Response to study "When does a day start?"
(Completed 04/02/08)


The following is a response to the study entitled "When does a day start" which supports the belief that a 24 hour day begins at sunrise. 

The author(s) of this study made very brief declarations about various scripture verses, understanding them as saying things that I do not believe they were ever intended to say. We all know that someone can quote any number of verses out of proper context, (even hundreds of them) and come up with a doctrine that is totally unscriptural. I believe this is the case with this study. 

Having said this, I'm not trying to attack Ken or Deb Allen, the presumed authors. I appreciate much of their work and labor for Yahweh and hope that they will read this response with an open mind. As I wrote this reply and went over it with my family, we prayed many times that we would not be deceived and that Yahweh would reveal to us any deception. I hope that everyone will do the same. 

Some of the declarations made in this study are due to an examination of the scriptures in English, without consulting the underlying Hebrew or Greek text. I realize that deep examination of the Hebrew or Greek might be an unfamiliar area to some readers. Please keep in mind that if we want to really know what scripture says, we have either seek to understand what it means in the original language, or trust someone else to translate it correctly for us. 

Obviously, I think it is much better for us to examine things for ourselves. We don't even really need a lexicon definition as long as we know that we can usually figure out the meaning of a Hebrew word by seeing how it is used in different contexts all throughout the scriptures. This might require a study tool that goes deeper than Strong's Lexicon or E-sword. 

Note: The study I am responding to is in blue color and my replies are in regular black text.

WHEN DOES A DAY START

AN EXAMINATION INTO WHEN THE SABBATH BEGINS

THIS IS NOT A 12 HOUR SABBATH> STUDY NOR LUNAR

This is by no means to be a contentious article or to cause division; for most Messianic believers have all come from one form of Christianity or other, and are each of us, walking in the light we have received. If we are seeking, He says we will find and He will reveal Himself to those who show their love by keeping His commandments (John 14:21).

Most of us who have come out from Christianity, following traditions of man and honouring the first day of the week rather than the seventh look to Yisra'ĕl and seek the Jewish roots because we assumed they are keeping the First Covenant to the letter.
What we really find is that the Israelites of today have their own traditions which, according to Talmud, are above Scripture. Some of the traditions within Judaism are simply inherited from the Pagan nations that they were assimilated into during the exile in Babylon and Assyria. Some of these traditions include: naming months after false elohim (Tammuz, Nisan, Siwan), replacing the Name of Yahweh with “Adonai”, etc. It should come as no surprise because Yahushua, himself saved some of His most scathing rebukes for the “experts” in the Torah. The Yisra’ĕlites also had an earlier form of writing which changed to the Babylonian style of modern Aramaic we know today.
The truth is, that there is only one truth! “Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17) So, there is no point in looking to others to find how to please Yahweh. He has given us the truth in His Word.

For the Yehudim, the Shabbat traditionally starts at evening, when the sun has gone down, and ends 24 hours later. This is what a number of Messianics follow in regard to the Sabbath. Let's examine the Scriptures and see where the truth is.
The best place to start is at the start. What does the creation in Genesis reveal?

Genesis: chapter 1:1-5 1 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth came to be formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.3 And Elohim said, “Let light come to be,” and light came to be. 4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good. And Elohim separated the light from the darkness. 5 And Elohim called the light ‘day’ (yom) and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.

So, to simplify: The daylight part of a 24 hour period is called “DAY” (Hebrew: YOM).

Note: It is true that “yom” can mean an undefined period of time unless it is defined, as it is in the Genesis account (“there came to be evening and there came to be morning”)
This account of day one is no different than describing the age of a child. You are not one year old to you have lived a whole year. Likewise, Genesis describes the events that took place, then
night to morning an is called "the first day".

Notice first of all that they say that "night to morning" is called the first day. Therefore they are saying:

1) Elohim created the heavens and earth, the light and darkness, 
2) Evening came. 
3) Finally morning came and that ended the first (24 hour) day.

So they say "night TO morning" is called the first day. But this is not what Genesis 1:5 says. Look again:

"And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day"

There is an important difference between the two as you will see. 

First of all, let's examine the Hebrew a little here. In the Hebrew there is no "the" (represented in Hebrew by the letter "Heh") in "the first day." It just says "Yom (day) echad (one)." So the Hebrew actually renders it this way:

"And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, day one (yom echad)"

I mention this because I think it helps if we try to see these scriptures as they were originally inspired by Yahweh in the Hebrew language. 

On this next point, you may not see what I'm saying if you are only using E-sword and Strong's Concordance numbers. Try looking at the full Hebrew text if you have it. 

In Genesis 1:5 it is quite noticeable that the ISR version ("The Scriptures") translates the Hebrew word "yehi" as "there came to be" while other bible versions translate it "there was" or "were."

For instance:

RNK Genesis 1:5 And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

NIV Genesis 1:5 Elohim called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day.

NAS Genesis 1:5 And Elohim called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day

RSV Genesis 1:5 Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

ISR Genesis 1:5 And Elohim called the light 'day' and the darkness He called 'night.' And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.

The various translations would cause one to wonder which is correct. I think both are probably acceptable translations but "came to be" might cause a little confusion. There are other places in scripture that use this exact same Hebrew word ("yehi") and the ISR translates it "were" and "was":

ISR Genesis 5:31 So all the days of Lemek were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.

ISR Genesis 7:17  And the flood was on the earth forty days, and the waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

Here is another place where they do again translate "yehi" as "came to be":

ISR Genesis 11:2 And it came to be, as they set out from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shin'ar, and they dwelt there.

ISR Genesis 12:14 And it came to be, when Abram came into Mitsrayim, that the Mitsrites saw the woman, that she was very fair.

As you can see, the word "was" and "came to be" are basically synonymous. One could have legitimately chosen to translate the above to verses like this: "And it was, as they set out..." and "And it was, when Abram came..." Most translations say "And it came to pass" in these verses and many other verses like it.

So how does this affect Genesis 1:5? Let's look at it again from the Scriptures translation (ISR) and the New International Version (NIV):

ISR Genesis 1:5b "And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day"

NIV Genesis 1:5b And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day.

Both translations will work, but a proper understanding of "yehi" here will make one thing very clear: Both evening and morning were things that occurred on the first day of creation. There "was" evening and there "was" morning. So there "was" morning in the same way that "the flood was on the earth forty days." The exact same Hebrew word is used for both.

So we see here that evening and morning were things that occurred on day one. The phrase "and there was (came to be) evening" certainly tells us that "evening" is something that occurred as part of day one. Therefore, the phrase "and there was (came to be) morning" is also something that happened as part of day one. Both were events that occurred within the first day. 

It does not say "Evening TO morning" is called the first day. It says that evening and morning were both a part of the first day. There is a big difference! One causes the morning to end the first day, but the other includes the morning as part of the first day. The daylight portion, which was started on the first day, would obviously then continue until the beginning of 2nd day, which starts at evening. 

To further illustrate this, let's define the terms here. It is evident that "evening" describes the time when there is no light, and "morning" is describing the time when there is light. Sunrise to sunrise Sabbath observers would agree because they use this verse to tell us that a day begins at sunrise. 

But what exactly is sunrise? We all know that sunrise occurs when the sun casts its first beam of light over the horizon. This moment would begin the morning. 

Now, let's look at the verse again with this understanding:

"And there was evening (no beams of light over the horizon) and there was morning (the moment when the sun casts its first beam of light over the horizon), day one"

Since the phrase "there came to be evening" would apply to day #1, "there came to be morning" would also need to apply to day #1. Both are things that occurred on day one.

So there were two things that happened as part of day one: 

1) A time period of no light
2) A time period of light. 

This contradicts the sunrise to sunrise reckoning. They actually apply the "morning" or "sunrise" to day #2, not day one. 

Why? Because they believe that a day begins at the moment when the sun casts its first beam of light over the horizon. Therefore, they are applying the "morning" in this verse to day two. But scripture clearly applies "morning" to the first day.  

This problem does not appear with "and there was/came to be evening" being applied to the first day. Evening would be described as the time period when the sun does not have any beams of light crossing over the horizon. Since a day begins at evening, it is no contradiction for scripture to say, "there was evening, and there was morning, day 1" or even "there was evening, and there was morning, day 2." Evening is a part of each day in the same way morning is a part of each day and there is no contradiction.

Regarding Genesis 1:5 you can ask me, "When the sun ceases from casting a beam of light over the horizon, is it day 1?" The answer is yes and it does not contradict the scriptures. If you ask a sunrise Sabbath keeper, "When the sun casts its first beam of light over the horizon in this verse, is it day 1 or day 2?" They have to answer "Day 2" but scripture plainly says "Day 1." Thus, they have no choice but to contradict the scriptures in order to maintain their view.

