Sacred Calendar


Is it the 7th day of the week?

Question: How can we be sure that our present Saturday is the original seventh day of the week? Answer: To prove that the day called Saturday is the seventh day of the week we will consider the history of mankind in three parts:

We will suppose for the moment that the Sabbath was 'lost' between the creation and the exodus. It may not have been of course, for Jehovah's (Yahweh's) laws were known and kept by faithful believers long before they were given to Israel at Mount Sinai (Genesis 26:5) and the sacred calendar and weekly cycle was followed as far back as the days of Noah (Genesis 7: 11, 8: 9-14). But even supposing that the Sabbath had been lost we can be certain that is was identified and established again by the Almighty in the days of Moses. Here is how we can know this fact.

In Exodus 16: 14-30 we read of how the Almighty fed Israel with manna. By the following 3 miracles, performed every week for 40 years, Yahweh made known His Sabbath day to the nation of Israel.

By these three distinct miracles which occurred every week for 40 years the Creator identified the seventh day of the week as His Sabbath.

Was the identity of the seventh day 'lost' between the exodus and the time of Jesus Christ? The answer is No it wasn't. But again, for the sake of this investigation, we'll assume that it was. We can be certain that it was again identified when the Messiah observed it, for just prior to his death on Calvary the Saviour categorically stated that he had kept his father's commandments, one of which is the seventh-day Sabbath.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:10)

The Master could hardly have said this if the Sabbath day he had been keeping for some thirty three years was the wrong one! Besides, if he had kept the wrong day as the Sabbath he would have been a sinner and that would have disqualified him from being our Saviour. We are, therefore, certain that the Saviour kept the correct seventh day Sabbath. He was no law breaker.

Has the identity of the seventh day of the week been 'lost' since the Saviour's resurrection some 1965 years ago? We can assure the reader that it hasn't been. Here is the proof.
Soon after the capture of Jerusalem in AD 70 the 'Diaspora' took place. The 'Diaspora' is the scattering of the people of Israel to lands other than their own. Initially the exiles had fled to the surrounding countries of Egypt, Syria and Phoenicia, but in the course of time, as persecution mounted, the people of Israel travelled further and further afield and today you will find Jewish communities in every country on the face of the earth. With them the Jews took the Holy Scriptures and their knowledge of the true Sabbath day. Every seventh day since their first century banishment, orthodox Jews all over the world have remembered the weekly Sabbath. And what do we find in the 20th century? We find the Jews still keeping the original seventh day Sabbath, the same day they knew at the time of the Diaspora, which was the same day that Jesus kept. There is absolutely no disagreement or dispute amongst the Jews as to which day is the seventh day of the week. Every synagogue in every country is in perfect agreement that Saturday is the seventh day of the week.

Had there been any change of the day, any loss or gain of time, any deliberate or accidental slip or alteration in the weekly cycle, which would have resulted in the Jews in one country observing a different weekly Sabbath from Jewish believers in the next, then we would readily agree that the identity of the seventh day of the week is now in doubt. But we do not find that situation anywhere on earth. Instead we have total agreement amongst all the Jews of all nations that the day known throughout the world as 'Saturday' is the seventh day of the week.

Nor is this fact disputed by any reputable theologian of whatever denomination. Leading churchmen all agree that Sunday is the first day of the week and Saturday is the seventh. Look up any dictionary and this fact will be verified. Only the unenlightened continue to argue that Saturday is not the 7th day of the week.

Some point out that the civil calendar was changed in the sixteenth century and that the weekly cycle itself was altered - all over the world - so no one can be certain that Saturday is the true seventh day of the week. Those who use this argument are misinformed. Here are the facts of history: In the year 1582 the Julian calendar (named after the Emperor Julius Caesar) was found to be 10 days late when compared with the position of the sun. That is, the vernal equinox was not occurring on or about March 20/21, as it should do in a correct solar calendar, but was gradually receding towards the beginning of March. The reason for this error was that the Julian calendar worked on the basis that the year was 365 days, 6 hours in length, whereas in truth it is about 11 minutes more than that. Over the centuries this 11 minute discrepancy accumulated causing the Julian calendar to steadily recede, till by the sixteenth century it had lost 10 days and the equinox was occurring on March 11th in that calendar.

To correct this discrepancy Pope Gregory X111 ordered that 10 days be added to the Julian calendar dates to bring them into line with the sun. The month of October was chosen for the amendment and in the calendar of 1582 that month appeared as follows:

 1 2 3 415 16
171819202122 23
242526272829 30

You will notice from the above that the weekly cycle, the order of the days of the week, remained unchanged even though the Gregorian calendar dates had increased by ten between the Thursday 4th and the following day - Friday 15th. In other words in both calendars the day after Thursday remained a Friday.

This amendment, understandably, was not very popular in some countries, mainly because it had been authorised by a Roman Catholic Pope. Several Protestant countries refused to acknowledge it and continued to use the Julian calendar; but one by one they came into line. Here is a short list of when they did:

Germany (Catholic States)1583
Germany (Protestant States)1700
Rumania, Turkey and Russia1919

All those years between 1582 and 1919 while both calendars were in use, the sequence of the days in the weekly cycle was the same in every country. In other words Sunday in Rome in 1900 was also Sunday in Russia in that year even though both countries were using a different calendar. And as each nation adopted the Gregorian calendar it simply added 10 days to its Julian calendar date. There was no need to change the order of the days of the week, because they already agreed.


These facts prove that Saturday is the seventh day of the week. They also mean that all true believers in Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel should keep this day holy as required in the Ten Commandments. Failure to do so is sin.

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(Elder: David B Loughran)
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton,, Scotland