Peter, the calendar and Enoch

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Sat Jun 26 18:52:05 EDT 1999


Dear Ian,

I found the Wesley text file version of Enoch from a link on your site 
and I am reading it. Interesting stuff, with a lot of parallels with 
the Hebrew Bible and with the NT, but given that much (all?) of it is 
very probably later than the Hebrew Bible it is not so helpful for 
explaining the background of the Hebrew text. But then I haven't got 
to the calendar yet.

Why do you insist that I set up the partially specified dates in such 
a way that they could not be on the Sabbath whichever month they were 
in? These events in fact only took place each on one day of the week. 
Also, is there any significance that nothing happened on a Monday? If 
not, it is pointless to include it in the statistics. In fact the 
correct statistic is (5/7)^11 = 0.02469400930972. But there is an 
important statistical principle here. Deal yourself a hand of cards, 
find some interesting pattern in it (you probably can), and then work 
out the probability that that pattern happened by chance. Probably 
tiny, if you chose the right pattern. So was there something 
extraordinary about the deal? No, because you only decided what 
pattern to look for once you had found it. Believe it or not, that 
principle is basic to the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is 
fundamental to all physical, chemical and biological processes. 
Something similar may be going on with these dates, even in your 
"Obviously not random." statement (this MAY be not random, but it is 
not at all obvious). Sorry, case not proven.

As for your Hexateuchal dates, I can't let you have Numbers 1:8 which 
is a mere repeat of 1:1. But you did miss Exodus 16:1 (Fri) and 40:2 
(Wed). So I end up with 6 Fridays, 6 Wednesdays and 1 Sunday. One 
partial explanation is a preference for 1st day of the month (which 
is after all a feast day) (6 out of 13 dates) which can only be one 
of Wed, Fri and Sun. If we omit these, we go back to 3 Fri, 3 Wed, 1 
Sun.

So I did a quick scan of the entire Hebrew Bible for dates (looking 
for the word "month" in NRSV, so I may have missed some, and ignoring 
partially specified dates) with the following result:

Monday     2
Tuesday    5
Wednesday 15  (6)
Thursday   6
Friday    16 (12)
Saturday   1
Sunday    12  (9)

The figures in parentheses are after discounting 1st of the month 
dates. This again excludes feast days. The only Sabbath day is Esther 
9:15, and both of the Mondays are also in Esther. So, I would agree 
that this suggests that the dates are not random; with this number of 
dates, the avoiding of Saturday and Monday is statistically 
significant. I would suggest that at some stage the books other than 
Esther were edited according to the solar calendar, who adjusted 
Saturdays to Fridays and Mondays to Sundays throughout the Hebrew 
Bible. Can you think of any better suggestion? Note that the author 
of 2 Kings had no reason to presuppose that Nebuchadnezzar kept the 
Jewish sabbath in his military operations, but I have included those 
dates in this list.

Peter Kirk


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Peter, the calendar and Enoch
Author:  mc2499 at mclink.it at internet 
Date:    26/06/1999 06:54


Dear Peter,

<snip>

>The dates with no month given add nothing to the argument, i.e. 
>subtract nothing from the probability, as there is way that such a 
>date could be shown to fall on a sabbath.

Now, Peter, there is *no possibility*. You now have the calendar structure. 
In both instances there are the same three possibilities. Can you see *any* 
way of making a Sabbath out of those dates using the calendar information 
you now have?

If you need more evidence other than Ezekiel, here's what I can find in the 
Hexateuch (omitting prescriptions for feast days):

there are five dates in Genesis, all in the flood story,
1 Sun, 2 Wed, 2 Fri; (the flood started on the first day of the week)

five dates in Numbers (1:1, 1:18, 10:11, 33:3, 33:38), 
2 Wed, 3 Fri;

one in Deut1:3,
1 Fri;

one in Josh4:19,
1 Fri;
-------------------------------
total of twelve days:
1 Sun, 4 Wed, 7 Fri.

Obviously not random.

<snip>




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list