When Does a Day Begin?
Click to Download The lunar Sabbaths
8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
The Big Lie
By: Michael Pedrin

 

Click to Download the pdf e-book of
(If  it opens in the same window, please right click and click "Save as")

 

When Does a Day Begin?

When Does a Day Begin?

We say a biblical day begins at sunset. The day is from sunset to sunset. The lunar Sabbatarians say a biblical day begins at sunrise. They say the day is from sunrise to sunrise.

Let Us Investigate

What is mentioned first in the first chapter of the Genesis creation record—darkness or light?

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:2)

Darkness was there even before the light was introduced. Logically speaking, the light that came later cannot be placed ahead of darkness in regard to time. That is exactly what the word of God says about each creation day—darkness first, light next.

God then proceeds to make two distinct periods of time where previously only one—darkness— existed:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3, 4)

God then names those two periods of time:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Genesis 1:5)

So, “light” and “day” are synonyms, and “darkness” and “night” are synonyms.

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

There are only two segments in the twenty-four-hour orbit of the earth—light and darkness. We now have different terminologies for the two segments of time in the above verse of Genesis 1:5—light, day, darkness, night, evening, and morning. Light, day, and morning are synonyms. Darkness, night, and evening are synonyms.

Look at the order of the two periods of time:

And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)

There are only two periods of time—darkness/night/evening and light/day/morning. So, “evening and morning” means night and day or darkness and light.

How do we know that “the evening and the morning” of Genesis 1 embraces a twenty-four-hour period and not a twelve-hour period, as the lunar Sabbatarians believe?

This same phrase of “the evening and the morning” is used also in the book of Daniel and is clearly a twenty-four-hour period of time. This is the only other place, apart from Genesis 1, where the phrase “the evening and the morning” is used:

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. (Daniel 8:26)

How many days are “the evening and the morning” of Daniel?

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14)

The Hebrew words translated days in Daniel 8:14 are the same words in the Hebrew of Daniel 8:26, where it is translated as “evening” and “morning.” The Hebrew words are ereb and boqer which are the exact words used in Genesis 1 for “evening” and “morning.”

The two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings are two thousand three hundred full twenty-four-hour periods. The lunar Sabbatarians also agree to this. If “the evening and the morning” is a twelve-hour period only, the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings would be just 1150 days (half of two thousand three hundred days) and would end in AD 694 instead of in AD 1844.

So, if the lunar Sabbatarians agree to the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings as two thousand three hundred twenty-four-hour days, then it is inconsistent to interpret “the evening and the morning” of Genesis as just compassing twelve hours.

From the very first chapter of the Bible, we see when a new day begins. It begins in “the evening,” at darkness.

The Unleavened Bread

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

So, the feast of the unleavened bread starts on the fifteenth day, and it continues for seven days. If a reckoning of a twenty-four-hour day begins at sunrise, then it has to start on the morning of the fifteenth but as we saw in the Genesis creation record, a twenty-four-hour day begins at “evening.” Notice when the fifteenth day begins:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses. (Exodus 12:18, 19)

Genesis gave us the rule of how to reckon a day and from when to reckon it. Exodus confirms the same reckoning—it is from “even”” to “even” or evening to evening.

The Day of Atonement

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:27)

Notice, when does the tenth day begin, according to God, on the morning of the tenth or on the evening of the ninth?

It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:32)

Here we have the first three books of the Bible in a row—Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus—all attesting to the evening as the beginning of a new day!

The Time of Nehemiah

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. (Nehemiah 13:19)

The Sabbath begins when it is dark, when the sun is set. “Began to be dark” is the time when the sun is beginning to set, just before the Sabbath. The gates were closed just before the Sabbath commenced.

The above phrase “began to be dark before the Sabbath” clearly indicates that the Sabbath began when it was dark. “Began to be dark” means the darkness was imminent—darkness followed not later, but immediately. “Before the sabbath” means the Sabbath was imminent—the Sabbath followed not later, but immediately.

