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James N. Hanson



The Nonsense


          The thirty-day month is popular amongst those many fundamentalists who bow the knee to science and, especially, to mathematics.  Many seem to delight in appending mathematical trappings to the Bible, e.g., those idiotic Bible codes and Robert Anderson’s 360-day prophetic calendar.  Anderson and his devotees imagine grand precise chronological structures in the Bible (see Kregel Publication’s reprint of The Coming Prince, originally published in 1894).  These structures don’t exist and serve only to obscure the Bible’s actual precise chronology.  Current examples of the fruits of Anderson’s legacy may be found in the popular paperbacks by Grant Jeffrey.[1]  Prophecy in the Bible does not employ the prophetic year of 30-day months but does employ the solar year of 365.24… days and the lunar month of 29.53… days as commanded in Genesis 1:14; for God created the sun, moon, and stars for this purpose. 

          The Bible Code nonsense was first introduced by Israelis Witztum and Drosnin.  This code, through equidistant letter sequences, deifies the rabbinate by allegedly finding their names in “Scripture.”  For an antidote to such baloney read Ingermanson’s 1995 book, Who Wrote the Bible Code, (Waterbrook).  He finds Dr. Suess’ Cat in the Hat has more such structures and prophecies than the Hebrew Torah.  One may wish to go to the Web site, www.caltech.edu/code/petition, prepared by some of the California Institute of Technology Mathematics Department and signed by professors of mathematics from the U. S., Israel, New Zealand, and the Ukraine.  Therein one will read, “All claims of incredible probabilities for such clusters are bogus, since they are computed contrary to standard rules of probability and statistics.” [2]  


Temple Destruction vs. Prophetic Year


          One of the alleged triumphs of the prophetic year of 30-day months is the 586 B.C. date for the year of the destruction of Solomon’s temple.  Somehow this ridiculous date had become entrenched in fundamentalists’ lore even though it blatantly contradicts Daniel 9:26, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-2, and many more verses.  It is clear from those texts that the destruction of the temple took place 520 years before the Lord’s nativity:





The Lord’s nativity.


Lord’s age at his death.


=69 x 7, from Cyrus’ command to death of Christ.


Destruction of temple.


B.C. date for destruction of temple.


          Anderson, as is customary, takes the commandment to rebuild the temple to be issued by Artaxerxes, not Cyrus, and states that the days from this commandment to the cutting off of the Messiah (Palm Sunday) is 360 x 69 x 7 days.  Not only are his event dates wrong or irrelevant, but he does not even count correctly.  He nowhere shows how he computed his number of days.  However, he did correctly use the Hebrew calendar.  Jeffrey freely includes Anderson’s mysterious calculations in his Bible-like razzle-dazzle.  Nevertheless, there are many useful references in Anderson and Jeffrey; however, they are often used in a cavalier manner.


The Origin of 586 B.C.


          Our editor, G. Bouw, has previously reported[3] on my speculation that this 66-year discrepancy was foisted upon us by Dionysius Exiguus (A.D. 525?-600?) perhaps the foremost chronicler and encomiast of the Roman Catholic Church.  It was he, we are told, who established the time of the Lord’s nativity.  I posit that he placed it 66 years further in the past so as to place the reign of Justinian (483-565, reigned 527-565) at 6,000 Anno Mundi, using Julius Africanus’ (160?-240?) Septuagint-like chronology.  He thus managed to have the Roman Catholic Church, by virtue of their great Emperor, usher in the Millennium at its appointed time in the year A.M. 6,000, i.e., through its greatness and works, the Roman Church brought in the Millennium.  Thus I claim (suggest) that the rapture will occur in the year 2060 (= 2001+66-7).  It is interesting to note that Isaac Newton had computed the same date, as was recently discovered in one of his papers in the possession of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; a paper that had not been studied all these years since his death in 1727.


