“On the Morrow”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Jacob closes his remarks with the announcement that he would continue his discourse the following day. This suggests that it may have been delivered at a time, when more than one holiday was observed in succession, as for instance on the 15th day of the first month of the year, the month of Abib, which corresponds almost to our April. According to the ancient regulations, the 14th of Abib was the day of the passover. The 15th was the weekly Sabbath and the beginning of the feast of unleavened bread. The 16th was the day, when the priest, on behalf of the people, presented a sheaf of the first fruit of the harvest before the Lord together with certain offerings of meat and drink and a burnt offering. (Comp. Lev. 23:2-12) These three days were very much like holidays, as our general conferences, which also include a Sabbath. On those days public "convocations," or assemblies, were held, when, no doubt, addresses were made by the prophets of the Lord.

Or, the remarks may have been delivered later, in the third month of the year, Tisri, at the time of the Pentecost, also called the Feast of Weeks. Concerning this, the instructions were, to count, from the 16th of Abib, seven complete weeks, or Sabbaths, 49 days, and then add one day, making a total period of fifty days. This was the annual day of Jubilee. On this day the people were to bring to the Sanctuary liberal offerings of meat. They were to come with bread, now baked with leaven, with a young bullock, rams, goats and lambs. At this time, too, a holy convocation was proclaimed. (See Lev. 23:15-21)

If we count, beginning with Abib 16th, the 4th of Tisri is the 49th day. That is also one of the seven weekly Sabbaths. The next day, the 5th of Tisri, is the 50th day, the yearly Jubilee Sabbath. This season corresponds somewhat to our month of June. These two annual Jubilee Sabbaths can well, if we so choose, be considered one sabbath, one cessation of work, one rest, with forty-eight hours' duration instead of the usual twenty-four hours.' On this Jubilee Sabbath, as we may call it, a sermon could be preached on the first part of it and conveniently continued on the second, and that would be "on the morrow."

A similar arrangement obtained in the calender of years. The recorders counted 49 years. Every seventh was a Sabbath year. Nothing was planted, nothing was harvested that year. When they had counted seven complete weeks of years, or 49 years, they added one, making a complete cycle of 50. This was the year of Jubilee. (See Lev. 25:3-17) The fifty-first year began a new cycle. It was a complete repetition of the weekly Sabbaths. Two Sabbath years came together in uninterrupted succession every fifty years, as two weekly Sabbaths did every year.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1