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TorahTimes Messianic Ministry

Teaching Truths about Torah, Time, and Messiah

The Resurrection Sabbath

At Dawn On The Seventh Day

“On the later of the Sabbaths, at the dawning into the first of the Sabbaths, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb” (Matthew 28:1).

Matthew announced the time when two of the women, who followed Messiah Yĕshua, came to the tomb. They came after his resurrection, and they came on a Sabbath day: שַׁבָּת, shabbat. The text says in two different ways which particular Sabbath day it was, but before I get to that, I wish to focus on the Sabbath itself. The Sabbath day for Yeshua (also known as Jesus) and his Jewish followers was the seventh day, the one English speaking peoples call Saturday. The Sabbath is in the ten commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). It is the fourth commandment, and it is kept from sunset on the 6th day to sunset on the seventh day. Translating this into English terms: from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. This is the timing by which all religious Jews keep it, and also the time by which non-Jews who follow Messiah Yeshua keep it. There are many different groups and sects of Christians that keep the seventh day Sabbath.

The commandment is to refrain from work on the seventh day. The community is to have a holy meeting. The day is to be used for worship and study of the Almĭghty’s word, i.e. Scripture. The Sabbath is a sign between the Almĭghty and His people that he is the true Almĭghty and that they are his people. However, the majority of Christians reject these commandments and these explanations in Scripture for themselves. And in order to distance themselves from the Sabbath as the Almĭghty commanded it, they teach that Sunday is the day for meeting. And to support Sunday for meeting, they also teach that the resurrection was on Sunday. They therefore corrupted the scripture and decided to translate the Sabbath into the “first day of the week.”

Early on in Church history false teachers taught that the Evangelists meant the day after the Jewish Sabbath. Eventually, this came to be translated, “first day of the week” despite the fact that the word translated into week commonly refers to Sabbaths. In fact, no where in Greek literature in the first century AD or earlier is the word for Sabbath translated as week, except in those texts where the false teachers deemed it necessary to reinterpret the text to mean Sunday so that they could teach the resurrection was not on the seventh day. The changed meaning only occurs in ecclesiastical Greek after the first century AD. So of course, citing usages after the first century would show the meaning of week. But this is circular reasoning, reasoning from the legacy of the false teachers rather than Scripture.

More circular reasoning by false teachers comes from the Greek Old Testament, called the Septuagint. The oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible date from about the 9th century (other than the DSS). The oldest copies of the Greek translation of the Scriptures date no earlier than the 4th century, except for fragments. It is naively assumed that because the Torah and Prophets are older than the Evangelists that the Greek version of the Torah, referred to as LXX (The 70 or Septuagint), is older than the Evangelists. It is true that the first editions of the LXX were made about 250 BC, but there is a six century gap between then and the oldest manuscripts rediscovered by scholars. And during this time Greek Jews and Christian non-Jews changed the texts in their respective versions. Titles were added to the Psalms to support the false teaching, “first day of the week,” and in Leviticus 23:15, the text was rendered “weeks” in those places where the original Hebrew source has “Sabbaths.” Anyone who studies the LXX knows that it suffers from massive corruption, additions, and many places where the text does not correspond to the Hebrew Bible. The LXX is also chronologically corrupt, placing the death of Methuselah after the flood and adding over 1000 years to the chronology. Seldom do any modern translations adopt LXX readings against the Hebrew text (although there are a few places not related to chronology where I think the LXX has the right reading). The Evangelists, on the other hand, have been preserved much more faithfully than the LXX translation, and the texts go back to early dates in the second and third centuries before the oldest LXX copies. Also, the way in which days of the week were counted in Qumran documents unto the Sabbath contradicts the claims that the word Sabbath means week. These documents date from 50 BC to 1 BC. Usages in the Mishnah also contradict the claim.

Spotting the word for Sabbaths

There is not an iota of truth in changing Sabbaths to mean week. It is a monstrous lie. Now it is easy to spot the noun that means Sabbath in the original Greek as the letters and sound of the word are not so far different from English that one cannot recognize it. In every Greek text of Matthew 28:1 that word is: σαββάτων. The Greek letter sigma looks like σ and is equivalent to the English letter “s.” To show the word in English letters: sabbaton. The ending “-on” (-ων) is plural (more than one), so the proper translation of the word is “sabbaths.” English ends the word in “-ths.” The “t” reflects a τ in the Greek the tav ת at the end of the Hebrew word שַׁבָּת, shabbat. The plural in Hebrew is formed by adding -ot to shabbat so that you get shabbatot and looks like this with the plural ending: שַׁבָּתוֹת.

