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Updated 4/25/09

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"Day" (Hebrew, "yom"):  In the Bible, the season of light (Gen. 1:5), lasting "from dawn (lit. "the rising of the morning") to the coming forth of the stars"..." (The Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 475)

"And God called the light Day..." (Genesis 1:5)

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day..." (Genesis 1:16)

  "...the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God..." (Exodus 20:10)

"...and the darkness he called Night" (Genesis 1:5)

"...and the lesser light to rule the night..." (Genesis 1:16)


"The Observance of the day before the Sabbath...is not mentioned in the written law and shows the development of the oral law..." (The Interpreter's One - Volume Commentary on the Bible, p. 539)


New information will be in Red Letters: (New additions listed under "Quotes" #'s (108), (109), (110) & (111)   

THE PURPOSE OF THIS WEB SITE IS TO SHARE WITH YOU WHY I AS A CHRISTIAN SABBATH KEEPER WHO OBSERVED FRIDAY SUNSET TO SATURDAY SUNSET AS THE SABBATH FOR MANY YEARS, NOW BELIEVES THAT THE SABBATH DAY IS SIMPLY 12 HOURS IN LENGTH. THE SABBATH DAY BEGINS AT DAWN ON SATURDAY AND ENDS AT DARK. (Note: When I say the word "Hour", I do not mean 60 minutes. An hour in Bible times was 1/12 of the period of daylight. Longer in the summer and shorter in the winter. I will explain this in greater detail later).


A RELATED ARTICLE (BELOW) MAY BE OF INTEREST TO YOU PARTICULARLY IF YOU OBSERVED SUNDAY UNTIL GOD OPENED YOUR EYES TO THE SABBATH. (Note: If the title within the flashing area is not visible, simply click on your refresh / reload button or click here to read "Does the Weekly Sabbath Day Really Begin at Sunset?".): --- (New Article:  Midday In The Bible: Was God Confused?")




First. It is not my intention to put anyone down who observes the Sabbath from sunset to sunset.

Second. It is not my intention to pretend that I am a "scholar" or a "writer". I am just an average person who is thankful that the scriptures were written for all. I do not claim to have all of the answers.

(Note: Many quotes from scholars / Bible commentators are used throughout this web site.)

Third. It is my intention to provide you with as many reasons as I can to support my stated position. The Weekly Sabbath day does NOT begin on Friday at Sunset. It begins on Saturday at Dawn and ends at Dark.


One last note before I get to the heart of the matter. When I was attending church on Sunday, I was not unhappy. In fact, I was feeling very good about my beliefs at that time. As we know, good feelings do not always equal truth.

When the Sabbath was first revealed to me, it put some fear into my heart because I thought I was already doing the will of God by keeping Sunday. I then moved a little closer to the will of God when I discovered that the 7th day was the Sabbath (Saturday). I was very happy beginning my observance on Friday at sunset and ending it on Saturday at sunset. In fact, this is a position that I never thought I would change. After many years of observing this tradition, I let human nature grab me when what I thought was a new idea of a dawn to dark Sabbath was introduced to me. I thought this is crazy, just like I thought a Saturday Sabbath was crazy when I was keeping Sunday. I reasoned that all of these Sabbath keepers cannot be wrong, just like I reasoned that all of these Sunday keepers cannot be wrong. As a result, that fear came into my heart again and I did not look into the matter for some time.

I decided to face the issue once again, when it dawned on me that if I have the truth, what do I have to fear? From that point on, I  poured over the scriptures and realized for the first time that in my initial study on the Sabbath, 99% of my research focused on my desire to find out if the Sabbath was on Saturday and did it apply to Christians. Although I remember feeling somewhat uneasy with Genesis 1:5, I did not do any major research that asked the question why do we observe the Sabbath from sunset to sunset? I accepted the 2 or 3 scriptures that Sabbath keepers give to support this position. I assumed that as people moved from Sunday to Saturday over the years they certainly had studied this out. I was amazed to find that when I questioned a number of ministers (all had been Sabbath keepers for more than 30 years) from various Sabbath keeping groups, none of them had ever done a major study on this subject.


Before I began my research, I was under the impression that all Biblical scholars/commentators held the view that the Sabbath day ran from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. I was amazed to discover that many commentators believe that the Sabbath day begins at dawn/sunrise on Saturday. Some believe the Sabbath is reckoned from sunrise to sunrise, while others believe that it begins at dawn and ends at dark (the position I take). There are some commentators who believe that the bible indicates both sunset and sunrise reckonings. Clearly, all of these positions cannot be correct and somewhere along the line, human tradition has crept into some of these conclusions.


The ultimate question of course is how does God define a day? Is there a pattern running throughout the scriptures that tells us when a day begins? Yes, there is. And we will find that the 7th day (Sabbath) begins just as any other average day in scripture begins.

The Biblical definition for a day as defined by God Himself can be stated in 6 words. "And God called the LIGHT DAY " (Genesis 1:5--King James Version will be used unless otherwise noted). Does this definition seem too simple? Please stay with me and I believe that you will find that it is very simple.

If we keep in mind that LIGHT = DAY, pure and simple, numerous scriptures will become crystal clear. Take Genesis 2:3 for an example. Here, God blesses and sanctifies the seventh DAY. (in other words, God blesses and sanctifies the 7th PERIOD OF LIGHT). Please note that God does NOT bless or sanctify the 7th NIGHT (Darkness). Only the 7th LIGHT (we will cover day and night in greater detail shortly).

Now we can take a look at the 4th Commandment found in Exodus Chapter 20. Verse 8 reads, "Remember the Sabbath DAY (LIGHT), to keep it holy." Verse 10 explains to us not only what day the Sabbath is on, but also how long the day lasts. ". . But the seventh DAY (LIGHT) is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. ." (or DAWN to DARK).

We will come back and look at the rest of Genesis 1:5 and a number of other scriptures in Genesis. First, I would like to ask the question, what could possibly stand in the way of accepting this simple truth? If God calls the LIGHT DAY, why do most people say that a day is a 24 hour period beginning at sunset? I believe the answer is found in a place where those of us who search the scriptures daily, seeking God's truth, do not wish to find it. In the powerful arms of non-biblical tradition. As I noted above, even scholars get held by those powerful arms now and then.


Those of us who have studied the Sabbath/Sunday issue, know the power of human tradition. Once we step outside the pages of the Bible, truth sprinkled with error can be found at every turn. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, Christian writings and church histories can provide us with important information if we allow the word of God to separate the truth from fiction.

On the one hand, we may find examples that will help us as we share the truth of the Sabbath (Saturday). One example is the "History of the Christian Religion and Church" written by the German Theologian Wilhelm August Johann Neander. He writes: "The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps, at the end of the second century a false application of this kind had begun to take place; for men appear by that time to have considered laboring on Sunday as a sin."--Rose's translation from the first German edition, p. 186.

Over the years, many denominations which do not observe the Sabbath, plainly admit that they know on what day of the week the Biblical Sabbath falls: "...the whole Christian world, even of those sects who profess to take the Holy Scriptures as their sole rule of faith, since they observe as the day of rest not the seventh day of the week commanded by the Bible, but the first day, which we know is to be kept holy, only from the tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church." (Catechism Made Easy (No.2), Ninth Ed., Vol. I, pp. 341, 342--from 'Authoritative Quotations on The Sabbath and Sunday', p.10).

On the other hand, we will wade through numerous works that stray from the truth of God's word, although they appear to be authoritative to those who have not searched the scriptures. A couple of examples are as follows: ". . . the New Testament never even implies that Christians are to worship on the Sabbath. Instead it is clear that Sunday replaced the Sabbath as the Christians day of worship. . ." ("735 Baffling Bible Questions Answered", p. 63). "Sunday is not a sabbath, but the first day of the week, and belongs to the new age of grace which followed the death and resurrection of Christ. Legalistic Sabbath keeping is to go back to the age previous to the rent vail (Mt 27:51). "("The New Ungers Bible Hand Book", p. 83).

Just as we find truth and error sharing the same stage in our Sabbath/Sunday research, a similar pattern began to emerge as I began to study reference materials that focused in on a sunset to sunset Sabbath. I wanted to know if these heart pounding changes that were moving me away from this traditional belief were acknowledged by anyone else other than myself and the gentleman who had originally challenged my thinking.

Time and again I ran across statements like the following from the "Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion". Found under the word "DAY",p. 107:

"The Hebrew word yom can refer BOTH to the PERIOD OF DAYLIGHT (AS OPPOSED TO NIGHT-TIME) AND to the entire span of 24 hours. The 24 hour day is reckoned from evening to evening" (emphasis mine throughout this web site unless otherwise noted). Would God agree with BOTH of the above definitions? Not based on my scripture studies, but I had been wrong before. So I kept on digging not expecting to get any support.

Then it happened. I found an astonishing quote that spurred me on to more research:

"The day was either the PERIOD OF SUNLIGHT, CONTRASTED WITH THE NIGHT (see John 11:9) or the whole period of twenty four hours, ALTHOUGH NOT DEFINED AS SUCH IN THE BIBLE." ("Oxford Companion to the Bible", p. 744). I read it again and again. A 24 HOUR DAY IS NOT DEFINED IN THE BIBLE. This agreed with my study of the scriptures.

Compare the two definitions above. Notice how they both agree that a day was the PERIOD OF DAYLIGHT/SUNLIGHT AS OPPOSED TO NIGHT-TIME. Just as God tells us in Genesis 1:5 when He calls the LIGHT DAY. The very next thing that God says in Genesis 1:5 is, ". . . and the DARKNESS he called NIGHT. . ." Please notice that God does not call the DARKNESS DAY as man does. He simply calls the DARKNESS NIGHT. One reason is because day and night in scripture are two completely different seasons. They are not the same:

"Thus saith the Lord: If you can break my covenant of the DAY, and my covenant of the NIGHT, and that there should not be DAY and NIGHT in their SEASON;" (Jeremiah 33:20). Genesis 8:22 shows us a number of words that are opposed to each other in meaning: "While the earth remaineth, SEEDTIME and HARVEST, and COLD and HEAT, and SUMMER and WINTER, and DAY and NIGHT shall not cease." DAY and NIGHT are listed along side the other seasons. Speaking of the word "DAY", "The Jewish Encyclopedia" calls it ". . . the SEASON of LIGHT . . ." (p. 475).

The two sources above differ when it comes to the second half of the definition, in that the "Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion" states that a day can be 24 hours in length, reckoned from EVENING TO EVENING. This is stated as a matter of fact with no further explanation. Many reference books will give the same definition with nothing to back it up. If scriptures are given, they will normally cite Genesis 1:5, ". . .And the evening and the morning were the first day. . ." (which we will cover), Leviticus 23:32, ". . . from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath . . .", (which we will cover), or a text that tries to force the two seasons of day and night into one 24 hour day. We will see that these texts do not prove a 24 hour day any more than 1 Corinthians 16:2 proves a change from Sabbath to Sunday. On the other hand, the "Oxford Companion to the Bible" not only tells us that a 24 hour day is NOT defined in the Bible, it goes on to tell us how Jesus defines a day by referring us to John 11:9.


"Jesus answered. Are there not TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY? If any man walk in the DAY, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the LIGHT of this world. But if a man walk in the NIGHT, he stumbleth, because there is NO LIGHT in him." (John 11:9)." Here, Jesus confirms the fact that LIGHT and DAY are married, and that NIGHT and NO LIGHT (Darkness) belong in a separate category, as Genesis 1:4 indicates: ". . . and God DIVIDED the LIGHT from the DARKNESS. . ." In addition, Jesus makes it clear that there is ONLY 12 HOURS in a DAY. NOWHERE in the scriptures does Jesus or anyone else (including His enemies) state that there is 24 hours in a day. As I previously mentioned an hour was not 60 minutes. ". . . an hour is one-twelfth of the period of daylight: "Are there not TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY?" (John 11:9) ("The New Bible Dictionary", p. 495). In the same dictionary, under the word "Twelve" we read, ".. . The Hebrew year was divided into 12 months, the DAY into 12 HOURS (John 11:9) . . ." (p. 845).

The "Readers Digest A B C's of the Bible" adds: "By the time of Jesus, it was commonplace to divide the DAYTIME into 12 HOURS. The hour, however, was not a fixed unit of time as it is today, but one-twelfth of the period between sunrise and sunset. Thus an hour in summer (which would be about 70 minutes today) was substantially longer than an hour in winter (about 50 minutes today)." (P. 177). Although the word "hour" is used a number of times in the New Testament (and by Jesus Himself), "In ancient Israel the concept of the hour was UNKNOWN. The Israelites divided the DAYTIME into its NATURAL segments: DAWN, "the heat of the day," "the cool of the day," and "EVENING, the time when women go out to draw water." NIGHTTIME was divided into three watches." ("Readers Digest A B C's of The Bible", p. 177).

"The Israelites' day was not portioned out in hours and minutes (for which HEBREW HAS NO WORDS . . ." ("Everyday Life in Old Testament Times", p. 189).

As I attempt to lay down a foundation for this study, it is important to not only keep in mind that LIGHT=DAY, as we have begun to see in the scriptures, but also to zero in on a pattern that we will see as just noted by "Readers Digest A B C's of the Bible". Israel divided the DAYTIME into its NATURAL segments, beginning with DAWN and running all the way through the EVENING. EVENING is still a part of the day that begins at DAWN. EVENING is the tail end of a day and NOT THE BEGINNING OF A DAY, as many of us have been taught. Why? Because God considers EVENING LIGHT. ". . . And the EVENING and the morning were the first DAY (LIGHT) . . ." (Genesis 1:5). Notice that the word "NIGHT" is NOT mentioned here, because NIGHT= DARKNESS. EVENING is still a part of the DAY SEASON and ". . . the GREATER LIGHT to rule the DAY . . ." (Genesis 1:16).

