Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

 

The Hours of the Sabbath

From Even to Even

  

"God, through the Holy Spirit, is preparing to restore His church to the biblical principles found in the Judaic contours of its formative years. The way it will happen is not by an "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit alone but through a Word of God revival. Here is the promise of God: "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (Deut 32:2).
 

The latter rain will be a rain of truth. If the Church needs anything today, it needs the following: ". . . the washing of water by the word." (Eph 5:25-26)

 

 Paul W. Puckett

 

Introduction

Sunrise or sunset; 12 hours or 24

 

Many winds of doctrine abound these days. The Word of God has undergone much  misunderstanding and misinterpretation through the centuries and it is far from over, but it is getting close to the end. The doctrine of the 7th day Sabbath has not escaped the shifting winds. Efforts have been made to disprove many things about the 7th day Sabbath. First, the true 7th day Sabbath of worship, which day it is, and according to which calendar. And among the shifting winds of doctrine, the hours of keeping the Sabbath have also come under fire. The purpose of this paper is not to discuss the day on which the true Sabbath falls or which day to worship on. The focus of this study is to determine and define the hours in which the Sabbath should be kept, and when it should begin. It is to determine the true hours of Sabbath observance, and whether it should be observed beginning at sunset (even) or sunrise. Reckoning of the hours of the day took several forms around the time of Christ, including sunset to sunset, even to even, sunrise to sunrise, sunrise to sunset (Temple observances and rituals), and midnight to midnight (Roman). Today, although sunset to sunset from Friday evening to Saturday evening is the common practice, the 12 hour sunrise to sunset model has surfaced as another model to be reckoned with.

 

There are, in actuality, two issues to be addressed in this discussion. One is the meaning of day, and what the length of the day is, as it relates to the 24 hour solar day. The other, and more important issue, is the hours of Sabbath observance. Many articles and studies that are presented to argue the hours of Sabbath observance, when examined closely, present supporting documentation only for the meaning and scope of the day. The two have nothing in common; they are separate issues. One issue is the day; the other is the hours of the Sabbath observance.

 

Why are the hours for Sabbath observance important. God said, Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. And He has given instructions for keeping it. If one is not observing the correct hours of the Sabbath, then what? Are we properly honoring God in keeping His rest?  Does it matter to God which hours we keep, whether innocently or deliberately?

 

Let's say that a close friend tells you he has a dinner planned for you. He tells you when to arrive for the festivities. You arrive at the time normally planned for dinner; around 6-7 pm. No one is there. There is no sign that any activity is going on. You talk to your friend the next day, and he wonders where you were? You tell him you showed up at 6:30pm. He says, Oh, we had the meal at 7am. We wondered where you were?

 

It is very important to know when the correct "appointed times" are to meet with God.

 

Note: It should be noted that this writer holds an evening-to-evening model of observance, in keeping with the true Biblical calendar reckoned by the Lunar-Solar calendar of scripture. (from the evening at the end of the 6th day to the evening at the end of the 7th day). Let it also be said that this paper is far from perfect, as is the author. Both are a work in progress, continually being perfected by the one who is altogether perfect.  

 

 

Guidelines for Clarifying Interpretations

 

When attempting to define a word, the complete meaning of the word should be presented. This is particularly true when a word can be used to define or support more than one  meaning or interpretation. Supporting references and information must then be introduced to help determine the correct meaning.

 

If a word can be used to state an interpretation on either side of an issue, then the meaning of the word alone is insufficient to make the determination, and should be considered invalid. Supporting references are essential.

 

When other references are cited, including historical works, commentaries, dictionaries, etc, the complete essential information, including alternate meanings, must be included. Text proofing, or partial references, must not be used as a method to prove a point by omitting information related to the other side of the argument.

 

Any attempt to define a time-structured word (day, hour, even, evening, morning, etc.), and set time parameters based on word meaning alone is futile. The wide ranging meanings of some words requires the use of supporting documentation, as well as the context of the setting. The context of the setting also includes not only the setting, but the writing habits of the writer and the system of time discussed. What was the setting in which the context took place? What vernacular was the writer in the habit of using and expressing? 

 

 

Defining "Day" or "yom" in Scripture

 

".........the part of the day beginning at evening, until morning, and the part of the day beginning at morning, until evening, were the first day."  (paraphrased)

 

Determining the meaning of day as it relates to creation and the 7th day

In order to confirm the true and correct hours of observing the 7th day Sabbath, one must first establish the accurate meaning of the "day" as it relates to the days of creation and the Sabbath day. It must be determined whether a day as defined at creation, or setting the hours of  Sabbath, is in fact 12 hours or 24 hours.

 

Note that in the following references that "day" can mean either the daylight portion of a 24 hours period or solar day, or it can mean the entire 24 hour day or solar day. Defining "day" only by one meaning cannot be accurately done without supporting documentation. Bolding has been used to indicate alternate meanings.

 

(solar day - time for earth to make a complete rotation on its axis)

 

Hebrew word for "day" or "yom"

 

H3117 Strongs Concordance

יום

yôm

yome

From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially): - age, + always, + chronicles, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever (-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (. . . live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+ age), (full) year (-ly), + younger.

 

 

3117 yowm { yome} Strong's Enhanced Lexicon

 

from an unused root meaning to be hot; TWOT - 852; n m

 

AV - day 2008, time 64, chronicles + 1697 37, daily 32, ever 17, year 14, continually 10, when 10, as 10, while 8, full 8 always 4, whole 4, alway 4, misc 44; 2274

 

GK - 3427 { יֹום } & 3428 { יֹום }

 

1)   day, time, year

1a)   day (as opposed to night)

1b)  day (24 hour period)

1b1)  as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1

1b2)  as a division of time

1b2a)   a working day, a day’s journey

1c)   days, lifetime (pl.)

