40 days/nights

John Ronning ronning at nis.za
Mon Sep 27 14:46:33 EDT 1999


Mark,

I'd agree with the "literal" understanding of days/nights except for what seems to be
an idom whereby X days and nights might be literally X minus one nights.

E.g. 1 Samuel 30:12-13 describes an Amalekite's servant who fell sick and was
abandoned "three days ago" - e.g. if today's Monday, he fell sick and was abandoned
Saturday -, but it also says he hadn't eaten or drank for 3 days and 3 nights - which
I suppose could be literally true but I don't think we have to conclude he didn't eat
Friday evening or Saturday morning before he was left to die.

Similarly Jesus said he would be "3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth" (from
which some folks insist he was crucified on a Thursday but then that gives 4 days and
3 nights) but also that he would rise "on the 3rd day."

Yours,

John






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