We are now living at a time in history when undoubtedly there are more religious charlatans concocting various devious heretical brews of poisonous dogma that would make even Frankenstein blush and cringe with envy. One such impostor is Gene Heck who spawned a hideous theory that the Biblical day was calculated from high noon to high noon. If you haven’t as yet read parts one and two on this subject, you may not fully understand this third issue. According to Heck, his mentors and colleagues in this subterfuge are Pete Peters, James Bruggeman and Charles Weisman.
In the first paper, I showed how Heck was confusing Biblical time with our present celestial meridian time which was not adopted generally until 1884 A.D. I exposed how Heck added the words “east” and “main” to Nehemiah 13:15-22 that are not there. Further, I demonstrated how the east gate, or main gate as Heck calls it could not be used as a sundial as it was 10° off true north. I also pointed out that Heck had a double standard by condemning everything as “Jewish-Babylonian”, and then accepting the Babylonian 12 hour day. Then Heck quoted four passages at Deut. 16:6, 1 Kings 22:35-36, 2 Chr. 18:34 and Josh. 10:27 claiming that the translated English word “even” at those verses (#6150) meant “noon” in Hebrew which was a downright lie! Then, I took Heck to task on his view of Yahshua’s last Passover with His disciples, and how with his noon-to-noon theory, he would nullify our Redemption.
HECK IGNORANT OF THE “TWO EVENINGS”
Repeating again from Difficulties In The Bible by R. A. Torrey, chapter 21: “The gospel of John was written later than the other gospels, and scholars have for a long time noticed that in various places there was an evident intention to correct false impressions that one might get from reading the other gospels. One of these false impressions was that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples at the regular time of the Passover. To correct this false impression John clearly states that He ate it the evening before, and that He himself died on the cross at the very moment the Passover lambs were being slain ‘between the two evenings’ on the 14th of Nisan (Exodus 12:6, Hebrew; cf. RV marg.). God’s real Paschal Lamb, Jesus, of whom all other Paschal lambs offered through the centuries were only types, was therefore slain at the very time appointed of God.”
We will now quote several passages from The Holy Scriptures by J. N. Darby, as his translation is more appropriate on the “two evenings” than many:
Numbers 9:1-5: “1 And Jehovah [sic Yahweh] spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after their departure from the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Let the children of Israel also hold the passover at its set time; 3 on the fourteenth day in this month between the two evenings, ye shall hold it at its set time; according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ordinances thereof shall ye hold it. 4 And Moses spoke to the children of Israel, that they should hold the passover. 5 And they held the passover in the first month on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings, in the wilderness of Sinai: according to all that Jehovah [sic Yahweh] had commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel.”
Numbers 28:1-8: “1 And Jehovah [sic Yahweh] spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, my bread for my offerings by fire of sweet odour to me, shall ye take heed to present to me at their set time. 3 And say unto them, This is the offering by fire which ye shall present to Jehovah [sic Yahweh]: two yearling lambs without blemish, day by day, as a continual burnt-offering. 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb thou shalt offer between the two evenings; 5 and a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for an oblation, mingled with beaten oil, a fourth part of a hin: 6 it is the continual burnt-offering which was ordained on mount Sinai for a sweet odour, an offering by fire to Jehovah [sic Yahweh]. 7 And the drink-offering thereof shall be a fourth part of a hin for one lamb; in the sanctuary shall the drink-offering of strong drink be poured out to Jehovah [sic Yahweh]. 8 And the second lamb thou shalt offer between the two evenings; with the like oblation as that of the morning, and the like drink-offering, shalt thou offer it as an offering by fire of a sweet odour to Jehovah [sic Yahweh].”
Exodus 16:10-12:“10 And it came to pass, when Aaron spoke to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, that they turned toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of Jehovah [sic Yahweh] appeared in the cloud. 11 And Jehovah [sic Yahweh] spoke to Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak to them, saying, Between the two evenings ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am Jehovah [sic Yahweh] your God.”
Leviticus 23:4-6: “4 These are the set feasts of Jehovah [sic Yahweh], holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons: 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth of the month, between the two evenings, is the passover to Jehovah [sic Yahweh]. 6 And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast of unleavened bread to Jehovah [sic Yahweh]; seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread.”