The six day creation defines for us when a day starts:

In the beginning there is nothingness, or darkness, then Elohim creates light and calls it “day”. That is the start. Scripture states that evening came, then morning (start of the next day), that was the first day.

Day1


The above graphic completely ignores the fact that Elohim created the heavens and the earth, the waters, and all that is in them in six days. Let's read what the scriptures say:

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth came to be formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.

As anyone can see, Elohim begins His creation of the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1, not Genesis 1:3 as indicated in the above graphic. 

Exodus 20:11a "For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.

Since Yahweh made the heavens and the earth in six days, the creation of the heavens and the earth would need to occur on the first day of creation. To say that the first day of creation doesn't even begin until Elohim creates light is false. This causes the creation of the heavens and earth to be pulled outside the six days of creation, and therefore contradicts the scriptures.

Notice that in verse 2, He described the condition of the earth that He created:

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth came to be formless and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.

So in Elohim's creation of the earth, the earth is described as being:

1.     Formless
2.     Empty
3.     Dark

So one of the things that existed in His creation of the heavens and the earth is darkness. A lot of work was done before light was created. And it isn't until this work of creating the heavens and the earth was completed that Elohim chose to create light:

Genesis 1:3 And Elohim said, "Let light come to be," and light came to be.

So finally light is created but it is not until the the heavens and the earth are created, along with the waters and the darkness on the face of the deep. The earth already existed when He said "Let there be light" so this cannot be the beginning of the first day of creation. Yahweh created the heavens and the earth in six days so you can't place the creation of the heavens and earth outside that six day period. To start the first day in verse 3 is a contradiction.

Next, Elohim separates the light from the darkness:

Genesis 1:4 And Elohim saw the light, that it was good. And Elohim separated the light from the darkness.

Since the sun was not yet created, it is anyone's guess as to how the light was separated from darkness and what it all really looked like. But we know that at first that the earth He created was dark, formless and empty. The darkness existed first, and light "came to be" afterward. 

In the first part of the next verse, Elohim gives names to the light and darkness:

Genesis 1:5a And Elohim called the light 'day' and the darkness He called 'night.'

Some have suggested that light begins a day due to the fact that it says He called the light "day" first and then afterward calls the darkness "night." But that is a clear contradiction of the previous verses where we see that Elohim created the heavens as well the formless, empty, and dark earth before He ever created light. It doesn't say He waited until day and night came before He named them. Half of the earth is lit up and the other half is dark at any given time. Elohim, who is above the the earth, could easily have named them both at the same time. 

The first day's order of events is further confirmed by the remainder of verse 5 where the concept and order of time is first described:

Genesis 1:5b And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, day one.

Up until now, the timeframe in which Elohim did all these things had not been mentioned. But with these words, all the acts of creation up to this point are placed in an specific frame of time. 

It makes perfect sense that since darkness was first mentioned as part of the formless/empty earth, evening would need to be mentioned as starting the first part of the day, and morning starting the second part of the day. Elohim created the heavens and the dark, formless, empty earth during the evening. Then to cause morning to come, Elohim brought light into His creation. He then separates the light from the darkness and gave names to each. 

This, along with the order of events, are so clear and logical that anyone can understand them. 

Since a mistake was made by ignoring the creation of the heavens and earth in Genesis 1:1, they build on this mistake by starting each of the following days at the wrong time. 

The creation process continues like this for six days:

DAY (Create) – EVENING – MORNING. It's really that simple. A day is morning to morning.
Day7

At the end of the six days of creation we read:

Genesis 2:1-3

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array. 2 And on the seventh day (yom) Elohim completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day (yom) from all His work which He had made. 3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day (yom) and set it apart, because on it He rested from all His work which Elohim in creating had made.

So to clarify when a day starts, scripture informs that Elohim rested and blessed the SEVENTH DAYLIGHT PERIOD (YOM). Not the sixth night!

This is NOT saying a day is 12 hours. A full "day" in the creation account is defined as 24 hours starting in the morning.

If you believe that "there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day" supports a day beginning in the evening then you must believe that a day is 12 hours. As we will see from Scripture this is not the case.

Because the following 24 hour day begins at evening, it is understood that the previous day extended past the morning period and continued up to the evening of the following day. Evening begins the night portion which lasts 12 hours and morning begins the day portion which obviously also lasts 12 hours. It makes sense that a 24 hour day has ended once the light of that day is extinguished.

WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURES?
As we continue through Scripture, we find many narratives that define a 24 hour day beginning in the morning, The following are some of the most straightforward:

Genesis 1:16
16 And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars.
Note: Why would Yahweh start a day with the "lesser light"?

Why wouldn't He? I find no reason to even ask this question as the answer is going to be based on human reasoning. 

If I want to use human reasoning I could say that the reason why the lesser light rules the first half of a day and the greater light rules the last half of a day is because it fits the present pattern of Yahweh's plan. He is allowing darkness to rule for now, and we are a small light in the midst of this dark world, but the greater light overtakes darkness in the end. But to put any emphasis on this either way isn't going to prove anything at all. 

Genesis 1:18
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness...
Note: The order: day-night, light-darkness...

Zecharyah 14:7
7 And it shall be one day which is known to YHWH, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
Note:  A 24 hour day is mentioned here with the day preceding the night.

I do not understand why anyone would view this as proving anything. There are a lot of verses that mention night first, such as: 

Isaiah 27:3 "I, Yahweh, do guard it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I guard it night and day.

Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served Elohim with fastings and prayers night and day.

1 Kings 8:29 "For Your eyes to be open toward this House night and day, toward the place of which You said, 'My Name is there,' to listen to the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place.

Later in the study, they say: 

It is also interesting to note that the phrase “night and day” appears 13 times in Scripture, yet the phrase “day and night” appears 28 times.

...

It is also interesting to note that the phrase “night and day” appears 13 times in Scripture, yet the phrase “day and night” appears 28 times (twice as many).
The order of "day" preceding "night" in Scripture is used 84 times compared to only 19 of the opposite (over four times as many).
When determining a set period of time (e.g. "forty days and forty nights" which appears 11 times) the Scriptures always use the order of day and night. Why would the Scriptures record a count of days starting with the "day" if a day starts with a night?

Notice the order of the natural processes that Yahweh has ordered:
Genesis 8:22 "As long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”

This is what Yahweh has to say about the order of day and night:

Jeremiah 33:20-21
“Thus said YHWH, ‘If you could break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there be not day and night in their season21 then My covenant could also be broken...”
and continuing...
Jeremiah 33:25-26
“Thus said YHWH, ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the laws of the heavens and earth, 26 then I would also reject the descendants of Yaʽaqob...

I don't believe that there is some kind of contest going on in the scriptures with "night and day" vs. "day and night," and the one with the highest points wins. In most of the "day and night" scriptures, the emphasis on night is there to denote that the events didn't just take place during the day, but during the night also. 

And of course, the one that actually defines the order of a day is Genesis 1:5 "and there was evening, and there was morning, day one" along with the other days in that chapter. These tell us that evening came first. 

This is also true in the book of Daniel:

Daniel 8:26 "And what was said in the vision of the evenings and mornings is truth. And hide the vision, for it is after many days."

What is the "vision of the evenings and mornings?" It is the vision of 2300 days that was given 12 verses earlier:

Daniel 8:14 And he said to me, "For two thousand three hundred days, then that which is set-apart shall be made right."

Obviously these are 2,300 full 24 hour days which start in the evening just like the days of creation in Genesis. Also consider how David describes the order of his daily prayers:

Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

So if we want to go according to the order of things mentioned, there are plenty of examples to show that days do not begin at sunrise.

"Yom"

All throughout this study, most of the scriptures given in this study are ones where the author actually relies on their own definition of "day" rather than letting the scriptures themselves define when a day is. 

It is important to understand that the Hebrew word "yom" is a broad word that can mean many things. It's wide usage is reflected in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament definition of the Hebrew word "Yom" which is translated "day": 

"Our word is the "most important concept of time in the OT by which a point of time as well as a sphere of time can be expressed." The word is also common in Ugaritic. It can denote: 1. the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness), 2. the period of twenty-four hours, 3. a general vague "time," 4. a point of time, 5. a year."

So a "day" can refer to a 24 hour day, the daylight portion of a day, a general vague "time," a point of time or a year. 

The following are some examples of the way "day" is translated throughout the scriptures. The English word that comes from the Hebrew "Yom" is underlined in bold:

Genesis 4:3 And it came to be, in the course of time, that Qayin brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to Yahweh.

Genesis 6:5 And Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Leviticus 25:29 'And when a man sells a house in a walled city, then his right of redemption shall be at the end of the year after it is sold. His right of redemption lasts a year.

Leviticus 14:57 to teach when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the Torah of leprosy."

Here is an example to show that "yom" can include the night portion of a day:

ASV Proverbs 7:8 Passing through the street near her corner; And he went the way to her house, 9 In the twilight, in the evening of the day, In the middle of the night and in the darkness.

