Short Discourses

Years, Months, Days and Weeks

Where do we get years, months, days and weeks from?

The length of a year is the time it takes for the earth to complete a revolution in its orbit of the sun - 365 days.

A month was originally calculated by ancient peoples as the time between two full moons, or the number of days required for the moon to circle the earth - 29.5 days. In modern calendars, however, the number of days in a month is not based on the phases of the moon. The length of the month is approximately one-twelfth of a year - 28 to 31 days, and is adjusted to fit the 12 months in a solar year.

A day is the average time required for one rotation of the earth on it's axis - 24 hours.

A week is universally accepted as a seven day period starting with Sunday and ending with Saturday, which unlike years, months, and days has no astronomical basis. Ancient Rome had an eight day week until about 300 A.D, and in Africa there were five, six, and eight day weeks.

So where do we get the seven day week from?

If we turn in our Bibles and read Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 versus 1 - 3 we see that God made the seven day week at the creation of this world.

He brought everything into being in six days by just speaking (except mankind), then He rested on the seventh day and made it holy.

In God's Ten Commandments we are told to :-

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
Exodus 20:8 - 11.

God first worked six days, then He rested, and commanded us to do the same. This is where we get our seven day week from.

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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2013. Last updated July, 2020.

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