We’ve been told that a day is from evening to evening. We were taught that the Sabbath is observed from sundown/dark Friday evening to sundown/dark Satyrday evening. Is this so? Before you answer or begin this study, please ask Abba Father to supply you with a generous portion of His set-apart Spirit. If I did not have reason to suspect that we have been misled, this would not have been written and you would not be reading this study now. Friend, the Adversary has counterfeited everything else set in place at Creation, so should you be surprised that someone would come along with evidence challenging the established “even to even” day? Who said that a day begins at even? The truth of the matter lies in Scripture…
The first serious flaw in most people’s theology is that they generally believe that the word “even” or“evening” means the whole dark period of night and morning means the whole light period of day, however the Hebrew word erev means dusk (evening). Layil, the Hebrew word for night and erev are not synonymous. Likewise, the lit part of day is yom, the Hebrew word for day. Boker is the Hebrew word translated as morning as used in the creation account and it very simply means only the early segment of a day, or “morning”, not the whole day (yom). The translators have not been honest with the Hebrew words given and we have been taught to continue the dishonesty. When the Hebrew is honestly examined, an “even to even” day is suddenly “lost” in translation.
Furthermore, there is a Hebrew phrase that means sundown. It is shemesh (sun) bow (down or set). The phrase shemesh bow is used to mean three differing points of time: before sunset, as the sun is setting and after sunset.
Before the sun has set Horizon ___________ Genesis 15:12, et al.
As the sun is setting Horizon ___________ Exodus 17:12, et al.
After the sun has set Horizon ___________ Genesis 28:11, et al.
If the Hebrew word erev (evening) means sunset (just before, during or just after) why didn’t Moses use the word erev in the three verses above? Or why didn’t Moses use shemesh bow in all the places “evening” is used?
The reason for this is that the term “even” or “evening” (Hebrew erev) is not as fixed a moment in time as we would like it to be; a point where something begins and/or ends. In some places in Scripture, it means noon, in other places evening means about 3:00 p.m. In other places it means about the time the sun hits the horizon, in other places the sun is just below the horizon. In other places evening is the twilight time phase from sunset until darkness. Here are some examples of each of the above…
The word evening in Exodus 12:6 literally means “between the two evenings”. This is commonly said to be about 3 p.m., but clearly a period of time before sunset. Here are other passages that indicate that evening means an unspecified period of time between noon and sunset, and “evening” is part of the present day: Exodus 12:18, Exodus 29:39, (Leviticus 23:5), Numbers 28:16 and 9:3, Deuteronomy 16:6, Joshua 5:10, II Kings 16:15, I Chronicles 16:40, Ezra 9:4, et al.
Exodus 30:8 indicates a period of time shortly before the sun sets, when it is still light out and the shadows are long, a perfect time to light the lamps. Here are other passages that indicate that evening means a period of time shortly before the sun sets and darkness sets in: Numbers 9:15, 21; Deuteronomy 23:10-11, Judges 19:16, Ruth 2:17, Psalm 104:23,Jeremiah 6:4, et al.
Many verses say that one is “unclean until the even” for some infraction. Leviticus 11:24 is the first. This use of the word is generally understood to mean sunset. The following verses use erev to mean sunset. Please note that “even” is not part of the next day: Leviticus 11:25, 11:27-28, 11:31-32, 11:39-40, 11:46, nearly all of Lev. 15, much of Numbers 19, Judges 20:26, II Samuel 1:12, II Chronicles 18:34, et al.
There is even a period of twilight between sunset and dark where erev is used… Proverbs 7:9, and Ezekiel 12:7. These two verses could have been combined with the verses below.
Genesis 29:23 is a perfect example of the Hebrew word, erev (evening) meaning that the sun has set. Please read this in context. If it had been still daylight out, don’t you think Jacob would have known he was “consummating” with the wrong woman? Here are other passages that indicate that evening means the sun has set: Genesis 49:27, Joshua 7:6, 8:29, 10:26, Zephaniah 2:7, et al.
