Read this article with nothing but your Bible and a mind willing to be guided by God.
WHEN DOES A BIBLICAL DAY START?
AN EXAMINATION INTO WHEN THE SABBATH BEGINS
This is by no means to be a contentious article or to cause division; for most Christians believers have all come from one form of Christianity or other, and are each of us, walking in the light we have received.
If we are seeking, He says we will find and He will reveal Himself to those who show their love by keeping His commandments (John 14:21).
Genesis: chapter 1:1-5
Note: It is true that “yom” can mean an undefined period of time unless it is defined, as it is in the Genesis account (“there came to be evening and there came to be morning”)
The six day creation defines for us when a day starts:
In the beginning there is nothingness, or darkness, then Elohim creates light and calls it “day”. That is the start. Scripture states that evening came, then morning (start of the next day), that was the first day.
The creation process continues like this for six days:
At the end of the six days of creation we read:
“1 Thus the Heaven and the earth were completed, and all their array. 2 And on the seventh day (yom) Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day (yom) from all His work which He had made. 3 And Elohim baruḵ the seventh day (yom) and qadosh it, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.”
This is NOT saying a day is 12 hours. A full "day" in the creation account is defined as 24 hours starting in the morning.
If you believe that "there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day" supports a day beginning in the evening then you must believe that a day is 12 hours. As we will see from Scripture this is not the case.
Note: Yahweh said “Tomorrow” was Sabbath, then “morning” comes and Moses said “eat it today, for today is a Sabbath”.
“6 And Joshua tore his garments, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of YHWH until evening, both he and the elders of Israel, and they put dust on their heads... 10 And YHWH said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why are you lying on your face?... 13 “Rise up, qadosh the people, and you shall say, ‘Qadosh yourselves for tomorrow, because thus said YHWH Elohim of Israel, “That which is under the ban is in your midst...”
“16 And when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 and entering into the boat, they were going over the sea toward Kephar Nahum. And it had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 And the sea was rising because a great wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about five or six kilometers, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 And He said to them, “It is I, do not be afraid.” 21 They wished therefore to take Him into the boat, and at once the boat was at the land where they were going. 22 On the next day...”
Having the night as the first part of the day seems to be a reversal of many of Jesus parables which He describes Himself as the us as “light of the world” (Jn 8:12, Jn 9:5, Jn 12:46, etc.) and we should “walk in the light” and “not in darkness” (Jn 8:12, Jn 11:9-10, Jn 12:35, Jn 9:4, etc.)
Some express difficulty in correlating the morning to morning reckoning with the Passover, yet the timing of this important festival is not defining when a day starts or ends; Yahweh simply wants us to honor the feast on the night of the 14th because that is the time He led His people out of Egypt...
The festival of Unleavened bread simply cannot begin at sundown after the Passover as Scripture commands the leftovers to be burnt "before morning" which involves kindling a fire; something forbidden on a Sabbath.
Another apparent anomaly is:
Genesis 8:22 “As long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”
This is what Yahweh has to say about the order of day and night:
“Thus said YHWH, ‘If you could break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there be not day and night in their season, 21 then My covenant could also be broken...”
"...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...
You said, "Read this article with nothing but your Bible and a mind willing to be guided by God."
I have to ask, "Why do you have all the comments from uninspired sources in your article if your readers are to depend only upon the Bible? Especially when we have such a wealth of inspired comments on every topic, so that we don't need to guess at anything. What you class as Scriptural anomalies is the specific instruction to determine the answer to your question, as the other texts you give as evidence are only relating an incident, they are not specific instruction for us. They are not the actual evidence that one needs to make the determination. No one should get their answer from worldly philosophers and uninspired imaginations, such as is presented in your article.
The Bible is very clear on specifics--"from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbaths". And the Spirit of Prophecy is also very clear, so clear that it is impossible to misunderstand.
again you are using the only verse to prove that the sabbath day should be kept from even to even. besides when you read leviticus 23:3 ,clearly mentions the sabbath day and says nothing about the time when it starts because the israelites already when to, and continues with the solemn festivals among which it is the yom kippur (verse28-32) . you deny the biblical support just sticking on to one verse. check everything don't be like the so called masters who didn't accept Jesus just because he wasn't following of what they had learned from their traditions.You have been told what to believe without questioning as many adventist do, even me at he beginning but a self study and revision of oher sources has to be done. if not we are acting like many sects do. Notice that the verse says shall ye celebrate your Sabbaths but remember,God calls His sabbath the one Blessed and sanctified by Him, isn' tthat true?
Hi VIctor, it is good that you are searching for truth. I would like to point out a few texts. Deu 21:22-23: And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance. Joshua 8:29: And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, [that remaineth] unto this day. Also 10:27: And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, [that] Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, [which remain] until this very day. All these versus taken together show that the day begins at evening.
thanks for replying Brother!!
may our Jesus be with you in all you your plans and dreams!!
