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|| Bibletime Studies || Biblical Time Index || Hours Days Months || Hebrew Calendar || Reckoning methods || Inclusive Reckoning? || Righteous Reckoning? || Timing Events || Ages of People || Circumcised the Eighth Day || Hebrew Regnal Years || Righteous Reckoning Examples || Ambiguous Examples || Inclusive Reckoning Examples || Conclusion || Q and A ||


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Introduction 5h3

Before you do this bible study you need to understand what we mean by inclusive reckoning, and righteous reckoning. There are a number of examples here that are often used by advocates of inclusive reckoning to prove their case, but when we examine and compare them to the righteous reckoning method we will find that this method also works. This bible study examines several ambiguous examples of inclusive and righteous reckoning in scripture.

#5h3 Does 'after three days' equal 'on the third day' (2 Chronicles 10)?

2 CHRONICLES 10:5, 12
5 And he said to them, Come again to me after three days. And the people departed.
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king spoke, saying, Come again to me on the third day.

Note: The Hebrew words translated "after three days" (2 Chronicles 10:5) are עוֹד שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים (Htr. 'od sheloshet yamim). The word  which is translated 'after', עוֹד (Htr. 'od) Strong's 5750,  is used adverbially and expresses continuance such as 'yet', 'again', or 'still'. The Septuagint uses the words ἕως τριῶν ἡμερῶν (Gtr. heos trion hemeron), which means 'until three days', or 'for three days'. The genitive case indicates a duration within a period of three days. It does not indicate a time period outside of three whole days, although in this case it would not make any difference. Advocates of inclusive reckoning would say that the three days means on the third day, and could be significantly less than a three day period of seventy two hours, even as little as just above one whole day.
This is certainly not the only way to interpret it, as righteous reckoning also works.

Diagram of 3 days and third day for Rehoboam 2 Chronicles 10:5-12 according to righteous reckoning

Counting the period elapsed as three whole twenty four hour periods, then if the people spoke to Rehoboam around or after midday, then they could still come back after midday three days later, which would be the third day. The day Rehoboam gave the instruction would not be counted as an ordinal with righteous reckoning, because the time left would be less than half a day and it would be rounded down. As can be seen the actual time period could have been some hours more than the three whole days and it would still work.

#5h4 Four Days Ago I was Fasting until this hour (Acts 10:30)

ACTS 10:1-3, 8-9, 21-24, 30
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying to him, Cornelius.
8 And when he had declared all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the next day, as they went on their journey, and drew near to the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
21 Then Peter went down to the men who were sent to him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom you seek: what is the cause why you are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one who fears God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by a holy angel to send for you into his house, and to hear words of you.
23 Then he called them in, and lodged them. And the next day Peter went away with them, and certain brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the next day after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Note: Here is the sequence of events in this case. On day one Cornelius saw an angel at the ninth hour (about 3 pm in the afternoon), and sent two men to Joppa. On day two they came to the city about the sixth hour (12 noon), where they stayed the night. On the third day they set out to go to Caesarea, and arrived on the fourth day at "this hour" (Acts 10:30), which reads as if it was the ninth hour, which would be 3 pm in the afternoon. The case for inclusive reckoning is very simple, "four days ago" (Acts 10:30) obviously refers to the four days mentioned which had not finished yet, and so could not have been four complete days. In fact the actual time between 3 pm on the first day and 3 pm on the fourth day is only three days, but inclusive reckoning would include all four. The diagram looks like this.

Diagram of 3 days and third day for Cornelius Acts 10:1-30 according to righteous reckoning

Although the case may look obvious to some, there is another way to reckon it. The words translated "four days ago" (Acts 10:30) are ἀπὸ τετάρτης ἡμέρας (Gtr. apo tetartes hemeras) which literally translates as "from four days", which refers to the time when his fast started at the beginning of the day, and not the time that the angel appeared to him. He was "fasting until this hour", which was the ninth hour. Now righteous reckoning is also correct, because four days counts as anything more than three and a half days rounded up. The time from the beginning of the first day to 3 pm on the fourth day would be three days and twenty one hours, which would be rounded to four days.

Diagram of 4 days fast for Cornelius Acts 10:30 according to righteous reckoning

Having now shown an acceptable alternative to inclusive reckoning, their case is by no means certain.

#5h5 Samaria was Besieged for Three Years.

2 KINGS 18:9-10
9 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
10 And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.

Note: The word translated 'at the end of' (Hb. מִקְצֵה Htr. miqtseh) refers to something near the extreme boundary of something, but not past the boundary. Therefore, in this context, it refers to a time just inside the three years, but not more than three years.

Diagram of the 3 year seige of Samaria 2 Kings 18:9-18 according to righteous reckoning

Therefore, the siege must have started at the beginning of Hezekiah's 4th regnal year, early in the first month, Nisan, and ended at the end of his 6th year, towards the end of the last month, Adar. This would be the same for Hoshea's 7th year and 9th year. Clearly starting anywhere in Hezekiah's 4th year and ending anywhere in his sixth year is possible with inclusive reckoning. However this case is equally correct with righteous reckoning. Starting near the beginning of Hezekiah's 4th year, and finishing anywhere near the end of his 6th year would include that; because if the total time was more than two years and six months it would be rounded up.

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