The Sign of Jonah & 3 Days & 3 Nights

…And How that Works with the Lunar Sabbath

 This is another issue that is so easy and simple, but we get too technical and intellectual and complicate it beyond comprehension.

Anti-missionaries and my once Messiah believing friends, who were converted to being unbelievers by Judaism doctrines, tried to use the sign of Jonah to convince me that the New Testament could not be trusted. They reasoned that these timeframes given by Yahusha contradicted each other, that if these were inspired, if He was prophesying words of YHUH, His words would not contradict. To them, “after 3 days”, and “on the 3rd day” were contradicting statements, and I could also acknowledge that they did appear to contradict, or mean different things, but as I increase in faith and remember that His ways are not my ways, He teaches me through His word what HE means when He says 3 days and 3 nights, how that’s the same as on the 3rd day, and after 3 days. We use the scriptures to interpret scripture. It doesn’t jive with our mindset of time, but we must let scripture renew our minds so that we may understand the mind of YHUH and His time.

What the critics of the New Testament do not factor in is that the Old Testament also does not always quote Torah word for word. For instance, Lev 23 mentions counting 7 Sabbaths after waving the sheaf to count to Shabuot. It also mentions 50 days. Exodus 23 and Deut 16, however, when giving the instructions for the count, don’t mention the 50 days, but they do mention the seven Sabbaths. I believe it’s because it’s not necessary to mention repetitively that 7×7=49+1=50, and also because those who love to live a lie will not enter into His rest, meaning, they won’t find His Pentecost Sabbath if they don’t hear all the witnesses on the matter. They will find ways to cause confusion if they seek that, and YHUH will allow them to find it, in order to separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats. YHUH knows some will use His word as a map to find Him, others will use it to lead themselves and others astray. Yahusha rebuked the Pharisees, saying they won’t enter the kingdom and they won’t allow others to, either (Matt 23:13), they twist His words to cause confusion, so He hardens their hearts as He did Pharaoh’s so that they won’t find their way. He uses His word and their arrogance about their perceived understanding of it as a stumbling block that trips them up.

Back when I believed Saturday was the Sabbath, I was confused, not just because I didn’t understand the Sabbath, but also because I began the day in the evening. I was confused, and did not know it. Let me give some examples of things I never thought out when I was still doing Friday night to Saturday for my day of rest. With the Passover events at Yahusha’s death, and leading up to it, it never dawned on me that If He was killed on the 14th, if we begin the day in the evening, then the previous night was also the beginning of the 14th, which was the night He was arrested, and the night of the Last Supper. The instructions for the Passover is to begin eating unleavened bread at evening, with the Passover lamb, on the 14th. Yet, the disciples weren’t eating unleavened bread that evening. Look up the word for bread in the concordance in those passages. It was chametz, leavened bread, not matzah. The Greek word for chametz, or leavened bread, is Strong’s G740, and unleavened bread, matzah, would be Strong’s G106. azymos. In the story of the last supper, they were eating artos, leavened bread, so it wasn’t the Passover yet. Passover begins the next day, in the morning, on the 14th, and between the evenings that day is when the lamb is killed, and when Yahusha was killed, and later that night is when the lamb is eaten, after being roasted over a fire, that evening still being the 14th, and when the instructions say to begin to eat unleavened bread, and then the next morning is the 15th, the Sabbath, the chag of Unleavened Bread.

So, actually, years ago when my family and I began the date at evening, by eating the Passover lamb on the night before the first day of Unleavened Bread (the 15th), in theory, we were eating the lamb on the 15th, not the 14th, because that evening began the 15th yet the instructions are clear that you eat the lamb on the evening of the 14th, that that is the night you begin to eat unleavened bread, and that you eat the lamb with unleavened bread. That’s how confused we were, and we didn’t even realize we were breaking commandments all over the place. We had a log in our eyes when we were starting the day in the evening and never saw it until long after we started keeping the lunar Sabbath.

The same with the first Passover in Exodus. The death messenger was supposed to kill the firstborn of Egypt on the 14th while the Israelites were eating the Passover lamb. If you begin the day in the evening, then in theory, you slay the lamb on the 14th in the afternoon, then that evening you eat the now dead lamb is beginning the 15th, so, again, you’re eating the lamb on the 15th, rather than the 14th, but the Passover and the death messenger killing the firstborn of Egypt and passing over the Israelites’ homes was supposed to happen on the night of the 14th, while the Passover lamb was being eaten, not the 15th, according to the instructions. If you are observing Saturday and/or beginning the day in the evening, please meditate on what I just said there.

The 15th is a Sabbath, so they left at night, after the Sabbath hours, after the Sabbath day. We are commanded only to keep the Sabbath DAY holy, there are no instructions for a Sabbath night, because night is the time when man doesn’t work anyway.

See John 9:4 – I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

I kept Passover backwards for 5 years and never noticed these problems with beginning the day in the evening. How can anyone eat a lamb that’s not killed yet? Why would Israel apply blood to the doorposts AFTER the firstborn of Egypt are killed? Wasn’t the Passover supposed to be eaten on the 14th, not the 15th? Wasn’t the Passover the night the death messenger PASSED OVER the houses of Israel? Of course! How could we have missed this? When we repent of sins more layers of the scales come off our eyes, and we can see more clearly, less fuzzy, more black and white, less grey areas, less confusion.