The point is this--if even begins the Sabbath then 9 neighbors living in a straight line on the same side of the street can begin the Sabbath at 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 p.m. respectively and all show Scripture to prove their position. Do you think YHWH established this silliness or the adversary? How easy do you think it will be for a naysayer to contend that Sabbath keepers are all full of pucky when they discover this? I actually know a VERY sincere feast keeping couple who keeps the Sabbath from noon to noon because this is what they think “evening” means, and they have PROOF in Scripture to back it up. And so they do; their proof texts do show in some cases that “evening” means noon in the passages they selectively pull from Scripture. Of course they conveniently ignore the dozens of other places that put even at sunset, dark or “between the evens”. Because Noon is the FIRST of all the points of time that COULD be called even, that is the time they begin their days, including their Sabbaths. Logical? Sure…
…And the adversary laughs all the way to the bank. This is very confusing to say the least and YHWH is not the Author of confusion. Remember earlier I said, “The truth of the matter lies in Scripture”? Well, let’s let Scripture have a voice. And if I may be so bold, please listen and heed what it says…
What is the first thing created during creation week? Did you say light? Did you forget the creation event in Genesis 1:1? This was a time consuming event, so why was it not called a day when all was said and done? The segment of time in Genesis 1:1 is not an ordinary day; it was the first day of the first month of the year on planet earth so it would have been the new moon “day”. There really does not need to be a sun to rise or set to demark this day for while the sun tells us that a new day has begun, it is the moon that tells us what kind of day it is. Here the moon was not illuminated (naturally) because the sun had not been lit yet, so Genesis 1:1 is a new moon day, the dark phase of the moon. Case in point: If the second month after creation began with a new moon, what do you think the first month on earth began with?
When did the first day of the creation WEEK begin in Genesis 1:3? Without any luminaries in the heavens, there are no time keepers for planet earth. Until YHWH said, Let there be light, time as we understand it (days, weeks, months and years) did not exist. So when YHWH said “Let there be light”, did the light tarry for some 12 hours before it came on or did it come on immediately? I believe it came on as soon as He commanded it to come forth. Thus, days began (as we understand them) at that moment. This was the first “week day” on planet earth and it began with LIGHT. Interestingly enough it also ended with light--at morning. Case in point: If day one ended with morning (which is exactly what it says in Genesis 1:5), when did day two begin? Answer: At morning, the same time that day one ended.
We have all been taught that “and the evening and the morning were the ___ day” listed several times during creation week and thought that the day began in the evening, but if that was so, then the day would end at evening. However Scripture says it ends with morning. In fact the first six creation days all end the following morning. If Moses had meant that the day ended with the daylight (at even), he would have written Yom, rather than “morning.” The first day began with light, later there was an evening, and later still there was another morning, and they call this “day one.” Actually, this is how the literal Hebrew reads, and there was evening, and there was morning, Day one. What came before the first “and”? “And” is a connective word, connecting sequences of events, people, places and things, time included. Case in point: The command to Let there be light came first, and [meaning later] there was evening, and [meaning still later] there was morning, Day one. So Creation week supports a dawn to dawn day. The very first day began with the light of the morning and ended at the subsequent morning, which is exactly how Genesis 1:3-5 is worded.
Let me give you some evidence in Torah and the prophets that a day does NOT begin at evening.
Exodus 16:22-23. This is the first place in Scripture that uses the word “Sabbath”. This is the last day of the first six days that manna fell. YHWH states that Tomorrow is the Sabbath. Israel was to prepare today (the sixth day or preparation day) and lay up for themselves all that remained, to be kept until morning. So they laid up until morning (verse 24) and it did not stink as it had all the other mornings they had tried to collect enough for two days. Verse 25 says, eat that TODAY, for TODAY is the Sabbath. It does not say eat that this evening, for this evening is the Sabbath. It does not say that THIS evening is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto YHWH. It says tomorrow. Neither the Sabbath nor tomorrow began that evening, it began the next morning. This is Torah friend, so is the Creation account in Genesis 1.
