Q: When Does the Day of the Bible Begin and End?
THE THREE DIFFERENT DAYS OF THE BIBLE
A. Some believe that the day begins at daybreak or sunrise; others
believe that the day begins at sunset.  Those who believe that sunrise
begins the day have tried to force every biblical reference to “day”
into their theory; and those who believe that sunset begins the day
have tried to do the same.  The truth is that there are at least three
different "days" in the bible.

The Workday begins at daybreak – officially at sunrise – with noon
being the sixth hour of the day; the twelfth hour ends the workday.  
However, even though the workday ends with the twelfth hour, the
evening of the workday follows it and the night of the workday does
the same – proof of this follows.  In other words, this day is a 24-hour
day when we include the night.  Christ referred to this day in the book
of the Apostle John when He asked, “Are there not twelve hours in
the day?” – that is in the daylight or work portion of the day.

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

Then we have the Calendar Day:  It begins at sunset and ends at
sunset – it too is a 24-hour day.  The bible references this day in
Leviticus:  “from even (sunset) unto even (sunset) shall you celebrate
your Sabbath”.  However, notice that in this same verse, “the ninth
day of the month” refers to the ninth workday followed by its evening.  
If this were not true, the ninth day of the month would be a Calendar
Day and we would keep Atonement on the ninth day of the month.  
However, the bible informs us to keep Atonement on the tenth day of
the month – from the evening of the ninth workday until the evening of
the tenth workday.  Therefore, the tenth calendar day of the month is
from the sunset of the ninth workday until the sunset of the tenth
workday.  This supports our statement above that the evening and
night of the workday follows it rather than going before it.

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

Leviticus 23:27 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.

On the other hand, the makeup of the Calendar Day begins and ends
with sunset.  This requires that the evening of the Calendar Day come
before its daylight period.  It is without doubt that God had His
reasons for so structuring the Calendar Day.  Remember that the
Calendar Day determines the holy portion of a Holyday.  Had God
begun the Calendar Day with sunrise, the evening portion of the day
would have been anti-climatic.  The way God structured the Calendar
Day gives the nighttime of the day an anticipatory mood – looking
forward to the active daylight portion of the day rather than the
reverse.  Also, as God designed His creation of man in an agricultural
setting, His design of the Calendar Day was the only way so that man
could take care of his livestock before and after the holy portion of a
given Calendar Day.  In other words, man could give his complete
attention to the reason for life on the weekly Sabbath or the annual
Sabbath day free from the toils of taking care of those animals under
his dependency.

There is yet another day of the bible that few know about:
Creation
Day.
 According to Moses in the first chapter of Genesis, Creation Day
began at noon.  If one focuses on the statement, “evening and morning
was the first day” the only conclusion he can reach is that the Creation
Day began at noon.  

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

When we learn later – in eleven places in the bible (See the Passover)
– the term “between the two evenings” we understand that noon
begins the first evening and sunset begins the second evening.  
“Between the two evenings” is an idiom meaning “between the
beginnings of the two evenings.

In the
Workday, which begins with morning , God structured the day
thus: morning (daybreak - in practice 6AM) – 1st evening (noon) – 2nd
evening (sunset - night is part of the second evening).

In the
Calendar Day, which begins with sunset, God structured the day
thus: 2nd evening (sunset) – morning (daybreak) – 1st evening (noon)

In the
Creation Day, from noon to noon, God structured the two
evenings of the day thus: 1st evening (noon) – 2nd evening (sunset) –
morning (daybreak).

The following chart should help to sort out the three days of the bible:
morn
noon
sunset
night
morn
noon
sunset
night
morn
noon
sunset
night
*  Workday
**  Cal Day
***Creation Day
9th   
      10th
      11th
     
    9th
      10th
      11th
 
  9th
      10th
      11th
   
*John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day (workday)?  
If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this
world.

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

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

It should now be clear to the reader why confusion has prevailed
concerning when the day begins and ends in the bible.  One must
focus on a given passage to determine which day the bible
references – comparing it with other scriptures that deal with the
same subject matter.  If one makes a judgmental blunder at any
given passage, he will create and cling to doctrinal error.

The bible usually gives enough information in the context so that one
can avoid inaccuracy.  Take the case of the Day of Atonement.  The
bible informs us directly that the Day of Atonement is on the Tenth
Day of the seventh month.

Leviticus 23:27 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.

The question that comes to us next is which day: 1) Workday, 2)
Calendar Day, or 3) Creation Day.

The answer: Calendar Day.  We know this because the bible informs
us directly concerning the Day of Atonement:

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

Atonement Day began at even (sunset) of the ninth day and
continued from even (sunset) until even (sunset).  The only thing
that will fit for Atonement is from sunset of the ninth workday until
sunset of the tenth workday.  If the ninth day of Leviticus 23:32 is a
Calendar Day, then one must keep Atonement for two days!  
However, God never informed us or even hinted that we must keep
Atonement for more than one day.  