1d)  time, period (general)

1e)   year

1f)   temporal references

1f1)  today

1f2)  yesterday

1f3)  tomorrow 

 

 

H3117 Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon

יום

yôm

BDB Definition:

1) day, time, year

1a) day (as opposed to night)

1b) day (24 hour period)

1b1) as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1

1b2) as a division of time

1b2a) a working day, a day’s journey

1c) days, lifetime (plural)

1d) time, period (general)

1e) year

1f) temporal references

1f1) today

1f2) yesterday

1f3) tomorrow

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from an unused root meaning to be hot

Same Word by TWOT Number: 852

 

 

Hebrew Lexicon Online

 

  1. day, time, year

a.    day (as opposed to night)

b.    day (24 hour period)

1.    as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1

2.    as a division of time 1b

c.    a working day, a day's journey

d.    days, lifetime (pl.)

e.    time, period (general)

f.     year

g.    temporal references

1.    today

2.    yesterday

3.    tomorrow  

 

 

H3117 Complete Word Study Dictionary

יוֹם

yôm: A masculine noun meaning day, time, year. This word stands as the most basic conception of time in the Old Testament. It designates such wide-ranging elements as the daylight hours from sunrise to sunset (Gen_1:5; 1Ki_19:4); a literal twenty-four hour cycle (Deu_16:8; 2Ki_25:30); a generic span of time (Gen_26:8; Num_20:15); a given point in time (Gen_2:17; Gen_47:29; Eze_33:12). In the plural, the word may also mean the span of life (Psa_102:3 [4]) or a year (Lev_25:29; 1Sa_27:7). The prophets often infuse the word with end-times meanings or connotations, using it in connection with a future period of consequential events, such as the "day of the LORD" (Jer_46:10; Zec_14:1) or simply, "that day" (Isa_19:23; Zec_14:20-21).

 

 

 Greek word for "day" or "hemera"

 

G2250 Strongs Concordance

ἡμέρα

hēmera

hay-mer'-ah

Feminine (with G5610 implied) of a derivative of ἧμαι hēmai (to sit; akin to the base of G1476) meaning tame, that is, gentle; day, that is, (literally) the time space between dawn and dark, or the whole 24 hours (but several days were usually reckoned by the Jews as inclusive of the parts of both extremes); figuratively a period (always defined more or less clearly by the context): - age, + alway, (mid-) day (by day, [-ly]), + for ever, judgment, (day) time, while, years.

 

 

G2250 Thayer's Greek Definitions

ἡμέρα

hēmera

Thayer Definition:

1) the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night

1a) in the daytime

1b) metaphorically, “the day” is regarded as the time for abstaining from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness

2) of the civil day, or the space of twenty four hours (thus including the night)

2a) Eastern usage of this term differs from our western usage. Any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression “three days and three nights” does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.

3) of the last day of this present age, the day Christ will return from heaven, raise the dead, hold the final judgment, and perfect his kingdom

4) used of time in general, i.e. the days of his life.

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from (with G5610 implied) of a derivative of hemai (to sit, akin to the base of G1476) meaning tame, i.e. gentle

Citing in TDNT: 2:943, 309 

 

 

G2250 The Complete Word Study Dictionary

 

ἡμέρα

hēméra; gen. hēméras, fem. noun. Day, daytime, occasion, time.

(I) Day.

(A) Particularly the time from one sunrise or sunset to another, equal to nuchthḗmeron (G3574), a day and a night, a full twenty-four hour day or only a part of it.

(B) Day, daylight, from sunrise to sunset, e.g., in antithesis with núx (G3571), night. In the gen., by day and by night

(III) A day in the Eastern way of thinking may be all or any part of a twenty- four-hour period (nuchthēmerón [G3574], a unit consisting of a night and a day). Therefore, the three days and three nights of Mat_12:40 in which Jesus was in the grave should be considered as either the part or the whole of a twenty-four-hour period, i.e., Friday (being part of the first day / night), all of Saturday (being the second day / night), and part of Sunday (being the third day / night). 

 

 

Day in the Old Testament

 

  "Therefore, by using a most unusual grammatical construction, Genesis 1 is defining what a day is. This is especially needed in this verse, since “day” is used in two senses in this one verse. Its first appearance means the time during a daily cycle that is illuminated by daylight (as opposed to night). The second used means something different, a time period that encompasses both the time of daylight and the time of darkness."

 

    "It would appear as if the text is very carefully crafted so an alert reader cannot read it as “the first day”. Instead, by omission of the article it must be read as “one day”, thereby defining a day as something akin to a twenty-four hour solar period with light and darkness and transitions between day and night, even though there is no sun until the fourth day. This would explain the lack of definite articles on the second through fifth days. Another evening and morning constituted “a” (not “the”) second day. Another evening and morning made a third day, and so forth. On the sixth day, the article finally appears. But even here, the grammar is strange, since there is no article on יום as would be expected. This would indicate that the sixth day was a regular solar day, but that it was also the culminating day of creation. Likewise, the seventh day is referred to as הַשְּׁבִיעִי (Gen 2:3), with lack of an article on יום. This, also, the author is implying, was a regular solar day. Yet it was a special day, because God had finished his work of creation."  http://creation.com/the-numbering-pattern-of-genesis

 

"The grammatical interpretation of Scripture is primary to an accurate understanding of Scripture. These facts are significant exegetical indicators of the time aspect manifested in creation. They point unquestionably to creation in six, consecutive 24-hour days."http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/GCCCREA.TXT

 

"The days of creation should be accepted as literal, 24-hour periods because whenever the Hebrew word yom is preceded by a numeral in Old Testament non-prophetical literature (viz., the same kind of literature found in Genesis 1), it always carries the meaning of a normal day."http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/301

 

“Day" from the Jewish Encyclopedia

 

By : Emil G. Hirsch   Michael Friedländer  

 

"In the Bible, the season of light (Gen. i. 5), lasting "from dawn [lit. "the rising of the morning"] to the coming forth of the stars" (Neh. iv. 15, 17). The term "day" is used also to denote a period of twenty-four hours (Ex. xxi. 21). In Jewish communal life part of a day is at times reckoned as one day; e.g., the day of the funeral, even when the latter takes place late in the afternoon, is counted as the first of the seven days of mourning; a short time in the morning of the seventh day is counted as the seventh day; circumcision takes place on the eighth day, even though of the first day only a few minutes remained after the birth of the child, these being counted as one day. Again, a man who hears of a vow made by his wife or his daughter, and desires to cancel the vow, must do so on the same day on which he hears of it, as otherwise the protest has no effect; even if the hearing takes place a little time before night, the annulment must be done within that little time. The day is reckoned from evening to evening -- i.e., night and day -- except in reference to sacrifices, where daytime and the night following constitute one day" (Lev. vii. 15; see Calendar). "The day" denotes: (a) Day of the Lord; (b) the Day of Atonement; (c) the treatise of the Mishnah that contains the laws concerning the Day of Atonement (See Yoma and Sabbath).E. G. H. M. F.