The Passover event in Exodus 12 is also troublesome for the “even to even” proponents. If the Sabbath begins at even, then the Death Angel went over Egypt on the Sabbath (Abib 15, the day after Passover). The act of judgment and retribution is work; it is not a Sabbath activity. The battle/siege of Jericho was a seven consecutive day affair. Israel did not march around Jericho on the Sabbath (they started on a new moon--day one of the month--then marched around for the next 6 work days—days 2-7) because war/judgment is not a Sabbath activity. YHWH does not make a law; then break it Himself. So did the Father send the Death Angel over Egypt during the Sabbath hours, breaking the Sabbath Himself or did the Sabbath not begin until the morning AFTER the Death Angel passed over?
The remains of the Passover lamb will tell us the answer. Exodus 12:6-10 tells us that Israel was to kill the lamb on Abib 14, at even (between the evenings actually), which means sometime in the afternoon. They were to put the blood on the doorposts that day, and they were to eat it THAT night (the night the Death Angel would pass over). That night was part of Abib 14. They were not to leave any of the lamb remaining until the following morning (the next day). Did THAT night belong to the next day (Abib 15) or THAT day (Abib 14). Clearly the night after the evening belonged to Abib 14 because it is called THAT night, not the next night or tomorrow night. This is another witness in Torah indicating that the day begins in the morning, not in the evening. Leviticus 7:15 presents the same argument from Torah.
Let’s look at the language itself. The light (sun) was to divide the day from the night. The light is called day, the darkness is called night. This is a Scriptural fact. Is it wise to say that the day begins at darkness? Day means it is light, not dark. Job 17:10-12 calls those who change the night into day “unwise”.
Numbers 11:13 also proves that the night does not belong to the next day. This too is in the Torah. It says that the people stood up all THAT day, and all THAT night, and all the NEXT day. Again, the day cannot begin at evening or it would have been written that they stood all THAT day, all the NEXT night and all the NEXT day. Exodus 10:13 and I Samuel 19:24 and 28:20 present the same argument.
Indeed, the daylight ends at evening or dark, but the next day does not begin until the next daylight. The evening belongs to the day, the day that preceded it, not the following day. Numbers 28:16 and Exodus 12:6 make this clear by stating that the lamb was killed at even and that even was part of Abib 14, not Abib 15. This is also stated in Exodus 12:18, Leviticus 23:5, Numbers 9:3, and Joshua 5:10.
Friend, I'm trying to show you that this issue is VERY much a part of Scripture even though there is not a verse that comes right out and says, “a day is from dawn to dawn.” But think about this for a moment, neither is there a verse that says that the weekly Sabbath is from “even to even”. When a day begins is another issue that the Adversary counterfeited (midnight to midnight) then (in my semi-educated opinion) dual counterfeited (even to even). This “dawn to dawn” issue is not my strong suite, nor is it my focus, but it is a part of the Creation Calendar. A simple study of the facts and acknowledgment of the evidence will prove that EVERYTHING about time has been counterfeited; including the beginning of the day. Believe me, this idea cut directly across my grain. I am a 4th generation Seventh-day Adventist, so a sunset to sunset Sabbath was part of my very being. Since 2000, when YHWH showed me that He wanted my family to observe everything in His Word, I've learned more than I even thought was in there. Also, I’ve discovered I needed to UN-learn twice as much stuff as I had yet to learn.
Leviticus 23:32 is very easy to explain. In context, this verse is only talking about the Day of Atonement. It says sabbath (meaning the 10th day of the seventh month), not the weekly sabbaths. And I do observe the fast of Day of Atonement from even to even, just as commanded.
Nehemiah 13:19 is a verse I have used to defend “even to even” but now, after truly examining the verse, I find that it does not. It is not saying that the sabbath began at evening it says that right before it became dark the gates were shut and the Sabbath had still not yet begun. If the Sabbath begins at evening (which is the transition between day and night) then the Sabbath would begin before darkness fell, which is called night. Nehemiah says that as darkness fell, it was still not the Sabbath.
Genesis 32:24, Judges 19:26 and Joshua 6:15 agree that the days begin at dawn. Job felt the day began at dawn, Job 3:9, and 7:4. So did Solomon, Song of Solomon 2:17 and 4:6. Solomon was a very wise man.
