When does a day begin and end? Some have said that society decides when a day begins and ends, so for the U.S. that would be midnight. Then, there are others like the Jews who hold the Talmud’s position that a day begins and ends at sunset. Some have said that it really does not matter.
When considering the day that God raised Christ, many have wondered on what day the Romans crucified Christ, what day did God raise Him, and at what time of the day was Jesus resurrected. The day of assembly is the day of Christ’s resurrection. However. some infer about Saturday night is the beginning of the the first day of the week reasoning that a day begins and ends at sunset. This infers that those assembling and partaking of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday evening are actually meeting on the second day of the week. Luke reported, “And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7 ASV). Which evening is the first day of the week? This study will examine these inferences make upon Scripture.
The following Scriptures present that a day begins at sunrise:
- Matthew 28:1 reveals, “Now late on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre” (ASV 1901, emp. added).
- Mark 16:1–2 depicts, “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen.”
- How could it be “very early” if the day started at sunset or midnight?
Genesis 1 shows that the day consisting of day and night is one that starts at sunrise.
- Genesis 1:5 reports, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (cf. Gen 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
- The Hebrew word for morning is boqer, which means “sunrise,” “end of night,” “coming of daylight,” and “beginning of day.” Therefore, the order of the day consists of sunset and sunrise as the scripture says, “And there was evening (sunset) and there was morning (sunrise), one day.” Sunrise started a new day. Each day consisted of an evening and then a morning. The complete day does not end at sunset or midnight, but the day started at dawn in the beginning. That is the biblical day from Genesis.
Also these passages confirm the day starts before sunset when a day goes on through sunset into evening:
- Matthew 26:17 notes, “Now on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where will you that we make ready for you to eat the Passover?’” (cf. Mark 14:12).
- This is the first day of unleavened bread when Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare for the Passover although Israel roasted the Passover lamb at twilight and ate it in the night. As in the Old Testament, the first day of the Passover Feast included the day and the preceding evening as the disciples came to the guest room on the first day of Passover before twilight — that is before sunset.
- Mark 4:35 depicts, “And on that day, when evening was come, he said unto them, ‘Let us go over unto the other side.'”
- Again, the evening followed daylight of that day.
- John 20:19 tells, “When therefore it was evening [nightfall, Greek: opsios], on that day, the first day of the week, and when thedoorswere shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said unto them, ‘Peace be unto you.'”
- “On that day” is referring to the day when Christ rose on the morning of the first day of the week and now it is the same day called “evening.” According to this passage, the first day of the week was the day and then the night.
Did not Mary Magdalene come unto Jesus’s tomb on the first day of the week when it was dark according to John 20:1?
- John 20:1 states, “Now on the first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, while it was yet dark, unto the tomb, and sees the stone taken away from the tomb.”
- If it was dark without the sun raised, then John 20:1 would disprove or present another understanding that a day starts on another time other than sunrise in contradiction to the scriptures above. However, John 20:19 states, “When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said unto them, ‘Peace be unto you.'” How could it be evening on the first day of the week, the very day that Jesus rose, if a day started at sunset and the day would have changed? Furthermore, Luke 24:1 depicted that the women came at early dawn, so though it was dark though it was not night. In mountainous areas, the sun can dawn and there is still darkness in the vales where the elevations block the sun’s light in some places. This is especially true where people have carved a tomb from rock. Darkness after dawn is evidently possible, and reasonable to those of who go out early.
Did not all Jews at this time believe that day was from sunset to sunset?
- No. The idea that a day was sunset to sunset came from man’s tradition and thinking based upon Leviticus 23:32 where the Day of Atonement was held on the tenth day of the seventh month, but the Sabbath began on the ninth because the Sabbath was kept on this occasion from evening unto evening. Even in this passage from Leviticus, one can easily notice the reference to two different days, the ninth day and the tenth day of the month. Leviticus 23:32 speaks of the sunset of the ninth day being the time to start the Sabbath for the tenth day. Evidently, a day did not start at sunset and this was a special occasion of simply keeping the high sabbath for the Day of Atonement. The regular Mosaic day began with the rise of day through the setting of the evening (Gen 1: Exod 12:18; 18:13: Lev 6:20).
Well done researching the scriptures and learning not the jewish traditions. Sabbath does start at dawn. Keep spreading this truth it is important.