English        Hebrew        Greek
s              שׁ  =sh        σ   =s
sa             שַׁ  =sha       α   =a
bb             בּ  =bb        ββ  =bb
bba            בָּ  =bba       ββα =bba
ths            תוֹת =tot      των =ton

In Matthew 28:1, this word “Sabbaths” appears twice: Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων ἦλθεν Μαριὰμ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ ἡ ἄλλη Μαρία θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον. See the bold type. In the first instance the typical translation is faithful and puts “sabbaths,” but in the second case they put “week,” when it says “sabbaths.” Even if the possibility of “week” be admitted for some occurrence of the word, it is surely not the normal sense.1 And here, as we shall see the normal sense makes plain sense.

The late one of the Sabbaths

In the Hebrew calendar there are 52 regular seventh day sabbaths each solar year, and 7 more annual sabbaths each year. These annual Sabbaths are the 15th and 21st of Nisan, the 50th day after the first day of Passover, the 1st, 10th, 15th, and 22nd days of Tishri. They are called by the names, “first day of unleavened bread,” “seventh day of unleavened bread,” “shavuot,” “yom teruah,” “yom kippur,” “first day of Sukkot,” and “shemeni atseret.” Their English names are the Passover Sabbath, the last Sabbath of Passover, Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. These days are explained in Leviticus 23. They are movable days with respect to the weekly cycle because their timing is determined by the sighting of the new moon. This means that they move among the days of the week, sometimes falling on Thursday or some other day of the week between regular Sabbaths.

Resurrection Sabbath

These 7 annual sabbaths may fall into the middle of a regular week. The evening of the Passover sacrifice started one of these seven sabbaths. It is also called the first day of Passover, or the first day of unleavened bread. In the plural “Sabbaths” two Sabbaths are in view, the first day of Passover and then the weekly Sabbath after it. The reason for noticing two Sabbaths is that Messiah’s time in the grave fell into two Sabbaths, and this would be a memorable coincidence to a Jewish audience. The three days he was in the grave coincided with two Sabbaths. One came immediately after the crucifixion day (on Thursday), and the other was the resurrection day. The resurrection day was the later Sabbath in this period. So the crucifixion was on Wednesday and the Resurrection on Sabbath at a bit before dawn ended the night.

Matthew tells us that the women visited after the resurrection “on the later of the Sabbaths.” Matthew has made it crystal clear which Sabbath he is speaking about in his first phrase. So it couldn’t have been a Sunday.

Where “Late” comes from

Someone will say, how do you know that’s what the Greek says when all the translations say, end of the Sabbath, or after the Sabbath or evening of the Sabbath? Let me show you. Firstly, the word is plural in Greek, so after the Sabbaths or end of the Sabbaths will only make sense if there are two Sabbaths in a row. And evening of the Sabbaths will make no sense at all unless perhaps someone means the evening right between two Sabbaths. None of these choices work with a Friday crucifixion. Secondly, the Greek word Ὀψὲ means neither “end” “after” or “evening.”2 It means “late.” You may ask how “late” means “later.” Greek scholars know full well that a descriptive word may be used as a noun. For an English example, “first of the men” means the same thing as “first [one] of the men,” and for a Spanish example, “el rojo de las casas” means “the red [one] of the houses.” Likewise, “late of the Sabbaths” means “late [one] of the Sabbaths.” Greek scholars call such a use of an adjective a substantive, which is to say an adjective or adverb (descriptive word) that is used like a noun. So when I put “later of the sabbaths” I am simply simplifying the translation for you.

              Substantive Use of Temporal/Ordering Adj,Adv               Head subst.4
Greek  LXX              Source             Adj/Substantive Translation   with Article
πρῶτος τῶν ᾀδόντων      Neh 12:46          first [one] of the singing-ones     NO
πρῶτος τῶν τριάκοντα    1Chron. 11:11      first [one] of the thirty           NO
ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν      Gen. 49:1          last [one]s of the days             NO
ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν      Num. 24:14         last [one] of the days              NO
ἐσχάτῳ τῶν ἡμερῶν       Deut. 4:30         in last [one] of the days           NO
ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν      Deut. 8:16         last [one]s of the days             NO
ἐσχάτη λόγων            Eccl 7:8           last [part] of matters/things       NO
ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς     Psa. Sol. 1:4      until last [part] of the eath       NO
ὕστερον δὲ πάντων       Mat. 22:27         later yet of all                    NO
πρότερος αὐτῶν          Num. 14:14         firstmost of them                   NO
πρότερος ὑμῶν           Deut. 1:33         firstmost of you                    NO
Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων         Mat. 28:1          late [one] yet of Sabbaths          NO
Sero5 autem sabbatorum  Mat. 28:1 D Lat    on late [one] yet of Sabbaths       NO        

And such is the only sense that makes sense. This is because Matthew follows up the matter by saying, “at the dawning into the first of the Sabbaths.” Surely this is a Sabbath. Matthew tells us which one it is. But whether we know what, when, and where the first of the Sabbaths comes, it is still a Sabbath. One can hardly say after the Sabbaths is a Sabbath or that the end of the Sabbaths is a Sabbath. But saying the later of the Sabbaths is a Sabbath makes sense.

