Question about Matthew 12:40


#1

The Messiah said that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. I think that most Catholics believe that He was crucified on a Friday and was resurrected on a Sunday. However, that period of time allows for only two nights to be involved. What is the explanation for the lack of a third night?


#2

from memory, I think this comes from the rising of the sun to its setting. That Friday was a day and a night, Saturday was a Day and night and Suday was a Day and a night.


#3

Days on the Jewish calendar started at sundown.


#4

He died at 3:00PM on Friday. So, he spent all or part of 3 days in the heart.


#5

hergratefulch,
re: “…I think this comes from the rising of the sun to its setting.”

I’m afraid I don’t see your point.


#6

Jewish time is not by 24 hour days but by the movement of the sun and moon.


#7

Bon_Croix,
re: “He died at 3:00PM on Friday. So, he spent all or part of 3 days in the heart.”

How do you account for the lack of a 3rd night?


#8

Any part of the day was considered the whole day and night. Thus Friday at 3pm accounted for the whole day and night from Thursday sundown until Friday sundown.


#9

Zach,
re: “Any part of the day was considered the whole day and night. Thus Friday at 3pm accounted for the whole day and night from Thursday sundown until Friday sundown.”

Do you have any examples from that period where a daytime or a night time was forecast or said to be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could possibly have occured?


#10

You might find Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin’s article, Was Jesus Crucified on Wednesday or Friday? helpful.


#11

Are you a tax collector (accountant)? Just kidding.

I think there is more than one form of the understanding of the word “day”.


#12

Yeah, it does presents a conundrum: Friday - Saturday - Sunday…

What if Jesus was talking about the darkness to light periods?:

44 And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. (St. Luke 23)

Darkness at the 9th hour – Jesus expires (Friday – 1st Period)

54 And it was the day of the Parasceve, and the sabbath drew on. (St. Luke 23)

Yet since it does not say that it that the day remained in darkness we can stipulate that there was a second period of darkness to light:

Darkness from the 18th hour (normal day ending at 6 pm) – Jesus is still dead (Friday - Saturday – 2nd Period)

56 And returning, they prepared spices and ointments; and on the sabbath day they rested, according to the commandment. (St. Luke 23)

Jesus is still dead (Saturday -Sunday – 3rd Period)

1 And on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. 3 And going in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. (St. Luke 24)

Not a scholar; just working from the information found in Scriptures.

Maran atha!

Angel


#13

hergratefulchild,
re: “Jewish time is not by 24 hour days but by the movement of the sun and moon.”

I still don’t understand your point.


#14

Let me see if I can help out @hergratefulchild

You asked…

You also asked…

This is from the Jewish encyclopedia which can be found here… http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11539-night

I actually learned something new here because it never occurred to me that Jesus mentioning three days and three nights can be His way of telling them His death would be a Sacrifice.

Anyway the Jewish encyclopedia states…

Among the ancient Israelites, as among the Greeks, the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset. This was the custom also of the Gauls and ancient Germans, and was probably connected originally with the cult of the moon

Basically, back then they didn’t have 24 hour days (midnight to midnight) like we do, Friday started at sunset Thursday and ended at Sunset Friday.

Now taking this into account the Jewish encyclopedia goes on further to describe how this needs to be taken into account in regards to Sacrifice.

Further evidence that the reckoning of the day from the evening is of later date is found in connection with the sacrificial service, in which the oldest customs were undoubtedly most rigidly preserved. While in the Talmud the day is always counted with the preceding night, as, for instance, in regard to the prohibition of killing the young with its mother on the same day (Lev. xxii. 28), with reference to sacrifices which had to be eaten on the day on which they were offered the night is counted with the day preceding it (Ḥul. 83a).

So basically, what we can get from this is since Jesus was crucified (Sacrificed) before Sunset on Friday, Thursday night (the day preceding Friday) is counted as night 1. After sunset Friday is night 2 and after sunset Saturday is night 3.

Sure it’s hard for us to understand going from midnight to midnight we want to know when the literal night occurred. However, according to the Jewish (not Catholic) Encyclopedia, when it comes to sacrifice the night is counted with the day regardless of what time the Sacrifice occurred. We might not agree with their logic but this is how they did it back then.

Hope this helps,

God Bless


#15

Catholic Answers has a page for this: Was Christ really in the tomb for three days?

Plus there’s at least 10 prior threads on this topic in the forums, so lots of discussion/answers via search.


#16

You started a thread with the exact same topic almost two years ago. Looking to stir the same pot again? :thinking:


#17

some people have no originality :roll_eyes:


#18

Just like I have told you before rstrats . . .

Any part of a day was reckoned as a complete day.

The Babylonian Talmud (Jewish commentaries) relates . . . .

“The portion of a day is as the whole of it.” (3) The Jerusalem Talmud (so designated because it was written in Jerusalem) says, “We have a teaching, ‘A day and a night are an Onah and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it.’”(4) An Onah simply means, “a period of time.” . . . .

Mishnah, Third Tractate, “B. Pesachim,” p. 4a
Mishnah, Tractate “J. Shabbath,” Chapter IX, Par. 3.


#19

I don’t know if this a troll thread or not.


#20


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.