Events of different days
Preparations for two sabbaths
Joe Viel answered
By Gerhard Ebersöhn
“One piece of evidence that 2 Sabbaths happened back to back is found in Luke 23:53 etseq , which tells us:
[Joseph of Arimathea] took it [the body of Y'shua] down, wrapped it in linen
cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been
laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who
had come with Y'shua from
So they rested because the Sabbath had come. Now had a day existed BETWEEN the High Sabbath and the Weekly Sabbath, the women could have gone to the grave that day, rather than waiting until the first day of the week. The only reason they would have waited until Sunday morning would have been the fact that there were 2 Sabbaths back-to-back.”
Re: “So they rested because the Sabbath had come.”
Yes, it is so, “they rested because the Sabbath had come”. Luke says in 23:56a after the women had gone home, they prepared spices. “And that day, was The Preparation (of the Sabbath) and the Sabbath (itself, the Seventh Day “Sabbath according to the Commandment”) drew on”. No doubt therefore, the women had to have made their preparations on ‘Friday’, the Sixth Day of the week, in between when “the Sabbath had come” – sunset 6 p.m. – and “the Sabbath began to draw near” – 3 p.m.. That leaves three hours for the women to have “returned home and prepared spices and ointments”. Not on Thursday.
“They rested the Sabbath Day according to the Commandment” – a clear reference to the Decalogue and ‘moral law’ – ‘heh entoleh’ –, and not to a ‘sabbath’ of the ‘ceremonial law’ or ‘nomos’. So the women the Friday before the weekly Sabbath made preparations, but on the immediately following day of the Sabbath according to the Fourth Commandment, “began to rest”— from sunset on, naturally.
And yes, “2 Sabbaths happened back to back”; that is also clear from the above. So the Marys had to have made preparations on the first of the two ‘sabbaths’ for the last of the two ‘sabbaths’.
The women had to have ‘prepared’ on the first ‘sabbath’ of these “back to back” sabbaths, on “that great day sabbath .... because it was .... the Preparation” when first the Jews, Jn19:31, and “after these things”, Joseph, verse 38, went to see Pilate. Luke speaks of the first ‘sabbath’, saying, “That day was The Preparation” (23:54a); he calls the second of these ‘back to back sabbaths’, “the Sabbath according to the Law” (54b).
John like Mark describes “The Preparation Day” as just after it had started and therefore as yet prospective, “Therefore .... because it was The Preparation .... because was great the day of that sabbath”. (‘oun .... epei paraskeyeh ehn .... ehn gar megaleh heh hehmera ekeinou tou sabbatou’) The women made their preparations on this, “that”, at once, “great day sabbath” of the passover and “The Preparation” of the Sabbath.
“And then they rested”, or, “And then in fact”, ‘kai to men’, “And then in fact they had begun to rest the (prospective) Sabbath Day according to the (Fourth) Commandment”.
“Because the Law commanded”; not ‘because the Sabbath ....” because it was a ‘sabbath’ the women in fact made preparations on! The context in which Joe Viel therefore noted that, “So they rested because the Sabbath had come” has changed the true meaning into something completely wrong, namely, that it had not been a ‘sabbath’ the women prepared spices on. A masterly subtle manoeuvre the failure it exposed itself for having been.
1) common mistakes, like,
“the Sabbath had come” being the opposite of “the Sabbath was .... to begin”, and, like,
“The Sabbath was about to begin”, while the beginning of the Sabbath – sunset – was not “about” nearly, but was still one whole halve of the afternoon future .....
2) Grammatically. “And that day, Preparation was”— factual statement, Constative Aorist. That day neither at this point in time and event began, or had ended yet; “that day, Preparation was”, fact. Or interpret ‘ehn’ as an Imperfect; then “that day, Preparation was still” ongoing. It hadn’t finished yet;
3) Eventually. That day hadn’t finished yet, also because of the obvious actions the women after the real point in time of day, went home, and then prepared still, both “spices and ointments”, and, ordinary preparations for the coming Sabbath, before day’s end.