Scholars have long ago pointed out that, “end of the Sabbath” makes no sense. It makes no sense for dawn to come at the end of the Sabbath either. So they changed it to “after the sabbath,” but then again scholars pointed out the unlikelihood that “late” can ever mean “after.” They would never dare suggest “late [one] of the [two] Sabbaths.” Even though this is the plain normal sense of Greek, using the normal rules, it is rejected on the force of tradition, that is naked authority or appeal to majority.

The first of the Sabbaths

This later of the Sabbaths is a specific Sabbath. It is called the “first” of the Sabbaths. That sounds strange to the uninitiated, i.e. the late one that is the first one. Well it is the case, because this is what the Law teaches. After the Passover Sabbath there were to be seven Sabbaths counted. The Pharisees tell us that Leviticus 23:11 is the Passover Sabbath, and then starting with the weekly Sabbath after it, Leviticus 23:15 tells us to count seven Sabbaths. So the Passover Sabbath comes first, but then comes the next weekly Sabbath, and this has to be the first of the seven Sabbaths to be counted. So this Sabbath is the later Sabbath that is the first Sabbath. Matthew is clear if you know what God’s laws say, “Then ye will have counted for yourselves in the tomorrow of the Sabbath, from the day of your bringing the sheaf of the wave offering seven Sabbaths. They shall be regular completion ones until in the tomorrow of the seventh Sabbath ye will count a fiftieth day (Lev. 23:15-16)”

The singular Sabbath mentioned at the start of vs. 15 is the annual Sabbath, Nisan 15. This is the first-first Sabbath. The other later of these two Sabbaths is the first weekly Sabbath, or first of the Sabbaths. Luke 6:1 calls it the second-first Sabbath. Now the text says, “in the tomorrow of” several times. In Hebrew this could be rendered “from” the tomorrow also. Depending on the nature of what one is counting in the tomorrow it is either the day after or an extended time after the Annual Sabbath. The nature of seven Sabbaths is that an extended time is required. The nature of the wave sheaf is that the next day is all that is necessary. And the nature of counting 50 days to a fiftieth day is that the fiftieth day falls sometime in the seven days following the seventh Sabbath, or idiomatically “in the tomorrow of the seventh Sabbath.” It is important to realize that the Hebrew root of the term ממחרת, mimaɦarat is מחר, maɦar and that this commonly means “in time to come.”

The Passover Sabbath (Lev. 23:11, 15a):
     In the tomorrow of it:
           Seven Sabbaths are counted: (15b)
                 First of the Sabbaths
                 Second of the Sabbaths
                 Third of the Sabbaths
                 Fourth of the Sabbaths
                 Fifth of the Sabbaths
                 Sixth of the Sabbaths
                 Seventh of the Sabbaths
                       In the tomorrow of the Seventh Sabbath:
                            A fiftieth day

A completion sabbath, תְּמִימֹת, temımot, is a way of saying a regular Sabbath vs. a feast day Sabbath. They were not to count the seventh day of unleavened bread in the seven Sabbaths, but only Sabbaths which made the completion of a regular week. Now there is actual evidence that some Jews do continue to count seven Sabbaths after Passover. They are called Karaites. But we must understand that the advent of Messiah and the Jewish rejection of Him set off transformations in Judaism meant to undermine the truth of Messiah and his work of redemption. Therefore, the Rabbinic Jews abandoned the precept to count Sabbaths toward the end of the first century, and the practice is only revived, as far as we know, by the Karaite Jews around the 9th century. However, the Karaite Jews differed in their counting. The Karaites adopted the opinion of the ancient Sadducees in regarding the weekly Sabbath to be the point after which they should start counting instead of the Passover Sabbath. So the Karaite counting deviates from that of Messiah and his disciples, and also the Pharisees of His day. The Karaite counting follows the correct counting by a full week.

According to Karaite counting the “first of the Sabbaths” must fall a week or more after Nisan 15. But noticing the Evangelists report the “first of the Sabbaths” starting within three days after the crucifixion on Nisan 14 shows that the Messianic Faith does not agree with the Karaite opinion of counting after the weekly Sabbath.