The Flood versus the Prophetic Year


          The only place in the Bible where one can find a 30-day month is found in Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:3-4 where a five-month period spans 150 days.  I suspect (and will use) the present Hebrew calendar (which keeps miraculously accurate account of the sun’s motion and, especially, of the moon’s motion) may be used to chronicle Biblical events even as long ago as Noah’s year at sea.  To be sure, the Rabbis and Pharisees of the first Christian centuries had to change the placement of the Passover and First fruits in order to obfuscate (see the rules of postponement of the molad of Tishri) the fact that the Lord Jesus came and died at the prophesied days.  But they obviously retained its timekeeping precision.  The point I wish to make, is that the Hebrew calendar does not permit five successive 30-day months.  The Hebrew calendar is an arrangement of 29 and 30-day months so that the new moon, on average, occurs on the first day of each month, and that, on the average, the sun returns to irs position in the heavens in one solar year.  For an excellent algorithmic definition of the Hebrew calendar, see Lois Resnikoff’s papers.[4]

          An examination of the Flood year shows that the month was not 30 days.  But first, by using an average of 29.5 days per month we obtain:


354    12 x 29.5, 12 months beginning at Gen. 7:11

+10   10 days of Gen. 8:14

+  1   to include either the day of entering into the ark of the day —–     of leaving



The Flood Lasted One Solar Year


          So we see that all the months cannot be thirty days.  To demonstrate that the Flood lasted precisely one solar year, thus verifying the above calculation, we will superimpose the Hebrew calendar on the years A.M. 1655 and 1656.  This is shown in the following figure, in which one may count the number of days from the entering in the ark until the leaving.  The number of days is 365.  Resnikoff’s algorithm was used in the construction of these tables. 


Table 1: Flood Events Recorded in Genesis





Month     Days of the month


   01  05   10   15   20   25   30  Month  Hebrew Month no.

                             Length Month  Gen  Exod



 1 ----│S------S-│----S----│-S---    30    Tishri   1    7

 2 ---S│----1S---│-2S------S-----    30    Hesvan   2    8

 3 –S--│---S-----│S------S-│3---S    30    Kislev   3    9

 4 ----│-S------S│-----S---│--S-     29    Tebet    4   10

 5 ----│S------S-│----S----│-S---    30    Shevat   5   11

 6 –--S│-----S---│--S------S----     29    Adar     6   12

 7 --S-│----S----│-44-----S│-----    30    Nisan    7    1

 8 S---│--S------S------S--│---S     29    Iyar     8    2

 9 5---│-S6-----S7-----S---│--S--    30    Sivan    9    3

10 –---S------S--│---S-----│S---     29    Tammuz  10    4

11 ---S│-----S---│--S------S-----    30    Ab      11    5

12 -S--│---S-----│S------S-│----     29    Elul    12    6

 1 8---│--S------S------S--│---S-    30    Tishri   1    7

 2 ----│S------S-│----9----│-S---    30    Hesvan   2    8


(S indicates the 7th day Sabbath; numbers, the Flood events in the table on the facing page)

Table 2: The Time Spent aboard the Ark



1.        The number of days from event 1 to 9, including either the beginning day or the ending day, is 365, not a multiple of 30.  The Flood year started on the day before the Sabbath of 11 Hesvan AM 1655 and ended on the Sabbath day of 20 Hesvan 1656.

2.        Event 4 cannot occur on two days but, instead, is the same day, indicating possible alteration of the calendar of Creation by the Jewish leaders in the early Christian era.

3.        The year AM 1655 is a normal full year of 355 days.

4.        According t Mt. 24:36-39, the beginning to the end of the Flood year is likened to Daniel’s 70th week, thus indicating that the 365-day solar year is the year of prophecy.  However, the Lord will permit (Dan. 7:25) the antichrist to institute a 30-day month for exactly a duration of 7 x 12 x 30 +  7x 12 x 30 (=1260 + 1260 =2520) days.  That the antichrist will do so is documented in Rev. 11:3 and 12:6.  It is ludicrous that Anderson or anyone should use this to prove a 30-day prophetic month.

5.        Enoch preached the Flood, and his 365-year life span may be the first instance of equating a year with a day.

The Difficulty of 5 Months = 150 Days


          Having said all this we are still left with the difficulty that there was, indeed, a 150-day period of 5 months during Noah’s Flood year from which one might infer that the month was 30 days.  Subsequent astronomical data and figures are found in Meeus.[5]  This difficulty is hard to reconcile since:


1.        The Hebrew calendar does not support it.  The longest 5 month period would be 30 + 30 + 30 + 29 +30 = 149 days (e.g., the months Tishri, Hesvan, Kislev, Tebet, and Shevat during a full emolistic year of 385 days).

2.        The maximum lunation is about 29 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes which is 29.832 days.  This occurred for the lunations beginning 15 January 1881 and 16 December 1881.  From Meeus we may qualify this occurrence to be when the longitude of the moon’s perigee equals the longitude of the sun’s perihelion.

