Sabbath Start Time
The Sabbath start time has long been recognized at being at sunset. Recent challenges to this propose that the Sabbath includes only the light portion of a 24-hour period. This is based on the idea that "day" refers to only the daylight portion of a 24-hour period. This page shows verses referring to events in the night as being on a day and other evidence to support the Biblical sunset-to-sunset Sabbath start and end times.
No Commerce on the Sabbath
"In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, ... Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. 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." (Neh 13:15-19)
As the sun gets low in the sky the light begins to fade. The beautiful gate at least, being east of the temple and shaded by the mount of Olives further to the east, would be in the shade before actual sunset. Notice: "began to be dark." This is just before sunset.
This Day in This Night
If a person, at night while it is dark, makes a reference to that moment in time and says "this day" then he must be regarding the night as part of the 24-hour day. Here are a few examples where this happens:
"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; also Luke 22:34)
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:8-11)
Here is an interesting story that uses the word "day' to refer to a time in the night. Four lepers were outside the city of Samaria in the kingdom of Israel when it was besieged by the Syrians.
"And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there." (2 Kings 7:5)
The lepers explored around the abandoned camp as twilight darkened into night.
"And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it." (2 Kings 7:8)
The events described in verse 8 would have taken some time.
"Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household." (2 Kings 7:9)
This was said at night as they were anticipating the coming of light in the morning. They felt they should share the good news and went to tell the people of the city.
"And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city." (2 Kings 7:12)
The timing of events would look like this:
Since the lepers "rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians" it would clearly be well into the night before they made the statement "this day is a day ..." All of the next events listed happened before sunrise the next morning ("the king arose in the night") yet references are made to the time being both "this day" and "in the night." This can only be if the night is also considered part of the (24-hour) day.
Raised the Third Day
Many verses speak of Jesus' resurrection on "the third day." The book
In the Heart of the Earth: The Secret Code That Reveals What Is In the Heart of God
shows that the resurrection happened between sunset and sunrise. If this event happened at night how could there be so many references to the resurrection on the third day? See more about
resurrection timing and the start of the sabbath.
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." (Matt 16:21)
(See also Matt 17:23, 20:19, Mark 9:31, 10:34, Luke 9:22, 18:33, 24:7, Acts 10:40, 1 Cor 15:4 )
On this page, yet more evidence has been presented for Sabbath start time being at sunset.
For some very solid evidence of when a day starts and ends, go to the next page
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