“When Does A Day… End?”
If you’re into calendar issues then you have undoubtedly read your fair share of articles proclaiming the two different beliefs as to "When Does a Day Begin?" i.e., ‘sunset to sunset’ or ‘sunrise to sunrise’. I have also read my fair share of articles on the subject and I have to say, I am baffled by anyone who can believe the day begins at sunset! To me the Scriptures paint huge billboard signs proclaiming sunrise to be the beginning of the day! I can only guess as to why anyone could be so blind as to believe in the sunset position, can you say… “Tradition”…?
Authors proclaiming the sunrise position usually begin their argument by titling their articles with the question, ‘When Does a Day Begin?’ Just daring to ask the question throws coals on the heads of those keeping sunset to sunset and even though it seems to be a logical question and beginning to a debate I haven’t seen it sway a lot of those “Traditionalists”. Why not?
Could it be that we’re asking the wrong question?
Would it make more sense to ask, ‘When Does a Day… End?
Would that make a stronger case for ‘When Does a Day Begin?’
Would that help people see what is so obvious both Scripturally and in Nature?
Or is this just me being silly?
Before you write me off as being a brick short of a load let’s consider the Creation narrative in Genesis chapter One.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:5)
Of course people from both sides of the argument site this verse along with the rest of Genesis to make their case as to ‘When Does a Day Begin?’ But that IS NOT what you’re being told here! It is telling you when the day ENDS!
There can be no doubt the proclamation being made comes at the end of the 1st Day.
So then, what portion of the day is connected by the verse above with the end of the day? Clearly it is ‘morning’!
"There was evening and there was morning...", i.e. the completion of the 1st Day came with the morning! If you want to argue for the sake of arguing you can argue over whether the day ends at the beginning of the morning, i.e. sunrise, or the end of the morning, i.e. high noon, but you can’t argue that the end of the day is not associated with the morning! In my opinion it isn’t worth the time to discuss it but will tell you that there are people who believe a day begins and ends at high noon! I’m not quite sure what they do with Yeshua’s question, “Are there not 12 hours in a day?” Evidently to them 6 hours in a day is plenty! Or is their day divided by the night into two portions of 6 hours, one portion prior to night and one portion following night, I don’t know but consider it all folly!
When the Scriptures say, “and there was morning, the first day.” It is telling us the morning has arrived, not the morning has been spent.
Hopefully we have made some progress as to “When Does a Day… End?”
If not, maybe we need a little repetition, let me reinforce Genesis 1:5 with the rest of the Creation narrative.
God called the dome Sky, And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:8 NRSV)
The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. (Genesis 1:12-13 NRSV)
God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. (Genesis 1:17-19 NRSV)
God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:22-23 NRSV)
God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 NRSV)
So then, “When Does a Day… End?”
Come on, help me out here! The day ends in association with the morning!
From this foundation laid in the bedrock of the Genesis creation account all other verses of Scripture must agree, there can be no exceptions!
In Isaiah YHWH informs us the witness of the creation and all His works through mankind testify to who He is, from sunrise to sunset, not high noon to sunset!
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:6 NKJV)
That they may know from the rising of the shemesh, even to the ma’arav (west, setting place of the sun), that there is none apart from Me. I am Hashem, and there is no other [Elohim]. (Isaiah 45:6 OJB)
It may be good to note that on the Sabbath it is only the daylight hours which are set apart. YHWH Himself led Israel to do many things after the sun had set on the Sabbath. Until you realize that fact you will have a difficult time recognizing the Sabbath in Scripture because you will mistakenly see work being done on that set apart day. Both the exodus from Egypt and the Abrahamic Covenant are examples of YHWH engaging His chosen people on the Sabbath but after the set apart hours of daylight had passed.
Moving right along… How long was Moses on Mount Sinai? Do you remember?
Wasn’t it 40 nights and days?
No… It was 40 Days and 40 Nights!
Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 24:18 NRSV)
This sequence only makes sense if a day ends at the conclusion of night and the new day begins with the sunrise of morning. By the way, the word ‘morning’, ‘morrow’ and ‘tomorrow’ are all associated etymologically and can only be associated if the morning is the beginning of tomorrow.
If sunset was the beginning of the day and the sun had set I couldn’t tell you, “I’ll see you in the morning.” and think I was speaking of tomorrow, for it would still be today! When we use the word morning as I have above, “I’ll see you in the morning.” you automatically know that I am speaking of the next day, i.e. tomorrow. There is a reason for that; morning and tomorrow are etymologically associated!
So let’s go back to Moses again. This time let’s read Exodus 16:12-13
“I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’ In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp."
This event is taking place on the 14th and 15th Days of the 2nd Month. The quail came on the evening of the 14th and the manna fell on the morning of the 15th. Remember the etymology of the word ‘morning’; it cannot be associated with the evening prior since it is connected etymologically with the word ‘tomorrow’.
I could easily beat this horse to death with so many more Scripture quotes but I know the futility of doing so. Either you get it or you don’t. I sure hope you do!
But if not, lets examine one more piece of the Scriptural landscape and then I’ll let this go. Let’s look at the crucifixion. There are two verses I would like to review, they are Luke 23:53-54 and Matthew 28:1…
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:53-54)
In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1)
What I want to draw attention to here, and what is staggaring in my mind is that the word being translated in both verses as "drew on" and "began to dawn" come from the Greek word 'epiphosko'. We definitely need to look at that more closely! Here is the definition of the word 'epiphosko' which is Strong's #2020.
Lexicon :: Strong's G2020 - epiphōskōἐπιφώσκω
Part of Speech verb
Root Word (Etymology) A form of ἐπιφαύσκω (G2017)
Dictionary AidsVine's Expository Dictionary:
Outline of Biblical Usage to grow light, to dawn
KJV Translation Count — Total: 2x
The KJV translates Strongs G2020 in the following manner: begin to dawn (1x), draw on (1x).
Thayer's Greek Lexicon HelpWord / Phrase / Strong's Search KJV NKJV NLT NIV ESV RVR60 NASB RSV ASV YLT DBY WEB HNV VUL WLC LXX mGNT TR
Concordance Results Using KJVStrong's Number G2020 matches the Greek ἐπιφώσκω (epiphōskō),which occurs 2 times in 2 verses in the Greek concordance of the KJV
Mat 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn G2020 toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Luk 23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. G2020
This in my estimation is conclusive evidence! The day ends and begins at sunrise!
I am going to post a link to a well done short video by the people at 'Worlds Last Chance' titled as you might imagine, 'When Does a Day Begin?' I hesitate to do this because I do not agree with their position that the New Moon is the Dark Moon Conjunction, I totally disagree!
I believe the clear fulfillment of Genesis 1:14-19's lesser of TWO GREAT LIGHTS is the Full Moon. Nevertheless, setting that aside, here is the link:
'When Does a Day Begin?'
This article contains important information that could benefit your friends and loved ones. Please consider becoming a conduit through which the Ruach HaKodesh can reach others by clicking on the 'LIKE' button and even more importantly by clicking on the 'SHARE' button to place a link to the article on your Facebook wall. Thank you!