 

 

Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible-Day

 

"The day is described, according to the Hebrew mode of narrative, by its starting-point, “the evening.” The first half of its course is run out during the night. The next half in like manner commences with “the morning,” and goes through its round in the proper day. Then the whole period is described as “one day.” The point of termination for the day is thus the evening again, which agrees with the Hebrew division of time Lev_23:32.

 

"To make “the evening” here the end of the first day, and so “the morning” the end of the first night, as is done by some interpreters, is therefore equally inconsistent with the grammar of the Hebrews and with their mode of reckoning time. It also defines the diurnal period, by noting first its middle point and then its termination, which does not seem to be natural. It further defines the period of sunshine, or the day proper, by “the evening,” and the night by the morning; a proceeding equally unnatural. It has not even the advantage of making the event of the latter clause subsequent to that of the former. For the day of twenty-four hours is wholly spent in dividing the light from the darkness; and the self-same day is described again in this clause, take it how we will. This interpretation of the clause is therefore to be rejected."

 

"The days of this creation are natural days of twenty-four hours each. We may not depart from the ordinary meaning of the word without a sufficient warrant either in the text of Scripture or in the law of nature. But we have not yet found any such warrant. Only necessity can force us to such an expedient. Scripture, on the other hand, warrants us in retaining the common meaning by yielding no hint of another, and by introducing “evening, night, morning, day,” as its ordinary divisions. Nature favors the same interpretation. All geological changes are of course subsequent to the great event recorded in the first verse, which is the beginning of things."  

 

 

John Gill's Exposition on the Whole Bible-Day

 

"......and the evening and the morning were the first day: the evening, the first part of the night, or darkness, put for the whole night, which might be about the space of twelve hours; and the morning, which was the first part of the day, or light, put also for the whole, which made the same space, and both together one natural day, consisting of twenty four hours; what Daniel calls an "evening morning", Dan_8:26 and the apostle νυχθημερον, a "night day", 2Co_11:25. Thales being asked which was first made, the night or the day, answered, the night was before one day (m). The Jews begin their day from the preceding evening;" 

 

 

Defenders Study Bible

 

"The use of "Day" (Hebrew yom)in Genesis 1:5 is its first occurrence in Scripture, and here it is specifically defined by God as "the light" in the cyclical succession of light and darkness which has, ever since, constituted a solar day. Since the same word is used in defining all latter "yoms" as used for this first "yom" it is incontrovertible that God intends us to know that the days of creation week were of the same duration as any natural solar day." 

 

 

The MacArthur Study Bible

 

"This cannot mean an age, but only a day, reckoned by the Jews from sunset to sunset. "Day" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew always refers to a 24 hour period." 

 

 

Night in Genesis associated with "yom"

 

"‘night’ is similarly associated with yôm. These words are combined 53 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1. The majority (26 times) appear in the historical sections; of the remainder, 16 are in the poetic sections and 11 in the prophetic. The meaning communicated by these combinations is also a solar day. Here too, the extra-linguistic factor (a literal cycle of light followed by a cycle of night, e.g. day and night) points to a reality outside of the word itself. It is thought that this use of yôm as the opposite of night represents its semantic core."25 http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v5/i1/semantic.asp 

 

 

Day in the New Testament

 

"Are there not twelve hours in a day?"

 

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.

John 11:10  But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

 

This verse is randomly quoted as support for the day-night model, indicating that there are only 12 hours in the day, as a reference for keeping a daylight only Sabbath. The word "day" in the Greek, has the same possible meanings as the word day in the Hebrew. It can mean either the daytime portion of the 24 hour period, or it can mean the entire 24 hour period. This verse by itself does not outline how a 24 hour day should be reckoned, either from sunrise or sunset. 

 

 

Defining "even; evening; 'ereb"

 

Determining the meaning of even or evening as it relates to the 24 hour day

In order to confirm the true and correct meaning of the word "day," one must define the parts of the overall day. Note that in the following sources of definitions, that "evening" can be defined in more than one way. Evening, can mean the time of day from noon until about sunset, or any time in between. It can also mean the "night" portion of a 24 hour day. Defining "even, or evening" by only one meaning cannot be accurately done without supporting documentation

 

H6153 Strong's Concordance; even; evening

ערב

‛ereb

eh'-reb

From H6150; dusk: -  + day, even (-ing, tide), night

 

 

H6153 Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon; even; evening

ערב

‛ereb

BDB Definition:

1) evening, night, sunset

1a) evening, sunset

1b) night

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H6150

Same Word by TWOT Number: 1689a

 

 

H6153 Complete Word Study; even; evening

 

ֶעֶרב

‛ereḇ: A masculine noun referring to evening, dusk; night. It is used consistently to indicate the close of the day, evening, sunset. The phrase lip̱nôt-‛āreḇ, literally, the turning of the evening, means towards evening (Gen_24:63; Deu_23:11 [12]). The term bên hā‛arbayim means between the evening, that is at dusk or at twilight (Exo_12:6; Exo_16:12; Exo_30:8). Le‛eṯ ‛ereḇ means at the time of sunset, evening (Gen_8:11). The phrase ṣillê ‛ereḇ means shadows of evening (Jer_6:4).

 

 

Hebrew Lexicon Online; evening

 

evening, night, sunset

  1. evening, sunset
  1. night

 

 

Evening as the beginning of the Sabbath

 

Mark 15:42  And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

 

Luke 23:54  And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

 

John 19:31  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath to the sorrowing disciples, and also to the priests, rulers, scribes, and people. At the setting of the sun on the evening of the preparation day the trumpets sounded, signifying that the Sabbath had begun. DA 775 

 

 

Defining "morning; boqer"

 

Determining the meaning of morning as it relates to the 24 hour day

In order to confirm the true and correct meaning of the word "day," one must define the parts of the overall day. Note that in the following sources of definitions, that "morning" can be defined in more than one way. Morning can mean the time of day from about dawn or sunrise until about noon, or the middle of the day. It can also mean the "daylight" portion of a 24 hour day, as in the "morrow" or the "morning." Defining "morn, or morning" by only one meaning cannot be accurately done without supporting documentation. 

 

H1242 Strongs Concordance; morning

בּקר

bôqer

bo'-ker

From H1239; properly dawn (as the break of day); generally morning: -  (+) day, early, morning, morrow. 