The Karaite Argument

The Karaites claimed that “morrow of the Sabbath” means only the weekly Sabbath. They take this view from the ancient Sadducees. The Pharisees took the other side of the argument, namely that the counting began after the annual Sabbath. The dispute was over the meaning of the word “the Sabbath” in Lev. 23:11 and Lev. 23:15a. The one party said it was the annual Sabbath. The other party said it was the weekly Sabbath. The proof of who is right is easy to see in Exodus 24:16. After the feast at Mt. Sinai, the cloud abode six days on the mountain, and then the Almĭghty spoke to Moses on the seventh day, which clearly is the Sabbath. Accordingly, the feast day itself was a Sabbath, and that feast day was Shavuot, otherwise known as Pentecost, which is the 50th day. Shavuot only falls on a Sabbath when the counting starts on a Friday. This proves that the counting started after a Passover Holy day on Thursday that year, and these circumstances are exactly confirmed by astronomical calculation of the given days in the year of the Exodus 1632 BC. The year itself is confirmed many other ways, but the reader will have to study our chronology to become confident of this.

The Sadducees and their Qumran associates, we may say, were the first promoters of the Sunday heresy for Shavuot. They argued that Sabbath always meant the seventh day, even though we may prove that the word means rest or ceasing, and that it is equally applied to Yom Kippur and the Passover Sabbath. In fact, anyone who takes John 19:31 seriously and Matthew 12:40 seriously has to concede that “the Sabbath” in that passage refers to the Passover holy day. John, who walked side by side with Messiah, knew exactly what he was doing by referring to that day as “the great Sabbath.” There is simply no way that any Jewish reader would fail to see he was supporting the Pharisee viewpoint over the Sadducees. And we see that in Matthew 23:1-3, Messiah himself holds the Pharisees up as authorities over the Sadducees and Qumran heretics.

Karaites strive to prove counting after a weekly Sabbath by asserting that “morrow of the seventh Sabbath” means Sunday. But they fail to notice that the same phrase is used in Lev. 23:15 as that in 23:11 and 23:16, “in tomorrow of the Sabbath” in relation to counting all seven Sabbaths in that time. The reader should notice that translators render vs. 15, “from the day after the Sabbath,” so that it is obvious that seven Sabbaths are counted from the annual Sabbath and not all in one day after the annual Sabbath. Since the Hebrew is exactly the same in vs. 16, then it is clear that “out of the tomorrow of the seventh Sabbath” may mean the time period following it and not simply one day following it. As it is written, “tomorrow will take care of itself,” illustrates the idiom where the word “tomorrow” is used in the sense of hereafter, and there are many texts which would prove this meaning possible. So the Karaite/Sadducean proof text fails due to another attested sense of “tomorrow,” which occurs in the verse right before Lev. 23:16.3

First fruits

The Scripture teaches in particular that the days for offerings at the sanctuary are counted from dawn to dawn. The offering is to burn all night in the night after the day it is offered on, and it may be eaten in that night also, which is the same twenty-four hour calendar day (cf. Lev. 6:9-10; 7:15), and the deadline for the offering and for eating of the worshiper’s or priest’s portion is daybreak. It is clear that the offering may last only up to 24 hours until dawn when it ends, and this in fact, is when the daily offering is renewed. How then does the first fruit offering coincide with Messiah’s resurrection? This offering ascended all night, and Messiah was raised as the last bit of the offering was ascending off of the altar. This is because the first dawn to dawn day after the Passover Sabbath that year was Friday daybreak to Sabbath daybreak. So Messiah was raised during the last part of the offering.

Showing When First Fruits Was

Now what if first fruits is counted after the weekly Sabbath? We will see that daybreak at Sunday is too late, because Messiah was raised while it was still dark! This is what John 20:1 implies. Furthermore, even in a Thursday crucifixion scheme, the day of first fruits by the Scriptural method would come too soon, and by the Karaite method too late. I should point out that daybreak was the time for renewing the daily offering, but the wave offering, a.k.a. first fruits offering had to wait till after the daily offering. Most commentators seem to think it was about 9 a.m. So there is simply no way to synchronize the resurrection with the first fruit offering via a Thursday crucifixion scheme, via a Saturday afternoon resurrection scheme, or a Saturday evening resurrection sheme. The resurrection time of all these theories falls in between the Pharisees calculation of first fuits and the Karaite/Sadducean calculation. One cannot synchronize the resurrection with a Friday view and first fruits either since even here the resurrection is said to be before the offering occurs. The first fruits have to be raised up and ascend on the altar at the time of the resurrection, and not after it, for the synchronization symbolism to be perfect. Only a resurrection before the dawn deadline for the offering on Sabbath morning meets the assumed requirement that Messiah ascend from the grave as a first fruits offering.