Your exposition of this subject is misleading and diverges from the Truth at the very outset when you attempt to distort the clear words and order given by God in Genesis. The evening (sunset) being first in the order of the day. Morning (sunrise) being second. The contridict the scripture from the beginning. God has preserved His daily weekly cycle through His people from the beginning of His creation. The Hebrews and even to this day the Jews teach that the daily cycle begins with the sunset.
Only some references in the new testament manuscripts are even disputed about whether the translators are acurate in their accuracy to the original, as can be seen in what appears to be contradictory statements by even the first hand eyewitnesses of Jesus. The old testament is not in dispute. It is agreed that we have an accurate translation. The Hebrew experts and modern Jews who speak and use it regularly agree that the evening and morning, as given by God to Moses in Genesis, is the true order of the day. Night then Day.
I hear you. These scriptures are challenging.
You understanding is not adequate and misleading
Thank you for the information and truth that new day begins at dawn. I also believe that new day begins at dawn. Be Blessed In Yahshua.
You are blind and confusing others and worst of all you wasted my time.
God worked for 6 days but On the seventh day God rested
God is our Heavenly Father and loves us more than we can ever imagine God saids who you are. You aren’t a burden, you aren’t a mistake. You are loved by God and Jesus .God sent his only begotten son Jesus to the world to save the world. Put God first and seek God first. Jesus is our savior, lord, and friend. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Sins are the bad things you do, God and Jesus loves you 💖💜God and Jesus never gave up on you so don’t give up on God and Jesus.
Hi all, nice sharing about when the day start. But i would like if some of you can apply this to nehemiah 13:15-20. All ideas are welcome. Thks
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Good question. One could reason that Nehemiah recognized the Sabbath as starting at sunset or that Nehemiah made sure no merchant or seller stayed the night in Jerusalem to sell on the next day, the Sabbath. The text does not indicate when Nehemiah had the gates opened at sunset or the following sunrise.
Sorry 12 hours into the 1st day that she we t to the tomb not 12 hours into the Sabbath. She went just after the Sabbath ended and early into the 1st day
It reads to me that Nehemiah is taking extra precaution that no one brings a burden into the city on the Sabbath, because he is so infuriated by the inhabitants of the city.
Just because he closed the gates when it became sunset, doesn’t mean that is when Sabbath began. It even says he closes them Before Sabbath begins.
Looks to me like Nehemiah is very firmly putting his foot down and cutting them off before the Sabbath can ever begin just before the dawn.
(Mary Magdalene going to the tomb VERY early on the 1st day) suggests that Sabbath begins not in the evening, but just before the dawn in the morning. Otherwise, it would have been 12 hours into the Sabbath when she went which doesn’t sound real early to me.
King David in the Psalms singing that he risies early in the day when no one else is awake so he can spend time with Yah is also another very telling verse.
I’m seeking these things out as well, which is an honor of kings so says the word.
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I agree that the Bible teaches that a biblical day begins in the morning. (I am not a fan of tradition. I believe we need to be Bereans.) Question: If a day starts in the morning as the Bible teaches, and considering when the ladies purchased and prepared spices and rested (in other words, are there two sabbaths in that week?), what is your opinion as to when Jesus was in the grave? And which is it: Was he in there three days and three nights or did he rise on the third day or somehow do they mean the same thing? Right now I am thinking he was in the grave all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but am not sure.
I agree, Colleen. I think that Jesus died on Thursday and rose on the first day of the week. The only thing that makes me somewhat doubtful are early church writers being convinced that Jesus died on Friday.
Keep studying like those in Berea. :-)
Sunrise – 6 AM: Mark 16:2
Third hour – 9 AM: Matthew 20:3
Sixth hour – Noon: Matthew 27:45
Seventh hour – 1 PM: John 4:52
Ninth hour – 3 PM: Acts 3:1
Tenth hour – 4 PM; John 1:39
Eleventh hour – 5 PM: Matthew 20:6-9
Sunset 6 PM – 18:00: Luke 4:40
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There were 2 Sabbaths the week that Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified.
It was Passover and the 15th would have been a high Sabbath, being kept like a weekly Sabbath as far as not working.
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THERE were sabbath in that week, the feast of unleavened which is an annual sabbath or sometimes referred to as a high day and the second sabbath was the weekly sabbath. For more clarity on this topic go youtube and watch “Tomorrow’s World Telecast” …. May God richly bless you in His truth. The beginning of my reply should have read that they were two sabbaths mentioned in the crucifixon week