The KJV does not reflect the word "day" here but "yom" is definitely in the Hebrew. 

Genesis 1:5 illustrates at least two ways this word can be understood:

Genesis 1:5 And Elohim called the light 'day' (daylight portion of a day) and the darkness He called 'night.' And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day (24 hour day).

In this verse there are two possible meanings of the Hebrew word "yom," which is translated "day" in this verse twice. The first instance refers to the daylight portion of the day and the second instance refers to a full 24 hour day. Because "Yom" is so broad in meaning, we can only use it when scripture itself defines it. Otherwise, we end up deciding for ourselves what "yom" means based on our own understanding. 

With these things in mind, let's examine the following list of "next day" verses which the author of this study uses to support the doctrine that a 24 hour day begins at sunrise. 

Genesis 19:33-34 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in and lay with her father, and he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she arose. 34 And it came to be on the next day that the first-born said to the younger, “See, I lay with my father last night.
Note: The "next" day followed the night.

Exodus 18:13
13 And it came to be, on the next day, that Mosheh sat to rightly rule the people. And the people stood before Mosheh from morning until evening.
Note: the “next day” starts in the “morning”.

Jonah 4:6-7
6 And YHWH Elohim appointed a plant and made it come up over Yonah, to be a shade for his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Yonah greatly rejoiced over the plant.
7 But as morning dawned the next day Elohim appointed a worm which attacked the plant so that it withered.
Note: “morning” starts the “next day”.

John 6:16-22
16 And when evening came, His taught ones went down to the sea, 17 and entering into the boat, they were going over the sea toward Kephar Naḥum. And it had already become dark, and Yahushua had not yet come to them. 18 And the sea was rising because a great wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about five or six kilometres, they saw Yahushua walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 And He said to them, “It is I, do not be afraid.” 21 They wished therefore to take Him into the boat, and at once the boat was at the land where they were going. 22 On the next day..."
 Note: This is straightforward. It was already dark at night when these things took place... the the next day.

Acts 4:3
3 And they arrested them, and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.
Note: Again dark, then the next day.

Acts 16:9-11
9 And in the night a vision appeared to Sha’ul: A man of Makedonia was standing, begging him and saying, “Come over to Makedonia and help us.” 10 And when he saw the vision, immediately we sought to go to Makedonia, concluding that the Master had called us to bring the Good News to them. 11 Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrake, and the next day came to Neapolis,
Note: The next day follows the night yet again.


The fact that it says "the next day" to refer to the morning does not prove anything. This phrase "the next day" can be the equivalent of saying "when daylight came" or "the next daylight period." 

For instance, even though we live in a society that believes a day begins at midnight, if a person goes to bed at 12:30AM and wakes up at 8:00AM they can still say "I went to bed after midnight and woke up the next day" even though the next 24 hour day had begun before going to bed. Again, "yom" can refer to either the daylight portion of a day, or the next 24 hour day. 

These verses do not define which usage is intended. Therefore we must use our own understanding. Obviously, those who already believe that days are reckoned from sunrise to sunrise will claim that the next "yom" refers to the next 24 hour day. And those who believe that days are reckoned from evening to evening will claim that "the next yom" refers to the next daylight portion of a day. These scriptures cannot be used to prove anything either way. Whether you think the next "yom" of these verses refer to the 24 hour period or the next daylight depends on what you already believe.

Numbers 11:32
32 And the people were up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. He who has least gathered ten omers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.
Note: “that day” belongs to “that night”, then the “next day” comes

The scripture does not say that "That day" belongs to "that night." Whether or not "that day" belongs to "that night" depends on what you already believe. Whether or not "the next day" refers to the next daylight portion of a day or the next 24 hour day also depends on what you already believe. This scripture cannot be used to establish when a 24 hour day begins or ends. 

Exodus 10:13
13 And Mosheh stretched out his rod over the land of Mitsrayim, and YHWH brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. Morning came, and the east wind brought the locusts.
Note: “that day” belongs to “that night”, then the “Morning came”

Again the scripture does not say that "That day" belongs to "that night." The fact that it says "all that day and all that night" seems clear to me that the "yom" in this verse refers to daylight just a "night" refers to darkness. 

Next we will look at the "tomorrow" verses:

Exodus 16:22-27
22 And it came to be, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Mosheh. 23 And he said to them, “This is what YHWH has said, ‘Tomorrow is a rest, a Sabbath set-apart to YHWH. That which you bake, bake; and that which you cook, cook. And lay up for yourselves all that is left over, to keep it until morning.’ ” 24 And they laid it up till morning, as Mosheh commanded. And it did not stink, and no worm was in it. 25 And Mosheh said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to YHWH, today you do not find it in the field. 26 “Gather it six days, but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there is none.” 27 And it came to be that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.
Note: Yahweh said “Tomorrow” was Sabbath, then “morning” comes and Mosheh said “eat it today, for today is a Sabbath”.

Exodus 32:5-6
5 And Aharon saw and built an altar before it. And Aharon called out and said, “Tomorrow is a festival to YHWH.” 6 And they rose early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Note: Aaron said “tomorrow” is a festival and the “next day” they “rose early”. You don't rise at night.

Joshua 7:6-13 6 And Yehoshua tore his garments, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of YHWH until evening, both he and the elders of Yisra’ĕl, and they put dust on their heads... 10 And YHWH said to Yehoshua, “Rise up! Why are you lying on your face?... 13 “Rise up, set the people apart, and you shall say, ‘Set yourselves apart for tomorrow, because thus said YHWH Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “That which is under the ban is in your midst...”
Note: It was already “evening” when Yahweh told Yehoshua to set themselves apart for “tomorrow”, so a day cannot begin at evening.

Judges 19:9
9 And the man arose to go, he and his concubine and his servant. But his father-in-law, the young woman’s father, said to him, “See, the day is now drawing toward evening. Please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end. Stay here, and let your heart be glad. And you shall rise early tomorrow for your journey, and you shall go to your tent.”
Note: Rising "early tomorrow" implies the start of the day being morning.

1 Samuel 19:10-11
10 and Sha’ul sought to smite the spear through Dawid, and into the wall, but he slipped away from the presence of Sha’ul, so he smote the spear into the wall. And Dawid fled and escaped that night. 11 And Sha’ul sent messengers to Dawid’s house to watch him and to put him to death in the morning. And Mikal, Dawid’s wife, informed him, saying, “If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you are put to death.”
Note: Again, It was already “night” when Mikal told Dawid to flee for “in the morning”, or “tomorrow” he was to be killed, so a day cannot begin at evening.

1Samuel 28:8-19
8 And Sha’ul disguised himself and put on other garments, and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please divine for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name.”... 11 So he said, “Bring up Shemu’ĕl for me.”... 16 Then Shemu’ĕl said, “And why do you ask me, seeing YHWH has turned aside from you and has become your enemy?... 19 “Further, YHWH also gives Yisra’ĕl with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons are with me. YHWH also gives the army of Yisra’ĕl into the hand of the Philistines.”
Note: If Sha'ul came at “night” how could fight the Philistines “tomorrow”?

The "tomorrow" verses use the Hebrew word "Machar" (#4279) to translate "tomorrow." It is defined in the Strong's Lexicon as follows:

4279 machar maw-khar' probably from 309; properly, deferred, i.e. the morrow; usually (adverbially) tomorrow; indefinitely, hereafter:--time to come, tomorrow. 

The word is also used in other verse such as:

Deuteronomy 6:20 " When your son asks you in time to come [#4279 "Machar"], saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which Yahweh our Elohim has commanded you?'

Joshua 22:27 'but that it may be a witness between you and us and our generations after us, that we may perform the service of Yahweh before Him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your descendants may not say to our descendants in time to come [#4279 "Machar"], "You have no part in Yahweh." '

So the word "Machar" (translated tomorrow) is not necessarily defined as "the next 24 hour day." It most frequently seems to refer to the next morning portion of a day.

Leviticus 6:20
20 “This is the offering of Aharon and his sons, which they bring near to YHWH, beginning on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ĕphah of fine flour as a daily grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it at night.
Note: The offering was to be brought to Yahweh in “the morning”, the “beginning of the day”.

It doesn't say "Beginning OF the day." It says "Beginning ON the day." Starting on the day the high priest is anointed, he would offer the offerings "tamid" (#8548) meaning continually or perpetually. 

Leviticus 7:15
15 As for the flesh of the slaughtering of his peace offering for thanksgiving, it is eaten the same day it is offered, he does not leave any of it until morning."
Note: How can you eat your peace offering "the same day" and "not leave any of it till morning" if your day starts at night!?