In the true chronology, Messiah died at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain, and he rose from the dead at the same time the first fruits offering was finishing up on the third day.

The truth will set you free

The truth is that only one man who said he will give us life ever came back to life. There are no other options for the despairing world. There are no other offerings. There is no other choice. The despairing must either try Yeshua or try nothing. A large number of disciples who saw him, talked with him, and walked with him endured murderous deaths rather than deny what they knew to be true. They didn’t make it up. And they wrote down exactly what they knew was true. They wrote it according to the norms of language, usage, culture and custom for their day. I am telling you that all the chronological details add up. And not only do they all add up, but we can take the results and invest them, and they pay spiritual dividends. Because starting from this foundation we can confidently recover and restore the whole of biblical chronology. Yes, it is true, everything starts with the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, because that is the point in time where the Almĭghty invested all his assents, his love, and his preparation. And our enemy the devil throws his most deceptive efforts in that direction. Part of that deception is to confuse the history and timing of the event so that people will wonder about the contradictions he has created, and will disbelieve.

The matter of false chronology is not simply one of time, or of casting doubt into the hearts of mankind because Matthew 12:40 does not add up, or that the year is lost, or that Daniel 9 does not really add up. These are things atheists might reject the accounts for. This is also a matter of rebellion against the divine Law. Everything agrees with the Law and the Prophets. Religious man wants to believe in God. Religious man does not want to go to the extremes of atheists who deny their own humanity and deny their own imaging of God. But neither does religious man want to follow the Almĭghty on His terms, but he wants to follow on his own terms. And that means not submitting to the laws of the Almĭghty, or submitting to only so many laws as he will not be criticized by the world for. Therefore, the enemy of God did not just cause mankind to doubt the events happened, but he puts forth a substitute system that can more easily be believed by those with the lawless inclination. And this system is the Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection theory. The enemy strives to brand Jews and Torah with anti-Semitic prejudices on the one hand, and then to create his lawless “version” of the truth toward which he can push the non-Jew. He also strives hard to get Judaism to misrepresent what observing the divine law means and to get Christians to say yuk. It is truly a diabolical misdirection for both Jews and non-Jews.

But it does not have to be so this way. The truth can set us free, and open up endless vistas of new discoveries to conquer. It can set you free to know God fully, and to open up the many ways he has loved us, if only we would look for it soon.


1 This admission is only for the sake of the argument that one should try to make sense of a text using a normal or usual definition of a word rather than resorting to a secondary definition or a questionable definition. If the usual definition makes sense, as it does in Matthew 28:1 and everywhere else in the Scripture, then a supposed secondary definition need not be attempted. There is in fact no evidence that the word Sabbath means week before the Church began teaching its people that was the meaning. Luke 18:12 is often adduced as an example, but here again the usual sense makes sense, “I fast two meals on Sabbath” (Jubilee Bible 2000). Also, for a classical Greek reader, which means archaic Greek, more or less analogous to our 16th century English in the King James Version, “I fast twice from the Sabbath” would be a proper ablative sense if one knew for sure that fasting on Mondays and Thursdays was the meaning. Sometimes the Hebrew preposition beth ב is reduced in translation (שַׁבָּת בְּשַׁבַּתוֹ) to an ablative case, as for example in Isaiah 66:23 (cf. 1Chron. 12:22, 24:11, 27:1; Lev. 25:53; Deut. 15:20): σάββατον ἐκ σαββάτου (LXX), so the original sense in Luke 18:12 could be: אֲנִי צָם פַּעֲמַיִם בַּשַּׁבָּת which means, “I fast two times unto the Sabbath.” The Hebrew idiom for counting days in a week is also claimed as evidence that Sabbath means week, viz. בְּאֶחָד בַּשַּׁבָּת, but this according to Hebrew usage means “on one unto the Sabbath,” and not *“on one in the week.” The Peshitta version reads: צָאֵם אנָא תּרֵין בּשַׁבּתָא which is “I fast twice unto the Sabbath (ܒܿܫܒܿܬܼܐ).”

