When does a day begin?

With the Gregorian calendar starting a day at midnight and with Jewish custom starting a day at sunset it is easy to see how someone could easily become confused trying to keep scriptural time.  I am writing this short study to prove from scripture that a day begins at dawn and so we will continue with that premise.

To those who believe that the DAY starts at sunset, when then do you start your count of the hours…???  Because the Saviour YAHUSHUA was placed on the cruel cross at the 3rd hour and died at the 9th hour. If the day starts in the evening, you would have him placed upon the cross at night.

I want you to consider the following question. Who existed first? Elohim or Satan?
For in that very question is the answer to whether light comes first or darkness.

Here Yahshua is speaking to Paul and He says:

Acts 26:17-18
17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to Elohim, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

The subject of if the day starts with Light or darkness is one which has been asked so many times. There is much confusion in the world today.  The simple answer is to look at how everything begins in the book of Genesis 1.

In verse 1 we read the following in Hebrew:

Genesis 1:1

Bereshith bara Elohim eth Shamayim eth erets.

That is:

In the beginning, created Elohim the heavens and the earth.

In Isaiah 28:10 we learn that we are to build one thing upon another. It says:

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.

So building one thing upon another we take what we read in the first three words of Genesis 1:1 and consider 1 John 1:5-7

1 John 1:5-7
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that Elohim is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahshua haMaschiach His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Together we have:

In the beginning (Bereshith) created (bara), Light (Elohim) and in Him there is no darkness.

The Father tells us what is done in the day and what is done in the night.

Psalms 104:20-23 ISR98
“You put darkness, and it is night, In it all the beasts of the forest creep. The young lions are roaring for prey, And seeking their food from Ěl. The sun arises – they withdraw And lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work, And to his labour, till evening.”

Psalm 136:9
9 Thus saith Yahuwah, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar;
Jeremiah 31:35
35 Thus saith Yahuwah, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; Yahuwah of hosts is his name:
In the beginning
Let’s begin at the beginning and look at what happened during creation:

Gen 1:1  In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
Gen 1:2  And the earth came to be formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3  And Elohim said, “Let light come to be,” and light came to be.
Gen 1:4  And Elohim saw the light, that it was good. And Elohim separated the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5  And Elohim called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.

These first five verses of scripture really tell the entire story.  In verse 2, we see that the earth is covered in darkness.  Verse 3 tells us that the creator spoke light into existence as His first act of creation.  He then divides the light from the darkness.  (And we know that what Yahuwah hath joined, let not man separate.  The opposite could also be true.)  Then in verse 5 He calls the light “day” and He calls the darkness“night”.  How then does it make sense to say that a day begins when it is dark?  Much of the confusion comes from the remainder of the verse:  It says that “there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.”  First of all, lets look at the distinct Hebrew words used in this verse:

Light = “Or” A noun literally meaning light.  The opposite of darkness.
Day = “Yom”  What Yahuwah named the period of time that contains light.
Darkness = “Choshek”  The state before light was created.  The absence of light.
Night = “Laila” What Yahuwah named the period of time that contains darkness (no light).
Evening = “Erev” The latter part of a day. (Afternoon)
Morning = “Boker” The first part of a day.

Evening and morning are defined here as parts of the first day NOT in any way a seperate day.  We could say that morning is the first part of the day and evening is the second part of the day and both contain light.

Now, look at the pattern presented throughout the first chapter of Genesis:
Yahuwah creates (does work)  Then evening comes, then morning comes and that is defined as a day. We see this exact pattern six times in a row.

Now let us see if we can make better sense of these verses with our new understanding.

Gen 1:3  And Elohim said, “Let Or come to be,” and Or came to be.
Gen 1:4  And Elohim saw the Or, that it was good. And Elohim separated the Or from the Choshek.
Gen 1:5  And Elohim called the Or ‘Yom’ and the Choshek He called ‘Laila.’ And (after He finished that day’s creation) there came to be Erev and there came to be Boker (When the first day completes and the second day begins), the first Yom.

Furthermore, look at verses 14-19 of the same chapter:

Gen 1:14  And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and moedim, and for days and years,
Gen 1:15  and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so.
Gen 1:16  And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars.
Gen 1:17  And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
Gen 1:18  and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19  And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.

Yahuwah then creates the sun, moon and stars as a perpetual calendar in the sky.  His word plainly says that the sun rules during the day and the moon rules at night.  How can anyone claim that sunset begins a day when the sun gives way to the moon?  His word plainly says that the moon rules the NIGHT not the DAY.

