How Can We Be Sure that Saturday is the Seventh Day?

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MP3 Audio (10.7 MB)


How Can We Be Sure that Saturday is the Seventh Day?

MP3 Audio (10.7 MB)

Calendars printed in the United States put Saturday as the seventh day, but in Europe and other places in the world, Sunday is shown as the seventh day. So how can we be sure?

The seven-day weekly cycle is not tied to any patterns or alignments of the sun, moon or stars. It’s a non-stop serial counting of days, one after the other. Scripture tells us the cycle was established by God. After six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-2). Since then, the counting off of days in groups of sevens—with each group called a week and every seventh day designated as a day of rest—has continued unbroken up to our own time.

English-speaking countries call the seventh day Saturday, but the word for that day in many languages indicates its origins as the biblical day of rest. For example, the seventh day in Spanish is called Sabado (coming from the Hebrew shabbat). This too is made plain on printed calendars in those languages.

Could we have lost our place?

If you have ever tried to count off numbers in a sequence you know how easy it is to lose your place. Could this have happened with the counting of the seventh day? After all, it's been a very long time since God established the first day of rest.

If the sequence had gotten all jumbled up sometime between the first day of rest and the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt, the true seventh day was clearly reestablished by the time the Ten Commandments were given.

We can conclude confidently that our current Saturday is the seventh day of the week, on the same weekly cycle that has been in place since the beginning of creation—a cycle established and confirmed by God Himself.

In the wilderness, God fed the people of Israel with manna. The manna would appear on the ground every day except the seventh day, the day of rest (Exodus 16:14-30). This sequence would repeat every seven days, over and over for 40 years. The weekly cycle of manna only stopped when Israel entered the promised land. Four decades of repetition is plenty of time to clearly establish which day was the day of rest.

If the Sabbath had somehow been lost between creation and the exodus, 40 years of weekly miracles would have definitely reestablished it.

Did Israel ever lose track of the seventh day?

The Exodus was still a very long time in the past. Plus Israel went through many periods of turmoil, forgetfulness of God, invasion, deportation, etc. Could Israel—and later the Jewish people—have mixed up the sequence of counting the seven-day weekly cycle through all that?

Jesus Christ, the very Word of God, put off the glory He shared with the Father and was born a flesh and blood human being. He was the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5). Jesus would have known if He, or His fellow Jews, had the sequence of the seventh day messed up.

The record of Jesus’ life shows He rested on the seventh day in obedience to the commandment (John 15:10). Jesus observed the day of rest on the same day of the week as His fellow Jews. The religious authorities of the day may have disputed what types of activities were appropriate for observing the seventh day as a day of rest, but not which day of the week it was.

Jesus' obedience to the Fourth Commandment confirmed the seventh day as kept by the Jews was the correct day.

Did the Jewish people lose track of the seventh day after Jesus’ death?

Years before the time of Jesus’ death, and in the centuries since, the Jewish people have been widely dispersed throughout the Middle East and Europe. Wherever they have gone, they have fiercely guarded the observance of the seven-day weekly cycle so they might never break the Fourth Commandment.

It's possible to consider that isolated pockets of Jews may have lost track of the weekly cycle due to some local turmoil, but such an error would have quickly been corrected by comparing notes with the many other Jewish communities in other countries and continents—communities which had not experienced any interruption or disruption in the seven-day weekly cycle.

However, there isn’t any historical record of any dispute among any Jewish groups that the day we call Saturday is the seventh day of the weekly cycle, God’s day of rest. The Jewish people have successfully kept the original seven-day weekly cycle intact.

Now, one last question that sometimes comes up:

Did the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 lose track of the seventh day?

From 46 B.C. up to A.D. 1582, the Western world used what is called the Julian calendar. It was a vast improvement over the previous Roman calendars because it finally kept the months in sync with the seasons. However, after many centuries even the Julian calendar was about 10 days out of sync with the solar system.

In 1582 the old Julian calendar was replaced with the new, improved Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar system we still use today. At the time of the change to the new calendar system, those 10 days were simply dropped out of the calendar to get the dating system of the calendar back in sync with the solar system. It was Thursday, Oct. 4, 1582, and the next day, Friday, should have been Oct. 5. However, the new calendar made the next day Oct. 15 instead.

That change had no impact on the seven-day weekly cycle. Whether that following Friday was numbered as the 5th of the month or the 15th of the month, it was still the sixth day of the week, and the day that followed was still the seventh day of the week.

Even today we regularly add a day into our calendar every four years. We call it a “leap year.” Changing the number of days in a calendar month does not alter the weekly cycle—there is no six-day week, or eight-day week.

