The pretzel factories are working overtime these days, and the so-called “noon to noon biblical day” theory is a prime example of such a contrived, convoluted and twisted supposition dreamed up by unscholarly and unenlightened, puffed-up, self-aggrandized wannabes. And that is probably an understatement.
The architect of this hocus-pocus seems to be one Gene Heck and his publication The Weekly Sabbath: Part I: “From When to When?”, Part II: “Which Day of the Week?”, Part III: “Yes, But What About…?” Heck dubs himself: Bible Research Institute, 11755 Bunco Road, Athol, Idaho 83801, Phone (208) 683-2147.
On page 2, under the heading “Dedication”, Heck says the following: “... This book would never have been begun, let alone completed, had it not been for Pastor Peters who originally inspired my research into the Sabbath issue, and then suggested that I put my research into book form. Pastor James Bruggeman, a Bible scholar, who offered many suggestions which have improved the quality of presentation, and who then published this work in an abridged form in his Christian Patriot Crusader newsletter ...” Anyone who understands the machinations of this trio wrecking crew, can also comprehend the questionable atmosphere under which this poppycock was hatched. In addition to these three turkeys, Gene Heck also gobbles-up Charles Wiseman’s phony baloney!
Because of limited space, the scope of this article will not cover the subject of the Sabbath, but rather the timing of the beginning and ending of a typical Biblical day, for if we cannot determine the day’s beginning and end, there is no use of even observing a Sabbath, weekly or otherwise. Heck’s hypothesis is that the Biblical day begins and ends at high-noon.
You’ll have to forgive me if I appear somewhat irritated at all this, and before I’m through, you’ll see that I have good reason to be so.
Early in his book on page 9, under the heading “Evening and Morning” Heck starts using the terms “meridian”, “post meridian” and “ante meridian” to establish support for his faulty premise. Heck then shows several charts using this “meridian” type of keeping time and applies it to Biblical time. The problem is, the use of celestial meridian time was not officially adopted until 1884 at an international conference at Washington D.C. (see Ency. Britannica 11th Ed. vol. 26, pages 983-988). Celestial meridian time requires that mean time be established. There is absolutely not the slightest mention in all of Scripture to celestial meridian time. Continuing, this Britannica article says: “Mean time is converted into apparent time by applying the equation of time with the proper sign, as given in the Nautical Almanac and other ephemerides for every day at noon. As the equation varies from day to day, it is necessary to take this into account, if the apparent time is required for any moment different than noon. The ephemerides also give the sidereal time at mean noon, from which it is easy to find the sidereal time at any moment, as 24 hours of mean solar time are equal to 24h 3m 56.5554s of sidereal time ...”
From this it should be quite apparent that Heck is deliberately confusing his readers, comparing modern time keeping with that of the Bible. Heck quotes Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary several times trying to make his point, but celestial meridian time was not officially adopted for another 60 years after that. On page 33, Heck makes another attempt at confusing the issue under the heading “At the Time Of Nehemiah”:
“The Israelites of old were carried off to Babylonian captivity, and after 70 years of captivity God allowed those, who wanted to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and city, to do so. After the walls had been rebuilt, Nehemiah went back to Babylon to report to the king. When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem he found that the Israelites, during his absence, had corrupted themselves and were violating God’s Sabbath just as their fathers before them had done. According to Nehemiah, it was this kind of Sabbath breaking that sent their fathers to Babylon in the first place. He became very angry with them and upbraided them severely, as recorded in Nehemiah 13:15-22. In verse 19 we learn that:
“… it came to pass that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark (shaded) before (at the front of) the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath.
“In the above passage, the word dark is word #6751 in Strong’s. It is used only twice-in Scripture and it means, “to shade.” The main gate of Jerusalem faced east, and just after the sun reached it’s apex or meridian at noon, a shadow was cast on the main gate. It was at that time that Nehemiah ordered that the gates were to be shut to commence the Sabbath, and the gates were not to be opened again until noon the following day, when the shadow would again fall on the gates announcing the fact that the Sabbath was over and a new day had begun. We believe that this is the clear message to be learned from the above verse.”
Gene Heck is implying that the “east gate” above would serve as a sundial, and when the sun’s shadow appeared on the east side of that supposed closed gate at high noon that the Sabbath had ended. Like so many with their pretzelized Bible so-called research, he overlooked Ezekiel 46:1-3 which says:
“Thus saith Yahweh Elohim; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before Yahweh in the sabbaths and in the new moons.”
Had Heck done his homework, he would have found that Nehemiah’s “eastern gate” didn’t point directly east but the wall containing that gate was 10° off true north and totally unsuitable as a sundial.
