Does this scripture prove the part of a day and night theory?

This source says:

C1. From the mouth of Jesus!

Luke 13:32 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.'

  1. What this proves is that the expression "the third day" represents a literal duration of Friday - Sunday!!! Jesus spoke Lk 13:32 ON A FRIDAY, which was exactly one week before He died. And He entered Jerusalem on the Sunday following." This he called, Today (Friday) Tomorrow (Saturday) and the third day (Sunday).
  2. This proves, by Jesus own words, that Friday - Sunday = less than 72 hours and that the expression "3 days and 3 nights" is Friday - Sunday!!!
  3. This is an irrefutable argument






Jesus words: Lk 13:32

"today" (one week before Jesus died)


"the third day" (triumphal entry day)

Jesus words: Lk 18:33



the third day (Sunday)

Cleopas words: Lk 24:21



the third day (Sunday)

Lk 13:32 is so powerful, that it alone completely refutes the literal 72 hour in the grave theory. Only the dishonest, or those driven with an agenda to maintain modern Sabbath keeping, would not be convinced! (BIBLE.CA)

Is this irrefutable proof? Here is the idea that many people use to prove an Sunday Resurrection called in “Inclusive Reckoning.” The part of three days and nights theory. Surely the Bible is not written so we could never know for sure what LENGTH of times the writer means?  Let's look at some examples, with the understanding that a day is NOT a day, but only a part of 24 hours, only a few hours or so.

#1.  Gen. 1:5 "....And the evening (night) and the morning (day) were the first day." But not a 24 hour day as the night could be only PART of a night and the day only PART of a day - according to this sources thinking.

 #2.  Gen. 2:2-3 "....God. .. .rested on the seventh day.... God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it...."As a day may not be a day of 24 hours which part of this seventh day did God rest on and bless and sanctify? Maybe it was the first 5 or 6 hours of the evening part, or the hours of the morning, or perhaps the late afternoon hours are only holy. But then we see in Lev. 23:32 that the Sabbath is to be kept from one evening to the next evening (24 hours) and EX.20:8-11 shows the 7th day is the Sabbath and to be kept holy as it was made holy at creation. So we see that the "seventh day" in Gen. 2:2-3 does mean a period of 24 hours.

 #3   Gen. 7:4  God did not really mean "yet seven days" but something less than seven days.  He did not really mean it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights but some length of time less than that.  Likewise verse 12. The waters did not prevail upon the earth 150 days as verse 24 says but sometime less than that figure.

#4   Gen. 8:6  ". . .at the END of forty days..." does not really mean forty days, but AFTER or at the END of 38 days, or 39 days and 4 hours, as the first day of the forty was only 2 hours and the fortieth day was only 2 hours. Well, something similar to this, could be thought.

#5   EX. 15:22 "...and they went three days in the wilderness.."

Not really, for the first day they only travelled for 3 hours - the second, all day, but the third only the last 4 hours. Maybe the first day they travelled all day and the second and third was only for 3 hours each. Our common usage would convey that we are saying they travelled the distance into the wilderness that 3 days would take. We all understand such terminology. Were they so different in Moses' day?

#6.  EX. 24:18, 34:28; MAT. 4:2  Moses and Jesus did not really fast for 40 days and 40 nights but a length of time shorter than that, as the first day they started may have been in the last few hours of the day, and the fast may have been broken in the first hour of the 40th day. Then maybe they fasted only for 20 days and 20 nights in total, as we will just pick parts of days as we wish.  After all what human could possibly fast without food and water for a full 40 days of 24 hours a day?  Human reasoning could go anywhere with such verses!

#7.  2 COR. 11:25  Paul was not really a night and a day (24 hours) in the sea, but maybe only 4 or 5 hours, or 6 to 7 hours etc. Could be he was shipwrecked in the last hour of the night and pulled out of the sea within the first 3 hours of daylight, making only a 4 hour ordeal.  If so, why didn't Paul use the Greek words for numbers and hours and tell us he was 4 hours or 10 hours or 16 hours in the sea? The Greek language did have words to express such lengths of time - see John. 11:9. The truth is, Paul is telling us that he was a whole night and a whole day, near enough as makes little difference to 24 hours in the sea after being shipwrecked.

#8 The "forty days and forty nights" of MAT. 4:2 and "forty days" of MRK. 1:13 and LK. 4:2 do not necessarily mean a CALENDAR 40 day period as we would normally take it to mean and as a CHILD would understand it to mean.  If so, then HOW LONG does such expressions mean - 20 calendar days? Maybe 18 – maybe 36 or 25 or maybe 45? If we can not reckon a day as a day in the Bible, or a night as a night, or a day and night as a day and night, but only a part of each - then which part of each? What if some were whole days and others only parts - which would be the whole and which the parts, if the writer did not state? And what if he did mean 3 or 7 or 40 calendar days but simply wrote "seven days", and we think this means only 5 or 6 days?