The Crucifixion

A person worthy of death was to be hanged on a tree, but God instructed His people to follow a procedure; they were not to remain hanging at night.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:22)

Joshua followed this rule when he hanged the king of Ai:

And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree. (Joshua 8:29)

At the time of Jesus, this rule was followed as well.

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31)

The bodies were not to remain on the cross during any night. How much more so when it was a Sabbath night!

If the Sabbath only began at sunrise, then why were they rushing to break the legs of the thieves and take them down from the cross nearly fifteen hours before the Sabbath began?

There is no command in the Old Testament that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath. The command was that the bodies should not remain on the cross at night. It does not say in John 19:31 that the bodies should not remain on the cross at night, but that “the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day.” This clearly implies that the Sabbath started that night, at sunset, and not at sunrise.

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. . . . And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:52, 54)

The Revised Standard Version translates Luke 23:54 this way:

It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.

“The sabbath drew on” or “the sabbath was beginning” does not make sense if the Sabbath was beginning nearly fifteen hours later!

This again shows that the Sabbath began not at sunrise, but at sunset, the end of the sixth day.

The Resurrection

The apostle John gives us the period during which Mary Magdalene visited the sepulchre to anoint the body of Jesus:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

When it was “yet dark” means the sunrise had not yet taken place. John calls this time, the time before sunrise, as “the first day of the week.”

This proves that the first day of the week started even before the sun could rise! That means the first day of the week, according to John, did not start at sunrise but at sunset the previous night.

The Third Day Resurrection

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. (Mark 9:31)

The lunar Sabbatarians agree that Jesus died on Friday, the sixth day of the week, at 3 p.m. According to the above text of Mark 9:31, after Christ was killed, the third day He would rise.

The day of His death was Friday (sixth day of the week), the next day after His death was Saturday (seventh day of the week), and the third day was Sunday (the first day of the week).

If sunrise is the beginning of a new day, according to the lunar Sabbatarians, and not sunset, then Jesus rose on the second day and not the third day! Here it is—John wrote:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

If the stone was removed from the sepulchre while it was “yet dark,” it means Jesus rose while it was “yet dark”!

Let’s count it from the lunar Sabbatarians’ viewpoint: On the sixth day of week Jesus died (the first day of His death), the seventh day of the week Jesus rested (the second day from His death), and the first day of the next week Jesus rose before sunrise (still the second day).

If sunrise begins a new day, then Jesus rose on the second day and not the third day!

Sabbath—Twelve Hours or Twenty-Four Hours?

The lunar Sabbatarians believe that the holy hours of the Sabbath are just twelve hours and not twenty-four hours. The reason they believe this is because if the Sabbath is twenty-four hours long, then the quails pose a very big problem. The lunar Sabbatarians believe that the fifteenth of any month in the Bible was a Sabbath, but God sent quails on the fifteenth!

. . . on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. . . . And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp. (Exodus 16:1, 13)

So how do they escape? Since quails came in the evening, after sunset, the lunar Sabbatarians came up with the theory that the holy hours of the Sabbath are only the daylight part and not the dark part! This is what they say:

Have you ever heard of a Sabbath night mentioned in Scripture or were we only told to remember the seventh DAY? (Elesha YisraEl, quoted by Troy Miller in “When does Scripture say a day begins?” p. 10; emphasis in original; accessed at www.creationcalendar.com at the link entitled “When does a day begin, evening or morning, midnight or noon?”)

That explanation is totally unacceptable and illogical. For example, when a person is born in the night, it is still called birthday and not birthnight! Don’t people have birthday celebrations in the night as well—is that wrong? It doesn’t matter at what part of the twenty-four-hour period an event occurs—it is still called—Independence Day, Liberation Day, Anniversary Day, etc. And those who work on night shifts, while on vacation, they say I am on holidays, and not holinights! Just because it is called Sabbath day, to conclude there is no Sabbath night is absurd!

