Unlike English (and many other languages) where the days of the week are named after gods and mythological figures, the Hebrew days are faithful only to the Bible and are simple ordinal numbers, named after the order of the Creation as described in the Bible. We’ll review each day in light of the Bible. For contrast, we’ll also briefly mention the origin of the English, ancient Latin and other origins of these names.
1. English, Norse (Scandinavian), Ancient Latin – Friday is the day in honor of the Norse goddess Frigg. In Old High German this day was called frigedag. To the Romans this day was sacred to the goddess Venus, and was known as dies veneris.
2. Hebrew – yom shi•shi indicates the ordinal number sixth. “Yom” means “day” and “shi•shi” simply means “the sixth.” The related cardinal number is “shesh” (six). It is noteworthy that although Friday is an ordinary day (a regular work day) a part of it is considered holy day by Jewish tradition because of its proximity to the Sabbath, a holiday that follows it. Every Jewish holiday including Sabbath begins at the evening of the preceding day (just before sunset). Thus, Friday’s early evening is already considered the beginning of Sabbath.
Note that in the Bible Friday is called “yom ha•shi•shi,” – “the sixth day,” and not just “yom shi•shi” as it is with all other days. All days but Friday (and Saturday optionally) do not have the “ha” prefix which is the definite article “the”. Adding the definite article to Friday is quite unusual because each day is definite by nature anyway. Friday then, receives a double definiteness.
To refresh your memory, here are the accomplishment of Creation on the sixth day of our planet:
“And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the earth after its kind; and God saw that it was good…” “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”