Bible Questions and Answers

 
 
 
 
 

Bible Question:The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke mention that the day of preparation for PASCA is on the 15th day of Nisan, but the gospel of John says it was on the 14th day of Nisan. Which is correct? Also, is it true that the day Noah's ark rested on mount Ararat is the same as the day of Jesus' crucifixion (April 14)?

Bible Answer: The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke never refer to the Jewish month of Nisan in any chapter or verse. Each of the gospels does refer to the day of preparation, but they all agree that the day of preparation occurred before the Sabbath. The day of preparation is always a Friday. Here are the passages,

Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’" (NASB) Matt. 27:62-63

When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (NASB) Mark 15:42-43

It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. (NASB) Luke 23:54-55

Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” (NASB) John 19:14

Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (NASB) John 19:31

Passover and Sabbath. Since the Jewish passover occurs on Nisan 14, we know that the day of preparation occurs on Nisan 13. We also know astronomical calculations that Jesus died on Nisan 14, A.D. 33. This is possible since we know that the Passover day occurred during a full moon and Sabbath day occurred on a Friday. For more information read, "Date of Jesus' Death."
Noah's Ark and Jesus' Resurrection. It also appears that Noah's ark rested on Mount Ararat on Nisan 17, the day Jesus returned to life. Here are the scriptures that indicate that this is true.

Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. (NASB) Gen. 8:2-4

Here we discover that the ark rested on the mountain on the seventeenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar. By comparing Exodus 12:2 to Exodus 13:4 we find God changed the Jewish calendar and made Abib the first month of their calendar year.

Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.'" (NASB) Ex. 12:1-3

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. (NASB) Ex. 12:18-19

Now it is important to note that Abib was the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.[1] If the Jewish calendar was unchanged from the time of Noah to the time of Moses, then Abib would be the month in which Noah's ark rested on Mount Ararat.
Then by comparing Exodus 12:2 to Esther 3:7 we find that the name of the first month was later changed from Abib to Nisan, the first month of the Jewish year.

In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, Pur, that is the lot, was cast before Haman from day to day and from month to month, until the twelfth month, that is the month Adar. (NASB) Esther 3:7

Now if we compare Exodus 12:18-19 with Esther 3:7 we discover that Nisan 14 is the day on which God had commanded the Israelites to celebrate the passover.

Conclusion:Jesus died on Nisan 14 which is the Passover day, the day on which the passover lamb was killed. He died before the Sabbath rest which started in the evening at 6:00 pm (1800 hours). Then Jesus returned to life - resurrected - on the day on which Noah's ark rested on Mount Ararat - Nisan 17. Hebrews 4 tells us that rest is also a symbol of one's rest in God because we believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus made it possible for us to have our sins forgiven, and those who believe in Jesus Christ can finally rest because they have peace with God.

 

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References:

1. Jack Finegan. Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Hendrickson Publishing. 1998. p. 30-31.

 
     
 
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