- In the Gospels, Can "Day of:" the Passover - be Interpreted Idiomatically?
- Did Chrysostom's Text Say a "Double Sabbath" was One Day? or Two?
- In Luke 22:16: Does the Syntax Indicate if Jesus Was not Going to Eat THAT Passover?
- The meaning of παρασκευή ('day of preparation')
1. Questions :
- Is there evidence that "Heart of the Earth" can convey an altered sense of time? NO.
- How do authors convey a literal sense of "24 hour periods" ? By indicating the hours of each day.
- When the numbers of days and nights are reckoned separately, does it include partial days? YES.
- Are there OTHER Idioms in the Passion Narrative that are used in the Reckoning of Days? YES.
- Could Jewish Practices have altered the reckoning of Days and Nights? YES.
- Are there textual examples where a day or night is indicated and NO part of the day or night is included : NO.
2. Is there evidence that "Heart of the Earth" can convey an altered sense of Time?
The origin of the expression "Heart of the Earth" is actually an allusion to "Heart of the Sea", (i.e., Jonah, other Biblical Instances).
Regardless - There seem to be NO instances where "altered senses of time" apply to these metaphors in Scripture, or Greco-Roman literature, (also see the Perseus library).
3. How are Literal "24 Hour Periods" Conveyed in Scripture?
In Scripture - when authors intend to convey a literal "24 hour period", the "hours of each day" are explicitly indicated. However - when the "hours of each day" are not specified - it is implicitly understood that "partial days and nights" are included :
NASB, Leviticus 23:32 - It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.”
NASB, Acts 10:3 - About the ninth hour of the day he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, “Cornelius!” ... Acts 10:30 - Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour;
4. When the numbers of days and nights are reckoned separately, does it include partial days?
Reckoning of "Days and Nights" is Inclusive of the Beginning, and End :
NASB, 1 Samuel 20:5 - 5 So David said to Jonathan, “Behold, tomorrow [מָחָ֔ר] is the new moon "חֹ֫דֶשׁ", (literally, the next calendar month/day) ... let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening.
Note: Three Nights of Hiding - including this same night. This Evening - was a separate calendar day from the first two days of the month.
No Part of a Previous "Day" is Used to Add to the Final Third "Day" :
NASB, 1 Samuel 20:12 - Then Jonathan said to David, “The Lord, the God of Israel, be witness! When I have sounded out my father, [a time as now, the third coming] "כָּעֵ֤ת ׀ מָחָר֙ הַשְּׁלִשִׁ֔ית", Hebrew Text w/Translations ...
Note: "third time as now" - "now" indicates that evening; "as now" indicates "another evening"; "the third" indicates the third evening, including this one.
The Text Explicitly Synchronizes "Tomorrow" and "Next Calendar Day" :
1 Samuel 20:18 - Then Jonathan said to him, “Tomorrow is the new moon ... 19 and on the third [morrow/next day], you shall go down quickly and come to the place ...
Note: This is the "Appointed Time" set by David and Jonathan. Whether the "third next day "begins at Night, or Day" - will be settled by observing the time when David "Quickly" arrives. The context, and its severity, shows that this is not ambiguous to either David or Jonathan.
Note: If it is held that a "next day" begins at night, then that next morning would not count towards the "three", and there would only be "two days" - a contradiction.
A Day "בַּיּ֣וֹם" Can Ambiguously Refer to Night or Daytime :
1 Samuel 20:24, First Night Hid -> Next Day/New Month - So David hid in the field; and when the new moon [literally, next Month] came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 ... but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not speak anything that day [בַּיּ֣וֹם].
Note: This indicates that David's seat had been empty - that day, showing how long the feast had been.
NASB, 1 Samuel 20:27, 2nd Night Hid -> Second Day - It came about the next day, the second [-] of the [month] ... ; so Saul said ..., “Why has the [David] not come ... either yesterday or today? 34 Then Jonathan ... did not eat food on the second day [בְּיוֹם] of the new moon ...
Note: Here, the text explicitly uses "Yom" for day - that Jonathan had not eaten at all the second day of the month. Since Saul is noting that David had not been present - for TWO days - it makes more sense that Saul was expecting David to arrive during the day-time.
Any Amount of Time - After Daybreak - Constitutes another "Day" :
1 Samuel 20:35, Third Night Hid, Third Day - 35 Now it came about in the "morning/בַבֹּ֔קֶר [ distinct from daybreak/הַשַּׁ֣חַר עָלָ֔ה] that Jonathan went out into the field for the appointment [the third next day, (1 Sam 20:19)] with David.