It's important to understand that peace offerings were typically eaten in the presence of Yahweh. This is seen in Deuteronomy 27:7 and Exodus 24:5-11. Thus, they who brought their peace offerings to Yahweh would need to eat the flesh of the peace offerings in the tabernacle area near the presence of Yahweh. With this in mind, it's quite possible that the offerings were only eaten during the daylight hours if the tabernacle area were closed off at dark. 

Either way, we see that Lev. 7:15 gives us 2 commandments:

  1. The flesh of the peace offering must be eaten the same day it is offered.

  2. What remains must not be left until morning. 

So eating the flesh of the offering and disposing of the rest are two separate actions. If we continue to read Leviticus 7, we learn what must be done with a peace offering which is voluntary, or for a vow: 

Leviticus 7:16-17 'And if the offering he brings is a vow or a voluntary offering, it is eaten the same day that he brings his slaughtering, and what is left of it is eaten the next day, 
17
but whatever is left of the flesh of the slaughtering on the third day is burned with fire.

These verses give us 3 commandments regarding this kind of offering:

  1. The flesh is to be eaten the same day it is offered.

  2. On the next day one may eat what is left over.

  3. What remains until the third day must be burned with fire.

We see in the command regarding the vow/voluntary offering that the remaining flesh must be burned with fire. This would have also been done with the leftover flesh from the peace offering for thanksgiving in vs. 15. In light of this, it is evident that the command to eat the flesh on the same day or the following day is not necessarily directly connected to the command of what to do with the remaining flesh. 

In other words, Yahweh's command in Lev. 7:15 that the peace offering needs to be "eaten the same day it is offered" does not necessarily mean that he must burn the flesh with fire "on the same day it is offered." Since evening would begin the following day, they would need to consume the flesh during the daylight hours. But He could well have allowed more time for a person to burn the remaining flesh with fire. Therefore, this scripture really cannot prove anything either way. It only commands that the offering be eaten on the same day. Burning the remaining flesh with fire is a separate action that is only required to be disposed of before the following morning.

1 Samuel 30:17
17 And Dawid smote them
from twilight until the evening of the next day. And none of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.

Note: If a day were from evening to evening the Scripture would not read “the next day”.

Does "twilight" (Heb. #5399) mean darkness, light or somewhere between both? There are other verses that use this same Hebrew word and are more descriptive: 

Job 3:9 Let the stars of the twilight [Heb #5399 "nesheph"] thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day:

If stars are out, we can conclude that the time of "nesheph" would be some time between sunset and sunrise.  Let's examine 2 possible scenarios here. 

If we believe a day begins at evening:

Let's say the 2nd day of the week has just begun. The "evening of the next day" would be the beginning of the 3rd day of the week. 

If we believe a day begins at sunrise:

It would still the 1st day of the week. The "evening of the next day" would be halfway through the 2nd day of the week. 

So nothing can be proven either way. The "Evening of the next day" doesn't contradict either understanding of scripture.

2 Samuel 24:13-15
13 Gad then came to Dawid and informed him. And he said to him, “Should seven years of scarcity of food come to you in your land? Or would you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or should there be three days’ plague in your land? Now know and see what answer I take back to Him who sent me.” 14 And Dawid said to Gad, “I am in great trouble. Please let us fall into the hand of YHWH, for His compassion is great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 15 And YHWH sent a plague upon Yisra’ĕl from the morning till the appointed time, and from Dan to Be’ĕrsheba seventy thousand men of the people died.
Note: The “three day” plague started in the “morning”, not at night.

Yahweh never said anything about when the plague would begin or end, but only that it would last 3 days. It appears that the plague started immediately after David made his decision, and that happened to be in the morning. Compare NIV "So Yahweh sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated"

Lamentations 3:22
22 The kindnesses of YHWH! For we have not been consumed, For His compassions have not ended. 23 They are new every morning, Great is Your trustworthiness.
Note: “new every morning”, because morning is a new day.

Does this verse say that His mercies are new every morning because that's when a 24 hour day begins? No, it doesn't. They base that on what they already believe. One could conclude that His mercies are new every morning because man resumes his activities after a night's sleep, thus the need for mercy in all that He does. 

Matthew 28:1
1 Now after the Sabbath, toward dawn on the first day of the week, Miryam from Magdala and the other Miryam came to see the tomb.
Note: In all these examples the Sabbath ended at “dawn”

It doesn't say the Sabbath ended at dawn. It says it was already after the Sabbath and it was "toward dawn on the first day of the week." 

So in this scripture, we have two descriptions of the time when Mary came to the tomb:

1) After the Sabbath
2) Toward dawn on the first day of the week

Let's now look at the other verse they quoted:

Mark 16:2
2 And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Luke 24:1 1 And on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared,
Note: The account given in John is the only one that disagrees with these three witnesses - John 20:1 And on the first day of the week Miryam from Magdala came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. The fact that 1 out of 4 disagrees means the translation of “still”dark may need to be examined. The Greek word “eti” Strong's# 2089 can also mean “no longer”.

Rather than establishing that the Sabbath ended at sunrise, these four accounts of the resurrection actually clearly demonstrate that the Sabbath cannot have ended at sunrise. Let's examine the four accounts in full detail.

Mark 16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

In this account, we also have two descriptions of the time when the women came to the tomb:

  1. Very early on the first day of the week

  2. When the sun had risen.

Let's now compare the verse in Luke:

 Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

In this scripture, we again have two descriptions of the time when she came to the tomb:

  1. On the first day of the week

  2. Very early in the morning.

Now let's examine the final witness, a witness that the author of this study claimed was a contradiction:

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

In this scripture, we have another two descriptions of when Mary went to the tomb:

  1. On the first day of the week

  2. Early, while it was still dark.

Notice that while John 20:1 says it was already the "first day of the week," it also says that "it was still dark." This would directly contradict the idea that the first day of the week would begin at sunrise. If it's still dark, it would still be the Sabbath according to "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath keepers. But John 20:1 indicates that it was after the Sabbath because it says, "on the first day of the week...while it was still dark."

The author of this study suggests that John's account "disagrees" with Matthew and Mark which say that it was "toward dawn" or "when the sun had risen." But I don't see a contradiction here. If we understand that they may very well have "went to the tomb" on the first day of the week while it was still dark as John said, but arrived at the tomb on the first day of the week "when the sun had risen" as Mark said, there is no contradiction. Since a person needed to travel on foot, it would taken a little time to get there. 

In attempt to reconcile the accounts, the author of this study suggested that the phrase "while it was still dark" should actually be translated "while it was no longer dark" which is the exact opposite. But there is not a single verse where the Greek word "eti" is translated "no longer."

Possibly the author of this study thought "eti" meant "no longer" because they saw the word "eti" being translated "longer" in some verses but didn't notice that other words were being used to represent the "no" in "no longer." Example:

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer <2089> <3765> under a schoolmaster.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no <3364> more <2089>.

The only time #2089 "eti" can mean "no longer" is when it is coupled with another word that means "no." The Greek word used in Hebrews 8:12 (#3364) means "no" and the #3765 (translated "no" in Galatians 3:25) is a compound word which is derived from #3756 (which means no) and #2089 together. But #2089 by itself can never mean "no" or "no longer." 

To say that "eti" means "no longer" would be like a foreigner trying to tell us that our English word "light" actually means "darkness" because they saw the word "light" being used in the phrase "no light."

I've also heard that "eti" can mean "after that." Knowing that context is key, I looked diligently with advanced software but could find any place where "eti" is translated "after that" in the KJV or any translation. The Strong's lists that as one of the translations in the KJV, but I have yet to see it and the Thayer's lexicon does not include "after that" as one of the translations in the KJV. The actual definition given in the Strong's Lexicon is "yet, still (of time or degree."

There are also 2 other things in these four accounts of the resurrection that would directly contradict "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath keeping.

The first one I mentioned already briefly. It's Matthew 28:1. 

Matthew 28:1 (ISR) Now after the Sabbath, toward dawn on the first day of the week, Miryam from Magdala and the other Miryam came to see the tomb.

Notice that is says, "after the Sabbath, toward dawn.

If I said that it was "toward 5PM" when I sat down to eat, wouldn't that mean that it wasn't quite 5PM but it was close? So if the first day of the week began at dawn, how can the time frame of "toward dawn" be "after the Sabbath?" In other words, the Sabbath was already over when it was "toward dawn" because it says "after the Sabbath, toward dawn." The Greek word translated "toward dawn" is #2020 which means "to begin to grow light." The Sabbath was over and now it was beginning to grow light outside just before the sun rose. Therefore, it was "toward dawn" but not quite sunrise when the women started heading toward the tomb. 

There are two Greek words that actually do describe sunrise:

Luke 1:78 (ISR) through the tender compassion of our Elohim, with which the daybreak (#395 "anatoley") from on high has looked upon us,

2 Peter 1:19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns (#1306 "Diaugazo")  and the morning star rises in your hearts;

The word used in Matthew 28:1 describes same period of time as John 20:1: the time when they started heading toward the tomb. It was still technically dark outside, but the light of dawn was on the horizon. It's not sunrise yet but we can see the sky growing in light just before the first beam of light breaks through the horizon. 