Further, had Heck checked the Septuagint, he would have found that translation on verse 19 reads: “And when the gates of Jerusalem were set up, I ordered them to be shut before the sabbath, and gave a charge that they should not be opened till after the sabbath; and I stationed some of my servants at the gates that no burdens might be brought in on the sabbath day.” As you can plainly see, nothing about anything “shaded” or “dark”! Yet again, Smith and Goodspeed has it “... when the gates of Jerusalem began to be in darkness before the sabbath ...” Not just one gate, but all the gates (north, east, south and west)! Ditto for the RSV which Pete Peters touts so much! Check also Moffatt, Knox, Lamsa & NEB. Heck is skating on mighty thin ice here using a gate as a sundial! No wonder Heck quoted exclusively from the King James Version! In addition to this, Nehemiah at 13:15-22 does not specify an “east” nor a “main” gate as Heck claims. Heck is intentionally and dishonestly reading “east” and “main” into verse 19! In fact, the term “main” is not used in the entire KJV. Go back and reread these two words I underlined again, and you’ll see a good example of how the old “shell game” works.
Had Heck read the rest of Nehemiah 13, he might not have made such a blunder, for The New KJV reads at Neh. 13:21-22: “Then I warned them, and said to them, ‘Why do you spend the night around (about) the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!’ From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day.”
Notice there is no mention of the merchants lodging two nights or even a part of a day outside the walls. For safety, the usual practice was to close the gates at night, so Nehemiah’s charge to close the gates during the day was unusual. To infer that the gates were closed two half days for the Sabbath is ridiculous.
HECK GUILTY OF A DOUBLE STANDARD
Heck condemns anything “Jewish” yet then jumps at the chance to use the Babylonian-Jewish 12 hour day to make his point. In Heck’s futile attempt to apply celestial meridian time to the Bible, he says the following: “In the gospel of John 11:9 we are told: Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in a day?” It is common historical knowledge that the 12 hour day was a product of the Babylonian astronomers, and that is why it was in use by much of the world including Judaea at the time of Messiah. Commentary after commentary point out that the “Jews” had picked this 12 hour day up during their captivity in Babylon and brought it back with them, which is only part of the story.
Excuse me, since I am becoming indignant again as a result of Heck’s utter anal excretion which he doesn’t seem to think stinks! It is found on page 19, and I will comment at the end of his diatribe:
“Below are a few examples where Scripture has referred to noon as even, the going down of the sun:
“... there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun (Deut. 16:6).
“… (King Ahab) died at even … and there went out a proclamation … about the going down of the sun… (1 Kings 22:35-36).
“…the king of Israel stayed … up in his chariot … until even, and about the time of the sun going down he died. (II Chronicles 18:34).
“… and it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun … they took them off of the trees… (Joshua 10:22 [sic. 10:27]).
“We have often been misled into thinking that the going down of the sun ‘always’ means sunset. Why? Because some Hebrew and Chaldee words that do mean sunset have been translated as the going down of the sun. But in all of the above-cited cases it is a different Hebrew word, and the word means noon, not sunset.”
This is a damnable lie!!! In fact, I’m twice mad!!! I’m now going to demonstrate how full of bull-crap this Heck character is, and how he makes himself an idiot! Contrary to Heck, in “all of the above-cited cases”, the Hebrew word is Strong’s #6150, ‘ârab and has two primary meanings. Strong’s shows that #6150 is closely related to #6148, “... to braid i.e. intermix ... mingle ...” It is used to identify the Arabs as a mixed-race people! Because of the Arab’s racial mixing, a second meaning is to “grow dusky.” And for sunset, it indicates the sun “... growing dusky ...” See all of Strong’s definitions from #s 6148 to 6156! All the above passages cited by Heck are #6150, and has nothing to do with “noon.”
On the passage which Heck designated Joshua 10:22 (which was really Joshua 10:27), he should have also quoted Joshua 10:26 where the word “evening” (#6150) is used. Secondly, on Heck’s reference to “the time of the going down of the sun”, at Joshua 10:17 Gesenius’ Lexicon shows on page 839 that whether or not the sun is rising or setting depends on the Hebrew verb. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains OT has it “... (bow’ ha- shemesh) sunset, i.e., the time of the day in the evening when the sun comes down.”
Joshua 10:26-27 is parallel to Joshua 8:29: “And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.” For anyone who will honestly compare these two passages can only come to the conclusion that “the time of the sun going down” at Joshua 10:27 can only be the same as “eventide” at Joshua 8:29!
Now let’s go to Webster’s: “even•tide \ ē-vən-tīd\ noun (before 12th century): the time of evening: evening.” Also Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus: “synonyms evening 1, ||diimet, ||dimps, ||dimpsy, dusk, ||dusk dark, gloaming, nightfall, owl-light, twilight.” This is exactly as I copied it from my Libronix Digital Library. The “||diimet”, “||dimps” and “||dimpsy” evidently mean “dim.”
