We are as we speak, are we not? It is interesting that in the modern English, we find the days of the week as Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. These days are completely and wholly inconsistent with the days set forth in scripture. Like the months, the days of the week in Hebrew are simply – for the most part – numerical.
Yom Rishon – the first day of the week (Sunday)
Yom Sheniy – the second day of the week (Monday)
Yom Shelishiy – the third day of the week (Tuesday)
Yom Reviy’iy – the fourth day of the week (Wednesday)
Yom Chamishiy – the fifth day of the week (Thursday)
Yom Shiyshiy – the sixth day of the week (Friday)
Shabbath – the seventh day of the week (Saturday)
The Greeks, however, took another path, and named the days week in the following order: first after the sun, then the moon and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai or the “days of the Gods.” The Romans thereafter substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars for Ares, Mercury for Hermes, Jove (Jupiter) for Zeus, Venus for Aphrodite, and Saturn for Cronus. The Germans went on to make their own substitution, which were roughly equivalent, substituting Tiu (Twia) for Mars, Woden for Mercury, Thor for Zeus, and Freya (Fria) for Venus, but they did not bring in a substitute for Saturn.
So, our modern calendar in English celebrates the following:
First day: Sun worship
Second day: Moon worship
Third day: Tiu/Tyr or Mars worship (god of war)
Fourth day: Woden or Mercury worship (the father of gods)
Fifth day: Thor or Jupiter worship (god of thunder)
Sixth day: Friya or Venus worship (goddess of fertility)
Seventh day: Saturn worship
Now, let’s take a look at some other languages for just a minute, particularly when it comes to naming the seventh day.
In English: Saturday
In French: Samedi
In German: Samstag
In Russian: Cуббота (Subbota)
In Spanish: Sábado
In Croatian: Subota
In Czech: Sobota
In Danish: Lørdag
In Georgian: Shabat’i
In Italian: Sabato
In Macedonian: Cабота
In Portugese: Sábado
There is a group which appears to be affected primarily by the German tradition that retains a day for Saturn, rather than Sabbath. Even Italy – where Saturnalia was originally practiced, has gone to naming the day Sabato.