The concept of the hour — the scriptural hour eluded me for a long time. It never occurred to me to even consider that the scriptural hour needed investigation and may well differ from the hour we have today.
The scriptures speak of specific events to happen or recall of events that have happened at certain times of the day. That in itself it may not be significant, however, with a predefined fixed length of time for the hour used worldwide, with the daytime period of the 24-hour differing in length, it proves very difficult to meet the written requirements or to understand the scriptures with regards to time.
This post aims to provide insight into the length of the scriptural hour and how to calculate it using the basis of scriptural timekeeping explained in this post.
Calculating the scriptural hour
8. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?John 11:8-9 (KJV)
9. Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
Yahusha tells us explicitly that the day contains twelve hours with the day from sunrise to sunset. This fact poses many questions for those who want to understand and follow the scriptures.
- How do we reckon with the different length of days worldwide?
- Do we use Jerusalem as the basis for calculating time?
- If we are to use Jerusalem, then is the Jerusalem today, that of the scriptures?
The scriptures don’t refer to the diaspora of Israel calculating time from Jerusalem. We must bear in mind, many people before and at the time of Israel who followed the laws of the Most High — even those laws predicated on time-keeping. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedek, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Jethro, etc.
We see in the following passage used for daytime time-keeping was the sundial. This usage is entirely in-line with the scriptural basis of time-keeping.
8. And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?2 Kings 20:8-11 (KJV)
9. And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
10. And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
11. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
If we are to use the sundial to calculate time, how then do we address the issue of the different length of the day at latitudes & longitudes? To solve the mystery of longer and shorter days when using the sundial, you will need to arrive at the realisation that the length of the hour for longer days is longer and for shorter days is shorter. The idea of the fixed hour is a more modern conception and not that prescribed by the scriptures.
The scriptural hour is the day divided by twelve irrespective of whether the length of the hour is longer or shorter than sixty minutes. The sundial will always adapt to a longer or shorter hour as this is the nature of how it works.
A sundial is a device that tells the time of day when there is sunlight by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky. In the narrowest sense of the word, it consists of a flat plate (the dial) and a gnomon, which casts a shadow onto the dial. As the Sun appears to move across the sky, the shadow aligns with different hour-lines, which are marked on the dial to indicate the time of day.
Working on the basis that there are sixty minutes in an hour is one element at the core of misunderstanding of biblical timekeeping. This ingrained yet straightforward concept of an hour was the cause of being unable to correctly work out problems arising from the diaspora of Israel and arising issues on how to honour the requirements of the scriptures.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.Psalms 22:27 (KJV)