The day before the Sabbath is called the preparation day:

And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath. (Mark 15:42)

If the Sabbath hours are only from sunrise to sunset (twelve hours), then why do we need a preparation day, just the preparation night might be all that would be required!

Having a preparation night, instead of a preparation day, could make sense if the Sabbath were just twelve hours!

Does Day Mean the Daylight Part Only?

The lunar Sabbatarians keep emphasizing that a day in the Bible is only the daylight part and not the night:

The word day refers to light only. (YisraEl, p. 10; emphasis in original)

They forget to realize that the word day has more than one meaning in Scripture and also in English and other languages.

Yes, day can mean the daylight period, when the sun shines, in contrast to the night, the dark part:

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world? (John 11:9)

But day in Scripture can also mean a twenty-four-hour period—the dark part and the light part combined:

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread . . . In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. (Exodus 12:15, 18)

So here, seven days means seven days and seven nights. Day in Scripture can also mean a bigger period of time:

For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Can anyone say that since salvation is called the “day” of salvation, one cannot accept the gospel message in the night?

The lunar Sabbatarians keep saying day means day and night means night, and you can’t make the day as night and the night as day. Then what do they do with the following text?

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. (2 Peter 3:10)

Though the Lord comes as a thief in the night, it is called “the day of the lord” and not the night of the Lord!

If it is true, as quoted earlier, that “the word day refers to light only,” what do we do with the words of Jesus in gospel of Mark?

And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. (Mark 14:30)

The above statement was made during the night hours, after the Lord’s Supper was over, while they were heading towards Gethsemane. And Christ called the night as day! They have nothing to say for this.

The lunar Sabbatarians are twisting simple math. In the website article quoted earlier, this is what they say:

According to Leviticus 8:35, Aaron and his sons were to remain at the door of the Tabernacle, day and night, seven days. How many nights did they remain?

(A) - Six nights. Count ’em . . . D – N – D – N – D – N –D – N – D – N – D – N – D [A for answer, D for day, N for night]. (YisraEl, p. 11; emphasis in original)

First, please note that they are mistaken and then, let’s expose their mathematical tricks. The “day and night, seven days” ends on the eighth day and not on the seventh day. Just two verses later, in the very first verse of the next chapter, Moses writes about the day when Aaron and his sons came out of the Tabernacle:

And it came to pass on the eighth day . . . (Leviticus 9:1)

So, if it ended on the eighth day, the seventh night is included in the “day and night, seven days.” Period!

Let us see a parallel reckoning of time. For how long did it rain in Noah’s time?

And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)

A little further down, the Bible uses a little different method of counting:

And the flood was forty days upon the earth. (Genesis 7:17)

When we compare the above two passages, there is no contradiction for us—forty days equals forty days and forty nights—but for the lunar Sabbatarians who say the word day means light only, there is a problem! Did it rain just during the light hours, as per Genesis 7:17? Or did it rain during the light and dark hours, as per Genesis 7:12? Or were there two floods—one for forty days only and the other for forty days and forty nights?

From creation to resurrection we have clear proofs from the word of God that a biblical day is counted from “evening to evening,” from sunset to sunset, and not from sunrise to sunrise!

Also, we have seen the word day doesn’t always mean the light part, when the sun shines. Day also means the dark and light parts combined as well, apart from having other meanings too.

Only Twelve Hours of Worship?

The lunar Sabbatarians use the text of Psalm 113:3 to prove that Sabbath worship is just twelve hours—from sunrise to sunset:

If the celebration of our Sabbath days and our new moons (Isaiah 66:23) begins in the evening when the sun is going down, why would Our Creator state that all nations shall praise His Name and worship Him from the “rising of the sun until the going down of the same (sun)”? From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same YHVH’s name is to be praised (Psalm 113:3).