Please read all of Mark Chapter 4. Here we find Jesus teaching throughout the course of a day, and in verse 35 we read: "And the SAME DAY, when the EVEN WAS COME, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side." Based on the standard teaching, this "EVEN" should NOT be the "SAME DAY", but it should be the NEXT DAY if a NEW DAY begins at EVENING. Yet there is not a text in either the Old Testament or the New Testament that tells us that a NEW DAY begins at "SUNSET" or "EVENING". There is NOT a text that says "At EVENING/SUNSET as the new day began" (or "Early in the day as the evening shadows stretched out", etc.). The bible is silent about new days beginning in the evening. It is interesting to note that the word "even" found in Mark 4:35 is the same word found in Mark 1:32 where we read, "And at EVEN, when the SUN DID SET, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils."

Mark 1:32 mentioned above, is one of the main New Testament texts used to prove that the Sabbath day ends at sunset. One author calls this text a ". . . a golden nugget of truth . . ." He asks, "But is there another clear New Testament scripture which proves the Sabbath ended at sunset? Yes, there is." He continues. "In Luke 13 we find that Jesus HEALED a woman on the Sabbath day in verses 11-13. Then the ruler of the synagogue was very upset. In verse 14 he said, "There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be HEALED, and not on the Sabbath day." This ruler wanted the people to wait until the Sabbath ended and then come and be Healed. When did the Sabbath end? At noon? I speak foolishly. It ended at SUNSET! Notice the inspired scripture in Mark 1:32. "And at even (3798), WHEN THE SUN DID SET, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with demons." This was sunset of a Sabbath (v-21) and the first day of the week began. One day ended, another day began, AT SUNSET!! The interlinear states. . "And evening coming, when the sun set . . ." ("Light of Truth-May 1995, p. 19).

There are several points that can be made on the above comments:

(1) Jesus obviously disagrees with the ruler of the Synagogue (Luke chapter 13). We also find Him healing a man on the Sabbath (of Mark Chapter 1) in the Synagogue (Mark 1:21-28). And then He heals Peter's Mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31) after He left the Synagogue.  Both of these healings take place prior to the sunset mentioned in Mark 1:32.

(2) Mark 1:32 does NOT say that the Sabbath ended at sunset or that the first day of the week began at that time.

(3) Why were the diseased brought to Jesus at sunset? The bible simply does not say. Was it because there was an announcement that Jesus would be at a particular location in the evening?   Any thoughts on this is pure speculation. 

In the parallel account (Luke 4:40), Luke writes:

"Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them."

Once again there is no indication that the Sabbath day ended or that a new day began at sunset. ***

In Luke 4:42 (some 12 hours after sunset), we discover that the new day began early in the morning with the first light of dawn and it is called "daybreak",  "break of day", "dawn of day", "next day" etc.  The following translations confirm the fact that this new day (V:42) began with the first light of morning,  just as all days begin throughout the scriptures:

"And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them." (King James Version)

"The next morning..." (Contemporary English Version)

"At daybreak..." (Good News Bible)

"And at the dawn of day..." (Murdock)

"And day having come..." (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible)

"At daybreak..." (International Standard Version)

"In the morning..." (God's Word)

"As day Broke..." (Williams New Testament)

"And day having come..." (Young's Literal Translation)

"At daybreak..." (Twentieth Century New Testament)

"He left the next day..." (The Message)

"At break of day..." (Berkeley)  

"Then when day came..." (Knox)

"When day had come..." (The complete Jewish Bible - see source 123) 

"When day broke..." (James Moffatt)

"Early the next morning..." (New Living Translation)  

"At daybreak..." (J. B. Phillips)

"When daylight came..." (The Jerusalem Bible) 

"And when day came..." (New American Standard Bible)  

"When it was day..." (Goodspeed)

"Next morning, at daybreak..." (Weymouth)

"In the morning..." (New Life Version) 

"At daybreak..." (New American Bible)

"And when it was day..." (Revised Standard Version)

"At daybreak..." (New Revised Standard Version)

"At daybreak..." (New Century Version)

***  Please review the 2 sunset texts below (Mark 1:32 & Luke 4:40) using the same translations above to confirm the fact that the Sabbath day did not end with evening nor did a new day begin.  To verify when the new day began please review Luke 4:42 once again:

(Contemporary English Version) - "That evening after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "After the sun had set" (Luke 4:40)

(Good News Bible) - "After the sun had set and evening had come..." (Mark 1:32) - "After sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(Murdock) - "And in the evening at the setting of the sun..." (Mark 1:32) - "And when the sun was set..." (Luke 4:40)

(Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) - "And evening coming, when the sun sank..." (Mark 1:32) - "And the sun sinking..." (Luke 4:40)

(International Standard Version) - "When evening came, after the sun had set..." (Mark 1:32) - "When the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(God's Word) - "In the evening, when the sun had set..." (Mark 1:32) - "When the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(Williams New Testament) - "In the evening, when the sun had gone down..." (Mark 1:32) - "As the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(Young's Literal Translation) - "And evening having come, when the sun did set..." (Mark 1:32) - "And at the setting of the sun..." (Luke 4:40)

(Twentieth Century New Testament) - "In the evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(The Message) - "That evening, after the sun was down..." (Mark 1:32) - "When the sun went down..." (Luke 4:40)

(Berkeley)  - "In the evening at sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(Knox) - "And when it was evening and the sun went down..." (Mark 1:32) - "And when the sun was going down..." (Luke 4:40)

(The complete Jewish Bible- see source 123) - "That evening after sundown..." (Mark 1:32) - "After sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(James Moffatt) - "When evening came, when the sun set..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(New Living Translation)  - "That evening at sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "As the sun went down that evening..." (Luke 4:40)

(J. B. Phillips) - "Late that evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "Then, as the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(The Jerusalem Bible) - "That evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40) 

(New American Standard Bible)  - "When evening came, after the sun had set..." (Mark 1:32) - "While the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(Goodspeed) - "In the evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "As the sun went down..." (Luke 4:40)

(Weymouth) - "When it was evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(New Life Version) - "In the evening as the sun went down..." (Mark 1:32) - "As the sun went down..." (Luke 4:40)

(New American Bible) - "When it was evening, after sunset..." (Mark 1:32) - "At sunset..." (Luke 4:40)

(Revised Standard Version) - "That evening, at sundown..." (Mark 1:32) - "Now when the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(New Revised Standard Version) - "That evening, at sundown..." (Mark 1:32) - "As the sun was setting..." (Luke 4:40)

(New Century Version) - "That evening, after the sun went down..." (Mark 1:32) - "When the sun went down..." (Luke 4:40)

The fact that days do not begin or end with sunset is a pattern found in both testaments (see notes # 5 and # 8 listed under "12 Hour Day" in the table of contents and number 94 under "Quotes" for examples)


Have you ever wondered why some New Testament commentators seem puzzled by the fact that New Testament writers reckon their days beginning with the first light of morning instead of sunset? I believe the reason that they are confused is because they have approached their study with the preconceived notion that a day in the Bible begins at sunset. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

Sabbath keepers know Acts 20:7-12 very well. The standard Sabbath literature will say something like this: "Paul once preached on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7); this is generally understood to be a Saturday night since, according to Biblical reckoning, days began with the evening . . ." (The Bible Sabbath: Seventh Day or First Day?).

The "New International Biblical Commentary" may now help us look at the above text from a different point of view." . . . they met on THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. This is a JEWISH EXPRESSION, but it must still be asked whether LUKE was thinking in Jewish or ROMAN TERMS (my note: God's terms) in marking the days. By JEWISH reckoning this would have been a "Saturday" night (as we would call it), since the new day for THEM started at sunset, making Saturday night the beginning of the first day of the week. But because LUKE speaks of "SUNRISE" as "THE NEXT DAY" (cf.vv. 11 and 7) he APPEARS to be using ROMAN RECKONING (my note: God's reckoning), according to which midnight, and effectively SUNRISE, MARKED THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW DAY. . ." ". . . hence the meeting at night (SUNDAY NIGHT) . . ." (p. 347). LUKE considered the "MORROW" (v. 7) when PAUL departed as the "BREAK OF DAY" (v. 11 and not the evening as most commentators would say.

Did PAUL who lived "Acts 20:7-12" agree with LUKE? "But ye, brethren, are not in DARKNESS, that DAY should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all children of the LIGHT and the children of the DAY; we are NOT of the NIGHT nor of DARKNESS. Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the NIGHT; and they that be drunken are drunken in the NIGHT. But let us who are of the DAY, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8). PAUL is in perfect agreement with Genesis 1:5, as he calls the LIGHT DAY and the DARKNESS NIGHT. He also shows that DAY is NOT a part of the NIGHT.

In Romans 13:12, PAUL divides LIGHT AND DARKNESS when he says: "The NIGHT is FAR SPENT, the DAY IS AT HAND; let us, therefore, cast off the works of DARKNESS, and let us put on the armour of LIGHT." A day is "AT HAND" only after a night is 'FAR SPENT". Day and night do not share the same space.

Now, let us take a look at John Chapter 20 (please read the whole chapter). Here on the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, Mary Magdalene discovers that Our Lord has RISEN FROM THE DEAD early that day. The account takes us through the course of the day, and in verse 19 JOHN writes, "Then the SAME DAY AT EVENING, being the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. . ." ("EVENING"-same word as "EVEN" in Mark 1:32). Again, we find that the "EVENING" is NOT the NEXT DAY, but it is still the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK.

From the book (A Harmony of the Gospels, p. 286), another commentator states, ". . . one passage in John (20:19), when compared with Luke 24:29, 36, makes it NECESSARY to understand that JOHN used the ROMAN METHOD (my note: God's Method) in this instance. It was toward evening and the DAY HAD DECLINED according to Luke, when Jesus and the disciples drew near to Emmaus. Here he ate supper and, "rising up that very hour," the disciples returned seven miles to Jerusalem and told these things to the eleven who were together. But while they were narrating these things Jesus appears to them. Now John, in mentioning this very appearance of Jesus (20:19), says that it 'WAS EVENING ON THAT DAY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK", i.e., evening of the day when Mary Magdalene had seen the Lord. But with the Jews the EVENING BEGAN THE DAY. Hence, JOHN, here at least, is BOUND TO MEAN THE ROMAN DAY (my note: God's day). It was the EVENING OF THE SAME DAY IN THE MORNING OF WHICH MARY HAD SEEN JESUS. THIS APPEARS CONCLUSIVE. John DID use the ROMAN method (my note: God's method) here, MAY HAVE DONE SO ALWAYS. . ."

"Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament" adds the following concerning John 20:19, ". . . John is using ROMAN TIME (my note: God's time), NOT JEWISH, for here EVENING FOLLOWS DAY INSTEAD OF PRECEDING IT . . ." (computer bible study).

Is it true that JOHN was NOT using JEWISH TIME and may have ALWAYS reckoned his days starting with the SUNRISE? Is it possible that he may have ALWAYS included EVENING as part of a day that began at SUNRISE? Was JOHN confused? What about JESUS, LUKE and PAUL? Were they confused? Did they not know that a new day was to begin at sunset? No, they did not. They all reckoned their days according to the ancient directions found in Genesis 1:5. "And God called the LIGHT DAY. . ."

The "Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible" says, "The ORIGINAL meaning of the word "DAY" is the PERIOD OF DAYLIGHT, FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET, AS DISTINCT FROM THE NIGHT, THE PERIOD OF DARKNESS ...in this sense the "DAY" is said to "decline" (Jer.6:4) or to "be far spent" (Lk. 24:29 in the late afternoon, and is FOLLOWED by NIGHT. Hence the EARLIER sequence, "DAY and NIGHT..." (P. 497)).

You might be as surprised as I was if you were to open a "Webster's New International Dictionary--Second Edition" and look up the word "DAY". The first definition that I expected to see would say something about a 24 hour day. I was wrong. The first definition states: "...the time of LIGHT, or the interval between one NIGHT and the next; the time between SUNRISE AND SUNSET, or from DAWN TO DARKNESS." (p.672). Just as the Bible indicates.

You might even be more surprised if you were to turn to page 136 of "Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words". You would read the following under "TO LIGHT". "The basic meaning of 'OR (my note-Hebrew for Light) is "DAYLIGHT" (cf. Gen. 1:3). In the HEBREW MIND the "DAY" BEGAN AT THE RISING OF THE SUN...". Many of us have been taught that in the HEBREW MIND a day began at SUNSET!!

God calls the LIGHT DAY. The original meaning of the word "Day" is the period of DAYLIGHT. DAY is called the season of LIGHT. New Testament writers reckon their days from SUNRISE and include the EVENING as part of the day that began as SUNRISE. Jesus informs us that there is 12 HOURS IN A DAY, and He calls the LIGHT DAY. Jesus and New Testament writers separate DAY and NIGHT. Question. Where did the idea of a 24 hour day beginning at sunset come from?


If "Day and Night" was the "EARLIER SEQUENCE" in the evolution of time, as mentioned above, there must have been a LATER SEQUENCE. The "Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible" gives us a clue by showing how other ideas evolved which CHANGED the original meaning of the word "Day". "The flesh of the thanksgiving sacrifice shall be eaten on the day it is offered; none of it may be kept till the next day" (Lv. 7:15), the NIGHTTIME is CONSIDERED as belonging to the preceding period of Daylight. From this there developed the meaning of "day" in the sense of the cycle made up of one period of daylight and one period of darkness, or according to OUR MODERN RECKONING, TWENTY-FOUR HOURS...FROM the NATURAL viewpoint the twenty-four hour day begins at SUNRISE...However, beside this conception there AROSE ANOTHER idea of the twenty-four hour day, according to which this daily period began at SUNSET. It was no doubt the lunar calendar of the Jews which gave rise to this viewpoint...Although the EARLIER COMPUTATION did NOT die out completely, the CUSTOM of CONSIDERING the Day as beginning at SUNSET BECAME general in LATER JEWISH TIMES..." (p. 497). If you are like me, you thought that the sunset to sunset tradition was general from the BEGINNING OF TIME!! And that this is GOD'S NATURAL WAY!!

