Third Hour of the Day

Time 

The third hour of the day in the New Testament refers to the modern 9 a.m. Time keeping was different. They used sunrise and sunset to determine the start and stop of the day. They divided the light part of the day into twelve parts. Yes, that means an hour may vary in length according to the season. Passover is in spring so there was more daylight. Passover begins the religious calendar year for Jews. 

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526872/jewish/Hours.htm

Tour de force-Jordan to Jerusalem

Third Hour of the Day is a term only used three times in the Bible. (Three and third appear hundreds of times from Genesis to Revelations.) They occurred when Jesus was by the Jordan and continued to Pentecost. Personally, I find the grouping and timing of these interesting. 

Verse/Stories with the Third Hour of the Day

Matthew 20:3-This is a kingdom of heaven parable about the landowner hiring workers at various times during the day. The end of this story is the first will last and the last will be first. 20:16 has taken on new layers of meaning. I also realize how I have used that saying out of context.  

A story with a setting like this would be familiar to his listeners, but the tale is out of season. Several sources put grape harvest in the late summer to fall of the year. (More questions.) The time of the third hour makes them the second group picked, and they worked about eight hours (number of a new beginning). 

Mark 15:25-Mark is the only Gospel writer to mention the time for the start of Jesus’ crucifixion. Does this refer to the story in Matthew? I believe Peter helped his nephew with details, but Mark just lost his fancy Passover robe a few hours before. Running home without all of your clothes makes some moments in time stick in your thoughts better than others.

The timeline for the day is a new revelation for me. The Jewish trial took place during the dark of the day (remember sunset starts the new day). So, the trials with Pilate and Herod, the beating by the Romans, and the walk out of the city took three hours-sunrise to the third hour. Jesus hung on the cross for six hours, three in darkness. Joseph of Arimathea got less than three hours to get the body, prepare it, and bury Jesus. Someone else at his house must have been tending to the Passover lamb and the other preparations. Jerusalem feasted as Jesus raided hell to take back the keys.    

Six hours (the number of man) may not be long, but it was enough for Jesus to pay the price for our sins. This short period shook and surprised the centurion, soldiers, and Pilate, who knew it should take longer. Wine and myrrh numbed the pain to extend the victims’ suffering on the cross, Jesus refused it.

Please note- the third to the ninth hour is when the Passover lambs were killed at the Temple. Makes you wonder how that was going without electric lights to turn on. Temple lambs came from Bethlehem, more layers to ponder. 

Acts 2:15-Pentecost is fifty days after Passover. Forty more days to be with Jesus and learn about His kingdom. The hundred-twenty labored for ten days in pray and picking Judas’ replacement. The Holy Spirit comes in just like at Mount Sinai-wind, noise, and fire. Then as now, the gift of speaking in tongues is marginalized and ridiculed. The Disciples, all 120 of them, are drunk three hours after sunrise. Because people in the crowd understood the languages, and Peter preached a rational sermon, silenced the drunk theory. Were the 3000 another set of workers, like in Matthew 20? I credit Joseph Prince with this statement-3000 died at the giving of the Law, 3000 are born again at the giving of the Spirit.

Things found and more questions 

  1. How prophetic is Matthew 20:1-16? Does it show periods of Church workers/witnesses?
  2. Could Zacchaeus, Bartimaeus, and Lazarus be a wave of early laborers? (See Triumphal Entry)
  3. Matthew refers to the holy city when people came to life and walked into the city (27:53). The phrase holy city started a search which led to Hebrews 13:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 8:11. Jesus died outside of the city. First, his death mirrors what happened to sacrificed animals, but speaks to the matter of clean/unclean or Law vs. Grace. The Ark, or presence of God, had been in Jerusalem. God forsook Jesus during those six hours. This is the reason Solomon built his Egyptian bride’s palace outside of the city. The city was holy; she was not.
  4. Jesus predicted His death three times.  Luke 9:2-27, Mark9:30-32, and Matthew 20:17-19. (I am still looking into these.) Matthew 26:1-2 is also one and several times in John. All I know is the Disciples did not go to Galilee like Jesus had instructed them. Jesus showed up in a locked room (twice) to get them to leave. The Law did not require their staying in Jerusalem for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
  5. 3000 souls baptized from the sermon. All the baptizing would have been a lot of work and Pentecost is Shabbat (no work). There is some wiggle room here. Those water baptisms may not have occurred on Pentecost. The biggest and nearest pond was where Jesus healed the lame man. He laid there for thirty-eight years (see the post please). Another possibility is 3000 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

https://www.conformingtojesus.com/charts-maps/en/jerusalem_in_jesus_time_map.htm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/terminalsalvation.com/2015/07/09/into-what-did-the-3000-get-baptized-on-the-day-of-pentecost/amp/

The Garden and Grapes

This study of The Garden and Grapes could have been The Fruit Eve and Adam Ate. Now before I lose some of you, it needs to be said that God, in His wisdom, did not tell us the type of fruit on the Tree of Knowledge. Declaring that grapes could be a possibility is a big “What If” and that is fine with me. 

