How Was Time Measured in the Bible?

Written by Dianna Wiebe on .

Have you ever wondered how our current calendar came into existence? Have you read the Bible and found the months different from the calendar hanging on your wall? Join me as we walk back in time to discover how time was measured in the Bible.

How Were Days Measured in the Bible?

In Genesis 1:2, God established the definition of a day, beginning at sunset and going to the next sunset. The only day named in the Bible is the Sabbath. All other days of the week are named in relation to the Sabbath–the first day after Sabbath, the second day, the third day, leading up to the seventh day or Sabbath. God blessed the Sabbath day and set it aside as a holy day for His people.

How Were Weeks Measured in the Bible?

By Genesis 2:2, the week is defined as containing seven days. Exodus 20:11 confirms the weekly schedule for God’s people: six days for work and one day to rest and remember.

How Were Months Measured in the Bible?

Like days, biblical months are numbered with an occasional mention of a name. When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, He reset their calendar to begin in the springtime (Exodus 12:2). In order to keep the calendar aligned with the proper season, 7 times in every 19 years, a month is added to the calendar. The month of Adar in leap years covers two months, Adar 1 and Adar 2, and in normal years there is just one month of Adar.

How were Months Named in the Bible?

The final names for the twelve months on the biblical calendar came from Babylonian names acquired during the Babylonian captivity of the children of Israel. In the chart mentioned below, the Gregorian calendar months are listed on top with the biblical months listed beneath.

How Were Years Measured in the Bible?

Years are not numbered in the Bible. Years are listed with regard to the ages of men, reigns of kings, or in relation to events. For example, Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). The religious year begins with Nissan in the spring, while the civil year begins with Tishrei in the fall.

To learn more and see a combined modern calendar and biblical calendar, be sure to get our 2020 Biblical Calendar.

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