To promote an understanding of the Jewishness of the Scriptures which were written by Jewish men, about the Jewish Messiah, within the context of first century Jewish culture in Israel.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No One Knows the Day or the Hour?

"No one knows the day or the hour."  Really?

This is one of the most oft quoted verses in the Scriptures that Yeshua spoke.  He meant what He said and said what He meant ... but what exactly did He mean? 

There is a first century Jewish idiom that will shed much light on what Yeshua was saying to His followers 2,000-years-ago, and to us today.

The Hebrew calendar is based upon the lunar cycle and consists of twelve 30-day months; with the month officially beginning with the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon.

All Jewish holidays always fall on the full moon of the month - except one.  Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year) is the only holiday that occurs on the first of the month, during the month of Tishri.

Before science understood the cycles of the planets and the solar system, the Jews knew that there was a two-day window for the sighting of the new moon. 

The new month could not officially begin until two witnesses reported to the High Priest that they had seen the sliver of the new moon.  Once the first two sightings were confirmed, the priests would sound the shofar to declare the start of Rosh HaShanah.

Watch this amazing video from El Shaddai Ministries. It shows Revelation 12 coming to life in the night sky over Jerusalem.  This only happens on one night of the year - on Rosh HaShanah.  (Full Screen)

But until these two witnesses came forth, the response from the priests would always be "no one knows the day or the hour" of when the holiday would begin.  Thus the words of Yeshua become significant here with this understanding.  (Matthew 24:36)

Yeshua was saying that He would come for His bride at Rosh HaShanah (Feast of the Ingathering or Feast of Trumpets).  His disciples would have understood immediately what He meant.  But the meaning has been lost over the centuries as the Scriptures have been separated further and further from its Hebrew roots.

Yeshua was saying that we would not know which [of the two] days or at what hour [which watch during that night (Mark 13:35)], or which year that He would come.  However, He did insist that we know the times and the season.  This is why He gave us so many signs to look for. 

Yeshua said to 'Watch!'  (Matthew 24: 42-43)  Are you?


  1. Thank you for an interesting post. I'm going to comb through my Scripture on this. Shalom!

  2. Many people especially the Roman Greco religion preachers like to pick here and there the verse. Please go back one verse. He was referring to heaven and earth pass away that no one knows this hour.

    1. I agree......Seems like he was talking about the destruction of heaven and earth, also the question must have pertained to the destruction of the temple.

  3. Mat 24:44 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think"

    The day and the hour will be shown to those who are 'watching' for the two witnesses. Yet in these verses we are called to be the witnesses.

    v45 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their the proper time?"
    v46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."

    And then of course it goes on to talk about those who are not feeding the sheep, so to speak but rather abusing them and feeding themselves, much like he spoke through Ezekiel. Bless You on your path in the Saviour Yeshua the Messiah.

  4. This view pays little attention to the literary context, where the coming of the Son of Man is compared to the days of Noah, at which time the flood suddenly came and swept away all the unsuspecting. His coming is also likened to the unexpected breaking in of a thief. There is nothing in the context itself that even remotely mentions this idea of Rosh Hashanah being the time of the Lord's return. While background information is always helpful, it must always remain incidental to the literary context, which is the number one principle of hermeneutics. By the way "day nor hour" is an idiom which means, "no one knows the time." It is not to be pressed too far literally.

  5. The thief in the night is a metaphor about the High Priest coming to check on the priests performing their duties at night to make sure they were not sleeping. It is a caution against not being watchful.

    It is also directed at those not being watchful when used in -1 Thessalonians 5, where we are told in v.4 that we are NOT of the dark that this day should surprise us like a thief. No one wants to read that far because it undermines the notion that the timing of the rapture can't be known.

    As to the worthiness of the idiom in hermeneutics, I would say it's crucial to understand not only what Jesus said, but what His audience would have heard, had He been speaking with a common figure of speech. If I told you "it's raining cats and dogs" you would know exactly what I meant. But if our conversation were translated into another language, a reader, years later and far removed from a culture that would have quite readily recognized my idiom for heavy rainfal, would not have understood what I meant, and probably assumed I meant something that I did not intend.

    The "no one knows the day nor hour" idiomatic name for the Feast of Trumpets is tough because it also has a more easily understood meaning in its strict English translation - unlike the cats and dogs example. And while there may be nothing in the direct context linking this idiom with the Feast of Trumpets, I think it's fair to ask, why there would be if Jesus' audience implicitly understood the idiom without any context. There's no need to unpack the figure of speech if everyone understands it. If I told a crowd of people that it was raining cats and dogs, there would be no need for me to further contextualize the idiom, as my audience would already understand it.

    There is context elsewhere that supports a Rapture on the Feast of Trumpets, however. Without listing them all, I will point you to 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52. In this quintessential Rapture passage, Paul not only mentions a trumpet twice, but he specifically calls out "the last trump". The last trump is a very specific reference to the Feast of Trumpets. Paul is referring to the Tekiah Gedolah - the last of the 100 blasts on the shofar that are blown to commemorate the Feast. This was the final blowing and was held for as long as the trumpeter had breath, rising in volume and intensity - and it was commonly known as the last trump. It was as plain as Paul could make it. Yet no one wants to connect anything remotely resembling a timeframe for the Rapture despite both idiomatic and direct contextual evidence to the contrary.

    Revelation 3:3 is another reference to Jesus coming as a thief, but if the full context is examined, it's obvious that He only says He comes as the thief to those who are sleeping and will not wake up. But as the same thief analogy in 1Thessalonians would support - if we are awake and watching we will not be surprised.

    It's time we wake up!

  6. The END was NEAR, 1 Per 4:7 therefore everything Jesus said was to THEM, those living while the old covenant world order with it's Holy City, temple and cultic form of religion existed. All the old types and shadows were fulfilled in Christ Jesus. 'There be some standing here who will not taste of death until they see me coming in my kingdom.'

  7. Dawn Shachar - What was the source of your understanding that the Priests would traditionally and repeatedly use those particular words, please?