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Figure of Speech/Colloquial Language?

rstrats

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1. The Messiah said that He would be three days and three nights in the "heart of the earth" 

2. There are those who think that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with the resurrection taking place on the 1st day of the week.

3. Of those, there are some who think that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb.

4. A 6th day of the week crucifixion/1st day of the week resurrection allows for only 2 nights to be involved with His time in the tomb.

5. To account for the lack of a 3rd night, some of those  mentioned above have said that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language.

6. I would like to ask anyone who thinks that it was common,  if they could  provide examples to support that belief; i.e., instances where a daytime or a night time was forecast or said to be involved with an event when no part of the daytime and/or no part of the night time could have occurred. 
 

LizaSymonenko

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Christ was resurrected on the 3rd day post His death.

Died Friday
- in tomb Friday
- in tomb Saturday
- in tomb Sunday (If He were not in the tomb at all on Sunday, He would have resurrected on Saturday)
Resurrected Sunday early morning
 

Volnutt

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What else could "heart of the earth" be referring to? Do you think Jesus was predicting that He'd tunnel to the center of the earth?

If that kind of imprecision is allowable, then why shouldn't "three days and three nights" also be allowable as just a term for the completion of that general time period? What should Jesus have said, in your opinion? "Two days and some change?"

EDIT: My apologies if that sounded harsh in tone.
 

rstrats

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Since it's been awhile, perhaps someone new visiting this topic may know of examples.
 

Volnutt

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The book, The Syrian Christ by Abraham Rihbany has some good ones, iirc.



Volnutt said:
What else could "heart of the earth" be referring to? Do you think Jesus was predicting that He'd tunnel to the center of the earth?

If that kind of imprecision is allowable, then why shouldn't "three days and three nights" also be allowable as just a term for the completion of that general time period? What should Jesus have said, in your opinion? "Two days and some change?"

EDIT: My apologies if that sounded harsh in tone.
I still think this is relevant.
 

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Supposedly had been the Historical figure of Jesus Christ.
 

rstrats

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Since it's been awhile, perhaps someone new looking in on this topic who believes the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week, and who thinks the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb, and who tries to explain the lack of a 3rd night by saying that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the time, will have examples to support that position, i.e., that it was common to forecast or say that a daytime or a night would be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could occur.
 

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rstrats said:
Since it's been awhile, perhaps someone new looking in on this topic who believes the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week, and who thinks the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb, and who tries to explain the lack of a 3rd night by saying that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the time, will have examples to support that position, i.e., that it was common to forecast or say that a daytime or a night would be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could occur.
Not sure about your particular barbaric tongue, but in my native Portuguese it's the expected way to tell time to count days from the calendar rather than from 24-hour periods.

Now, yom is used all over the Old Testament to talk specifically about the morning/afternoon, which is also how dies worked in Roman timekeeping. In lack of a better word to express the important salvific and symbolic fact that Christ was in the tomb for Friday/Saturday/Sunday, talking about "day and night" was proper as metonymy.
 

rstrats

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RaphaCam,
re:  "Not sure about your particular barbaric tongue, but in my native Portuguese it's the expected way to tell time to count days from the calendar rather than from 24-hour periods."

That's an issue for a different topic.
 

rstrats

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Point #3 of the OP should be changed to read: "3. Of those, there are some who think that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb or at the earliest to the moment when the Messiah's spirit left His body."
 

rstrats

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Perhaps someone new looking in may know of examples.
 

rstrats

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And that "someone new" needs to be someone who believes the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with a 1st day of the week resurrection, and who thinks that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb, and who tries to explain the lack of a 3rd night by saying that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the period.
 

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And that "someone new" needs to be someone who believes the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with a 1st day of the week resurrection, and who thinks that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb, and who tries to explain the lack of a 3rd night by saying that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the period.
Another way to think about this is to examine the prophecy Jesus is quoting in Matthew: 12.40: the story of Jonah. The language used is identical (naturally), but it is interesting that Jonah immediately gets up and goes to Nineveh after the "huge sea creature" casts him up (Jonah: 2.11–3.3). This tells us that it is either daytime or very early in the morning (cf Mark: 16.2), because people—especially ancient people—tend not to be able to travel at night. And Jonah, having just been vomited up with no supplies—and still so wet he would be unable to make firelight even if he had a secret flint stashed away—would not be able to fulfill the command to "arise" until the next day. Thus, if you try to claim that the "three days and three nights" is not a colloquialism, you're left with an even more incomprehensible contradiction.