So we can conclude confidently that our current Saturday is the seventh day of the week, on the same weekly cycle that has been in place since the beginning of creation—a cycle established and confirmed by God Himself.

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  • Normajean

    We can only be assured that Saturday is the day, if 1.)... We believe that our creator actually used the same calendar we used today that was set up ages ago by the Romans called the Gregorian calendar you know that little one that hangs on the wall we look out every day.
    And 2.) If we truly believe the Jews have it all correct it have never gone astray. However scripture tells us a completely different story. They went to stray lost his name and lost the time period scripture has the answers and we have to dig it out. Because it is of most urgent imperative that we find this calendar and meet him as he claimed we should.
    If the moon and the stars tell us the gospel. The moon is set for the months. And we are told certain months and days to appear before him. When we deeply study for ourselves and quit listening to our leaders, we quickly learned that Saturday is not correct either and now the race is on to find out the truth. The full moon marks the start of the month.
    The race for salvation is on.
    on your mark, get set, Go!. Your eternity depends on it it is your responsibility.a

  • Bbrown14

    God and Jesus loves you

  • Matthew a

    Part 2, since I ran out of characters.

    God lists 8 appointment dates we MUST obey. He groups these days and how we can find them on the calendar in the same sentence.

    First is the Sabbath. Then the 7 festivals (appointment dates follow). If all 7 festivals must be found using the new moon sightings, and God includes the Sabbath in the same conversation, then the Sabbath must be found using this same form of moon observation. Moon in hebrew means "month". God says the sighting of the new moon must start the new month.

    Anyone who thinks the Sabbath is on Saturday or Sunday is ignorant to history, because during the time of Jesus, the pagan calendar had 8 days per week, and they were named after letters of the alphabet, not name's of false gods on a 7 day weekly cycle.

  • bsquared

    Felix, you admit that you don't know ("might not be"). I feel fully convinced that it does matter and that we can rest assured that we are observing the correct days of worship.
    Let's approach this from a different point of view.
    Imagine that you're God and you've created mankind. In your creation you give a very strict command to observe specific days and feasts, all at very specific dates and times (sunset). As God you know man will ignore and change everything that you have set in motion ("Daylight Savings Time" a perfect example). Yet as God you are concerned with the people that you are working with and you know that it's your responsibility to make sure that they have the ability to worship you according to your original command. We know by scripture that God is the same today and throughout eternity (Hebrews 13:8). So what He expects from us never changes just because man tries to mess with what the Almighty has set into motion. He requires the same obedience from us as He did from Adam and Eve. Therefore He knows that He must give His people the right calendar and days to properly worship Him. God will always provide for His people. Gen. 22:14

  • lilac

    If I am God, I wouldn't require human to worship me on saturday. Just so you know saturday is from pagan saturnalia. The saturn God. Just becareful of false teaching. The wolves dress as a sheep nowadays. This is the end of days. God did not require human to worship Him like a servant to a master. Rather He wants us to be His bride. You are following those Pharisees and Sadducees. The calendar was created by the roman. It has been changed a couple times. The saturday is no longer the the seventh day. And just so you know the REAL seventh day could be monday, sunday, or anyday. You wanna worship on saturday? fine by me. But if you say saturday is the seventh day (God's seventh day) , that was just wrong.

  • Steven Britt

    In English, yeah, the word "Saturday" does come from Saturn; however, in MANY other languages the word for Saturday comes directly from "Sabbath" (see

    Keeping the Sabbath is not following the Pharisees and Sadducees, but Jesus Christ! He observed the Sabbath day, and He did so on the same day as the Jewish people of that time - evidently, they had the correct day! And thanks to the meticulous observance and records of the Jewish people since that time, we can know confidently that Saturday is indeed the very same day of the week that Jesus Christ observed and worshiped on - the seventh day, as ordained at creation when God rested and made the Sabbath holy (Genesis 2:2-3).

    Finally, I'll point out that using a Roman calendar is irrelevant to the 7-day week - the Roman calendar does not include any rules that set, modify, or affect the days of the week and they fall haphazardly on the calendar. The 7-day week was instituted by God at creation and was used before Rome even existed, much less the Roman calendar.

  • Skip Miller

    Hello again Felix,
    I have to agree with your perspective: "If I were God I wouldn't..." But you aren't God and God DID!
    I am such a simple sort. I believe the Bible is God's Word. Just reviewing Genesis 1 gets us right down to a very simple statement.
    After 6 days of work God created the SABBATH by resting. Of course He did not create Saturday. He created the Sabbath !
    The real problem comes when People (humans) want to confuse the issue. God has a very wonderful reason for the Sabbath!
    Listen to the short clip again, start to do what God wants you to do and begin to really Enjoy!

