This post intends to establish, using the scriptures, the understanding of the day vs night with a lean to the Bible Calendar. The knowledge is essential as it plugs into many precepts and is fundamental in understanding the biblical calendar. This Understanding is vital for prophecies and for knowing and keeping the appointed times, feast days and holy days in the scriptures.
Modern Definition Night & Day
The common knowledge of a day is:
- a 24-hour day
- daytime (the bright portion of the 24-hour cycle)
The common understanding of a night is:
- nighttime (the dark portion of the 24-hour cycle)
Biblical Day vs Night
The biblical understanding of day and night is different from the modern definition, which can be seen in the following evidence points. There are a few differences that may seem slight but significantly impact precepts and other understandings throughout the scriptures.
Daytime vs Day
The following passages show that the lights created, the sun, moon and stars, rule the day and night. The sun rules the day, and the moon and stars the night. This information establishes the split between day and night and the light which leads each period.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.Genesis 1:16 (KJV)
7. To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:Psalms 136:7-9 (KJV)
8. The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
9. The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.Psalms 121:6 (KJV)
Again, the distinction between night and day is reaffirmed, but also, the verse establishes two meanings of the word day. The same Hebrew word, יוֹם (yôwm), is used both to signify the daytime and the whole day. The bright part is the day, and both morning (daytime) and evening (nighttime) are also considered the day.
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 (KJV)
Jesus now established that alongside the daytime, it is split into 12 hours. This innocent looking fact poses a significant difference to the modern-day concept of day and night.
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 (KJV)
The day despite how long or short it is, always contains 12 hours and is during the bright part of the whole day. This, by contrast, would differentiate the nighttime (the night) from the day.
38. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?John 1:38-39 (KJV)
39. He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
This example intertwines and solidifies the above verse, showing that the daytime is divided into numbered hours and that the understanding is 12 hours from sunrise to sunset.
Morning equals Daytime
In addition to the evidence already presented, this example shows that the morning is the day and the early morning is at the sun’s rising.
1. 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 16:1-2 (KJV)
2. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
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 (KJV)
Here again, we see that the dawn, which comes before sunrise, is approaching the day. This fact further establishes that the day is the light part of the day-night cycle.
Battle in the Day
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;Psalms 91:5 (KJV)
12. Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.Joshua 10:12-14 (KJV)
13. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
14. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
Battles are fought in the light and through Joshua’s desire to destroy the enemy is requested of GOD to stop the sun and the moon from moving so that night would not approach the battle before the enemy was destroyed.
Night turned to Day
6. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:Zechariah 14:6-8 (KJV)
7. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
This prophecy shows that at a point in time in the future where at the evening (night) it shall be light, showing the reversal of the established nighttime.
The evidence shows that day (daytime) is the light part of the day, and the dark part is the night. In some instances, the day reference is for the entire morning and evening; however, when the context refers to a portion of the day, the bright part is the day and the dark part is the night.