On page 3, Gene Heck makes the following foolish comment: “All the laws that God handed down to Moses for Israel to obey were in effect at the time that Christ ate the last supper with his apostles. Christ sat down to eat the Passover with them at sunset, which occurred at approximately 6 o’clock p.m. [sic. P.M.]” Then on page 4 Heck makes a similar statement: “Since Christ sat down to eat the fully roasted and prepared Passover lamb at Sunset (approx. 6:00 p.m. [sic. P.M.) The question then arises: When was the lamb actually killed, and what does ‘even, the going down of the sun’ mean?”
Unquestionably, Heck must be out of his mind! What Heck is attempting to do is to line up the sequence of events of Christ’s Passover with that of Israel’s Passover in Egypt, and that is impossible! Since Christ was the Passover Lamb, it would have been necessary for Him to rise from the dead about three hours after He died to have followed the sequence of events at the Passover in Egypt, for in Egypt the lamb was killed first, and the Passover meal followed. In the case with Christ and His disciples, the Passover meal came first and then the Lamb was slain (that is, the Lamb of Yahweh). Of course, it was necessary to kill a lamb in preparation for Christ’s Last Supper, but the important Lamb to consider was Yahshua Christ Himself.
This brings us to an important question: Did Christ and His disciples keep Passover on the proper day? Now, if we will consider that the Israelite day was from sunset to sunset, then (1) the Passover meal of Christ with His disciples, and (2) His death (the Lamb slain) occurred during the same sunset-to-sunset day. Gene Heck’s insane noon-to-noon day bungles the entire matter up in disarray, leaving only confusion.
This requires a second question to be asked: Were the rest of the Judaeans (including the bad-fig-Canaanite “Jews”) keeping Passover at the proper time? All we need do is read John 19:31-33, 35-36, 42 and it should become crystal clear:
“31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Yahshua, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken ... 42 There laid they Yahshua therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.”
Inasmuch as Yahshua was crucified on the day of preparation, we can see clearly from this passage that the rest of the Judaeans kept the High Sabbath on the proper day. Had they not, I’m sure that all four gospels would have recorded that fact. Surely our Redeemed was crucified on the preordained day! This passage also manifestly shows that the body of Yahshua had to be taken down from the cross before sunset as Deut. 21:22-23 clearly prescribes:
“22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which Yahweh thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”
DO WE HAVE A DOUBLE WITNESS?
Surely, Mary Magdalene, Mary (mother of James) and Salome would have known that Yahshua was crucified on the day of preparation, for their actions speak louder than words. Actually, there were two sabbaths the week of Christ’s death (the high sabbath and the weekly sabbath). Let’s follow these three ladies through Scripture. Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56 provides us evidence of two sabbaths.
Mark 16:1: “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him.” (A.R.V.) [A.V. incorrectly “had bought”]
Luke 23:56: “And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”
Thus, we can reconstruct the final days of Christ death and his three days in the grave and His Resurrection. In terms of our week, the Crucifixion fell on Wednesday. Thursday was the High Sabbath. These three ladies purchased the spices on Friday (a non-sabbath), and rested on Saturday (a weekly Sabbath). Then going to the tomb on Sunday to anoint Yahshua’s body (the first day of the week) they found the tomb empty. It is idiotic to suggest that these three ladies kept a noon-to-noon day or sabbath!
But many have problems reading Matthew at 26:17; Mark at 14:12; Luke at 22:1, 7; and John at 13:1, 28 in reference to finding a place to meet for the Last Supper as these passages read respectively “the first day of the feast of unleavened bread”; “the first day of unleavened bread”; “the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover ... Then came the day of unleavened bread when the passover must be killed.” Notice Luke more accurately states, “the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh ...”
It is not improper to refer to the day of preparation as “a day of unleavened bread” as on that day every Israelite was to clean all the leaven from their dwellings, Exod. 12:15. Therefore the bad-fig-Canaanite “Jews” were keeping the correct Passover day, but today they celebrate the Passover meal rather than the Passover Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. All of these events of our Savior’s last few days on this earth could not be reconciled with a noon-to-noon day! If Gene Heck were consistent with his own befuddled interpretation at Joshua 10:27, then Christ also would have had to be taken down off the cross at high noon according to the law of Deut. 21:22-23! How preposterous!
Again, its very clear that Gene Heck, Pete Peters, James Bruggeman, Charles Wiseman, and their ilk have all made themselves charlatans in the fullest sense of the word. Gene Heck only gets more absurd as he continues his diatribe. In the next brochure by this same title, I’ll go into the subject of the “two evenings”, again all botched up by Heck.
Clifton A. Emahiser’s Teaching Ministries
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