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Sunset or Midnight?

"And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens 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, a fourth day." (Genesis 1:14-19 RSV) (see The Seven Days Of Creation)

Sunset Biblical Days Begin and End At Sunset

Right from the time of creation (literally from "day one"), God has reckoned a complete day (i.e. one-seventh of a week) from sunset to sunset:

  • "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day." (Genesis 1:2-5 RSV)

Other examples from Bible History (see also Bible Calendar and Bible Months):

  • "It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath." (Leviticus 23:32 RSV)

  • "When it began to be dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath." (Nehemiah 13:19 RSV)

The Change To Midnight

In most of the modern world (from our perspective that is, since no human is more "modern" than God), days are now marked from midnight to midnight. This accompanied the changes of the start of the sacred calendar year from spring (in Jerusalem) to the dead of winter in the northern hemisphere (where the change originated, at Rome), and Roman calender months (the Julian calendar was named after Julius Caesar, and the present Gregorian calendar, which most of us use in our daily lives, was named after Pope Gregory XIII) in place of the natural lunar month ("month" actually means moon). These changes are actually part of a much larger Prophecy:

"Thus he said: 'As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth [see Daniel's Statue and Ancient Empires - Rome], which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law." (Daniel 7:23-25 RSV)

Fact Finder: At what hour did Jesus Christ die?
Matthew 27:45-50
Note: In The Bible, the "first hour" of the day began at sunrise, the "third hour" is equivalent to 9:00 a.m., the "sixth hour" is equivalent to noon, the "ninth hour" is equivalent to 3:00 p.m., and the "twelfth hour" is equivalent to 6:00 p.m.


This Week's Bible Quiz

1. Where was King David born?

2. What was the name of David's father?

3. Was David the youngest, or oldest, child in his family?

4. Was David a shepherd?

5. What was the name of the giant Philistine that David killed in battle?

6. What was the name of the king that David replaced?

7. What was the name of the widow of Nabal who David married?

8. What was the name of the widow of Uriah The Hittite who David married?

9. What was the name of David's son who succeeded him as king?

10. How many years did King David reign in total?

For the answers to this October 17 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page


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