The only way we can reconcile this riddle is by understanding the
different types of days in the bible.  Leviticus 23:32 informs us that
we must afflict our souls (fast) beginning with the ninth workday of
the month, at sunset and continue from that sunset until the sunset
of the tenth workday of the month.  After all, the period between
these two sunsets is the tenth Calendar Day of the month.

This seems easy enough with Atonement: One never hears of
anyone that uses the Hebrew Calendar and misunderstands when to
observe the Day of Atonement.

However, let us study a more complicated example:

Numbers 9:5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first
month at even (between the two evenings
) in the wilderness of Sinai:
according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did the children of
Israel.

One theory suggests that the bible, for the fourteenth day at even,
intends the Calendar Day, which begins the previous evening.  In
addition, because the bible, in Numbers 9:5, uses the term “between
the two evenings” to give us a more exact time of the Passover, two
theories have sprung up concerning when “between the two
evenings” really is – thereby, confusing the bible’s intention of
avoiding uncertainty!

Theory 1) “between the two evenings” is from noon to sunset of a
given day.
Theory 2) “between the two evenings” is from sunset until dark of a
given day.

If Theory One is correct, we have only one possible answer to our
riddle: The afternoon of the Workday and the afternoon of the
Calendar Day are the same.  One would slay the Passovers in the
afternoon of the 14th just as Christ died in the afternoon of the
14th, as our Passover.

1Corinthians 5:7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new
lump, as you are unleavened.  
For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for
us:

If Theory Two is correct, we have two possible answers to our
riddle: 1) If the bible intends the Workday for the 14th of the month
“between the two evenings” would come after sunset of the 14th –
after the work portion of the day – on the 15th Calendar Day of the
month – definitely contrary to the scriptures; 2) If the bible intends
the Calendar Day for the 14th day of the month “between the two
evenings” would come the previous evening at the end of the 13th
Workday of the month or the beginning of the 14th Calendar Day.

Those who believe that the Passover comes at the beginning of the
14th cling to the theory that “between the two evenings” comes
after sunset and that the 14th is a Calendar Day – otherwise the
Passover could not fall at the beginning of the 14th.

Those who believe that Passover came in the afternoon of the 14th
of the month are not so concerned because “between the two
evenings” comes on the afternoon of the 14th whether one considers
it a Workday or Calendar Day.

In either case, we must first determine which theory of “between
the two evenings” is correct before we can proceed to determine
whether the bible speaks of the 14th as a Workday or as a Calendar
Day.

Let us consider Numbers 33:3.  The Israelites departed from
Rameses, Egypt on the 15th day of the first month on the morrow
after the Passover.  If one believes that “between the two evenings”
is in the afternoon of a day, then the Israelites slew the Passovers in
the afternoon of the 14th workday and stayed in their homes during
that night and left out of Egypt immediately the following morning of
the 15th.

However, if one believes that “between the two evenings” of the
14th day of the month is a Calendar Day, then the Israelites slew the
Passovers the previous evening and stayed in their homes during
that night and then waited 24 hours from the morrow of the 14th
until the morrow of the 15th before they began to leave Egypt.  Is
this possible?

Numbers 33:3 And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the
fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children
of Israel went out
with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

The day following the Passover, the Egyptians were urgent on the
people, that they might send them out of the land in haste.

Exodus 12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might
send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We [be] all dead [men].

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on
your feet, and your staff in your hand; and
ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the
LORD’S Passover.

The bible states that the Israelites went out of Egypt on the 15th
day of the month; and not only did they leave on the 15th day of the
month, but on the morrow after the Passover – the daylight portion
of the 15th.  Had the Israelites left during the night of the 15th, as
some suggest, the bible could not use the phrase “morrow after the
Passover” in Numbers 33:3.  The “morrow” after the Passover must
be the daylight portion of the day following the Passover.  (For
information concerning Israel going out of Egypt at night, see
The
Passover.)  Some consider that the 14th day is a Holyday from the
sunset of the 13th until the sunset of the 14th.  In that case, the
“morrow” after the Passover – as a day – would be the daylight
portion of the 15th.  However, there would still have been a 24-hour
wait even then from the daylight of the 14th until the daylight of the
15th.

The bible stipulates the 15th Calendar Day of the month as the
Holyday that begins the feast of unleavened bread, as we will see
shortly.

Numbers 28:17And in the fifteenth day of this month [is] the feast: seven days
shall unleavened bread be eaten.

Exodus 12:16 And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and
in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you;
no manner of
work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only
may be done of you.

The bible informs us that the feast of unleavened bread was to last
for seven days, from the 14th day of the month at even until the
twenty-first day of the month at even.  We do not have the
complications of “between the two evenings” in this verse.  
However, we still have the question of whether the bible intends the
Workday or the Calendar day.

