Prof. Samuele Bacchiocchi,
Begin quote “The Day of Atonement
Several reasons have contributed to make the sunset reckoning normative for the observance of the annual feasts in general and of the weekly Sabbath in particular. A first reason is suggested by the legislation regarding the Day of Atonement. The classic text is Leviticus 23:32, where the following instruction is given regarding the observance of the Day of Atonement: "It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your sabbath."
This text does provide the most explicit and emphatic evidence of the Biblical method of day reckoning "from evening to evening." Thus it is not surprising that appeal is generally made to this text to prove the Biblical principle of Sabbathkeeping from sunset to sunset. Such a use is perfectly legitimate. Two important points, however, should be noted regarding this text.
First, the law in this text regards not the observance of the seventh day Sabbath as such, but of the Day of Atonement. While both festivals were undoubtedly observed "from evening to evening," the manner of their observance was radically different. The Day of Atonement was a day of penance and fasting ("you shall afflict yourselves"-Lev 23:32), whereas the Sabbath was a day of delight and celebration (Is 58:13-14).
The Definition of the Tenth Day
Second, Leviticus 23:32 is the concluding statement of instructions given from verses 27 to 32 on how the Day of Atonement was to be observed "on the tenth day of the seventh month" (v. 27). Verse 32, however, explains that this day is to be observed as "a sabbath of solemn rest . . . on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening from evening to evening."
This last verse poses a problem because it changes the date of the Day of Atonement from "the tenth day" (v. 27) to "the ninth day." The plausible explanation is that verse 32 does not intend to change the date of the Day of Atonement from the 10th to the 9th day of the month, but rather to define that the observance of the 10th day was to begin on the evening of the previous day, that is, the 9th day.
This clarification was apparently needed because a transition was taking place in the Israelite society from the sunrise to sunrise reckoning for the working day, to the sunset to sunset reckoning for the Holy Days. To avoid any misunderstanding, the verse explains with utmost precision that the tenth day, was to be observed according to the sunset reckoning, beginning from "the ninth day of the month beginning at evening" and it was to be kept "from evening to evening" (Lev 23:32).
The conclusion, then, is that Leviticus 23:32 does provide explicit evidence for the sunset reckoning, but it also suggests-by anticipating the beginning of the 10th day to the evening of the 9th-that the sunrise reckoning was apparently in use to define the working day. Normally, people to go work in the morning, not in the evening. This question is discussed in the previous chapter of The Time of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.” End quote ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 175 "The Reckoning of the Sabbath Today" Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.
Perfectly typical of Prof. Samuele Bacchiocchi! Perfectly typical of him to begin with a
“a problem”, then to inflate it
to a “plausible explanation .... intend(ed) .... to define ....”,
to “this clarification .... apparent....”,
to “explain with utmost precision”
to “the conclusion ....”
to “explicit evidence”.
The metamorphosis ended up being “explicit evidence ..... for the sunset reckoning”. But what was Bacchiocchi all the while ‘intending’ to do? To disprove “the sunset reckoning” in Matthew 28:1. So, where does Bacchiocchi end up? With “this clarification” that “apparently” “defines” and “evidence(s) the sunset reckoning”— CONTRA both Bacchiocchi’s ‘intention’ and “conclusion”.
What is it to be ‘thick skinned’? This: “The conclusion, then, is that Leviticus 23:32 does provide explicit evidence for the sunset reckoning, but it also suggests ..... that the sunrise reckoning was APPARENTLY IN USE .....”.
“Suggests” < “apparently” < “in use”: a marvel of self-delusion— “..... a transition was taking place in the Israelite society from the sunrise to sunrise reckoning for the working day, to the sunset to sunset reckoning for the Holy Days”; a “transition” of which the Bible knows nothing but linguistic palaeontologist Prof Samuele Bacchiocchi has found the missing link fossil in Matthew 28:1.
Alright; it is easy to criticise. So what is my solution to the ‘problem’ or ‘question’?
That I do not believe in evolution .....
That Bacchiocchi focuses on the wrong detail.
It was no ‘transition’, and it was no “transition .... taking place in the Israelite society from the sunrise to sunrise reckoning for the working day, to the sunset to sunset reckoning for the Holy Days” even if one could understand what that, is supposed to mean. No ‘transition’; no evolution at this stage in the history of God’s People; no transition of days from the ninth to the tenth, and no transition from evening to sunrise reckoning of days. Both are unnecessary and amounts to imagining ‘problems’ that do not exist.
The only ‘transition from the sunrise to sunrise reckoning to the sunset to sunset reckoning’ ever, occurred at the beginning of the exodus when the night and after-part of Abib 13 became the night and fore-part of Abib 14.
Rather, the date of the Sabbath Day of the Solemn Feast of the Atonement was the tenth day of the Seventh Month Tishri; and the ninth day of the Seventh Month Tishri was observed as ‘The Day of Preparation of the Solemn Feast of Atonement’, just like in Jn19:14 Abib 14 was observed as “The Preparation Day of Passover” Feast Day Abib 15 “the sabbath” Jn19:31 of the passover feast as such.
In Acts 13:42 the reference is to “the in between-sabbath” on which the “measure” of the Jews’ sins was made full and the “seventy sevens” of years “determined upon” them were “cut off” and were “made an end of” as they for ever walked out on the preaching of the Gospel. The reference is clearly to the yearly Day of Judgment or Atonement. The Gentile believers “besought with the view to the in between-Sabbath that these same words be spoken to them”. “Besought with the view to the in-between-sabbath”— exactly like in Jn19:31 “The Jews besought Pilate because That Day was great day-sabbath day”. “That Day” was the “in the bone of day-sabbath day” or “in between-sabbath day” and “great day-sabbath day” of the fifteenth day of the month of Abib. We see effectively the same description given to both these ‘ceremonial’ or ‘yearly’ or ‘typical sabbaths’.
Now just as the yearly ‘That Day in the bone of great day-sabbath day’ of Abib 15 had its “Preparation” – “The Preparation of the Passover” Jn19:14, just so, had ‘That Day in the bone of great day-sabbath day’ and “in between-sabbath” of Tishri 10 in Acts 13:42, its ‘Preparation Day’, in fact, Tishri 9. And just as both Abib 15 and Abib 14 were accounted ‘passover days’, just so both Tishri 10 and Tishri 9 were accounted ‘days of the atonement’ or ‘days of the judgment’. We see effectively the same description given to both these ‘ceremonial’ or ‘yearly’ or ‘typical sabbaths’ and their respective ‘days of preparation’.
There is therefore no reason to like Bacchiocchi bicker about the ‘reckoning’ of the day which throughout the Bible except in Exodus under Egyptian rule unequivocally has always been sunset to sunset.
25 November 2009
Private Bag X43