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TorahTimes Messianic Ministry

Teaching Truths about Torah, Time, and Messiah

Counting to Sabbath

By Daniel Gregg 9/2016

William Mead Jones (1818 - 1895) was a Seventh Day Baptist and became the pastor of the Mill Yard Seventh Day Baptist Church in 1872. He produced he now famous “Chart of the Week” in 1887. He was an expert in Hebrew and Greek. The following reflects his knowledge, “[In] March 11, 1854, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Saunders, he and his wife sailed for the Holy Land, whither the Church had sent them to found a mission at the ancient Joppa. Here he studied Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, German and Italian; and was able in March, 1855, to use Arabic in public worship to some extent. His first public service conducted wholly in Arabic was on March, 13, I858. In January, 1859, he conducted part of a service in German” (Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America" Vol 1, pp 80-83, published by the American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910.). In his “Chart of the Week” Jones says that counting involving the Sabbath has the following meaning, “One into the Sabbath,” “Two into the Sabbath,” etc. He noted the Hebrew idiom אחד בשבת as meaning “One into* (*Proceeding on to) the Sabbath.” He further remarks in the entry for Syriac (i.e. Church Aramaic), “Each day proceeds on, and belongs to the Sabbath. This is the meaning in all the languages were “into Sabbath” or “into the Sabbath,” is employed.” The aim of this paper is to confirm this result and prove it from the Hebrew Bible.

Counting days of the week to the Sabbath is at least as old as the basic Qumran literature. The idiom is found in 4Q252, the Pesher on Genesis and ciphered in 4Q320, Mishmarot A. The Pesher text is paleographically dated to the early Herodian period, i.e. between 50 BC and 1 BC. The relevant idiom appears on Plate 668, Fragment 1, and is viewable at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.1 On the fourth line down the right hand column, cut in two by a tear in the manuscript, one can read, באחד בשבת. On the seventh line down one can read, יום חמשה בשבת. On line 8 one can read the last letters of the word for third day and Sabbath: ־שה בשבת. Here is Vermes’s Translation of the first part of the Pesher with the key phrases in caps:

4Q252, fr. I (Gen. vi, 3—XV, 17)

I [In the] four hundred and eightieth year of the life of Noah came their
end (that of antediluvian mankind). And God said, My spirit shall not
abide in man for ever and their days sball be determined to be one
hundred and twenty years (Gen. vi, 3) - until the end of the Flood. And
the waters of the Flood arrived on the earth in the six hundredth year
of the life of Noah, in the second month— on the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK 
—on the seventeenth (of the month). On that day all the fountains of
the great deep burst forth and the windows of the heavens were
opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights (vii, 11—
12) until the twenty-sixth day of the third month, the FIFTH DAY OF THE WEEK. 
And the waters prevailed upon the [ea]rth a hundred and fifty
days (vii, 24)—until the fourteenth day of the seventh month, 
THE THIRD DAY OF THE WEEK. (The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English,
Geza Vermes).

Vermes’ Translation “first day of the week,” is incorrect, as are all days counted this way using the word “week.” A good deal of the chronological speculation of the Pesher is also incorrect, but I will not remark on this now. The translation should be, “one day to the Sabbath,” “fifth day unto the Sabbath,” and “third day unto the Sabbath,” and this is what I will demonstrate in this paper. In this paper, first I will show that Sabbath does not mean “week” in the idiom, and that the preposition means “to” or “unto.” The counting is “X unto the Sabbath,” where X is the day of the week. But first a preview of where I am going with this, and a little background. Firstly, I had maintained until recently that the idiom was only for certain as old as Seder Olam (ca. 150 AD). Translations and reconstructions of Dead Sea Scroll material are notorious for all sorts of brackets, parenthesis, etc, which signal interpolations. I was finally able to view a high resolution photo of 4Q252, and this resolved the doubt about its occurrence. At this point I had to reassess the impact of this revelation on my argument that μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων in the Evangelists means “first [day] of the Sabbaths,” or “the first Sabbath day” after Passover. The impact is summarized this way: the only point overturned is my citation of Seder Olam as the oldest known usage. That “Sabbath” does not mean “week” prior to the 2nd century AD still stands. So I will have to update my writings. Seder Olam is not the oldest source.