Exodus 12:4-7: “4 And if the household be too small for a lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; each according to the measure of his eating shall ye count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats. 6 And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two door-posts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”
Exodus 29:38-41: “38 And this is what thou shalt offer upon the altar—two lambs of the first year, day by day continually. 39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer between the two evenings. 40 And with the one lamb a tenth part of wheaten flour mingled with beaten oil, a fourth part of a hin; and a drink-offering, a fourth part of a hin of wine. 41 And the second lamb shalt thou offer between the two evenings; as the oblation in the morning, and as its drink-offering shalt thou offer with this, for a sweet odour, an offering by fire to Jehovah [sic Yahweh].”
Exodus 30:7-8: “7 And Aaron shall burn thereon fragrant incense: every morning, when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn the incense. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps between the two evenings, he shall burn the incense—a continual incense before Jehovah [sic Yahweh] throughout your generations.”
This should give those who are not aware that there were two evenings involved a clearer view of what is being said. Basically what Heck is doing is taking nearly every place “even” or “evening” is translated and applying it to high noon, and his flawed premise is that the “Jews” are always 100% wrong in every case on every issue. Heck overlooks Matthew 23:1-3 which says: “1 Then spake Yahshua to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
We are told again at Matthew 5:20: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
There’s an attitude going around in Israel Identity that if the “Jews” teach a certain thing, then we’re to do the opposite. Matthew 23:3 hardly supports that manner of reasoning. It would appear that if one has a case in point, it would be well for that one to have all the documentation to validate it! Surely, Heck lacks substantiation! One of his chapter headings on page 21 reads: “WARNINGS FOR CHRISTIANS, BEWARE OF The Doctrine of Men And Jewish Fables.” Then Heck goes on at length denouncing “Phariseeism”, “tradition ... and commandments of men”, “Talmudism”, “Jewish fables”, etc. After setting his sucker up like a shifty con artist to do exactly the opposite as the “Jews”, he says the following on pages 22-23: “Starting the weekly Sabbath at sundown is following a Jewish fable, a tradition of Judaism, which is taught in the Talmud, the bible of Judaism. This Jewish fable has deceived millions of people and has led them away from the truth of God’s true Sabbath.”
A little further along Heck says: “These people who call themselves ‘God’s chosen people’ but do lie, begin their day at sundown and have deceived millions and millions of people in Christendom to follow their traditions and commandments of men.”
I searched Heck’s entire book of 60 pages The Weekly Sabbath and never once did he mention anything about the “two evenings.” It is obvious that Gene Heck and his three associates are grossly uninformed. With that aside, I will now present documentation concerning the “two evenings”.
The Bible Exposition Commentary: “The Jews [sic Israelites] recognized two evenings: “early evening”, from 3 to 6 o’clock, and “evening”, after 6 o’clock, when the new day would begin. This explains how both Matthew (27:57) and Mark [15:42] could call late Friday [sic Wednesday] afternoon “evening”. It was important that the place of execution be quickly cleared, because the Jewish [sic Israelite] Sabbath was about to begin, and that Sabbath was a “high day” because of the Passover (John 19:31).
Easton's Bible Dictionary: “Evening — the period following sunset with which the Jewish [sic Israelite] day began (Gen. 1:5; Mark 13:35). The Hebrews reckoned two evenings of each day, as appears from Ex. 16:12: 30:8; 12:6 (marg.); Lev. 23:5 (marg. R.V., “between the two evenings”). The “first evening” was that period when the sun was verging towards setting, and the “second evening” the moment of actual sunset. The word “evenings” in Jer. 5:6 should be “deserts” (marg. R.V.).” Also see LXX at Lev. 23:5.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary: “Daily sacrifice — (Dan. 8:12; 11:31; 12:11), a burnt offering of two lambs of a year old, which were daily sacrificed in the name of the whole Israelitish people upon the great altar, the first at dawn of day, and the second at evening (Dan. 9:21), or more correctly, ‘between the two evenings’.”