Now, the next sticky point is that the Bible says tree and not vine. The actual word in Biblical Hebrew is etz. This word has two means – tree and wood. So, in Ezekiel 15:2,6 and Numbers 6:4 when it is translated into the phrase called a vine tree, it started me on this study. Most vines do not take a freestanding form of a tree. But I have seen some vines that are kept small actually act like a tree. You will not make a chair or tool handle out of that wood, but they can stand up and look like a tree (small tree). (We had a freestanding wisteria vine that was under six-foot-tall with a single main trunk and an umbrella-shaped top.)

 https://www.balashon.com/2007/01/etz-and-ilan.html is a website that does a good job with the word etz

I would usually argue that the tree Eve ate from was a fig tree. Fig trees in scripture can be a shadow for dead religious works, practices, and churches. That idea is simple to grab a hold of because Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves to hide from God. Jesus during Holy Week symbolically put an end to “fig tree religion” when He cursed one because of no fruit. He then became “the true Vine” with Gentiles grafted into Him. THINKING OUT LOUD MOMENT – What if the Tree of Life was/is a “true” fig tree!

Grapes, grapevines, wine, winepresses, and raisins all are mentioned in the Bible. Just like the Tree in the Garden, these items can carry a “Good and Evil” label or function. Wine is good in some context and a troublemaker in others, just like the knowledge the tree gave Eve and Adam. It is this dual nature that makes me lean in the favor of grapes as “the fruit” in the Garden. Numbers 6:3 contains the requirements for a Nazirite while he is seeking God (John the Baptist was one for life Luke 1:15.) Why grapes? The plant is a symbol of the kingdom and grapes/raisins are good for the body. Wine can “gladden man’s heart” but too much wine can lead to debauchery. My simple thought is that God wanted them to focus on HIM for the time they were seeking God. Hearing God and not the many voices around you for a season is good. After that time, they then could enjoy “grapes” again.

A Sample of Grape Verses

There are many verses in the Bible about grapes, wine, and raisins. So, the ones I am about to use are just a sample that shows the good/evil nature.

Deuteronomy 32: 32+33 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter (KJV). These verses are talking about Jeshurun (the upright one), which is another name for Israel.

Hosea 9:10a (KJV) I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time. Part B is the other story – but they went to Baal Peor and separated themselves unto that shame, and their abominations were according as they loved. The section that proceeds this is comparing Israel (northern kingdom) to Gibeah, the town in Benjamin that raped the Levite’s wife. King Saul was from Gibeah. 

Isaiah 5:4 (NIV) What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?

Luke 5:38+39 (NIV) is the story of new wine into new wineskins. New wine is the Spirit of God and His fresh anointing. Verse 39 – And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, The old is better. Sticking with the idea of good/evil and new/old, the old knowledge is “just better”.

Mark 12:1 is the parable about the kingdom and Jesus, as told using a vineyard and renters.

John 2:1 is the first of the seven major miracles in John (there are many more). Jesus is at a wedding, creating a “need” from the fruit of the vine in stone/earthen jars, and the very next story is a Passover. How much more symbolism does one story.

May I please try to pull my scattered thoughts in and end this study? Grapes, like knowledge, are not the problem. What you do with the grapes/knowledge defines them as good or evil. 

If the “tree” is a stumbling root, doing something useful with a vine tree’s wood will fall into that good/bad area. If you need a strong solid piece of wood, it is not coming from a vine. They are good for fuel for a fire, wreaths for your door, or tying bundles of sticks together. Swinging out of a tree is a good use, as well. Some days knowledge is like that wood. It will burn you up, make a pretty wall hanging, actually bring things/thoughts together, or have you flying around in the air going nowhere and just leave you hanging.

Final thought – Adam and Eve would have gotten “everything” they needed if they would have eaten from the Tree of Life.   