Over and over again in my research, I not only found that the SUNSET TO SUNSET DAY was a LATER INVENTION, but I also discovered that is was most likely the BABYLONIANS who handed down the tradition of the 24 hour day to the Jews while they were in captivity. I found this in secular, Christian and Jewish writings. (Note: Most of the information that I gathered for this study indicated that the Babylonians began their days with sunset/evening and handed down this tradition to the Jews. However, I did find a few sources that felt that the Babylonians reckoned their days from sunrise to sunrise, as mentioned earlier in the writings of Pliny the Elder. Also, there are sources that state, "Among the Greeks the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset..." (Handbook of Chronology, op.cit., p.8). Some feel that it was the Greek culture that handed down the sunset to sunset tradition to the Jews. The one thing that I know for sure, is that somewhere in the course of history, men have tampered with God's original definition of a Day.

Following are some examples of the information that I gathered:

"...EARLY in the Old Testament period, when Canaan was under Egypt's influence (my note: and God's influence), THE DAY STARTED AT SUNRISE...LATER, perhaps under BABYLONIAN influence, the calendar SEEMS TO HAVE CHANGED. THE DAY BEGAN AT MOONRISE (1800 hrs) and a whole day BECAME an EVENING and a MORNING..." (The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible - p. 163).

"In LATER Bible times, the DAY STARTED AT DUSK. A whole Day BECAME an EVENING and a MORNING." (Almanac of Bible Facts, p. 170).

"...The Israelites, like the BABYLONIANS, counted their days from SUNSET TO SUNSET..." (NIV Study Bible, p. 707).

"...During the period of the FIRST COMMONWEALTH (prior to 586 B.C.E.) the day was NOT reckoned in terms of hours. In fact the word "hour" in not found ANYWHERE in the Bible (My note: meaning Old Testament Hebrew --This book was written by a Rabbi), even as a figure of speech. The NIGHT was divided into three watches, the early watch, the middle watch and the morning watch. (Hence such Biblical sayings as "Watchman, what of the NIGHT?") The Day was divided into FORENOON and AFTERNOON.

When the Jews returned to Palestine after THEIR BABYLONIAN EXILE (516 B.C.E.) they brought back with them the BABYLONIAN astronomy and WAY OF RECKONING TIME...Jewish tradition STRETCHES THE DAY a little; a FEW MINUTES is ADDED at EITHER END--and even an HOUR OR TWO among the more observant..." (What is a Jew, p. 108). (Note: We will look at other examples of stretching the day later).

The (New Catholic Encyclopedia -Volume 11, p. 1068) adds the following under the heading, "EARLY Palestinian Calendar": "...a sacred day of rest on the 7th day (the Sabbath) . DAYS WERE RECKONED FROM MORNING to morning..." Under the heading "LATER JEWISH CALENDAR" (same article) we read: "Following the reign of King Josia (c. 640-609), and ESPECIALLY AFTER THE BABYLONIAN EXILE a number of SIGNIFICANT and ENDURING CHANGES OCCURRED IN THE ISRAELITE CALENDAR showing that the Jews GRADUALLY ADOPTED THE BABYLONIAN CALENDAR of the time...The seven day week persisted despite its failure to divide evenly either the month or the year. The DAY however, was counted from EVENING TO EVENING, AFTER THE BABYLONIAN FASHION...".

"Obviously the Jews in exile in Babylonia knew the calendars of the temples there; they knew the myths of the months. So effective was the INFLUENCE OF BABYLONIA UPON THEM THAT THEY ABANDONED THEIR OWN NAMES FOR THE MONTHS AND ACCEPTED THE BABYLONIAN NAMES. (Babylonian Menologies and the Semitic Calendars, p. 21). A prime example of this is the word "Tishri", a word that is used to this very day. "Tishri is a BABYLONIAN WORD and was NOT used to designate the seventh month in the Jewish calendar until AFTER THE BABYLONIAN EXILE, when the Jews returned to Palestine. The name TISHRI is NEVER MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE." (This is The Torah, p. 386).

"In addition to the decimal system familiar to Western culture (which uses powers of 10), Babylonian scholars also used a sexagesimal system (employing powers of 60) originally devised by the Sumerians and COMING DOWN TO US in the form of the 60-minute hour and the 360-degree circle...This innovation DIRECTLY INSPIRED THE CALENDAR OF ORTHODOX JUDAISM." (Peoples of the Old Testament World, p. 71).

"The Babylonian Day was divided into 12 'double hours', each divided into 60 'double minutes', in turn containing 60 'double seconds', A SYSTEM ADOPTED BY THE JEWS AFTER THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY." (Babylon, p. 186).

"So far as we know, the BABYLONIAN calendar was at ALL PERIODS TRULY LUNAR...the month BEGAN with the EVENING when the new crescent was for the first time again visible shortly after SUNSET. Consequently, the BABYLONIAN DAY ALSO BEGINS IN THE EVENING..." (The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, p. 106).

Finally, consider these quotes from the following three books:

(1) Festival Days: A History of Jewish Celebrations.

(2) The Jewish Festivals: History & Observance.

(3) Judaism: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow.

Source (1) "Moon-worship was dominant in the Mesopotamian world from which the patriarchs emerged, around 1800 B.C.E., with Abraham the key Bible figure. At that time and in succeeding centuries, moon-worship in Mesopotamia centered on a large pantheon of assorted gods whose images proliferated in the temples...Myths die hard, and the Bible is full of graphic detail showing how the ancient Hebrews slipped readily from time to time into celebrations that bore the mark of the original pagan practices...Many hitherto PUZZLING aspects of the Jewish TRADITION were illuminated in this process. A notable example is the way in which ALL FESTIVALS, including the SABBATH, start with MOON-RISE ON THE NIGHT BEFORE. The reason is an ECHO of the way the BABYLONIANS AND THE ASSYRIANS ASSIGNED THE RESPECTIVE ROLES OF THE TWO GREAT LUMINARIES, THE SUN AND THE MOON." (p. 55, 57, 58). The book goes on to say that the Babylonians put more emphasis on the moon because the darkness of night was more mysterious and exciting than the sun which was more predictable.

Source (2) "This, approximately, is the picture we have of the Sabbath in those very old days, when both kingdoms, Judah and Israel, still existed. It was a festival on which there was a cessation of DAILY work, and the people assembled in the sanctuary to celebrate the DAY. The STRICT rest of LATER days was NOT YET a part of the Sabbath (p.6)...At any rate, beginning with the BABYLONIAN EXILE, we find the Sabbath attaining a NEW SIGNIFICANCE, and a deeper spiritual content....IN THE BABYLONIAN EXILE...The Sabbath attained a HIGHER STATE OF DEVELOPMENT among the exiled Jews in Babylonia, and it was these exiled Jews who ENFORCED ON PALESTINE THEIR SABBATH, with its STRICTER observance and its universal rest (p.7)....The Jews in Palestine, about a century after the Babylonian exile, did NOT as yet know the STRICT Sabbath of the Babylonian Jews (p.8)...At The Beginning of The Common Era...In order to assure against profanation of the Sabbath the Jews ADDED THE LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON HOURS TO THE SABBATH (p.13)...The Sabbath in general, thus attained its peak in the first two centuries of the Common Era, the age of the Tannaim (My note: 70 AD-200AD), as the Jewish teachers and sages of that period were called. However, there were NO FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICES AS YET. This most beautiful part of the Sabbath observance DEVELOPED somewhat LATER in the age of the Amoraim (My note: 350 AD-500 AD), as the sages of the Talmud from the third century on were called, and it did NOT attain its highest peak until MUCH LATER, at the very threshold of MODERN TIMES. In the time of the Tannaim there was NO FRIDAY NIGHT SERVICE IN THE SYNAGOGUE (p.14)...LATER it became customary to hold communal services in the Synagogue ON FRIDAY NIGHT..." (p.15).

Source (3) "If we look at the essentials of a day of rest and reflection which has a religious orientation, it is possible to JUSTIFY THE SHIFTING OF SABBATH WORSHIP TO FRIDAY EVENING or Sunday worship to Saturday evening (the celebration of the vigil = night watch was moved BACK to the EVE OF THE FEAST as early as the middle ages..." (p. 518). (my note: At one time a number of Sunday keeping Christians began their worship on Saturday evening, believing that this was the beginning of Sunday, following the tradition of the Jews:

"When the English colonies were planted on North American soil, Sunday was kept there from evening to evening for 200 years...throughout Christendom the Sunday was generally observed from evening to evening until the sixteenth century, and that in many parts it was so observed until the eighteenth." (The Lord's Day on a Round World, p. 69, 83).

The power of the above tradition is still evident today in such observances as Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.


Before we examine the DAY OF ATONEMENT, please take a look at the 4th commandment as found in Exodus 20:8. "Remember the SABBATH DAY, to keep it holy". Notice two very important words in this sentence. "SABBATH" and "DAY". Most of the time when we say the word Sabbath, we simply mean the 7th day of the week. In most cases when the Bible uses the word Sabbath it refers to the 7th day.

As many of you know, the Bible also mentions annual Sabbaths such as the "Feast of Trumpets" (Leviticus 23:24). Although the word "Sabbath" alone can be used to refer to the 7th day, God is very specific in Exodus 20:8 when He tells us to remember the "SABBATH DAY". He does NOT simply say "Remember the SABBATH" in this verse. He adds the critical word "DAY". Why? One major reason is the fact that the word "SABBATH" DOES NOT MEAN "DAY" (LIGHT). Most sources including the "New Bible Dictionary" state that the word "Sabbath" means "to CEASE' 'to DESIST" (p. 1042). The length of cessation is NOT found in this definition. It is God who determines how long a period of cessation lasts. That is why God says, "...the seventh DAY (LIGHT) is the SABBATH of the Lord thy God..." (Exodus 20:10). The WEEKLY Sabbath is ONLY the period of LIGHT. Speaking of the ANNUAL SABBATH in Leviticus 23:32 God says, "...from EVEN UNTO EVEN, shall ye celebrate your SABBATH..." Note. Once again, God does NOT just say "ye shall celebrate your Sabbath". He specifically says that this ANNUAL SABBATH is " FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN".

It is important to keep in mind that the word "SABBATH" does NOT mean "Saturday", it does NOT mean "24 hours", nor does it mean "DAY".

God has determined that the WEEKLY Sabbath is simply the period of LIGHT and that the ANNUAL Sabbath in Leviticus 23:32 is from EVENING TO EVENING (About 24 hours).

Is there a Sabbath in the scriptures that is longer that 24 hours? Yes there is. Turn to Leviticus Chapter 25 and read verses 1 through 4. "And the Lord spake unto Moses in Mount Si'nai, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a SABBATH UNTO THE LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the SEVENTH YEAR SHALL BE A SABBATH OF REST UNTO THE LAND, A SABBATH FOR THE LORD..." What does all this mean? It simply means that this LAND Sabbath is NOT 12 hours long. It is NOT 24 hours long. It is OVER 300 DAYS LONG!! Once again it is God who determines the length of this Sabbath, which by the way is the same word for "Sabbath" found in Exodus 20:8-10. So a "SABBATH UNTO THE LORD" is NOT limited to a single day, no matter how we may define a day. A Sabbath can clearly be SEVERAL HUNDRED DAYS IN LENGTH.

With the above information in mind, please turn to the command for the DAY OF ATONEMENT found in Leviticus Chapter 23, starting with verse 26. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the TENTH day of this seventh month there shall be a DAY (LIGHT) OF ATONEMENT..." (v. 26-27). God calls this "holy convocation" a "DAY (LIGHT) OF ATONEMENT". He does NOT mention NIGHT here. This "DAY (LIGHT) OF ATONEMENT" as He calls it again in verse 28 is on the TENTH day of the month (NOT THE 9TH DAY). In verse 32 we find that it is a "SABBATH OF REST". So the "DAY (LIGHT) OF ATONEMENT" is on the "TENTH" day of the month and it is a "SABBATH OF REST". Continuing in verse 32 we read; "...AND ye shall afflict your souls; in the NINTH day of the month at EVEN, FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN SHALL YE CELEBRATE YOUR SABBATH..." When does this SABBATH/FAST BEGIN? In the NINTH day of the month at EVEN and it ends on the TENTH day at EVEN. In other words this Sabbath/Fast falls on 2 DIFFERENT DAYS. Why? Because a Sabbath is NOT LIMITED TO A SINGLE DAY.

These scriptures reveal that although the DAY (LIGHT) OF ATONEMENT IS ON THE TENTH day ONLY, the SABBATH/FAST is on BOTH the NINTH AND TENTH DAYS and includes the NIGHT PERIOD FOLLOWING THE NINTH DAY. Keep in mind that this "NINTH DAY OF THE MONTH AT EVEN" is still a part of the DAY SEASON THAT STARTED AT FIRST LIGHT IN THE MORNING as we saw earlier in the New Testament.

Genesis 32:22, 24 agrees with the New Testament. Verse 22 indicates that Jacob "rose up that NIGHT" and in verse 24, "...Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until THE BREAKING OF THE DAY" (or "until the coming up of DAWN" ---from the book "The Five Books of Moses", p. 155). Verse 26 reads: "And let me go, for THE DAY BREAKETH..." (or "for DAWN has come up"--"The Five Books of Moses", p.155). And in verse 31, after they have wrestled, we see that, "...as he passed over Penu'-el the SUN ROSE UPON HIM..." Therefore the ANNUAL Sabbath of Leviticus 23:32 BEGINS AT THE TAIL END OF THE NINTH DAY AT EVEN, BECAUSE EVENING IS NOT THE BEGINNING OF A NEW DAY. And you will recall that the Evening is still the same day as the afternoon that comes before it. (Mark 4:35, John 20:19).