This leads us to the next verse which contradicts "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath keeping. It appears that the reason it took a little time to get to the tomb was due to their purchase of spices before going to the tomb:

Mark 16:1-2 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Of course, if we believe the Sabbath day is still in effect until sunrise, the women and the seller of spices would have been breaking the Sabbath. The word translated "early in the morning" in Mark 16:2 is from Greek #4404 "proi" and is also used in Mark 1:35 as describing the time just before daylight begins, as well as John 20:1...

Mark 1:35 ¶ And in the morning <#4404>, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early <#4404>, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Therefore, their initial departure "very early in the morning, on the first day of the week" again refers to the time before sunrise and concurs with John's account. Mark 16:2 then indicates that the sunrise finally occurred upon their arrival at the tomb. 

So based on the 4 accounts, it is evident that the chronology was that the women started heading to the tomb before the sun rose on the first day of the week, they bought spices "after the Sabbath" yet before sunrise, and they arrived at the tomb at sunrise. 

Here is a summary of how these accounts actually contradict "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath keeping:

  1. John 20:1 says that it was "on the first day of the week", yet it was "still dark." Mark 16:2 indicates the same timeframe. If we believe the first day of the week doesn't start until sunrise, this is a contradiction. It would have to say "toward the end of the Sabbath, while it was still dark" in order for their belief to be true.

  2. Mark 16:1 says that they bought spices "when the Sabbath was passed" yet before the sun had risen, proving the Sabbath ended at sundown.

  3. Matthew 28:1 says that it was "after the Sabbath" during the period of time that it began to "grow light," a word that does not describe sunrise, but the period of time just before sunrise. This contradicts the idea that the Sabbath didn't end until sunrise.   

Therefore, instead of these verses supporting the "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath, the truth is they quite clearly, quite directly, contradict it. 

Having the night as the first part of the day seems to be a reversal of many of Yahushua's parables which He describes Himself as the us as “light of the world” (Jn 8:12, Jn 9:5, Jn 12:46, etc.) and we should “walk in the light” and “not in darkness” (Jn 8:12, Jn 11:9-10, Jn 12:35, Jn 9:4, etc.)
Many of the New Covenant letters likewise use similar parables.
1 Thessalonians 5:5
5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
See also: Rom 13:12-13, Eph 5:8, 1Thess 5:7-8. Why start a day when we all sleep?

Walking in the light has nothing to do with when a day ends and begins. These verses which speak about "walking in the light" and being "of the day" rather than "of the night" are talking about the need to be obedient to the law of Yahweh (which is a lamp unto our feet) and following the example of Yahushua the Messiah (the light of the world). Part of being obedient to the Torah is keeping the Sabbath when Yahweh says to keep the Sabbath. It is a gross misapplication of scripture to apply "walking in the light" and "sons of the day" to the sunrise to sunrise reckoning of a day.

Maybe some believe it makes no sense to someone for a day to begin at sundown. But to me it makes perfect sense for a day to come to an end at when the sun goes down. The day comes to an end when its light is extinguished. It's all in how you choose to look at it and it's all based on human reasoning.

ANOMOLIES
With so many Scriptural references defining the day and when it begins, one wonders what compels some to hold to the traditions of the evening to evening Sabbath? To be fair there are a couple of references that can cause confusion if taken out of context.


Leviticus 23:26-32
26 And YHWH spoke to Mosheh, saying, 27 “On the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a set-apart gathering for you. And you shall afflict your beings, and shall bring an offering made by fire to YHWH. 28 “And you do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before YHWH your Elohim. 29 “For any being who is not afflicted on that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 “And any being who does any work on that same day, that being I shall destroy from the midst of his people. 31 “You do no work – a law forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you observe your Sabbath.

It is quite clear in the context of this Law that the Sabbath for the day of atonement differs from every other Sabbath, in that Yahweh Specified this one particular High Sabbath (and only this one) to be kept from evening to evening. Notice that Yahweh makes it clear by numbering the days; that the day of atonement is on the tenth day but the fast commences on the ninth day at evening.

The sunrise to sunrise Sabbath keepers refer to this as the "exception" that can "cause confusion" because what they already believe. Of course, this is all they can really say since it plainly commands "from evening to evening you shall celebrate your Sabbath." In their mind, it is not possible that Yahweh was explaining when the 10th day of the month began. But in my mind, it's the only thing it could possibly be. 

Leviticus 16:29 This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.

Numbers 29:7 On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work.

Yahweh doesn't contradict Himself, but it is a complete contradiction for Yahweh to designate the 10th day of the month as "Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement," which is a day of afflicting our souls, but then proceed to command that we start "Yom Kippur" in the middle of the 9th day of the month and end it in the middle of the 10th day of the month. Since half of the "Day of atonement" is on what they call the 9th day of the month and the other half on the 10th day of the month, on which day of the month does the Day of atonement really fall? One could make a case for either the 9th or the 10th with this understanding. 

The fact is, none of the scriptures they have quoted in this study have really established that days are reckoned from "sunrise to sunrise." Yet, here we have a clear example of Yahweh commanding us to keep the Day of the Atonement on the 10th day of the month, plainly saying "from evening to evening you shall observe your Sabbath," and it is written off as a mere "exception." 

Why would Yahweh Command us to start the fast on the ninth day at evening if the tenth day started at evening anyhow? It also makes sense to keep this fast this way, as some children may find it difficult waking; having not eaten all night, to fast throughout the day and then another night; a total 72 hours.

Rather than relying on "Why would Yahweh do this?" to support a doctrine, I would prefer to rely on what He actually did say. Nevertheless, since human reasoning is employed to answer their question, I don't mind sharing a little human reasoning as well. 

We know that in ancient times, without the electric lights that we have today, it was typical for a person to work throughout the day until sundown. At that time they would all sit down to eat. But since the Day of Atonement prohibited eating, they would need to break from their normal habit to keep this commandment. Therefore, the Day of Atonement would be a perfect place to explain to them when the 10th day of the month begins so that they would remember to refrain from sitting down to eat as they normally would. 

Yahweh did the same thing with another feast which had eating restrictions, namely the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  

Another exception is the night of the Passover in which Yahweh led His people out of Egypt:
Leviticus 23:5
5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to YHWH.

If we continue to read Leviticus 23, it says:

Leviticus 23:5-8 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is Yahweh's Passover. 
6
'And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 
7
'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 
8
'But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.' "

So Passover is on the fourteenth day of the first month, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is on the fifteenth day of the month, and the seventh day of the feast is on the 22nd day of the month. Keep this in mind as we read about this same feast in Exodus chapter 12:

Exodus 12:15-19 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 
16
'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat -- that only may be prepared by you. 
17
'So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 
18
'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 'For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.

Notice that the same language which described the timing of the tenth day of the seventh month (Day of Atonement) is also used to describe when the fifteenth day of the first month (the Feast of Unleavened Bread). The common thread between this feast and the Day of Atonement is they both have eating restrictions of some kind. 

In Leviticus 23 we are commanded to keep the first day of unleavened bread on the fifteenth day of the month, and yet it is said that we keep it on the fourteenth day "at evening." We use similar language in our own day when trying to tell people when we start keeping Sabbath. One will often say "on 'friday' at sundown we start keeping the Sabbath" even though it's understood that "friday sundown" is actually the beginning of the Sabbath day. Likewise, when Yahweh is attempting to describe when the fifteenth day begins, He says "on the fourteenth day of the month at evening (sundown)" to describe when we begin the fifteenth day. In other words, if you are sitting in your house on the fourteenth day of the month, the fifteenth day (the time you begin eating unleavened bread) will begin at sundown.  

If Yahweh wanted to explain to them that a day begins at sundown, He couldn't say "on the sundown of the 15th you eat unleavened bread" because some might think that they would need to start eating unleavened bread in the middle of what would be the 15th day of the month. Explaining the feast of unleavened bread begins on the 15th and we start when sundown occurs on the 14th should be sufficient explanation for us to understand when the 15th actually begins.

 Presumably, the author of this study would again dismiss this as another mere "exception" to the reckoning of a day. But we see that the entire week is reckoned in this manner. How many more instances of evening to evening must we dismiss as "exceptions?" Yahweh commanded that no manner of work be done, and no leavened bread be eaten on the 15th and 22nd days of the month, which are the 1st and 7th days of the feast. But this contradicts sunrise to sunrise reckoning because with that understanding you are not starting the feast on the 15th, you are starting the feast in the middle of the 14th. Then, you end it in the middle of the 22nd day. 