The Four-Fold Gospel pages 645-646: Note: [The law required that the paschal lamb should be slain “between the evenings.” The Jews [sic Israelites] reckoned the two evenings as from three o’clock to sunset, and from sunset to nine o’clock, which was the end of the first watch. But Josephus tells us that the lambs were killed from the ninth to the eleventh hours, or between the hours of three and five. It would take some time to dress the lamb and to roast it, so that it must have been about sundown or shortly afterward when Jesus and his disciples sat down to the feast.]
History of the Christian Church by P. Schaff, V. The Date of the Lord’s Death.—The day of the week on which Christ suffered on the cross was a Friday [sic Wednesday], during the week of the Passover, in the month of Nisan, which was the first of the twelve lunar months of the Jewish [sic Israelite] year, and included the vernal equinox. But the question is whether this Friday [sic Wednesday] was the 14th, or the 15th of Nisan, that is, the day before the feast or the first day of the feast, which lasted a week. The Synoptical Gospels clearly decide for the 15th, for they all say (independently) that our Lord partook of the paschal supper on the legal day, called the ‘first day of unleavened bread,’ that is on the evening of the 14th, or rather at the beginning of the 15th (the paschal lambs being slain ‘between the two evenings,’ i.e. before and after sunset, between 3 and 5 p.m. of the 14th). John, on the other hand, seems at first sight to point to the 14th, so that the death of our Lord would very nearly have coincided with the slaying of the paschal lamb. But the three or four passages which look in that direction can, and on closer examination, must be harmonized with the Synoptical statement, which admits only of one natural interpretation. It seems strange, indeed, that, the Jewish priests should have matured their bloody counsel in the solemn night of the Passover, and urged a crucifixion on a great festival ...”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible, Ex. 12:1: “1. The paschal lamb was typical. Christ is our Passover, 1 Co. 5:7... It was to be slain, and roasted with fire (v. 6-9), denoting the exquisite sufferings of the Lord Jesus, even unto death, the death of the cross ... It was to be killed by the whole congregation between the two evenings, that is, between three o’clock and six ... Not a bone of it must be broken (v. 46), which is expressly said to be fulfilled in Christ (Jn. 19:33, 36), denoting the unbroken strength of the Lord Jesus.
New Bible Dictionary by D. R. W. Wood, 3rd ed., page 872: “5. The phrase ‘between the two evenings’ in Ex. 12:6 (also Ex. 16:12; Lv. 23:5; Nu. 9:3, 5, 11) has been accorded two variant interpretations, according to variant community practice – either between 3 p.m. and sunset, as the Pharisees maintained and practised (cf. Pesahim 61a; Josephus, BJ 6.423); or, as the Samaritans and others argued, between sunset and dark. The earlier time, as Edersheim points out, allow[s] more leeway for the slaughtering of the innumerable lambs, and is probably to be preferred.”
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament page 694: “Evenings were quite important for sacrificial acts and ceremonial meals in ancient Israel. The Passover began on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month (see Ex 12:6, 18). Sometimes, as in Ex 12:6, the Hebrew reads literally, ‘between the two evenings,’ likely ‘twilight,’ the time interval between sunset and darkness in which there is a state of illumination. Only in Job 7:4 does ‘ereb denote ‘night’ proper.”
Gene Heck is not the only one to mistakenly place “even” at high noon but in an entirely differently way which I will explain at the end of the next quote. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge in my Libronix Digital Library has a note at Exodus 12:6:
“6 fourteenth. Le 23:5 Nu 9:3 28:16,18 De 16:1-6 2 Ch 30:15 Eze 45:21 the whole. 2 Ch 30:15-18 Isa 53:6 Mt 27:20,25 Mr 15:1, 8, 11, 25, 33, 34 Lu 23:1, 18 Ac 2:23 3:14 4:27 in the evening. Heb. between the two evenings. The Jews divided the day into morning and evening: till the sun passed the meridian, all was morning or forenoon; after that, all was evening or afternoon. Their first evening began just after twelve o’clock, and continued till sunset; their second evening began at sunset, and continued till night, i.e., during the whole time of twilight; between twelve o’clock, therefore, and the termination of twilight, the passover was to be offered. See Parallel Passages. 16:12 Mt 27:46-50.”