What is the Bottom Line? Simply this. The ANNUAL Sabbath of Leviticus 23:32 is a 24 HOUR SABBATH, NOT A 24 HOUR DAY. For God calls "THE LIGHT DAY" (Genesis 1:5), and "Are there not 12 HOURS IN A DAY?" (John 11:9). That is why the "Oxford Companion to The Bible" observes, "In EARLIER TRADITIONS the DAY apparently BEGAN AT SUNRISE (e.g., Lev 7:15-17; Judg. 19:4-19)..." (p. 744).

In the 1997 May-June (p.8) issue of the "Sabbath Sentinel" the following question was asked of representatives from various Sabbath keeping groups. "When does the Sabbath begin and end? Does it matter?" One well respected Sabbath keeper answered, "...from Even unto Even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath. Although this verse, Leviticus 23:32, has REFERENCE TO A YEARLY SABBATH, its definition agrees with the biblical definition of any day...". The most important thing that he said was, "Leviticus 23:32 has REFERENCE TO A YEARLY SABBATH." Commenting on this same verse, another well known author writes:

"This text does provide the most EXPLICIT and EMPHATIC EVIDENCE of the Biblical method of day reckoning "from evening to evening....Thus it is not surprising that appeal is generally made to THIS TEXT to prove the Biblical principle of Sabbathkeeping...the law in this text regards NOT THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH AS SUCH, BUT THE DAY OF ATONEMENT. While both festivals were UNDOUBTEDLY observed "from evening to evening", the manner of their observance was RADICALLY DIFFERENT. The Day of Atonement was a day of penance and fasting ("you shall afflict yourselves"--Lev. 23:32), whereas the Sabbath was a day of delight and celebration (Is. 58:13-14)..." (The Time of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, Chapter 5).

Both writers agree that Leviticus 23:32 specifically refers to the annual Sabbath and NOT to the WEEKLY SABBATH, although they both feel that the weekly Sabbath should be observed in the same manner (evening to evening). In this very same chapter (Leviticus 23), just a few verses earlier, God mentions the weekly Sabbath and says: "Six Days (LIGHTS) shall work be done; But the SEVENTH DAY (LIGHT) is the Sabbath of rest..." (Lev. 23:3). EVEN UNTO EVEN IS NOT MENTIONED HERE AT ALL.

There is a major difference between the Sabbath in Lev. 23:3 and 23:32. Verse 3 is the WEEKLY 12 HOUR SABBATH THAT TAKES IN ONLY THE LIGHT OF DAY. Verse 32 is the ANNUAL 24 HOUR SABBATH THAT TAKES IN PARTS OF 2 DAYS AND ALL OF ONE NIGHT.

Quoting again from Chapter 5 of "The Time of The Crucifixion and the Resurrection", concerning verse 32 of Leviticus 23 we read, "This last verse POSES A PROBLEM because it CHANGES the date of the Day of Atonement from "the tenth day" (v.27) to "the NINTH day". This CHANGE led Solomon Zeitlin to conclude that the FASTING of the Day of Atonement LASTED TWO DAYS, the 9th and 10th of Tishri. This explanation is UNACCEPTABLE, however, because several texts speak of the Day of Atonement as being exclusively "one day," namely, the 10th of Tishri (Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:29; 25:9, Num. 29:7-11)."

The argument from this author is simply answered by the fact that the Day (Light) of Atonement IS exclusively on "one day". IT IS THE SABBATH THAT FALLS ON 2 SEPARATE DAYS (9th and 10th). The Author continues by saying that "...verse 32 does not intend to change the date of the Day of Atonement from the 10th to the 9th day of the month..." This author points out that Jack Finegan wrote: "...In making the shift from a MORNING reckoning to an EVENING reckoning, the 'day' was in fact MOVED BACK so that it began a half day earlier than had been the case previously...To avoid any misunderstanding, the verse explains with utmost precision that the tenth day, according to the sunset reckoning, began "on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening" and it was to be kept "from evening to evening" (Lev. 23:32--Chapter 5).

Leviticus 23:32 DOES POSE A PROBLEM only if we try to STRETCH the Day of Atonement into a 24 hour day. There is no doubt that the day was certainly MOVED BACK as Mr. Finegan states. The real problem is the fact that God is NOT the one who MOVED IT BACK. This supposed change in the reckoning of the day loses steam quickly when we see New Testament writers reckoning their days from SUNRISE.

A noted Jewish scholar (Dr. Lauterbach) adds this important information about the Day of Atonement: "...The Rabbis of the Talmud who nowhere allude to and probably no longer knew of the EARLIER MODE OF RECKONING THE DAY felt the difficulty in the phrase: 'ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day,' and when commenting on it they say: 'But are we to fast on the ninth day? (Yoma 81b. R.H. 9a,b). A very sound objection indeed. For if the day had in Bible times been reckoned from evening to evening, as it was in talmudic times then the phrase: 'In the ninth day of the month at evening' contains a contradiction in terms, for the evening is ALREADY PART OF THE TENTH DAY. Besides the SPECIAL injunction 'from even unto even shall ye keep your Sabbath' would be entirely superfluous, for any other day also extends from evening to evening. The talmudic explanation that the meaning of the passage: 'ye shall afflict your souls on the ninth day' is to say that one who eats on the ninth day performs a Jewish religious duty, and it is accounted to him as if he had fasted both on the ninth and the tenth days is, of course, a homiletical subterfuge. The fact is that Rabbis of the Talmud no longer knew or would not acknowledge that in ANCIENT TIMES there was another mode of reckoning the day according to which the EVENING PRECEDING THE TENTH DAY STILL BELONGS TO THE NINTH DAY. In the case of the Day of Atonement the law especially prescribes that the FAST be observed in a NEW MANNER, COVERING PART OF THE NINTH AND PART OF THE TENTH DAY (pp. 447-448)...In certain spheres of the population the OLDER SYSTEM continued to be in use, either exclusively or side by side with the newer system. Thus in the temple service the older system continued all through the time of the existence of the second temple, and there the day was RECKONED FROM MORNING to morning...In some circles or among some Jewish sects the OLDER SYSTEM continued and the Sabbath was observed from SATURDAY MORNING to Sunday morning...SATURDAY-NOT FRIDAY EVENING MARKED THE ENTRANCE OF THE SABBATH. But the majority of the people, following the teachings of the Halakah,** reckoned the day from evening to evening and the entrance of the Sabbath for them came after the sunset of Friday or on Friday evening..." (Rabbinic Essays, pp. 449-450)

** notes:  "But even among those who followed the Halakah allusion to the continuance of the older system and traces of an extension of the Sabbath rest to the night following Saturday are to be found.  Thus in commenting on the different expressions...used respectively in connection with the commandment about the Sabbath in the two versions of the Decalogue (Ex. 20:8 and Deut. 5:12) the Mekilta says: " 'Remember' and 'Observe.'  Remember it before it comes and observe it after it has gone." (Mekilta deR. Ishmael, Bahodesh V11 (ed. Lauterbach, 11, 252).  How to remember the  Sabbath before it comes is well illustrated there (ibid., p. 253), but no illustration is given as to how the Sabbath is to be observed after it is gone.  Instead of such an illustration there is added the remark about the conclusions which the teachers drew from the interpretation of the word "Observe" as meaning "observe it after it has gone."...the teachers said:  "We should always increase what is holy by adding to it some of the non-holy."  But no illustration of the observance of the Sabbath after it has gone is given in the Mekilta.  Such an illustration, however, is furnished elsewhere in the statement that the Jewish women refrained from work on Saturday night even after the Sabbath had gone (p. Pes. 4.1 (30c,dl).  This custom of the women is disapproved by the teachers and declared to be not a proper custom...But in spite of the disapproval of the teachers the custom has persisted among pious Jewish women to this day.  It is evident that this custom of the Jewish women, which is supported by the saying of the Mekilta, is a relic of the ancient practice of keeping the Sabbath till the dawn of SundayThe teachers, insisting that the Sabbath extends only from evening to evening, objected to this custom but they were unable to suppress it.  They had to tolerate it, hence they tried at least to limit it to only a part of Saturday night...(ibid., loc.cit).  And even this approved refraining from work during part of the time of Saturday night they explained to have its reason not in the assumption that Saturday night or part of it was still part of the Sabbath, but merely in the rule that it was a good custom "to add part of the non-holy to the holy."  And to be consistent they said that such an addition should not be one-sided, i.e., not only part of the day following the Sabbath but also part of the day preceding it, should be added to the Sabbath.  The women, while persisting in their practice and refusing to confine it to the limits fixed by the Rabbis for Saturday night, were nevertheless not unwilling to accept the reason for their practice as given by the Rabbis, and hence agreed that an addition to the Sabbath should also be made on the day preceding it.  But they seem to have assumed that such an addition should consist not of a mere fraction of the day but of the whole day of Friday, just as the addition at the going out of the Sabbath consisted --in their practice-- of the whole night following the Sabbath.  Thus they would refrain from doing any work during the entire day of Friday.  This practice was likewise disapproved by the teachers and declared not to be a valid custom...(p. Pes., loc. cit. (30d).  Here also the teachers insisted that only part of the day of Friday should be added to the Sabbath.  And a Baraita in b. Pes. 50b declares that whosoever does work on Friday afternoon after the Minhah time and on Saturday night--significantly enough no time limit is specified as to what part of Saturday night--will not be successful.  But it should be noticed that while the Rabbis were successful in persuading the women to do work on Friday, adding only a part of that day to the Sabbath, they did not succeed in making them abandon their practice of refraining from work on Saturday night, evidently because the latter custom was a survival of the ancient practice of observing the Sabbath till the dawn of Sunday." (Rabbinic Essays, pp. 450-451).

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deut. 4:2).  


In the question and answer section of the May 1995 issue of the "Bible Advocate" magazine, the following question was asked, "When is the Sabbath day over? At sundown (when it is dark) or at 6:00 p.m. year-round?" They answered, "the simplest answer to the question is found in TWO VERSES of scripture. Leviticus 23:32 tells when the celebration of God's Sabbaths is to begin and end: "from evening to evening" (NKJV). Mark 1:32 helps us understand when the evening is; "when the sun had set" (NKJV).

Based largely on these TWO TEXTS, the Church of God (Seventh Day) observes the seventh-day Sabbath from sunset (Friday) until sunset (Saturday)...A few people have developed alternative ideas from scripture about the time for beginning and ending a day. One of these maintains a TWELVE-HOUR Sabbath, from SUNRISE to Sunset. Others are more complex. It seems better to observe the SIMPLE sunset to sunset FORMULA supported above, just as Sabbathkeepers of the ORTHODOX HEBREW FAITH DO TO THIS DAY."

Question. Do most Christian Sabbathkeepers observe the sunset to sunset tradition because they have searched the numerous scriptures that tell us when a day begins, or do they simply follow the orthodox Hebrew faith?

Turning our attention once again to the book "The Time of The Crucifixion and the Resurrection" (Chapter 6), we read, "It may be surprising to some to note that no specific instructions are given in the Fourth Commandment on the manner and TIME of Sabbathkeeping. The only injunction given is to "Remember the Sabbath day (My note: LIGHT), to keep it holy" by doing all one's work in six days and by resting the seventh day (my note: LIGHT) "to the Lord your God." If we take a closer look at this text we will discover that the "time of Sabbathkeeping" IS found within the Fourth Commandment. Since GOD CALLED THE LIGHT DAY, we are to Remember the Sabbath LIGHT, to keep it Holy (Exodus 20:8). And that Sabbath is on the SEVENTH LIGHT (Exodus 20:10). NOT the SEVENTH NIGHT. This book continues: "...it is thus IMPORTANT to note at the outset that the method of observing the Sabbath from SUNSET TO SUNSET is dictated NOT BY THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT ITSELF (my note: agreed), but by the method of sunset reckoning which BECAME NORMATIVE IN JEWISH HISTORY." (Chapter 6)

Certainly, the sunset to sunset method of reckoning a day is a long standing tradition. Let's read about another long standing tradition. "THROUGHOUT JEWISH HISTORY, there were a number of individuals who claimed to be the Messiah. While each of these people gained some following at first, NONE of them---INCLUDING JESUS--fulfilled the messianic expectations. Thus in Judaism, NO ONE HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AS THE MESSIAH." (Every Persons Guide to Judaism, pp. 6-7).

It is no secret that Jews and Christians have disagreed on many Biblical doctrines over the centuries, including the most important one to Christians stated above. So why would Christians follow the sunset to sunset method of reckoning a day simply because it is a LONG STANDING TRADITION of Judaism?

Quoting from the book "What is a Jew?", note the following. "It is not easy to draw any rigid lines separating JEWISH LAW and JEWISH CUSTOM. There is an ancient saying that in Judaism CUSTOM BECOMES LAW. And the history of Judaism will reveal MANY religious laws widely recognized and observed, which had their origin in LONG-ACCEPTED FOLK PRACTICES." (p. 105). The author states that "any standard manual of Jewish law" points out that customs vary within the faith in different parts of the world.

Another interesting statement is found in the book "This is The Torah". "When Rabbis in the academies of BABYLONIA declared that because of the uncertainty of the calendar (It was not always possible to fix precisely when the New Moon of TISHRI had appeared and the month had actually begun), Rosh Hashana should be celebrated as a TWO-DAY holiday (p. 315)...Since the Bible specified that Rosh Hashana should be a ONE-DAY holiday, the Rabbis had to JUSTIFY the CHANGE to a TWO-DAY holiday. This was done by means of a LEGAL FICTION: they began referring to the TWO DAYS of Rosh Hashana as YOMA ARICHTA, meaning "ONE LONG DAY" of FORTY-EIGHT HOURS..." (p. 386).

