Noon to Noon Madness, Part 5
I will state again, the pretzel factories are working overtime these days, and the so-called “noon to noon biblical day” theory is being advanced by some unscholarly and unenlightened, puffed-up, self-aggrandized wannabes. The leading 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.
I would remind the reader that it is a serious matter to twist the meanings of words making up Holy Writ! This is serious on account of the “red letter” words of Christ Himself at Matt. 12:30 and Luke 11:23 where He says: “... he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
With this fifth paper on this subject, I will demonstrate that Gene Heck and his wrecking crew are indeed twisting Scripture, and anytime we do so we are scattering the sheep rather than gathering them. At 2 Peter 3:15-16 we read:
“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Master is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
I would like you to notice especially the word “wrest” (4761) here, for according to Strong it means to “wrench”, and in turn in the English means to “pull with violent twisting or force.” So you can plainly see that “twisting” scripture is nothing new, and this is exactly what Gene Heck is doing with his incorrect premise, and Pete Peters supports Gene Heck.
There is a passage in the Old Testament, found at Psalm 55:17, which specifically categorizes and delineates three separate Hebrew words individually denoting three precise periods of the biblical day. I will now quote this verse with the Strong’s assigned numbers behind each designated period:
“Evening, (6153) and morning, (1242) and at noon, (6672) will I pray, and cry aloud:and he shall hearmy voice.”
This verse gives absolutely no allusion to the idea that the “evening” of the day is at “noon” as Gene Heck and his wrecking crew proclaim! Not only do we have three separate specific time periods of the day, specified by three separate Hebrew words, but in Charles Thompson’s version of the LXX he translates this verse:
“Evening and morning and at noon I will declare and proclaim; and He will hearken to my voice.”
So not only are there three separate Hebrew words identifying these three different periods of the biblical day, but in the Greek, to which the Hebrew was translated, there are also three separate and specific words. Are we to believe that king David didn’t know the difference between “evening” and “noon”? Not only did David know the three separate time-periods of the biblical day, but he recognized the biblical day in its progression. You will notice that David mentions first the “evening”, followed by “morning”, and lastly “noon”. It is quite evident from this that David understood that the biblical day started and ended at “evening”. Had David meant that the biblical day started at noon, he would have said: “At noon, and evening, and morning, will I pray, and cry aloud:and he shall hearmy voice.” If high-noon is the same as “even”, as Heck claims, David couldn’t even have said this! Had the biblical day started in the morning, David would have said: “Morning, and noon, and at evening, will I pray, and cry aloud:and he shall hearmy voice.”
When the Greek Septuagint was translated into Latin, again there are three distinctly different Latin words for “evening”, “morning” and “noon”. The Catholic Confraternity version says at Psalm 54:17-18 (equivalent to Psalm 55:17):
“But I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me. In the evening, and at dawn, and at noon.”
Notice again that the progression of the biblical day is “evening”, then “dawn”, and then “noon”.
From An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon we have the following on the word “evening”:
“I. (sub. ὥρα), evening, eventide, eve, Hdt.; ἑσπέρας at eve, (Plato. Philosophus, v/iv b.c., Ed. J. Burnet, Oxford (OCT). Scholia, Ed. C. F. Hermann, Platonis Dialogi, vol. vi, Leipzig (T.) 1892) etc.; ἀπὸ; ἑσπέρας εὐθύς just at nightfall, (Thucydides. Historicus, v b.c., Ed. H. Stuart Jones, Oxford ...) πρὸς ἑσπέρα Ar.; ἐπεὶ; πρὸς ἑσπέραν ἦν Xen.; ἑσπέρας γιγνομένης Plato (same as above).”
From the Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon we have the following two references on two different passages on the word “morning” in the Greek: “πρωΐαò πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης συμβούλιον ἔλαβον πάντες ‘in the early morning they all made their plan against him’ Mt 27.1.
“ὄρθροςaò ὄρθρου δὲ πάλιν παρεγένετο εἰς τὸ ἱερόν ‘in the early morning he went back to the Temple’ Jn 8.2.” [emphasis mine]
We should not be surprised that Psalm 55:17 indicates that David prayed three times a day, starting with his “evening” devotion, for at Daniel 6:10, 13 we are told that Daniel did likewise. In the New Testament at Acts 3:1; 10:3, 9, 30 we see this same custom continued.
Not only that, but Yahshua Christ Himself followed David’s example at Matthew 14:23. Again following David’s pattern at Mark 1:35, Yahshua Christ prayed in the morning, which surely followed His prayer-time the evening before at the beginning of that same day. Had not Yahshua Christ followed David’s daily prayer-pattern, it could not be said of Him: “... I found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart ...” Acts 13:22. David started his first of three prayer sessions in the “evening” of each day, and surely Yahshua Christ acted in like manner.
We also have a witness from Brenton’s version of the LXX, and again I will use the Strong’s Greek numbers behind each prayer time period for Psalm 54 (55):17: “Evening (2073), and morning (4404), and at noon (3314) I will declare and make known my wants: and he shall hear my voice.”
The Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon has #2073 for evening as follows: “2073 ἑσπέρα [hespera/hes·per·a/] n f. From an adjective hesperos (evening); Goodrick-Kohlenberger 2270; Three occurrences; AV translates as ‘evening’ twice, and ‘eventide’ once. 1 evening, eventide.”
Please notice from this last quotation, the Greek for “evening” is ἑσπέρα. The equivalent in Hebrew is #6847 צרכ. In Swanson’s A Dictionary of Biblical Languages (#6847 is not the same as the Strong’s number) it says this: “... evening, sundown, i.e., the period of time related to the setting of the sun, from late or very late afternoon to the beginning of the dark night time ...”
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From the Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains (Greek New Testament) we have the following on this same Greek word in part: “2270 ἑσπέρα (hespera), ας (as), ἡJ (hē), ... evening (Lk 24:29; Ac 4:3; 28:23 ...) ...” These three references cannot mean “noon” as Gene Heck and company demand! Now let’s take a look at the Hebrew:
“6847 II. צרכ (ʿereb): n.[masc.]; = Strong’s 6153; Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament 1689a—1. Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon 67.191 evening, sundown, i.e., the period of time related to the setting of the sun, from late or very late afternoon to the beginning of the dark night time (1Sa 14:24); 2. LN 67.163-67.200 unit: בין ח צרב (bayin ha-ʿereb) 2 twilight, dusk, i.e., the period of time between sunset and dark (Ex 12:6; 16:12; 29:39, 41; 30:8; Lev 23:5; Nu 9:3, 5, 11; 28:4, 8+); 3. Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon 67.163-67.200 night, i.e., the period of time that is after sunset and twilight, a dark time of the night (Job 7:4; Ps 30:6 [English Bible versification 5]+)”
It should be noted that the Hebrew (ʿereb) has three different meanings, and once we comprehend their meanings, we then discover how they are related. As we see with the Hebrew definition immediately above, it describes the gradual darkening of the day as the sun progresses toward sundown. It also has the Hebrew meaning of the darkening of the skin color as a person of mixed race, or as they would say in South Africa, “colored”. This meaning is assigned the Swanson #6846, and Swanson gives us (1Ki. 10:15; Jer 25: 20, 24+):
1 Kings 10:15: “Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffick of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.”
Jeremiah 25:20: “And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod ...”
Jeremiah 25:24: “And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert ...”
Anyone who has ever observed an Arab has to admit that he is not as light as a Caucasian or as dark as a Negroid. This is the similarity of the meanings: that “evening” is not as light as “high-noon” nor as dark as “night”.
Now if one were to compare the color of a man’s skin to the brightness of the day (as this Hebrew word "ʿereb" does), we surely wouldn’t assign “evening” to a “Caucasian”. Yet this, in effect, is what Gene Heck is trying to force us to accept! And as I observed Pete Peters on the Internet, Peters is going to start swinging his club (a tree branch he picked up out in a forest someplace) and beat the hell out of us until we cowdown to the whims of people like Gene Heck. I would instead compare an Arab to the “evening” and a Caucasian to “high-noon”. In other words, we have “day people”, “evening people” and “night people”. Do we dare profile like the prophet and say “mingled”? Does that make Jeremiah a racist?
But Gene Heck still insists that “even” equals “noon”. And Pete Peters, in his Dragon Slayer Newsletter vol. 3, 2006, page 5 says: “Each day begins at high noon (adjust for daylight-savings time when applicable).” Which is it Pete? Do we keep biblical time or celestial meridian time that was not officially adopted until 1884? And how are we to figure meridian time without first establishing mean time, let alone daylight-savings time? Tell us Pete, how are we to convert mean time to sidereal time at mean noon, if you know? Is it true, Pete, that 24 hours of mean solar time are equal to 24h 3m 56.5554s of sidereal time? And Pete, what do we do if we live at the extreme eastern or western area of our time zone? It could make nearly an hour’s difference, you know! How do we adjust for that? I guess I needn’t remind the reader to take caution!
Please be informed that this series is being put together with the help of William Finck who knows the Greek much better than I, and that I depend upon him for his expertise in keeping me from straying into linguistic error. While there are words such as ὄρθρος, which describes “early” morning, there are three separate and distinct Greek words for evening, morning and noon, as follows:
evening: ἑσπέρα (Strong’s #3073)
morning: πρωΐ (Strong’s #4404)
noon: μεσημβρία (Strong’s #3314)
It should be noticed here that evening is not noon, nor is noon evening as Gene Heck demands us to believe. The only “evening” that is connected in any way to “noon” is the first of two evenings and is referred to in the Old Testament as “between the two evenings.” This first of two evenings is really not because the sky gets dark. It is a period of time shortly after noon when it is customary to take a nap and rest during the heat of the day. One simply finds a place where he can lie down and close his eyes and go to sleep. For all intents and purposes, when such a person doing this closes their eyes, they shut out the light of day. The only light such a person is conscious of is the small amount of light that filters through the eyelids. Thus, this person has created an artificial “evening.” We can do the same thing today by installing blackout blinds at our windows. So during the first of two evenings it wasn’t really dark outside, but was dark to the inner soul of the man asleep.