4) Contextually. That day hadn’t finished yet because of also the Verb, “drew near”, ‘epefohsken’, in the clause in Lk23:54, “And that day was The Preparation and the Sabbath drew near”, in Tense – Imperfect – and to literal meaning, “mid-after-noon-was”, ‘epi’ + ‘fohs’ + ‘(k)en’. The word necessarily means afternoon was still on; it had not yet been sunset; three hours before sunset is “mid-afternoon”.
5) Comparatively. That day hadn’t finished yet, finally. John 19:42 says what time of day it actually had been,
“by the time of the Jews’ preparations (was near)”,
(‘dia tehn paraskeyehn tohn Ioudaiohn (hoti engys ehn)’).
..... All these things besides, one is still to conclude that indeed
preparations had been made on the day so correctly implied, and had been made
on “that day of great day sabbath”,
“Preparation which is the Fore-Sabbath”,
“Friday Aviv 15”— not, on “Thursday Aviv 14”.
“Now had a day existed BETWEEN the High Sabbath and the Weekly Sabbath, the women could have gone to the grave that day, rather than waiting until the first day of the week. The only reason they would have waited until Sunday morning would have been the fact that there were 2 Sabbaths back-to-back.”
Re: “The only reason they would have waited until Sunday morning would have been the fact that there were 2 Sabbaths back-to-back.” “The only reason”? Not at all the reason!
Suppose the women “waited until Sunday morning”. Suppose they waited from Thursday. If they waited from Thursday, they must have waited from the time of day found in the Gospels after the burial, “mid-afternoon”, 3 p.m.. That was “the ninth hour” – the hour Jesus died!
Buried when scarcely He had died?
However, Thursday until sunset the women waited; Friday and Saturday the women waited, Saturday night the women waited: four days!
Did Jesus resurrect on the fourth day?
Mt27:62-66 tells of the guard’s appointment, “lest his disciples come by night and steal him away.” Surely the Jews made sure the disciples of Jesus would know about the guard. That was one reason the women had to wait to go to the tomb until after midnight Saturday night, Lk24:1, ‘orthrou batheohs’.
The question here is, Since when would the two women have had to wait?
Matthew says the guard was stationed “the morning after the preparations” of the Jews the very afternoon of the day before! Matthew in 27:62, “next morning after their preparations”, was the Sabbath’s morning therefore.
This was the Sabbath also because it was the day before Jesus appeared to Mary, Mark 16:9, “early on the First Day of the week”. If they learned of the guard almost immediately after their stationing, the Marys had to have waited the Sabbath Day and until midnight the night of the First Day after it – altogether perhaps twelve hours? That is, if we supposed the women did wait.
What therefore has been ascertained decidedly from Mt27:62-66, is that the guard was appointed “the morning after” the Jews’ preparations, on the Sabbath thus implied, and therefore, “In Sabbath’s-time” still, as mentioned in 28:1-4; the very same day.
The women made their preparations on the Friday afternoon. They made their preparations on Abib 15, “the great day sabbath” and, “The Preparation which is the Fore-Sabbath”, ‘Friday’. No two ways about it; no two ‘seeming’ ‘sabbaths’, about it; they were real ‘sabbaths, and the women prepared on no other day than only one of them; which had to have been the first in sequence, the passover’s ‘great day sabbath’, exactly as John explains it.
“..... the Mishnah (See Moed Qatan for examples) tells us that during the days of unleavened bread, the only commerce that was allowed was commerce directly involved with the festivals. So shops would not have been allowed to sell any perfumes on such a "Thursday between Sabbaths" anyway.”
Imagine “commerce that was allowed was commerce directly involved with the festivals”, yet, “shops would not have been allowed to sell any perfumes on such a "Thursday between Sabbaths" anyway.”?
That “.....the Mishnah (See Moed Qatan for examples) tells us that during the days of unleavened bread, the only commerce that was allowed was commerce directly involved with the festivals”, only confirms that preparations were in fact made on the Feast-sabbath of Abib 15 that coincided with the Preparation Friday in the passover that Jesus was sacrificed and interred.