Spin off results

In the process of considering 4Q252 I inquired from on high anew just what the phrase is supposed to mean in Hebrew during the Hasmonean and Herodian period. I then recalled William Mead Jones’ remarks, and then set up to study just where the Hebrew preposition -ב- meant “to” or “into.” The results are quite stunning, and will be the subject of this paper. To continue where I am going with this, briefly, the argument that the NT phrases mean “first day of the week” depend wholly on the notion that “Sabbath” means “Week.” If Sabbath does not mean week, then the linguistic argument falls apart. This is because μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων is a genitive phrase. If Sabbath does not mean week, then all one can get is an ablative, “first day from the Sabbath.” It defies the genitive case and probability to attempt to get “one day to the Sabbath” out of the Greek. So the short answer is that if Sabbath does not mean “week” then the argument for a Sunday resurrection crashes. By proving that אחד בשבת means “one to the Sabbath,” a key result in this chain of reasoning will be established. If the established idiom counts to the Sabbath, then there is no place for counting from the Sabbath, or altering the word Sabbath to week, which would be entirely unnecessary for any genuine usage of “one to the Sabbath.” The reason the NT resurrection passages are not genuine usages of this idiom is that the Greek does not correspond to the Hebrew idiom. To establish the results, I will concentrate on what may seem unlikely, the preposition and the case.

Investigating the usage of -ב-

I started the study by collating all the usages listed in BDB (Brown-Driver-Briggs) under definition no. 4, “4. often preg. with verbs of motion, when the movement to a place results in rest in it, into.” We will now see where this leads. I have to do the study in the same order I did it, because the meaning of the last part of the study will not be clear without starting at the beginning.

Gen. 27:17, “Then she put the tasty food and the bread which she had made into the hand of Jacob her son.” The key text is “בְּיַד.” No real thunder here. In English we can say, “I put the keys in her hand,” which means the same as “into her hand.” The preposition is influenced by the verb וַתִּתֵּן to imbue it with a sense of motion of entering into and then resting in the destination.

Gen. 19:8, “because therefore they have entered into the shadow of my beams (roof).” The key phrase is: בָּאוּ בְּצֵל. Again, in English, we may say, “Come in my house,” but we mean, “Come into my house.” No fireworks yet. Here the verb is connected to the preposition thus: בָּאוּ בְּ־, “they have come in(to).”

Lev.16:22, “Then he will have made to be sent the goat into the wilderness.” The key phrase is: בַּמִּדְבָּר. And now we have two possible senses. Should it be, “he sent the goat in the wilderness,” or “into the wilderness?” YLT says into, and the LXX says: εἰς τὴν ἔρημον. So does the man cause the goat to go, being himself in the wilderness, or does he just make sure the goat goes into the wilderness, and he is possibly outside it? Or maybe both are the case, and he is in the wilderness, but he sends the goat further into the wilderness. These are questions raised by the versions, but the answers are not critical to our study. The verb is connected to the prepostion: וְשִׁלַּח...בַּמִּדָר, “Then he will have the wilderness.” The Piel has a causitive force, “The he will have made to be sent....” The goat proceeds from outside the wilderness to in the wilderness.

Numbers 14:14, “You Yăhwɛh are in the midst of this people, who eye to eye has been seen.” The key phrase is: אשר עַיִן בְּעַיִן נראה. “Eye in eye” clearly does not make sense in English, so the ESV put “face to face,” and the NAS “eye to eye.” So also YLT. Here is our first big hint that the Hebrew preposition is used differently than in English. Translating the verb a little differently yields, “who eye in(to) eye have been looked at.” The idea is that looking proceeds onward into the eye of the other person, “being looked at/on/into”

Joshua 23:7, “ not enter into these nations, those remaining with you. And unto the name of their gods you shall not make a remembrance. And you shall not swear, and you shall not serve them, and you shall not bow down to them.” The verb again is “enter” + in: בוֹא בַּגּוֹים.

Joshua 23:12, “Then you will have clung unto the remnant of these nations which remain with you. Then you will have become sons-in-law unto them. Then you will have gone unto them, and they unto you.” The Hebrew is literally, “in the remnant,” “in them,” “in them,” and “in you.” Every time I have unto, the Hebrew has -ב-. Attempts to keep “in” by translating “into” are of no use here. Neither “sons in law in them,” nor “sons in law into them” makes any sense. It has to be “to” or “unto.” וּדְבַקְתֶּם בְּיֶתֶר...וְהִתְחַתַּנְתֶּם בָּהֶם וּבָאתֶם בָּהֶם וְהֵם בָּכֶם

1Samuel 16:3, “Then you will have called for Yishai unto (to) the sacrifice.” Does “in the sacrifice” make any sense in English. No, and that is why all the English versions have “to,” except YLT which says, “thou hast called for Jesse in the sacrifice.” The meaning required is “to” or “unto.” The LXX agrees: εἰς τὴν θυσίαν.

