So why do we stick with the seven-day week? It seems like an anachronism we should ditch, just as most of the world has already dumped the Imperial system of weights and measures in favor of the Metric system—a movement resisted only by the U.S., Liberia and Myanmar.
Isn’t the seven-day week just as awkward as a system that uses inches, feet and miles? Why hasn’t anyone tried to bring our calendar into the modern era?
Ah, but someone has. In fact, there have been several major attempts to do so in the last few centuries alone. The architects of the French Revolution used a 10-day week from 1793 to 1802, an experiment that the Paris Commune repeated for 10 days (one French week?) in 1871. And under Stalin, the Soviets tried both five- and six-day weeks in the 1930s.
Obviously, both the French and the Soviet attempts failed miserably. The seven-day week is universal, as far as I’ve been able to tell, and it’s apparently here to stay.
So where did this illogical strategy come from?
It must be a very difficult question. Google it, and you’ll see a lot of talk about ancient people. As one reporter noted, “The Babylonians marked time with lunar months and it is thought by many scholars that this is why they chose a seven day week (though direct evidence of this being why they did this is scant).” This same reporter notes that the Jews were also early users of the seven-day week, “by deistic decree,” although he adds that scads of scholars deny that “one day” means “one day,” and if they’re right, that would eliminate the Jews as contenders for the seven-day-creator title.
His conclusion? “Unlike the Babylonians, where it appears they were attempting to follow the lunar cycles with their seven day week, it isn’t known why the Jews picked seven days, outside of Christians and Jews of course believing that it was by the decree of God.”
Yeah, and who in their right mind would have obeyed such a crazy decree? That can’t possibly be the answer, can it?
But guess what: It is the answer: God created a week consisting of seven literal 24-hour periods known as “days.” He spelled it out via Moses in the book of Genesis. And since then, all attempts to unseat the seven-day week have been destined for failure. It seems to be almost like a natural law of physics, chemistry or biology, akin to the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of matter or Mendel’s law of segregation.
Apparently the seven-day week cannot be overturned. Which figures, when you think about it. After all, it was ordained by the Lord Himself.
I can’t think of any other explanation. Can you? If it were simply a reflection of ancient observations about the lunar cycle or religious customs, it would have been easy enough to scuttle.
Even Stalin’s monsters seem to have acknowledged God’s hand in the seven-day week. Their attempts to overturn His calendar were designed, according to another reporter, “to make observing the Sabbath impossible, as part of the ‘struggle to eliminate religion.’”
But true to their hard hearts, historians and other scholars have for years searched for another explanation—anything and anyone but the Lord. Which is why you may have a tough time finding any secular source giving full credit where it’s due, to the God of the Bible.
So what else is new?