3.        Using this period gives 150-5 x 29.832 = 0.840 days.  In other words, we are shy by about a day even using the longest lunation.

4.        If account is taken of the sun’s orbital eccentricity in Noah’s time, the lunation is increased and we get 150 – 5 x 29.834 = 0.830, which helps a little (see Meeus, pp 30-31). 

5.        In actuality, we have no right to expect 5 maximum lunations in a row.  A more likely maximal 5 month sequence would be 29.4 + 29.7 + 29.83 + 29.832 + 29.7 = 148.46 days.  Even this extremely optimistic sequence fails by two days.  However, it seems clear that a 5-month period of at least 148 days is possible.  As an example we include Meeus’ figure for the lunations between the years 1900 to 1980.

6.        That 1655-1656 was the year of the Flood is obtained in the usual way by understanding that the birth dates given in Genesis 5 are precise, being referred to the beginning (1 Tishri) of the birth year.


Reconciliation of 5 Months = 150 Days


          Possible reconciliations for the missing one- or two-days problem, are:


1.        The lunar motion during the Flood year actually provides for 5 lunations over a complete 150-day period even though extrapolation of presently-observed motions back to Noah’s time does not support this.  That is, the present orbital elements of the moon are wrong or not sufficiently accurate.

2.        Assuming this 5-month period of Noah to be 148+, we might claim partial beginning and terminal days of this period would require 148 plus small amounts but be counted as full days.  For example, 0.01 + 148 + 0.01 would be reckoned as 150 days.  I do not like this explanation since it has no biblical basis and leads to absurdities such as the nonsensical Good Friday handling of the three days during which the Lord Jesus was in the earth. 

3.        The Hebrew (or whatever it was called) calendar in Noah’s day may have permitted five consecutive 30-day months.  This may be one of the alterations made early in the Christian era by the Rabbis and Pharisees, (Exodus 12:2, only changing the beginning of months from Tishri to Nisan).  For example, the sequence 30, 30, 30, 30, 30, 29 could have been altered to 30, 30, 30, 29, 30, 30 without affecting the calendar’s timekeeping accuracy but may shift or eliminate a day of special observance.

4.        Since Noah was not fixed to the earth but adrift on a global ocean, he possibly did not know where he was and during this period he could have drifted against the motion of the sun so that he saw 150 sunrises even though 148 or 149 actually occurred as viewed from a fixed point of the earth.  He would have subsequently drifted in the reverse direction loosing one or two days and thereby preserving the chronology of the Flood year.

5.        In a geocentric cosmology, the earth does not move.  Hence earth-centered catastrophic events such as the Flood that cannot effect the earth’s orientation but can, instead, effect the diurnal rotation of the cosmos.  In this case, the earth’s moment of inertia was increased by the addition of water on the surface of the earth from the “windows of heaven,” and by the “fountains of the deep” (Gen. 7:11).  This water was subsequently returned to its place.  Hence, if we invoke the conservation of angular momentum, we would have the diurnal rate slow down and then speed up to, and return to its previous rate.  In the meantime, the moon’s motion is barely affected and its synoptic period is temporarily increased during this 5-month period.  (See James Hanson, 1977.  “A Simple Geometric Model for Computing Pre-Flood and Post-Flood Geomorphology,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, December, pp. 157-168.)


Explanation 3 seems most likely.  Number 4 is interesting but has no biblical support, while 5 does.  Number 1 is possible but is not in evidence.  I reject 2 for the reason there stated.




Lunations: the Variation in the Length of the Lunar Month




Figure 1: The Longest Months




Figure 2: The Shortest Months

Figure 3: Variations of the duration of the lunation for 1996 to 2006.  Dots indicate the deviation with respect to the mean value of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes.



[1] Jeffrey, Grant, 1988.  Armageddon, Appointment with Destiny, (Frontier Research Publications). 

[2] For more, see G. Bouw, 1998.  “The Bible Code,” B.A. 8(83):21, also, Forum,  1998. “Dr. Bouw just doesn’t get it,” B.A.  8(85):7. 

[3] Bouw, G. D., 2004.  “Sir Isaac Newton and the End of the Church Age,” B.A. 14(108):60. 

[4] Resnikoff, Louis, 1943.  Scripta Mathematica, pp. 191-195, 274-275.

[5] Meeus, Jean, 2002.  More Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, William-Bell.