Now notice Gen. 7. By putting together verse 11 with verse 24 and chapter 8 verse 4, we can see that the months of the calendar in Noah's day each had 30 days. From the 17th of the second month to the 17th of the seventh month is 5 months or 150 days - exactly and literally to the day - each day being 24 hours.  Note that within this section of scripture and within this time period of 150 days, we have the expression "forty days and forty nights" (v. 12) just that - 40 days of 24 hours each. This being the case, which it is, there is no reason to take Jonah's 3 days and 3 nights in the fish to mean anything other than a full 72 hour period.

As Jesus himself plainly tells us that there is 12 hours in a day (JN 11:9), and so of course 12 hours in a night, there is no reason to figure anything shorter than 72 hours for the 3 days and 3 nights in Mat. 12:40. No reason to figure any less IF you are not trying to fit it into an Easter (Friday to Sunday morning death and resurrection of Christ) tradition.

Unless the CONTEXT clearly and plainly shows that INCLUSIVE counting is being used there is no reason to use such reckoning for the seven scriptures we've looked at, or dozens upon dozens of more like them throughout the Bible. Notice this one example – Nehemiah (5:14) was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is TWELVE YEARS...." From the 20th year to the 32nd year is 12 years not thirteen years.

We are of course concerning ourselves here with the word "day" or "night and day" as used in the Bible for length of time and not metaphorically or prophetically as "day" is sometimes used in both OT and NT.

AN ABANDONED EGYPTIAN                      

Some cites  1 Sam. 30:12, 13 as proving inclusive reckoning. Some length of time SHORTER than 72 hours. But there is absolutely no reason to give "three days and three nights" here any meaning except their literal meaning. So we see in this passage "three days" meaning "three days and three nights."  Suppose the young man got sick just before sunset Friday - he is found just before sunset Monday and given food and water - three days and three nights later.  He looks up and says to David that he got sick "three days ago."  Three days before sunset Monday would be sunset Friday. He would not say four days ago, because four days before sunset Monday would have been sunset Thursday. Working backward three days and three nights from sunset Monday would bring us to sunset Friday - truly that would be "three days."

ESTHER'S VISIT TO THE KING (Esther 4:16; 5:1)

Suppose Esther told the Jews to start fasting for her at the last hour before sunset Friday. The fast was to be for 3 days – night and day. Then after three nights and three days she went to the king - this would be the last hour just before sunset on Monday, not Sunday morning. Still on the third day but near enough 72 hours later as makes no difference, to when they started to fast three days earlier.

Other passages such as Gen. 42:7, 18; 1 Kings 20:29;  2 Chron. 10:5 are used to prove this inclusive reckoning theory.  However, none of these passages prove "three days and three nights" means two nights and one day, or two nights and two days, or three days and two nights. There is no reason to take any of these passages in any sense except their literal sense, unless one has a theory to prove and cling to.


The Bible is not to be understood and interpreted by Jewish Rabbis or practices. Jesus himself condemns this as the commandments of men and not God, surely Jesus would not follow this kind of reasoning. The Bible interprets itself and is written so a young child can understand the plain statements that are not symbolic or prophetic.  It is written so a child does not have to wonder whether "three days and three nights" really means two nights and one day - whether it means 72 hours or 36 hours or 32 or maybe 39 hours.

So does Jesus use inclusive reckoning in this passage of scripture? How did Jesus count time? Jesus said, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:9). 12 hour period for the day and as we see, in Genesis, a twelve hour period for the night which is a 24 hour period. Genesis 1:4 -13: "God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were the FIRST DAY.....and the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were the SECOND DAY.....and the evening (now three periods of night) and the morning (now three periods of light) were the THIRD DAY..." Jesus used the term, the “third day” (Luke 13:32). Put all the scriptures together and this must mean according to Jesus reckoning not part of three days and nights but a full 72 hour period.

The interpretation adopted by Meyer (and Bleek) is this:—"In three days (literal days) the Lord’s working of miracles in Galilee would be ended, which had excited the apprehension of Herod: and then He would leave the territory, not for fear of Herod, but because He was going to Jerusalem to die."

Henry Alford's Greek New Testament says, "Nor can I suggest any less open to objection:—but merely state my conviction, (1) that the days mentioned must have some definite fixed reference to three actual days:(2) that τελειοῦμαι is the pres. pass., and is used in the solemn sense elsewhere (reff.) attached to the word." (emphasis his).  These were literal days, not part of three days and nights but a full 72 hour period.

Yet if exclusive counting (which the Bible does use as we have seen) is used, then the third day according this scripture since it does mean 3 literal days of 72 hours-from Friday is Monday and no Sunday Resurrection believer would admit that!. This scripture does NOT PROVE THE PART OF THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS THEORY WHATSOEVER!