1 Kings 11:2, “You shall not go in (unto) them, and they shall not come in (unto) you...” That’s not how English uses “in.”

Hosea 12:6, “And you unto your Almĭghty shall return....” Hebrew: בֵּאלֹהֶיךָ.

Isaiah 19:23, “And will have come Ashur unto Mitsrayim, and Mitsrayim unto Ashur.” This seems trivial in English, “in Egypt” “in Assyria.” But a little awkward as we expect into. But factor in the Hebrew usage of personal names to designate nations, and you will see that if we literally translate Mistrayim and Ashur the case is the same as 1Kings 11:2 above. In English a person requires unto. We do not go “in” persons.

Isaiah 52:8, “For eye to (unto) eye they will see when Yăhwɛh returns to Tsıyon.” Again, “eye in eye” is literal, but it makes little sense.

Deut. 5:4, “Face unto face has made to be spoken Yăhwɛh with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire.” Hebrew: פָנִים בְּפָנִים. Face in face only sort of makes sense, but only negatively as in, “You are in my face. Now get out.”

Of particular note are uses are the occurrences with the Hebrew verb: בוֹא. In participle form (entering, going) this is: בָּא. This suggests that the idea of “going to” has fused onto “in the”: בַּ־. Also also: בְּ־.

The fireworks begin

1Chronicles 12:22, “For from day to day men came to David to help him....” (ESV). What says the Hebrew? It says: יוֹם בְּיוֹם. Literally, “Day in day.” The idea is clearly not the first unit of time contained in the next. We could reduce the lexical meaning of the first usage of day to time, “*Time in a day,” and “in” would make sense in English. But the context is against this contrivance. The idea is “day (going) unto day” where the preposition is carring the idea of the verb בוֹא with it. What is understood is: יוֹם בָּא בְּיוֹם. “Day going into day,” or simplified in English “day unto day.” The idiom with time has dispensed with the verb as redundant *yom ba-be-yom, and has shortened the idea to yom be-yom.

The idiom is truncated further by Exodus 16:5, “Then it will have been on the sixth day then they will have prepared that which they will bring in, then it will have been double above they will gather day day.” In absence of a case here, the dative is assumed, “day to day,” and this is exactly how the LXX see it supplying the preposition, “ἡμέραν εἰς ἡμέραν.”

The idiom “day in day”, i.e. “day going into day” is repeated in a number of verses. First a note about “unto” and “into.” So long as the result is aimed at ending in the destination, the basic sense of the preposition is preserved. But the idea is not of time contained in time, but the idea of time going onto another time. The idiom is used in 2Chron. 8:13, 2Chron. 30:21, Ezra 3:4, Ezra 6:9, Neh. 8:18. In most of the cases the LXX puts, “ἡμέραν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ” using the dative with the Greek preposition ἐν.

The idiom is repeated in relation to undefined time: “time in time” (פַּעַם בְּפַעַם) in Judges 16:20, 20:30, 31. “Time to time” is meant. See also 1Sam 20:25. It is not one time in another time, but one time to another time, i.e. time going unto time. Isaiah 5:8, “Woe to the ones joining house in (unto) house, field in (unto) field...” This is not houses in houses or fields in larger fields but one field to another field, and one house to another house. The idea is pregnant with the verbal idea of going from one to the other and then coming to rest in the other.

Here is a master list of similar usages:

with day:
TEXT        ENG(HEB)      Translation    Hebrew     Greek LXX
Exodus      16:5          day (unto) day יוֹם יוֹם    ἡμέραν εἰς ἡμέραν 
1Samuel     18:10         day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ---Lacking-----
1Chronicles 12:22(23)     day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας
2Chronicles 8:13          day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέρας ἐν ἡμέρᾳ
2Chronicles 24:11         day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας
2Chronicles 30:21         day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν
Ezra        3:4a          day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ
Ezra        3:4b          day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ  ἡμέρας ἐν ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ
Ezra        6:9           day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ  
Nehemiah    8:18          day unto day   יוֹם בְּיוֹם   ἡμέραν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ

with: time
TEXT        ENG(HEB)   Translation        Hebrew     Greek LXX
Judges      16:20      as time unto time  כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם  ὡς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ
                                                     καθὼς ἀεὶ (A)
Judges      20:30      as time unto time  כְּפַעַם בְּפָעַם  ὡς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ
                                                     καθὼς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ (A)
Judges      20:31      as time unto time  כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם  ὡς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ
                                                     καθὼς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ   
1Samuel     20:25      as time unto time  כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם  ὡς ἅπαξ καὶ ἅπαξ    

with: Sabbath
TEXT        ENG(HEB)   Translation           Hebrew     Greek LXX
Isaiah      66:23      Sabbath unto Sabbath  שַׁבָּת בְּשַׁבַּתּ   σάββατον ἐκ σαββάτου

with: new moon
TEXT        ENG(HEB)   Translation             Hebrew     Greek LXX
1Chronicles 27:1       new moon unto new moon  חֹדֶשׁ בְּחֹדֶשׁ   μῆνα ἐκ μηνὸς  
Isaiah      66:23      new moon unto new moon  חֹדֶשׁ בְּחָדְשׁ   μῆνα ἐκ μηνὸς

with: year
TEXT        ENG(HEB)   Translation        Hebrew     Greek LXX
Leviticus   25:53      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν ἐξ ἐνιαυτοῦ
Deuteronomy 14:22      year (unto) year   שָׁנָה שָׁנָה    ἐνιαυτὸν κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτόν
Deuteronomy 15:20      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν ἐξ ἐνιαυτοῦ  
1Samuel     1:7        year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν        
1Samuel     7:16       year unto year     שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה   κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐνιαυτὸν
1Kings      5:11       year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτόν
1Kings      10:25      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה   κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐνιαυτόν
2Kings      17:4       as year unto year  כְּשָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה  *ἐν τῷ ἐνιαυτῷ ἐκείνῳ
2Chronicles 9:24       year unto year     שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה   κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐνιαυτόν
2Chronicles 24:5       year unto year     שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν
Nehemiah    10:34      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτόν
Nehemiah    10:35      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   ἐνιαυτὸν κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν   
Zechariah   14:16      year unto year     שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה   κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν  
Related Texts:
TEXT        ENG(HEB)   Translation         Hebrew     Greek LXX
Genesis     11:4       its top unto heaven רֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם κεφαλὴ ἔσται ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ
Exodus      30:34      part to part        בַּד בְּבַד     ἴσον ἴσῳ ἔσται
Deuteronomy 19:21      life to life        נֶפֶשׁ בְּנֶפֶשׁ   ψυχὴν ἀντὶ ψυχῆς
                       eye to eye          עַיִן בְּעַיִן						 
                       tooth to tooth      שֵׁן בְּשֵׁן   
                       hand to hand        יָד בְּיָד	
                       foot to foot        רֶגֶל בְּרָגֶל
Leviticus 27:10        good into bad       טוֹב בְּרָע    καλὸν πονηρῷ
                       bad into good       רַע בְּטוֹב    πονηρὸν καλῷ	
Isaiah    5:8          house to house      בַיִת בְּבַיִת   οἰκίαν πρὸς οἰκίαν
                       field to field      שָׂדֶה בְשָׂדֶה   ἀγρὸν πρὸς ἀγρὸν
1Kings    16:11        pee onto a wall     מַשְׁתִּין בְּקִיר	----lacking-----										 

Gesenius’ Hebrew Lexicon - ב:

“(4) of motion to a place: ad, an (etwas) hin, to, unto, upon. This Beth differs from אֶל in signification properly and generally, in that אֶל implies motion to a place, whether the end be arrived at or not, nach (etwas) hin. בּ in this sense signifies the reaching the end and remaining at it. It nearly apporaches in meaning to עַד usque ad, unto, which is however properly used, when the termination and end of the motion or action has to be more accurately stated: bis an (etwas) hin [to go up to (something)]; although the later writers appear to like to use עַד for אֶל; Gen. 11:4, רֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם “a tower, whose head may reach unto heaven” (not less correctly Jer. 51:9; “her judgment reacheth unto heaven,” אֶל הַשָּׁמַיִם comp. Winer, Exeget. Stud. pg. 53).”