(A[nswer]) If the Sabbath started in the evening, as many of our people believe, then this verse would make no sense whatsoever. (YisraEl, p. 11; emphasis in original)

The above quoted verse or even the entire Psalm of 113 does not mention the Sabbath or Sabbath worship at all! If that text of Psalm 113:3 is the recommended time to worship God, what about Psalm 55, which comes before Psalm 113?

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

This looks more like Sabbath worship, for it starts at evening, then morning, and then noon. But we don’t interpret scriptures based on assumptions. If Psalm 113:3 is the recommended time of worship for them, then what about Paul and Silas praising God at midnight?

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25)

This text of Acts 16 looks more like a congregation at worship than does Psalm 113. In Acts 16 there was a gathering of people (prisoners) present too, apart from Paul and Silas—preachers and singers! And, it was a midnight service, not midday!

Again, we don’t build our doctrines on assumptions! We build our doctrine on the plain command of Scripture which says, “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32).

“The evening and the morning” of Genesis 1

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say to these many clear-cut proofs that we have for a sunset reckoning? We will now look at their explanations to the texts we have quoted and see why their interpretations are flawed and not sound. This is what they say:

The Genesis account defines the day as evening and morning, which are the two parts of the radiant sunshine of “daylight”, and have nothing at all to do with the night. ( Kerrie L. French, “Three Months in a Row, Part 2 – The Manna”; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscale-ndar.com/Articles/three_months/2_02_The_Manna.html#.Uh-hERafMpo)

Evening and morning is not synonymous with night and day, but rather evening and morning are two halves of the “daylight” hours . . . (Kerrie L. French, “Part 3 – The Mountain”; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscalendar.com/Art-icles/three_months/3_02_The_Mountain.html#.Uh-jBhafMpo)

The evening together with the morning make up the first daylight. This is a simple math equation: .5 + .5 = 1 whole daylight. Therefore the first daylight was made up of two parts, morning and evening. Morning begins at dawn and ends at noon; evening begins at noon and ends at dusk. (Unknown author, “When Does a Day Begin?”; accessed at http://www.worldslastchance.com/yahuwahs-calendar/when-does-a-day-begin. html)

If God meant the evening and the morning to be the “two halves of the ‘daylight’ hours,” as they claim, then there was an easier way of putting it. God should have said it the other way around—the morning and the evening were the first day, etc., and not “the evening and the morning”! Was God calculating backwards?

The lunar Sabbatarians say, as quoted above, that “the evening together with the morning make up the first daylight,” but the Bible says that “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). The Bible doesn’t say first daylight, it just says “first day”! The lunar Sabbatarians are making people believe something that the Bible does not say!

The lunar Sabbatarians also say, as quoted above, that “the Genesis account defines the day as evening and morning, which are the two parts of the radiant sunshine of ‘daylight’, and have nothing at all to do with the night.” Now look at a story where God sent quails in the evening and manna in the morning:

At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.” (Exodus 16:12)

The quails came on the evening of the fifteenth (they agree to this). If evening and morning are the two parts of the “daylight,” did the quails come on the daylight of the fifteenth? And if quails came during the daylight of fifteenth, then by their own rule the quails came on the daylight of the Sabbath! (For them, the daylight of the fifteenth of any month is a Sabbath.) That should be the end of all issues regarding the lunar Sabbaths!

So you can see how they have misinterpreted the Genesis reckoning of time of “the evening and the morning.” 