If a period of time consisting of 48 HOURS was considered "ONE LONG DAY", it does not take a rocket scientist to understand how easy it would be to take the period of LIGHT (DAY) and combine it with the NIGHT and simply rename this 24 hour period "Day".

If you are expecting find many scriptures explaining why tradition places sunset as the beginning of a day, you will be as disappointed as I was when I asked my Sunday keeping Pastor to show me from the Bible why we should keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath. Over and over again, I found that the standard explanation goes something like this. "All Jewish days begin at sunset. This reckoning is based on the wording of the creation story in Genesis 1. At the end of the description of each day, we find the phrase: "And there was evening, and there was morning..." Since EVENING IS MENTIONED FIRST, the ancient Rabbis DEDUCED THAT EVENING IS FIRST." (Every Persons Guide to Judaism, p.5).

In the next section we will examine the above deduction of the Rabbis, as we look at the second half of Genesis 1:5. Following the last section, I will give you numerous scriptures and quotes for your study that support my position.


Can we deduce from Genesis 1:5 that a day begins at evening because EVENING IS MENTIONED FIRST? Is evening mentioned first? What does God say? "And God called the LIGHT DAY..." (Genesis 1:5). The very first thing that God tells us in this verse is that LIGHT = DAY. Evening is NOT mentioned at all.

The second thing God tells us is, "and the DARKNESS he called NIGHT." First we have LIGHT which is called DAY and second we have DARKNESS which is called NIGHT. This 24 HOUR period consists of THE TWO SEASONS OF DAY AND NIGHT. This is NOT a 24 Hour day. At this point the word "EVENING" has still not been mentioned.

The third thing that God says is, "And the EVENING and the MORNING were the first DAY (LIGHT)." God has already told us that (1) LIGHT = DAY and that (2) DARKNESS = NIGHT. Does He all of a sudden, change His mind within this same verse to tell us that a day begins at EVENING? No. He is simply telling us that in His definition of a DAY, that He considers both EVENING AND MORNING LIGHT. "And the EVENING and the MORNING were the first DAY (LIGHT). You will note that NIGHT is NOT mentioned here at all, because NIGHT = DARKNESS and EVENING AND MORNING = LIGHT and are a part of the 12 HOUR DAY.

So why is it that in the third section of this verse, Evening mentioned before Morning? Quoting once again from "The Time of The Crucifixion and the Resurrection" (Chapter 5): "In the Bible the MORNING is GENERALLY MENTIONED BEFORE THE EVENING, because this is the ORDER in which they came in the WAKING AND WORKING DAY." (my note: see 1Samuel 17:16). The author is correct. When you search the Bible you will find that this is a NATURAL PATTERN THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES.

An interesting thing to note when reading the scriptures is that THE ORDER FOUND IN AN EXPRESSION IS NOT NECESSARILY THE ORDER FOUND IN THE ACTUAL EVENT. In other words since Morning is "GENERALLY" mentioned before Evening in the word, the fact that evening is mentioned before morning in Genesis 1:5 does NOT NECESSARILY indicate that EVENING COMES FIRST. The key to knowing what comes first is the same key that we use when we study any other subject. We search all of the scriptures before we come to a conclusion.

Reading from the book "The Five Books of Moses", Genesis 1:5 is translated, "God called the Light: Day! and the Darkness he called Night! There was SETTING, there was DAWNING: one Day." (p.13). Commenting in his notes on this verse, the author states, "SETTING.....DAWNING: The Heb. terms erev and boker are rather more specific than the usual "evening" and "morning". Elsewhere I have used "SUNSET" and "DAYBREAK". (p.13).

Since "Morning" is generally mentioned before "EVENING" as noted earlier, and the primary meaning of Morning is "DAWNING" or "DAYBREAK" as confirmed by Jacob when he wrestled until the "BREAKING OF THE DAY" and we saw that the "DAY BREAKETH" when the "SUN ROSE UPON HIM" (Gen. 32: 24,26,31), it stands to reason that the natural Day begins in the MORNING at about the time when the SUN BEGINS TO RISE. I believe that you will come to a similar conclusion when you put the many scriptures together that will be provided for you.

Since "Evening" is generally mentioned AFTER MORNING, and the primary meaning is "SETTING" or "SUNSET" (NEVER "New Day", "Next Day", "Daybreak", etc--Mark 1:32), it stands to reason that Evening is at the END of the day (while still part of the day) as we saw by the examples from New Testament writers and Jesus Christ Himself.

One of the best definitions of a Day that I found that was not a word for word definition from scripture can be uncovered on page 475 in "The Jewish Encyclopedia". I used part of this definition before. "DAY" (Hebrew, "yom"): In the Bible, the SEASON OF LIGHT (Gen. 1:5), LASTING "FROM DAWN (LIT. "THE RISING OF THE MORNING") TO THE COMING FORTH OF THE STARS" . As you can see, even though Genesis 1:5 is used as an example, this definition shows that a DAY IN THE BIBLE BEGINS AT DAWN AND ENDS AT DARK.

In Job 38:4-11, God communicates the following to Job:

(4) "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?declare, if thou hast understanding.

(5) Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

(6) Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

(7) When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

(8) Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

(9) When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

(10) And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

(11) And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?..."

Throughout these verses we see that God is the one who "laid the foundations of the earth".  And in verse 12 God says:

(12) "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;..."

The primary meaning of the word "morning" (as defined by Strong's) used in verse 12,  is: “1242 boqer bo'-ker... properly, dawn (as the break of day)..."  This is the same word for "morning" used in Genesis 1:5.

"Dayspring"is the second important word that God uses in verse 12.  'Easton's Bible Dictionary' defines "dayspring" as: “the dawn of the morning; daybreak..â€

Now, if we compare Genesis 1:1-5 to Job 38:4-12, we see that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth“ and He â€œlaid the foundations of the earth".  In both scenarios we find God laying down the foundations of the earth.  In both cases, He is speaking.  And both times He uses the word "morning" which means “dawn (as the break of day).  And He clarifies what He means by calling this "morning" period the "dayspring" (obviously the spring of day), which means â€œthe dawn of the morning; daybreak..â€ン 

Carefully note, since God only asks Job about the "morning" ("dawn" "daybreak") and not a full day, "evening" is not mentioned at all Yes "dawn" was the start of a day in the "foundations" or "beginning" of the earth.  And it still is today.

In the very same book of Genesis (Chapter 32, as mentioned earlier), Jacob rose at "night" (V:22).  in verse 24, "...Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until THE BREAKING OF THE DAY" (or "until the coming up of DAWN" ---from the book "The Five Books of Moses", p. 155).  Verse 26 reads: "And let me go, for THE DAY BREAKETH..." (or "for DAWN has come up"--"The Five Books of Moses", p.155).  The word for "day" found in verses 24 and 26 of Genesis Chapter 32 is the very same word found in Job 38:12, and is translated there as "dayspring".         

Earlier I stated that "THE ORDER FOUND IN AN EXPRESSION IS NOT NECESSARILY THE ORDER FOUND IN THE ACTUAL EVENT". Here are some other examples that I have found. The very first verse of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH." (Gen. 1:1). So did God create the "Heaven" before the "Earth"? Genesis 2:4 states, "These are the generations of the Heavens and of the Earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the EARTH and the HEAVENS." Here we find that God made the "EARTH" and the "HEAVENS". This reverses the order found in Genesis 1:1. So did God create the Earth or the Heavens first? Obviously, we need to search the scriptures to find the answer. We cannot come to a proper conclusion based on these 2 scriptures alone. 

If we do not look at the whole picture and accept a partial picture instead, it can lead us to a wrong conclusion.  For an example, Genesis 8:22 States: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."  Notice that "summer" is mentioned before "winter".  That makes sense.  But then "cold" is mentioned before "heat".  Should we deduce from the above information based on the order of the words mentioned that "summer" is "cold" and "winter" is "heat"?  If it was my desire to further prove that summer was cold I could use the first part of Proverbs 26:1 which states: "As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest..."  Now, if we only look at the one and a half scriptures that I used, we must conclude that summer is cold and winter is hot.  We must come to this conclusion if we simply accept the order in which the words are given as the actual order that the events take place.   Obviously this 1-1/2 scripture conclusion is totally unnatural and yet it  is the same line of reasoning that many of us used  when we concluded that a day begins at "evening".

Throughout the Bible the expressions "DAY AND NIGHT" and "NIGHT AND DAY" are found. Although we have seen the day reckoned the same in both the Old and New Testaments, some commentators believe the day was reckoned in different ways depending on what Biblical period we are in. One reason is because day is mentioned before night in some places and night is mentioned before day in others. Is this belief correct? Solomon in a single prayer uses BOTH of the expressions "NIGHT AND DAY" (1Kings 8:29) and "DAY AND NIGHT" (1Kings 8:59). Obviously the order in which Day and Night are given does not necessarily tell us when a day begins. By my count (which may not be exact), I found that the expression "Night and Day" is listed about 21 times, including phrases like, "all of the night and all of the day". The exact phrase "Night and Day" is used about 4 times in the Old Testament and 9 times in the New Testament. The expression "Day and Night" is used about 57 times, including phrases such as, "all of the day and all of the night". The exact phrase "Day and Night" is used about 21 times in the Old Testament and 7 times in the New Testament. Solomon was NOT confused when he used the expressions "Night and Day" and "Day and Night" in the same prayer. He was simply using an expression. He was NOT trying to define when a day begins. He left that definition to God.

What have we been taught that the second half of Genesis 1:5 says? We have been taught that it says, "From even UNTO even was the first day". Notice that the expression used here, "Evening AND Morning" is NOT a "FROM and TO" Phrase like it IS with the Sabbath in Leviticus 23:32, which specifically says "FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN". Genesis 1:5 speaks of TWO PERIODS OF TIME (Evening AND Morning) and they are Both called "DAY" (LIGHT). That is why DARKNESS/NIGHT are Not mentioned. This phrase does NOT include the NIGHT SEASON. A similar expression is found in Psalm 55:17 where we find David saying, "EVENING, and MORNING, and at NOON will I pray..." Every commentator that I have read states that David prayed 3 TIMES A DAY. None of them state that he prayed 24 HOURS A DAY. Why? Because these are 3 different periods in a day. This is NOT a "FROM and TO" phrase.

In 1 Samuel 17:16, we find Goliath presenting himself for 40 days, "Morning AND Evening" to Israel. Clearly, he did not stand there for 40 consecutive 24 HOUR periods. He appeared before Israel at 2 different periods every day (Morning and Evening).

In Exodus 18:13 we find that the "...people stood by Moses FROM THE MORNING UNTO THE EVENING." Now that is a "FROM and TO" situation.

David is speaking of 3 separate periods each day when he prayed. Goliath appeared at 2 different periods every day and God is speaking of 2 different periods within the same day when He says "...the Evening AND the Morning..." in Genesis 1:5. And both periods are considered LIGHT.

"Some scholars believe that the days of the creation account extended from MORNING to morning and assume that God created during the DAYLIGHT HOURS before the Evening. This view is supported by the Jewish understanding of a day as the PERIOD OF DAYLIGHT (see John 9:4; cf. Gen. 1:5). OTHERS support the opposite viewpoint by citing the recurring phrase "there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1:5; cf. 8,13,19,23,31)..." (The Eerdman's Bible Dictionary, p. 266). As you can see there is disagreement among scholars on when the day begins and ends. I believe that I have shown that Genesis 1:5 does NOT say "from even UNTO even", nor does it say "from morning UNTO morning". The fact is a 24 hour period consists of the 2 seasons of DAY and NIGHT, NOT the "Evening and the Morning" which God simply calls DAY (LIGHT).


Finally, we will take a look at a couple of other familiar scriptures from a different point of view. Early on we looked at Acts Chapter 20 and found that Luke reckoned the "BREAK OF DAY" as the "MORROW" (Morning), after the Night had ended. In the Old Testament, we discover that the "MORROW" and "MORNING" also come after the Night has ended and NOT at Sunset. The primary meanings of the word "MORNING" found in Genesis 1:5 are: "MORNING", "BREAK OF DAY", "OF END OF NIGHT", "OF COMING OF DAYLIGHT", "OF COMING OF SUNRISE", OF BEGINNING OF DAY", "OF BRIGHT JOY AFTER NIGHT OF DISTRESS (fig.)", "MORROW, "NEXT DAY", "NEXT MORNING". (Strongs Concordance: Number 01242).

With the primary meanings for the word "Morning" fresh in our minds, please look at the following scriptures as seen in Exodus the 16th Chapter. Speaking of the Manna in verse 19, Moses tells the people to "...Let no man leave of it till the MORNING." ('Today's English Version' and 'The Jerusalem Bible' use the word "TOMORROW"). Verse 20 indicates that "...some of them left of it until MORNING" (The Jerusalem Bible says, "the FOLLOWING DAY"). Moses explains in verse 23, "...This is that which the Lord hath said, TO MORROW is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake TO DAY, and seethe that ye will seeth; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the MORNING." The "Today's English Version" Bible translates the same verse as follows: "The Lord has commanded that TOMORROW is a holy day of rest, dedicated to him. Bake TODAY what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Whatever is left should be put aside and kept for TOMORROW". "Moffatt" reads: "...TO-MORROW is to be a day of complete rest, a Sabbath sacred to the Eternal...So bake or boil TO-DAY as you please, and keep what is left over till TO-MORROW MORNING..." Here we see how "TOMORROW and the FOLLOWING DAY" are periods of time that begin in the Morning, NOT in the Evening. Thus, the Sabbath also begins in the Morning and NOT in the Evening. The Old and New Testaments both calculate the beginning and ending of days the very same way. There is no difference.