 

 

H1242 Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon; morning

בּקר

bôqer

BDB Definition:

1) morning, break of day

1a) morning

1a1) of end of night

1a2) of coming of daylight

1a3) of coming of sunrise

1a4) of beginning of day

1a5) of bright joy after night of distress (figuratively)

1b) morrow, next day, next morning

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from H1239

Same Word by TWOT Number: 274c

 

 

H1242 Complete Word Study-morning

 

ֹבֶּקר

bōqer: A masculine noun meaning daybreak, morning. The word indicates the time of arrival of this period of the day (Gen_29:25; Exo_10:13; Exo_14:27; Jdg_19:25; Rth_3:13) and is the opposite of night (Gen_29:25). It could refer to the time before people can recognize each other (Rth_3:14). It denotes the coming of sunrise (Jdg_9:33).

 

To the psalmist, the morning was a time to praise God (Psa_5:3 [4]). Genesis uses the formula: There was evening, and there was morning (Gen_1:5, Gen_1:8, Gen_1:13). The phrase in Dan_8:14 refers to 2,300 half-days, literally, until evening-morning. The phrase morning by morning (Exo_16:21; Exo_30:7; Exo_36:3) is used with the verb šāḵam, to rise early, and means to rise early in the morning (Gen_19:27; Gen_20:8; Gen_21:14). 

 

 

Hebrew Lexicon Online

 

  1. morning, break of day

a.    morning

1.    of end of night

2.    of coming of daylight

3.    of coming of sunrise

4.    of beginning of day

5.    of bright joy after night of distress (fig.)

b.    morrow, next day, next morning 

 

 

Defining "evening and morning"

 

Determining the meaning of evening-morning as it relates to the 24 hour day

 

In order to confirm the true and correct meaning of the phrase "evening and morning," one must define the parts of the overall day. Evening and morning can mean the time of day from about dawn or sunrise, until dusk or the setting of the sun. It can also mean an entire a 24 hour day. Defining "evening and morning" by only one meaning cannot be accurately done without supporting documentation.

 

Occam's Razor

 

"Occam's razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed.  It underlies all scientific modelling and theory building. It admonishes us to choose from a set of otherwise equivalent models of a given phenomenon the simplest one. In any given model, Occam's razor helps us to "shave off" those concepts, variables or constructs that are not really needed to explain the phenomenon. By doing that, developing the model will become much easier, and there is less chance of introducing inconsistencies, ambiguities and redundancies. In short, the simplest of two or more competing theories is preferable and that an explanation for unknown phenomena should first be attempted in terms of what is already known." http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

 

Occam's Razor is particularly appropriate when it comes to dealing with evening and morning. Scripture outlines the days of creation, stating that each day completed is made up of the evening and morning. There is a reason evening and morning is in that order. It is because the scriptural Hebrew day begins at evening and completes at the end of the next day at even, approximately 24 hours later. When one attempts to force the daylight hours only model into a day of 12 hours, rather than a 24 hour period, the order of the dark and light portions of creation must be reversed in order to make it work. The scripture reads "...and the evening and the morning were the first day;" in that order. Keep it simple. Occam's Razor needs to be applied here.

 

Notice the principle that is in place at the beginning of creation. Darkness existed before light. 

 

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

 

The only way you can have darkness following the light as in the day-night model is to reverse the order given, and it would read thus; "and morning and evening were the first day."

 

The overall guiding principle regarding darkness and light is overcoming; coming out of darkness into the light. It simply does not work the other way around. 

 

 

First, there is the darkness 

 

There first must be darkness, for the light to make itself known

 

"The new day does not begin at dawn but grows out of the darkest hour of the night. To evolve a new life, a new hope, a new ray of light there must first be the darkness. It is the beginning of something new. Each new life must dwell first in the darkness before it comes forth and makes its way toward the light.

 

"A seed implanted in the earth dwells in the darkness of the soil from which it draws nourishment needed for it to germinate and bring forth a plant which then begins its journey toward the sun. A fetus awaits its time in the darkness of the womb where it is nourished by the mother who carries it until it has grown strong enough to make its way out into the light. A chick dwells in the darkness of an egg which also contains the sustenance for its growth, and then breaks forth into light.

 

"Each new creative scheme or invention, each work of art, each musical or poetic composition dwells first in the dark recesses of our minds and is nourished until the time is ripe, and experience calls it forth. Each period of ecstasy in our lives is preceded by a dark hour. The darker the hour, the brighter the joy that follows. Before light came to the earth, darkness was upon the face of the deep." "Weeping may last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning" Psalms 30:5

http://www.lifestreamcenter.net/joy/Joy8.htm 

 

 

John Gill's Exposition on the Whole Bible-Day; "evening and morning"

 

"......and the evening and the morning were the first day: the evening, the first part of the night, or darkness, put for the whole night, which might be about the space of twelve hours; and the morning, which was the first part of the day, or light, put also for the whole, which made the same space, and both together one natural day, consisting of twenty four hours; what Daniel calls an "evening morning", Dan_8:26 and the apostle νυχθημερον, a "night day", 2Co_11:25. Thales being asked which was first made, the night or the day, answered, the night was before one day (m). The Jews begin their day from the preceding evening;" 

 

 

Defining "even to even"

 

Determining the meaning of "even to even" as it relates to the beginning and ending of a day and the hours of the 7th day Sabbath

 

Here's a question to ponder when considering "even to even." If the "day-night" model was the order of the day implemented at creation, and daylight preceded the dark in a 24 hour period, when did the Jews begin keeping "even to even?" Where is the historical record of that transition?

 

If you use the chart given below of the different models of the 24 hour day, you can easily see where events fall on either model, and whether the model accurately reflects the interpretation.

 

 

 

Notice in the following references, the reckoning of the Sabbath hours is clearly "even-to-even."

 

Exo 12:18  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, (the beginning of the Sabbath day) ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. (Here, an entire week is reckoned from even to even)

 

Lev 23:32  It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

 

It is often said that this Sabbath being referred to is the Day of Atonement and not a 7th Day Sabbath. Regardless, it is a Sabbath, and the reckoning given is from even (at the end of the 9th day) to even (at the end of the 10th day) It is one more example of the day, an "appointed time" being reckoned from even to even. If the 7th day Sabbath is not to be considered as part of the "appointed times," outline in Lev 23, then we have to figure out how to isolate it from the midst of the discussion on the "appointed times." As given in the scripture in Lev 23, it has been there for thousands of years.