  • Skip Miller

    Hello Felix,
    I believe that Steven answered quite adequately.
    Time was lost but not the day of the week.
    (I have to admit that I don't see your logic.)

  • lilac

    I know. At first it's difficult for me to grasp the idea.
    The Roman had Romulus Calendar. It beginning in March and ending in December. they have 8 days a week instead of seven. They lost 62 days every year. During those 62 days, they didn't bother to count the day. They didn't care about first day of the week nor the seventh day.
    Gregorian comes from julian, julian comes from numa pompilus and romanus calendar. Those are not hebrew calendar.
    Bottom line is, the sabbath in Gregorian calendar might not be the real sabbath day (the original seventh day counted from since God created the universe). You don't have to rest on saturday , the day that belongs to gregorian-julian-romulus calendar, in order to praise the lord. Instead, you can rest on any day during the week and treat it as a seventh day. For example, You can work for six days from friday to wednesday, and take thursday as sabbath day.. Because everything is about term and definition: Year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second. Is it true that one minute = 60 second? If a month is 30 days, why february gets 28 days but sometimes it gets 29?

  • lilac

    Julian calendar : oct 4 = thru, oct 5 = friday, oct 6 = sat, oct 9 =sun, oct 10 = mon, oct 11 = tue, oct 12 = wed, oct 13 = thru, oct 14 = friday, oct 15 = saturday.

    Altered version of Julian Calendar (we call it Gregorian calendar):
    Oct 4= thursday , oct 5 (friday Julian) = oct 15 = SATURDAY (which was the seventh day in the old Julian calendar), .... and then... oct 6 (Saturday/the seventh day on Julian calendar) = oct 16 = SUNDAY (which was the first day in the old Julian Calendar).

    Conclusion: According Julian Calendar, the seventh day is no longer the the seventh day. Instead, the seventh day is now the first day, which is SUNDAY.

    Imagine you are using Julian Calendar now. Then the saturday is not the seventh day. The SUNDAY is the seventh day.

    Now you can do the same to the Jewish calendar. Try to compare Julian calendar to the jewish calendar. They are not the same seventh day. Both has different way in calculating days.

    Gregorian Calendar :

  • Steven Britt

    Hi Felix,
    Today, as I write this comment, it is Monday - it's Monday on the Hebrew calendar, on the Julian calendar, and on the Gregorian calendar. If we all decided to start tracking time by a different calendar, it would not interrupt the weekday cycle at all. When societies have changed calendars over the ages, they did not suddenly change the weekday because there was no need - the weekly cycle does not affect the months and years of a calendar, so why would they? We can know for sure that the 7th day Sabbath, being sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, has not changed because the Jewish people have been continuously keeping the same 7-day cycle unbroken since the time of Jesus Christ, who also kept the Sabbath on the correct day.

  • lilac

    The weekday cycle was interrupted during the use of romulus calendar. The Roman lost 62 days by using the romulus calendar.
    So if the 31 dec in romulus calendar was the third day of the week, then the first day of the week of the next year calendar could be the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh nobody knew, since nobody was counting. They only knew that the first day of the year, which also the first day of the week, is the new moon before the spring equinox.
    With that being said, your gregorian sabbath is no longer "real sabbath". Or, the "real sabbath" could be any day in the week on gregorian calendar system. I am Ok if you rest on saturday and worship God on saturday. But I don't agree if you say gregorian saturday is sabbath.

  • Matthew a

    Rome, during the lifetime of Jesus, used the "early julian calendar". This calendar had 8 days per week, and they were named after the letters of their alphabet. So days A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H were the names of the 8 day revolving week during the life of Jesus.

    The "early julian calendar" was then reformed almost 50 years AFTER Jesus death and resurrection, and this new calendar, named "the julian calendar" had 7 days per week. The days were no longer named after letters, but pagan gods and goddesses.

    But history books tell us the Israelites of Jesus time did not use the "early julian calendar of the Romans" during the time of Christ. History confirms that they used the ancient Hebrew, luni solar calendar. God confirms this calendar in the bible when he tells us that each month must start at the sighting of the new moon. Each new year must start at the sighting of the new moon after Aviv, the barely ripeness, and the passover must start on the 14th day after Aviv.

    God demands in Leviticus chapter 23 that we always honor and observe his 8 holy festivals. Festivals in hebrew means "appointment dates". He then lists the 8 appointment dates we are to obey.

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