This can also be read everywhere else a "N days and N nights" figure of speech is used: Noah and the ark, Moses on Mt Sinai, David pursuing the Amalekites, Job in speechless grief, and the rest. It is abundantly clear that the end of each of these periods is during the early morning or daylight hours, not at night. And then there is the other NT case, where Jesus is tempted after fasting for "forty days and forty nights" (Matthew: 4.1–11); if it was night, how did Satan show Him the stones, how did he take Him up to the temple, and by what light did he show Him anything from the mountaintop? So this is really a non-issue. It would certainly be nice if language (and writing) was more consistent, but in this case it is clear enough to figure out what is going on—as it has been for Christians for nearly 2000 years.
 

rakovsky

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The answer to the OP is that it is a figure of speech.
Since it's been awhile, perhaps someone new visiting this topic may know of examples.
Christian apologists have dealt with this issue before, noting that according to the Talmud, part of a Russian sutok / Hebrew yom / English "24 hour period" is counted as a whole one. The Talmud us explicit on this point.

So 3 days and 3 nights as an expression does not have to work out to exactly 72 hours, ie. 3 full days x 24 hours per day.

Further, Christian apologists have arrived at several different ways to count the 3 days and 3 nights. One way includes the darkness on the cross.
 

rakovsky

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And that "someone new" needs to be someone who believes the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with a 1st day of the week resurrection, and who thinks that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb,
Heart of the earth can refer to something besides a physical literal tomb.
The heart of the earth would be literally what, a lava flow in the earth's core?
Heart of the earth as an expression could be compared with Jesus' story about Lazarus being in the Heart of Abraham.
 

rstrats

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The answer to the OP is that it is a figure of speech.
But is it a common figure of speech? That is the only issue with which this topic is concerned. This topic is directed to anyone who believes that the crucifixion took place on the 6th day of the week with a 1st day of the week resurrection, and who thinks that the "heart of the earth" is referring to the tomb, and who tries to explain the lack of a 3rd night by saying that the Messiah was employing common figure of speech/colloquial language of the period. I simply would like to know what examples they have for support of the assertion of commonality , i.e., instances 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 have taken place.
 

rstrats

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...if you try to claim that the "three days and three nights" is not a colloquialism, you're left with an even more incomprehensible contradiction.
I'm not.
 

rstrats

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rakovsky,
re: "Christian apologists have dealt with this issue before, noting that according to the Talmud, part of a Russian sutok / Hebrew yom / English "24 hour period" is counted as a whole one. The Talmud us explicit on this point."

re: "So 3 days and 3 nights as an expression does not have to work out to exactly 72 hours, ie. 3 full days x 24 hours per day."

re: "Further, Christian apologists have arrived at several different ways to count the 3 days and 3 nights. One way includes the darkness on the cross."

re: "Heart of the earth can refer to something besides a physical literal tomb."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Those are all issues for a different topic. Perhaps you could start one if you have any interest in discussing them.
 

rakovsky

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I simply would like to know what examples they have for support of the assertion of commonality , i.e., instances 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 have taken place.
The problem here is that the ancient Jews used a way of speaking that doesn't match what would in English be a technically precise method of calculation.
Jewish custom is to count inclusively, that is, counting the beginning as first. When counting Pentecost, for example, the 50th day is 49 days after the wavesheaf (according to the way we count). Or when John said “after eight days” (John 20:26, NKJ), he meant “one week later” (John 20:26, NIV). In this customary way of counting days, Sunday would be considered the third day from Friday. Luke tells us that Jesus rose on the third day after the crucifixion. Another example of inclusive counting is seen in the book of Esther. She promised to not eat or drink “for three days, night or day” and after that go to the king (Esther 4:16)—yet she went to the king on the third day (5:1).

I think that this article above does a good job showing that this manner of counting was a known, occasional way of speaking for ancient Jews. A manner of speaking, like technically inaccurate counting, doesn't have to be common for it to be a known part of a language.

As I recall, I dealt with the issue of counting 3 days on my website, where I laid out the OT predictions of the Resurrection,
rakovskii.livejournal.com

In Judaism, what we calling English a (24 hour) Day / Hebrew Onah was a 24 hour period that starting with a Night at Sunset and ended with Sunset at the end of the next Daylight Day (eg. 6 pm).

I also need to update what I said in an earlier message. A Russian Sutok/English "24 hour day" is a Hebrew "Onah", containing a Night and a Hebrew "Yom." Jonah was in the fish for 3 "onahs", by Hebrew counting.

