Cor. 2:6; 4:15; 9:2; Phil. 1:14; Heb. 7:23.  It is translated “longer” at Acts 18:20.


Strong defines it as the “compar. of #4183; more in quantity, number, and quality;” Thayer gives “without comparison, used of an indefinite number, with a subst.: Acts ... xviii.20; xxi.10 ...”  In Acts 18:20 two or three days would fit.  Surely 6-10 should be sufficient for Acts 21:10.  Context affects meaning.


  D. The Passover to Pentecost fifty days following Jesus’ death.


The fifty days between the resurrection of Christ (which was on the day of the “Wave Sheaf”) and the Day of Pentecost is hard to overlook.  The story is simple and easy to follow.  The time is not hard to keep track of. 


You accept Christ being crucified on the 14th so that He did not keep the Sabbath on the 15th (your LS, page 14) and that He was raised on the 16th, the day of the “Wave Sheaf” (p. 6).  Jesus was seen of the Apostles forty days before He ascended (Acts 1:3).  During this time He spoke of the kingdom and its coming, and of the role of the Holy Spirit in its establishment.  This was not new (John 14:16, 25-26; 16:12, 13; Mark 9:1), but it no doubt motivated their efforts in anticipation of Pentecost.


This was a time of emphasis upon the “morrow after the Sabbath.” He met with them on the day of His resurrection (John 20:19), and skipping the Sabbath, met again with them “after eight days” (Acts 20:26).  When He had appeared to them for 40 days and left them, they immediately made preparations for their role that would begin when the Spirit would come in Acts 2 (Acts 1:12-25).


For Jesus had promised that the Spirit would come to them “not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).  The last ten days of the 50 days from the “Wave Sheaf” to the Day of Pentecost did not permit much leisure for their getting ready.  This is indicated by “not many days hence”.


The word for “many” in Acts 1:5 is polus or pollus (Strong #4183) and is defined by him as “much (in any respect) or (plur.) many;” The form in Acts 1:5 is pollas (acc. Plur. Fem.).  The word is appropriate.  The time between His resurrection and the Day of Pentecost is clearly 50 days, “the morrow after” the seventh Sabbath following the “Wave Sheaf.”


It seems clear that the counting of fifty days from the “Wave Sheaf” seven Sabbaths complete “unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath” makes impossible the teaching that the seven-day weekly cycle is interrupted.  There is no room in the count for such “intermissions.”  This should make us reconsider such positions and seek the truth.


The importance of this principle of being faithful, even in seeming small details, is fundamental to the life of a follower of Jesus.  We must listen to Jesus as the prophet Moses speaks of in Deuteronomy 18:18-19.  For though God did speak by the prophets in the Old Testament, He now speaks by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2).  God Himself made this clear to Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-5).  He placed Jesus above Moses and Elias, as He is the One to be heard.


That days during the life of Christ were not counted always as “evening and morning” days, as in creation, is clear (Luke 24:1,29,33; and John 20:1,19).  Nor are they counted that way now.  See “1.” Under “Obervations.”


  E. The use of Josephus does not change the count of 50 days. 


Under “WAVE SHEAF” (LS p. 5), It is argued that the wave sheaf was “on the morrow after the Sabbath” and claiming from Josephus and Philo that “this would always be on the 16th (morrow after the Sabbath/15th)” and that the count of the seven Sabbaths – “[And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, seven Sabbaths shall be complete:]” (boldfaced is by me – bd).


Apparently the reference is to chapter x, Book iii, sec. 5, in Antiquities of the Jews.  I have William Whiston’s translation published by Kregel Publications in 1960.


Josephus gives (Ant. Bk. 3, c. 10, sections 5 and 6) “In the month ... called Nisan, ... on the fourteenth day ... we celebrate this Passover in companies, leaving nothing of what we sacrifice till the day following.  The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the Passover and falls on the fifteenth day of the month, ... But on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them” (sec. 5).  How Josephus determined this idea of the 16th is not shown.


After describing the wave sheaf, Josephus commences section six “When a week of weeks has passed over after this sacrifice (which week contains forty and nine days,) on the fiftieth day, which is Pentecost, ... they bring to God a loaf, made of wheat flour... ” (sec. 6). 


Josephus (Ant. Bk. 13, c. 8, sec. 4) “that festival, which we call Pentecost, did then fall out to be the next day to the Sabbath:”


The words “then fall out” shows the reason for Hyrcanus’ stay of two days being “a festival whereon the law of the Jews did not allow them to travel” (ibid.) as Nicolaus was reporting, since it fell on the day after the Sabbath.  It is at that feast that this happens.


It will be noted that Josephus recognizes the period of seven weeks as covering 49 days, and that the 50th day is the day after the seventh Sabbath.


Confusion over counting days is further shown in the following.


At this place (LS p. 5-6 under “Wave Sheaf”) it is argued from Joshua 5:10-12 Israel kept “the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even (this Hebrew word is even dark) in the plains of Jericho.  And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. (16th)”  It is explained that “They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even (night, which begins the 15th). In verse 10, they ate parched corn, etc. On the morrow after the Passover (15th) this would be the 16th.  This proves the 15th was the Sabbath and 16th was the morrow after,  the 1st day of the week ... ”


But note what is said of “a scriptural day” (under A CLOSER LOOK AT EXODUS 16TH CHAPTER on p. 9).  “The evening and morning was the first day, evening and morning the second day,” Notice in each of these the evening is the first part of the day and morning the last.  But it is argued “The evening (night) is what begins and ends a scriptural day, ... ” (LS p. 9).  In Genesis 1, only the evening began the day, the morning ended it. 


On the same page (p. 9) it is later said, “Morning is IN the same day as the evening, which began the day (evening and morning), morrow is the following day (tomorrow).”   But if “evening” marked both the beginning of the day, and the ending of the day, why would it not be “evening, morning, evening”?


Page 6 has the remarkable deviation that “They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even (night, which begins the 15th).”  This has the 14th having an evening and a morning, and an “even” to be in both the 14th and the 15th?


What about Passover being on the 15th beginning on the evening of the 14th?  What happened to the “morning” of the 14th following the “evening” of the 14th?  Numbers 33:3 says, “And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth of the first month, on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.”


The fourteenth is the day for the observance of the Passover (Ex. 12:6,16; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:3,5; 28:16; Josh. 5:10; 2 Chr. 30:15; 35:1; Ezra 6:19; and Eze. 45:21).  Can we speak where the Bible speaks for the 15th?  Passover began on the evening of the 14th (Exodus 12:6) and was eaten that night (v. 8), nothing of it was to remain to the morning (v. 10), the LORD to pass through Egypt that night to kill the firstborn of Egypt (v. 12), and He did so (v. 29), a day to be kept (v. 14), for it was in this night that “Pharaoh rose up in the night” and dismissed them from his land (vv. 31-32).


The fifteenth is the “morrow after the Passover” (Numbers 33:3). Note carefully “morrow after the Passover” and the argument on page 9 that morning and morrow come from “two different words in the Hebrew. Morning is IN the same day as the evening, which began the day (evening and morning); morrow is the following day (tomorrow).”


  F. WSDM’s chapter XI “Pentecost: Masoretic vs. Septuagint.”


It is attempted to harmonize the English rendition of the Septuagint’s Greek translation of some Hebrew text we are not privileged to have.  This is a translation of a translation.  It is argued that the English “morrow of the first day” as a translation of the Septuagint, is equivalent to “the morrow after the Sabbath” rendering of the Masoretic text, being a “meaning for meaning” translation.  This recognizes that it is not intended to be a word for word translation.  But we don’t have a copy of the Hebrew text used by the Septuagint group.  We do have their Greek rendition and others’ translation of that Greek text.


The WSDM argument is to the effect that the 15th as the first day of unleavened bread is a Sabbath, and the 16th is the morrow after the Sabbath of the 15th, or first day of unleavened bread. It is claimed that “first day” in “morrow of the first day” (Leviticus 23:11) looks back to “first day” in verse 7.  This seems only to concern the starting point of the count. 


A look at the Septuagint will show that the Greek mia is used for “first” and hemera for “day” at Genesis 1:5.  At Leviticus 23:7 we have hemera he prote for “first day,” but at verse 11 only “tes protes” (for “the first”) without hemera (for “day”).  That the Septuagint group would translate protes and not sabbaton in verse 11, but sabbaton in verse 15, might suggest that the text they used had two different Hebrew words in these verses.  The fact that hemera does not appear in verse 11 of their translation, as it does in verse 7, might suggest that protes denotes the idea of “chief” and not the ordinal sense of verse 7. The Sabbath had significance above other days, and when it is given added significance (John 19:31) it is spoken of differently.  A day of a feast may have greater significance and be spoken of as a “great day” (John 7:37).


If the Septuagint translators had shabbath in both verses 11 and 15, it might seem remarkable that they translate into Greek by two different words – tes protes at verse 11, and ton sabbaton at verse 15.  But if the Hebrew text they used showed at verse 11 that this Sabbath was different, tes protes might seem more appropriate than just ton sabbaton.


Scholars seem to concur that we have only the Greek of the Septuagint version to study, and only that as an indication of the Hebrew text used by that group.  The opinions of mere men as to the worth of the version may vary.  To recognize its value in study regarding the Hebrew language does not demand that one not regret any problems with the version.  Context is needed in many quotations to understand the point the scholar is making, else the scholar may be misused.


As to the nature and worth of the Septuagint, it is recommended that one read the Preface to the English translation of the Septuagint.  One may also read from Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.  McClintock and Strong give some useful information in their “Cyclopedia of Bible, T., & E. Lit.”


Some translations of the Hebrew text differ from the Septuagint, indicating that it is not considered perfect.  A version is not worthless because it is not perfect.  We ought to recognize both its value and flaws.


It is remarkable in this Chapter XI of WSDM that only one count of seven sevens is spoken of (pp. 83-90), while LS has “Therefore, there were two counts to find Pentecost” (p. 45). WSDM does argue for the two counts in Appendix II, see below.


The difficulty of counting seven sevens starting upon the day after a Sabbath and consisting of 49 days is said to be “impossible had the weekly Sabbaths been simply a continuous uninterrupted count” (p. 84).  The impossibility is only in the mind of the lunar sabbatarian.  The beginning of each seven is the first day of the week and ends on the seventh or Sabbath.  The ending count for these seven sevens gives 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49.  Each of these ends on a Sabbath, and the next day is the 50th - Pentecost, being a first day of the week.


WSDM (p. 83) seems to sense the count – “Indeed, seven periods of seven are counted, but as Leviticus 23:15-16 shows, each period ends with a Sabbath.”  This is only possible if the weekly cycle of seven is not interrupted.