The Unleavened Bread

Let us see how the lunar Sabbatarians twist the calculation of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread:

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses. (Exodus 12:18, 19)

From the above passages of scripture, we understand the feast was to be celebrated from the evening of the fourteenth day to the evening of the twenty-first day, a total of seven days. Now look at how they twist the simple statements of scripture to fit their ideas:

Unleavened bread was eaten on the 14th day of the first month at evening, (along with the rest of the Passover meal, Exodus 12:8) and was to be eaten until the 21st at even. This is parts of 8 days, yet Exodus 12:15 says to eat it for seven days. And so it is. The day part of the 14th is over when eaten on the 14th, so unleavened bread is only eaten on “DAYS” 15 through 21. (Troy Miller, When Does Scripture Say A Day Begins?, p. 4; accessed at www.creationcaldendar. com; emphasis in original)

That seems to be a very smart way of getting out of trouble. But trouble is still there! It is not just the eating of unleavened bread that the passage mentions, but also the putting away of leaven from the houses, and notice when the leaven has to be put out of the houses:

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses. (Exodus 12:15)

If the first day is the daylight of the fifteenth, then they had to have put away the unleavened bread on the morning of the fifteenth, but we see they ate the unleavened bread on the previous night (the night of the fourteenth) which means the leaven was put out of the houses not on the morning of the fifteenth, but on the previous night! So a day doesn’t begin in the morning, but on the previous night!

Another lunar Sabbatarian camp agrees that the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (or the Feast of the Passover, as it is commonly called), which begins on the fifteenth day of the first month, began on the night of the fourteenth. Here is their statement:

. . . because it was the Feast of Passover, a Holy Convocation, and also called a yearly Sabbath. This Feast of Passover was the only Holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours, which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib. This was not because a seventh-day Sabbath was to begin at sunset. (Accessed 10-20-13 at http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/i-was-taught-that-the-yahushua-was-crucified-on-a-friday.html; emphasis in original)

They have not found a way of escape from this plain text of scripture which proves that a day begins at sunset; therefore, they say that this is the “only holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib.” The very fact it is called a “Sabbath” shows that it is related to the seventh-day Sabbath rest. Then how can the seventh-day Sabbath be only from sunrise to sunset, when a yearly Sabbath, based on the pattern of the seventh-day Sabbath, begins it holy hours, called Sabbath, at sunset?

So again the lunar Sabbatarians are flawed in their interpretation.

The Day of Atonement

One of the clearest passages of the Bible where the reckoning of a biblical day is given is in the feast of the Day of Atonement.

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD….It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:27, 32)

Listen to what the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this most clear passage of scripture:

Notice it says that this appointed time was to begin on the 9th at even, and end on the 10th at even. If the 10th day of the seventh month is Day of Atonement, why didn’t YHVH just say keep the 10th as a fast? The point is, the affliction of the soul begins on the 9th day at even (this does not mean the beginning of the day) and ends on the 10th day at even. This time of affliction is spread over two days. (Miller, Ibid.)

Does the scripture say the affliction spreads over two days?

For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 23:29)

There are not two days of affliction during this single Day of Atonement. If the affliction lasted two days, then the word day should have been plural—days—but Moses wrote “that same day.”

Apart from Leviticus 23, there are two other places in scripture that mention the Day of Atonement and the affliction, and in none of these passages will you see that the affliction is for two days. It is only on the single Day of Atonement.

And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you. (Leviticus 16:29)

And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein. (Numbers 29:7)

So the Day of Atonement is on the tenth day of the seventh month. It is a day of affliction, and it is called a Sabbath because no work was to be done on that day, just like the weekly Sabbath was a day of rest. The scripture is absolutely clear as to when the Day of Atonement (called also the Sabbath) starts and finishes—“from even to evening.”

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD….It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” (Leviticus 23:27, 32)

So we have seen how the lunar Sabbatarians are flawed in their interpretation of the Day of Atonement.

In the Time of Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah is specific as to the timing of the beginning of the Sabbath. It commences when it is dark and not when it is bright.

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. (Nehemiah 13:19)

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this clear text?

Nehemiah was “guarding the edges of the Sabbath” so to speak. The Sabbath did not start until dawn . . .” (http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/what-about-nehemiah-1319-it-gives-support-to-sunset-to-sunset -day-length.html)

If the Sabbath was to start twelve hours later, how can sunset be the “edges” of the Sabbath? What about the edges of the Sabbath the other side, that is, after the Sabbath? Would the guarding extend twelve hours after the Sabbath is passed? The whole passage in Nehemiah 13:15–22, is not talking about guarding the edges of the Sabbath, but about guarding the Sabbath itself!