So far we have only looked at time in one direction: forward. Let’s examine it backward now. Please read Genesis 19:33-35. Lot's oldest daughter tells the younger that she had lain with her father Lot “yesternight” and it was the younger sister’s turn to lay with her father tonight. In the opinion of the author of Genesis and the translators, yesternight belongs to yesterday, not today. Again, the day cannot begin at even or the oldest would have said “tonight” I have lain with Father and it is your turn “tomorrow” night.
In Scripture, “tomorrow” never begins at even. Example, Exodus 32:5-6. Tomorrow--in Scripture--always begins at the break of day, early in the morning. This thought is preserved elsewhere... Exodus 18:13, Exodus 16:22, and I Samuel 19:11, Esther 2:14.
There are some texts that seem to say that the Sabbath begins at evening, but then what will we do with all the texts above? The Father is not the Author of confusion, so whenever there is a seeming contradiction, it’s time to study.
The New Testament is not silent on the subject either. Remember when Paul spoke until midnight, and was to depart on the morrow? (Acts 20:7-11) I would just like to add a significant point. The fact that he spoke until midnight and departed on the “morrow” is solidified by the term “daybreak” used in verse 11. It was not tomorrow until the break of day. Is this not strikingly clear?
Matthew 28:1 says that the first day did not begin until it began to “dawn”. The first day drew on; it did not begin 12 hours ago when it first got dark. John 20:19 says, the same day, at evening, indicating that the evening is part of the preceding day, not the next day. Mark 4:35 says the same thing.
And to me at least, Luke 23:54 is the nail in the coffin as far as the NT texts go. The translators wrote it as, “As the Sabbath drew on” but a Strong's concordance will tell you that the phrase “drew on” in the Greek means “to grow light.” If the Sabbath was drawing on as it was beginning to grow light, when did the Sabbath begin? A dawn or 12 hours ago when it got dark? Remember what Job said about those who call the night day (and conversely, call the the day night)?
Face it friends, it took a great deal of time took to bury Yahushua… Yahushua was on the stake at about 9:00 a.m. (thirdhour of the day). It was dark from noon until 3 p.m. (the sixth to the ninth hours). Then as even was come, Joseph of Arimathaeabegged for the body. Any point from noon onward could be considered “evening”, but in context, Joseph did not ask for the body until sunset, not shortly before as we have been taught, but sunset.
And now when the even WAS come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of YHWH, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Yahushua. Mark 15:42-43
If “even was come” and it still was not the Sabbath, then dark would have to be when Sabbath begins in this scenario (and I kept the Sabbath from dark to dark for a period of 3-4 years because of this). Have you tried to account for all the events from the moment Joseph appears before Pilate until dark? Actually, one is forced to recognize dark as “even” just to get 30-45 minutes (the approximate time from sundown to dark) to work with. Please examine the events and honestly do the math. Is it POSSIBLE for all the below events to occur in 30-45 minutes time?
First of all, Joseph went to Pilate when even was come already. It is not said that he gained an audience with Pilate at that moment. What bureaucrat is available the moment you get to his office? Pilate did not believe that Yahushua was dead already and summoned the Centurion in charge to inquire this of him (Mark 15:44-45). The Centurion in charge would have been back at the site of the crucifixion. Now, how far was it from Pilate’s office to Golgotha? A messenger had to be dispatched and the Centurion then returns to Pilate’s office. Now, once permission was granted, Joseph had to return to the hill. They did not have cars and still had to get back to Calvary before dark (in an even to even scenario). Let’s say they had horses. Time in Pilate’s office was say 20-30 minutes, and 5-10 minutes by horse back to the site of the crucifixion. I am probably being VERY gracious with both numbers, Joseph might have waited 20 minutes just to gain an audience and we have NO idea how far Pilate was from Calvary. We have just lost more than half our allotted time, possibly all of it. No wonder Nicodemus and Joseph were in a hurry.
Here is a full size man nailed to a stake high above ground. He is dead weight [literally] and not one bone in his body was to be broken. There are two options, rig up some sort of scaffolding so several people can climb up and UNnail him, and let him down gently, or dig up the cross and with the aid of ropes and scaffolding and let the entire contraption down gently and extract his body while on the ground. Friends, I don’t care HOW you slice it, you just ran out of time. It says that there was a sepulcher near by; it says nothing about a Tru-Value hardware store or lumber yard. Do you suppose the friends of the convicted always brought hammers, nails, rope, saws and/or shovels with them to an execution? Even if there were ladders at the scene, it would require several men to ascend them, extract the body without slipping themselves or dropping the deceased. Are they going to make it before Sabbath begins?