In the last half of Exodus 32:5, Aaron says: "...TO MORROW (Strong's 04279 - As the day following the present day) is a feast to the Lord". Verse 6 continues, "And they ROSE UP EARLY ON THE MORROW (taken from the same word as 04279). This MORROW was a time of EARLY RISING. The "Today's English Version" Bible renders the same scriptures as "...TOMORROW there will be a FESTIVAL to honor the Lord...EARLY THE NEXT MORNING...The people sat down to a FEAST..." "The Jerusalem Bible" says, "...TOMORROW he said will be a feast in honour of Yahweh...And so EARLY the NEXT DAY (Note: if a day began at Evening, MORNING would NOT be EARLY the NEXT DAY, but about HALF WAY through a 24 hour day)...the people sat down to eat and drink..." And finally "Moffatt" reads, "Aaron erected an altar in front of the calf and proclaimed a FESTIVAL NEXT DAY for the Eternal...So NEXT MORNING... the people sat down to the sacrificial FEAST..." Once again we find "Tomorrow", "Morrow", "Next Morning", "NEXT DAY", "EARLY THE NEXT DAY" and "EARLY THE NEXT MORNING" all related to each other WITHOUT a mention of EVENING. The word "TOMORROW" found in Exodus 32:5 is the same word used in Exodus 16:23 when Moses said: "...TOMORROW is the rest of the holy Sabbath..."

So when does the Sabbath Day begin? If today was a Friday afternoon, the Sabbath starts when TOMORROW (Saturday) begins on the NEXT MORNING or NEXT DAY when the SUN'S LIGHT begins to rule or as "Moffatt" explains, "TO-MORROW MORNING" (Saturday Morning). And of course Evening is near the END of the DAY, NOT THE BEGINNING. It is the part of the day that God considers LIGHT, just before the DAY ends with DARK.

In conclusion, I do not claim to have a perfect understanding of the issues that I have laid out before you. I do believe that if you prayerfully study this subject with an open mind, you will come to a similar conclusion and move a little closer to the will of God. (See below for Scriptures and Quotes for your study).


Listed below you will you will find scriptures and quotes that support my belief that, (A) the Sabbath Day and Biblical Day in general begin at DAWN and Not at EVENING. (B) The Sabbath Day and Biblical Day in general end at DARK and that EVENING is the tail end of a day, Not the beginning. (C) The Day is 12 Hours long, NOT 24. (D) DAY and NIGHT are 2 separate Seasons and NOT a single season of 24 hours. (E) Men have tampered with the original meaning of the word "DAY" as found in the Holy Scriptures.

The information below will be updated as new materials are gathered. So please check back often.


(1) Note the 2 different seasons of Day and Night -  (God "divided the light from the darkness" -Gen. 1:4) in the following scriptures: Genesis 7:12, 8:22 (just as Summer and Winter are 2 different seasons, so is Day and Night), Exodus 10:13, 13:21, Numbers 11:32, Judges 6:27, 1 Samuel 19:24, 28:20, 1 Kings 8:59, Job 2:13, 26:10, Psalms 42:3,8, 74:16, 78:14, 88:1, 121:6, Jeremiah 33:20-26 (V:20 "Day and Night in their Season"), 36:30, Lamentations 2:18, Jonah 1:17, Matthew 4:2, 12:40, Luke 18:7, 21:37-38, John 9:4-5, Acts 9:24, 26:7.

(2) Note the 2 different Seasons stated in the reverse order of Night and Day -  Psalms 91:5, Isaiah 27:3, Jeremiah 14:17, Mark 5:5, 1 Timothy 5:5, Acts 20:31.

(3) NIGHT (A Season that is different from Day): Genesis 1:5 ("...the Darkness HE called NIGHT..."), Joshua 10:9, Judges 19:13, 1 Samuel 15:11, 31:12, 2 Samuel 4:7, 12:16, Psalm 104:20 ("Thou makest DARKNESS, and it is NIGHT..."), 1 Thessalonians 5:5 ("...we are NOT of the NIGHT, nor of the DARKNESS...").

(4) DAY = LIGHT (A Season that is different from Night):

(a) "And GOD called the LIGHT DAY, and the Darkness HE called Night..." (Genesis 1:5).

(b) "...If any man walk in the DAY, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the LIGHT of this world. But if a man walk in the Night, he stumbleth, because there is NO Light." (John 11:9-10).

(c) "Ye are all children of LIGHT and the children of the DAY; we are NOT children of the Night, nor of Darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

(d) And GOD made two great lights; the GREATER LIGHT to RULE the DAY, and the Lesser light to RULE the Night (darkness): he made the Stars also." (Genesis 1:16).

(e) "To HIM that made great lights...The SUN to RULE by DAY...The Moon and the Stars to RULE by Night (darkness)..." (Psalm 136:7-9).

(f) "Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the SUN for a LIGHT BY DAY, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by Night (darkness)... " (Jeremiah 31:35).


(a) "And he took them the same hour of the NIGHT, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway...And when it was DAY, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying let those men go..." (Acts 16:33,35).

(b) "And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same NIGHT Peter was sleeping between two soldiers...Now as soon as it was DAY, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter..." (Acts 12:6,18).

(c) "And they took up Asahel, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went ALL NIGHT, and they came to Hebron at BREAK OF DAY." (2 Samuel 2:32).

(d) "...And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him ALL NIGHT in the gate of the city, and were quiet ALL OF THE NIGHT, saying in the MORNING, when it is DAY, we shall kill him." (Judges 16:2).

(e) "...he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued ALL NIGHT in prayer to God...And when it was DAY..." (Luke 6:12-13).

(f) "The NIGHT is FAR SPENT, the DAY is AT HAND..." (Romans 13:12).

(g) "And he rose up that NIGHT...And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man until the BREAKING OF THE DAY...And he said, Let me go, for the DAY BREAKETH...And as he passed over Penuel the SUN ROSE upon him..." (Genesis 32:22-31).

(h) "...Paul preached unto them, ready to DEPART on the MORROW; and continued his speech until MIDNIGHT...and talked a Long while, even till the BREAK OF DAY, so he DEPARTED." (Acts 20:7,11).

(I)  "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus." (John 21: 3-4)

In the two verses above John writes that during the "night" (V:3) no fish were caught and then "the morning was now come" (V:4).  Robertson's Word Pictures commenting on verse four states: "When day was now breaking...".  Vine's writes: "...at early morn..."  In the translations below (verse 4) we see once again that new days follow the night and do not proceed it at sunset:        

"But when day was now breaking..." (American Standard Version)

"Now very early in the morning..."  (Bible in Basic English)

"Just as day was breaking..." (English Standard Version)

"And early morn already breaking..." (Darby)

"Just as day was breaking..." (Twentieth Century New Testament)

"As the sun was rising..." (Good News Bible)

"Now just as day was breaking..." (Williams New Testament)

"Just as dawn was breaking..." (International Standard Version)

"Now at break of day..." (Moffatt)

"Early next morning..." (Contemporary English Version)

"..day was now dawning..." (Weymouth)

"And morning being now come..." (Young's Literal Translation)

"...when the day was now breaking..." (New American Standard Bible)

"At dawn..." (New Living Translation)

"Just as day was breaking..." (Revised Standard Version)

"Just as dawn began to break..." (Phillips)

"Just after daybreak..." (New Revised Standard Version)

"Early the next morning..." (New Century Version)

"Day had already dawned..." (The New Berkeley Version)

"...Just as the sun was rising in the morning..." (Julian G. Anderson New Testament)

"...just as day was breaking..." (Goodspeed)

Matthew uses this same word for "morning" in the same way (as John above) in a different account found in Matthew 27:1: "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:" -- The Twentieth Century New Testament says: "At daybreak" -- Williams New Testament says: "As soon as day broke" -- In the same account (of Matthew 27:1), Mark (15:1) uses a different word for "morning" and as noted earlier it means "early in the day at morn"...very early in the morning, at the rising of the sunâ€- that is, not that the sun “was risen,â€but that it was about to rise, or at the early break of day. " -- Continuing in the same account (of Matthew 27:1) Luke (22:66) writes: "And as soon as it was day..." (KJV) (indicating that it was not day until the morning of Matthew (27:1) and Mark (15:1) arrived). --Moffatt says: "When day broke" -- Young's Literal Translation says: "And when it became day..." -- New Living Translation says: "At daybreak". -- Phillip's says: "...when daylight came..." -- The Jerusalem Bible says: "When day broke..." -- Here we have three separate Gospels speaking of the same event and they all show that a new day begins at dawn using different words to arrive at the same conclusion.     

(See commentary on John chapter 20 listed under "WHAT ABOUT NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTATORS?" in the 'Table of Contents".) 

(6) MORNING FOLLOWS THE NIGHT OR BRINGS THE LIGHT OF DAY: 1 Samuel 25:36, 29:10, 2 Samuel 17:22, 23:4, 2 Kings 3:22, Isaiah 58:8.

(a) "And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by NIGHT, and spoil them until the MORNING LIGHT..." (1 Samuel 14:36).

(b) "And it came to pass that NIGHT, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they AROSE EARLY in the MORNING..." (2 Kings 19:35).

(c) "Now therefore up by NIGHT...And it shall be, that in the MORNING, as soon as the SUN IS UP, thou shalt RISE EARLY..." (Judges 9:32-33).

(7) LIGHT AS A SYMBOL OF GOD AND GOOD----DARKNESS AS A SYMBOL OF SATAN AND EVIL: Deuteronomy 16:4,6, Ecclesiastes 11:7-8, Isaiah 42:16, Jeremiah 13:16, Amos 5:18,20, John 3:19-21, Acts 26:18, Ephesians 5:8, 6:12, Colossians 1:12-13, 1Peter 2:9, 1 John 1:5-6 (God separates GOOD from EVIL and many times equates them with LIGHT and DARKNESS which HE also separated because He never meant them to be the same):

(a) "Woe unto them that call EVIL GOOD, and GOOD EVIL; that put DARKNESS for LIGHT, and LIGHT for DARKNESS..." (Isaiah 5:20).

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12) 


(a) "The Sun shall be no more thy LIGHT by DAY; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an EVERLASTING LIGHT and thy GOD thy glory. Thy Sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine EVERLASTING LIGHT, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." (Isaiah 60:19-20).

(b) "And the city had no need of the Sun, neither of the Moon, to shine in it: for the glory of GOD did LIGHTEN it, and the LAMB is the LIGHT thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the LIGHT of it...And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by DAY: for there shall be NO NIGHT THERE." (Revelation 21:23-25).

(c) "And there shall be NO NIGHT THERE; and they need no candle, neither Light of the Sun; for the LORD GOD giveth them LIGHT: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5).


(a) "And they AROSE EARLY: and it came to pass about the SPRING OF THE DAY (KJV note: DAWN), that Samuel called Saul..." (1 Samuel 9:26).------OTHER VERSIONS:

(a-1) "At DAWN Samuel called to Saul..." (Today's English Version).

(a-2) "At the BREAK OF DAY Samuel Called to Saul..." (The Jerusalem Bible).

(a-3) "At DAY-BREAK Samuel called to Saul..." (James Moffatt).

(b) "Hast thou commanded the MORNING since thy days; and caused the DAYSPRING (***DAWN) to know his place..." (Job 38:12)--(***'The Jerusalem Bible' and 'James Moffatt'). (Today's English Version reads: "...commanded a DAY to DAWN?...").


EVENING is NOT translated as: The beginning of the "New Day", "Next Day", "Tomorrow" or "Morrow". It is NOT translated as "Daybreak", "Break of Day", etc.

MORNING IS often translated as: The beginning of the "Next Day", "Tomorrow" or "Morrow". It IS translated as "Daybreak", "Break of Day", "Dawn", etc.

EVENING is simply a part of the Day Season (tail end) that is the SAME DAY that began at DAWN. Various translations use words such as : "Evening", "Even", "Between the Two Evenings", "Sunset", "Setting", etc. to describe this part of the Day.----Scriptures are as follows:

(a) "And the SAME DAY, when EVEN was come..." (Mark 4:35---NOT the Next Day).

(b) "Then the SAME DAY at EVENING, being the FIRST day of the week..." (John 20:19---NOT the Next Day).

(c) "...Woe unto us! for the DAY GOETH AWAY, for the SHADOWS OF THE EVENING are STRETCHED OUT...Arise, and let us go by NIGHT..." (Jeremiah 6:4-5).-------OTHER VERSIONS:

(c-1) "...Despair! The DAYLIGHT is FADING already, the EVENING SHADOWS LENGTHEN...To arms! We will launch the attack under cover of DARK..." (The Jerusalem Bible).

(c-2) "...Pity the DAY is DECLINING, the SHADOWS ARE LENGTHENING!...Come on, let us attack by NIGHT..." (James Moffatt). (Many translations use some form of the word "declining" including the 'Jewish Publication Society Bible' which uses the word “declinethâ€).

(c-3) "Woe to us, for the DAY IS PASSING; the evening shadows grow long. (The Holman Standard Christian Bible).

(c-4) "Woe to us! for the DAY IS WANING, evening shadows are lengthening." (The Complete Jewish Bible -see source 123).

(c-5) “Oh, it's too late? DAY IS DYING? Evening shadows are upon us?â€(The Message) 

(c-6) "...It's too late, the DAY is ALMOST OVER, and the EVENING SHADOWS ARE GROWING LONG..." (Today's English Version).----(Note: After the SHADOWS of EVENING have arrived, the DAY is said to be GOING AWAY, FADING, DECLINING, PASSING, WANING, DYING and ALMOST OVER, but it HAS NOT ENDED nor has a NEW DAY BEGUN (Just as we found in the New Testament).-----Also note, that NIGHT follows the EVENING).

