It is easy to determine by way of astronomy how mankind in every nation universally aligns their calendars by days, months, seasons and years. All of these time markers in human life are marked by observable astronomical constants. For example, a day is 24 hours because that is the duration of one rotation of the earth on its axis. Similarly, our months represent the approximate intervals between new moons. Seasons are marked by equinoxes and solstices. And, a year is the duration of one orbital revolution of the earth around our sun. However, there are no such astronomical markers or constants for a seven-day week. Some have argued that a week represents approximately one-fourth of a lunar cycle. But, that argument breaks down on its face both in math (weeks don't fit well into months) and in its arbitrary partition (fourths). Why not partition the lunar cycle in halves or in thirds? Why not a fourteen-day week or a ten-day week? Why does everyone use a seven-day week? In fact, almost every civilization on every continent for the entirety of recorded history have observed and ordered their lives around the seven-day week. And, we have done so for no apparent astronomical reason. In addition to that, why does our seven-day cycle almost always include at least one day of rest from work? And, why is the day of rest always observed on either the first day or the last day of the week and not anywhere in the middle? How could such a system have originated and be observed universally even across widely dispersed people groups who have very different calendars and in every phase of history? What would a single answer to these questions suggest? Does your calendar prove there is a God?
Most encyclopedias and reference books treat these questions and their answers rather superficially. Is it because they prejudicially ignore what truth clearly suggests? After all, are these questions not legitimately worthy of serious responses? Take Wikipedia for example. Even the authors of Wikipedia can’t bring themselves to recognize a historical origin of the seven-day week any earlier than 500 B.C. in spite of glaringly obvious evidence to the contrary. Do you not see the obvious intentional ignorance in Wikipedia’s conclusion? After all, the relevant passages from Genesis and Exodus were written long before 500 B.C. and record observance of a seven-day week over 6,000 years ago. And, the finding and dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls proves that such books were not edited but authentic. The earliest books of the Bible that you are familiar with are identical to those that long predate 500 B.C. In fact, the relevant passages from Genesis and Exodus were both authored primarily by Moses around 1,500 B.C., approximately 1,000 years earlier than the earliest reference credited by Wikipedia. Is there any substantiated argument that the Creation account (Genesis) and the Mosaic Law (Exodus) are younger than 500 B.C.? Of course, the answer is no. In fact, even the most liberal critics date the Creation account to at least 850 B.C. And, no critic can deny that the Mosaic Law was recorded by its namesake, Moses, around 1,500 B.C. Why would Wikipedia ignore the obvious fact of these passages’ earlier authorship and that they are the earliest record of the seven-day week known to man? Maybe, it is because the truth will prove that the Bible is accurate and the authors of Wikipedia have an unhealthy bias against God? Maybe the truth behind history proves God. Maybe the authors of Wikipedia are not as vigilant about truth as we naively assume? I submit to you that the Bible is clearly proven more accurate than Wikipedia.
Since it is established fact that these passages of the Bible are by far the earliest record of a seven-day week, just what do Genesis and Exodus say? Well, after the first six days of creation, Genesis 2:1-3 records, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” And, then this seven-day week is recorded in the Bible as being observed by Cain, Abel, Noah, Jacob, Leah, and the Israelite slaves in Egypt (and probably everyone in between). Then, God later went on to dictate to Moses what we refer to as the Mosaic Law as recorded in Exodus in approximately 1,500 B.C. In Exodus 20:8-11, as part of the Ten Commandments God said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” By the way, this was repeated by God and Moses in Exodus 34:21 and Exodus 31:12-18. Isn't it ignorance to ignore these facts?
So, what do all of these facts prove? Well, these accounts were written as early as 1,500 B.C. and record the basis for the seven-day week dating back as far as Adam and Eve (over 6,000 years ago). The Bible also records a genealogy from Adam to Moses. Therefore, the Bible clearly outlines the single logical basis for a universally observed seven-day week throughout recorded history. Wikipedia and atheists can choose to ignore this. But, who do the facts support? Further, the Bible singularly answers all of the questions raised in the first paragraph of this post. The fact that almost every human civilization across the entire planet and throughout history observe a seven-day week supports the Biblical proclamation of Theism. And, even the most hardened atheist continues to use a calendar dictated by God. Laughingly, there is no other credible explanation for why we universally observe a seven-day week (either starting or ending with a day of rest) throughout the recorded history of man.
Another proof that there is something more to the origin of our seven-day week is that other species (who also work) do not observe weekly cycles, but they do observe all of the astronomical cycles. Have you ever wondered why that is? The other coincidence illuminated by the Bible is that the seven-day week was created around the same time as man was created. Could it be that in the weekly cycle we are observing the design of the Designer? Did you know that just as the human body has a natural daily clock (circadian rhythm), it also has a weekly clock (circaseptan rhythm). Circa-septan rhythms are body rhythms that run about seven days in length. It has been long established that the human body runs naturally on a seven-day cycle optimally requiring one day of rest for every seven. For another example, humans tend to have an increase in swelling on the seventh day and then the fourteenth day after surgeries. Similarly, humans with a kidney transplant are more likely to reject the organ seven days and then fourteen days after the surgery. Even the French experimented with and abandoned a ten-day week to disastrous anthropological result. Is this all coincidence or design? These rhythms are a part of who we are in concert with and separate from the fact that we happen to keep a seven-day week in our culture. Even Jesus was recorded as saying of the Sabbath (or seventh day) in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” And, everything we know from history and science proves Jesus right. Then again, it was Jesus Himself through which all things were created, including science (John 1).
So, why do so many of us see the obvious evidence in our calendars and ignore what it proves? Romans 2:14-15 illuminates, “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” We know what is true, and even observe it, but we prefer to ignore that which convicts us of truth as it might be inconvenient to our carnal tendencies. But, whether we like it or not, if we order our lives in seven-day increments with at least one day of rest at the beginning or end, we are in significant respects observing a portion of the Mosaic Law recorded 3,500 years ago. All we have left to do is to recognize from whom this Law came – from the One who designed us in His image, modeled a work week for us, and thereby gave us a cycle to fit our biological design. Then, He recorded all of the above so that we might see His hand.
Christian, be encouraged that science and history do in fact support your faith in Jesus Christ. Every time you doubt this, try looking at your calendar and believe.
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