When something is on the edge of something else, it means it is touching the other thing. Let me illustrate. If a person is sitting at the edge of a bench it means he is in contact with the bench. If he is outside the bench then he is not at the edge of the bench, but close to the bench.

When were the gates shut? “… began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut” (Nehemiah 13:19). The gates were shut before the Sabbath, while it was beginning to be dark. When were the gates opened? “… and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19). They were opened after the Sabbath.

All of us agree that the Sabbath ends at sunset. So the gate was opened after sunset. Why did Nehemiah close the gates? “…that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day” (Nehemiah 13:19).

According to the lunar Sabbatarians the holy hours of the Sabbath are only twelve hours—from sunrise to sunset. Instead of closing the gates for just over twelve hours, Nehemiah closed the gates for close to twenty-four hours! That’s not allowing trade for two different days! But Nehemiah shut the gate so that “no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.” He was only guarding the hours of the Sabbath day which were twenty-four hours—from sunset to sunset.

If the Sabbath began at sunrise and Nehemiah was to close the gates from trade and commerce during the Sabbath hours, then the text should have read when the gates of Jerusalem ended to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, but Nehemiah wrote “when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19).

The reason the ancient cities had gates was to protect the city from strangers entering in at night. The gates of the cities were closed every night. This was a custom that was practiced by all. For example, look at the city of Jericho. They, too, closed their gate when it was night, when it was dark:

And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. (Joshua 2:5)

But Nehemiah shut the gates of Jerusalem, before the usual time because he wanted to protect the Sabbath hours from trade and commerce! Why? Because Sabbath starts at sunset and not sunrise!

So we see the lunar Sabbatarians are also flawed in their explanation of the passage of Nehemiah.

The Crucifixion and the High Sabbath

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31)

The lunar Sabbatarians agree that a high Sabbath or a high day is when the yearly Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath coincide:

A High Sabbath was the term used when a yearly appointed Feast Sabbath landed on a regular seventh-day Sabbath. (Kerrie L. French, The Twelve Criteria of the True Crucifixion Date, p. 3; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscalendar.com/ Articles/Twelve_Criteria/03_Twelve_Criteria.html)

I couldn’t find their reason as to why the legs of the thieves were broken in a hurry before sunset, but I found the passage where they give a reason as to why the embalming of Jesus’ body was not done immediately after his death that night.

The only reason Yahushua’s body was not embalmed during the dark hours after His death was because it was the Feast of Passover, a Holy Convocation, and also called a yearly Sabbath. This Feast of Passover was the only Holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours, which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib. This was not because a seventh-day Sabbath was to begin at sunset. (http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/i-was-taught-that-the-yahushua-was-crucified-on-a-friday.html; emphasis in original; accessed 10–13–13)

French is quoted above as saying a high Sabbath is when the “Feast Sabbath landed on a regular seventh-day Sabbath,” but in the immediate quotation above, World’s Last Chance (author unknown) states the feast Sabbath began on 14th night and the weekly Sabbath began on 15th morning. They are being inconsistent! How can an annual Sabbath be twenty-four hours and the weekly Sabbath be just twelve hours?

John clearly indicates that the High Sabbath was beginning that night; therefore, they did not want the bodies to remain on the cross. Now a high Sabbath, according to their belief as well, is when both Sabbaths meet together. So, that night both Sabbaths started. If this were not so, John should not have called it the “high day” but should have only called it the yearly Sabbath day.

If the Sabbath only began at sunrise, then why were they rushing to break the legs of the thieves and take them down from the cross nearly fifteen hours before the Sabbath began?