D. A. Carson notes:
“In rabbinical thought a day and a night make an onah, and a part of an onah is as the whole. . . . Thus according to Jewish tradition, ‘three days and three nights’ need mean no more than ‘three days’ or the combination of any part of three separate days” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 8:296).
In English, both Onah and Yom are translated as Day, but I think Yom might only mean the daylight part.
 

rakovsky

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In the story of Jonah, the elements are prophetic. The fish can represent death or a proverbial monster or ruler. The belly of Shel and the heart of the sea is also an expression in Jonah 2:
(2) And he said:
“ I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
“ Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
(3) For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
However, it also refers to the belly of Sheol.
Further, Jesus compares Himself not to Jonah being in the heart of the seas, but Jonah in the belly of the fish.
In Jonah 2:2, the "belly" is referring to that of Sheol/Hades, which was represented by the fish. Otherwise, where in the story of Jonah was Jonah in the belly of Sheol/Hades like Jonah 2 says? You would have to theorize that Jonah died in the belly of the fish and went to Sheol, unless the fish itself is meant as Sheol. Hades by comparison was a place in Greek mythology presented as deep in the earth where the souls of the dead went.
Sheol was also presented as under the earth.

The concept of the heart of the earth comes up in Psalm 74, where the KJV puts it as midst:
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. Psalm 74:12

Further, in 1 Peter 1, Jesus visits the souls imprisoned in Sheol:
1 Peter 3:18-19 (DRB) Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, in which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison...

Further, in the Passion, Jesus died during the miraculous temporary darkness/"night" over the earth, after which the daylight returned. So the first night, if we count death as the belly and the darkness as night, would start on Good Friday, and the second night at the end of Good Friday, and the 3rd night at the end of Holy Saturday.

Another theory, by the Talk Genesis site, is that it refers to Jesus speaking to the hearts of the people or rulers of the earth:
Earthly Rulers and Judges
This brings me to my thesis, that heart of the earth is a reference to earthly rulers and judges. A clue for this theory might be found in the Book of Deuteronomy where Moses reminded the Israelites what God did to the ruling authorities in Egypt. Notice the metaphor.

Deut. 11:3 the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4 what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the LORD brought lasting ruin on them.
He quotes Luke 24 for support, when it counts Jesus' arrest as part of the 3 days:
Luke 24:20
The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21…. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
The Talk Genesis article continues:
All of the passages below reference Christ’s incarceration in conjunction with his crucifixion and resurrection on the third day.

  • “suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, crucified, resurrected third day (Matt. 16:21)
  • “delivered into the hands of men,” crucified, resurrected third day (Matt. 17:22)
  • “delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law,” crucified, resurrected third day (Matt. 20:18-19, Mark 10:33-34)
  • “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,”crucified, resurrected third day (Luke 9:21-22)
  • “delivered over to the Gentiles,” crucified, resurrected third day (Luke 18:32-33)
  • “delivered over to the hands of sinners,” crucified, resurrected third day (Luke 24:7).
This makes sense, based on the Heart of Egypt phrase in the Torah. I remember at least one Church father counting the days as starting with the Last Supper and the time when Jesus sweated blood in Gethsemane.

The article goes on to argue that Jesus rose after the end of the night of Holy Saturday, after the daylit Yom Day of Easter Sunday started. He argues that the daylit day starts in the dawn hours before sunrise when the sky has started to brighten but the sun is not yet up directly over the horizon.

He notes that "dawn" begins "begins 30-45 minutes prior to sunrise", and then argues based on John 20 and Mark 16, that Jesus rose on Sunday morning in the dawn before sunrise.
 

rakovsky

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Paul presents a similar concept of Jesus being in the lower parts of the earth to mean that Jesus was in Sheol in Eph. 4:9:

  • 9. Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Jesus was not literally buried in the lower parts of the earth or a literal heart of the earth like a magma chamber, so it is referring to His state in spiritual terms.
 

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6. I would like to ask anyone who thinks that it was common, if they could provide examples to support that belief; i.e., instances where a daytime or a night time was forecast or said to be involved with an event when no part of the daytime and/or no part of the night time could have occurred.
#6. Esther 4-5 seems to count.

In Judaism, a 24 hour day = a night + a daylit day.
Esther gives instructions to fast for "3 days, night and day." The most natural sense is that she immediately starts fasting, due to the urgency of the issue, eg. she doesn't wait a few days before starting the fast.
Esther ends her fast "on" the 3rd day and invites the king to a prepared banquet on that day.