(d) "So we LABOURED in the work: and half of them held the spears FROM THE RISING OF THE MORNING TILL THE STARS APPEARED (THIS IS A FULL DAY)...Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the NIGHT they may be a guard to us, and LABOUR on the DAY." (Nehemiah 4:21-22)-----OTHER VERSIONS:

(d-1) "...This was how I and my men did our WORK; half held their spears from DAWN until the STARS APPEARED...Let each of you, man and servant alike, keep inside Jerusalem to provide us with guard duty at NIGHT and with LABOUR during the DAY..." (James Moffatt).

(d-2) " So every DAY, from DAWN until the STARS CAME OUT AT NIGHT, half of us WORKED on the wall while the other half stood guard with spears...I told the men in charge that they and all their helpers had to stay in Jerusalem at NIGHT, so we could guard the city at NIGHT as well as WORK in the DAYTIME..." (Today's English Version).

(d-3) "...So we went on with the WORK from BREAK OF DAY till the STARS APPEARED...Let each man with his servant, spend the NIGHT inside Jerusalem: in this way we can employ the NIGHT in watching and the DAY in WORKING..." (The Jerusalem Bible).

(e) The following Scriptures are Taken from a Translation of the Pentateuch in the work, "THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES" (source # 35 below):

(e-1) "At the LIGHT of DAYBREAK (Morning-KJV), the men were sent off, they and their donkeys." (Genesis 44:3).

(e-2) "...Here were the cloud and the DARKNESS, and (there) it lit up the NIGHT; the-one did not come near the-other ALL NIGHT...and YHWH caused the sea to go back with a fierce east wind ALL NIGHT...Now it was at the **DAYBREAK-WATCH (Morning watch--KJV----**Authors Note: DAYBREAK-WATCH: Before Sunrise: the biblical NIGHT was divided in three "watches")...Moshe stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned, at the face of DAWN (Morning--KJV)..." (Exodus 14:20,21,24,27).

(e-3) "YHWH said to Moshe: Here I will make rain down upon you BREAD from the heavens, the people shall go out and glean, each DAY'S amount in its DAY, in order that I may test them, whether they will walk according to my instruction or not. But it shall be on the sixth DAY: when they prepare what they have brought in, it shall be a double-portion compared to what they glean DAY after DAY. Moshe and Aharon said to all the Children of Israel: At SUNSET (Even--KJV) you will know that it is YHWH who brought you out of the land of Egypt; at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) you will see the Glory of YHWH: when he hearkens to your grumblings against YHWH--what are we, that you grumble against us? Moshe said: Since YHWH gives you flesh to eat at SUNSET (Evening--KJV), and at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV), BREAD to satisfy (yourselves) (Exodus 16:4-8)...I have hearkened to the grumblings of the Children of Israel---speak to them, and say: BETWEEN THE SETTING-TIMES (Even--KJV) you shall eat flesh, and at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) you shall be satisfied with BREAD, and you shall know that I am YHWH your God. Now it was at SUNSET (Even--KJV) a horde-of-quail came up and covered the camp. And at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) there was a layer of dew around the camp; and when the layer of dew went up, here, upon the surface of the wilderness, something fine (Author's note: The mahn (trad. English "Manna")..." (Exodus 16:12-13). (With the above scriptures listed under (C) in mind, Please take the time to read once again the last section of the main text, titled "TOMORROW IS THE REST OF THE HOLY SABBATH").

(e-4) "Now it was on the MORROW: Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood before Moshe from DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) until SUNSET (Evening--KJV)...why do you sit alone, while the entire people stations itself around you from DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) until SUNSET (Even--KJV)? (Exodus 18:13-14).

(e-5) "Now it was on the third DAY, when it was DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)..." (Exodus 19:16)--Author's Note: DAYBREAK: Perhaps to convey that there was nothing deceptive or DREAMLIKE about this event, which was to be SEEN as a large-scale group experience..." (My Note: Not a NIGHT SEASON experience).

(e-6) "And this is what you are to sacrifice on the slaughter-site: year-old lambs, TWO FOR EACH DAY, regularly. The FIRST lamb you are to sacrifice at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV), and the SECOND lamb you are to sacrifice BETWEEN THE SETTING-TIMES (Even--KJV)..." (Exodus 29:38-39). (Note: TWO lambs EVERY DAY. One at DAYBREAK , which is MORNING and one BETWEEN THE SETTING-TIMES, which is EVENING. The SECOND lamb is sacrificed in the EVENING which is still part of the SAME DAY THAT STARTED AT DAYBREAK. EVENING IS NOT THE NEXT DAY, because the command is to sacrifice TWO LAMBS IN THE SAME DAY. (An author's note on page 618 states: BETWEEN THE SETTING TIMES: Between the time that the Sun is below the horizon, no longer visible, and total darkness. An idiomatic rendition would be "at TWILIGHT".

(e-7) "Outside the curtain of the Testimony, in the Tent of Appointment, Aharon is to arrange it, from SUNSET (Evening--KJV) to DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)..." (Leviticus 24:3). (Note: The EVENING is simply called SUNSET and NOT the beginning of a New Day (Next Day, etc.). MORNING is called DAYBREAK, which IS obviously the beginning of a New Day.

(e-8) "Then he spoke to Korah and to his entire community, saying at DAYBREAK (To Morrow--KJV)..." (Numbers 16:5).

(e-9) "Bil'am AROSE at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)...And God came to Bil'am at NIGHT...Bil'am AROSE at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)...Now it was at DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)..." (Numbers 22:13, 20-21, 41).

(e-10) "Your life will hang-by-a-thread before you, you will be terrified NIGHT and DAY, and you will not trust in (the security of) your life. At DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV) you will say: Who would make it SUNSET (Even--KJV)! And at SUNSET (Even--KJV) you will say: Who would make it DAYBREAK (Morning--KJV)!..." (Deuteronomy 28:66-67).

(f) Every translation below verifies the fact that the annual Sabbath / Fast of Leviticus 23:32 starts on the 9th day of the month (not the 10th) in the evening:

(f-1) "...This time of rest and fasting will begin the evening before the Day of Atonement (see note 7) and extend until evening of that day." -- Note (7) "Hebrew the evening of the ninth day of the month". (New Living Translation (NLT).

The 'New Living Translation' correctly indicates that the Sabbath/Fast begins the "evening before the day of Atonement" and not on the Day of Atonement. Why? Because a new day (Day of Atonement - 10th) begins at dawn.

(f-2) "...and you must abstain and fast: from sunset on the ninth day to sunset on the tenth day you shall hold your Sabbath." (James Moffatt).

Not only does 'Moffatt' understand that the Sabbath / Fast begins at sunset on the ninth day, he also understands that the following evening is still the 10th day and not the 11th day, as it would be if a new day started at sunset.

(f-3) "...and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." (King James Version).

(f-4) "...and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath." (New American Standard Bible (NASB).

(f-5) "...and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your Sabbath." (New International Version (NIV).

God refers to the evening as the time "when the sun did set" (Mark 1:32). Many people have been taught that God refers to this period of time as the beginning of a new day.

God calls the light "day" and the darkness "night" (Gen 1:5). Many people have been taught that He called both seasons "day". As a result of this teaching, many people overlook the entire first half of Genesis 1:5.

God calls the "evening" and the "morning" "day" (Gen 1:5), thereby classifying both periods as a time of light. Many people have been taught that God actually said "From even unto even" is a day.

God explains that there is 12 hours in a day (John 11:9). Many people have been taught that there is 24 hours in a day.

God calls the evening before the Day of Atonement the 9th day of the month (Lev. 23:32). Many people have been taught that He really meant to call it the 10th day. (See "Day of Atonement -- Sifting Through the Traditions" in the table of contents for more on this subject).

(g) "Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?  And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:  And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even fromthe morning (my note: "early morning" -'Good News Bible', "daybreak" -'God's Word' version) until now, that she tarried a little in the house." (Ruth 2:5-7). -- This is the same word for "morning" found in Genesis 1:5 and Job 38:12. Boaz allowed Ruth to glean in his field and after "mealtime" (Ruth 2:14): "...she gleaned in the field until even..." (Ruth 2:17). -- Here we see that Ruth simply gleaned until evening.  The Bible does not say that she gleaned until the "day was over", or until "daybreak".  That is because "early morning" was "daybreak" and the evening was still a part of the day season that began at dawn.  The word "even" in verse 17 is the same word translated "evening" in Genesis 1:5. 

After Ruth had gleaned until "even", she "...beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.  And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.  And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz." (Ruth 2:17-19). -- It is important to observe that while tradition states that a new day begins with evening, both Ruth and her mother in law refer to all of Ruth's activities that  began in the early morning as activities that happened to day.  Ruth's mother in law does not ask, "Where did you glean Yesterday ?" That is the question that she should have asked because "even" began before Ruth made her way back to the city.  Yes, that is the question that should have been asked if days really began with the evening.

(h)  The following Scriptures are Taken from a Translation of the First and Second books of Samuel in the work, "GIVE US A KING" (same author as (e) above -- source # 122 below):

(h-1)  "Shemu'el lay down until daybreak ("morning" - kjv)..." (1Samuel 3:15)

(h-2)  "And the Philistine would approach, early and late ("morning and evening" - kjv), presenting himself for forty days." (1Samuel 17:16)

(h-3)  "...And David fled, escaping on that night.  And Sha'ul sent messengers to David's house, to watch out for him and to put-him-to-death at daybreak ("morning"-kjv), but Mikhal his wife told David, saying: If you don't escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put-to-death!" (1Samuel 19:10-11)

(h-4)  "...if I leave from all that belongs to him, by the light of daybreak ("morning light" - kjv)..." (1Samuel 25:22)

(h-5)  "...had you not hurried and come to meet me, there wouldn't have been left to Naval by the light of daybreak ("morning light" - kjv)..." (1Samuel 25:34)

(h-6)  "...so she did not tell him a thing, small or great, until the light of daybreak ("morning light" - kjv).  But it was at daybreak ("morning" - kjv), when the wine was gong out of Naval..." (1Samuel 25:36-37)

(h-7)  "...they crossed the Jordan, till the light of daybreak ("morning light" - kjv) (2Samuel 17:22)

(h-8)  "...a ruler with the awe of God, is like the light of daybreak ("light of the morning" - kjv) (as) the sun rises, a daybreak ("morning" - kjv) without clouds.." (2Samuel 23:3-4)

(h-9)  "David arose at daybreak ("morning" - kjv) (2Samuel 24:11)

(h-10)  "...and they came, at the heat of the day, to the house of Ish-Boshet while he was lying down for the noonday ("noon" - kjv) nap." (2Samuel 4:5)

(h-11)  "...Then they went all night, Yo'av and his men with light-breaking ("break of day" - kjv) upon them in Hevron." (2Samuel 2:32)

(h-12)  "...and they fasted until sunset ("even" - kjv)..." (2Samuel 1:12)

(h-13) "...they started-early, and it was, when dawn came-up ("spring of the day" - kjv), that Shemu'el called Sha'ul..." (1Samuel 9:26)

(h-14)  "...there was no strength (left) in him, for he had not eaten food all day and all night." (1Samuel 28:20)

(i)  "And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought." (Acts 5:21) --- OTHER VERSIONS (translation abbreviations: source 124 - see sources in table of contents):

"they entered into the temple at daybreak..." (ALT)

"they entered into the temple about daybreak..." (ASV)

"they went into the Temple at dawn..." (BBE)

"they heard that, they entered the temple about daybreak..." (EMTV)

"they entered the temple at daybreak..." (ESV)

"and at dawn they entered the Temple..." (GNB)

"they went into the temple at daybreak..." (ISV)

"they entered the Temple about daybreak..." (JBP)

"they went into the temple about dawn..." (MKJV)

"they went to the temple early in the morning..." (NAB)

"they entered into the temple about daybreak..." (NAS)

"the apostles entered the Temple about daybreak ..." (NLT)

"And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak..." (RSV)

"they went at daybreak into the Temple..." (TCNT)

"and about the break of day they went into the temple..." (WmsNT)

"they entered into the temple about daybreak..." (WEB)

"they did enter at the dawn into the temple..." (YLT)

The same word used to indicate "early in the morning" in Acts 5:21 is also used in John 8:2 and Luke 24:1.  In John 8:2 we read:

"And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them."  -- A good number of translations simply use words such as, "early in the morning" here.  Please review several other translations:

"Then at dawn He came again to the temple..." (ALT)

"At daybreak, he appeared again in the Temple..." (The Complete Jewish Bible -source 123)

"At daybreak he appeared again in the temple..." (ISV)

"And at dawn, He again arrived into the temple..." (LITV)

"At break of day however He returned to the Temple..." (WNT)

Using the very same word for "early in the morning" found in Acts 5:21 and John 8:2, Luke 24:1 reads:

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them." --- A number of translations use a phrase such as "very early in  the morning" or "at early dawn". Here are several other interesting translations:

"But on the morrow of the sabbath, very early indeed in the morning,..." (Darby)

"On the morowe after the saboth erly in the morninge..." (Tyndale, 1534)

Please observe that the two old translations above refer to this time very early in the morning at dawn as tomorrow after the Sabbath.  The early morning at dawn  is called tomorrow, not the following evening.  'The Complete Jewish Bible" puts it this way:

"but the next day, while it was still very early..." --- This same version translates "early in the morning" as "dawn" in Acts 5:21 and "daybreak" in John 8:2.  As mentioned elsewhere, this time of the morning would not be considered very early the next day if days began at sunsetIt would be about half way through a 24 hour dayNoon is considered Midday throughout the Bible.

Thayer's definition of the word "orthros" (found in Luke 24:1, John 8:2 & Acts 5:21):  1) daybreak, dawn -- 2) at early dawn, at daybreak, early in the morning ( p. 453.) --- 'Vincent's Word Studies' and 'Robertson's Word Pictures' also say, "About daybreak".            