This is the precise reason why they did not embalm the body of Jesus that very night (because it was a High Sabbath), and that is also the precise reason why they broke the legs of the thieves so that they wouldn’t be hanging all night, as the High Sabbath (that is—both Sabbaths) would commence that sundown.

So we see the lunar Sabbatarians are contradictory in their interpretation on the High Sabbath. Their explanations are flawed.

The Third Day and the Resurrection

The Bible says in the gospel of John that Mary found the stone rolled away when she reached the tomb while it was “yet dark”:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this clear text?

“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” John 20:1 (NKJV)…This is one of the cases where there is some discrepancy in the Gospel Accounts. (www.worldslast chance.com, “Doctrine and Practice”; article not available on 10–13–13)

When it was “yet dark” means the sunrise had not yet taken place. John calls this time, the time before sunrise, as “the first day of the week” which clearly indicates that a new day began before sunrise.

The text of John poses a problem to them. So they prefer quoting Matthew, who uses the phrase “as it began to dawn,” and Mark, who writes “at the rising of the sun.” So the first day of the week is “as it began to dawn” or “at the rising of the sun,” and that suits their idea of a day beginning at sunrise.

But since John calls the “yet dark” period as the first day of the week, it’s puzzling to them, and they say there is “some discrepancy in the gospel accounts”! For us, it is no discrepancy.

The “yet dark” period and the “rising of the sun” both perfectly fit the first day of the week for us because the first day of the week started at sunset Saturday evening and ends sunset Sunday evening.

John wrote that when Mary came to the tomb it was “yet dark,” and the other gospel writers wrote it was “as it began to dawn” or “at the rising of the sun.” That is no contradiction, if we carefully see what each of them wrote.

John mentions only one person, Mary, coming to the tomb:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

Matthew mentions two people:

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1)

Mark mentions three people:

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (Mark 16:1)

Luke mentions more than three people:

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. (Luke 24:10)

Now were there one, two, three, or more than three women at the tomb? The answer is they all did not come there as the same time. They were not all staying in the same house. They would all come from different directions and meet at the tomb. Putting all the records together, we can conclude Mary Magdalene came first, while it was “yet dark,” Mary the mother of James joined Mary Magdalene when it “began to dawn,” and Salome joined the two Marys at the “rising of the sun.”

Here is a confirmation, from the pen of inspiration, of the order of events as we have just seen it from the Bible itself:

The Sabbath was past, and Mary Magdalene came early in the morning, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher. Other women were to meet her there, but Mary was the first at the sepulcher. (Christ Triumphant, p 284)

Mark also confirms that Jesus appeared to Mary first, for she was the first one to come at the tomb.

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. (Mark 16:9)

So, you see, for the lunar Sabbatarians there is “some discrepancy in the Gospel Accounts,” but for us there is a perfect and harmonious gospel account of the resurrection of our Lord that took place on the first day of the week, even while it was “yet dark” before sunrise, and that shows a new day is reckoned, not at sunrise, but at sunset.

Talking about the timing of the resurrection, the pen of inspiration records:

“The night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come” (The Desire of Ages, p. 779).

In the above quotation the pen of inspiration puts the night of the first day of the week before the day of the first day of the week.

At the brightest hour of the day, there was darkness at the cross. Now at the darkest hour of the night, there was brightness, at the tomb, when the angels of light and glory descended!

The Night Belonged to Which Day?

We have seen that the night comes first, then comes the day in God’s reckoning of time. The biblical time is important to us when it comes to the sacred hours; otherwise, it doesn’t really matter to us as to which comes first—night or day.

God’s people were under different foreign rules from time to time—the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, etc. As they were living in different influences and cultures, it was natural for them to communicate daily in the most natural way to them.

For example, though we all believe in the biblical time-reckoning, how do we speak today in reference to time? When I ask you about the timing of your breakfast, lunch, and supper, you will answer me in today’s manner of speaking.