Let's reason together on this. We know that "yom" can mean a 24 hour day, or it can mean the daylight portion of a 24 hour day. This is illustrated in Genesis 1:5 where Yahweh called the light "day," yet evening and morning were "day one." So when Yahweh commands us to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for 7 days, does "Yom" refer to a seven 24 hour days, or only the daylight portions of seven 24 hour days? 

If He only meant the daylight portions, that would mean we can eat leavened bread at night. Of course this contradicts Exodus 12:18 which forbids us from eating leavening the entire week. So, when Yahweh says to keep the feast 7 days, He can only be referring to seven consecutive 24 hour days. 

Therefore we have established some facts:

  1. Yahweh Himself defined the 7 "Yoms" as seven consecutive 24 hour days 

  2. Yahweh Himself commanded that no leaven be eaten for seven consecutive 24 hour days.

  3. Yahweh Himself commanded that this 7 day time period began at evening. 

  4. Yahweh Himself declared that this 7 day time period ended at evening.

With these facts in place, we can establish some other facts as well:

  1. Each of the seven 24 hour days of this feast must also begin and end at evening, not just the 1st and 7th days.

  2. The weekly Sabbath that occurs during this must begin and end at evening.

  3. Since the seventh day of this feast (the 22nd day of the month) begins and ends at evening, and the 23rd day of the month needs to be longer than 12 hours, the 23rd day must also begin and end at evening.

  4. Since the 23rd day of the month begins and ends at evening, every day of every month of the year must also begin and end at evening! 

Therefore, you can't reckon 7 days out of the year as beginning and ending at evening without affecting how the Sabbath is observed during those 7 days and affecting every day of the year. You can't have the "exception" without affecting other days.

The truth is that these are not "exceptions," these are clear explanations of when Yahweh considers a day to begin and end. Explanations given by Yahweh Himself.

In this next section, they call yet another example of a day beginning at sundown an "apparent anomaly." This time, it's referring to the weekly Sabbath:

Another apparent anomaly is:

Nehemiah 13:18-21

18 “Did not your fathers do the same so that our Elohim brought all this evil on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Yisra’ĕl by profaning the Sabbath.” 19 And it came to be, at the gates of Yerushalayim, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 And the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares spent the night outside Yerushalayim once or twice, 21 and I warned them, and said to them, “Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I lay hands on you!” From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.

As it began to be dark before the Sabbath” could infer that Sabbath starts when the sun goes down, but does not have to be the case. Against the weight of all other Scripture it would be foolish to base your Sabbath on this one verse. 

It's important that all scripture reconciles to one belief. I don't believe it's "foolish" to base one's belief on anything Yahweh says, no matter how many times He says it.

In fact, it was customary to close the gates at night and earlier in Nehemyah we see why they were closing the gates:
Nehemyah 7:3
3 "And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Yerushalayim be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are standing by, let them shut the doors and bolt them. And appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, each at his post, and each in front of his own house.”
Nehemyah had ordered them to shut the gates at night anyhow and were not to be opened "until the sun was hot", and as we can see from the context of the Scripture, Nehemyah did not want the Sabbath profaned by merchants carrying in their wares and selling on the day of rest. The merchants undoubtedly travelled on the sixth day and arrived toward the end of the day, so Nehemyah simply shut the gates on them.

It should also be noted that this all took place after more than 150 years of captivity in Babylon which, as stated is where the Yisra’ĕlites had absorbed so many of the Babylonian traditions. This may well be the first account of an evening to evening Sabbath.

First, let me say that I believe scripture is inspired and Elohim breathed. So if they are inferring that scripture itself would justify a pagan reckoning of the Sabbath, I find that to be offensive. We should let scripture teach us what we need to believe. If we need to question scripture, something is very wrong here and red flags pop up everywhere in my mind. This isn't the only time in this study that the red flag has gone up for me. Earlier it was suggested that John "disagrees" with Matthew, Mark and Luke. 

So does Nehemiah 13 show when the Sabbath day begins?

It absolutely does. Let's examine it in full context:

Nehemiah 13:15 In those days I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys with wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them about the day on which they were selling provisions. 
16
Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 
17
Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? 
18
"Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Elohim bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath." 

What is Nehemiah speaking about when he says "Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Elohim bring all this disaster on us and on this city?" 

In the writings of the prophet Jeremiah, Yahweh made an offer to the children of Israel. It's a quite amazing offer actually. He said that if they would only stop bringing burdens through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath, to keep the Sabbath, He would bless the city and allow it to remain forever. And Kings & princes would enter those gates forever, sons of David riding in horses and chariots, to an everlasting city. He told Jeremiah to stand in each of the gates of the city and declare these things:

Jeremiah 17:19-27 Thus Yahweh said to me: "Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, by which the kings of Judah come in and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; 
20
"and say to them, 'Hear the word of Yahweh, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates. 

Notice that Jeremiah is standing at the gates while giving this message. Remember this for later:

Jeremiah 17:21 'Thus says Yahweh: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 "nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 
23
"But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction. 
24
" And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully," says Yahweh, "to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 
25
"then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever. 
26 "And they shall come from the cities of Judah and from the places around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the lowland, from the mountains and from the South, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, bringing sacrifices of praise to the house of Yahweh. 

So Yahweh gives a promise here. And what a promise it was, for He didn't even ask them to serve Him or not worship idols, etc. Just keep the Sabbath. I think Yahweh knew that if they would keep the Sabbath, the Sabbath would keep them (Meaning, cause them to delight themselves in Yahweh). And this memorial of creation would cause them to seek Yahweh weekly. But if they chose bring burdens through those gates and break the Sabbath, He would burn those gates with fire.

He said if they will only keep the Sabbath and "bring no burden through the city gates of this city on the Sabbath," Yahweh would allow Jerusalem to remain forever. But if they chose to break the Sabbath and allow the carrying of burdens through the city gates on Yahweh's holy day, He would destroy the city:

Jeremiah 17:27 "But if you will not heed Me to hallow the Sabbath day, such as not carrying a burden when entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched." ' "

So it makes sense why Nehemiah says:

Nehemiah 13:18 "Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our Elohim bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath." 

Nehemiah's course of action from this point will make a lot more sense when we understand his comments in the proper context. Jeremiah said that Yahweh would allow Jerusalem to remain forever if they would keep the Sabbath and forbid the bringing of burdens into the gates of the city, but He would destroy it if they permitted these things. So what does Nehemiah do?

Nehemiah 13:19 So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day. 

To ensure that no burdens were brought through the gates on the Sabbath, He made as special point to command that the gates be shut "as it began to be dark before the Sabbath." Some have suggested that the sun would have already set and it was now getting dark. But the Hebrew in this verse is more specific. The word translated "dark" is used in other scriptures to describe "shadows."

Job 40:22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him.

Ezekiel 31:3 Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, With fine branches that shaded the forest, And of high stature; And its top was among the thick boughs.

Other variants of this word family are found in Strong's #6738, all of which denote shade and shadows such as Yahweh hiding us in the "shadow of His wings" in Psalm 17:8. In relation to the verse in Nehemiah, if the sun is already set, there are no shadows. The New International Version translates it:

Nehemiah 13:19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day.

But no matter how one translates it, it has something to do with shadows. There are no shadows after sunset. Just before the sun sets, the shadows begin to grow very long. So long shadows are a characteristic of the time before sunset. 

The wording of verse 19 also shows when the Sabbath begins. For instance, if I worked at a store and I said that I shut and locked the doors at 6:55pm before closing time, it would naturally communicate that closing time was very soon, likely at 7:00pm. The language of Nehemiah 13:19 is very much the same. He shut the gates when the shadows grew long before the Sabbath and ordered them to not open the gates until the Sabbath was over. By saying that, it would naturally communicate that the Sabbath was beginning very soon, when the sun went down. 

So now that we have established that the timing of Nehemiah's closing of the gates occurred just before sundown, what would have been the purpose of shutting at that time? Obviously, it was the time just "before the Sabbath." Nehemiah did not want people bringing in and carrying burdens into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day so he had the gates shut just before sundown to ensure that. If he shut the gates right at sundown, someone could have come in just prior to sundown and lugged their wares around to their destination on the Sabbath. But if Sabbath didn't begin until sunrise, what was the purpose in shutting the gates just before sundown? There would still be plenty of time to do any manner of work you wanted.

Sunrise Sabbath keepers say that it was to ensure that no merchants would bring in their wares on that night to sell first thing in the morning. But that could have easily been thwarted by bringing them in an hour before sundown. Nehemiah himself, in referencing Jeremiah's prophecy, said the purpose of shutting the gates at that time was so that "no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.

Nehemiah 13:18 - Did not your fathers thus, and did not our Elohim bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

Shutting the gates 12-13 hours before the Sabbath begun wasn't going to stop anyone from buying and selling. That would have needed to be handled separately. The main point with the gates was to shut them just before the Sabbath so that they were not again violating Jeremiah's warning to "to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day" (Jer. 17:24). The Sabbath beginning at sundown is the only logical reason why the gates were shut just before sundown.  

