In The Spirit On The Lord’s Day (rev.1:9-10a) By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-eyzenberg And Prof. Peter Shirokov

1:9 I, John, your brother and the one who shares with you in the persecution, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony about Jesus.

Once God Almighty spoke his very brief words, John identified himself as the next speaker. In a similar way to Rev. 22:6-15, the speaker switches between the Almighty God and Jesus as we see in the following verse (Rev. 22:16).

Here John also identifies the historic circumstances during which he saw the vision and authored the letter in obedience to the Lord’s command. While we would have liked to know the exact year John wrote the Revelation, he thought it sufficient to only write of his exile.

His exile was on the island of Patmos, where the Roman government was known to send political prisoners. Scholars hypothesize that the time that John was on Patmos fits best to either approximately 95 CE during the reign of Emperor Domitian or to 68-69 CE during the reign of Emperor Nero, when persecutions of the Christ-followers were frequent and intense.

1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…

There are three interpretive options here.

First, the Lord’s Day could be the Sabbath. It would make sense to speak of God’s day, the Sabbath (Shabbat), in this way. What works against this interpretation is that we never see this term used to signify the Sabbath. In addition, if indeed the day of the week was the Sabbath as opposed to other days, it is not clear why this would be important.

Second, this option is the traditional option, identifying the Lord’s Day as the day of his Resurrection – the first day of the Israelite week – Sunday. This theory suffers similar problems.

Never is the first of the week referred to as the Lord’s Day prior to this alleged instance. If this is in fact the case (that this does refer to the first day of the Israelite week) it is not at all clear why John felt compelled to tell his readers/hearers about it.

Third, in our view, this option is far more likely. The day of the Lord is the End Times day of reckoning and judgment that the Hebrew Prophets often spoke about. The phrase “the Day of the Lord/Lord’s Day” is used many times in the Hebrew Bible (Is. 2:12; 13:6-9; Ezek. 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1-31; 3:14; Amos 5:18-20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7-14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5). As we read in Malachi 4:5-6: “Look, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. He will encourage fathers and their children to return to me, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgment.”

Thus, John’s reference notifies the reader that while he is writing from a particular historic location during a particular time in history, the perspective he seeks to communicate to his hearers is rooted in the eschatological reality of the future Day of the Lord. Just as in the case of the Hebrew prophets of the Bible, John was able to speak to the present from the dual perspective of the past (the covenant) and the future (the consummation of the covenant and restoration of all things).


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  1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

    Thanks so much for the lively discussions and for many contributions that everyone is making to the dialogue. The issues of 3 days and resurrection timing are interesting and complicated but really not what this post is about. Perhaps we will have a post on this very matter in the future. I, personally appreciate everyone’s opinions on the interpretation of the phrase “Lord’s day” It is really helpful to gauge the public opinion.

  2. Bill Hawkins

    Additionally, if one is to accept the idea that only parts of 24 hr periods are being counted, it is apparent to me the Jewish leadership recognized Jesus meant a 72 hour period. To support this I go to Math 27:64. The leaders wee concerned that there be no ability of His supporters to steal the body, claim He rose from the dead, and start a revolution. They specifically asked for the sepulcher to be sealed and guarded for three days. This clearly implies they understood the claim to be 72 hours, not parts of a day.

    1. Edward Siders

      BILL thanks for your coment . but i have a question for all of us . i will not write it out but give the scriptures . 11 tim 2 : 15 -18 . the question is why did Paul say that the ressurrection did not happen . WAS he lieing to us or was he telling the truth ?

      1. alfredo

        Edward. What resurrection do you think Paul is writing about in 2 Tim 2:15-18 ???

        1. Edward Siders

          Alfredo ————– Peter is correct and i respect him . I would love to answer your question but the time is not right

  3. Bill Hawkins

    What is not generally accepted by normalized Christianity is that Sabbath mentioned that Christ had to be buried previous to, was a high day. John 19:31 clearly calls out the burial had to be accomplished prior the start of the Sabbath, “(for that sabbath day was a high day)”. Further, in Luke 23:56, we are told that the women prepared spices etc, and then rested on the sabbath ‘according to the commandment.” The high days are not one of the commandments, but the weekly sabbath is.

  4. gustavo vargas angel

    Dear Dr.:
    I have been reading carefully the whole ideas about, and may be here, one more: Jesus died on friday(as Luke says) at hour 6th; He was in the grave that night,Nr.1, (because shabbat was coming, the question is : which one?) then, the shabbat night(Nr.2), and after all presumably the day and night of sunday,so wymen came to Him on monday morning, to finish the burial rites. The main question, as I can see, is not if Jesus died on sunday or wednesday, but when will He return to us? I think the harvest is on time. Best regards.

  5. Neil Mc Fadzen

    Excellent article in which I totally endorse with the following remarks. The Lord’s Day is most certainly eschatological which introduces the book of Revelation which has as its objective “to keep alive the flame of faith in difficult times and to maintain hope in the Coming of the Day of the Lord and of the Kingdom of God”. To be more precise the Lord’s Day began in October, 1914 CE with the expiration of the Gentile Times according to Daniel and Luke. The Lord’s Day belonging to Jesus Christ as the Messiah can properly be said to introduce the OT’s ‘Day of the Lord’ or Day of Jehovah which could conclude the Lord’s Day at the final battle of Armageddon.

    scholar JW

  6. Ann Johnstone

    Regarding the expression “three days and three nights”, this may throw light on your quandry:

    The term, “three days and three nights”, as used in the Bible:
    – is absolutely equivalent to phrases such as: “after three days”, “on the third day”, three days later”;
    – does not require three literal days and three literal nights;
    – does not require 72 literal hours.
    Hence a Friday crucifixion at 3 PM with at Sunday resurrection at 6 AM would have been considered three days and three nights by the Jewish people of the day.