Exodus 12:18 In the first [month], on the fourteenth (workday) day of the
month at even,
ye shall eat unleavened bread, until (all the way through) the
one and twentieth (workday) day of the month at even.

Remember that God used the Workday and the Calendar day to
inform us when to keep Atonement.  The indication would seem to
be the same here.  Is there any way of knowing for sure?  We know
that the Holyday is on the 15th, which would begin with sunset of the
14th Workday of the month – the same pattern God used to tell us
when to keep Atonement!

Refer back to our explanation of Atonement to correspond with the
following details.  Remember that the 15th is the first holyday of the
month.  The 15th begins at even (sunset) of the 14th Workday.  
From the sunset of the 14th workday of the month until the sunset of
the 21st workday of the month = 7 Calendar Days.  In other words,
it takes the sunsets of two Workdays to = one Calendar Day.  
Therefore, 14th-15th (1), 15th-16th (2), 16th-17th (3), 17th-18th (4),
18th-19th (5), 19th-20th (6), and 20th-21st (7) Calendar Days of the
month = 7 days of unleavened bread.

If we say that the days of the month in Exodus 12:18 are Calendar
Days, we make the 14th day of the month the first day of
Unleavened Bread: In other words, the 14th becomes the Holyday.  
However, this flies in the face of Numbers 28:17 in two points: 1)
The 15th is the Holyday, and 2) Unleavened Bread is for a total of 7
days.  

Nevertheless, how would Calendar Days work out, for Exodus 12:
18?  Based on Calendar Days, Unleavened Bread = 14th, 15th, 16th,
17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st = 8 days, for Unleavened Bread.  Some
suggest that the word <until> excludes the 21st day of Exodus 12:
18.  For an explanation of the word <until> in Exodus 12:18 read,
Is
the 14th Day of Nisan a Holyday?  The bible specifies the 15th as
the Holyday and the bible stipulates a total of 7 days for Unleavened
Bread – therefore, we know that the 14th day of the month at even
has to refer to a Workday rather than a Calendar Day – otherwise
we have 8 days for Unleavened Bread!  In other words, using
Workdays the scriptures inform us that Unleavened Bread is 7 days,
begins with the 15th Calendar Day of the month, and ends with the
completion of the 21st Calendar Day of the month.  Again, the
context of the bible supplies adequate information so that we can
determine whether it refers to Workdays or Calendar Days.

Numbers 28:17 And in the fifteenth day of this month [is] the feast: seven
days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

If we demand Calendar Days, for Exodus 12:18, we have a total of 8
days altogether.  If we demand that the first day be the 14th and the
first Holyday, we must call the 20th the second Holyday of the
season – then we must keep the 8th day after the last Holyday.  
Therefore, we know we have made an error by calling the 14th a
Calendar Day.  If we use the Workday for our calculation, we
conclude 7 days of Unleavened Bread, in agreement with the
scriptures.

Leviticus 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even (between the
two evenings)
is the LORD’S Passover.
6 And
on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread
to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
7 In
the first day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no servile
work therein.
8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD seven days:
in the
seventh day is a holy convocation
: you shall do no servile work therein.

Based on this information, we can make the deduction that the
correct theory of “between the two evenings” is the afternoon of a
given day.  The 14th was a workday – a preparation day for the 15th
Holyday.  The Israelites killed the Passovers – the lambs – in the
afternoon of the 14th and began the feast of Unleavened Bread at
sunset of the 14th Workday – the beginning of the 15th Calendar
Day of the month.  This is the only thing that will fit with all of the
contents of the bible; anything else meets with contradictions.  This
means that the Passover Feast begins the days of Unleavened Bread
and is the Night to be Much Remembered!

If we use Calendar days for Atonement, in Leviticus 23:32, we must
keep Atonement for two days on the 9th and 10th – contrary to the
scriptures.  If we use Workdays for Atonement, in Leviticus 23:32,
we keep Atonement only one day – the 10th, in agreement with the
scriptures.

If we use Calendar days for Unleavened Bread in Exodus 12:18, we
must keep Unleavened Bread for 8 days – contrary to the
scriptures.  If we use Workdays for Exodus 12:18 we keep 7 days
for Unleavened Bread, in agreement with the scriptures.

Many other doctrinal mystifications exist around Passover.  
Therefore, if the reader wishes to learn more, he may read our book
about
Passover.

What is the summation?  When we see the term “day” in the bible,
and it refers to a literal day of the week or month, we know that it
may be one of three perspectives.  First, determine whether the day
the bible speaks of is a Workday, a Calendar Day, or a Creation Day
– then, proceed on firm ground for doctrine.  If you fail to do this,
you will make blunder after blunder and never find the truth
concerning when to keep certain Holydays.

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