The impossibility is that it doesn’t fit the lunar sabbatarian plan for Sabbaths to always fit the 8, 15, 22, 29 scheme.  This is the real impossibility.


  G. WSDM’s Appendix II, Pentecost Count and Aaron’s calf.


WSDM gives what is termed as two possibilities for the count to Pentecost.  The count of Leviticus 23:15-16 is of seven Sabbaths complete, each terminating in a Sabbath, a period of 49 days, even unto the morrow after the seventh, the 50th day.  This will not permit intermissions of the sabbatarian position, so a second method is introduced.


The second method involves counting seven Sabbaths complete which in the sabbatarian scheme will be more than 49 days.  So it is needful to place the 50th day in a different count.  So instead of having the 50th day in the first count being “unto” the morrow after the seventh Sabbath, we have a second stipulation of counting 50 days after the seventh Sabbath.  The record will not bear such an interpretation.


Thus there is a need for seeking a fit.  The question is raised of the wheat harvest.  McClintock & Strong in Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. X, p. 977, gave “Wheat is reaped towards the end of April, in May, and in June, according to the differences of soil and position.” J. W. McGarvey in Lands of the Bible, p. 62, says “The variety of wheat universally cultivated at present is the flat-headed and long-bearded kind which is grown in Egypt.  The sowing of grain commences in the fall, as soon as the rains make the soil sufficiently soft for ploughing, and it is continued, on account of the scarcity of stock and the lack of enterprise among the people, as late as February.”


Having wheat at Pentecost was no problem. We should never let our ideas run counter to what the Bible shows, on the excuse that it is not shown in a way for us to accept.  The Pentecost counts in the Bible (in Leviticus, Acts 2, and 20-21, “Pentecost) all agree with the 50 days, man’s ideas about wheat won’t overthrow it.


In my 1972 Thomas Nelson KJV at 1 Samuel 12:17 there is margin reference to “wheat harvest” which is given in the margin “in the month of May when rain is uncommon.”  Since Barley is harvested in April (McC&S), Ruth’s gleaning in Boaz’s field “unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest” (Ruth 2:23) seems to place wheat harvest as succeeding the barley harvest. Both of these fit Pentecost.  


The question is raised about “new wine” at Pentecost in Acts 2:13.  Possibly the integrity of the KJV translators would not permit them to translate gleukos but one way.  However, study of the Greek language is at a state that we know that the word can mean not only the musk of “new wine,” but also the more intoxicating saccharine, or “sweet wine.”  Strong is helpful.


The case of Aaron’s golden calf and Aaron’s proclamation of a feast (chag Strong #2282) is presented.

It is argued that chag “is the word used for Feast of Weeks.  It is used for any one of the three pilgrim Feasts ... for Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles” (WSDM, p. 126).  The word is for “feast” and is used of the feast Jeroboam “ordained” for the eighth month to avoid a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (1 Kings 12:32). The word “feast” here does not connect in any way what Aaron did to God or His festivals, no more than it does in Amos 5:21. It is used there without regard to the date of the feast.  The day of Aaron’s proclamation does not fit any of God’s.  See the count under “A” above.


The count of 50 days from the morrow after the Sabbath of the Passover Week would end in the Jewish calendar between Sivan the 6th and the 12th depending upon what day of the feast the Sabbath fell on.   For Jews using our calendar the count would depend upon when that moon reached its full in the period between March 21st and April 19th.  It would end in either May (11th – 17th) or in June (9th – 15th).



II. Misuse of Josephus claiming no fighting on the Sabbath and claiming that 23rd was the day after the Sabbath (LS).


Josephus is cited as follows: “Josephus records that the 23rd was the next day after the Sabbath that they battered them, or the day after the Sabbath when they had every thing in place” (LS, p. 31, just above “Philo.”)  The reference is cited as “See page 369 ... Antiquities of the Jews Book 14, Chapter 4.3 and footnote on page 370.”


Attributing the 23rd to the day after the Sabbath comes from a misreading of Josephus’ work and Whiston’s footnote.


Josephus discusses the Jews’ position of not waging offensive war on their Sabbaths, only defensive, and times when they did neither, and others where they did both.  In the days of Antiochus the enemies “fought against them on the Sabbath-day, and they burned them as they were in the caves, without resistance, ... they were not willing to break in upon the honor they owed the Sabbath ... Mattathias ... taught them to fight even on Sabbath-days” (Ant. Bk. 12, c. 6, sec. 2).


General Bacchides of Demetrius’s army  “observed when their Sabbath-day came, and then assaulted” Mattathias’ son Jonathan “supposing that he would not fight because of the law for resting on that day:” but Jonathan “joined battle ... overthrew many:”  (Ant. Bk. 13, c. 1, sec. 3).


The reference and footnote appealed to (LS, p. 31) follows.  The mention is made by Josephus “had it not been our practice, from the days of our forefathers, to rest on the seventh day, this bank would have never been perfected ... for though our law gives us leave then to defend ourselves ... yet does it not permit us to meddle with the enemies while they do anything else” (sec. 2).


Then “ 3. Which thing when the Romans understood on those days which we call Sabbaths, they threw nothing at the Jews, nor came to any pitched battle with them, but raised up their earthen banks, and brought their engines into such forwardness, that they might do execution the next days which we call Sabbaths ...”  (sec. 3).  The question is – Did this describe Pompey’s course on this particular event?


The footnote cited is “That is, on the twenty-third of Sivan, the annual fast for the defection and idolatry of Jeroboam, ‘who made Israel to sin.’”  This footnote is to “for although the city was taken on the third month, on the day of the fast” (sec. 3).  Why are the words “for although” used? 


The footnote following is for the “I appeal to those that have written of the acts of Pompey ... who will bear witness of this thing” (Ant. Bk. 14, c. 4, sec. 3), and gives significance to the words “for although.”  It reads “Of this Pharisaical superstitious notion, that offensive fighting was unlawful to Jews, even under the utmost necessity, on the Sabbath-day, we hear nothing before the times of the Maccabees. It was the occasion of Jerusalem’s being taken by Pompey, by Sossius, and by Titus.  Our Saviour always opposed it, when the Pharisaical Jews insisted on it, as is evident in many places in the New Testament though he still intimated how pernicious that superstition might prove to them in their flight from the Romans, (Matt. xxiv. 20).” 

This suggests the reason for the words “for although” being used in that to which the footnote is given, not by Josephus, but by Whiston.  It was only when Pompey took notice of the Jews’ actions toward the seventh day (Wars, Bk. 1, c. 7, sec. 3) that he overcame difficulties in setting up engines to take Jerusalem (sec. 3 and 4).  Taking advantage of the Jews’ lack of aggression on Sabbath-days, Pompey placed his engines into position then and – “as soon as Pompey had filled up the valley, he erected high towers upon the bank, and brought those engines” (sec. 3).  Still being the Sabbath the Jews pestered them in defense. Pompey broke through and met only the resistance of those who “fought in their own defense” (sec. 4), and some not fighting in defense were overcome (sec. 5), this being on the Sabbath-day when they did not engage in the aggressive measures which had before made it very difficult for the Romans.  Pompey noted this and taking advantage took them on the Sabbath.


F. F. Bruce (Israel and the Nations, Eerdman’s, 1963) confirms that Pompey took Jerusalem on a Sabbath-day – “The capture of the temple took place on a sabbath day in July or August” (p. 182).


Josephus records that Titus took Jerusalem in 70 AD on the tenth day of Ab  - “and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages, it was the tenth day of the month Lous [Ab] upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon” (Wars, Bk. 6, c. 4, sec. 5).  “Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar ... Nebuzaradan ... burned the house of the LORD ... ” (Jeremiah  52:12-13).  These substantiate the second footnote to Ant. Bk 14, c. 4, sec. 3).


The above places Ab 10 in 586 BC and AD 70, and Sivan 23 in 63 BC as Sabbaths.  Neither of these is in the set {8, 15, 22, 29}.



III.  The claims that the Passover was on the 15th versus the            clear Bible claim that Passover was on the 14th.


  A. The LS claims that the Passover was on the 15th.


Note the Lunar Sabbath argument:  “They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day at even (night, which begins the 15th). ... On the morrow after the Passover (15th), this would be the 16th. This proves the 15th was the Sabbath and 16th was the morrow after, ... In addition, we can prove the Messiah rose on the 16th day of Abib ...” (LS. P.6).


“The Lamb was to be slain on the 14th ‘between the two evenings,’ and Deuteronomy chapter 16 says ‘at the going down of the sun.’ Here is another specific time, as the sun starts its downward stroke after its Apex On the 14th. ... This proves that between the evens is referring to between the two darks on the same day.” (LS, p. 10).


“The same thing can be seen again in the Crucifixion Week.  The Sabbath is on the 15th (John 19:31 and Luke 23:54,56).  ... and if our Savior had not been killed on the 14th, He would have kept the 15th Sabbath, as was His custom” (LS p. 14).


“And Luke 22:1) says ‘Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called Passover’ (The 15th is Unleavened Bread) Another says ‘It was the preparation of the Passover and Pilot said behold thy King’ This proves Passover was referring to the 15th, NOT 14th as Passover. (See also John 13:1)” (LS p. 15).


This seems to ignore that there is a close connection between the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread so that Ezekiel could use Passover to signify the seven days – “ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days” (Eze. 45:21).  Too, LS seems to have an idea that there is something different about this Passover “made ready” (Matt. 26:19; Mark 14:16; Luke 22:13) and which Jesus called “this Passover” (Luke 22:14).


The day of Preparation (John 19:14,31,42) is connected with the Passover and the next day Sabbath that was a high day.  It likely had reference to necessary preparations for the Sabbath of this feast, possibly for the Wave Sheaf.


Of Exodus 13:1-10 and its reference to the deliverance from Egypt we find “Ex. 13:1-9 the 15th is called a sign day.  In verse 3, Moses said, ‘ remember this day (the 15th) you came out of Egypt.’ Verse 9 says, ‘It shall be a sign that YHWH’s law may be in thy mouth for with a strong hand YHWH brought thee out of Egypt.’” (LS p. 42).  LS inserts “(the 15th),” not in the text.


“Now we know that the Passover lamb was prepared (Preparation) on the 14th but, was not over on the 15th because it says it was to be eaten with unleavened bread, which began on the 15th (or 14th at even (night).) Ex. 12:8-18.  Now if the Passover was still going on until the Passover lamb is gone on the 15th, the morrow after the Passover would be the 16th.” (LS p. 50).


This is refuted in “C.” below.  Note that it is said eating with unleavened bread “began on the 15th,” but Exodus 12:18 says that unleavened bread was eaten “on the fourteenth” and continued till the 21st!


