[21] A Biblical Month has a Maximum of 30 Days

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We have seen that a biblical month is a cycle of the moon around the earth, and it is a whole number of days. A cycle of the moon averages a little more than 29.5 days. Suppose the moon cannot be seen at all for some number of days when the month would normally be expected to end? How many days can a biblical month continue if the moon is not seen at all? There is a prophetic time when the moon will not give its light.

Isa 13:9-10, “Behold the day of YHWH comes, cruel with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate. And He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light. The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.”

Note the similarity to Joel 2:1-2; Ezek 32:7-8. The time length of the lack of light from the moon is not clear from this. All of the “day of YHWH” may be included, and the use of the word “day” here may refer to a lengthy time.

To students of biblical prophecy the context of Dan 7:21-27 fits that of the “day of YHWH”. The following begins to explain an important prophetic time period called a “time and times and half a time”.

Dan 7:25, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.”

This identical expression is also mentioned in Dan 12:7 and Rev 12:14. The context of Rev 12:14 fits perfectly with Rev 12:6, and the latter is explicitly stated to be 1260 days. The beast of Rev 13:6 fits perfectly with the beast of Dan 7:25, which is the fourth beast in Dan 7:7-8, 19-27. The “time and times and half a time” in Dan 7:25 was already shown to refer to 1260 days. Therefore, the 42 months that are mentioned in Rev 13:4-6 is the same time period of 1260 days, which is a “time and times and half a time”.

Now “42 x 30 = 1260” and here “42 months is 1260 days. In this circumstance a month divides out to be 30 days. This may be explained by recognizing that the moon will not give its light, as shown above in Isa 13:9-10 and Ezek 32:7-8.

The result of this examination is the conclusion that a month is not permitted to have more than 30 days if the moon does not give its light or is not visible.

While some people may conjecture that astronomy will be altered to miraculously force a month to have 30 days at this future time, it seems more rational that the miracle of the lack of light from the moon will prevent a month from exceeding 30 days. There is another miracle associated with “the shadow of the sun dial of Ahaz going back 10 degrees” in II Ki 20:11 and Isa 38:8. But the context associates this with the time of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in II Ki 19:35-37; 20:6; Isa 38:6. The 14th year of Sennacherib is mentioned in both II Ki 18:13 and Isa 36:1, and secular history along with biblical reference works date this to 701 BCE. However, archaeological evidence from Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions of astronomical eclipses and other events perfectly agree with computer calculations going backwards to 747 BCE, which verify the unchanging continuation of the orbits of the heavenly bodies back to that time. This proves that the miraculous event associated with “the shadow of the sun dial of Ahaz going back 10 degrees” was a miracle as perceived by people concerning the miraculous placement of light and shadow. Although a literal translation of Isa 38:8 appears to say that the sun itself moved back 10 degrees, the context is discussing the shadow of the sun moving 10 degrees rather than the sun itself. Hence “the shadow of” should be added in italics in order to read, “So the shadow of the sun returned 10 degrees” in verse 8.

People have conjectured that astronomy became altered during “Joshua’s long day” (see Josh 10:12-13). The earth rotates on its axis to produce the visual effect of the sun moving around the earth. But the sun does not actually move around the earth. When Joshua requested that the sun stand still, this was according to Joshua’s perception that the sun actually moved rather than the earth rotating. In this miracle, according to the literal Hebrew wording, both the sun and the moon appeared to stop moving according to human perception, so that light would be provided for the battle. The Bible is not clear how this miracle came to pass. This may have been a miracle of light perception or light movement rather than a temporary cessation of the rotation of the earth and a temporary cessation of the movement of the moon around the earth, or some other alteration of orbits involving the sun, earth, and moon. An astronomical alteration would have required a combination of many miracles including the prevention of massive ocean floods upon many shores as well as the falling of buildings and the imbalance in standing living creatures during the massive change in bodily momentum as the earth’s rotation would have been affected. It is far more plausible that the miracle involved human perception of light rather than an alteration in the relative position of the heavenly bodies. In any case, a literal reading of Joshua’s request does not take into account the reality of what happens astronomically, namely, that the earth rotates instead of the sun moving around the earth. There are great historical monuments, namely the pyramids, that bear witness to the unchanging orbit of the earth around the sun.

Pages 333, 336-337 of Lockyer show that most of the Egyptian pyramids are oriented east-west, and the two largest pyramids at Giza built by Cheops and Chephren are oriented east-west, having one wall aligned exactly east-west.

Pages 63-64 of Lockyer explain that the sun's shadow on a vertical object from sunrise to sunset falls exactly east-west only on the days of the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox. This witness of the great pyramids at Giza indicates that at the time of their construction, the orbit and axis of the earth with respect to the sun was the same as today because at the equinoxes the east-west shadow of one wall of these pyramids is perfectly aligned in the east-west direction. One would imagine that if the earth’s orbit had changed due to the miracle associated with “Joshua’s long day”, then the alignment of these pyramids would have changed, so that one wall would no longer be aligned exactly in the east-west direction. Although Egyptian chronology remains a matter of controversy, so that it is not possible to date these pyramids with certainty, all estimates are that they were built long before the time of Moses. I would conclude that the earth’s orbit did not change during the miracle of “Joshua’s long day”.

During the time of the flood there is another unusual association with the length of a month. Gen 7:11 mentions that the flood began on the 17th day of the second month. In Gen 8:3-4 the wording seems to imply that 150 days passed until the 17th day of the seventh month. Here five months seem to total 150 days, which divides out to 30 days per month. This may be explained by realizing that with so much water covering the earth, there would be thick clouds (with much rain at the beginning), so that when the month would normally begin, no moon could be seen to mark its beginning.

Therefore, the maximum length of the month, namely 30 days, would be permitted. The extent of a month is from one sundown to some later sundown, with a total of 29 or 30 days, at least in theory. In practice, if there is a succession of months for which the sky is cloudy or rainy over all of Israel where people reside on days near the start of each of those months, then each of those months will have the maximum number of days per month, namely 30 days. Then, when the weather first becomes clear at the start of a month, that month may have less than 29 days to make up for the artificial prolongation of some months to 30 days.