J. R. R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, which is two things at the same time: It is a book that stands on its own merit as a stand-alone volume and it is an introduction to a much longer trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
My book, The Triplet, is similar to The Hobbit in that regard: It is a stand-alone volume and it is also an introduction to three books that I hope shall follow.
The name of the first in my trilogy (I think) will be This Cool Green Earth, the name of the second will be This Hot Dry Planet and, while I’m not settled on it, the name of the third might be something like This Wonderful New World.
The germ of an idea that prompted me to think of writing in my retirement years came as a result of an answer to a nagging question I had. One day, several years ago, it occurred to me that I had never lived through a year of 360 days. What does that have to do with anything, you ask?
At various places in the Bible’s prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation, time periods of seven years, three-and-a-half years, forty-two months and 1,260 days are referenced. Therefore, the Bible indirectly speaks of 30-day months because simple arithmetic forces that conclusion. While 30 is not technically the lowest common denominator for that series of numbers, if you think of it in that way you’ll get the idea.
During of my younger years I had accepted these biblical, prophetic scriptures without considering their implications. After the thirty-days-in-a-month problem presented itself to me, I wrestled with the fact that I had never, not once in my life, experienced twelve consecutive months of thirty days each. I was left with a conundrum.
It was obvious I hadn’t lived through such a year, but what about a longer time period? I inspected both Gregorian (solar) and Hebrew (lunar) calendars to see if I could find any three-and-a-half-year time period that totaled 1,260 days. I could not find any.
I asked seminary professors familiar with our solar calendar and Messianic Hebrews who dealt with their lunar calendar on a regular basis about this issue. Some looked at me quizzically like I was from a foreign planet while others gave short shrift to the question and explained that the Bible only concerned itself with a prophetic calendar. Neither response satisfied me—at all.
The Bible is a practical book yet it is literal in a great many instances, often surprisingly so. It was clear to me it spoke of a future time when years would be comprised of months of exactly 30 days each — a 360 day year. Yet so far as I was able to determine that is not and has not been the case for thousands of years. So what’s up with that? Why such a discrepancy between reality and prophecy?
The answer finally came suddenly and unexpectedly the last time I taught through the book of Genesis. Chapter 7, verse 11 reads, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth….” (NIV)
Chapter 8, verse 4 reads, “And on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.” (NIV) It struck me as odd that such odd dates (“the seventeenth day”) would be cited so specifically but it also was clear that the time frame was an exact five months (from the “second month” to the “seventh month”).
Chapter 7, verse 24 reads, “The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (NIV) Chapter 8, verse 3 repeats that when it says, “At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down.” (NIV)
Putting the data from these two paragraphs together, the arithmetic is, of course, simple: 150 days divided by five months equals months that are of 30-day’s duration. In other words, a 360 day year.
And there was the answer to my vexing question: At one time in ancient history our months had been 30 days in duration, but a catastrophe altered Earth’s orbit such that our months were lengthened and another, future catastrophe is prophesied that will return Earth to its original orbit.
In other words, our solar year is approximately five-and-a-quarter days longer than it used to be, but something will happen (in the near future, I believe) that will shorten our year back to a 360 day year.
That’s the germ of the idea behind the trilogy that is introduced by The Triplet. I emphasize that The Triplet doesn’t deal with or even mention this germ of an idea but such is the introduction to the trilogy wherein the idea shall be developed.