I think you're missing something the bible says and as adventists we hav always used to prove what we believe in: Isaih 28:9,10 (13)
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
did you notice the words Moses said to the Israelites??
this is one of the most enlitghting verses ever,but we have to read them more than twice to take out our preconceived or induced ideas from our minds.I can tell !
“22 And it came to be, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said to them, “This is what YHWH has said, ‘Tomorrow is a rest, a Shabbath qadosh to YHWH. That which you bake, bake; and that which you cook, cook. And lay up for yourselves all that is left over, to keep it until morning.’ ” 24 And they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded. And it did not stink, and no worm was in it. 25 And Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Shabbath to YHWH, today you do not find it in the field. 26 “Gather it six days, but on the seventh day, which is the Shabbath, there is none.” 27 And it came to be that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.”
Note: Jehova said “Tomorrow” is Sabbath, then “morning” comes and Moses said “eat it today, for today is a Sabbath”. this a weekly Sabbath not a ceremonial one. Our God had the chance to declare those words the same sixth day saying today at even is the sabbath, but He didn't. we would say He missed a great opportunity about it, but Naturally! there is no need to do it because it's not the way He, the creator ,established the weekly cycle for us.
Have you ever wondered where the even of the first day is, if the beginning of the week starts with the creation of light, more over where is the even of the seventh day when the Scriptures states that the creation process finishes with the words : Genesis 1:31 " And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day".
Victor, is Genesis 1 admissible? Isn't each day in the creation account arranged "evening and morning". (Gen 1:5 etc.) I see you do refer to this, but it appears that you understand it differently.
Also, when Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus [fairly late in the day] took down Jesus' body, wrapped it in the linen, and laid it in the tomb, the Bible description is that it "was the preparation [day], and the Sabbath drew on." (Luke 23:51-54)
The two men were working during daylight, but the Sabbath was drawing near, or as the New English Version puts it, "was about to begin." It was about to begin, because the Sun would soon be setting. They did not dally.
I really thank you for taking your time to answer!! lots of blessing for you all!! here I have extra points to consider:
You could use the Strong's biblical concordance if you want.
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had
cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus,
he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying,
Certainly this was a righteous man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding
the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all his acquaintance, and the
women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. And, behold, there
... And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew
” (Lk. 23:44-54).
Notice that verse 54 (above) concludes by stating that the Sabbath “drew on G2020
”, or “began to grow light
”! What the above passage is telling us is that Joseph of Arimathaea went to Pilate and begged for the
body of Christ. This would have no doubt taken time. Once clearance was granted from Pilate for Joseph
to take Christ’s body, Joseph had to then arrange for the body to be removed from the stake. He would
have also had to clean the body, wrap it in linen, and then transport it to the sepulcher. To do all this
would have taken more than just a few hours. We know that Christ died at the ninth hour (Lk. 23:44)
which is 3pm. Sunset was around 6pm. If we think about this logically, it should be obvious that it must
have taken Joseph much more than a few hours till sunset to fulfill the obligations before burial. No
doubt, Joseph worked through the night. At any rate, we are told that this was all finished before the
Sabbath “began to grow light
” (Lk. 23:54)! The Sabbath did not begin at sunset when it began to
grow dark, but it began before sunrise, when it began to grow light.
Notice the following Bible translations for Luke 23:54 which continue to give us further clarity:
“It was the day of Preparation [for the Sabbath], and the Sabbath was dawning…” (Amplified
“And [the] day was [the] preparation and [the] Sabbath lighted up…” (Greek Interlinear).
Joseph of Arimathea worked until the Sabbath lit up! This is what scripture tells us. Clearly, a day
according to God begins at sunrise and not at sunset.
Something very interesting is revealed and confirmed in Matthew 28. Notice:
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawnG2020
toward the first day of the week, came Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher” (Matt. 28:1).
Notice carefully that which is being stated. We are told that the two Mary’s came to the sepulcher at the
end of the Sabbath as it began to dawnG2020
towards the first day of the week. This clearly indicates that
the end of the Sabbath came just before dawnG2020
on the first day of the week. Read the above scripture
again! If we allow the Bible to interpret itself, it clearly proves that the end of the Sabbath came just
on the first day of the week! The word “dawnG2020
” in Matthew 28:1 continues to confirm
this Biblical truism. “Dawn” is translated from the Greek word “epiphosko” and could be translated as:
“begin to grow light, dawn”. Matthew 28:1 could be translated as follows:
Is it not so clear that the end of the Sabbath (or the end of any day) came as it began to grow light the next
day? In other words, the Sabbath did not end before sunset, but before the following sunrise! Notice the
following translations of this same scripture:
“Now late on the Sabbath…as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week…” (American
“Now late on sabbath, as it was the dusk of the next day after Sabbath…” (Derby Translation).