 

"That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath to the sorrowing disciples, and also to the priests, rulers, scribes, and people. At the setting of the sun on the evening of the preparation day the trumpets sounded, signifying that the Sabbath had begun." DA 775 

 

Instructions from the Angel of God as to when the Sabbath should be celebrated

 

"I saw that it is even so: "From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath." Said the angel: "Take the word of God, read it, understand, and ye cannot err. Read carefully, and ye shall there find what even is, and when it is." 1T 116

 

I asked the angel if the frown of God had been upon His people for commencing the Sabbath as they had. I was directed back to the first rise of the Sabbath, and followed the people of God up to this time, but did not see that the Lord was displeased, or frowned upon them. I inquired why it had been thus, that at this late day we must change the time of commencing the Sabbath. Said the angel: "Ye shall understand, but not yet, not yet." Said the angel: "If light come, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject." I saw that it was in the minds of some that the Lord had shown that the Sabbath commenced at six o'clock, when I had only seen that it commenced at "even," and it was inferred that even was at six. I saw that the servants of God must draw together, press together. 1T 116

 

In 1855, it came to light that the Sabbath which was being kept from 6PM Friday to 6PM Saturday, was in error. By vision, the Angel of God made the correction that the Sabbath was to be kept from "even to even."  If the Sabbath was to be kept at different hours just 150 years in the future, why would the Angel not say that at this time. Is this a deliberate deception on the part of God? I think not! We may not understand all there is to know about he keeping of the Sabbath, but I think we can rely on the word of God and His Holy Angels to not deliberately deceive us about the hours of the Sabbath.

 

Did Jesus rise from the tomb on the Sabbath?

 

John 20:1  The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

 

When Mary arrived at the tomb, Jesus was gone. It was dark. It was the first day of the week. The only way this could happen at this time of day is if a day is from even to even. Otherwise, on a daylight only or day-night model, you have Mary arriving in the dark of the night of 15th, which is a Sabbath, which would be the 7th day. (She would also have bought the spices on the 15th-Sabbath,on the day-night model)

 

John 20:1 is at times omitted from studies on day-night models, in favor of Mark 16, which omits the description of it still being dark. Also, if you read Mark 16 carefully, you will find that Jesus had already risen by the time Mary arrived. Mary's arrival did not necessarily coincide with Jesus resurrection. If the day-night model is correct, and the scripture is correct regarding "when it was still dark," then Jesus rose from the dead in the night hours of the day-night Sabbath. (Refer to the chart above of both models of a 24 hour day for easy visual reference in seeing when the events take place.) 

 

Edersheim The Temple and its Ministry in the time of Christ

"The ancient records of tradition enable us to form a very vivid conception of Sabbath-worship in the time of Christ. Formally, the Sabbath commenced at sunset on Friday, the day being reckoned by the Hebrews from sunset to sunset." pg 179

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary-Day

Gen 1:5  "first day — a natural day, as the mention of its two parts clearly determines; and Moses reckons, according to Oriental usage, from sunset to sunset, saying not day and night as we do, but evening and morning."

 

Faussets Bible Dictionary 

"Reckoned from sunset to sunset by the Hebrew. Genesis 1:5; "the evening and the morning were the first day." 2 Corinthians 11:25; "a night and a day." Daniel 8:14 margin. So our fortnight equals fourteen nights. "Evening, morning, and noon" (Psalm 55:17) are the three general divisions." Faussets Bible Dictionary 

 

Josephus WARS OF THE JEWS book 4 CHAPTER 9 (582)

 

The Romans well knew when the Sabbath was, and what the hours were, as indicated by the writings of Josephus. The Romans took full advantage of the Jewish Sabbath and used the time to make preparations to continue the war the following day

 

"THAT VESPASIAN, AFTER HE HAD TAKEN GADARA, MADE PREPARATION FOR THE SIEGE OF JERUSALEM; BUT THAT, UPON HIS HEARING OF THE DEATH OF NERO, HE CHANGED HIS INTENTIONS; AS ALSO, CONCERNING SIMON OF GERASA"

 

“(580) but having the advantage of situation, and having withal erected four very  large towers aforehand, that their darts might come from higher places, (581) one at   the northeast corner of the court, one above the Xystus, the third at another corner over against the lower city, (582) and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand, with a trumpet, at the “beginning” of every seventh day, in the “evening twilight,” as also at the “evening” when the “day was finished,” as giving notice to the people when they were to “leave off work,” and when they were to go to “work again.” (583) These men also set their engines to cast darts and stones.withal, upon those towers, with their archers and slingers.”

 

The Ryrie Study Bible

"Since daytime closes at evening and the night ends with the morning, the phrase indicates that the first day and night has been completed. Evening and morning cannot be construed to mean an age, but only a day; everywhere in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) the word "day," when used with a numerical adjective, means a solar day (now calibrated as 24 hours)."

 

The MacArthur Study Bible

"This cannot mean an age, but only a day, reckoned by the Jews from sunset to sunset. "Day" with numerical adjectives in Hebrew always refers to a 24 hour period."

 

The Jewish Day         

"The Hebrew day (yom) begins at sundown, when three stars become visible in the sky (the rabbi's reasoned that the day begins at sunset based on the description of God's activity in creation, "and the evening and the morning were the first day," Genesis 1:5). Evening is sometimes defined as the late afternoon, that is, between 3:00 pm to sundown."

http://www.hebrew4christians.net/Holidays/Calendar/calendar.html

 

 

"Since the Jewish day (yom) begins at sundown, you must remember that a Jewish holiday actually begins on the night before the day listed in a Jewish calendar. For example, Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) occurs on Nisan 27, which actually begins after sundown, Nisan 26:

           

Thus a given Jewish holiday spans two days on our Gregorian calendar. Most Jewish calendars do not indicate the previous night as part of the holiday. Observance of a holiday begins at sundown on the day before it is listed in the calendar!

 

In the example to the right, Yom HaShoah is observed both on Thursday the 5th (after sundown) and Friday the 6th (during daylight hours)."

http://www.hebrew4christians.net/Holidays/Calendar/calendar.html

 

 

“Unlike the early Babylonians, whose day began with sunrise, the Jews began theirs with sunset. Some critics, Dillmann among them, attempted to find traces of the Babylonian reckoning in the early portions of the Bible, but there is no doubt that with the spread of the Law the reckoning from evening to evening became established among the Jews (see Ibn Ezra's poem on the Sabbath, in which he decries the custom of a certain sect which began the Sabbath and festivals with sunrise.” Rosin's edition, ii. 78, Breslau, 1885).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=528&letter=E&search=evening 

 

 

Defining overlooked principles that confirm the reckoning

 

Defining principles that are overlooked when interpreting when a day begins, that confirm the meanings of the parts of the day and the reckoning of the 7th day Sabbath.