Joseph realised it or not, what he was doing was directly – yea, Divinely – “involved with the festivals”.
“Several aspects of Jewish Law would have forbidden them from visiting the grave on the Sabbath.”
If we supposed the women waited,
Why, would we assume they waited, seeing, “Jewish Law did permit obtaining goods on Sabbath and paying for them later in certain emergency circumstances .....”?
If we supposed the women waited since Thursday afternoon,
What difference would when they eventually went, have made to their assumed ‘problem’ of “moving the stone”?
If we supposed the women waited since Thursday afternoon,
to “move the limbs of a corpse on the Sabbath” would never have been considered in any case.
What difference would it have made “to prepare the spices” if we supposed the women waited since Thursday afternoon? — they would not have given ‘preparation’ of spices and ointments a thought any longer when “they came with their spices” on Sunday morning. And who on Thursday afternoon would have known the body would indeed be buried?
That the women “bought spices from Nicodemus the day Y'shua was crucified” is not written or implied even. In stead it is stated the women went home and everybody else went home. Nobody, obviously, thought about a burial at that stage in the event of things when Jesus had scarcely died and the earthquake occurred the darkness with sudden brightness of light vanished and the graves were opened so that flying rocks bulleted through the air. Nobody would have thought to bury Jesus; nobody would have thought to buy spices and ointments to prepare him for burial. No chance under circumstances. It’s ridiculous.
Why, if Nicodemus had spices and ointments ‘in stock’; why not the women also? It’s all unnecessary speculation.
And who, said, the women bought spices and ointments on Crucifixion day – or, for that matter – on the great day sabbath after? The Gospels don’t say anyone ‘bought’, then? Again, who would even have thought Jesus would be buried, what, of buying spices and ointments for burial?
That the women on Crucifixion day “went home before” whatever kind of “sabbath”, does not say they also “prepared whatever spices they had available”, whether they waited since Thursday afternoon or not, or had to buy those things or not.
If we supposed the women waited since Thursday, Crucifixion day, it would still not explain why they “Bought more spices immediately after the Sabbath completed (Mark 16:1) and prepared them that night”,
why they “went to the tomb the next morning.”
If we supposed the women waited since Friday afternoon,
the same questions remain, proving their irrelevancy.
If we supposed the women waited since Friday afternoon, what difference would it have made to their ‘problem’ of “moving the stone”? To “move the limbs of a corpse on the Sabbath” would still not have been considered. To have “bought spices from Nicodemus” even after “the day Y'shua was crucified” would still be most improbable.
Only difference is Luke mentions the fact the women did prepare
spices and ointments after Joseph had finished to close the grave. Luke says they went home and prepared – not that they remained behind after the crucifixion and before the burial, and not as assumed, on the day of the crucifixion before.
Neither that the Marys after the crucifixion went home to prepare spices even while the body still hung on the cross. If one supposed the women – directly after Jesus had died – prepared spices and ointments, then when did they ever go home to do it? Then Luke must be in error, and the women must have prepared spices right there at the chaotic scene of crucifixion.
And Joseph, in order to go buy the linen, must have taken the body down and left it with the rabble that – supposedly – remained behind. When did he go to ask Pilate permission to do it? Before or after the Jews came with their request?
A myriad such impossibilities should be expected, ‘waited’ the women since crucifixion.
If the women waited from after the burial on Friday afternoon, and they afterwards “went home before Sabbath and prepared. whatever spices they had available” it could have been expected, and was just what the women did and what Luke had written that they did.
And that the women then began to rest the Sabbath afterwards, obviously was the only plausible thing left for the women to do.
Then, if the women waited since Friday afternoon and we take into consideration only the two Marys attended the burial and that Salome more than a day later, “immediately after the Sabbath completed” joined them, it explains why they “bought more spices immediately after the Sabbath .... and prepared them that night”.
“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that they, when they go, might anoint Him.”
That also explains why the women “went to the tomb the next morning” and not on the Sabbath Day already.