The bad news: we are no where NEAR done with the events that supposedly took place before dark when evening is truly over.
Nicodemus brought about 100 lbs of spices that we assume were lovingly wrapped about the body of the deceased, not dumped and wrapped in 5 minutes time. How long did it take to roll the great stone that covered the entrance of the tomb? Two to Three minutes? Are there that many left remaining before dark? Luke 23:55-56 says that the women in Yahushua’s life came and observed where the men lay his body then they went back home and prepared MORE spices BEFORE the Sabbath. Luke 24:1 says they went home and PREPARED these additional spices THEN rested according to the commandment. Where on earth did the get the time to obey of the commandment if the Sabbath started at dark (at the latest)?
Normally, they buried their dead within a 24 hour period for obvious reasons. Once dead, the preparation of the body was a rather serious matter. They were respectful of the dead, and took their time wrapping and adding the spices with great care. What makes perfect sense is that when it says the Sabbath drew on that it meant the following morning, because, clearly, there are several HOURS worth of work to do AFTER Joseph begged for Yahushua’s body.
This is not an exhaustive study. There is a lot more information in Scripture that supports the dawn to dawn issue, but I think I’ve covered the bases. Please take your time to digest this and examine it. It is not Troy Miller saying that the day begins at dawn, Scripture does. Study to show yourself approved. Be a Berean.
Let me know what you think after reading the above passages of Scripture. I am interested in your take on this. Whatever you do, please do NOT take my word for anything. Please study it out for yourself. Answering the questions below will show you that you already know when a day begins, but have not believed yourself, instead relying upon what you have been taught. The Holy Spirit is helping us to find, and rebuild the old waste places; we are to be the restorers of all things. I believe that understanding when the Sabbath begins is one of those things.
I have not yet scratched the surface on “defending” this dawn to dawn issue. The most salient point is, if even means several points of time anywhere from noon to dark, then it cannot begin the day. If it does not begin the day, what does? The fact is it is impossible to prove an “evening to evening” day as the “Jews” practice the Sabbath when a complete and unbiased study of word usage in Scripture is honestly engaged.
Here is a list of questions from Scripture that were sent to me by a friend regarding this issue. Answer them honestly and you will better grasp the gravity of this issue and realize our collective foolishness in believing a lie.
QUESTIONS ON DAY AND NIGHT
Elesha YisraEl has formulated these 21 questions to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt when the day begins, ends and that evening is part of the day. He believes that if any serious student of the Scriptures attempts to honestly answer these questions that he will come to the same undeniable conclusion that day and night are totally the opposite of one another, and that they are two distinctly different times altogether. Any questions that you might have regarding these questions, you may call Elesha YisraEl directly at (513) 226-7110.
1. According to Genesis 1:14, what did YHWH, Our Creator, give us to determine our days and our years. Lights or darkness (nights)?
(A) - Lights. Genesis 1:14, notice not darkness (nights), but "lights".
2. If a day starts in the evening when it becomes dark, then when does a night begin?
(A) - They do not both start simultaneously, if so, they would be the same. A day starts when it becomes light (Judges 16:2), and a night starts when it becomes dark (Psalm 104:20). They are totally the opposite of one another. Genesis 8:22.
3. Is 12:00 midnight the middle of the night or the middle of the day?
(A) - It is the middle of the night, because the middle of the day comes after the morning and before the evening. I Kings 18:26-29.
4. When the Holy Scriptures speak about the break of day, or the dawning of the day, in II Samuel 2:32, Judges 19:25 and Job 7:4; is this speaking about the beginning of a day, or the end of a day?
(A) - It is speaking about the beginning of a day.
5. Was the sun made to rule over the day or was it made to rule over the night?
(A) - Genesis 1:14-18. The day, the sun is not up at night.
If the sun was made to rule over the day, then how can a day begin at night when the sun is not ruling?