2 Translators do render the Greek word for “late” into the sense of these words. If the context means late in a day then they may translate end of a day, or if a context means near sunset, they may put evening of a day. Or if a context is comparative they may suggest the meaning is later than and put the sense of after. This last usage has not gone without much dispute. But this need not concern us. The point is that the meaning of the word itself is “late” unaffected by any context. The problem is that translators who have been indoctrinated into a certain sense they must obtain from the text, or be cast out as a heretic, tend to see only what they are told to see. It is perfectly obvious however that the plural word Sabbaths critically affects the contextual sense: “late of Sabbaths” vs. “late of sabbath.” The former means the late one of two Sabbaths. The later might mean late in some Sabbath. The translators are trained to ignore the plural because they are taught a rule that the plural word Sabbaths often means the singular Sabbath. Disproving this notion will require a bit of technical discussion:

The ordinary Greek idiom put for a Sabbath day takes the form of “the day of the Sabbaths” (τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων), while the Hebrew idiom takes the form of “day of the Sabbath” (יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת). The Greek concept is the day which comes periodically every week, so it has the idea of the day which comes on Sabbaths. And the Hebrew concept is the day which comes on Sabbath. In Greek, the plural is not meaningless so long as the sense is “the day with reference to the Sabbaths,” or the day of the Sabbaths kind. But as soon as a translator accept the dictum that sabbaths = sabbath, then he or she is blinded to the fact that the plural is always meaningful. If a plural can be meaningful, then a plural is normally meaningful. That is how language is supposed to work, unless the translator is working under the burden of having been told what their text must mean by naked authorities or by trusting what naked authorities say.

Now there is the matter of the Greek word σάββατα used in the LXX where a singular Sabbath is meant. The Greek word looks like “Sabbaths” to an uneducated Greek because it mimics the plural ending in Greek. We have words like this in English, “physics, pants, measles,” or “two spoons of sugar,” or “pliers.” Often there is a logical explanation, such as derivation from another language. For example “data” appears as a singular in English, but we know it is plural and that the word is “datum” in the singular. This is because it comes from Latin. The case is analogous with σάββατα. The Greeks knew it looks plural, but it has a singular meaning. The historic proof for this is that Greek was related to Aramaic long before Hebrew, and the concept of a rest day was in Aramaic long before Canaanite Hebrew. Sabbath was not borrowed at first from Hebrew into Greek. It was borrowed from Aramaic. And the Aramaic form is shabbta: שַׁבְּתָא. The Greeks who do not have a shin simplified the word to “sabbata.” The “a” ending on the Aramaic form is simply the Aramaic definite article or later absolute state. It means “the Sabbath.” The extra “a” between the b and t is simply the Greek ear coping with the Aramaic, or perhaps because the Greek at some point also assimilated the Hebrew form.

Another case of plural mimic is the apparent line up of שַׁבָּתוֹן with σαββάτων in the LXX (Lev. 23:32). This is again a case of form borrowing. Shabbaton to Sabbaton. שַׁבָּתוֹן is an intensive plural. And intensive plurals are singular, e.g. Elohim means Almĭghty, i.e. most mighty, and not gods (plural) in most of its uses. A translator therefore who takes the evidence for plural mimics and equivocates a crass sense of a singular Sabbath when the text has the plural form without considering that the plural form makes sense is just like the translator who mistakes “gods” in a Hebrew text speaking of pagans to mean “God” (Almĭghty) and then concludes that the pagans were monotheists. One should also take note of a truly ambiguous situation where the translators cannot be sure whether “gods” or “God” is meant like Gen. 3:5.

So now we can see why, “late of the Sabbaths” is not put in translation as the late one of the Sabbaths or later of the Sabbaths. It is 1. because it does not fit the Sunday view, 2. They have been told that Sabbaths is equal to Sabbath. So Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων is treated by them the same as “and late Sabbath,” and so they proceed to put “end” or “evening,” or come up with a comparative ablative sense, “and later [than] Sabbath,” and then proceed with the word “after.” They are defying the probabilities because they are relying on the naked authority of tradition. In the broad scheme of chronology yielding to these improbabilities simply metastasizes into further improbabilities.

A Stunning Development

Nehemia Gordon withdraws new moon report

3. Nehemia Gordon summarily kicked yours truly off of his facebook page when I made the above argument a few years ago. In 2016 he reported finding no Aνıν before the spring equinox and summarily added a II Adar to the year in sympathy with the incorrect Rabbinic Calendar, which is in year 19 of its cycle which is a leap year. This was in spite of the fact that two other searchers found Aνiν barley, according to Karaite definitions, before the spring equinox, and these searchers (Brian Convery, Solomon Meyer) in fact believe in Messiah Yeshua, whereas Gordon does not. Return to text.