Here again the author of this last passage uses the phrase “passed the meridian”, which was wholly unknown at the time of the Crucifixion. The difference between this author and Gene Heck is, at least this writer acknowledges the “two evenings” while Heck hasn’t the slightest idea of the Hebrew method of designating the periods of time in mid to late afternoon.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. vol. 2, page 208: “2. opsia (3798), the feminine of the adjective opsios, ‘late,’ used as a noun, denoting ‘evening,’ with hora, ‘understood’ ..., is found seven times in Matthew, five in Mark, two in John, and in these places only in the NT (some mss. have it in Mark 11:11 ...). The word really signifies the ‘late evening,’ the latter of the two ‘evenings’ as reckoned by the Jews [sic Israelites], the first from 3 p.m. to sunset, the latter after sunset; this is the usual meaning. It is used, however, of both, e.g., Mark 1:32 ...”
Word Pictures in the New Testament. Matthew 14:15: “When even was come (ὀψίας γενομένης [opsias genomeneµs]). Genitive absolute. Not sunset about 6 p.m. as in 8:16 and as in 14:23, but the first of the two ‘evenings’ beginning at 3 p.m.”
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary New Testament (Mt 14:13). “When it was evening. The Jews [sic Israelites] distinguished two evenings, the first beginning about three o’clock, and the second at sundown (cf. Ex 12:6, ASV marg.). The first evening is meant in verse 15; the second in verse 23.”
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary Old Testament. First Commemorative and First Supplementary Passover. 9:1-14. [Numbers 9:2]: “3. At even. Literally, between the two evenings. Just as a ‘dual’ of the word ‘shine’ (sāhar) refers to that high point of the sun we call noon or midday, so the dual of the word ‘evening’ (،ereb) refers to that half light we call twilight. Proverbs 7:9 equates this time with twilight in contrast to the middle of the night.”
Evidently, noon does fit into the equation, but not in the way that Gene Heck thinks. Let’s next take another look at the word (sāhar), and see how it accords. The word “shine” in the KJV is translated from eight Hebrew words specified by the Strong’s #s 215, 3313, 5774, 5050, 1948, 6670, 6245 & 2094. The word (sāhar) is #6670. #6670 is found six times in the O.T. at Est. 8:15; Ps. 104:15; Isa. 10:30; 24:17; Jer. 5:8; 50:11, and not in a single instance is it used to denote the time of the day! Yes (sāhar) is used allegorically for the brightest or the hottest portion of the day, but not as a time marker.
I found such a reference that does suggest such a meaning in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament by R. L. Harris, page 755: “...(sōhar) Noon, midday. (ASV, RSV similar; they use ‘noonday’; ASV also ‘noontide’.) Noon, being the hottest part of the day, is siesta time (II Sam 4:5) ...” Let’s now check II Sam. 4:5 to see if indeed it is speaking of “siesta time”:
“And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon.”
From time immemorial in the hotter climates of the world, people have kept a “siesta time” during the heat of the day, especially in Egypt where the Israelites were kept in bondage, and it seems, with this verse, the custom followed them to Canaan. This nap-period was considered as a slumber time of inactivity, or like bedtime at the end of the day, thus the relation to an evening. And to all this, Gene Heck and company are mentally impervious.
Adam Clarke in his Commentary at Exod. 12:6, (vol. 1, page 350) comments thusly: “In the evening] בין הערבים beyn haarbayim ‘between the two evenings.’ The Jews [sic Israelites] divided the day into morning and evening: till the sun passed the meridian all was morning or forenoon; after that, all was afternoon or evening. Their first evening began just after twelve o’clock, and continued till sunset; their second evening began at sunset and continued till night, i.e., during the whole time of twilight; between twelve o’clock, therefore and the termination of twilight ...” Clarke, in the following paragraph, acknowledges that the Crucifixion ended at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
In part four of the next installment on this topic, we’ll, with the help of William Finck, look into the Greek meanings for these two distinct, individual evenings.
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