 

Day + Number

When a number is used in conjunction with the word day, i.e. 1st day, 6th day, it means the day is 24 hours, a solar day, or one revolution of the earth.

 

"Interestingly, the very first time the word is used, in Genesis 1:5, it is strictly defined as the light portion of a light/dark cycle as the earth rotated underneath a directional light source, producing day and night. It is also true that whenever "day" is modified by a number, like second day or six days, it can only mean a true solar day. There are no exceptions in Hebrew. Any uncertainty is resolved in the Ten Commandments as God commands us to work six days and rest one day just as He worked on the six creation days and rested on day seven (Exodus 20:11)." http://www.icr.org/articles/view/3228/306/

 

"In addressing this point, Arthur Williams has remarked: “We have failed to find a single example of the use of the word ‘day’ in the entire Scripture where it means other than a period of twenty-four hours when modified by the use of the numerical adjective” (1965, p. 10). http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/301

 

"Regarding the word ‘yôm’ in Genesis 1:1–2:4, it is apparent that there are three different uses of the term in the passage. In 1:5a it denotes ‘daylight’ as opposed to ‘night’. In 1:5b it denotes the combination of the two. The word ‘echad’ is most probably to be read as a cardinal number (‘one’) as opposed to an ordinal (’first’) in contrast to many translations. Thus it appears that the text is in fact defining what a ‘day’ is in the rest of the Creation Week. Finally in Genesis 2:4, yôm is part of an anarthrous6 prepositional compound beyôm meaning not ‘in the day’ but simply ’when’. The fact that for the bulk of the passage, the word yôm is accompanied by sequential numerical denotation and the language of ‘evening and morning’ gives a prima facie case that regular 24-hour days are in view."http://creation.com/the-meaning-of-yom-in-genesis-1

 

"The context in which the word yom is used in Genesis 1:5-2:2, describing each day as “the evening and the morning,” makes it quite clear that the author of Genesis meant 24-hour periods. The references to “evening” and “morning” make no sense unless they refer to a literal 24-hour day." http://www.gotquestions.org/Genesis-days.html

 

"Yom is used with a number 359 times, each time referring to an ordinary 24hr period; Why would Gen1 be an exception?" http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080224080947AA6r1Kf  

 

 

Day + Evening-Morning

 

When "evening and morning" is used in conjuction with the word day, i.e. "and the evening and the morning were the 1st day," it means the day is a 24 hour day, a solar day, or one revolution of the earth.

 

"The two words, ‘morning’ and ‘evening’, are combined with yôm 19 times each outside of Genesis 1 (three times these words share the same reference cf. Numbers 9:15, Deuteronomy 16:4 and Daniel 8:26), and with each occurrence a twenty-four day is signified. This is true no matter what the literary genre or context might be. It should be further observed that when ‘morning’ and ‘evening’ occur together without yôm (this happens 38 times outside of Genesis 1, 25 of the 38 occur in historical narrative), it always, without exception, designates a literal solar day. So any combination of the words ‘morning’, ‘evening’, and yôm use their extra-linguistic referential value to its fullest extent; pointing to the length of time which is normally associated with these words." http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v5/i1/semantic.asp

 

". . . .the terms "evening" and "morning" are never used figuratively in the Old Testament. They always describe a 24-hour period." http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/GCCCREA.TXT

 

Evening and Morning

"In Genesis 1:5 God actually defined for us how He was using the word "day" in the creation account: "And the evening and the morning were the first day." Thus, the days of creation, first day, second day, and so on were composed of an "evening" and a "morning." This is about as clear a definition that could be hoped for (without becoming absurdly tedious), and requires that the days of creation be composed of the day/night cycle like an ordinary day.

 

The word used for morning is boqer, and for evening, 'ereb.  In most occurences in the OT they refer to the time around the rising and setting of the sun, not necessarily to the extended periods of time (such as midnight to noon for morning) that are used today. In some cases boqer apparently refers to the three hour watch leading up to sunrise, during which the sky would brighten with the approaching sun. Likewise, in some poetical passages 'ereb apparently refers to the whole of nighttime until morning. Finally, where both words are used together they are used as antonyms that together refer to an entire day. "As the opposite of night the word represents the entire period of daylight" say Vine, et al, citing Ps. 92:2 in their exposition of boqer. (Note that this is despite the fact that at least one of the authors, Unger, denied the plain meaning of Genesis." See Fields, above, p. 165.)  http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/7547/daysq.html?200915 

 

 

The unifying principle of "first" and "one"

 

There is a beautiful principle portrayed in Genesis, in the creation account, not only of each of the days of creation, but also of the creation of the first marriage.

 

Gen 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

The word "first" in Gen 1:5 and the word "one" in Gen 2:24 are the same Hebrew  word, "eschad" H259. The meaning is one of unifying. But what is it unifying? The only objects to be unified in the phrase are "evening and morning." In creation of the first day "eschad" unifies the evening and morning to make a whole day, a 24 hour solar day. In the creation of man, it unifies Adam and Eve to become a creation of "one," making up the whole; "and they shall be one."

 

"Finally, daytime and nighttime were joined together into a unit called "one day", a 24 hour creation day.  The word for "one" in verse 5 is the same as that used in Gen. 2:24 where God joined Adam and Eve into one, a unit called a married couple. Compare this with Ex. 26:6,11 where units are also formed." http://www.creationscienceoc.org/Articles/creationday.htm 

 

 

Unclean till even: The principle behind being made clean at even

 

Why unclean till evening? What happened at even or evening that cleansed or made the unclean-clean? What is the relationship between "even" and being clean? Why did Jesus die at the time of the evening sacrifice?

 

The evening sacrifice described in the temple service is a beautiful example of the sacrifice and crucifixion of Jesus on the cross at the time of the evening sacrifice. When Jesus died at the 9th hour, at even, He became the "unclean" for us; He became our substitution for sin.

 

Much of the sacrificial system in the wilderness tabernacle or temple was designed to make sinners ritually and spiritually clean, to be purified spiritually from sin, and to define the individual relationship between man and God.