While I was verifying my sources for the above paragraph I stumbled across a stunning development concerning the Seventh New Moon for 2016! First, some background. Firstly, because of the knowledge we had gained concerning Gordon’s incorrect addition of month XIII this year and other concerns, David Trudgett and I were careful to cross examine the report of the new moon for the 7th month as much as we could. In particular we questioned the time of the sighting, since it was incorrectly posted. It was determined to be Israeli Standard Time + Daylight Summer Time. This check agreed with the ideal sighting time for this case of difficult observation as calculated by astronomical software. It was also determined that the incorrect time was not the fault of the original two witnesses but only of those reporting on the witnesses. Nehemia Gordon put out a report based on these two witnesses that the new moon for the sixth month [so he says] had been seen:

“On Friday September 2, 2016, the new moon was sighted from Jerusalem 
at 7:30pm by Becca Biderman and shortly thereafter by Cassandra Conroy. 
The photo at the top of this message was taken of this months’s new 
moon by Becca Biderman. Have a Blessed Month! Nehemia Gordon.”   
(Note, I have learned since this was transmitted via wireless almost 
immediately after it happened to Nehemia Gordon, and then there was an
exchange of phone calls: first Nehemia to Becca. Then afterward, Becca with
Roy Hoffman who examined Becca’s testimony.)

[Accessed 9/18/2016 from my FaceBook page. This may have been scrubbed 
at its source.]

When I went back to double check my info from Brian Convery, which was from a second party also, I found a direct source to his testimony for the Aνıν search this year. My position on this, reader should note, is that the Aνiν search is necessary for the Temple offering, and is therefore valid in terms of preparation for this. It need not be the basis of intercalation of the year which is correctly based on the spring equinox. Also, I am always interested in the results of the Aνıν search, because invariably it has an almost perfect track record of being found before the spring equinox! And it was this year also (2016). In checking my info at these key sites I discovered that video’s had been posted from the original witnesses, Riνka (aka Rebbecca, Becca) Biderman and Cassandra Conroy. [first site with incorrect times; Accessed 9/2/2016, 9/18]   [accessed 9/18/2016]              [accessed 9/18/2016]  [primary video, 1st Witness: Biderman]  [Second video, 2nd Witness: Conroy]  [Channel]

I watched both video’s last night and learned of the reason for the unprecedented posting of video’s by the primary witnesses. Nehemiah Gordon HAD WITHDRAWN HIS NEW MOON REPORT! I wanted to verify that he had withdrawn it, and I had been apprised that Devorah Gordon’s group New Moon and Aviv Barley still existed: It had been taken down I thought because they could not handle the faithful in Yeshua in the group. Not so. It was taken down temporarily and I was preemptively banned from it when it was put back up. Also this group now has a bold message saying any mention of Yeshua at all will result in an immediate ban. I logged out of my FB account and tried reloading the page, and was able to see what any outside user can see. The group still exists.

Here is Nehemia’s Retraction archived:

Special New Moon

I need to share with you an important message regarding the New Moon Report
 I released this month. Information has come to my attention, which after
 extensive examination and prayer, has caused me to call into question the
 testimony I received of the new moon being sighted, by the naked eye from
 Israel, on September 2, 2016.

The next new moon should be easily visible on October 2, 2016, baring
 clouds or haze, which would mark the beginning of Yom Teruah. However,
 in light of the above, if the new moon is not sighted October 2, Yom
 Teruah will begin the following evening on October 3, 2016. We really
 do not know the day or the hour of this upcoming Yom Teruah!

It was important for me to send you this update and assure you that I
 will continue to do my best to provide you with reliable new moon testimony
 as long as I'm called to do so. I pray the Messiah comes soon to reign
 as king over Israel and clear away all confusion!

Humbly from Jerusalem, Israel

Nehemia Gordon

Nehemia’s post was prefaced with a diagram of signal fires from Israel to Babylonia. Here is the significance of this. In ancient times, when the new moon was seen, the Jews would light fires from mountain top to mountain top to signal the new moon had been seen to the Babylonian Dispersion. But the other groups lit their own fires on the wrong days, reportedly to cause confusion. For this reason the signal fire system was discontinued. The other groups were considered heretics by the Pharisees and Rabbinic Jews, and their testimonies were discounted whenever it was convenient to do so. Likewise the testimony of the faithful in Messiah Yeshua are discounted! Rabbinic Jews called heretics , mınım. It states in Rosh Hashanah 2:1: “(A) Mishnah: At first they accepted testimony [regarding the] new moon from every man. After the heretics [mınım] sinned, they ordained that they should only accept [testimony] from [people they] recognized.” (accessed: Jewish Babylonia between Persia and Roman Palestine by Richard Kalmin, page 169, google books.)

It turns out that both of the witnesses are believers in Messiah Yeshua. According to testimony in the video’s Roy Hoffman, president of the Israel New Moon Society, accepted the report of Rebecca Biderman. Archives show that she is a regular reporter for INMS. Saved file as: hoffman.xls. As far as I can tell INMS has posted no notification of this new moon: In all fairness to INMS the last report in the database is 11/13/2015 by Ruth Katz 4 reports down from the last recorded report of Rebecca Biderman on 11/13/2015.