So now we are ready to state the meaning of the idiom: בְּאֶחָד בַּשַּׁבָּת. This plainly translates, “On one unto the Sabbath,” and Sabbath does not mean “week.” Compare above “Sabbath unto Sabbath.” The preposition has the force of unto. The conclusion is made all the more plainer by the fact that we typically see “eve of the Sabbath” עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת for the sixth day of the week and not *שש בשבת. Neither do we see “seventh unto the Sabbath.” We only see Sabbath (שַׁבָּת) in that case. But it is perfectly easy to say “sixth day of the week,” and “seventh day of the week.” These two cases are not observed in Qumran and Seder Olam Hebrew or Mishnaic Hebrew. I did a search for *שביעי בשבת and *ששי בשבת. I do not find these usages in the Mishnah.2 I find instead: יוֹם שִׁשִּׁי. I also find instead: עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת. I get zero results for “sixth in the Sabbath” and “seventh in the Sabbath.” But if Sabbath simply means week, we should find such results in the literature. The reason that the results are missing is that *“seventh unto the Sabbath” does not make any sense. One is already in the Sabbath on the seventh day. And further, because the idiom is what it is, anyone is more likely to say “eve of the Sabbath” than “sixth unto the Sabbath,” as the point is referencing the Sabbath.

The Evangelists

Clearly if the Evangelists are to mean “first day of the week” in the resurrection passages, it would have to express one of four Hebrew forms: בְּאֶחָד בַּשַּׁבָּת or בְּאֶחָד בַּשַּׁבוּעַ or יוֹם אֶחָד or יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן. Plainly the latter one in the shavua is not used in the Greek texts since the word σαββάτων stands in the texts. No Hebrew form could possibly be used except one containing the word for Sabbath. And if the word Sabbath is used, and if the first day of the week is meant, then the Hebrew idea must be counting to the Sabbath, “first day to the Sabbath.” Now the question is, can the Greek of the Evangelists mean “to the Sabbath”? The answer is an emphatic no. The grammar is all incorrect for it.

Firstly, historically the first day of the week apologetic started with redefining Sunday as the first Sabbath in a new series, “first of the Sabbaths.” This way the text was kept literal, but it was reinterpreted into an alien context. Most Sunday supporting scholars abandoned this apologetic ages also. Secondly, it was argued during the Reformation that the phrase meant, “one day after the Sabbath,” or “One day from the Sabbath.” This suffered from three difficulties. First the word Sabbath was plural, “One day after the Sabbaths?” Second, the Ablative translation is very rare in Koine Greek without an actual preposition to express it: εκ. Thirdly, and fatally, counting from the Sabbath is opposite the way the Hebrew idiom works. The Hebrew idiom counts to the Sabbath and not away from the last Sabbath. So this approach also was abandoned. Finally, the Church accepted the solution of Sabbath meaning “week,” because the genitive case is well expressed by the English word “of,” hence, “first day of the week.” But clearly this does not work if Sabbath does not mean week.

We have seen from the Hebrew that Sabbath does not mean week. So what do the Evangelists mean? The phrase is “One [day] of the Sabbaths.” Day is properly included. The adjective “one” is a substantive “one [day],” like saying “El rojo” in Spanish, which means “the red one.” Thus if one says, “El rojo del hijos” he means “the red [one] of the boys,” or the redhead. The ordinary phrase for the Sabbath in Greek is “the day of the Sabbaths,” which means in the Greek that recurrent day on which Sabbaths come, namely the seventh day. The Hebrew way of viewing the matter is to say simply “day of the Sabbath” יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת. Adding the word first is no different than saying: יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת הַרִאשׁוֹן or אַחַת הַשּׁבָּתוֹת.

Now it has often been pointed out that “first of the Sabbaths” is an impossible translation by scholars who claim that the gender of the adjective “first” must then have to agree with the gender of “Sabbaths.” This is complete nonsense in a genitive phrase where the head noun is a substantive adjective. Genitive phrases do not require gender agreement in the first place, viz. “day of the sabbaths” (cf. τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων, Acts 13:14). In this phrase, which ordinarily expresses the Sabbath day, the word for day is feminine and the word for Sabbaths is neuter in gender. It is not a case of a simple adjective modifying a noun, which requires a gender agreement, but it is a case of a substantive adjective in genitive relation with another noun. Since the adjective is understood as a noun, “first day” then it is the same as the case of two nouns related by the genitive: FIRST DAY + of + the + SABBATHS. All the genitive phrase does is show us what kind of FIRST DAY we are talking about. It is the “first day” of some collection of Sabbaths. Now when two nouns are related by the genitive, naturally they have their own genders which cannot be changed, and that goes for a substantivized adjective as well.

