Over the past four years we have taken a look at several Hebrew idioms to better understand the scriptures. In 2014 we discovered that the “heavens” refers to governments and rulers, and “earth” refers to the nations or peoples, most specifically to Israel’s leaders and people. We also discovered that the “sea” and “land” again symbolized nations and their peoples, and the “stars” are the angels.
In 2015 we discovered that to “fulfill the law” is a Hebrew idiom meaning: to properly interpret, to show how to apply the law, to do it rightly, and that to “abolish the law” is just the opposite, meaning: to misinterpret, to misapply the law, to do it wrongly, thus bringing down judgment. Another Hebrew idiom we looked at was the “trees”, which we found represents all human beings, and in 2018 we saw that the “green tree” is a title for the Mashiach, Yeshua.
Given the imminent return of Yeshua, today we look once again at another Hebrew idiom.
A Hebrew Idiom – No One Knows The Day or Hour
Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32 – “ When that day and hour will come, no one knows – not the angels in heaven, not the Son, just the Father.”
This saying of Yeshua has been debated for ages, and many different explanations have been given. Is it a Hebrew idiom?, and if so, Where did it come from and just what does it mean? Let’s take a look at this saying and see what is known about it:
The Most Common Usage
The common answer given by the bridegroom during ages past to someone asking the question: “When’s the wedding date?” was a well know Hebrew idiom: “I don’t know, the angels don’t know, ask my dad!” Today, if depression over the length of time taking to build the new home and furnish it to his father’s expectations had set in, the bridegroom might very well reply with one of today’s favorite idioms: “When the time is right!”
By using this expression, “You do not know the day or the hour”, Yeshua may have simply been using a common wedding idiom to answer his disciple’s questions about the sign of his coming and of the end of the age. In short, he merely answered at the Pashat level of understanding: “It will be revealed when it is the appropriate time to do so.” This is in accordance with a similar question asked by Daniel. The answer was “keep these words secret, and seal up the book until the time of the end” (Daniel 12:1-4).
The Yom Teruah Usage
One of the seven Moedim of Yahweh (Divine Appointments or Feasts) is called the Yom Teruah. It is also referred to as Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets. Of the seven moedim, this one is the only one that doesn’t have an exact starting time. This moed begins only when two witnesses see the edge of the moon and report their sighting to the Sanhedrin. This requirement introduces slight variable time to it’s inception. The Jews celebrate what is supposed to be the first day of the seventh month, Tishri, (Leviticus 23:23-25) over a two-day period because it is “the day of which no one knows the day or hour.” For this very reason, Yom Teruah was, and still is, referred to as “the moed that no one knows the day or hour of! ”
• Yom Ha’Keseh: The Hidden Day, The Day of Hiding, The Day of Concealment.
Psalm 81:3 – “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the concealed time, on our feast day.”
Yom Ha’Keseh can be interpreted several different ways. Firstly, it references the day when the moon is just coming out of hiding, in other words, a day of a concealed moon. Secondly, Satan is not be given notice about the arrival of Yom Teruah, the Day of Judgment. A hidden day because it was hidden from Satan, the adversary, in the same manner that the resurrection of Yeshua on the third day was hidden from his knowledge. By using this expression, “You do not know the day or the hour”, Yeshua may have been referencing both Yom Teruah and the Yom Ha’Keseh at the Sod level of understanding.
Avi Ben Mordechai devotes a chapter in “Signs In the Heavens” to explaining what the idiom “no man knows the day or hour” truly means from a rabbinical Hebraic perspective. He states: “It is a figure of speech. Yeshua used this figure of speech to say: “I am coming for my Bride on such and such a day! Be watching! ” The phrase, “of that day and hour no man knows” refers to the sanctification or setting apart of the new moon. Without this sanctification, the Jews had no way of determining Yahweh’s appointed times or moedim.”
This same process (two witnesses viewing the first sliver of the moon and reporting it to the Sanhedrin) was used to determine the beginning day of every month, in Hebrew: Rosh Chodesh. Today, the Rabbis boot up their computers and follow the dates and times listed by the software and simply announce the first day of the month one week before the indicated computed date!
The Word Tense
The word translated knows in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 is the Greek word eido [οἶδεν G1492], and is in the perfect tense. The perfect tense describes something that was true or completed in the past, was still presently true at the time it is spoken, but which would not necessarily be true in the future. Therefore, it can’t be taken dogmatically that no one will ever know, which would be in violation of numerous scriptures that clearly state that the Bride of Yeshua will know and will not be taken by surprise (Amos 3:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5, Hebrews 10:25, Revelation 3:3, etc.).
There are stark and complete reversals throughout scripture: prophecy sealed (Daniel 12:4) and then prophecy unsealed (Revelation 22:10). No one can know (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32) and now you do know (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5, Revelation 3:3).
Furthermore, the word eido can be translated as: to make known. Paul uses it this way in 1 Corinthians 2:2, saying in essence: “I have determined not to make known to you, or to openly declare, anything except the crucified Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.” If this is the manner in which Yeshua used the word eido in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 then the verse would read more properly: “Neither I nor the angels will make known or declare that day, only my father in Heaven will reveal or declare it.”
This takes all emphasis off of no one can know the timing and places it distinctly into the realm of mystery – a fact currently concealed and not revealed by some person or persons because it isn’t their authority to do so.
Or it is simply one of those concealed matters that brings glory to Yahweh, and which the kings are to investigate to their glory! This takes all emphasis off of no one can know the timing and fully agrees with the rest of scripture which says we will know the day and hour!
The Time Zones
When the official beginning of the Yom Teruah Moed is proclaimed in Jerusalem by the Sanhedrin, in other time zones the moed begins at a different time! In some areas it may be daylight, and on the opposite side of the globe, nighttime. In Jerusalem, it may be on the first day, but in the United States it is still the seventh day. Even in the United States, it may begin at 4:00 pm in the Eastern states but at 1:00 pm in the Western states. Hence, “You do not know the day or the hour.”
Yeshua Knows The Future
There are many scriptures which clearly show that Yeshua knew the future. He states unequivocally in Matthew 24:25: “Behold, I have told you in advance”, repeated in Mark 13:23, just a few verses before the contested “no one knows” verses! Avi Ben Mordechai writes: “If He knew the future in Mattityahu 24:25, and the context concerns the Day of Trouble, why would He suddenly speak as though He did not know the future in the same context just 11 verses later in Mattityahu 24:36? Was He confused? Or was He making perfect sense in light of the customs of the Jews? ” Needless to say, Yeshua was neither confused nor unaware of future events and their exact dates of fulfillment!
The case for “You do not know the day or the hour” being an actual Jewish idiom is very sound. It is most likely referencing a common wedding expression at the Pashat level of understanding, more so than both Yom Teruah and the Yom Ha’Keseh at the Sod level of understanding. This statement in no way contradicts other scriptures as to whether or not one will know the day and hour today, as opposed to not knowing it when Yeshua spoke it. A more proper translation of the Greek places it into the realm of mystery – a fact currently concealed and not yet revealed because it isn’t the time to do so –simply one of those concealed matters that brings glory to Yahweh, and which the kings are to investigate to their glory!
The great day of Yahweh is getting really near, even at the door. It hastens forth and will not delay. We do NOT set dates, but clearly Yahweh is getting ready to change the course of human history once again. The signs are clear for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.