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Birth and Death Day

Birth and death day for about half of people is actually at night yet we speak even today of the day of a person's birth or death. Birth and death day are terms used to include any part of a 24-hour period when a person might have been born or have died.

Here is another piece of evidence pointing to the fact that "day" can include the meaning of the 24-hour time period and not just the daylight hours.

Scripture mentions the day of death for each of the following:

  1. Isaac (Gen 27:2)
  2. Samson (Jud 13:7)
  3. Saul (1 Sam 15:35)
  4. Michal (2 Sam 6:23)
  5. David's ten concubines (2 Sam 20:1)
  6. Azariah (2 Kings 15:5)
  7. Uzziah (2 Chron 26:21)
  8. Jeremiah (Jer 20:4)
  9. Zedekiah (Jer 52:11)
  10. Jehoiachin (Jer 52:34)

It never, as far as I could find, mentions "the night of the death" of anyone. There are 19 people in the list above, some speaking of their own future death. How could they speak with certainty of their future death in the daylight hours when there was a 50% probability that they would die at night? Surely the intent, in these cases, is to refer to the 24-hour day in which they would die. Here are the verses:

"And he said, Behold now, I (Isaac) am old, I know not the day of my death:" (Gen 27:2)

"But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his (Samson's) death." (Jud 13:7)

"And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel." (1 Sam 15:35)

"Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death." (2 Sam 6:23)

"And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood." (2 Sam 20:3)

"And the LORD smote the king (Azariah), so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land." (2 Kings 15:5)

"And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land." (2 Chron 26:21)

"Cursed be the day wherein I (Jeremiah) was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed." (Jer 20:14)

"Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death." (Jer 52:11)

"And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his (Jehoiachin's) death, all the days of his life." (Jer 52:34)

Here are verses that speak of the day of death in general. Since the time of death could equally likely be during the dark hours of the night as during the daylight hours, it must be a reference to the 24-hour day of one's death.

"A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth." (Eccl 7:1)

"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it." (Eccl 8:8)

At least these verses (Jer 20:14, Eze 16:4-5, Hos 2:3) speak of the day when someone was born. Of course, in each case, it is speaking of a past event so it may have been known that the birth happened during daylight hours.

However, in the following passage, speaking of the birth of the Saviour, without a doubt, the night hours are included as part of the day:

"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)

From the verses above, it can be seen that both birth and death day are used in the sense of referring to the 24-hour period in which a person was born or died regardless of whether the actual moment of birth or death was during daylight or night hours.

Go to the next page for some thought questions on when to observe Sabbath.  

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