If it was “late on the Sabbath” and beginning “to dawn toward the first day of the week” when the two
Mary’s went to the sepulcher, it should be plainly obvious that the Sabbath does not end at sunset!
More over we have this:
If the Sabbath began at "sunset" as many have believed, the Sabbath would have already been broken by the fact that they did not even begin to ask for the body until "evening had come."
Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of . . . (Mark 15:42, 43, NKJV)
Jesus' friends finished burying Him just as the Sabbath began to dawn.
Meditate deeply on this important Truth, and allow the Bible to interpret itself!
Greetings from a distant country Chile !!!
I find this very interesting Victor. I am looking at G2020 and some related words in Vines, Thayers, and Liddell & Scott. [I do accept that there is substance in your assertions, but I cannot accept the conclusion that you draw; and yet I acknowledge the rationale.]
Your reference to the Greek Interlinear, and your comment that "Joseph of Arimathea worked until the Sabbath lit up" has taken me on another line of thought. I am thinking that the "lighting up" of the Sabbath may apply to the lighting up of the sky at sunset. I doubt that Ellen White's work is accepted by you, Victor, but this, in effect, is the view expressed by her.
"As the last rays of the setting Sun ushered in the Sabbath, the Son of God lay in quietude in Joseph's tomb." (Desire of Ages p.769)
Victor, do you yourself keep Sabbath from 'first light', and if I may ask, do you have any direct association with the SDA church?
Hi there again!!!
come on , you've got to be kidding me, are you serious on believing that the lighting up may be refering to the lighting up of the sky at eve? how can the lighting up be at sunset when the light is dimming? it is absolutely out of any natural law!!
I've been and adventists for almost 35 years, but I think nobody can stick to what he/she believes just because he or she has been taught that way. Besides if you dicover something which is biblically supported and you want to obey God's words no excuse!
regarding Ellen White's words, are her words above God's? is she a real biblical auhtority? remember what the scriptures say in 1st corinthians 14:32 "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets."
Notice what she says:
"Do not carry your creed to the Bible and read the Word in the light of your former opinions. Do not try to make everything agree with you creed. Search the Word carefully and prayerfully with a mind free from prejudice. If as you read conviction comes, and you see that your most cherished opinions are not in harmony with the Word, do not try to make the Word fit these opinions. Make your opinions fit the Word. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding. Open the eyes of your mind to behold wondrous things out of the law. Find out what is written, and then plant your feet on the eternal Rock." E. G. White Manuscript Releases Volume Three, 432
God be with you all!!!
I would also like to point out that John 20:1 says, The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdelene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the store taken away from the sepulchre. You believe that the days starts at light, yet simply from this verse alone I see that the bible counts the dark part of the morning as part of the day. Can you agree with John on this?
Your words do not fall of deaf ears, Victor. Thank you.
I would like to answer the portion about how much time must have passed from Jesus' death to the time that he was buried. Lets start with reading 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. Here we see that the Jews were worried about the bodies remaining on the cross for any amount of time, it seemed urgent to them that they die quickly and be buried. The reason for this was because they Jews have always buried their dead before the sun sets.
Now lets read verse 38: And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. From what I have been able to find, the route that Jesus walked from Pilates Judgement hall was no less than 2 miles at the most and the least a half mile. Of course we don't know the exact amount but if we look at the historical information we know that it was not far. Now I don't know about you; but I can walk a mile in a very short time. Considering the Jews strict observance regarding the dead I believe that Joseph would have covered that distance rather quuckly. When I am in a hurry I can run 1 and a half miles in some 12 minutes. In order to understand how quickly it would have taken to bury Jesus you need to look at it from a Jewish perspective. They did not use the lengthy process that we do today. All that would have taken place is a the herbs and the body would have been wrapped.
The burial place would not have been far from the cross because the bible says in verse 41: Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never a man yet laid. There they laid Jesus therefore because of the Jews preparation day; for the Sabbath was nigh at hand. All of this happened very quickly, Nicodemus brought the spices and the two of them would have worked very fast. Now look at my previous post about Gods commands that all bodies be buried that same day and I don't see how Jesus would have lain all night.
God bless you in your study.
Thank you Ezra. I appreciate your practical thinking. Noting one detail in your quote from John 19:41-42. Where you have, "for the Sabbath was nigh at hand", the text should read, "for the sepulcher was nigh at hand". They did not have far to take Him. Important also, inasmuch as Nicodemus brought about 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes with him (Jn 19:39). I do not know of a Scripture that would refute the thought that they may have used some kind of a hand-cart.