Nehemiah 13:20 Now the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 
21
Then I warned them, and said to them, "Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!" From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath
22
And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my Elohim, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!

If the previous verses were not clear enough, we have Nehemiah himself telling us when the Sabbath is. Note the progression of events here. 

1. The merchants came and spent the night around the wall, presumably in hopes to bribe their way in or to buy/sell to anyone leaving the city. 
2. Nehemiah threatens to lay hands on them if they spend the night around the wall. 
3. Elohim-breathed and inspired scripture says, "From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath.

So Nehemiah was upset that they had come on the Sabbath and spent the night around the wall. It could hardly be more plain and clear than that. They were spending the night around the wall, well before sunrise, he threatens them, then the narrative (scripture, Elohim breathed) says "From that time on they came no more on the Sabbath." After taking care of that problem, Nehemiah then commands the Levites to cleanse themselves and guard the gates so that the Sabbath would be sanctified. Earlier he had placed his own servants there but now he is trusting the Levites to do what they are supposed to do and guard those gates from Sabbath breakers, lest the gates be burned with fire again as Jeremiah prophesied. 

There are also a great number of Scriptures that declare uncleanliness till evening and certain events taking place before evening that give some the assumption that a day starts in the evening. None of these Scriptures actually state this, and is common sense to be made clean at evening so the persons may come into the camp to spend the night, as it was unlawful for an unclean person to come into the camp. More importantly, if the next day were a Sabbath an individual would not be able to participate in any set-apart assembly and would have to wait for the next evening.

Regarding the clean/unclean, I presume the author is speaking of verses like this one:

Numbers 19:14-19 This is the law when a man dies in a tent: All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days
15
'and every open vessel, which has no cover fastened on it, is unclean. 
16
'Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days
17
'And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin, and running water shall be put on them in a vessel. 
18
'A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave. 
19
'The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean.

Notice that Yahweh said all who are in the tent shall be "unclean seven days." It only makes sense that a person is clean at the end of the 7 days like Yahweh says rather than at 6 and a half days. So which is it? 

Some see evidence that this is how the Pharisees, instituting an evening to evening day created a “fence law” around this.
It was for this reason that dead bodies were removed before evening (Josh 8:29, Mark 15:42) and that it was Commanded in the Torah (Deut 21:23) not because it was the start of a new day.

SUN WORSHIP OR MOON WORSHIP?
Some may use the excuse that starting the day in the morning is based on sun worship, but this is an invalid argument as the same can be said about evening start being based on moon worship since moon worship is equally as ancient as sun worship. In fact, looking at many historical commentaries (see below) it appears the Yisra’ĕlites inheriteded lunar observance from the Babylonians who revered the moon above the sun in that it was more mysterious at night.


There is no real proof that the Pharisees or any Jewish people invented the "evening to evening" Sabbath. If it really were a fence law, and the real Sabbath continued after sundown on "saturday," wouldn't their they be breaking the Sabbath after sundown? Thus, it wouldn't be a fence law, it would be changing the time that Shabbat is observed. With as strict as the Jews were about Sabbath breaking, I find it incredulous that all the Jews around the world would simultaneously change the time that they observed the Sabbath. 

OTHER COMMENTARIES
So far we have examined the Scriptures from which should come all our docrine, but it is also interesting to delve into some of the studies of historians and commentaries...

Regarding the quoting of "Commentaries" to support our beliefs, why must we resort to this? We know that mainstream Christians reckon their "sunday keeping" starting at sunrise so it is no surprise if their reference works will attempt to support their doctrine. Some of the references are secular and do not believe in the inspiration of scripture. 

Many of these commentaries are relying on the work of 2-3 "scholars" (whose writings I have examined) that attempted to address this issue and concluded that scripture that "pre-exilic" scripture points to a sunrise to sunrise reckoning, and post-exilic scripture points to a evening to evening reckoning. 

Since I don't believe scripture is divided against itself, I would strongly disagree. The problem isn't the scriptures, the problem is one's understanding of the scriptures. People are too quick to judge the scriptures when it is they themselves that they need to judge.

Nevertheless, a few of the commentaries attempt to point out some scriptures that are worthy of addressing in this study. One of them is Judges 19:

Judges 19:4 And his father-in-law, the young woman's father, detained him, and he dwelt with him three days. And they ate and drank and spent the nights there. 
5
And it came to be on the fourth day that they arose early in the morning. And he prepared to leave, but the young woman's father said to his son-in-law, "Refresh your heart with a piece of bread, and afterward go your way." 

Verse 5 does not say that they arose at the beginning of a 24 hour day. It says that they left early in the morning, on the 4th day. The fact that a day consists of a "early in the morning" period doesn't prove that the morning begins a 24 hour day. It simply begins the daylight portion of a 24 hour day.

Judges 19:6 So they sat down, and the two of them ate and drank together. And the young woman's father said to the man, "Please agree to stay all night, and let your heart be glad." 

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia makes much of this, but if I asked someone to spend the night why would that mean a 24 hour day begins in the morning?

Judges 19:7 And when the man arose to go, his father-in-law urged him. So he spent the night there again. 
8
And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to go. But the young woman's father said, "Please refresh your heart." So they delayed until afternoon, and both of them ate. 

It doesn't say "early on the 5th day," it says "early in the morning on the fifth day." The fact that the 5th day contains a "early in the morning" period doesn't prove that "early in the morning" is the beginning of a 24 hour day. 

Judges 19:9 And the man arose to go, he and his concubine and his servant. But his father-in-law, the young woman's father, said to him, "See, the day is now drawing toward evening. Please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end. Stay here, and let your heart be glad. And you shall rise early tomorrow for your journey, and you shall go to your tent."

The meaning of the Hebrew word "machar" (translated 'tomorrow' in verse 9) was already explored earlier in this study.  

Question: In Judges 19, why would someone place more emphasis on phrases like "early in the morning" and "stay all night" which nowhere indicate the beginning of a 24 hour day, but then totally ignore the phrase "the day is coming to an end" which clearly is taking place in the evening? Surely "the day is coming to an end" is be far more indicative of "when a day ends" than the other two phrases.

The only other scripture mentioned in these commentaries which remains to be addressed is Exodus 16. The commentary says:

"Likewise in Exod. 16:19f...the manna was given to the people in the morning, just at dawn and before the sun had become warm (16:21). It was to be eaten only on the day upon which it was gathered; nothing was to remain over until the next morning; that which did so became foul. Here, too, the day seems to have been reckoned from dawn to dawn..."

The verses in Exodus do not say that the manna could only be eaten on the 24 hour day in which it was gathered. It just says that they were not to "leave any of it until morning." In other words, make sure that which remains is destroyed or shared with others by the following morning. Yahweh wanted them to learn to rely on Him for their substance.

Many of the other commentaries listed base their belief on their interpretation of Genesis 1, which contradicts the six days of creation, and a theory that that Jews brought back the evening reckoning from Babylon. From what I see in scripture, Ezra and Nehemiah did a good job of establishing Torah observance and cleansing the people from Babylonian influence. If we believe, as the authors of this study suggest, that Nehemiah would have brought back the "evening to evening" practice from Babylon, we might as rip the books of Nehemiah and Ezra out of our bibles because they are untrustworthy. And if we are going to start doing that, it's a slippery slope that will typically find its end in atheism.

If you have any verse in Scripture that clearly states a day starts in the evening then we would love to know, but the conclusion of the matter is: If you have no Scriptures to support your belief then you have added to Yahweh's Commands and are practicing vain traditions.

I am glad that they are open to scriptures which clearly indicate that Yahweh's days are reckoned from evening to evening. I have yet to see any scriptures proving a sunrise to sunrise reckoning, and I see several scriptures that prove an evening to evening reckoning. I hope that they see these things as well.

Another scripture supporting the fact that the Sabbath ends at evening is in Luke chapter 4:

Luke 4:38-40 And having risen out of the synagogue, he entered into the house of Simon, and the mother-in-law of Simon was pressed with a great fever, and they did ask him about her, 39 and having stood over her, he rebuked the fever, and it left her, and presently, having risen, she was ministering to them. 40 And at the setting of the sun, all, as many as had any ailing with manifold sicknesses, brought them unto him, and he on each one of them his hands having put, did heal them.

For people to wait until the setting of the sun to bring the sick people to Yahushua for Him to heal demonstrates that it was certainly a first century practice to end the Sabbath at sundown. After all, why wait until sundown to carry the sick to him if it's still considered to be the Sabbath day? 

Historical Evidence

Confirming the above scripture, we also have historical evidence that in the first century, the Sabbath was observed starting at evening. Josephus, a first century Jewish historian makes the following comment:

Wars of the Jews 4:582 and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand with a trumpet, at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to stop work, and when they were to go to work again.