The passage goes:
15. Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
16. “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in [c]Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

17. So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

Esther’s Banquet
CHAPTER 5
1. Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.
The word for day used repeatedly here is "Yom." The text seems to allow for the following chronology, broken into blocks of Jewish night-days:

Night 1 No fasting yet​
Day 1 Esther gets a message from Mordechai, gives instructions and starts to fast.​
Night 2​
Day 2​
Night 3​
Day 3 Esther stops fasting "on" the third "day," ie. before the day ends, and invites the king for a big dinner.​
Night 4 No fasting​
The text doesn't seem to specify whether she gave her orders on Night 1 or on the daylight part of the first 24 hour period. That is, technically, the messengers could have come in the night and Esther could have started fasting during Night 1. My sense is that the author doesn't care and that the author would count Esther's instructions as fulfilled whether the fasting technically touched directly on 3 nights or not. The text seems to count both a night and a day as parts of a "day."
 

rakovsky

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6. I would like to ask anyone who thinks that it was common, if they could provide examples to support that belief; i.e., instances where a daytime or a night time was forecast or said to be involved with an event when no part of the daytime and/or no part of the night time could have occurred.
Notice the Pharisees' instructions in Matthew 27:
62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’
64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

A Stackexchange user notes:
" They did not ask Pilate to post guards until the forth day, which would have covered the third night, but only until the third day."

I see that you already asked your question there.

They link to this page:

It gives Leviticus 8:35 as an example of days and nights being used as an expression of continuity, as in "every minute", not as in a firm starting and ending hour:
  • Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.

Here the expression does not clearly specify whether the demand for "seven days" at the door includes exactly 7 nights or exactly 7 daylight days. Rather, the sense of the expression seems to be that the person will be there continually from start to stop ("day and night") touching on a period of 7 what could be called "night-day days". Based on Esther 4-5, if the person was at the door for "7 days" starting at 9 AM a few hours after sunrise on Day 1, and then finished his time at the door on Day 7, it wouldn't matter whether he technically started his time at the door after the starting night of Day 1 ended and after the sunrise of Day 1 began.
 

rakovsky

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My sense is that when the Bible talks about rising on the 3rd day, it means the third day of His burial. But when it talks about being in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights, this passage could mean:
A) The heart of the earth means the rulers' spirits or Sheol. This seems the best explanation, based on Eph. 4. The 3 nights started Thursday night with the Judgment before the rulers, or at the death on the cross during the darkness, respectively. Or
B) He was in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights,with the time calculated in an idiomatic sense as touching on three 24 hour periods. X Days and X Nights is an idiom found repeatedly in the Bible, like Jesus' time when tempted, and the 40 Days and 40 Nights of the Flood. It isn't clear from that context, in light of what comes across as the imprecise Hebrew method of counting, whether those repeated time periods are counted inclusively, so that there were literally exactly X Nights in each period.

Another complication is that we are talking about prophecy, ie. when Jesus prophesied His resurrection, and prophecy can have multiple meanings, eg. David rising in the morning in Psalm 3 can refer to literally walking up before noontime, or can figuratively predict his resurrection. Theoretically, the story of Jonah could be both about an ancient Israelite prophet and also be about the Messiah. It could be a story about leaving a fish in the Mediterranean, but it could be also about escaping out of Sheol.

So the prophecy of 3 days and 3 nights could have even multiple correct meanings.

A further complication is that foreign linguistic expressions can be misleading or confusing. A simple example is how Russian uses an Infinite Negative. I have "never not said nothing" in Russian means I have never said anything in English.

Another good example of this that is quite relevant is when Matthew tells the story of the Great Commission. The apostles are with Jesus on the Mount. Matthew says literally that "they" saw Him, "but they doubted." The literal implication seems to be that some or all of the apostles doubted whether they were seeing Jesus.

One modern ex-Apologist said on a Podcast that this text issue was one of the main reasons why he gave up being a Christian after traveling on Christian preaching tours. This verse in Matthew also seemed a key problem to me.

However, after I looked into this grammatical issue a lot, I discovered, that this is actually an arcane Greek expression meaning that some saw Jesus, "but others (ie not the apostles) doubted." One Biblical place where this arcane expression is used is in the Greek text where some people spit, mock, or strike a person (eg. Jesus) "and the others" perform the other action on the victim. But I also found a place in Ancient Greek nonBiblical nonChristian literature where this "they _____, but they ______" idiom was used to mean "they ______, but others (ie. not the first group) _____."
 

rstrats

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#6. Esther 4-5 seems to count.
Assuming that "three days, night or day" is the same thing as "three day and three nights" then Esther may be one example. But one example doesn't show that it was common usage.
 