As far as all and everybody’s ‘laws’ are concerned, everything is much easier understood and much better explained from the ‘since-Friday-waiting’ standpoint.
And if we supposed the women waited since Sabbath afternoon? That would be a very interesting answer, one very much self-explanatory. Matthew gives us that information in 28:1-4 (provided one read a real translation).
“So the order of events for the women may have been...
· Possibly bought spices from Nicodemus the day Y'shua was crucified and buried.
· Went home before Sabbath and prepared whatever spices they had available.
· Rested both Sabbath days.
· Bought more spices immediately after the Sabbath completed (Mark 16:1) and prepared them that night
· Went to the tomb the next morning.”
No, let us abide with the order and sequence the Gospels give; and do not forget or ignore a single aspect or fact.
To begin with, the very first thing stated for fact as factual as any other in the records found in the Gospels but never seen in ‘same-day-buried-as-crucified’ arguments, is this ....
Immediately after Jesus died, “everybody” / “all the people”, ‘in mad confusion’ – “running” and “shouting” and “breast-beating” – left and deserted the site of the crucifixion, Mk15:36,39 Lk23:48b. Nobody would return for the rest of that whole day; and nobody did return until “Suddenly Joseph ....”, “when having been evening already The Preparation which is the Fore-Sabbath ....”. Lk23:50, Mk15:42.
Indeed, even the guard that overlooked the crucifixion, fled the scene. Pilate had to order them back to go do what he promised the Jews, and shortly after them, what he promised Joseph, to “deliver the body” of Jesus to him. “Then came the soldiers ....” Jn19:32.
People always fuse the two events of Jesus’ death and burial into one. It is of their biggest mistakes! The Gospels separate the Crucifixion and the Burial in every possible aspect and from every possible perspective, and make big difference between them,
“according to the Scriptures”, the passover Scriptures!
So ‘the order of events for the women’, greatly disappointed, confused and scared, must have been that they deserted their crucified and deceased Lord and the scene of his tragic death and phenomenal events.
The three Synoptists state many women had been present at the crucifixion – implying for fact also all had left their crucified and deceased Lord after He died. “As many as came together for that sight”, as many women and other people left afterwards.
John also, implies the return home of the women, with everybody else. He pictures the Jews as having spoken to Pilate after they have eaten their passover meal— everybody having been at home since Jesus had died.
The confusion caused by the earthquake, sudden light and graves that opened when Jesus died, caused fear and chaos that forced everybody to leave first, and then to pay attention to catastrophic effects at home.
“Everybody left”, because everybody had to leave, and because the Gospels simply say so. There was no chance or thought to have anybody buried on that eventful day; much less to purchase spices and ointments or linen or to prepare it before things have settled down again, hours later.
Once the first point of ‘the order of events for the women’ has been
established correctly, the rest will more probably follow in the correct order as well.
So the women do not feature in the story of either the Crucifixion or the Burial again, until we read of the two Marys only, that they “followed after” in the procession to the grave, and there, “sat over against the grave and looked on”, “and beheld how his body was laid”.
Notice the stark contrast of the Crucifixion scene where the women were “standing”, and “from far” in the outer circle of the mad “crowd”, watched, “beholding the things which were done”. One doesn’t read of any women again on that day.
So the two Marys “followed after” in the procession to the grave the next day, and even though it was the day after ‘Y'shua was crucified’, they still haven’t thought to buy spices even from Nicodemus, but went home before Sabbath and prepared whatever spices they had available of their own.
That they “rested both Sabbath days”, one will read no word of.
But most naturally one will read, “And they indeed the Sabbath according to the Commandment began to rest” as soon as it had begun when the sun had set. Most naturally one will read, the women “Bought more spices immediately after the Sabbath completed (Mark 16:1) and prepared them that night ....”, “so that when they went” – “to the tomb the next morning” – “they might anoint him”.
Of course in stead of that “they might anoint him”, they “just after midnight” “the next morning” on the First Day of the week, Sunday in fact, Abib 17, found the tomb .... EMPTY .... the body .... GONE!
23 June 2009