So his report is that a trumpet was blown at the beginning of every Sabbath, to mark when the people should stop working, and begin working. Josephus had no reason to lie, and archaeological finds concur with Josephus' comments about the place of trumpeting:

"When we excavated the beautifully paved Herodian street adjacent to the southern wall and near the southwestern corner of the Enclosure Wall, we found a particularly large ashlar block. On the inside was a niche where a man might stand, especially if the ashlar were joined to another which would enlarge the niche. 
On the outside was a carefully and elegantly incised Hebrew inscription: LBYT HTKY ’H LHH [RYZ]; “To the place of Trumpeting to (declare).” If the restoration of the world “declare” is correct, the rest of the missing part of the inscription probably went on to tell us more about the declaring of the beginning and the end of the Sabbath. 
The stone had been toppled during the Roman destruction of the Temple onto the street below where it had lain for nearly two thousand years until we uncovered it. 
It must have originally come from the pinnacle of the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. From a spot on top of the Temple chambers a priest would blow a trumpet on Sabbath Eve, to announce the arrival of the Sabbath and the cessation of all labour, and to announce, on the following evening, the departure of the Sabbath and the resumption of all labor. 
The entire city was visible from this spot on the southwest corner of the Temple Mount; the clarion call of the trumpet would reach the farthest markets of the city. Such a scene is recounted by Josephus in his work, The Jewish War. (IV, 582)." Editor, H. S. 2004; 2004. BAR 06:04 (July/Aug 1980). Biblical Archaeology Society

I know that some might say that the Jews (e.g. Pharisees) were observing it wrong in the first century. But wouldn't it seem pretty odd that Yahushua would say things like "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loosen his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?" but then never once mention that they break the Sabbath every week when the trumpeter sends out his call to resume working after after sundown?

New Moon Confusion

There is another major problem with beginning a day at sunrise. If we believe a day will begin at sunrise, we will have to wait until the day is halfway over before we know whether or not a new month has begun. For instance, we know that the 1st day of the 7th month in Yahweh's calendar is called the Feast of Trumpets:

Leviticus 23:24-25 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 'You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.' "

The first day of the month is determined by seeing which day the crescent moon phase is observed in the sky just after sundown. If we begin a day at sunrise, we won't know whether or not it is the 1st day of the 7th month until evening. So the day would need to be halfway over before we know whether or not we were supposed to observe the Feast of Trumpets on that day.

I presume that sunrise to sunrise observers must instead rely on the conjunction to determine a new moon. This is another subject altogether but I do have a couple of questions to ask. First of all, if the conjunction occurs at 6:00 AM and the sunrise also occurs at 6:00AM, on which day do you choose place the new month? Secondly, periodic variations in lunar orbit can cause the moment of conjunction to vary up to half a day or more within a 1000 year time period. How would a simple shepherd out in the field (or anyone in ancient times for that matter) been able to calculate the exact hour, minute and second that a conjunction occurs--including these variations? For one reckon their days from sunrise to sunrise, they need to be able to find a good answer to these questions. To date, I've not found anyone who is able to answer them to my satisfaction.

Passover Confusion

Scripture says that the children of Israel went out of Egypt at night, on the 15th day of Abib:

Numbers 33:3 They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians.

Now we know that the children of Israel had to eat the Passover in haste, with the sandals on their feet, staff in their hand and belt around their waist:

Exodus 12:11 'And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is Yahweh's Passover.

It is also evident that they left Egypt on the night that they ate the Passover:

Exodus 12:29-37 And it came to pass at midnight that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 
30
So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. 
31
Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve Yahweh as you have said. 
32
"Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also." 
33
 ¶ And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead." 
34
So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. 
35
Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. 
36
And Yahweh had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. 
37
 Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.
 

Exodus 12:50-51 Thus all the children of Israel did; as Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 51 And it came to pass, on that very same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.

Since it says in Numbers 33 that they left on the night of the 15th day of the month, and it is evident from reading Exodus 12 that they left on the same night that they ate the Passover, this would mean that the children of Israel sacrificed the Passover Lamb on the 14th day of the month around the same time that Yahushua (our Passover) was slain, and the 15th day of the month actually began that evening, the evening that they ate the Passover Lamb. 

However, if we believe days begin and end at sunrise, the 15th day of the month doesn't begin until the following evening, leaving a 36+ hours between the time that they ate the Passover and the time they left Egypt.

In light of these things, I have a couple more questions. Firstly, where in Exodus 12 do we see a big, gaping 36+ hour period between the time they ate the Passover and the night of the 15th of Abib? And my second question is why would the children of Israel need to eat the Passover in haste with sandals on their feet, staff in their hand and a belt on their waist if they didn't need to leave for another 36 hours? That seems like plenty of time to leaven your bread to me, yet scripture says there was no time for them to leaven their bread because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait (Ex. 12:39).

To date, I've not found anyone who is able to answer these questions to my satisfaction.

Summary and Conclusion

The following will summarize at least 18 reasons I believe this doctrine is unscriptural:

  1. Much of it is based on modern English understandings of words such as "tomorrow" and "day" rather than real understandings of the underlying Hebrew text.

  2. It embraces the "gap theory" rather than the scriptures which plainly said it took six days for Yahweh to create the heavens and the earth. 

  3. It ignores the fact that "evening (a time of no light) and morning (a time of light)" are both a part of the 1st day. It doesn't say "There was evening, then morning ended the first day"

  4. It relies on arguments that don't prove anything either way, such as initiation of some kind of competition between "day and night" vs. "night and day" scriptures.

  5. It adds to scripture by assuming things like "that day belongs to that night" whereas scripture says no such thing.

  6. It misapplies scripture such as "sons of day" and "children of the night" as if they had anything to do with when a day begins or ends. 

  7. In order to believe their doctrine, I must confess that John "disagrees" with Matthew, Mark and Luke and the inspired words of Nehemiah are to be questioned as Babylonian in origin.

  8. It disregards the plain explanation in scripture of when a day begins/ends. Yahweh Himself explains the reckoning of a day when describing when to keep the feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Atonement. I can't in good conscience refer to them as as mere "exceptions" and "anomalies." I think it's best to let our beliefs be in perfect accordance with scripture, with no exceptions or anomalies.

  9. It uses various "human reasoning" arguments which are easily matched by "human reasoning" arguments supporting the opposite conclusion.

  10. It cannot be reconciled with the account of Yahushua's resurrection. The disciples end up buying on the Sabbath in Mark 16:1, John 20:1 says it was "Still dark" yet it was the first day of the week, and Matthew says it was "after the Sabbath" before the sun rose.

  11. It is impossible for the Day of Atonement to really be on the 10th day of the month if you start it in the middle of the 9th and end it in the middle of the 10th.

  12. Yahweh commanded that no manner of work be done, and no leavened bread be eaten on the 15th and 22nd days of the month, which are the 1st and 7th days of the feast. But this contradicts sunrise to sunrise reckoning because with that understanding you are not starting the feast on the 15th, you are starting the feast in the middle of the 14th. Then, you end it in the middle of the 22nd day. 

  13. It is impossible for you to reckon the days of the Feast of Unleavened bread from evening to evening without affecting every day of the year.

  14. Nehemiah is clearly closing the gates just before Sabbath to heed Jeremiah's warning and prevent people from bringing burdens through the gates on the Sabbath, but to keep sunrise to sunrise I have to ignore this or falsely accuse Nehemiah of instituting a pagan practice from Babylon.

  15. This doctrine requires a person to ignore the scriptures which speak of the merchants coming to spend the night around the wall, followed by the very clear "from that time forth they came no more on the Sabbath" declaration.

  16. I would need to believe that the Israelites ate the Passover with staff in hand, sandals on their feet, belt around there waist, with no time to leaven any bread even though at least 36 hours of time elapsed between the time they ate the Passover and their departure from Egypt. 

  17. I would have to start believing that the completely invisible, astronomically calculated (in 1000 yrs. it can vary between 29.272 and 29.833 days) "conjunction" starts the new month rather than just looking up in the sky and seeing the new moon. Alternatively with the visual crescent sighting, I would need to believe that we don't know when the new moon day is until the day is halfway over.

  18. There is strong historical evidence supporting "evening to evening" being the practice in the first century. I have great difficulty believing that this glaring problem of breaking the Sabbath every week would miss the attention of Yahushua, or His disciples in their writings. 

In conclusion, I find that the "sunrise to sunrise" Sabbath observance directly contradicts the scriptures, and ignores too many scriptures for me to consider believing in it. 

For anyone interested, I am planning on adapting this response to a full study linked from the main page of eliyah.com under the "Sabbath" section. In that study, it will focus more on demonstrating 'evening to evening' from scripture than replying to another person's study point by point (which requires more length).

May Yahweh lead all of us to His pure, perfect truth.

EliYah