 

"The Biblical laws of ritual purity are an important picture of spiritual truth: that spiritual cleanness is required to come into the presence of a holy God. But they also point to times when we, like Jesus, are called to willingly become unclean, to sacrificially allow ourselves to be separated from God's presence, as when we reach out to touch souls that are lost in the darkness of death.* In fact, it's impossible to avoid contact with sin and death, even while doing good--things we should do. But that's when we need to be cleansed in the water of life, so we can enter into the presence of God again." (* This uncleanness must not be confused with sin. Jesus became unclean though he never sinned.)

 

"Jesus holiness was stripped away from him in his death. He became unclean and experienced the uncleanness of death so that we don't have to! He died that we might be delivered from the uncleanness of death into life. Holiness is not a residue that clings to dead bodies. Holiness is a decision to leave death behind and enter a living relationship with God that even death itself can no longer steal away (John 11:25). As the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem proclaims: He is not here--he has risen! Death no longer has any place in him or in his people, for he has overcome death with life!"

 

http://www.totheends.com/clean.html 

 

Ritual Cleansing in the Temple

 

"Access through the gates to the Temple was restricted to those who were ritually clean. Ritual uncleanness could come from many different sources. The highest degree of uncleanness came from contact with the dead: anyone who touched a dead body or was in a room with a dead body was unclean for seven days (Num. 19:11,14). Other sources of ritual uncleanness included a woman in her time of the month (a 7 day uncleanness; Lev. 15:19), a woman who has given birth (a 40 day uncleanness if to a baby boy, 80 days for a girl; Lev. 12:2-5), marital relations of a husband and wife (a 1 day uncleanness; Lev. 15:18), and touching an animal--or even an insect--that has died (a 1 day uncleanness; unless the animal died from a ritually clean slaughter). Lesser degrees of impurity derived from these: for instance from touching something that had been touched by an unclean person (a 1 day uncleanness." Lev. 15:22, Num. 19:22).

 

"Cleansing from impurity took place in a ritual bath, a mikvah. These ritual baths could not be filled with a bucket. They had to be filled with "living" (naturally flowing) water. For many of these baths, such as those in the ritual bath buildings at the entrance to the Temple, this meant rainwater--water from heaven--a heavenly cleansing.* ** This is symbolism that points to a spiritual cleansing, a baptism (immersion) in the Holy Spirit, the true "living water" from heaven, in which we are to be cleansed and renewed (John 4:10; Titus 3:5). ** The mikvahs at the entrance to the Temple were filled with rainwater that had fallen on the Temple Mount. This was then channeled underground to the ritual bath buildings and the ritual baths."

 

http://www.totheends.com/clean.html

 

"Regardless of what rendered a person unclean, he was not allowed to participate until he cleaned himself by washing in water, a type of the Holy Spirit. Even then, he was still considered unclean until evening of that same day. This process was a form of excommunication. The unclean person was symbolically excluded from communion with God and held unfit to eat of the holy food of the altar, symbolizing the Word of God, until he had cleaned up his act. Lev 22:7 distinctly says he was free to eat of the holy things only after the sun went down. Even given this permission, he was still eating in the dark! Though accepted back into fellowship, he was still somewhat removed from full exposure to the light of God's throne until the next day, when complete communication with God was restored."

 

http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/CGG/ID/480/Unclean.htm

 

Clean and Unclean today

 

"As we read these laws of the clean and the unclean today, God's demand for holiness in the details of our lives should be indelibly stamped on our minds and hearts. While the actual practice of these ceremonial laws has ceased with the coming of Christ (see Romans 10:4 and Colossians 2:16-17), the spiritual truth of all the Levitical laws remains."

 

http://www.growingchristians.org/dfgc/clean.htm 

 

 

The Principle of Renewal or "clean at even"; Entering Sabbath Rest

 

Having been made "clean at even," then what. Enter the principle of "renewal." We ask the question, "what happens to the human body at night?" At the end of each day, when we retire for the night, after "even" and being made clean, what other natural laws of God come into play? This is particularly an important question regarding the 7th day and entering into Sabbath rest.

 

"In the whole chapter of Leviticus 11, various things are shown which would cause the ancient Israelites who touched them to be unclean. In each case, the person was considered to be unclean until evening (that is, until the sun went down), because evening was the beginning of a brand new day/date. Each new day began at sunset, with darkness of approximately 12 hours, and ended the following sunset, after a period of light of approximately 12 hours."

 

   http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/emails/Sabbathobservance.html

 

What happens during rest/sleep?

 

"1. During Sleep, the entire human body is permitted a priceless and profound Rest: this deep Rest cannot be bought for any amount of money!

 

2. During Sleep, sympathetic nervous activity decreases; and parasympathetic activity increases, reducing muscular tone to almost nil. This provides a much greater Rest of the skeletal muscles compared to that of simple, wakeful resting.

 

3. During Sleep, arterial blood pressure falls; pulse rate decreases; skin vessels dilate. This deep Sleep, therefore, affords deep Rest for the heart and for the muscles of the arteries.

 

4. During Sleep, activity of the gastrointestinal tract increases, improving digestion and absorption of food to promote better nutrition.

 

5. During Sleep, skeletal muscles are completely relaxed; whereas, when in resting wakefulness, and especially when under stress, they are not.

 

6. During Sleep, the metabolic rate falls by 10% to 20%, thus permitting the bodily tissues, organs, and systems a much-needed, deep Rest.

 

7. During Sleep, healing and repair wherever needed throughout the body increase. During Sleep, we Get Well! (This healing and repair is especially profound while both sleeping and undertaking a fast, and especially while doing both!)"

http://www.getwellstaywellamerica.com/NHygiene/HR7RestSleep.htm

 

"The various stages of sleep appear to serve particular functions. For example, deep sleep affords the brain and body a profound state of rest by allowing it to go "offline" to recover from the energy that we expend during normal conscious wakefulness. In this sense, deep sleep may serve a major restorative function that renews physical and mental energy. Blood flow decrease to the brain during deep sleep so that it can be directed to the muscles to help replenish physical energy. There is also good evidence that our immune system turns on during deep sleep to combat illness, which is why we need more sleep when we are sick.

 

Deep sleep seems to be the most important stage of sleep for, if we are deprived of sleep, the brain will recover or "make up" deep sleep first. Furthermore, loss of deep sleep produces the greatest impairments in daytime functioning compared to the loss of other stages of sleep.""