(A) – It is not possible. Psalm 136:7-9.
6. In Exodus 18:13 it states, “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.” When does morrow begin; in the evening, night or in the morning?
(A) - Morning, as all of Scripture clearly indicates. I have never found a Scripture where the morrow starts in the evening or the night.
7. The Creator said many times throughout the Scriptures, that He divided the day from the night or the light from darkness (Genesis 1:3-4 and Genesis 1:14-18). When did He put them back together?
(A) - He has not and will not! Ecclesiastes 3:14 and Isaiah 40:8.
8. If the celebration of our Sabbath days and our new moons (Isaiah 66:23) begins in the evening when the sun is going down, why would Our Creator state that all nations shall praise His Name and worship Him from the “rising of the sun until the going down of the same (sun)”? From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same YHWH’s name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3.
(A) - If the Sabbath started in the evening, as many of our people believe, then this verse would make no sense whatsoever.
9. In Numbers 11:32, it says that the Children of Israel gathered quail all that day, and all that night, and all the next day. How many days and how many nights did they gather quails?
(A) - Two days and one night, (but if a day begins at night then they would have gathered quails three days and three nights).
10. In Leviticus 7:15, it says, “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.” Does the word “morning”, in this verse indicate the morning that is connected to the previous evening, or the morning that is connected to a new day?
(A) - New day. Numbers 28:3-4, this verse also proves the evening is part of the previous day, not the beginning of a new day.
11. In Exodus 18:13 it states, “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.” When does morrow begin; in the evening, night or in the morning?
(A) - Morning, as all of Scripture clearly indicates. I have never found a Scripture where the morrow starts in the evening or the night.
12. According to Exodus 16:22-25, when does the Rest of the Holy Sabbath unto YHWH begin, in the night, evening or in the morning?
(A) - Morning or morrow, as all new days begin.
13. If a night is considered a day, then what did YAH mean when He said that He caused it to rain forty days and forty nights?
(A) - A night is not considered a day. Psalm 104:20.
14. If a day starts when it becomes dark, then why is darkness always pertained to as night, and never pertained to as day? (Psalm 104:20); the only notable except is when it is speaking about the “Day of YAH’s Wrath” being a dark day?
(A) - A day does not start when it becomes dark, because YAH totally separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:18.
15. In Genesis 1:5, does the word day mean light or does it mean light and darkness?
(A) - The word day means light only. Genesis 1:3-4.
16. In Jeremiah 33:19-21, YHWH speaks about the evil that He would bring upon the house of David and kingdom of Israel, if they broke His covenants that there should not be day or night in their season (Psalm 22:2). What is the season of the day, and what is the season of the night?
(A) The season of the day is when the sun is reigns, and the season of the night is when the moon reigns. Jeremiah 31:35.
17. In Job 17:8-12, the upright men, the innocent men, and the righteous men and everyone who has clean hands has stirred up themselves against the hypocrites. Why is it that the people who changed night into day are referred to as hypocrites?
(A) - Because the hypocrites are saying that YHWH, Our Creator told a lie, when He said He separated the day from the night. Genesis 1:14-18.
If a day always started at night, then how could anyone change the night into day?
(A) - It is not possible, but by trying to do so, the wicked could possibly bring about the total destruction of the House of Israel. Jeremiah 33:19-21.
18. According to the Words of The Most High, what is the difference between a day and a night? (Give Scriptures please).
(A) Here is what we find… Day equals light, and darkness equals night. Jeremiah 31:35 and Psalm 136:7-9.
19. Genesis 8:22 reads, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” The Most High gives us four different times and conditions. Are these times and conditions the same, or are they totally the opposite of one another?
(A) - Totally the opposite of one another.
20. According to Leviticus 8:35, Aaron and his sons were to remain at the door of the Tabernacle, day and night, seven days. How many nights did they remain?
(A) - Six nights.
21. Outside of the way that many of you might interpret Genesis 1st Chapter, is there anywhere else in the Holy Scriptures that says that evening and morning are a day?
(A) - No! Because, it is not, neither is Genesis the 1st Chapter saying that.
How did you do? You knew every one of the answers didn’t you? So, when does a day begin?