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Assuming that "three days, night or day" is the same thing as "three day and three nights" then Esther may be one example. But one example doesn't show that it was common usage.
Imprecise and inclusionary counting can be shown to be common in the Bible.

You don't have to show a rare expression to be common for the expression to be a known part of the language, and thus to explain its meaning in a Biblical passage.

Take for example Matthew 28 (NKJV) about the Great Commission's resurrection appearance:
  • 17. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
  • καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.

This expression uses a very rare Greek idiom.
The literal words are:
  • "And having seen, they worshiped, but these/they/the doubted."

The literal meaning makes it sound like the people who saw Him doubted. But the verse actually uses an extremely rare Greek expression meaning
  • "They ____, but others ____."
 

rakovsky

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Assuming that "three days, night or day" is the same thing as "three day and three nights" then Esther may be one example. But one example doesn't show that it was common usage.
"X Days and X Nights" was an expression in common usage.

1 Samuel 30:1 & 11-14
And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; ... And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; and they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom belongest thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. We made an invasion upon the south of the Cherethites, and upon the coast which belongeth to Judah, and upon the south of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.
Francis Turretin theorizes:
The point of "three days and three nights" is just that the Egyptian had been continuously without food and water for three calendar days. The point is not the day and light portions, but the continuity. We see that from the fact that David returned "on the third day" (vs. 1) and from the fact that the Egyptian had only fallen sick "three days agone." ... Regarding the use of days and nights, the point is not to emphasize the period of darkness, as though the Egyptian had been 72 hours without food, but simply to emphasize the continuity of his involuntary fast.
Jonah 1:15-17
So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
  • "forty days and forty nights" of the rain in the great flood (Genesis 7:4 and 12).
  • "forty days and forty nights" of Moses' fasts on the mount (Exodus 24:18 and 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9, 11, 18, and 24, Deuteronomy 10:10).
  • "forty days and forty nights" of Elijah's fast on his journey to Horeb (1 Kings 19:8)
  • "seven days and seven nights" of Jobs' friends' silence (Job 2:13)
  • "forty days and forty nights" of Jesus' fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2)
It's hard for me to tell whether these expressions mean that we could literally count 40 literal light periods and 40 literal night periods for these events. Clearly, the authors were trying to use round figures of 40, 7, and 3 and were trying to use the expressions to show continuity of the events, ie. Jobs' friends weren't silent just at daytime only.

In the story of 1001 Arabian Nights, a lady starts a new story every night in order to keep him interested in her, because if he killed her, he wouldn't hear the end of the story the next night. I was disappointed to learn that the tale "1001 Arabian Nights" does not literally contain 1001 stories. Rather, the 1001 is used as a figure of speech, since 1000 is a "round number." In ancient Judaism, 3, 7, and 40 were also special numbers, and they were full of spiritual and religious meaning.
 

xariskai

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"Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah (lived ca. A.D. 100), who was the tenth in the descent from Ezra, stated: 'A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it; [Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix.3; cf. also Babylonian Talmud: Perashim 4a].

The supreme existential/social/religious/legal importance of when the Sabbath began, which in our culture would be generally of no importance, is key to understanding why this was so.

Assuming that "three days, night or day" is the same thing as "three day and three nights" then Esther may be one example. But one example doesn't show that it was common usage.
"...when one examines all the evidence, it seems that the New Testament, the Old Testament, and Rabbinic literature all agree that a part of a day is counted as a whole day and night" (Hoehner, Harold, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, p. 74) -i.e. culturally divergent multiply attested common usage- is one conclusion of ibid's standard treatment, which before its publication was Hoehner's doctoral dissertation defended at Cambridge University for his PhD in history there.. As it would be tedious to recount the same material in my own words -in effect reinventing the wheel- I would refer you to his material defending that conclusion (Chapter IV "The Day of Christ's Crucifixion") if you haven't seen it already, not all of which will be found above in this thread.

Christian apologists have dealt with this issue before
This is certainly true, but that it is academically defended by respected historians is worth mentioning as an aside notwithstanding such hardly approaches anything like a theological or epistemological sine qua non for most Orthodox Christians.
 
