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Hours Of The Day

Mechanical or electronic clocks did not exist in ancient times, however the people of Bible History still measured the time of day by "hours." The equivalent term for hour is first found recorded in the Scriptures in the book of Daniel, and later, in the words of Jesus Christ Himself, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" (John 11:9 KJV).

Hours Of The Day

Sundial The term "hour" referred to a period of time, one-twelfth of the daylight part of the day. While daylight is longer in summer than in winter, and therefore summer "hours" were longer than winter "hours," as a general rule the first hour was equivalent to 6 to 7 am on a modern-day clock, and so on:

The first hour = 6 to 7 am
The second hour = 7 to 8 am
The third hour = 8 to 9 am
The fourth hour = 9 to 10 am
The fifth hour = 10 to 11 am
The sixth hour = 11 am to 12 pm
The seventh hour = 12 to 1 pm
The eighth hour = 1 to 2 pm
The ninth hour = 2 to 3 pm
The tenth hour = 3 to 4 pm
The eleventh hour = 4 to 5 pm
The twelfth hour = 5 to 6 pm

Jesus Christ was crucified at the time of year near the spring equinox, when daylight and darkness are roughly of equal duration. He was hung on the cross (see Crosses) during the third hour (8 to 9 am), darkness come over the land during the sixth hour (11 am to 12 pm) and lasted until the ninth hour (2 to 3 pm) at which time the Messiah was killed, as a fulfillment of all of the God-specified rules for the Passover lamb: no bones were to be broken, death by shed blood, not strangulation, and to be actually killed, not found dead of itself - see How Did Jesus Christ Die? below:

"And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the superscription of His accusation was written over, The King of the Jews."

"And with Him they crucify two thieves; the one on His right hand, and the other on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And He was numbered with the transgressors."

"And they that passed by railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him."

"And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?? which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?"

"And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, He calleth Elias [i.e. Elijah; He was not calling Elijah, see Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani, above]. And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take Him down."

"And Jesus cried with a loud voice [see How Did Jesus Christ Die?], and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." [see Why Was It Torn?]

"And when the centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." [see What Have We Done?] (Mark 15:25:39 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who alone knows the day or hour when The Return Of Jesus Christ will happen?
Matthew 24:36
See also What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?

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