For example, breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and supper at 7 p.m. But this is incorrect as far as the biblical reckoning of time goes—8 a.m. is eight hours after midnight (the Roman reckoning of a new day is at 12 midnight), 1 p.m. is thirteen hours after the new day began, and 7 p.m. is nineteen hours after the new day began.

God’s time of reckoning would be breakfast at the second hour (after sunrise, if sunrise was at 6 a.m.), lunch at the seventh hour (after sunrise at 6 a.m.), and supper at the first hour of the night (after sunset).

The lunar Sabbatarians think that the hours in the Bible are only the twelve hours of the day from sunrise to sunset. They say, “The nights are not defined by hours, but by an altogether different system of measurement known as the four watches.” (Kerrie L. French, http://www.thecreators calendar.com/Articles/three_months/3_02_The_Mo untain.html).

But the Bible talks about the hours of the night as well:

And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night. (Acts 23:23)

Are we wrong in using the Roman reckoning of time in our daily speeches? No! The Bible uses it as well. When was Jesus crucified? Mark says it was the third hour.

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. (Mark 15:25)

That is the Jewish method of calculating time (3rd hour from sunrise—9 a.m. our time). But look at how the Apostle John writes:

And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. (John 19:14–16)

Sixth hour Jewish time would be twelve noon for us. But we know that Jesus was crucified at the 3rd hour—9 a.m. our time.

John was using the Roman method of calculation here. At twelve midnight a new day begins in the Roman reckoning, and the sixth hour would be 6 a.m.

It is not that John always used the Roman time-reckoning; he mixed both. In chapter 4 we see John using the Jewish time-reckoning:

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. (John 4:6)

That is twelve noon.

When the Bible says “tonight” or “this night” as in Exodus 12, or “tomorrow” or “morrow” as in the giving of the manna in reference to the morning hours, or “yesternight” as in the case of Lot’s story, it is the most natural way of saying it. We who also honor the biblical holy hours speak the same way.

And don’t forget the Israelites were used to speaking in the Egyptian reckoning of time when they came out of Egypt, as we are used to speaking in the Roman reckoning of time even today being under the Roman influence as far as the daily manner of speaking goes in reference to time.

Pliny, the great Roman author of the first century, gives us details of how different people and nations reckoned time:

The Babylonians count the period between two sunrises, the Athenians that between two sunsets, the Umbrians from midday to midday, the common people everywhere from dawn to dark, the Roman priests and the authorities who fixed the official day, and also the Egyptians and Hipparchus, the period from midnight to midnight. (Pliny, Natural History bk. 2, ch. 79, p. 188, as cited by Jack Finegan in Handbook of Biblical Chronology, p. 8 and by Robert L. Odom in Sunday in Roman Paganism, p. 215)

So to make a new doctrine based on passages that refer to the common way of speaking is to make unsound doctrine. Would anyone like to make a new doctrine that Jesus was crucified twice; because Mark says he was crucified at the third hour and John says he was still in Pilate’s hall the sixth hour the same day?

Paul cautions us of such kinds of deceptions:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)

The truth is crystal clear for all who want to see it. The holy hours of the Sabbath are twenty four hours. The biblical Sabbath day is from sunset to sunset.

From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:32)


 

Tags:  Lunar Sabbath, Lunar Sabbaths, Luni-solar Calendar, Creation calendar, New moon Sabbath, Lunar Calendar, Yahweh’s Calendar, God’s Calendar, Biblical Calendar, Old Testament Calendar, Floating Sabbath, Jews Calendar, Jewish calendar, Bible Calendar, true calendar, 8th 15th 22nd and 29th Sabbaths, Floating weekly Sabbath, Sabbath, Seventh day Sabbath, World’s last chance, WLC, WLC challenge, calendar fraud, Hebrew Calendar, 12 hour Sabbath, Sabbath sunrise to sunset, www.worldslastchance.com, www.creationcalendar.com, www.4angelspublications.com

 
Support
Support Clear Bible Answers

Pastor Michael Pedrin Preaching