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:

Scripture reveals that Noah’s ark did not rest on Mount Ararat on the same day of Jesus’ resurrection. Each of the gospels give us such helpful information that we can determine the year, month and day of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 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.'” Matthew 27:62-63 (NASB)

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. Mark 15:42-43 (NASB)

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. Luke 23:54-55 (NASB)

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!” John 19:14 (NASB)

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. John 19:31 (NASB)

Timeline - Jesus' Death and Resurrection

Dates of Christ’s Death and Resurrection

It is important to note that Mark 15:42-43 and Luke 23:54-55 tell us that the Day of Preparation preceded the Sabbath. John 19:14 communicates the same point when we are told that the time on Friday was the sixth hour or 12:00 pm and the Sabbath would occur soon. John 19:31 also communicates that the Sabbath was about to begin.

The day of preparation had acquired that name because the Jews would prepare in advance for the Sabbath. This helps us determine that Jesus died on a Friday. This Sabbath was called a High Sabbath or the Great Sabbath since it occurred during the Passover celebration.

Computerized Hebrew (Jewish) calendars helps us determine that Jesus died on Friday, Nisan 14, A.D. 33. The Hebrew calendar reveals that Nisan 14 occurs on a Friday only in the years of A.D. 29, 33 and 36. Contrary to popular belief, Passover could not have occurred on A.D. 32. The astronomical program confirms that a full moon did occur on a Friday, Nisan 14., A.D. 33.  For more information read, “Prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks.” This means that Jesus died on Nisan 14. The next day was the Sabbath, Nisan 15 and Nisan 16 was the day of His resurrection.

Date Noah’s Ark Rested On Mount Ararat

Genesis 7:11 tells us that the waters which caused the flood began to flow in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the second month and on the seventeenth day.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. Genesis 7:11 (NASB)

The flood lasted for one hundred and fifty days and then the waters stopped and the level of flood water began to decrease. Genesis 8:2-4 tells us that Noah’s ark rested on Mount Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month.

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. Genesis 8:2-4 (NASB)

To which month does Genesis refer? The only references to “month” in Genesis occur in the passage of Genesis 7:11-8:14 and Genesis 29:14 and no names are given for these months. It appears that tScripture assumes that the Hebrew calendar is unchanged until the book of Exodus. For more information about the calendar used in Genesis visit, “What calendar was used in Genesis 7-8?”

Hebrew Calendar Changed After The Babylonian Captivity

In Exodus 12:2-3, 6 we are told that God changed the Hebrew calendar by making the month during which God and Moses were talking the first month of the Hebrew calendar. Verse 3 states the lamb was to be selected on the tenth of the month and verse 6 states that the lamb was to be killed on the fourteenth day.

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.'” Exodus 12:2-3 (NASB)

You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Exodus 12:6 (NASB)

From Exodus 13:4 we discover that Abib was the name of the first month of their calendar year at that time.

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. Exodus 12:18 (NASB)

On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. Exodus 13:4 (NASB)

It appears the Hebrew calendar remained unchanged from the time of Noah to the time of Moses and until the defeat of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:12). Then the calendar was changed. This can be observed that the Hebrew calendar since the months of Abib and Ziv were still being used in Exodus 23:15; 34:18; Deuteronomy 16:1; 1 Kings 6:1, 38 and 37. After 2 Kings 24:12, these Hebrew months no longer appear in the Old Testament. However, the Babylonian month of Nisan starts appearing in scripture (Nehemiah 2:1; Esther 3:7). Nisan was the first month of the Babylonian calendar and it replaced the month of Abib. Consequently, the Hebrew Passover now occurs on Nisan 14.

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 Hebrew year.

In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus . . . until the twelfth month, that is the month Adar. Esther 3:7 (NASB)

Consequently, both Exodus 12:2, 18-19 and Esther 3:7 reveal that Nisan 14 is the day on which God had commanded the Israelites to celebrate the passover.

The Dates Are Different

Now note that Noah’s ark rested on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, but Jesus died on the fourteenth day of the first month. He was resurrected on the sixteenth day of the first month. Therefore, Jesus was not resurrected on the same day that the ark rested on Mount Ararat.

If we assume that the seventh month in Genesis 8:4 is the seventh month in either 1) the Hebrew civil calendar, which begins in the month Tishri, or in 2) the Hebrew religious calendar, which begins in the month Nisan, then the ark did not rest on Mount Ararat in   Nisan, the month in which Christ was resurrected. Therefore, Noah’s ark did not rest on Mount Ararat on the same month in the Hebrew calendar nor on the same day in which Jesus died or was resurrected.

Babylonian Hebrew Calendars Compared

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 was resurrected on Nisan 16 and not on the day Noah’s ark rested on Mount Ararat. Since Noah’s ark rested on Mount Ararat on seventeenth day of the seventh month that corresponds to Tishri 17 in the current Hebrew calendar.

For those who might be disappointed that Noah’s ark did not rest on Mount Ararat on the same day of the month that Jesus was resurrected, you might be encouraged by the fact that the ark rested on Mount Ararat during the time of the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles. In Leviticus 23:33-36 God commanded the Israelites to start the Feast of Booths on the fifteenth day in the seventh month which is Tishri. The feast was to last for seven days. That means the seventeenth day of the seventh month occurs in the middle of the feast. It should also be noted that the Feast of Booths is celebrated during the millennial kingdom (Zechariah 14:16-19). The Feast of Tabernacles is symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming when He will establish His earthly kingdom. The landing of Noah’s ark marked a new beginning and the millennial kingdom will mark a new beginning.

Suggested Links:

Time To Rest!
Date of Jesus' Death
How old was Yeshua when He died?
In which month is the Passover?
Passover dates - A.D. 30-33
Prophecy of Daniel's 70 Weeks
What calendar was used in Genesis 7-8?