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rstrats

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xariskai,
re: ""Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah (lived ca. A.D. 100), who was the tenth in the descent from Ezra, stated: 'A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it; [Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix.3; cf. also Babylonian Talmud: Perashim 4a].

re: "'...when one examines all the evidence, it seems that the New Testament, the Old Testament, and Rabbinic literature all agree that a part of a day is counted as a whole day and night' (Hoehner, Harold, Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, p. 74)"



As regards the Jewish practice of counting any part of a calendar day as a whole calendar day I would agree, but when "nights" is added to "days" to yield the phrase "X days AND X nights" it normally refers to a measurement of a time period where "day" refers to the light portion of a 24 hour period and "night" refers to the dark portion of a 24 hour period. No one In the history of apologetics as far as I know has ever presented any historical documentation that the phrase X days AND X nights was a unique first century idiom of Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek which could mean something different than what the phrase means in English.

Azariah's interpretation of the meaning of the phrase, "A day and a night make an Onah, and a part of an Onah is as the whole" doesn't seem to make sense. On the one hand he is saying that a day AND a night define an Onah and then he turns right around and says that any part of a calendar day can define an Onah. What makes more sense is that the rabbi is saying that a day is an Onah and a night is an Onah but that any part of a day can be counted as a whole day and any part of a night can be counted as a whole night. And that interpretation is supported by Rabbi Ismael, Rabbi Jochanan, and Rabbi Akiba, contemporaries of Azariah, who all agree that an onah was 12 hours long, either a day OR a night. "Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica". Also, a definition of Onah from "The Jerusalem Center for Advanced Torah Study" says: "The word onah literally means 'time period.' In the context of the laws of niddah, it usually refers to a day or a night. Each 24-hour day thus consists of two onot. The daytime onah begins at sunrise (henetz hachamah, commonly called netz) and ends at sunset (shekiat hachamah or shekiah). The night-time onah lasts from sunset until sunrise."

But at any rate, none of the above is relevant to this topic.
 

rstrats

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"X Days and X Nights" was an expression in common usage.
Agree. But where are there multiple examples to show that it was common to say that a daytime or a night time would be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could have been?
 

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Agree. But where are there multiple examples to show that it was common to say that a daytime or a night time would be involved with an event when no part of a daytime or no part of a night time could have been?
See my Message 20's citation from GCI. It gives 4 examples from Pentecost's 49th day to Esther's 3 days. A 5th example is when the Pharisees in Matthew rephrased Jesus' claim to say that he would rise "after three days", and the pharisees said to set a guard "until the third day".

In these cases, a daytime or night time was involved in event when no part was used. Namely, if per the pharisees, Jesus claimed to rose "after" three days then no part of the last (4th) day's night time or day time is used.

But since the passage is probably talking about something else here besides the tomb as the "heart" of the earth, it's better to move on.
 

xariskai

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As regards the Jewish practice of counting any part of a calendar day as a whole calendar day I would agree, but when "nights" is added
Right; that is what Hoehner says his evidence is addressing.
"...when one examines all the evidence, it seems that the New Testament, the Old Testament, and Rabbinic literature all agree that a part of a day is counted as a whole day AND NIGHT" Hoehner, op cit.

Hoehner agrees, as the OP presents: "The one problem that is proposed against the Friday view is Matthew 12:40 that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights... but [he continues] it is not as formidable as it first appears..."
As mentioned cf. Hoehner Ch IV specifically on that point.

You are correct to note his evidence was not presented here specifically -as I said it was not /is not my intention.

Azariah's interpretation of the meaning of the phrase, "A day and a night make an Onah, and a part of an Onah is as the whole" doesn't seem to make sense.
Azaria is not interpreting a phrase; he is stating it.
"R. Akiba fixed a day for an Onah, and a night for an Onah: but the tradition is, that R. Eliezar Ben Azariah said, A day and a night make an Onah, and a part of an Onah is as the whole."

Rabbi Ismael, Rabbi Jochanan, and Rabbi Akiba, contemporaries of Azariah, who all agree that an onah was 12 hours long
Not always and not exactly. "R. Ismael reckons a part of the Onah for the whole."
As an aside the discussion there centers on how long three days is with reference to female ritual uncleanliness.

Forgive me, I won't be posting further in this thread; my sole intention is/was to point to a standard resource on the topic not mentioned in the thread (which, if you review it, may or may not convince you with it's evidence or arguments), not to convince or elaborate the evidences therein ("As it would be tedious to recount the same material in my own words -in effect reinventing the wheel- I would refer you to his material defending that conclusion (Chapter IV "The Day of Christ's Crucifixion") if you haven't seen it already, not all of which will be found above in this thread.") Thanks.
 
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rstrats

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With the new year perhaps someone new looking in may know of examples.
 
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