this providing support for an original Hebrew solar ephemeras (in regards to the reckoning of days), with Genesis 1 existing as an original calendar prototype. Details into why Elohim would call His manifest glory “day” in opposition to “night” are self explanatory and will not be covered here. The above analogy can be hyperbolized, and related to the final state of Yahweh’s elect while in paradise, where they exist with Him and the Lamb in the eternal light of Heaven, as seen in Isaiah 48, recapitulated in Revelation 28. With this view in mind, it can be accepted that the same patterns emerge, (1) all things began in Yahweh’s eternal goodness (light), (2) the darkness of man’s rebellion enters the world, and God
as light in the midst of darkness to return the elect unto Himself, and (3) a final return to Yahweh’s eternal goodness (light) commences. A sect of ancient Judaism known as ‘the Community of the renewed Covenant’ held that their solar calendar was rooted in primordial Hebrew observance and belief, this being supported by creation itself, they argued that the evening to evening reckoning wasn’t from God but was a pagan custom disingenuously foisted upon to the people.
This form of accusation towards the leaders of second temple Hellenistic Judaism takes us to the second argument in support of an original Hebrew sunrise to sunrise reckoning. B. Both Yosef Green in his paper
When does the day begin?
and S. Talmon’s
Reckoning the Sabbath in the First and the Early Second Temple Period - From the Evening or the Morning?
reach informed conclusions that provide strong support for ancient Israel’s use of a solar calendar in the second Temple period, post Nehemia reform. In lieu of their findings, historical evidences will be presented to further buttress their assertions, showing that the Israelite calendar was changed to reflect the Hellenistic, and that the Sabbath was altered from a sunrise to sunrise reckoning to that contemporarily followed by modern Judaism. When deciphering the switch from a solar observance to a lunar, a time of religious upheaval takes focal position. It’s widely understood that the influences of Hellenism in Israel were pervasive, and to such an extent that cities were renamed to Greek, Hellenistic customs, clothing, language and names were normalized this even in the temple. According to the established historical accounts the expulsion of High priest Onias 3 and his replacement with the Hellenized high priest Jason, who had affected the temple elite (they being an aristocratic group who in time would populate the political Sadducee party)
became openly sympathetic to pagan ways and customs. Onias 3 was an Essene-sympathizer,
and if it’s true that the Essenes were synonymous with the sect at Qumran as some scholars promote, this would at minimum show that the temple pre-Ptolemaic instigation showed kindness towards a
Shemaryahu Talmon, "Reckoning the Sabbath in the First and Early Second Temple Period - From the Evening or the Morning?" in
Sabbath: Ideas, History, Reality,
ed. G. Blindsteain, (Beer-sheva: Ben-Gurion University Press, 2004). 11-12.
Davies, W.D., and L. Finkelstein. The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 2, the Hellenistic Age. Cambridge University Press, 1990. Print. 217, 226.
Saulnier, S. Calendrical Variations in Second Temple Judaism: New Perspectives on the ‘Date of the Last Supper’ Debate. Brill, 2012. Print. 172.