The Jews don’t really have a “Hebrew” understanding about time, as we were taught by them when we first came out of the church. If they did really understand the culture, the language, the history, the Torah, better than us believers, they’d begin a day at the right time. I know some people say you should eat the meat and spit out the bones, in regards to Anti-Messiah, anti-Torah rabbinical doctrines, but there’s no meat in those teachings-it’s all bones! Ever notice they have a just a shank bone and no meat on their Seder plate? They took Messiah Yahusha, the Passover lamb, out of the Passover. We are commanded to eat the Passover lamb.

Yahusha did not say to avoid their leaven, except for their interpretations about how to observe the Passover and Unleavened Bread, He said to avoid them, period. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

As far as the sign of Jonah, I’ve come full circle in that understanding now. Last year, someone almost convinced me that the sign of Jonah teaches us that He was arrested on the 10th, kept in custody, and was killed 3 days and 3 nights later, but I found some holes in that theory. I was more recently looking up “third day” and “three days”, and noticed the other references to the same timeframe around Messiah’s death.

The Hebrew, and in this case, Greek scriptural understanding is that “3 days and 3 nights”, “on the 3rd day”, “after 3 days”, “in 3 days”, and “within 3 days” all allude to the same segment of time involving His arrest, death, burial, and resurrection. These terms are all used interchangeably by Yahusha Messiah. All of these phrases mentioning 3 days share the same meaning, and all being true at the same time, that would be the Hebraic and scriptural understanding anyway, I know that now. Let’s let scripture interpret scripture:

John 2:19 -Yahusha answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’

Mark 14:58 – We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

Mark 15:29-30 – And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘Ah, thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself, and come down from the cross.’

Mark 8:31 – And he began to teach them, that ‘the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.’

Matthew 16:21 – From that time forth, began Yahusha to show unto His disciples, how he must ‘go unto Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised again the third day.’

Mark 9:31 – For he taught his disciples and said unto them, ‘The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him, and after he is killed, he shall rise the third day.’

Mark 10:34 – ‘And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and the third day he shall rise again.’

Matthew 17:22-23 – And while they abode in Galilee, Yahusha said unto them, ‘The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and on the third day he shall be raised again.’

Matthew 20:18-19 – ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and scourge, and to crucify him at the stake, and the third day shall rise again.’

Luke 9:22 – “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain and be raised the third day.” 4

Luke 18:31-33 – Then he took unto him the twelve and said unto them, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully insulted, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him and put him to death; and on the third day he shall rise again.’

Luke 24:6-7 – And so it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

Matthew 24:46 – And said unto them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.’

Acts 10:39-40 – ‘And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him Aluhym raised up the third day, and shewed him openly.’

I Corinthians 15:3-4 – For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

There are other instances in scripture where this occurs, in the Old Testament, too. Just do some cross-checking:

Joshua 1:11 – Pass through the host and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which YHUH your Aluhym giveth you to possess it.’

Joshua 3:2 & 4:1– And so it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the midst of the camp… And it came to pass when all the people were clean passed over the Jordan…

I Kings 12:5 – And he said unto them, ‘Depart yet for three days, and then come again to me.’

II Chronicles 10:5 – ‘Return unto me after three days.’

I Kings 12:12 – So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, ‘Return to me again the third day.’

II Chronicles 10:12 – So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had bade saying, ‘Come again to me on the third day.’

So we see both the Old and New Testaments use these phrases to refer to the same period of time. So, what Yahusha means by “on the third day”, “the third day”, “after the three days”, and “three days and three nights” is the same thing He explains here:

Luke 13:32 – “Behold. I cast out devils and do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”

…and YHUH counts to the third day in the Old Testament here:

Exodus 19:10 – And YHUH said unto Moses, ‘Go unto the people and sanctify them today, and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day YHUH will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.’

So we are to understand that the day He died, the 14th is the first day of three, and the 16th is the third day. As to the 3 nights, this would include the night Yahusha was arrested on the 13th. He was arrested on the NIGHT of the 13th, killed the DAY of the 14th, buried in that NIGHT (the 14th), rested in the tomb on the DAY of the 15th, and all that NIGHT (the 15th), and early on the first DAY of the week (the 16th), He was risen.

Here’s a website I prefer to use to research word usage and phrases in the Greek and Hebrew:

Type in any book of the Bible, chapter, or verse. You can click on the individual verse in the text to go to the concordance or lexicon to see what the text says in the Hebrew or Greek.

It comes down to this. Do we believe? This “sign” of Jonah, and the other “3 days” verses, the supposed conflicts between them, the “discrepancies” or “problems” with the texts, are often brought up to me by unbelievers for their reasons to either reject the lunar Sabbath, reject Yahusha as Messiah, reject the New Testament, or reject the whole Bible all together. If we SEEK, we will find. So, I believe this “sign” of Jonah was used by YHUH, it was a stumbling block for those who SEEK for reasons and excuses to not believe. Sometimes we just have to believe what we know and pray for more understanding about what we don’t understand yet. When I came to believe the Bible, I believed it, period, before I even knew or understood what it said, before I had even read it, I had an experience that led me to be able to say that it was truth before I began to read or test it. I believed that He, Yahusha, was the Word, and that He, the Word, existed from the beginning, and that it does not change. It’s absolute truth, not relative to opinions or how Joe or Jake interpret it at the moment. It’s called faith for a reason. Keep on wrestling with YHUH for that greater measure of faith, and keep following that cloud…

In Yahusha’s love

If you are not sure when a day begins, read my article on the subject at

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