  B. The WSDM claims that the Passover was on the 15th.


“The lamb is to be slaughtered ... between the evenings on the 14th day of Aviv (Exodus 12:6).  This is correctly understood to be around what we would call 3 p.m., or at the going down of the sun after its apex in the heavens at high noon, the same time YHWH killed His Passover lamb, (the Messiah – Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 27:45; John 19:14). ... The eating of the lamb takes place on the 15th day of Aviv, the day that the children of Israel were delivered from the land of Egypt.  Commenting on this day, Exodus 12:14 says ...” (WSDM p. 63).


“We advise the reader to take special notice here how YHWH continues to specifically point out the 15th by the phrase ‘this day’.  The 15th day of Aviv is singled out eight times up to this point, in counting from Exodus 12 up to Exodus 13:5” (WSDM p. 65).  These are only eight suppositions.


The eight supposed references to the 15th are “that night” (12:8); “this day” (12:14); “this selfsame day” (12:17); “the selfsame day” (12:41); “a night ... that night” (12:42); “the selfsame day” (12:51); “this day” (13:3); and “this day” (13:4). The 15th does not appear at either space, and the claim is made on a false assumption that the night of the 15th followed the evening of the 14th.  This will be noted in the discussion of the Passover on the 14th, below.  It is to be noted that Numbers 33:3 calls the fifteenth “morrow after the Passover.”


The 15th cannot be both the Passover and its “morrow!”


There seems to be a problem accepting the evening as the beginning of the Jewish day in regard to the Passover.  The Passover lamb was to be slain “in the evening” (Exodus 12:6) “at the going down of the sun” (Deut. 16:6).  This going down of the sun is claimed as “correctly understood to be around what we would call 3:00 p.m.” (WSDM p.63). This notion is against reason. See below under “Going down of the sun” and the paragraph before.



  C. The Bible and the 14th of Abib – Passover on the 14th.


The Bible places the Passover on the 14th of the first month/Abib (“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s

Passover” – Lev. 23:5).


WSDM speaks of Passover on the 15th, and under the assumption that the night of the 15th follows the “even” of the 14th claims the 15th for some eight references back to the night of the 14th in which the Passover was commanded to be kept and when it was kept.  The claim disrupts “the evening and the morning” designation of day in Jewish terminology.  See “B” just above.


It was to be killed in the evening of the fourteenth (Exodus 12:6), a day that fits the pattern of “the evening and the morning.”  It was to commemorate the event of “this night” of the LORD passing over the children of the Israelites when the firstborn of the Egyptians were smitten (Exo. 12:12,29).  It was to be eaten “that night” (v. 8) with nothing to remain “until the morning” (v. 10).  “Morrow” is not used.  It is the “morning” that follows the “evening” of the fourteenth.  It is “this day ... ye shall keep” (v. 14).  They were to observe the “feast of unleavened bread, for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: ... In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, ...” (vv. 17,18).  They were not to go out of their houses “till the morning” (v. 24). 


At midnight the firstborn of the Egyptians were smitten and Pharaoh gave them leave to depart Egypt (vv. 30,31).  However, they did not leave till the morning (v. 24) and till they had despoiled the Egyptians (v. 35).  “It is a night to be much observed ... in their generations” (v. 42).   The instruction was

“Thou shalt keep this ordinance in his season from year to year” (Exodus 13:10). It is simple to find out what day they understood and kept as the Passover.


Numbers 9:3-5 – “In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it his appointed season: ... And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at even ...”


Numbers 28:16 – “And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD.”


Joshua 5:10 – “And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.”


2 Chron. 35:1-17 – “Moreover Josiah kept the Passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. [v. 1] ... So kill the Passover, ... according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. [ v. 6] ... And they killed the Passover, [v. 11} ... And afterward they made ready for themselves, ... the priests ... were busied in ... offerings ... until night; ... [v. 14] ... So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings ... [v, 16]  And the children of Israel that were present kept the Passover at that time, ... [v. 17].”


Ezra 6:19 – “And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.”


Ezekiel 45:21 – “In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.”


But what about the fifteenth?  “And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians” (Numbers 33:3). It will be noted that “morrow” is used, not “morning” (see WSDM p. 34).  The 15th is not the “morning” after Passover, but the “morrow” after the Passover, the NEXT DAY, according to LS p. 34!



IV. Questions about True Time and LS and WSDM. 


  A. The Bible and time – LS and WSDM  


LS: “Ever wonder what the definition of time is?  Time is movement plus conjunction of the Heavenly bodies, without movement plus conjunction, true time cannot be measured” (p. 4). Compare WSDM: “Have you ever wondered what the definition of time actually is?  Time is movement plus conjunction of the heavenly bodies placed in the heavens by YHWH.  Without either of the two, time cannot be measured”  (p. 14).


Whatever the moon and movement and conjunction have to do with time, the statement given is not a definition of what time actually is.


LS: “Yes, we find in Nature a phenomenon of the moon every seven days.  It seems to set of pause/rest at the four phases of the moon (New moon, First quarter, Full moon and Second quarter), then last sliver and from there everything starts over again” (p. 4).  Compare WSDM: “We indeed do find in nature a phenomenon for the weekly Sabbath.  The moon follows a pattern of seven-day intervals.  This is seen by observing the new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and last sliver of the moon.  The moon conjuncts at each of these events in nature and gives us a starting point for counting our weeks and numbering our days” (p. 15). The “conjunction of the heavenly bodies” for these “moon conjuncts” is not spelled out in these sections.  Which?


Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1951, gives as a first definition of “time” as “1. The period during which an action, process, etc., continues; measured or measurable duration.”  For “duration” it has “1. Continuance in time.”  For “eternity” it has “1. Infinite duration; eternal existence.”


The American Heritage Dictionary, 1982, gives for “time” “1. a. A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.”  For “duration” it has “1. Continuance or existence in time.”  For “eternity” it has “1. The totality of time without beginning or end; infinite time.”


From the above, and from the Bible speaking of “before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2) with what was purposed from eternity (Ephesians 3:11; 1:4-5), and of the “end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), men are led to speak of the beginning of time, and the end of time.  In this view time is measured, but eternity is immeasurable.  Only in regard to time can we speak of the past, present, and future.  Eternity is before and after time.  Time is merely an aberration of eternity.   Duration is an essential characteristic of both eternity and time, but in eternity duration is not measured, while in time duration is measured. Eternity has no temporal beginning and no temporal ending, while time will have both.  When we speak of “time” in eternity, we are using it as an accommodation for duration, in this view.   


Keeping up with time can be a rather complicated problem. We use calendars in a variety of applications.  My wife just received a call from the doctor’s office.  His office was making sure my wife was aware of his calendar.  WNCD defines “calendar” as “1. A system of fixing the divisions of time as years, months, weeks, and days, adapted to the purposes of civil life. ... 2. A tabular register of the divisions of a given year, referring the days of each month to the days of the week.”  Which definition is used in the following statement?


“The oldest calendar recorded anywhere is in Gen. 1:14, ...” (LS p. 4; comp. WSDM p. 13).  There is no table, and no system given. It is stated that “lights in the firmament of heaven” are to be used “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”  The passage does authorize using them in a system, but a system is neither given, nor demonstrated.  To mention “Julian Calendar” neither tells how, nor shows how, it works.  The use of one way of determining time by these does not condemn other uses.  The sun dial of Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:11; Isaiah 38:8) is in keeping with what Genesis 1:14 teaches.


A year determined by the sun is approximately 365.242199 days. Using the concept of “leap year” one can adjust the calendar to end successive calendar years within 24 hours of the solar year up to the year one million AD, if time lasts that long, without altering the calendar otherwise year by year.


Trying to establish years so as to keep the moon cycle complete within the year is made difficult by the fact that the lunar cycle with respect to its revolution around the earth in 27 days and some 7 hours which does not bring it in line with the sun to produce a new moon at that time.  New moons are separated by 29 days 12 hours 43 minutes and 11.47 seconds, or 29.530556 days. By months alternating between 30 days and 29 days, a twelve-month period is 354 days.  By adding a 30-day intercalary month the year extends to 384 days, with two successive 30-day months, ending one year, and beginning another. This seems problematical.


With modern day intercontinental communication and trade going on the expressing of time is also problematical. This led to the IDL (International Date Line), which also comes under criticism (LS pp. 18-22; WSDM pp. 16-20).  The Jews in Mesopotamia (Acts 2:9) did not keep the same 24 hours as the Sabbath as did those in Rome (Acts 2:10).  They could when in Jerusalem.  Using sunset to determine the start of the Sabbath the following illustration faces a dilemma.


Two Jewish pilot teams could illustrate the futility of such concerns in trying to establish what is Bible teaching.  One of the teams leaving Quito, Ecuador in South America on the sixth day at sunrise in a plane with ample fuel to travel due east at about 1100 mph might find it necessary to stop at Libreville, Gabon in Africa to observe the Sabbath.  The other team leaving Libreville at the same time in a similar plane traveling due west at the same speed would not encounter sunset in a complete circuit of the earth, and come back to Libreville where the first team would be observing their Sabbath.  Does this argue for an IDL?  against an IDL? Or neither? 


Time can be problematical!  This led to the IDL. So we need to look at when time began, at creation.


The story is in Genesis.  Two words come under discussion. Hebrew bara (#1254) can be variously translated, including “create” and “make.”  It is “created” in Genesis 1:1 (“created the heavens and the earth”) and in Genesis 1:27 (“male and female created he them”). Hebrew asah (#6213) can also be variously translated, including “accomplish” and “make.”  It is “made” in Genesis 1:16 (“God made two great lights”), in Genesis 1:25 (“God made the beast of the earth”), and in Genesis 5:1 (“In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him”).  In this last passage both words are used in bringing about man.


In Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 #6213 is used to cover the six days of creation: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, ...” and “for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, ...”  The bringing of “heaven and earth” into existence is within the six days, and so is the “beginning.”


“In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) does not demand an interval of duration.  God simply “spake, and it was done” (Psalm 33:9). It marked the beginning of time, the darkness at that point is that which preceded the light (Genesis 1:5) and were distinguished as the “evening and the morning” of the “first day.”  The event of creating the heaven and the earth marked the beginning of time.  On the number line zero marks the point of origin and has no measurement of its own.  The creation of the heaven and the earth is action by the LORD of all, as are those other acts of the six days and from which He rested on the seventh day.


The efforts (LS pp. 22-26; WSDM pp. 21–27) to separate those acts are without foundation.  God rested on the seventh day “from ALL His work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3). He rested from His workdays, the “beginning” and all.  But one tries to have a “Day of Shoutings” before any first day of time? (WSDM p. 26; see also LS p. 22).  On this same page there is an attempt to make creation separate from “working” on creation – “after six days of working on His creation.”  This seems to see the creation of the beasts on the fifth day as being of the same nature of the other days’ work, and combines actions of God on each day as a single event, except for the events of the first day. 


God combines both creation and making during those six days and makes no such distinction as to separate the creation at the beginning of the six days from that throughout the six days – “And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).


This confusing of the beginning of time as separate from the first day of time seems to lead to the following statements from WSDM and LS.  Possibly the false notion prompts an argument that “it was a worship day before the first workday of the week just as in the beginning of creation” (WSDM p. 21).  The reasoning seems to have led to “The Sabbaths and New moon days are always before the six work days of the week” (LS, p. 31).  They do not believe this.


  B. On a “Scriptural day” (LS)


“The only evening the Scriptures speak of is the type in the book of Genesis.  The evening and morning was the first day, evening and morning the second day.”  Then “The evening (night) is what begins and ends a Scriptural day, and ‘between the evening’ would have to be somewhere between dark and dark.  Remember the light He called day and the darkness He called night, and the evening (night) and the morning (light) were the first day” (LS p. 9).


This sounds like a “Scriptural day” is to be considered as consisting of “the evening and the morning” in Genesis chapter 1. But then “the evening” is said to begin and end a “Scriptural day.”  This sounds like the day would be: the evening and the morning and the evening.  This last idea (the evening and the morning and the evening) seems to be clarified in “This proves that between the two evens is referring to between the two darks, on the same day” (LS p. 10).  This seems a little odd to me for Jewish days. Note the context of the last quote.  A possibility will be noted in discussing “sundown” (D.) below. 


“Another specific time ‘between the evenings’ is the morning and evening Sacrifices where both lambs were sacrificed on the same day, the 1st one in the morning and the 2nd one at evening, (between the evenings).  The time is specified as morning, and evening sacrifices and both are between the even of same day (evening and morning of the 16th.)  The word evening used here is ‘between the evens” and the 2nd lamb was to be slain on the same day as the morning Sacrifice but between the two evens.  This proves that between the two evens is referring to between the two darks, on the same day” (LS p. 10).  As noted above this will come up under “sundown” (D.) below.


No chapter-verse reference is given for the passage discussed here.  Numbers 28:4 does not mention the 16th, but may be the passage referred to. More likely reference is to Exo. 29:38-39. Nor is it clear to me whether “both” in “both are between the even of the same day” is to indicate that the morning sacrifice was as much “between the evenings” as was the evening sacrifice.


The paragraph just before this last quote is “The lamb was to be slain on the 14th ‘between the two evenings,’ and Deuteronomy chapter 16 says ‘at the going down of the sun.’  Here is another specific time, as the sun starts its downward stroke after its Apex On the 14th” (p. 10).  The rationale for this definition for “going down of the sun” is not given.  Thus we need also to look at that expression.  This will be noted below at “D.” 


  C. WSDM on a “Biblical day” (much the same as LS at “B”)


“The only evening the Bible speaks of is the type of the book of Genesis.  The evening and the morning were the first day, the evening and the morning were the second day, etc.  The evening (night) is what begins and ends a Biblical day, and ‘between the evenings’ would have to be somewhere between dark and dark.  Remember, the light He called day and the darkness He called night, and then there was evening (night) and then there was morning (light), day one” (WSDM p. 33).


Note carefully that the evening is always of the same type, and is of the dark, night.  Then notice the further modifications as the argument unfolds.


“Moses and Aaron both said that in the evening (night) YHWH shall give flesh to eat (at night), and in the morning (daylight – which would be part of the same day) bread to the full” (p. 33).


Referring to “morning” in the above quote, WSDM continues, “Notice He said morning (light), and not morrow (next day).  These are two different English and Hebrew wordings.  Morning is the same day as the evening which began the day (evening and morning), while morrow is the day following (tomorrow). ... ‘Speak unto them saying, at evening (between the evenings), ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning (still between the same evening at daylight) ye shall be filled with bread.’ ” (p. 34).


“The Passover was indeed to be slain on the 14th ‘between the evenings,’ and Deuteronomy 16 specifies this as ‘ the going down of the sun.’ Here is another specific time, as the sun starts its downward stroke after the apex on the 14th, around what we would call 3 p.m.  Another specific time of ‘between the evenings’ is the morning and evening sacrifices, where both lambs were sacrificed on the same day, the first in the morning, and the second one at evening (between the evenings).  In Exodus 16 the period of ‘between the evenings’ is specified as occurring before morning, and is on the same day as the giving of the manna – the 16th.” (WSDM p. 34).  The reference is not given regarding the morning and evening sacrifices, but is possibly Ex. 29:38-39.


So we must consider the going down of the sun, and notice the idea of “between the evenings,” “two darks,” etc. 


  D. Going down of the sun in the Bible


The “going down of the sun” (Hebrew bow [#935]) is recognized by most to indicate sunset as in Genesis 15:12,17; Exodus 17:12; 22:26; Deut. 16:6; 24:13,15; Joshua 10:27; 1 Kings 22:36; 2 Chron. 18:34; Ps. 113:3; and Dan. 6:14.  It is the point in time for the ending of the day and the beginning of another.  When the sun is set, when the sun is down, daylight fades. This period of twilight leads to the night (evening) of the next day by Jewish standards.  It is defined by Gesenius (#935, 1g) relative to the sun as “to set.”  It is the setting of the sun, and when it is done the sun is down as indicated in Leviticus 22:7; Deut. 23:11; Joshua 8:29; Judges 14:18; and 19:14.  To the viewer it is when the rim of the sun appears to meet the horizon, so that when its opposite rim has passed beneath the horizon, the sun has set.  “Sunset” is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary, 1982, as “1. The event or time of the daily disappearance of the sun below the western horizon.”  This takes about 5 to 8 minutes, or so.  The WNCD agrees, “The time when the upper limb of the sun disappears below the sensible horizon.”


The tenth day of the seventh month was the “day of atonement” (Leviticus 23:27-32), it was reckoned from sundown to sundown (“from even unto even” – v. 32).  This was from sundown that ended the ninth and began the tenth unto the even that ended the tenth.  This is the only sense of even or evening the Bible uses that could be called an even or evening that ends and begins days.  This is like midnight, 11:59:59 is in one day, 12:00:01 is in another.  It is similar to zero on the number line.

This is not the concept of “between the evenings” for the killing of the Passover, for sacrifices, for burning incense, and for lighting the lamps as in Exodus 30:8, but it is evening.


The concept of “between the evenings” comes from a grammatical construction of ereb (#6513) that has been variously explained. McClintock and Strong favor the understanding of “between sunset and twilight” when the lamps were lighted, and as best fitting Deuteronomy 16:6 (Vol. III, p. 373).


The following from WSDM will not fit.  “Here is another specific time, as the sun starts its downward stroke after the apex on the 14th, around what we would call 3 p.m.” (p. 34).  The downward stroke from the apex is at noon, not 3 p.m. and the lamps were not lighted either at 3 p.m. or at noon.


The evening of the killing of the Passover was not of the concept of ending the fourteenth, for they then ate the Passover also on the same day.  That concept was of beginning the fourteenth in what followed the going down of the sun.  This is evident in the first Passover, and in that which Jesus observed. They kept it on the 14th.  The dark at sundown leads to deeper dark just later. The Jewish day had one evening (one dark), which had two aspects. 


  E. The Bible and evening, day, morning, and morrow


Words – Sometimes words have more than one meaning, and the meaning in a particular passage depends upon the context.  For example, “day” is from Hebrew yowm (#3117), and can mean “sunrise to sunset” as in the light part of “the evening and the morning” period being called day (Gen. 1:5), while the dark part is called evening.  Day can also mean the whole period of “the evening and the morning” (Gen. 1:5), or from sunset to sunset as in “from even unto even” (Lev. 23:32).  Both are seen in Genesis 1:5 and Lev. 8:35.   A day in this last sense is for the days numbered as one through seven (Genesis 1), the days of the month and feasts, and as Sabbaths (Lev. 23:24,32).  (See Strong and Gesenius).


A second example is #4279/4283 from Hebrew machar for “morrow,” which can indicate the day after, even with day indicating sunrise to sunset (Lev. 22:30; Joshua 5:12; Judges 6:38).  It can mean day after a day of one sunset to the next sunset.  Too, it can refer to an indefinite time in the future, as “time to come” in Exodus 13:14.  (See Strong and Gesenius).


A third example is #6153 from Hebrew ereb for “evening” or “even” which can refer to the first part of the sunset to sunset day as in “the evening and the morning” of days in Genesis 1, or to the “dusk” part of the sunrise to sunset day (see Strong).  This dual form of the Hebrew suggests this distinction in meaning of “the time between sunset and deep twilight” which Gesenius acknowledges to be favored by Deuteronomy 16:6.

A fourth example, “Morning” is from Hebrew boqer, (1242).  It signifies either the entire daytime (Gen. 1:5), or just daybreak (Jdg. 16:2; Ru. 2:7).


It is true that the two meanings for each of the examples above have some relationship, but the meanings are separate and not identical.


It should be noted that where words have more than one meaning or application the particular denotation should be determined by the context.  To try to force a meaning in one context simply because the word has such a meaning in a different context is to do violence and injustice to the language.


Consider the Passover that Jesus observed.  At even He began to observe the Passover, and in the dead of that night He was betrayed.  He was crucified the next sunrise to sunset day, died on the 14th and was buried before the Sabbath that began at sunset.  Consider the LS claims about the 15th for Passover and their claim that Jesus died before the Sabbath.



The importance of repetition is a principle recognized in education.  This is the reason for my showing all the passages that show that the Passover was observed on the fourteenth. This is likely intended in the repetition of the set {8, 15, 22, 29}.


Repetition is also the reason for another principle I have heard of as attributed to Hitler – If one tells a thing enough times he will not only convince hearers that it must be true, but even he himself will begin to accept it as truth.  We must guard against letting this happen to us, either in teaching or learning. 


Attributing all weekly Sabbath days as being “on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th” is repeated often, as in “I have pinpointed weekly Sabbaths by the moon on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, ...” (WSDM p. 45).   Repetition is not objected to where the point is to emphasize what is proved.  But we must not substitute repetition for proof.  The examples below should be examined carefully.



V. WSDM – Chapter V On Other Approved Examples. LS has some also.


It has been said that 72 such Sabbaths have been pinpointed (WSDM p.7).  I suppose this includes those pinpointed and those assumed in chapter 5 of WSDM (pp. 37-45). 


Example 1 concerns the crucifixion week and apparently recognizes that Jesus was crucified on the 14th after observing the Passover on the evening beginning the 14th.  This conflicts with your chapter 8.  Thus the next evening was the 15th and was identified as the Sabbath. Jesus arose on the 16th early in the morning.  He was in the grave a part of the 14th, all of the 15th, and part of the 16th, a period involving three days.


I would accept this as proof that the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of Abib of that year were Jewish Sabbaths.



Example 2 involves the healing of the blind man on the Sabbath (John 9:14).  The date of this Sabbath is not given clearly.  Some connect it to “the feast of tabernacles” (7:2), and some connect it to “the feast of the dedication” (10:22).  The mss. question for John 8:1-11 does not extend to John 8:12-59.  John (7:37) gives an occasion on the “last day” of the feast of tabernacles, and calls it “that great day of the feast.” This would be the eighth day or 22nd (Lev. 23:41; Num. 28:35) and seems to be called great because of the solemn assembly on that day.  At the conclusion of that day “every man went to his own house” (v. 53).  If John 8:1-11 is allowed at this point, then “early in the morning” (v. 2) seems to refer to the 23rd, and the “passed by” of John 8:59 and John 9:1 connects the time of the healing of the blind man on a Sabbath on the 23rd.  But without that connection, we only see a Sabbath after the feast of tabernacles without knowing the day’s number. 



Example 3 involves the Sabbath near the first day meeting in Acts 20:7.  The date is uncertain, but the fact that Paul “hasted” (Acts 20:16) would indicate that he could have left Philippi (v. 6) about the 22nd.  The five days in coming to Troas (v. 6) would be the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. To leave after the days of unleavened bread and get to Troas “in five days” so as to be there on the 26th (WSDM p. 40) does not permit leaving Philippi after the 22nd.


The seven days (v. 6) they stayed at Troas during which they came together on the first day of the week (v. 7), would be the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 1st, and 2nd.  That first day of the week would be the 1st and they were to leave Troas on “the morrow” (v. 7) or the 2nd, if he arrived at Troas on the 26th.  The use of “morrow” shows Luke was evidently not here starting the days at even.  The Jewish Sabbaths would have been on the 23rd and the 30th.  This count, and the circumstances, will not permit a Sabbath observance and two days of new moon observance.  


It would seem that they attended no Sabbath meeting and no New Moon meeting, for had they, there would have been no need for the extended time following the first day of the week meeting.  No such Sabbath and New Moon meetings are indicated in the record.  The reason for staying at Troas seems to have been to attend the first day of the week meeting of Christians.  Had Paul had ample time to instruct them at other meetings it seems strange that he would have imposed upon their time for sleep at this meeting.


The claim that “Paul kept the Sabbath on the 22nd day of the second month which was the exact day and month Moses was commanded to keep many years earlier when the Sabbath was made known to him by these words, ‘ is the rest of the Sabbath...’ and it was the 22nd of the month (Exodus 16:23),” does not prove what day of the month it was, but does show seemingly that there is no evidence of Moses knowing about and being commanded to keep a Sabbath prior to that second month.  


Example 4 is from John 5:9.  WSDM claims the “Sabbath in John 5:9, when comparing verses 1,4, and 9 verse 9, is the same day as the Feast in verse one.”  But this comparison neither identifies the feast nor the day of the feast.  It does not consider the mss. question for verse 4.  The feast is likely the Passover feast that covered a period of 8 days.  Surely there was a Sabbath during the feast, but on what day we are not told.


From this indefinite situation it is concluded “The second day of the new moon is the first workday proving the new moon was not counted and the Sabbath was always on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the moon.”  What in John 5:9, or for that matter John 5:1-9, has anything to do with the new moon?  What day of the month was the Sabbath of John 5:9 on?  Since it is indefinite, how does this Sabbath say anything about the 8th, 15th, 22nd, or the 29th?


Example 5 is from Numbers 29:12-39.  On the first (15th) and the eighth (22nd) days of the feast they were to have “an holy convocation” (vv. 12 and 35) just as they were to have on the tenth of the month (v. 7), and because of this they were to do no work on those days (vv. 7, 12 and 35).  Had these been the regular weekly Sabbath days there would have been no need to make the work restriction for these feast days.


When a day was a Sabbath, both as the seventh day of the week and involved a “holy convocation” or Sabbath day of a feast, it had double significance, as in “(for that Sabbath day was an high day)” (John 19:31, see ATR on the passage).  Not every Sabbath day was “an high day.”


Example 6 is from Esther 9.  We must read Esther 9 carefully. The account has to do with the Jews being permitted by decree of Ahasuerus, authored by Mordecai (Esther 8:7-12) to defend themselves from the king’s decree instigated by Haman (Esther 3:12-15) on the 13th day of the 12th month.  At Esther’s request of the king the Jews in Shushan were granted to defend themselves also on the 14th day of the 12th month (Esther 9:12-15). 


This last decree was only for Shushan, and Jews in the provinces slew only on the 13th and rested from battle on the 14th (Esther 9:17). Jews in Shushan slew on both the 13th and the 14th and rested from battle on the 15th (Esther 9:18).  The celebration, of this resting on the 14th and the 15th of the twelfth month yearly, was at the direction of Mordecai (Esther 9:20-23, 26-32).



Compare the account in Esther where they rested after their victories with the following from “The Lunar Sabbath” book. “Notice in the chapter that the 13th and 14th were the days they were victorious, but not the 15th. They kept the 14th alone, with the 15th yearly, every twelfth moon.  Why not the 13th and the 14th instead of the 14th and the 15th?? Could it be they wanted to keep 2 days instead of three? So being that the 15th was already a Sabbath they chose to keep the 14th and the 15th instead of the 13th 14th and 15th?”  (LS p. 27).


Esther 9 is clear with regard to these questions.  They were not celebrating victories, but rests (as God did at creation).  Rests were on the 14th and 15th, and they kept them both in celebration yearly (Esther 9:27) without any reliance upon the weekly Sabbath (note v 28). The rest (Hebrew nuwach, #’s 5117 & 5118) is “rest from their enemies” (Esther 9:16, comp. vv. 17, 18, 22) and not from six working days (Exodus 20:9,10; Deut. 5:13,14).  Asa enjoyed this rest from enemies for some ten years, not just on a seventh day (2 Chron. 14:2-6). See also Joshua 21:44.


They were to send “portions one to another, and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:22), with no restriction of “let no man go out of his place on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:29).


WSDM uses some of the material from LS as in suggesting their victories as being their focus in celebrating rather than their rests.  Both assert as proved what is entirely lacking in the account. “We also have Esther chapter 9 to prove they kept the 15th for a rest day, making the second day of the month the first workday, and proves the new moon was not counted, and the Sabbaths were on the 8th, 15th, etc in the twelfth month” (p. 41, compare LS p. 27).


It is not said that they kept the 15th as a day of rest, but that they had “rest from their enemies” (v. 16) and so their determination to “make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.”  This was not a Sabbath observance.  Nothing is said about a workday, a new moon, Sabbaths on the 8th, 15th, etc., or a second day of the month.  Does doing this differ from adding to the word of God?


Example 7 is evidently to be shown from Exodus 16, Deuteronomy 5:15, and Numbers 33:3.  These are the verses referenced.  The Exodus record of their leaving Egypt is not referenced in this example.  The recap in Numbers 33:3 that they departed Rameses “on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover” and that this was “with an high hand... .”  They had already been dismissed by Pharaoh and had despoiled the Egyptians.  Nothing is said about a Sabbath in Numbers 33:3, no Sabbath commandment had been given to Israel at this point.


The first recorded mention of the Sabbath being commanded for any man is in Exodus 16. Deuteronomy 5:12-15 gives a law for the Sabbath day, which was first introduced to the people, so far as is recorded, at Exodus 16:23.  This is in the account of the giving of manna that begins in Exodus 16:4.  This first instance is suggested to “prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”  The matter of resting on a Sabbath day and not trying to obtain food seems to be new to them, and thus the detailed explanation and their failure to grasp the significance, as is shown (Exodus 16:22-30).  Verse 29 says, “the LORD hath given you the Sabbath.” Note Deuteronomy 5:15 that confirms this.


“And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day” (Deut. 5:15).  This is given as the reason, and so the command had to come afterward.


Exodus 20:9-11 also gives the law for the Sabbath, and explains its connection to the LORD, but not as the reason for giving it to Israel.  Exodus 31:12-17 shows the Sabbath as a sign of connection between Israel and God, which indicates that it had not already been given, and is not to all men.  Nehemiah 9:9-15 looks at their deliverance from Egypt as the time when God “madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath, and commandest them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant.”


There is no recorded Sabbath observance in Israel mentioned in connection with leaving Egypt. The first mention of observance is that on the 21st of the second month that identifies the 22nd of that month as the first recorded Sabbath observance by man (Exodus 16:1, 23).


Example 8 is referenced to Exodus 19:1,2 and offers additional references of Psalm 81:3-6; Numbers 33:3, and Deuteronomy 5:15. Whether Rephidim means resting-place, support, or ballusters, such has no bearing on what day a person or group might be there.


That Psalm 81:3-6 seems to have reference to the passing over the children of Israel when God “went out through the land of Egypt” (compare Exodus 12:12) and passed judgment upon them by the death of the firstborn on the night of fourteenth of the first month has no bearing on when a person or group can come to Rephidim.  Numbers 33:3 specifically identified this night as the fourteenth by referring to the morrow after as the fifteenth.  Deuteronomy 5:15 does not give the date for the act of delivering the children of Israel from bondage, but Exodus 12:18, 29-31 shows that at midnight of the fourteenth, Pharaoh gave them release.


In Exodus 19:1 “the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai” looks back to “In the third month.”  It is a time “when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt” and has nothing to do with what time they may have come out.  The use of “the same day” as shown by the references found from Strong’s Concordance will give no such instance of referring to a day number being connected to two different months.  All the references should be noted.  Even when the “name of the day” is considered (Ezekiel 24:2) it does not apply to two separate months.  There is no evidence that this was the fifteenth day of the third month.


All the claims given for Sabbaths on the fifteenth day of three consecutive Jewish months are without any foundation.


Example 9 is claimed from Joshua 5:10-12.  For this it is said, “Joshua 5:10-12 compared with Leviticus 23:11 puts the Sabbath on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of each month, and proves again the new moon day was not counted as one of the six working days.” Repeating claims do not make them so.  Nothing is said about the moon day in Joshua 5:10-12. Note what it does say.


Verse 10 says that they kept the Passover on the 14th.  This is not the 15th.  Verse 11 says they did eat of the old corn on the “morrow after the Passover,” and unleavened cakes and parched corn on “the selfsame day.”  This is the day after the fourteenth.  By last count this would be the fifteenth.  This is what the record shows.  Leviticus 23:11-14 says this could not be done till after the wave offering on the “morrow after the Sabbath.”  Thus the fifteenth was after the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was on the 14th.  Exceptions, which LS approves, will be noted under “Observations”.


Notice carefully the argument made in WSDM.  “Some try to say the 14th was the Sabbath in Joshua 5, but if that were so, counting backwards to the seventh day of that moon, would make this seventh day the Sabbath as well.  However, if you look back at Joshua 1:11, Joshua commands the officers to pass through the host and tell to the people to prepare victuals or food on this 7th day of the month” (WSDM p. 42).  The next paragraph follows with “Now, this was the 7th day of the month because the Israelites passed over the Jordan River on the 10th day of that month (Joshua 4:19).  They would not command the people to prepare food on the Sabbath, which proves the 7th day of the moon was not the Sabbath and therefore the 14th could not have been either.  The 8th day was the Sabbath, followed by the 15th and so on.”


Joshua in 1:11 does not connect the 7th day of the month as the day that Joshua commanded the officers.  It seems that this instruction of Joshua to the officers was in preparation as was the instruction to the 2½ tribes in vv. 12-18.  Another item of preparation was the sending out of spies (Joshua chap. 2).  The “three days” of 1:11 is not to be confused with the “three days” of 3:2.  The 3 days of 1:11 was to be in the officers’ instructions and was to follow their giving instructions.  The 3 days of 3:2 was before their giving instructions!



We need to recognize that the three days of Joshua’s instruction given to the officers for them to state at that time (1:11) were not the three days before they gave the instructions (3:2).


We must reckon each of these using the evident meaning WSDM applies to the resurrection of Christ after the crucifixion (WSDM p. 39). That three days under consideration are those of Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; and Matthew 27:63 – “After three days I will rise again.” We see there the three days in “14, 15, 16 sequence” (p. 39).  That is, 14th is 1st, 15th is 2nd, and 16th is 3rd.  This ought to be clear to anyone.  We must use this same reckoning in all such cases.


Let’s see how Joshua’s three days (1:11) should be given. The 8th is 1st, the 9th is 2nd, and the 10th is 3rd.  Where did WSDM get 7th?


When the spies had returned and given their report to Joshua (2:23-24), he seemed ready to prepare to pass over.  He began by moving the people early to the Jordan to lodge there before passing over (3:1).  The officers did their job of instructing the people (3:2). The “after three days” (3:2) may show how long it was after the officers had received their instructions, and covers the three days (2:16, 22) involved in the spies’ being hindered.  This seems to have been the 6th, 7th, and 8th.  The 8th commencing in the night they returned to Joshua and continuing into the day hours of their move to the Jordan.  The 7th would be the day they hid waiting in their eluding their pursuers.  This fits a Sabbath day.  On the 8th and 9th the people moved and prepared for crossing.


Example 10 is supposedly supported by Josephus and Philo, and also by Leviticus 23:10 and Joshua 5:11.  Leviticus 23:10-11 gives the instructions and Joshua 5:10-11 gives the compliance. The compliance is just above and shows the Passover on the 14th and the eating on the morrow after that.  The morrow after the 14th would be the 15th.  The 16th is not demanded in either of the two references.  Leviticus simply gives instructions for the Sabbath day that occurs in the Passover week.


WSDM gives “The manna ceased on the same morrow after forty years.  It had begun forty years earlier on the 16th (Exodus 16)” (p. 43).  The “same morrow” is evidently to claim that the “morrow after the passover” (Joshua 5:11) is the same morrow as “the manna ceased on the morrow after” (v. 12) in some rule of alluding for “selfsame” in verse 11.  The first “morrow” is the day of eating, and the second is the day after that, the day “after they had eaten.”  WSDM seems also to try to attach “16th” to both days by stressing the ceasing of manna as “after forty years” and saying it “had begun forty years earlier on the 16th.” Actually it lacked at least a month in being forty years, having begun no earlier than the 16th of the second month of the 1st year (Exodus 16:1-13), and ceasing on the 16th of the first month of the 41st year (Joshua 5:10) after the death of Aaron in the fifth month of the fortieth year (Numbers 33:38).


The use of “same morrow” indicates some misunderstanding about Hebrew usage of “same day” and “selfsame” as observed in the 8th example, which see.


Example 11 involves the consecration of Aaron and his sons and uses Leviticus 8:34-35; Exodus 40:1-2, 12-15, 17; Leviticus 1:1; 8:3, 6-13, 33; 9:15, 23; Ezekiel 46:1. We need to look at what is said in these passages.


Exodus 40:1-2 is indeed on the first day of the first month in the second year and is about the setting up of the tabernacle. The details for setting it up (vv. 3-11) and is said to be the work of that day (v. 2), clearly a workday.  The consecration of the priests is to be done after the ark is reared up (vv. 12-15) and verse 16 says Moses did as he was commanded, without any time frame being given. Verse 16 gives the time frame for the rearing up of the tabernacle, with the details in vv. 18-33 with the notice that “So Moses finished the work.”  This was the work of rearing up the tabernacle.  A cloud covered it and Moses could not enter the tabernacle at this time (vv. 34-35).


Verses 34-38 indicate the prominent role the tent of the tabernacle was to play in the wanderings of the children of Israel when they left mount Sinai the next month (Numbers 1:1; 9:1-5; 10:11). 


The book of Leviticus involves laws and events in concluding the giving of the law in mount Sinai (Leviticus 26:46; 27:34).  It includes the events of the consecration of the priests that had been mentioned before (Exodus 40:12-15), which Moses surely did not accomplish the day he completed rearing up the tabernacle and the cloud prevented his entering the tabernacle (Exo. 40:34-35). The event of the offering of strange fire by Nadab and Abihu is given in chapter ten.  Days of the month for events and giving of laws are not indicated in the book of Leviticus.


That the material is not in strict chronological order is clear from the fact that the numbering of Israel commanded on the first day of the second month (Numbers 1:1-2) precedes the observing of the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month (Numbers 9:1-5).  Without specific mention in the book of Leviticus for days of the month, time argument is like building on quicksand.


Example 12 is about 2 Chronicles 7:8-10.  LS says, “Solomon kept the feast seven days, the Feast of Tabernacles (15th-21st). Verse 9 says that on the eighth day (22nd) Sabbath they made a solemn assembly for they kept the Feast seven days (15th-21st). ... Verse 10 goes on to say that on the 23rd, He sent the people away.  Why didn’t He send them away on the 22nd?  Could it be that the 22nd was a Sabbath??” (p. 33; comp. WSDM p. 44).


There is no indication the 22nd was a weekly Sabbath, it was “made” a solemn assembly by the feast appointments.  This indicates that whatever day of the week it came on, it was to be treated as a Sabbath.  If it came upon a weekly Sabbath, it then had two rules for its observance, and would be great or high.


Example 13 is about 2 Chronicles 29:17. The verse does not mention the 15th, yet a claim is made that the 15th was a Sabbath. The record does not say that.  The record shows a work of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:1-18) after the evil of Ahaz (28:24; 29:6-8). It involved repairing (29:3), sanctifying by carrying out the filth (v. 5), cleansing, bringing out all the uncleanness found in the temple (vv. 15,16), and thus sanctifying the temple (v. 17).  The work began on the 1st day of the first month – a workday – in the first year of Hezekiah’s reign (29:3), “came” to the porch of the house of God “on the eighth day” and sanctified the house in eight, making an end “in the sixteenth day” (v. 17). What days of the 16 may have been kept as Sabbaths, or whether they did, is not stated.  God makes exceptions, if any, on His own.  That He did make some is acknowledged. See “Observations.”


Under “Conclusion” at the end of chapter 5 WSDM (pp. 44-45) has some statements that seem misleading.  It says, “I have shown where they were keeping Sabbaths this way before the law (Exodus 16)...” This seems to indicate a practice of keeping Sabbaths at the time of Exodus 16.  Actually this was the first mention of Israel being commanded to, and their keeping, a Sabbath.  Example 3 acknowledges that this was when Moses was commanded and that Exodus 16:23 is the time “when the Sabbath was made known to him” (WSDM p. 40). 


The examination of the 13 examples given above show that some Sabbaths were observed on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, and also that other Sabbaths were observed on dates other than these, e.g. the 14th (Joshua 5:10-12).



VI. EZEKIEL 46 – For the LS argument on Ezekiel 46 see at pp. 1, 22, and 25.  For the WSDM argument, see at pp. 8, and 55-62.


A. Ezekiel 46:1-10 is not of Old Covenant worship, but Ezekiel 46:1 is advanced as an ordinance in force at the temple in Old Testament times, as applying directly to that system of worship. “In Ezech. 46:1, it clearly states that the Gate that looketh toward the east was to be shut the six working days, but open on the Sabbaths and the New moons” (LS p. 30).  “The gate of the inner court of YHWH which looked toward the east was to be (and will be in the future) shut during the six workdays of the week, but the same gate was to be open on the day of the Sabbath and the day of the new moon” (WSDM pp. 7-8).


There is no reference that I know of that makes such an ordinance for Solomon’s temple, for Zerubbabel’s temple, or for Herod’s temple.  To merely assert that they had such an ordinance does not make it so. Ezekiel 46:1 is found in the prophecy (chapters 40-48) given Ezekiel some twelve years or so after the destruction of Solomon’s temple (Ezekiel 33:21; 40:1) while there was no temple standing.  


Of the oblation (Eze. 46:4), those reference scholars for my Nelson Bible from their attempt to find any reference to the wording or its matter observed, “There was no such oblation appointed by Moses.” Their only reference for verse 1 is “a Heb. 4:9,10” indicating their failure to find this in the Law of Moses, and they reference it to New Testament times.


I know of no rule like Ezekiel 46:1-2 for the three material temples.  Consider 1 Chronicles 9:14-34.  The rule in Ezekiel 46:1-3 separates the prince (“at the threshold of the gate” – v. 2) from the people (“at the door of this gate” – v. 3) in the Sabbaths and the new moons of its reference.  At other times (v. 9) the rule is that the prince “in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth” (v. 10), and indicates the east gate not open at these times. The focus concerns the use of the gate God entered through, and not simply to distinguish days of the week or month.  It is apparent in this imagery that the focus is on the east gate not to be used, in this reference, by the people.


There is no rule like that of Ezekiel 46:1-10 with regard to the temple of Zerubbabel remodeled by Herod, nor Solomon’s temple. The early disciples were daily in the temple (Acts 2:46) teaching those that came.  They healed and taught a lame man laid at the gate called beautiful (Acts 3:2, 1-10).  A. T. Robertson (WPNT) at verse 2 acknowledges the probability it was the east gate, and references Josephus.  Josephus also acknowledges the reflection of the early sunrays from its front (to the east) evidencing the gate to the east being open (Wars, Bk. 5, c. 5, sec. 6).


There is no rule like that of Ezekiel 46:1-10 with regard to the temple Solomon built.  Rather, the record of Joash’s coronation acknowledges the high priest Jehoiada’s concern with the danger from someone entering any of the gates to the temple – “And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in anything should enter in” (2 Chron. 23:19). No gate is excluded.


It is thus clear that the matter of the gate being shut demands further understanding. Why is the gate to be shut?  Does the greater concern of the prophecy impact this? We need to observe greater contexts, and to observe what Ezekiel has to say about these points.


To do this the plan for further discussion of this is to note the danger of making literal application of figurative material, to note the clear prophetic reference to New Testament times, to note an overview of the book of Ezekiel and the details of the ordinance, and to note the apparent application.


B. The danger of making literal application of figurative material


To take passages clearly figurative and try to make them literal is not to be recommended.  It is also not recommended to take any passage out of its context.  It is especially important to note the nature of prophetic passages, for the details of some contexts show the need for larger contexts.  The fact that the gate in this framework is to be shut suggests that we consider any context that shows why it is to be shut.  That in its context it shows itself to be prophetic suggests that we need to observe its connection to other contexts involving its premises.  


Prophetic passages often use physical materials as symbols for matters not physical, and aspects of events and situations to be understood as figurative to symbolize similar aspects in other situations and events.  Jesus used sleep referring to Lazarus being dead (John 11:11-14).  Jesus, as a prophet, used symbolic language often and His disciples found it hard to follow Him (John 16:16-25).  Ezekiel’s prophecies likewise use parables and signs that must be studied diligently to follow, so that when Ezekiel was asked to make the prophecy of 20:45-48 he responded with the Jews reaction to his prophecies.  He said, “Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?” (v. 49).


It is important to have a clear understanding of the nature of the book of Ezekiel and its prophecies of the time of Christ’s kingdom on earth.  Suggestions of this important area are made below and in the next section.


That we must be careful not to try to apply figurative language literally, note the following.


The prophecy in Joel 2:28-32 is fulfilled in Acts 2.  The imagery of the sun being “turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” (Joel 2:31) as wonders of “blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke” in “the heavens and in the earth” (v. 30) in connection with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (vv. 28-29).  The Spirit given to the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4) is ascribed to be (Acts 2:16) in the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 as quoted by Peter (Acts 2:17-21).  The fulfillment is not of literal blood, fire, smoke, sun and moon, but as powers of the spiritual world.


The prophecy in Psalm 2:7 and that of Isaiah 55:3 are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ as shown in Acts 13:33,34, 32-38. The resurrection of Christ fulfills “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Psalm 2:7) according to Acts 13:33. The promise of “I will give you the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3) is  “concerning” His being raised no more to see corruption and “said on this wise” according to Acts 13:34.  This is to cover all the imagery concerning the effect of the resurrection (See 2 Chronicles 6:42; Ps. 89:20-37; 132:10-18; 2 Sam. 7:12-16), including the resurrection as a begettal (Rev. 1:5; Rom. 1:4).


The prophecy in Amos 9:11-15 and that of Isaiah 11 relative to the conversion of the Gentiles in recovering the Jews from their captivity (by sin, evidently) are fulfilled through the preaching of Christ according to Acts 15:16, 14-18.  All the imagery of the prophecies regarding the arrangement that makes of both Jew and Gentile one man in Christ are fulfilled in the spiritual aspects of the conversion of Jew and Gentile to Christ.  Compare Isaiah 54:1-5.


We must recognize this in our studying or appealing to prophets.


C. Ezekiel’s prophecy (46:1-15 within chapters 40-48) is clearly of New Testament times – The prince is clearly the prince of Ezekiel 34:23,24 and 37:24. The physical measurements of Canaan do not correspond to the measurements of the land in Ezekiel 47:1-12 and 47:13-48:34. The measurements concern spiritual and not material matters (47:12) and picture something to be kept (43:10-11) for “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house” (v. 12).


The facts weigh against literal interpretation.  Ezekiel’s work is as a prophet (2:1-5) using symbolic language of sign and proverb (14:8) hard to be understood like parables (20:49).  He proclaimed Israel’s unholy situation (3:27; chapter 8) in the face of God’s glorious holiness (43:2-8) looked forward to the days of God’s servant prince David (34:23-24; 37:24-25) and a new and holy temple (43:10-12).  The Jewish nation had had a material temple they desecrated (chapter 8), and Ezekiel looked forward to the son of David (34:23-24; 37:24-25) who would build God’s house (2 Samuel 7:13), a God-pitched tabernacle (Heb. 8:2), with each member to glorify God personally (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and as part of a holy body (1 Cor. 3:16-17).


The days of Ezekiel’s prophecy of a new spirit (11:19; 18:31; 36:26), and Isaiah’s prophecy of new heavens and a new earth (65:17; 66:22) Jeremiah attributes to the new covenant (31:31). The New Testament, especially Hebrews, stresses the difference in the natures of the two covenants.  The “mountain” of the old might be touched (Heb. 12:18) having a “worldly” sanctuary (Heb. 9:6) with “carnal” ordinances (Heb. 9:10).  The new differs in these areas being not of “meat and drink” and Jewish holydays, but of attributes like righteousness, peace, and joy from “spirits of just men made perfect” through their mediator Jesus (Romans 14:17; Col. 2:15,17; Hebrews 12:18-24).  The use of images from the old to symbolize aspects of the new must not be taken literally.  The literal “darkness” of the old (Exodus 5:23) used as a symbol (Joel 2:31), is not to be taken literally in its fulfillment (Acts 2:16; Heb. 12:18).  We need to be careful.


One needs to study carefully passages that involve the figures of shadow and body (or type and antitype) as in Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1, Colossians 2:17, and their contexts (at least Heb. 8:1-5 and 10:1-3/10, and Col. 2:16-17).  The types involve the Old Testament sanctuary, priest, sacrifices, meat and drink, holydays, new moons, and Sabbath days.  These prefigured “things to come” (Col. 2:17) so that when the anti-type came, the type “ceased” (Heb. 10:2) to be.  Compare with Galatians 3:25.


That the temple of Ezekiel 40 – 48 is not physical, but has spiritual application, is evident from reading Ezekiel 47:1-12. There are inconsistencies with natural rivers and the lay of the land.  The 1000 cubit increments in distance from the temple and the slope will not fit the terrain in the region.  The increase in volume of the stream indicates figurative and not literal language.  The effect of the water upon the saltiness of the Dead Sea suggested as it intrudes there indicates its symbolism. The continual fruit season suggests seasons not temporal. The life-giving nature of the water suggests the living water of the gospel of Christ.


Lastly, the book of Ezekiel and the details of the significance of the ordinance bear out its use in the prophesies of Ezekiel.


D. The Book of Ezekiel and the details of the ordinance in chapter 46 – The book of Ezekiel is in the time of the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish nation, and concerns the reason for their being there.


The greater context - the Jewish nation is punished for sin and for not respecting God’s holy nature.  Ezekiel is impressed by visions of God’s glorious holiness and stresses it (1:28, of 4-27; 3:12-13, 23; 8:4; 9:3,4; 10:4, 18-19; 11:22, 23; 20:29-30, 40; 22:8, 26; 36:20-22, 28-29; 39:7, 25-29; 43:1-5, 7-8, 12; 44:4-8, 10-14, 23). Chapter 8 pictures the nation’s un-holiness before the destruction of the temple. Let us note an overview of the book.


Chapters 1-36 show God’s displeasure and the punishment being given.  Chapter 37 looks to a resurrection of their purpose and hope.  Chapters 38-39 show God’s judgments against the forces of evil.  Chapters 40-48 concern God’s holiness and that intended of the people with whom He is to dwell.   


These chapters concern a spiritual temple and looks forward, “These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, ...” (43:18). It is the time of which God said “I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever” (43:7; compare such passages as Ephesians 2:19-22; 2 Cor. 6:6; and 7:1). Of its city it is to be said, “The LORD is there” (48:35).



It is the time Ezekiel had before indicated (34:23,24; 23-31; 37:21-28) when God would dwell with them (34:30; 37:27).  Under the OT apostasy the priests made no distinction “between the holy and the profane” (22:26), but that distinction would be made under the conditions to which he looked forward (44:23-24).  Thus the references have a spiritual significance.  Ezekiel was and used signs and proverbs (4:3; 12:6,11; 14:8; 17:2-3; 24:3,24,27) much like John did in Revelation, so that when the things came to pass they would become apparent (Ezekiel 33:33).  His hearers found his language difficult to understand (20:49).


The details of the worship symbolized in Ezekiel 46:1-3 extends through verse 18.  Note that it involves “the prince” (v. 2, see 34:23,24 and 37:24). The prince is to enter by the porch of the gate that looks to the east (verses 2,8), he shall both “go in” and “go forth” at it (v. 8). But the people shall go in by the north or the south gate and go out the opposite gate, the one so entering “shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in” (v. 9).  The use of “but” is to contrast the prince and the people and the individual and collective worship.  The prince was separate from the people in the individual worship, but with the people in the collective.  Is Matt. 10:20 of significance here?


The prince does return by the way he came in, but the people do not (vv. 8-9) in those services not required to be in the temple. These can be attended to as an individual responsibility under individual circumstances. There is a separation of the prince and the people, with the east gate open. Yet in verse 10 the prince will be in the midst of the people when they go in and when they go out at solemn feasts. The prince’s gate evidently closed at this time, even though there may be a Sabbath (Lev. 23:11) or a new moon (Lev. 23:24) during these solemn feasts.


Surely there must be something under consideration other than the physical acts of going in and out. The “but” and “solemn feasts” of verse 9 seem important.  See 2 Chronicles 8:13.  The “solemn feasts” here seem to be those feasts other than the Sabbath and the new moon.  So that in some matters “the prince” is separate from the people, and in some he is with them.  Since there may be a Sabbath or a new moon in a solemn feast, the opening or shutting of the east gate is not merely a matter of whether or not it is a working day.


The shutting of the gate is in connection with God’s holiness being separated from sinful man.  The east is significant with God, the rising of the sun, Eden, etc.  God’s glory was at the east gate of the LORD’s house (10:19), and came into the house by way of the gate to the east (43:4), both the outer gate (v. 2) and the inner gate (v. 4).  Ezekiel seems to have observed through the same way (vv. 1, 5).  He was then brought “back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary” and the outer gate was found shut (44:1). He was carried back before the house by way of the north gate, indicating that the inner east gate had also become shut (v. 4).  Explanation is found in 44:1-3 and 46:1-2.