The words of the Master
What understanding did Yahushua have of when a day begins?  Let us read His very words:

Joh 11:9  יהושע answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
Joh 11:10  “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

If we stick to the understanding revealed in the first chapter of Genesis, it is easy to see that a day (The period of time that contains light – ruled by the sun) contains twelve hours (on a sundial).  He even states that if you walk in daytime, you see the light and do not stumble.  However, walking at night (in darkness) could cause stumbling because you cannot see clearly. Such a simple and yet profound truth.  If a day begins at sunset, the words of the Master sound like the ravings of a madman!

Physical realities = Spiritual symbolism
Read the following verses.  Do they not use the physical realities to establish great spiritual truths?
 

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
– Proverbs 4:18-19

Messiah Yahushua said, “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

“Ye are the light of the world”.
– Matthew 5:14

“Let your light so shine before men”
– Matthew 5:16

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.
– John 1:4

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light that all men through him might believe.
– John 1:7

19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21 But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in Yahuwah [divinely prompted, done with Yahuwah’s help, in dependence on Him].”
– John 3:19-21

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who had called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
-1 Peter 2:9

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
– Ephesians 5:13

Then Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.
– Genesis 1:14

Night = Absence of light
The following verses establish plainly that Night (opposite of Day) occurs when there is absence of light.

When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.”
– Judges 16:2

And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
– 1 Kings 18:27

Then they took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which was in Bethlehem. And Joab and his men went all night, and then they came to Hebron at daybreak.
– 2 Samuel 2:32

But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all nightuntil morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go.
– Judges 19:25

When I lie down, I say, “When shall I arise, and the night be ended?” For I have had my fill of tossingtill dawn.
– Job 7:4

Then Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. Elohim set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.
– Genesis 1:16

To Him who made great lights, for His mercy endures forever– Thesun to rule by day, for His mercy endures forever; the moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endures forever.
– Psalms 136:7-9

I know that whatever Elohim does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.
– Ecclesiastes 3:14

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our Eloah stands forever.
– Isaiah 40:8

You make darkness, and it is night, in which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
– Psalms 104:20

 It would be impossible to read into those verses a day beginning at sunset.  Go ahead, go back and re-read those verses and try to hold in your mind that a day begins at sunset.
If Yahuwah made the sun to rule the day…
If He called the light “Day”…
If He made the the darkness and called it “Night”…
If He made the moon to rule the night…
…if everything that He does is FOREVER…

Then who are we to change it???

Should we be surprised that people call night day and day night? The scriptures tell us this would be the case.

Isaiah 5:20-21

20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and prudent and shrewd in their own sight!

Much of the above has been copied from the following site. Some additions were made.:
http://pauldnewman.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/when-does-day-begin.html

The following scriptures also support the day starting with light: (from: http://whenisthesabbath.com/when-does-a-day-start.htm )

Anyone can draw a diagram. But does it agree with the rest of Scripture? Yes, it does. Some examples follow. Most of these are simply narratives of the day-to-day history of the Israelites and serve as practical examples of how they understood the calendar.

This example from Genesis is the first mention of the words “morrow” and “yesternight”. The past night is different from the morrow. This would not be true if the days started at sunset, since it is clear that the activity described happened after dark.

Genesis 19
34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Note the order: First day, then night, then morning.

Exodus 10
13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and Yahuwah brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

These verses indicate that the Sabbath started in the morning.

Exodus 16.22-27
22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, 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 seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.

Notice below that the morrow began on the morning and lasted until the evening.

Exodus 18:13
13 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.

The day consists of morning and night, in that order.

Leviticus 6.20
This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto Yahuwah in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.

Notice the “same day” does not include the next morning, which would be true if the days really started at evening.

Leviticus 7:15
15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

Note the order: day, then night, then next day.

Numbers 11.32
And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails …

It was already evening, and Joshua was still lying on the ground, then the LORD talked about “tomorrow”, showing that the new day had not yet begun.

Joshua 7:6,10,13
And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. ….
7.10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? ….
7.13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the LORD Yahuwah of Israel ….
[It was already evening, and Joshua was still lying on the ground, then the LORD talked about “tomorrow”, showing that the new day had not yet begun].

Tomorrow starts in the morning in the next two examples.

Judges 19:9
9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.
1 Samuel 19:10
10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

The next day began when the morning rose.

Jonah 4:7
But Yahuwah prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

Note the order: First “even”, then “dark”, then the storm at night, then the next day.

John 6.16-22
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Yahushua was not come to them.
18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
19 So when … they see Yahushua walking on the sea ….
21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there …

The “night” is not associated with “work”. Also see John 11:9.

John 9:4
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the nightcometh, when no man can work.