Tree of Knowledge –Surpasses/Passeth Knowledge

Ephesians 3: 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (KJV); made me realize that there is something “beyond” knowledge. I have said it before, “It is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, not the tree of good and evil”.  The “knowledge” part is really important.  Use a search tool and look up knowledge in your favorite translation.  

I found Ephesians 3:19 and Jeremiah 10:14, 51:17.  In the KJV the verses in Jeremiah are practically the same – 14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them; the difference is “by his knowledge”.  In or by, the problem is the false knowledge of what God is like.  Eve chose knowledge and I believe Adam followed Eve because he thought she had something he did not have.  What if they had realized that the love and fellowship with the Father and the love of Christ (Tree of Eternal Life) was better than “just” knowledge? 

Adam and Eve, I believe, were very intelligent.  So, the Snake used the promise of knowledge to lure them into a horrible choice.  Being intelligent does not mean that you will use knowledge correctly.  In Proverbs 8 and 9, contrast Wisdom and Folly as two women who are calling for your attention.

The love of Christ surpasses or goes beyond knowledge. I know it helps you in your daily life.  The “fullness of God” is beyond knowledge and to have all of Him helping you will advance you in your endeavors.  (I will add that following Jesus and seeking Him is the key to that help.)

Oh, “brutish” in Jeremiah, according to Strong’s Concordance, means to consume by fire or EATING. Other translations use a variety of words to capture that thought. But a Mark’s loose translation would be-Every man is consumed by knowledge; then it list idols.

Bible Gateway was my search engine.

Light

Light 

God said, “We will light the world, and the Spirit moved.”

Moses proclaimed, “This consuming Light loves you, worship only Him.”

Father spoke, “Son light the way.”

Mary whispered, “Shine in me.”

Angels sang, “Light has come for Israel.”

Wise Gentiles asked, “We seek the True Light.”

Jesus taught, “I Am the true way, follow My Light.”

The Hundred Twenty prayed, “Shine Your light.”

Holy Spirit breathed, “Let them be filled with the Light of Grace.”

His Ekklesia calls out, “Let us shine so the world will see The Light.” 

The Garden and the Thousand Year Reign

The thousand-year reign of Revelation 20 and the Garden of Eden may sound like two strange concepts to put together, but this is today’s study. (SPOILER ALERT – this a study, only a study.)  The question that inspired this study was – Why was Satan to be bound and then released?  (Revelation 20:2,3, and 7 NIV).  So, I am not questioning what is going to happen in that thousand-year period but why a thousand years.

Since I have been musing on the Garden I have noticed many connections between Genesis and Revelation. Things from the Garden show up in both – the Tree of Life and the River.  So, the thousand-year reign also stirred my interest.  Was this another thing that had its foundation in the Creation story?

Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 are used frequently to speak of an eternal God and His idea of time.  One thousand years equals a day in the sight of God is not a new in theology or eschatology.  For me they are a reminder of just how limited I am compared to God.  Pulling this thought into Revelation 20 does not seem right, so I will leave it alone.  But that still left me with – why bind Satan for thousand years and then release him for a short time? 

Having noticed so many similar things in Genesis and Revelation, I have to wonder if the first Adam (and Eve) had a thousand years in the Garden before the Tree of Knowledge.  One thousand years of just pure fellowship with the Eternal Father and spending time under His rule and reign.  Just man and God walking in the Garden.  It could possible follow a pattern that some have seen in the Creation story – chaos, peace/Creation, and chaos.  I will try to explain that last statement.  Genesis 1:2 has a formless earth that is empty and dark, followed with God casting His light over everything; then to have the deception in Genesis 3. In Revelation it may look like the Antichrist, the thousand years, Satan loose, the eternal Kingdom of God.

Was the Tree a test for Adam and Eve?  Job’s story could loosely fit into the scenario of peace, chaos, and then peace.  That would then lead to the question of – Did Satan have to get permission to trouble Eve?  That thought might have you look at Revelation 20 as a thousand-year reign, Satan loose and deceiving people again, and then his last judgment.  Which ushers in the Father/Jesus’ Kingdom.

Man’s freewill is the issue here.  Eve, then Adam, choose knowledge over fellowship.  Abraham had knowledge and choose faith over doubt.  Judah and Israel were split on what to choose, some choose God, some did not.  People today, especially the Church, are in that same Garden.  Do I really choose Jesus and His way, or do I choose knowledge and its way?  The Father’s Kingdom will only have people that truly chose to fellowship with Him.  Will it come down to Revelation 20:6 (the Garden) or 20:7 and chaos.  Your choice!

Pic is from http://clipart.christiansunite.com