return to homepage

Resurrection Morning Events Show
Sabbath Does Not Start at Sunrise

This page addresses point #4 of "My Burden is Light" If you haven't, please read the introduction. For the moment, I am leaving points 1-3 as they mainly define that "evening" can be used to describe what we would call the afternoon, the time between noon and sunset and that is a legitimate use of the word.

Point #4 is reproduced (with only some minor formatting changes) in the shaded portion below. The examination and commentary of it follows.

Biblical Proof: a Day Begins at Sunrise

#4. Something very interesting is revealed and confirmed in Matt 28:1. Notice:

"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 sepulcher."

Notice carefully that which is being stated. We are told that the two Mary's came to the sepulcher at the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn [G2020] towards the first day of the week. This clearly indicates that the end of the Sabbath came just before dawn [G2020] on the first day of the week! The word "dawn [G2020]" in Matt 28:1 continues to confirm this Biblical truism. "Dawn" is translated from the Greek word "epiphosko" and could be translated as: "begin to grow light, dawn." Matt 28:1 could be translated as follows:

"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to grow light toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher."

Is it not so clear that the end of the Sabbath (or the end of any day) came as it began to grow light the next day? In other words, the Sabbath did NOT end before sunset, but before the following sunrise! Notice the following translations of this same scripture:

"Now late on the Sabbath ... as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week ..." (Matt 28:1, American Standard Version)

"Now late on Sabbath, as it was the dusk of the next day after Sabbath ... " (Matt 28:1, Darby)

If it was "late on the Sabbath" and beginning "to dawn toward the first day of the week" when the two Mary's went to the sepulcher, it should be plainly obvious that the Sabbath does not end at sunset! Meditate deeply on this important Truth, and allow the Bible to interpret itself!

Following is my commentary on the above. This commentary represents my best understanding of the subject of the timing of the Biblical day of rest but please note that it is just that. I do not claim to be completely correct. You need to study this and any subject for yourself and make your own decision.

Indeed Matthew 28:1 is interesting:

"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 sepulcher." (Matt 28:1)

There are a few translation issues here which I have dealt with in my book about the resurrection: In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code that Reveals What Is In the Heart of God.

End

"End" is translated from the Greek word "opse" which is described as:

3796 oqe opse op-seh'
from the same as 3694 (through the idea of backwardness); (adverbially) late in the day; ; v
AV-in the end 1, even 1, at even 1; 3
1) after a long time, long after, late
1a) late in the day, i.e. at evening
1b) the sabbath having just passed, after the sabbath
1b1) at the early dawn of the first day of the week

The word "opse" is used in two other verses which will help us determine how the Bible uses the word:

"And when even was come, he went out of the city." (Mark 11:19)

This verse seems to be referring to Jesus leaving Jerusalem for the night before returning the next morning. The following is more obvious:

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:" (Mark 13:35)

Jesus here mentions the four watches of the night, the evening being the first one.

Dawn

The word "dawn" is translated from the Greek word "epiphosko" which is described as:

2020 epifwskw epiphosko ep-ee-foce'-ko
a form of 2017; TDNT-9:310,1293; v
AV-begin to dawn 1, draw on 1; 2
1) to grow light, to dawn

This is consistent with the meaning of evening being the dark part of the day. It was towards the end of the evening or dark part of the day, shortly before dawn, when they came to the tomb. This is consistent with the accounts in the other gospels.

First day of the week

The phrase "first day of the week" is also mistranslated as is described in detail in the book In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code that Reveals What Is In the Heart of God. "Week" is translated from the word "sabbaton" which always means the Sabbath. The resurrection was not on the first day of the week at all. This idea has been promoted from very early in the Christian era as a means to bolster Sunday sacredness. See more details about Jesus' resurrection.

It is not the end of the sabbath (near sunset) as it is beginning to dawn (early in the morning.) That is pretty obvious and it is that discrepancy that has, in part, brought about the sunrise start to the Sabbath idea. It is clear in scripture that "even" is also used in reference to sunset:

"And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils." (Mark 1:32)

Here are some more-correct, literal, English translations of Matthew 28:1:

"Now it is the evening of the sabbaths. At the lighting up [dawn] into one of the sabbaths came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to behold the sepulcher." (Matt 28:1, The Concordant Literal New Testament)

"And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre," (Matt 28:1, Young's Literal Translation)

"But late in the sabbaths, at the dawning into the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene and the other Mary came to gaze upon the grave." (Matt 28:1, KJ3 Literal Translation)

It is pretty obvious that these events happened early in the morning starting while it was yet dark and while it was still Sabbath. They continued on and:

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." (John 20:19)

Now we have an event happening the same day and still on Sabbath (mistranslated, in both cases, as "first day of the week). It is later in the day yet still on Sabbath. "Evening" is used here either because it is at the point of sunset (about to become the next day) or it is referring to evening as late in the afternoon (before sunset). Clearly, in scripture, "evening" can refer to the time the sun sets:

"And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils." (Mark 1:32)

Here is a diagram to illustrate that the events from John 20:1 (before sunrise, yet on Sabbath) to John 20:19 (on Sabbath) happened the same day.

John 20:19 illustrated

There was an event while it was yet dark - before sunrise and an event late in the day. Both are described as being on Sabbath. Clearly, the Sabbath includes both the light and dark portions of the day and does not start at sunrise.

You cannot have events happening
before and after sunrise and both be on
Sabbath if the Sabbath starts at sunrise.
There is no getting around this point. There are other points brought up in "My Burden is Light" which seem, at first, to support its theory that the Sabbath starts at sunrise. However, as has been dealt with on this page, there are other translation issues. We will look at those in the following pages.  


Light on the Dark Side

Free book
God is even better than you've ever hoped or imagined.

Prophecy Newsletter
Receive free newsletters reporting and analysing world events related to prophecy.
The Greek has multiple words for forgiveness? God forgives (charizomai) whether we ask or not. Receiving forgiveness (apheimi) is by our choice.
God always forgives!
   

Enjoyed This Site?

Then please use the button below, to add
us to your favorite bookmarking service. And tell your friends about it too.

Subscribe To
This Site

XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Please leave a comment below.

POWERED BY SITE BUILD IT