To show that it was customary to rest (take a nap) at noon, we shall take into account the Song Of Solomon 1:7 which says: “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?” It appears that not only did people have a siesta during the first of the two evenings, but it was also customary to let the animals also rest at that time. Surely, if the shepherd took a siesta and fell asleep at noon, there was no alternative but to let the animals rest during that time, for wherever the shepherd went, the sheep followed in like manner. While this verse doesn’t say that the shepherd rested at noon, it certainly is implied!
Adam Clarke, in his Commentary vol. 3, page 856 says of the Song Of Solomon 1:7, in part: “To rest at noon] In hot countries the shepherds and their flocks are obliged to retire to shelter during the burning heats of the noonday sun. This is common in all countries, in the summer heats, where shelter can be had.” To twist this out-of-context is an attempt to rewrite Scripture, which is exactly what the noon-to-noon advocates do. Some may argue that this passage is in Hebrew rather than Greek, but they overlook the fact that it is in Greek in the Septuagint. Does not the “green pastures” of Psalm 23 imply the same idea of “rest”? And would not our Shepherd shelter us from the noonday’s heat, both physically and spiritually? And doesn’t the Song Of Solomon 1:7 portray Yahshua and His Bride? The Pete Peters’ backed Gene Heck hypothesis destroys this Bible Truth! (And by the way Pete, it’s Yahshua, not the corrupted name “Jesus”. See article “Jesus Christ”, Encyclopedia Britannica 9th ed. vol. 13, pages 667-668.)
At this point I’m going to do something that I hadn’t planned on, and that is to give a general update on celestial meridian time, for the data I presented here in column 5 and in Noon To Noon Madness #1 was from the Ency. Britannica 11th Ed. vol. 26, pages 983-988. Not that that reference was incorrect, but many advances in measuring time have developed since, and I will take my materials from the 1980 Collier’s Encyclopedia, vol. 22, pages 318-325.
After the telescope, the next big thing in measuring time was the oscillating pendulum clock discovered in 1581 by Galileo, which use lasted until 1950 and had a fairly high degree of accuracy. Once the telescope and oscillating pendulum clock were teamed up with the sextant, navigation of the land and seas became a science. Then came quartz-crystal clocks (SiO2) which proved to be highly precise, and which billions of people wear on their wrist today and have in their homes and businesses. Then in 1955, with the use of cesium, came the atomic clock with even a higher degree of accuracy than the quartz clock. From the inception of the first atomic clock it has gone through several improvements to make its accuracy greater still. Today, it is amazing; the exactness with which time can be measured, and how accurate are both space and earthly navigation.
In biblical times they had neither telescopes, oscillating pendulum clocks, crystal clocks nor atomic clocks. The ancients had to rely wholly on sundials, water clocks and sand clocks for the time of the day, and they absolutely didn’t observe celestial meridian time as the Pete Peters’ backed Gene Heck and his wrecking crew insist. The biblical month was established at Exodus 12:2 through Moses and Aaron by Yahweh thusly: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” From this it is evident that whatever month the Egyptians were keeping as their first month was not pleasing to Yahweh. And what further Scripture are we given by which we Israelites are to recognize our first month? It is found in Leviticus 2:14 and says:
“And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto Yahweh, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.” Notice here, nothing about a “vernal equinox”, and this is a most important verse as it represents the first-fruits offering of the barley crop which Yahshua-Christ ultimately became. It should be noted that it was an absolute necessity that this wave offering of barley had to be the very first cutting of barley of that growing season. Sometimes it had to be parched so no other barley was eaten by the Israelites before the wave-sheaf was offered. There is no argument that most of the time the barley crop will ripen near the vernal equinox, but it is not the guide which Moses and Aaron were given by Yahweh. There is one thing of which we can be sure, that during the Passion week of Yahshua-Christ it happened at its proper appointed time, and forty-nine days later it was Pentecost, the first day of the week, or the fiftieth day since the second weekly Sabbath day during the eight-day Passover period. With the instructions we are given for calculating the feast days, if Passover cannot be established, neither can the rest of the feast days be determined for any particular year! Also, if Yahshua-Christ did not represent the first-fruits wave-sheaf offering, and if it was not offered on the correct day, we have no Messiah. By the same token, neither do we have Pentecost and what it represents.
Now I have nothing against those who try to keep the feast days, but according to the “vernal equinox” theory we might be only 98% correct in establishing the proper day using that method in most years. The feast days are important, for there is one that hasn’t been fulfilled in its foreshadowing, and that is the Feast of Tabernacles, as Yahshua was not born at Tabernacles, but rather at the day of Trumpets which I showed in my brochure The Day The Word Became Flesh.
Most overlook the passage at Matt. 27:62-66, that Yahshua would be in the grave three days and three nights: “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” With this watch, the two Marys had no access to the tomb until the first day of the week, preventing the anointing of His body until that time! A Friday crucifixion would have required a Sunday purchase and preparation of the spices, falsifying Mark 16:2.
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