 In John 20 we see that Yashua rose ealy in the monring of the first day of the week. We also find that evening arrives and that it is still the first day of the week

John 20:1
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw the stone [already] removed from the [groove across the entrance of the] tomb.
…..
19 So when it was evening on that same day, the first day of the week, though the disciples were [meeting] behind barred doors for fear of the Jews, Yashua came and stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” 

Here is proof that the Sabbath ends at evening. This story takes place on the Sabbath. The people bring the sick to be healed when the Sabbath had ended, at sunset, also called “at even”. Here it is from 3 different Gospel writers:

Mark 1:21-32
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. …
29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever …
31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up …

32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

Luke 4:38-40
38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever …
39 And he … rebuked the fever …

40 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.

Matthew
14 And when Yahushua was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.

What about from even unto even?

Some people use the text “from even unto even …” to “prove” that the days start at evening. But the context shows two adjacent days, the 9th and 10th.

Traditionally, Leviticus 23:32 “from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” has been used to demonstrate that the days start at evening. But those same verses in Leviticus prove the opposite. Notice that this concerns the Day of Atonement, which is the tenth day of the month (23:27), but that the fast begins on evening of the ninth day of the month. (23:32). Those are two adjacent days, with two different date numbers: the ninth and the tenth. If the day really began in the evening, it would just be one date.

Day of Atonement even to even

The counterpart to this day in the Spring Feasts is the 10th day of the first month, the time to secure the lamb, which is a work day.

In fact, according to Scripture, repentance is a type of “work”, not a type of rest.

Acts 26:20
… that they should repent and turn to Yahuwah, and do works meet for repentance.

Revelation 2:5
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Each of the following scriptures also show that the day is from dawn to dawn.

Matthew 28:1
1 Now after the Sabbath, near dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

Mark 16:1-2
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome purchased [sweet-smelling] spices, so that they might go and anoint Him.
Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Luke 24:1-2

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, the women went to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared [to finish anointing the body].
2 And they found the [large, circular] stone rolled back from the tomb.

John 6:16-22
16 When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
17 and they got into a boat and started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It was already dark, and Yahshua had still not come [back] to them.
18 The sea was getting rough and rising high because a strong wind was blowing.
19 Then, when they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Yahshua walking on the sea and approaching the boat; and they were [terribly] frightened.
20 But Yahshua said to them, “It is I (I Am); do not be afraid.”
21 Then they were willing to take Him on board the boat, and immediately the boat reached the [shore of the] land to which they were going.

22 The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea realized that there had been only one small boat there, and that Yahshua had not boarded the boat with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away alone.

Acts 4:1-3
1 And while Peter and John were talking to the people, the priests and the captain [who was in charge of the temple area and] of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them,
2 being extremely disturbed and thoroughly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Yahshua the resurrection of the dead.
So they arrested them and put them in jail until the next day, because it was evening.

Genesis 19:33-34
33 So they gave their father wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she got up [because he was completely intoxicated].
34 Then the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us make him drunk with wine tonight also, and then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve our family through our father.”

Exodus 16:22-27
22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each person; and all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to Yahuwah’; bake and boil what you will bake and boil [today], and all that remains left over put aside for yourselves to keep until morning.
24 They put it aside until morning, as Moses told them, and it did not become foul nor was it wormy.
25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to Yahuwah; today you will not find it in the field.

26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none [in the field].”
27 Now on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.

Exodus 18:13
13 Now the next day Moses sat to judge [the disputes] the people [had with one another], and the people stood around Moses from dawn to dusk.

Exodus 32:5-6
5 Now when Aaron saw the molten calf, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, “Tomorrow shall be an appointed time to Yahuwah!
So they got up early the next day and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; then the people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play [shamefully—without moral restraint].

Leviticus 6:20
20 “This is the offering which Aaron and his sons are to present to Yahuwah on the day when he is anointed: the tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening.

Leviticus 7:15
15 ‘The meat of the sacrifice of thanksgiving presented as a peace offering shall be eaten on the day that it is offered; none of it shall be left until morning.

Numbers 11:32
32 The people spent all that day and all night and all the next day and caught and gathered the quail (the one who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves around the camp [to cure them by drying].

Jonah 4:6-8
6 So Yahuwah Elohim prepared a plant and it grew up over Jonah, to be a shade over his head to spare him from discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about [the protection of] the plant.
7 But Yahuwah prepared a worm when morning dawned the next day, and it attacked the plant and it withered.
8 When the sun came up Yahuwah prepared a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he fainted and he wished to die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

3 comments

  1. Hi my name is Paul. I live in Mt. Druitt, NSW, Australia. I’m a Christian and would like to meet you if at all possible. That is if you live near me. Please feel free to contact me via email at any time. May God bless you and be with you always!

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