In the past, most Sabbath observers have not known what to say to a scholar who makes the gender objection. This is because the truth was swept away centuries ago, and is only being rediscovered by a few brave souls led by the Spirit of Yăhweh who are willing to open their minds to observation and critical thinking vs. the prevailing majorities and authorities. But the truth is witnessed by the usage, “firstmost day of unleavens” (πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων) and “firstmost of unleavens” (πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων), in Mark 14:12 and Matthew 26:17 respectively. It is clear in the second case that “firstmost” means “firstmost [day],” and therefore is a substantivized adjective. It is also clear that the genders on the two sides of the genitive do not agree. Like σαββάτων the word ἀζύμων is neuter in gender. But πρώτῃ like μιᾷ is feminine. This proves then that there are no grammatical objections that can be made to the translation, “first [day] of the Sabbaths.”

But I have shown that every objection can be made to “first day of the week,” because as I have shown, Sabbath does not mean week, and as I have shown, the phrase “day of the Sabbaths” already had a meaning, namely the Sabbath day. It has only been modified by the word “first.”

Weekdays in the Dead Sea Scrolls
LOCATION                     HEBREW            TRANSLATION
4Q252 Column 1 Line 4        באחד בשבת         on one unto the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 1 Line 7        יום חמשה בשבת     day five unto the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 1 Line 8        ־שולשה בשבת       [day] three unto the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 1 Line 9        יום הרביעי        day fourth
4Q252 Column 1 Line 9        יום החמישי        day fifth
4Q252 Column 1 Line 10       יום הששי          day sixth
4Q252 Column 1 Line 11       יום רביעי לשבת    day fourth to the Sabbath
        End of Line 11       יום רביעי         day fourth
			Start of Line 12       לשבת              to the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 1 Line 13       יום אחד בשבת      day one unto the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 1 Line 17       באחד בשב־         on one unto the Sabba[th]      
4Q252 Column 2 Line 2        באחד בשבת         on one unto the Sabbath
4Q252 Column 2 Line 3        באחד בשבת         on one unto the Sabbath	
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 1 L 3     ב׀׀׀׀ בשבת        on 4 unto the Sabbath     B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 1     ב׀׀׀׀׀ באמר       on 5 in Immer (corrector) B-499734
                             ב׀׀׀׀׀ לאמר       on 5 to Immer (text)      B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 2     ב׀׀׀׀׀׀ ביחזקאל   on 6 in Yeɦezqɛl          B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 3     ב׀ ביוריב         on 1 in Jehoiarib         B-499734     
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 5     ב׀׀ במלכיח        on 2 in Malƙıaɦ (sic)  B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 6     ב׀׀׀׀ בישוע       on 4 in Yeshua         B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 7     ב׀׀׀׀׀ בחופא      on 5 in Huppah         B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 8     שבת בפזז          Sabbath in Happizzes   B-499734	
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 9     ב׀־־ל             on 1st [in Gamu]l      B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 10    ב׀׀׀ בידעיה       on 3rd of Jedaiah      B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 11    ב׀׀׀׀ במימן       on 4th of Mijamin      B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 12    ב׀׀׀׀׀׀ בשכניח    on 6th in Shecaniah    B-499734
4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 2 L 13    שבת בבל־          Sabbath in Bil[gah]    B-499734

4Q320 Frag. 1 Col. 3 L 10       ב׀ בי־־־          on 1st in Ye[shua]
4Q320 Plate 681, Frag. 2, L1    ב׀׀׀ בופא         on 3rd in Huppah   B-482380
4Q320 Plate 681, Frag. 2, L2    ב׀׀׀׀ בחזיר       on 4th in Hezir    B-482380
4Q320 Plate 681, Frag. 2, L3    ב׀׀׀ ׀׀׀ ביכ־ן    on 6th in Jachin   B-482380
4Q320 Plate 681, Frag. 2, L4    שבת בידעיה        Sabbath in Jediah  B-482380

Most unusually, in making this compilation, I found a ל where a ב was expected on lines 11 and 12 of 4Q252: יום רביעי לשבת. What is expected is בשבת and not לשבת. I verified this by inspecting the high resolution infrared photograph of 4Q252 at the start of line 12. The ל is clearly drawn above the line. The shin and tav are very distinct and the bet is partially torn. There is a hole in the MSS just below the key word לשבת in 4Q252 at the start of line 12.3 The expected meaning of the lamed is exactly what we have shown the meaning of bet to be.

Also to be observed in be continued.



2. I did this search using

3. The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, plate 668, Frag 1, B-499730. Taken January 2014. See note 1 above. I first spotted the reading in Robert Eisenman’s transcript in, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered.