Friday, June 7, 2024

Week 7 Days

 

Why is a week… “7 days”?

Bodie Hodge M.Sc., B.Sc., PEI

Biblical Authority Ministries, June 7, 2024

It’s so basic we don’t even think about it! A week is 7 days and everyone knows that—even in remote cultures all over the world—a week is still 7days! But why? Let’s look at this in more detail.

Day

Let’s start with the a “day”. A “day” is a night-day cycle which consists of the earth rotating one full spin. God defined a day in Genesis 1:5 as having an evening and a morning having both a cycle of darkness and light.

In the old days, when the sun went down, it marked the beginning of a new day. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, the farther north you go, the more extreme the sunset is. It could be like 5 pm or as late 9:30 pm, give or take a little bit here in the Midwest where I am. So, in the Western World, we simply bump it back to Midnight (12:00 AM) to make sure its dark. Of course, the extreme north in the summer the sun doesn’t even go down! But for most people in North America, Europe, and Asia, the sun has set before midnight.

Month

The idea of a month is one revolution of the moon around the earth. It is where we get the name month (think “moon-th”). The moon goes around the earth about every 29.5 days so lunar calendars use alternating 29- and 30-day month (lunar/luna means moon in Latin).

When you use a lunar calendar, by the time you get to the 12th month, you only have 354 days (11 days short of a normal year)! So, it doesn’t quite make a true year. So those using a lunar calendar have to add in an extra month about every 3 years to correct the calendar so that it doesn’t drift.

A lot of ancient calendars (including Noah’s, e.g., Genesis 7:11-8:4) simply used a 30-day month for all 12 months (a type of solar calendar—solar or more properly solaris/sol means sun in Latin). This gets you to 360 days in a year (5 days short of a normal year) and they also add an extra month (just not as often as the lunar calendar) to keep that calendar from drifting and bringing it back to normal. This extra month is called an “intercalary” month—think of it like an extra “December” every 6 years or so.

Year

The idea of a year is based on the earth going around the sun one time. We map this exact moment by aligning our position yearly to the constellations. A year is about 365.24 days. The ancient Egyptians at one point adopted a 365-day year. So did the Romans (called the “Julian Calendar”) and named for Julius Caesar. Our modern calendar (called the Gregorian Calendar) is modification of the Julian Calendar with leap years, leap seconds, and so on to correct it to make it even closer.

So simple enough:

·       A “day”—the rotation of the earth 1 time

·       A “month”—the time it takes the moon to go around the earth 1 time

·       A “year”—the time it takes the earth to go around the sun one time

 


Week

But what about a week? Week has nothing to do with any heavenly body and its motion! Instead, a week comes from one place: the Bible. When God created everything, He did it over the course of 6 days and rested for 1 day (instituted a rest period).

It wasn’t like an all-powerful God was worn out and needed a break but His rest was one of reflection and refreshment on the accomplishment of what He has done. Instead, He instituted rest for our benefit. In The Ten Commandments, God told us why He did it—as a basis for our work week to give us time to rest and refresh by taking a break from doing your normal work/customary work (as it is oft stated when resting holidays also occurred; Exodus 20:11, e.g., Numbers 28:25).

After the Flood, a week continued to endure in Noah’s day. When cultures were scattered by family groups all over the world at the Tower of Babel, they also took a week with them. This is why remote cultures such as Amazon rainforest tribes, tundra peoples, or aboriginals of Australia still utilized a week. It has been passed from generation to generation without too many people thinking about it as a part of everyday culture.

A week comes from God and His Word. Anti-God cultures have tried to change the week with little success. For instance, in France in 1792, they tried a 10-day work week called “décades” (“deca” means ten). It failed miserably and after 13 years of complete exhaustion and confusion, they scrapped it. They went back to a 7-day week to the relief of the masses while Napoleon was in control of the country.

The communist Soviets did something similar for 11 years. They tried a continuous work week (called “nepreryvka”) in 1929 where 80% of the workforce was required to work on typical days of rest. Although they had staggered rest across the week, it too demoralized everyone. In 1940, the country returned to the 7-day week schedule.  

God designed the day of rest for man and these failed attempts show…a 7-day week works. Of course, God knew it would, He is all-knowing after all.

Week 7 Days

  Why is a week… “7 days”? Bodie Hodge M.Sc., B.Sc., PEI Biblical Authority Ministries, June 7, 2024 It’s so basic we don’t even think a...