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Three days and Three Nights
Do Not Equal 72 Hours

by Lori Eldridge

This page is part of a larger study of What Day of the Week Was Jesus Christ Crucified?

Some proponents of the Wednesday theory claim that when Jesus said he would rise after "three days and three nights" it means exactly 72 hours. They use statements from the stories of the Flood of Noah in Genesis 6-8 (it rained for forty days and forty nights) and Esther 4 (praying and fasting for three days and three nights) to try and prove this theory. They claim these events also had 12 hour days and nights because the Hebrew day began at sunset and ended at the next sunset. They use Jesus statement "Are there not twelve hours of daylight?" in John 11:9 to try and prove this theory. However, as can be seen by the analysis below this is not true.

There were indeed about 12 hours of day, and 12 hours of night, around the time of the Passover. However, this is not true for other times of the year because the exact time of sunset varies depending on the season of the year. If you will look at a map of the world you will see that Isreal is at the same latitude as Central USA. This means the timing of our sunrise and sunset will be similar for that location. When Jesus said the above statement in John 11:9 it was shortly before Passover, and therefore he was referring to 12 hour increments around the time of Passover. During Passover the sun rose about 6 AM and set about 6 PM

Day and Night During the Flood of Noah:

Keeping in mind that Mt. Aarat is about the same longitude as most of the USA--as you can see by the analysis of Noah's flood below-- the 40 days and 40 nights occurred in the months of Heshvan and Kislev (our Oct-Dec). By our December we are experiencing the shortest days of the year and therefore this theory is invalid when they claim the days and nights have equal portions of 12 hours each.

Day and Night During the Fast of Esther:

Also, as I will show below, the event in Esther does not have equal portions of day and night either. That event occurred in the month of Sivan (our May/June) which would have meant it was 2 months after Passover/Nisan 14 and therefore the days would have been longer than the nights at that time.

Therefore neither of these events entail the same amount of hours between day and night as during Passover and the 72 hour theory for the period between the burial and resurrection of Jesus cannot stand on this evidence.

CALCULATING THE FLOOD OF NOAH

Using the 360 day prophetic calendar, follow the story in Genesis 6-8.


Tisri - 1st month (our Sept/Oct)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Heshvan - 2nd month (our Oct/Nov)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 <--7 days before God said he would send rain = Heshvan 10
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <--17th day of 2nd mo God sent rain = Heshvan 17
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Kislev - 3rd month (our Nov/Dec)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 <--40 days of rain comes to 28th of Kislev
29 30

Tebet - 4th month (our Dec/Jan)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Shebat - 5th month (our Jan/Feb)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Adar - 6th month (our Feb/Mar)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Nisan - 7th month (our Mar/Apr)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <--Ark lands on Aarat- 17 day of 7th month = Nisan 17
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

The 17th of Nisan is also the day the Isrealites entered Egypt, walked through the red sea when leaving Egypt, the day of first fruits eaten in the promised land, the walls of Jericho fell down, the cleansing of the Temple by Hezekiah, Queen Esther saved Hebrews from elimination, and finally the day Jesus was resurrected.

Iyyar - 8th month <---our Apr/May
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 <-- Earth had been flooded for 150 days. 150 from 28 Heshvan = 28 Iyyar
29 30

Sivan - 9th month <---our May/June
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Waters continued to recede until 10th month .

Tammuz - 10th month <--our June/July
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 <---1st day of 10th month mountains visible=Tammuz 1.
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Ab - 11th month <---our July/Aug
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 <---+ 40 days = Ab 10
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <-- + 7 days = Ab 17
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 <--+ 7 days = Ab 24
29 30

Elul - 12th month <---our Aug/Sept
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Tishri 1st month --of next year <--our Sept/Oct
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 <---1st day of 1st mo. waters dried up = Tishri 1
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Heshvan - 2nd month-- of next year <--our Oct/Nov
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 <--by 27th day of 2nd month earth completely dry = 360 days.
29 30

CALCULATING ESTHER'S FAST

Proponents of the 72 hour theory also claim that when Esther requested that all the Jews fast for her, she said "do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. . ." (Est. 4:16), and "On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court" (Est. 5:1). They believe this means that Esther meant three complete days, or 72 hours. They use The Companion Bible, appendix 144, page 170 as the source for this theory.

However, if one reads this account and counts the days, it will become apparent that this event occurred around the 18th day of the month of Sivan (23 minus 5 days) (Esther 8:9). This is two months after Passover. The date I am writing this up (May 4, 1999) is only one month after the current Passover and already Sunset and Sunrise differ by three or more hours--Sunset being 8:03 PM and Sunrise 5:30 AM. This will increase even more by next month when we will have entered the Jewish month of Sivan. Therefore the sun will not be setting and rising in exactly twelve hour increments during the month of Sivan--the days will be longer than the nights.

Therefore this scripture does not support the 72 hour theory either. (see below for a 360 day prophetic calendar--keep in mind that God had changed the numbering of the months by this time so that Nisan was the first month)

Tisri - originally 1st month/later changed to 7th month (our Sept/Oct)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Heshvan - originally 2nd month/later changed to 8th month (our Oct/Nov)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Kislev - originally 3rd month/later changed to 9th month (our Nov/Dec)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Tebet - originally 4th month/later changed to 10th month (our Dec/Jan)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Shebat - originally 5th month/later changed to 11th month (our Jan/Feb)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Adar - originally 6th month/later changed to 12th month (our Feb/Mar)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Nisan - originally 7th month/later changed to 1st month (our Mar/Apr)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 <--Passover on 14th of Nisan
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Iyyar - originally 8th month/later changed to 2nd month (our Apr/May
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Sivan - originally 9th month/later changed to 3rd month (our May/June
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <--5 days passed between Est 4:16 and Est. 8:9 = Sivan 18.
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 <--King Xerxes wrote out the King's edict on 23 Sivan.
29 30

Tammuz - originally 10th month/later changed to 4th month (our June/July
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Ab - originally 11th month/later changed to 5th month (our July/Aug
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Elul - originaly 12th month/later changed to 6th month (our Aug/Sept)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 <--13th day of 12th month is Elul 13 (see Est. 8:12)
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

As you can see from the above, the periods of daylight and night time will vary according to the season and events other than around the time of Passover cannot be used to prove the 72 hour theory.

Return to What Day of the Week was Christ Crucified

Lori Eldridge
Copyright 5-6-99 --Updated 2-25-16
All Rights Reserved

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