    Some differences between the more logical, linear, Graeco-Roman thinking and its Middle Eastern counterpart, can lead to linguistic problems such as this.

    1. Edward Siders

      ANN ———– thanks this i have considered . however my question and statement was based on what G-D said when he divided the day from night . To me he did it not man . as you can see i took 3 pm and went from there to complete the 72 hrs did i make a mistake ?

      1. Edward Siders

        Ann ——– i may not know much , but what i do know is what GOD did in the begging its still true to day . HE never made a mistate and went back and corrected it . HE called 24 hrs. a day . and to this day we still have 24 hrs. in a day . no matter what someone else did or says . i bare you no hard feeling . But all i have said is a absolute fact

    2. Bill Hawkins

      Ann, the scripture in question is Math 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly…” From this I refer back to Jonah 1:17 and look up the terminology used by the author and cross to Strong’s, which is #3117, ‘yowm’, which is also the same word used in Gen to indicate the daylight portion of a 24 hour period. Further, the word in Jonah for night is Strong’s 3915, ‘layil’ meaning ‘a twist, (away from light), or night’. This is further indication to me and others the words ‘day’ & ‘night’ used in the scrolls Christ was taught from, and which He quoted from in Math 12, specifically indicated a 72 hour period. Therefore He also meant a 72 hr period.

      1. David Gibbons

        Bill, I admit that I am not a Hebrew scholar, but your post does illustrate a couple of translation errors/concerns:

        1) Strong does NOT give “the” translation” for a word, it gives what is known as a “gloss”. A gloss is, in effect, a first pass at a translation, a sort of memory aid to the word. All words have a range of meanings, which is often obscured by systems such as Strongs.

        2) just because a word can mean something, and does in one context, does not mean that it always means that, or does in a different context. Thus, as I pointed out earlier, even in English the word “day” is used with different meanings and just because in one place it means 24 hours does not mean it always does

    3. alfredo

      Ann: Are you sure that Yeshua was crucified on a Friday? Just because the next day was a Shabbat, doesn’t mean that it was a Friday. Actually, in John 19:31 you find that he points to a Shabbaton, a High Shabbat, a special one. Of course, after any Pesah there is a Shabbaton on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, if Pesah on that particular year happened on a Wednesday, then Thursday would be a Shabbaton. This would give room for the women to go and buy spices on friday in order prepare Yeshua’s body, and it would solve a question that arises when you read Luke 23:55-56 and Mark 16:1, which is when did they go and bought the spices, before or after the Shabbat?

  7. gail jackson

    Words in the English language change over time such as let and replenish . This fact makes it more difficult to grasp what is written .

  8. gail jackson

    The Bible says Jesus was three days and three nights in the earth , so He could not have been crucified on Friday . I understand that “Good Friday” is a catholic tradition .

  9. Musonda

    The Gregorian calendar further removes us from considering dates biblical dates with the accuracy of the previous believers and bible writers yet God has not left his word unable help us. The Gregorian system has little relation to the calendar given to Moses by God beginning with the passover which to be celebrated on the same date every year as the beginning of the year. Hence we must rely on the word of God not our conjecture for all things not just dates.

    1. Debra Pearl


      Passover is not celebrated on the same day each year. The pagan Easter sometimes is celebrated before the Hebrew Passover. I think Jews begin their new year at the beginning of the new moon and the first fruits..something like hay or wheat on the side of a mountain. Then 40 days later PassoveR is celebrated and 40 or 50 days later there is another celebration..perhaps Pentecost. I’m not sure as I don” tknow the Bible but remember (I hope) from a lecture.

      1. Bill

        Debra, the Passover sacrifice is on the 14 of Abib, or Nissan, both names for the first Month of the Hebrew Calander. In second temple.period, the determination of when that month began was made by the Sanhedrin. When the temple.was destroyed in 70CE, this ability was reduced and eventually was supplanted in the 300’s by a direct calculation. Calculations were used by the Sanhedrin to VERIFY oy the claim of observation of a new moon. The new moon that designated the first month of the year was determined by the condition of the roads to Jerusalem, the availability of proper sacrificial animals, and the condition of the wild barley used to produce the Wave Sheaf offerings.

      2. Bill

        Currently the Karaites still maintain to the best of their ability the original (as Christ observed) observations and determinations for the first month of the year. The condition of the Barley is observed in the 12th month. If it is clear it will not be ready by the middle of the next month, then an additional ‘leap’ month is added to the existing year.

  10. Musonda

    I see so very interesting comments that I assume are sincere, Constantine was a pagan and changed the legal week and calendar hence the first day of modern is Monday, this separated the immediate natural connection with the biblical week beginning Sunday. Pagans did not automatically take rest days every as there is no reason but the one given by God, which Jesus said was made for man therefore our benefit for example in the north of Italy around Milan in Lombardia, people work 6 days a week and so shops and some businesses still take Monday /the morning off because working Saturday. Sunday is not counted as a normal working day, only now are things changing with the outer world.