[Phone report: Rebecca Biderman. Summarized]
Roy asked me very specific questions related to the sighting
[one question was misunderstood]
Everything else he was well satisfied with.
[3rd call with Nehemia:]
I think your doing your job perfectly
[Aftermath 2nd Phone call with Roy:]
He did educate me on what he was doing
And I thanked him
[After call:]
And he himself,,, to this date...Sept the 12th
have me as a valid witness that he vetted
according to the very strict rules of the 
Orthodox Jews have in the Mishnah (37:08 video).
I have been vetted and my witness does stand
with them (INMS).
I can only guess at why Nehemia would then say my witness
was unreliable. I cannot even imagine what evidence
he has been provided with by whom that could not
come from me.....
Roy Hoffman told me that it was the Sanhedrin who
asked him to verify my witness. 
When Roy told me my witness was fine. They published my report.
I did with my naked eye see the moon.
I did indeed take a photo of that moon.
I did indeed see it at 7:30 Sept the 2nd.
Near the Kenneset in Jerusalem, Isarel.
I do not think he  [YHWH] is going to let this
 go without recompense to call his witness, his witness, ok,
 and his witness untrue and unreliable.
 *note: @2:30-2:40 Rıνka correlates the sighting with the 7th month

Brian Convery posted his analysis here:

My Conclusions

Nehemiah Gordon is a known false teacher. He does not believe in Messiah. I have noted him mishandling many scholarly facts and details in his writings and books. In my considered opinion these events also completely disqualify and discredit him from relaying valid information on new moon sightings and also on the search for Aνıν barley. Every effort must be made to go around Nehemia to other sources that have not been discredited to obtain reports on the new moon and barley. I do not know if INMS or the Sanhedrin has evolved their position one way or the other. But we must be watching for this also in light of the ruling of the Mishnah. If they go by it, and they discover that the witness is faithful to Yeshua, they may not accept the testimony. So far, as I know, however Roy Hoffman, INMS, and the Sanhedrin are guiltless in these happenings and the ultimate fault lies at the feet of one person, who unfortunately too many believers in Messiah are trusting to be truthful.

Update. The report of the witnesses was accepted by the INMS and updated on their Hebrew page:
האגודה הישראלית לצפייה בירח החדש
הירח החדש של חודש אלול נראה בישראל ביום שישי (ליל שבת) על ידי בקה בידרמן וקסנדרה קונורי מירושלים בשעה 19:30. תמונה מצורפת צופים אחרים ראו את הירח רק במשקפת אך לא בעין:
My Translation:
Israel New Moon Society
The new moon of the month of Elul was seen in Israel on day six [Friday], (night of Shabbat) by Becca Biderman and Cassandra Conroy from Jerusalem at 19:30 [7:30 pm, IST+1]. Picture attached. Other viewers had seen the moon only in binoculars, but not by [naked] eye.
Translation details provided by INMS: האגודה הישראלית לצפייה בירח החדש
“Hello all. The new moon of Elul was seen by two observers on Friday 2-Sep-2016 19:30 from Jerusalem Becca Biderman (who usually looks from Poriyya) sighted the moon from Jerusalem near the Crowne Plaza Hotel with the naked eye at 7:30pm. She pointed it out to Cassandra Conroy who also managed to sight it with the naked eye. I am attaching Becca's photo as well.”


4. The reason for this category is to show that the article is typically omitted when a Hebrew phrase is being reproduced. Normally, a substantive in Greek takes the definite article as an indication that the adjective is being nominalized. But in Hebrew the head noun in the construct relation never takes the definite article. Only the second noun takes the definitive article and the whole phrase becomes definite. The point of all these NO answers is that it is likely that the head noun does not have the article in these types of phrases. This is shown from the study of similar words to “late.” It is still generally true that adjective substantives usually take an article to indicate that they are being used substantively. But it is clear that the norm in this class of words used substantively in translations from Hebrew constructs lacks an article for the head noun.

5. This is from Codex Bezae Latin. Sero is from Serus meaning late. Sero is an ablative adj. neut. singular. Sabbatorum is a plural neuter noun in the genitive case. This type of ablative is a “Ablative of time when and within which,” e.g. aestāte, “in summer”; Applying this here as a substantive, “However, on late [one] of the Sabbaths.” I note that the watch was placed on the annual Sabbath, Nisan 15, at the end of chapter 27, so a contrast is being given by Matthew between the two Sabbaths.