Note: Here, the text shows when David "Quickly" met with Jonathan - in the morning, after sun-rise.
A "Day" can be Reckoned - even after Excluding Part of the Day:
NASB, John 4:6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. John 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days ...
Note: There is no example where "x number of days" was not inclusive.
A Period of "Days" Can be an Estimate :
NASB, 1 Samuel 30:11 - Now they found an Egyptian ... and gave him bread ... and they provided him water ... and he ate; then his spirit revived. For he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights ... 13 ... and my master left me behind when I fell sick three days ago.
Note: It is well beyond this passage to assert that David's men found this man - exactly to the hour - three days and nights later. Especially since the man wasn't "observing a set fast" but was sick and left to die.
5. Are there OTHER Idioms in the Passion Narrative that are used in the Reckoning of Days?
Idiom : "The Feast of Unleavened Bread" -
NASB, Luke 22:1 - Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching.
Idiom : That Sabbath, was a "Great Day" -
With absolute certainty - "Great Sabbath" is an idiomatic phrase. In this context - this is a reference to the Passover Sabbath, when it falls on a weekday, (see Special Sabbaths, Wikipedia Link, and High Holy Days).
NASB, John 19:31 - ... so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day(μεγάλη ἡ ἡμέρα).
Holding that there were two Sabbaths that week, and that the Sabbath meal was eaten after Jesus' crucifixion, "cleanly" accounts for three days/nights - without contradictions : Wednesday Night [Last Supper]; Thurs-Day [Crucifixion] -> Night [Passover Meal]; Fri-Day [Sabbath] -> Night; Saturday/Night [Weekly Sabbath].
Any position that the Passover had already occurred, (been eaten), before Jesus was crucified leads to many, many, contradictions in the New Testament - not to mention the doctrine of "Jesus as the Passover Lamb", (Contradiction Example: John 18:28).
Disputed Idiom : "The Day of" -
NASB, Matthew 26:17 - "... the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked ..."
This passage is the primary verse relied on to claim that the Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder.
But, there is substantial literary precedent to hold that "the day came" is idiomatic for, "it was very close to the time".
6. Could Jewish Practices have altered the reckoning of Days and Nights?
The idea of a "Day" beginning at Sun-Set, is purely Pharasaic - and does not appear in Jewish literature until the Babylonian exile, reflecting the Babylonian view of a "Day" beginning at sunset.
Sudducean Jews, Karaites, Christians - even Jesus, rejected the authority of supposed "Oral Law from Moses".
NASB, Luke 23:54 - It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to dawn [interpreted as "begin"].
This passage - if interpreted literally - reflects a Non-Pharasaic view that Priests signified the beginning of the Sabbath - during the day. (Josephus provides an example of priests blowing trumpets immediately before work - to announce the beginning of a day, (below).
Historically, the "Jewish Calendar" was not pre-calculated - but announced following observations by people, (the Jewish Calendar was not "fixed" until ~358/9 CE by Hillel II).
The Priests would make those "calls", at their discretion, with trumpets - depending on the circumstances:
Only Two Trumpet Blasts Regarding "The Day" - Once Before Work Began, and Once as it Ended :
Josephus, Wars of the Jews J. BJ 4.577-582, English, Greek :
the third at another corner over against the lower city, [J. BJ. 4.582, Greek] and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course [ἔθους, by custom], and gave a signal beforehand, with a trumpet, [ σάλπιγγι] at the beginning of every seventh day [ἑβδομάδα], in the day/twilight/? [δείλης] - ambiguous, but certainly before sunset, as also at the evening [ἑσπέρα] when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to leave off work [ἀνέργειαν] - certainly night time, and when they were to go to work again.
Josephus' account raises a LOT of questions - for me - and I am still researching the uses of "day", "evening", "night", etc - in Greek literature.
Exceptions that Plausibly Could Have Affected Announcements - that Week -
- Two Sabbath days could have occurred that week, (Passover is always a Sabbath day);
- The Passover Sabbath may have been relaxed by the Priests - if it fell on a weekday, perhaps starting later.
- On the Day Jesus was Crucified, there was a period of Darkness - which could account for another "Night" or "Day", (Luke 23:44-45; Joel 2, Amos 4);