The ancients watched the skies for signs and seasons, for the time of day, and for the beginning of the month.
Today the astronomers in the great observatories train their telescopes on the stars to regulate the time signals that set our clocks.
Our modern midnight-to-midnight reckoning came from the Romans.
The Month Governed by the Moon.—Just as one complete rotation of the globe on its axis, from sunset on to sunset again, marks off one day on this earth, so the time required for the moon to go once around the earth—that is, to pass through its visible phases, as from crescent to full moon and to crescent again—constituted the original month.
Therefore calendars have had to be devised in order to count years by a whole number of days or lunar months.
Lunar Calendar Based on the Moon.—A lunar calendar year of 12 moon months is 10 or 11 days shorter than the true solar year, which governs the seasons.
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At the summer and winter solstices occur the days of longest and shortest sunlight, when the sun is seen farthest north and farthest south in the sky; at the spring and fall equinoxes, when day and night over the whole globe are equal, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west.
And despite the difficulty in determining the precise length of the year, the veriest savage can tell its passage by the cycle of the seasons, marked by unmistakable signs.
Many supposed difficulties have been cleared up by increasing knowledge of ancient chronology.
Although we cannot expect all authorities to agree in their interpretation of the incomplete facts of ancient times, we can confidently expect future research to strengthen the Bible record.
Wherever this record can be adequately tested, it stands revealed as trustworthy history.