(see #'s (16), (41), and (60A) listed under "Quotes" for more information)

It is true that a translator may sometimes allow a personal unbiblical view to creep into a text (e.g. 'pascha' translates as 'Easter' -Acts 12:4).  It is also true that in this study no matter what a translator may personally believe regarding when a day begins, the truth of the matter comes to the surface numerous times in translation after translation.  Why?  The fact is, the Bible is so saturated with days beginning at dawn, it soon becomes evident that only a very strong tradition could suppress what the many translations cannot deny.      



"...Jesus answered, Are there not TWELVE HOURS IN THE DAY?..." 

(John 11:9) - (note *9*) -Matthew 20:1-16 (note *23*) -  

(a)  The day starts with "dawn" before the sun rises:   Genesis 32: 22, 24, 26 and 31 (note *1* & *22*)  - Acts 20:11(note *2*) -

1 Samuel 9:26 (note *4*) -

(b)  The primary meaning of the word  "morning" is dawn or break of day:  Genesis 1:5 (note *21* & *22*) - Job 38:12 (note *22*) -  

(c)  The "sun" was made to rule the day.  Not the night:  Genesis 1:16 (note *13*) - Psalm 136:7-9 (note *14*) - Jeremiah 31:35 (note *15*) -

(d)  "Day" is a season of light (only) and is different from night.  Genesis 8:22 (note *10*) - Jeremiah 33:20 (note *12*)

(e)  "Midday" is noon  and arrives after the morning:  Nehemiah 8:3 (note *17*)   - 

(f)  "Noon" is midday:  Acts 22:6 (note *3*)

(g)   "Midday" is noon and comes before the evening or the evening sacrifice:  1Kings 18:29 (note *18*) -

(h)  "Afternoon" arrives after morning and noon and before evening and night:  Judges 19:8-9 (note *19*) -      

(i)  In late afternoon the day is far spent:  Luke 24:29(note *6*)     

(j)  "Evening" is a time when the day is declining and is almost over.  It is not the end of a day or the beginning of a new day:  Jeremiah 6:4 - 5 (note *5*)  - Mark 4:35 (note *7*) - John 20:19 (note *8*) - Matthew 20:1-16 (note *23*) -Exodus 29:38-39  (note *24*)

(k)  The sun is still ruling the day at evening:  Mark 1:32 (note *16*) - Genesis 1:5 (note *20*)

(l)  A full day is from dawn to dark:  Genesis 1:5 (And God called the light day) (note *10*) - Nehemiah 4:21-22 (note *11*)  -

(m)  "Hour " -- Most Sabbath literature will indicate that "...Christ and the apostles, reckoned sunset as the ending of one day and the beginning of another." (The Bible Sabbath, p. 21).  Various New Testament Bible commentaries will say something like: "...the Sabbath (sundown Friday evening to sundown Saturday evening..." (p. 256).  On the other hand the same commentary may say something like: "Work began around sunrise, about 6 a.m....the time of day was necessarily reckoned from sunrise ..." (The IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament, pp. 98-99).  In addition many commentaries will acknowledge that, "the day was twelve hours long, and the first hour began at sunrise ." (Geneva Bible Translation Notes).  Sound confusing?  With some research, we will find that Bible translation after translation reveals that a  new day begins about the time the sun begins to rise in the morning and not at sunset.

We will now look at every New Testament verse in which a stated hour of the day is mentioned.  The KJV will be used for each scripture.  At the end of each verse the stated hour will be repeated using a different translation for every scripture quoted.  Hours quoted by these translations are based on the day beginning at about 6 a.m. (varies based on the time of the year):

"And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace..." (Matthew 20:3 ) -- "nine that morning" (Contemporary English Version).

"Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise." (Matthew 20:5 )  -- "about noon and 3 p.m." (God's Word).

"And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?" (Matthew 20:6 ) -- "nearly five o'clock" (Good News Bible).

"And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny." (Matthew 20:9 ) -- "about five o'clock" (International Standard Version).

"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." (Matthew 27:45 ) -- "noon to three" (The Message).

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 ) -- "about three o'clock" (The New Living Translation).

"And it was the third hour, and they crucified him." (Mark 15:25 ) -- "nine in the morning" (The Holman Christian Standard Bible).

"And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour." (Mark 15:33 ) -- "at noon...until three o'clock" (The Complete Jewish Bible - see source 123).

"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34 ) -- "at three o'clock" (New Century Version).

"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour." (Luke 23:44 ) -- "about noon...till three o'clock" (Weymouth New Testament).

"He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour." (John 1:39 ) -- "about the tenth hour" (About four o'clock in the afternoon) (Amplified Bible).

"Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour." (John 4:6 ) -- "about noon" (The New Revised Standard Version).

"Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." (John 4:52 ) -- "about one o'clock" (Twentieth Century New Testament).

"And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" (John 19:14 ) -- "about noon" (Moffatt).

"For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day." (Acts 2:15) -- "nine o'clock in the morning" (Williams).

"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour." (Acts 3:1) -- "three o'clock" (Worldwide English (New Testament).

"He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius." (Acts 10:3) -- "about three in the afternoon" (New International Version).

"On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:" (Acts 10:9) -- "about noon" (Knox).

"And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,..." (Acts 10:30) -- "about three o'clock" (Goodspeed).

What have we learned from the scriptures shown above:

(a)  19 different translations reckon the beginning of a day from the first light of morning (not sunset) regardless of the scenario: (people working, people standing idle and not working, hours mentioned at the time of the crucifixion, journeys, the sharing of  living space,  healings, Passover preparation, Holy days, visions from God and prayer times).

(b)  No stated hour is higher than the 12 total hours that Jesus tells us is in a day (John 11:9-10).  The highest stated hour is the 11th ("about five o'clock").  We do not read about the 13th, 17th or 23rd hour of a day.

(c)  Day of Pentecost:

In Acts 2:1 God's word states: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."  In verse 15 Peter says: "For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day."  The Williams translation says, **"nine o'clock in the morning".  Question.  The third hour of what dayThe Day of Pentecost .   If nine o'clock in the morning was the third hour of the day, then the Day of Pentecost began in the morning around sunrise (about 6 a.m.).

Conclusion?  The Day of Pentecost, an annual Holy Day of God, begins with the first light of morning just as the weekly Sabbath day does.

This conclusion is supported by the fact that the time measurement used in Acts 2:15 is identical to the time measurement found in the other 18 scriptures that refer to a stated hour of the day in the four gospels and the Book of Acts.

The conclusion also agrees with Luke's (author of Acts 2:15) understanding of the nature of a day as described throughout this website (see "What About New Testament Commentators?" - Acts 20:7 and # 60 - A & B listed under "Quotes" as examples of Luke's understanding of when a day begins).

In addition it was Peter in Acts 2:15 who said it was the "third hour of the day" at approximately 9 o'clock in the morning .  Not only does Peter demonstrate that he understands that a day literally begins at about sunrise in Acts 2:15, he also demonstrates his understanding figuratively in 2Peter 1:19 where he writes: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts :"  --  Albert Barne's comments on 2Peter 1:19:

"As unto a light that shineth in a dark place - That is, the prophecies resemble a candle, lamp, or torch, in a dark room, or in an obscure road at night. They make objects distinct which were before unseen; they enable us to behold many things which would be otherwise invisible. The object of the apostle in this representation seems to have been, to state that the prophecies do not give a perfect light, or that they do not remove all obscurity, but that they shed some light on objects which would otherwise be entirely dark, and that the light which they furnished was so valuable that we ought by all means to endeavor to avail ourselves of it. Until the day shall dawn, and we shall see objects by the clear light of the sun, they are to be our guide. A lamp is of great value in a dark night, though it may not disclose objects so clearly as the light of the sun. But it may be a safe and sure guide; and a man who has to travel in dark and dangerous places, does well to “take heedâ€to his lamp.

Until the day dawn - Until you have the clearer light which shall result from the dawning of the day. The reference here is to the morning light as compared with a lamp; and the meaning is, that we should attend to the light furnished by the prophecies until the truth shall be rendered more distinct by the events as they shall actually be disclosed - until the brighter light which shall be shed on all things by the glory of the second advent of the Saviour, and the clearing up of what is now obscure in the splendors of the heavenly world. The point of comparison is between the necessary obscurity of prophecy, and the clearness of events when they actually occur - a difference like that which is observable in the objects around us when seen by the shining of the lamp and by the light of the sun. The apostle directs the mind onward to a period when all shall be clear - to that glorious time when the Saviour shall return to receive his people to himself in that heaven where all shall be light. Compare Rev. 21:23-25; Rev. 22:5 . Meantime we should avail ourselves of all the light which we have, and should apply ourselves diligently to the study of the prophecies of the Old Testament which are still unfulfilled, and of those in the New Testament which direct the mind onward to brighter and more glorious scenes than this world has yet witnessed. In our darkness they are a cheering lamp to guide our feet, till that illustrious day shall dawn. Compare the notes at 1Co 13:9-10." (Albert Barne's Notes on the Bible). -- (The word "dawn" in this verse is defined by Strong's as "to glimmer through, that is, break (as day): - dawn.").

Matthew 20:3 and Mark 15:25 are the two scriptures other than Acts 2:15 that specifically mention the "third hour".  The following 11 Bible versions indicate that the "third hour" was approximately 9 o'clock in the morning in all three scriptures that show this stated hour:  Moffatt, Goodspeed, Amplified, Contemporary English Version, New American Standard Bible (notes), Williams, Phillips, God's Word, International Standard Version, Good News and The Message.

In the Book of John (11:9), Jesus says, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?".  In a parable (Matthew 20:1-16) of our Lord, Matthew writes about the 12 hour day:  "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard." (verse 1) -- The IVP Bible Background Commentary (p. 98-99)  says "...sunrise, about 6 a.m...the time of day was necessarily reckoned from sunrise." -- Vine's (pp. 190 & 417- source # 14 below) notes that the word "early " means "...early in the day at morn,... and "is translated "in the morning" in Matt...20:1 (with hama, "early")...". -- Vine's does not say "early in the day at evening" (see #60-D listed under "Quotes" in the table of contents).

Jesus continues (verse 3): "And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,..." -- Again, at about 9 o'clock in the morning Jesus declares that it is the "third hour".  And just 3 hours earlier with the first glimmer of light a brand new day has begun at about sunrise and it is now "early in the day at morn" as "the time of day was necessarily reckoned from sunrise" .  Not some 12 hours earlier at sunset.

As the day moves along in this parable, Jesus speaks of the sixth and the ninth hours (verse 5).  And then in verse 6 He says, "And about the eleventh hour (my note: about 5 o'clock) he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?" -- Note:  This is the 11th hour (not the 23rd) and Jesus says why do you stand here "all the day".  He does not say "why stand ye here half of the day" or "early in the day" etc.  He says "all the day".  Why?  Because it was almost "The last hour: for the day was twelve hours long, and the first hour began at sunrise." (Geneva Bible Translation Notes: on Matthew 20:6).

Mark (15:25) agrees with Jesus (Matthew 20:3) and Peter (Acts 2:15) that the "third hour" of the day was just 3 hours from dawn as he states in 15:1, "And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate." -- The word "morning" is the same word that Matthew uses in our Lord's parable (Matthew 20:1) and means "early in the day at morn" or as Strong's Concordance indicates "at dawn".  Mark uses this very same word once again in chapter 16:2: "And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchreat the rising of the sun." 9 A.M. minus 3 hours = 6 A.M (Sunrise) or more precisely "dawn".  Mark says "at the rising of the sun".  Albert Barne's commenting on Mark 16:1-2 says it was, "... very early in the morning, at the rising of the sunâ€- that is, not that the sun “was risen,â€but that it was about to rise, or at the early break of day. "  

Finally, 'Smith's Bible Dictionary' says this about the word "Hour":

"the natural hour, that is, The 12th part of the natural day, or of thetime between sunrise and sunset

These are the hours meant in the New Testament, John 11:9; etc., and it must be remembered that they perpetually vary in length, so as to be very different at different times of he year. For the purpose of prayer the old division of the day into four portions was continued in the Temple service. As we see fromAct 2:15; Act 3:1; Act 10:9.."

I am not aware of any Sabbath observing Christian group that believes the 3 days and 3 nights of Matthew 12:40 exceeds 72 hours in length.  Even if such a group exists, the fact is that the vast majority of Sabbath observing Christians agree that none of the 3 days mentioned in Matthew 12:40 (New Testament) -  (or Jonah 1:17 Old Testament) exceeds 12 hours in length.  While majority does not always equal truth, it should be noted that most of these people strongly believe in 24 hour days.    Many Christians who clearly see no more than 12 hours in a day in both Testaments in this case, lose sight of  this fact elsewhere ("And God called the light day...", O.T..."Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in the day?...", N.T.)  simply because the sunset to sunset doctrine  continues to be a powerful tradition.  This tradition persuaded me to be loyal to my notions about God's teaching regarding the day instead of being loyal to God's teaching.  The simple fact is that once my loyalties changed through prayer and study, the evidence that new days are ushered in at dawn and are 12 hours long was overwhelming.                

**Below you will find some additional notes on Acts 2:15 by several well known Bible commentators:

(1) "The third hour of the day - The Jews divided their day into twelve equal parts, reckoning from sunrise to sunset. Of course the hours were longer in summer than in winter. The third hour would correspond to our nine o’clock in the morning. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible).

(2) "But the third hour of the day - That is, about nine o’clock in the morning" (Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible).

(3) "but the third hour--nine A.M." (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary).

(4) "It is but the third hour of the day - That is, nine in the morning" (John Wesley's Explanatory Notes).


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            Written and compiled by Neil Gardner