 

http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/sleep-disorders/archives/insomnia_drjacobs_mindandbodyduringsleep.htm 

 

 

     Renewal for the Sabbath

 

At sunset on the 6th day, when the week is over, one enters into God's Sabbath rest by first sleeping at night. Rested, renewed, refreshed, rejuvenated, one rises on the morrow (in the morning) of the Sabbath to worship anew. The Sabbath rest is begun by entering into rest. 

 

 

The words of Webster's 1828 Dictionary are particularly appropriate in defining "Renewal" and the principle of being made new or renewed.

 

Webster's 1828 Renew

 

RENEW', v.t. [L. renovo; re and novo, or re and new.]

 

1. To renovate; to restore to a former state, or to a good state, after decay or depravation; to rebuild; to repair.

 

Asa renewed the altar of the Lord. 2 Chr 15.

 

2. To re-establish; to confirm.

 

Let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there. 1 Sam 11.

 

3. To make again; as, to renew a treaty or covenant.

 

4. To repeat; as, to renew expressions of friendship; to renew a promise; to renew an attempt.

 

5. To revive; as, to renew the glories of an ancestor or of a former age.

 

6. To begin again.

 

The last great age renews its finish'd course.

 

7. To make new; to make fresh or vigorous; as, to renew youth; to renew strength; to renew the face of the earth.

 

Psa 103. Isa 40. Psa 104.

 

8. In theology, to make new; to renovate; to transform; to change from natural enmity to the love of God and his law; to implant holy affections in the heart; to regenerate.

 

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12. Eph 4. 

 

RENEW'AL, n.

 

1. The act of renewing; the act of forming anew; as the renewal of a treaty.

 

2. Renovation; regeneration.

 

3. Revival; restoration to a former or to a good state. 

 

 

Specific activities that may cause confusion with reckoning

 

Bible writers wrote in different frames of reference for time

 

The references in scripture to time can be confusing if one is unaware  of the differences between the Jewish system and the Roman system. Any use of the hours of the day, particularly in the new testament, as a point of reckoning, should be corroborated with other references and supporting documentation if necessary.

 

John and Mark appear to have a conflict of timing in their description of activities leading up to the crucifixion.

 

John 19:14  And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

 

Mark 15:25  And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

 

Here we have what seems to be a mix up in timing. John is describing the activities in the Praetorium, when Pilate says to the Jews, "Behold your King." Yet, Mark is describing Jesus being on the cross at what appears to be an earlier time.

 

Here is where a clash of the calendars and reckoning of time really shows up. While Mark tended to write in the Jewish time vernacular, John's tendency was to describe events according to Roman time.

 

John described what was happening about 6AM Roman time, while Mark is describing Jesus being put on the cross about 9AM Jewish time.

 

http://www.workmenforchrist.org/Bible/BC_Jesus_Nets.html  

 

  

Temple Services, Observances and Rituals were reckoned sunrise to sunset

 

Unless close attention is paid to the activity being done within the context described, the temple services normal hours of reckoning, which is from sunrise to sunset, can be mistaken for the reckoning of a 24 hour day. Although there is activity in the temple during the night, regular services normally took place only during the daylight hours. More specifically, the daily sacrifices, or continual, were at the 3rd hour, referred to as the morning sacrifice, and the 9th hour, referred to as the evening sacrifice. The example given below shows the potential for confusion.

 

"In order to fix the beginning and ending of the Sabbath-day and festivals and to determine the precise hour for certain religious observances it becomes necessary to know the exact times of the rising and the setting of the sun. According to the strict interpretation of the Mosaic law, every day begins with sunrise and ends with sunset (Ibn Ezra, commentary on Ex. xviii. 14)."

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1166&letter=S&search=mosaic%20law%20every%20day%20begins%20with%20sunrise 

 

 

Periods of the Night Watches; Hebrew 4 hours vs Roman 3 hours

 

Originally, the Israelite night watches were 4 hours in length, for a total of 3 night watches. At the onset of Roman influence, the night watches eventually began to follow the Roman format of 3 hours each. for a total of 4 night watches. Caution must be exercised when considering night watches as a point to reckon time and hours of the day by.

 

Watches of night: The Jews, like the Greeks and Romans, divided the night into military watches instead of hours, each watch representing the period for which sentinels or pickets remained on duty. The proper Jewish reckoning recognized only three such watches, entitled the first or "beginning of the watches," (Lamentations 2:19) the middle watch, (Judges 7:19) and the morning watch. (Exodus 14:24; 1 Samuel 11:11) These would last respectively from sunset to 10 P.M.; from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M.; and from 2 A.M. to sunrise. After the establishment of the Roman supremacy, the number of watches was increased to four, which were described either according to their numerical order, as in the case of the "fourth watch," (Matthew 14:25) or by the terms "even," "midnight," "cock-crowing" and "morning." (Mark 13:35) These terminated respectively at 9 P.M., midnight, 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. Smith's Bible Dictionary 

 

 

Irregularity of fasting days or periods may confuse reckoning

 

Fasts and fasting times have to be carefully examined when attempting to relate or tie to the reckoning of time. Day-only fasts were called for, as well as daylight only, and some were 24 hour fasts. Irregular or spontaneous fasts, called for on specific occasions, may be cause for confusion and may not be relied upon for reckoning.

 

"Besides fixed fast-days, the Synagogue frequently imposed a fast-day upon the community when great calamities threatened the people. This right of the Synagogue had its origin in the fasts described in the treatise Ta'anit as having been instituted in early times when rain was late in coming. If no rain fell on or before the seventeenth of Marh.eshwan, the learned and pious men of the community fasted three days—Monday, Thursday, and Monday. In the case of continued drought, three more fasts were proclaimed, and, lastly, seven fast-days on successive Mondays and Thursdays were instituted. These fasts were accompanied with many solemn ceremonies, such as the taking out of the Ark to the market-place, while the people covered themselves with sackcloth and placed ashes on their foreheads, and impressive sermons were delivered (Ta'an. 18a). Fast-days were subsequently instituted in case any misfortune befeil the people, as pestilence, famine, evil decrees by rulers, etc. (ib. 19a). Examples of the latter were the fasts instituted by the Russian rabbi's during the anti-Jewish riots early in the eighth decade of the nineteenth century." Jewish Encyclopedia/fasts

 

 Summary 

 

There is a preponderance of evidence to clearly determine that the correct hours for observing the 7th day Sabbath is from "even to even." The information presented here is only a small sampling of available material. But all of the available essential information must be brought to the table, in order to make that determination. We have nothing to lose but the truth itself.

 

 

 

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