The Ancients and the Year

May - Oct 2006 Calendar

Today, we know the earth comes back to the same position around the sun every 365.2425 days, but, did you know the first post Flood civilizations all used a 360 day year? They also used the cycles of the moon to measure out months (the word “month” means “moon”).  Some people, like the Egyptians, realized quickly things didn’t stay in line without adjustments. Others continued to use the old system for thousands of years.

When you compare the Bible’s use of days and months with years, you will find it uses the 360 day year all the way through. In Revelation, 3 1/2 years is used to measure the same length of time as 1,260 days. To find the length of a single year, you divide those days by 3.5 which equals 360 days.

Why would something so badly off from what we see today be so common?

moon-in-phases

If you start from the idea that people are getting smarter and smarter, this is easy to solve: people back then were too dumb to figure out the months and years weren’t matching up.

 

But, since we know the ancients were really smart, we’ve got to look further. Let’s start with the first time we hear about the 360 day year in the Bible:

On the 17th day of the second month, when Noah was 600 years old, the springs under the earth broke through the ground, and water flowed out everywhere. The sky also opened like windows and rain poured down. Genesis 7:11

The water continued to cover the earth for 150 days. Genesis 7:24

After 150 days the water was low enough that the boat touched land again. The boat stopped on one of the mountains of Ararat. This was the 17th day of the seventh month. Genesis 8:3,4

(7 months and 17 days) minus (2 month and 17 days) gives us exactly 5 months. We are told these 5 months equal 150 days. 150 divided by 5 gives us 30 days per month, which matches the 360 day year. It looks like all these early civilizations got their calendar from Grandpa Noah.

Now we’ll think about why this man, smart and godly enough to build the greatest floating zoo ever, didn’t use a 365.2425 day year.

  • Some creationists side with the evolutionists and say he used the 360 day year even though it was never accurate. This doesn’t make them bad, but I see no reason to believe Noah was so careless
  • Others say Noah was probably using what was accurate up to the Flood. The Flood was a massive, world-wide event. It could easily be powerful enough to have messed up our year

So, how could the earth have changed? There are two possibilities:

  • The earth might have slowed down the circle it makes around the sun so it took longer
  • The earth could have started spinning faster so it took more spins to get to the same point
And Spin...

And Spin… (Photo credit: Sangudo)

We’re pretty sure the earth’s circuit around the sun hasn’t slowed down because it would take such a gigantic force nothing would have survived. But, getting the earth to spin faster isn’t nearly as difficult and can be explained by the changes of the Flood year.

Here’s the idea. If you go ice skating and spin around in place, you can change how fast you turn by sticking out your arms or leg (to go slower), or by pulling them tightly together (to spin faster). So, if the earth had a way to pull its weight closer to the middle, it would speed up in the same way.

We know there was a huge amount of underground water before the Flood. It was this escaping water which started the Flood with the rain helping out. Water’s heavy, but rocks are even heavier. As the water spewed out, the rocks began to fill their old spaces pulling earth’s weight closer to the middle.

There could have been other things going on at the same time causing the earth to spin faster, and we haven’t talked about the moon and its months no longer matching, but I’ve run out of space for today. What we do know for sure is there is no reason to look down our noses at our earliest forefathers for being silly enough to not figure out the true length of months and years.

I was reminded of this ancient reality by this article at the Creation Science Hall of Fame: 360 day year: no coincidence

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