For when Ezekiel came to the east gate again, it was shut (44:1). The LORD explained, “This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut” (Ezekiel 44:2).  Verse 3 says, “It is for the prince ...”


This explains its being shut in Ezekiel 46:1.  Man is not to enter by it, the LORD entered by it, and it is for “the prince”. It is separated from man.  It is made holy by God having entered by it, and the prince must be the Son of God, separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). This temple is God’s (2 Corinthians 6:16), a tabernacle pitched by the LORD (Hebrews 8:2).  The temple of Ezekiel is not one for man to build.  Zerubbabel made no attempt to build by its pattern.


In Ezekiel 46:1-10 the Sabbaths and the new moons have to do with man and his individual status as does the working days.  These times of his worship are distinguished from the worship at the solemn feasts (vv. 2-3, 9-10).  The solemn feasts are the three times each year (Exodus 23:14, 17; Deuteronomy 16:16; 1 Kings 9:25; 2 Chronicles 8:13) they were required to worship at the temple where His name was (Deuteronomy 16:16, 2,6,11; 12:5,11; 1 Kings 8:17; 9:3; 14:21).  In Ezekiel 46 He worships separately from the people at only new moon and Sabbaths, but in the midst of them at the solemn feasts in which are Sabbaths or new moons.


There are two principles in many points of the Bible.  The Bible deals with the goodness and the severity of God (Romans 11:22). It deals with God’s hatred of sin and His love for man, man who sins. In Ezekiel there is on the one hand God’s Holiness and His separateness, and on the other God’s desire to dwell with man. The significance of the open or shut east gate must lie here.


The temple’s east gate demands God’s holiness be respected and man not to presumptuously approach it, it is “shut” so that no man enter by it.  The prince is God’s Son. He is our Lord and Master. His right to command and be obeyed must be respected. We must not try to determine for Him, but hear Him and submit to Him in all things.


But God is accessible, for He has made a way to dwell with us, and a way for our approach to Him (Hebrews 4:16).  By the altar for prayer from a contrite heart we approach Him.  It is this altar that man can prepare and build by God’s pattern – “These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it” (Ezekiel 43:18).  Christ is as an elder brother (Heb. 2:11).


The new moon in connection with worship in Ezekiel 46:1-10 and Isaiah 66:23-24 have to do with the times of the Messiah, and are figurative. They use symbols from the law to pre-figure things to be in the kingdom of Christ on earth.  Jesus is “made like unto his brethren” in Hebrews (2:7) as their faithful high priest in one respect, but as their high priest in another respect, He is “separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (7:9). 

The purpose of the rule is overlooked, and the rule seems to be applied to all the gates in the following.  “To prove the New moon is not a workday look at Exch. 46:1. ‘The gates to YHWH’s house are to be shut the six workdays and open on the Sabbaths and the day of the New moon.’” (LS p. 22).


That the temple of Ezekiel 40 – 48 is not physical, but has spiritual application, is evident from reading Ezekiel 47:1-12.





1. It is important to note from the Old Testament Jewish observance of a day is from sundown to sundown.  It is important to note that the Jews practicing the law in New Testament times observed this.  It is also to be noted that the Jewish writers of the New Testament Scriptures were not bound to this observance.  They recognized Jewish days and kept them as being Jews, but not for salvation purposes.  They took advantage of these as occasions to teach the Jews.  They also recognized the Roman method of keeping time, and used it in their everyday use of time and in their services.


Jesus’ body was taken from the cross before sundown to avoid its being on the cross on the Sabbath day (John 19:31) and Joseph obtained the body for burial and laid it in a sepulcher (Luke 23:50-54), “and the Sabbath drew on” (v. 52).  This is a clear recognition of Jewish reckoning. 


The coming of Mary to the tomb early on the first day of the week while it was still dark (John 20:1) coupled with its being in the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; see also Mark 16:2) suggests a reckoning of time different from the Jewish.  This difference in reckoning is also recognized by the account of the two who went back to Jerusalem from Emmaus after their evening meal (Luke 24:28-33; John 20:19).  Luke was accounting the day as either from midnight to midnight, or from sunrise to sunrise.


In Luke’s account of the Lord’s Day service at Troas where Paul preached till midnight, it is clear that Paul was intending to, and did leave on the “morrow,” which is the next day (Acts 20:7-8). The continuing of the speech till midnight, and his leaving at break of day (vv. 7, 11) confirms a reckoning of either from midnight to midnight, or from daybreak to daybreak.  This differs from the Jewish practice.


A trying to force Jewish practice on Christians is not in keeping with New Testament principles.


2. When time began it was reckoned on periods of seven days in a week, as in Genesis. Compare Genesis 29:27 and Judges 14:12. The Sabbath, when given in Exodus 16 was based on the same seven-day concept of a week.  The week is based on a continuous cycle of seven days, “sevened” is the concept of the word shabua (#7620). The Sabbath comes from this concept of seven, and is given its name from shabbath (#7676) meaning seventh.  It was the seventh day of every week, a week always being seven days.


The count for Pentecost, as we have observed, makes impossible any claim for intermissions into this count.  The position that “Jubilee breaks the cycle of seven” (WSDM, p. 75; LS, p. 29) is without foundation.  No count for Jubilee shows a break up of the seven-year count for Sabbath years.


McClintock and Strong in their Cyclopedia give under “Jubilee” and under “Book of Jubilee” a phrase of reckoning a period of 2450 years as “fifty jubilees of forty-nine years each” (pp. 1041, 1043).  The concept is from Leviticus 25 concerning every seventh year as a rest for the land and a period of “seven Sabbaths of years ... forty and nine years” (v. 8).  There were no intermissions in these years – seven sevens came to 49.  The year after this was called a Jubilee to proclaim release and to add to the rest.  It did not interfere with the observance of the Sabbatical year that came six years later.  The author of the “Book of Jubilee” recognized this, being a Jew, and used the Sabbath of years at 49.  There is no intermission ascribed to the Jubilee count.  The year of release followed this seventh year.


In the rules for the seventh month (Leviticus 23:23-43) there is no indication of any intermissions to the count of seven. There is no indication that the special services on the 1st, 10th, 15th, and 22nd interrupted the weekly count of days.


WSDM gives Exodus 16:28-29 and its “let no man go out of his place on the seventh day” (p. 48) to argue against traveling even the limited Sabbath day “for our own personal edification ...” But it is also argued that the Sabbath of the 29th is followed by a one-day new moon after 29-day months, or it is followed by a two-day new moon observance after 30-day months, citing 1 Samuel 20 as substantiation (p. 69).  This indicates that Jonathan and David went out into the field on the 29th Sabbath to make plans (vv. 11-24), which included an excuse that would involve a journey of more than five miles to Bethlehem (vv. 6, 28-29). The record is against the day before the new moon being a Sabbath.  Only the “morrow” is indicated as being the new moon (vv. 5, 24) and the “second” day is the “second day of the month” (v. 27). The idea of the new moon interrupting the seven-day week is void of evidence.


Jesus was faced with people that had trouble understanding the law with regard to the Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28; Matthew 12:1-13) arguing “it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days” (Matthew 12:12).  Circumcising a male child on the 8th day when it fell on a Sabbath was carried out and recognized as not violating the law (John 7:22-23).  Similarly with regard to observing other laws James argued that judgment is of secondary importance to mercy (James 2:13, 8-13).


Faced with questions regarding keeping the Sabbath, arguments are sometimes made accepting a day as a Sabbath, and arguing it was an exception.  At other times, it is argued that the day couldn’t be a Sabbath as it did not appear to be kept as such.  I noted the following exceptions in my notes as I read LS and WSDM. 


Exceptions concern 1) six working days between Sabbaths, or 2) six working days from new moons to Sabbaths, or 3) other appointed worship days and these, such are accepted only in some months.  “You have the twenty-first day in the first moon as a worship day and the tenth day in the seventh moon is a worship day (Appointment).  These are exceptions, but this does not apply to the other moons because they are not specified” (LS, p. 36). Are these specified as exceptions?  On what basis are they?


The Jericho march being on a Sabbath (LS, pp. 6-8) recognizes the problem of the idea of a Sabbath day’s journey and any exception, “An exception was allowed for the purpose of worshipping at the tabernacle” (LS, p. 7).  An exception to march on a Sabbath is denied in order to argue there was no Sabbath in the seven-day of marching, therefore the lunar Sabbatarian position is claimed to be true.


Against the people traveling on the 15th in Exodus 16:1 (LS, pp. 10-12), it is argued there is “No basis” (p. 12) for saying they did travel. It is argued that this proves the 15th was a Sabbath. But there is accepting of traveling on the 15th in Num. 33:3 (WSDM pp. 51-53).  It is argued that there is no inconsistency in WSDM’s position on traveling around Jericho and denying there was a Sabbath in those seven days. 


Since it is argued there can be exception to such Sabbath traveling on one occasion, it is hardly reasonable to charge God cannot command and accept travel on another simply because it would involve a Sabbath that man’s argument will not allow.




3. A proper recognition of the Old Testament arrangement as serving to tutor man to acceptance of Christ and the New Testament arrangement is essential to accepting Christ and being acceptable to God (Galatians 3:22-29; Romans 8:1-4).  The things of the law served to be examples for obedience and warning against disobedience (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-12).


A second principle of the Old Testament arrangements is to serve as types for the nature of the New Testament arrangements (Hebrews 10:1; see 9:1-10; Colossians 2:16-17).


The prophecies of the Old Testament to be fulfilled in the New Testament used events and things of the Old Testament as types of which things in fulfillment in the New Testament would be the antitype.  The animal sacrifices were the type, Christ the antitype.  Christ did not have to be a literal lamb.  New Testament fulfillment (Acts 2) of Old Testament prophecies (Joel 2) ought to warn us against seeking to make the antitype of the same literalness of the type.


While Christian Jews could observe some Old Testament national practices they were not to bind such on the Gentiles as essential to salvation (Galatians 2:15-16, 15-21).  Therefore, Paul argued, “Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (4:10-11). For a Christian to turn to the law for salvation was to nullify his relation with Christ (Galatians 5:1-9).


Let us study and learn from the Old Testament, but let us follow Christ.





The Christian has responsibility to “try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1), and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason” of his hope having sanctified the Lord God in his heart (1 Peter 3:15).  Jews held a similar disposition in “to the law, and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20) and to speak God’s “word faithfully” as it was like wheat while false teaching was like chaff (Jeremiah 23:28).


We should take advantage of every opportunity and use every right means to correct error, and to teach the truth that makes free.


And above all we must accept God at His word.