'And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.' (Gen. 1:5).
Day: (S-3117) Yowm, Yome - To be hot, as in warm hours from sunrise to sunset.
Light: (S-216) Owr, Ore - Illumination - Bright - Clear.
Darkness: (S-2822) Choshek, Kho-shek - Dark - Figuratively: misery, destruction, Death.
Night: (S-3915) layil lah'-yil or (Isa. 21:11) leyl lale; properly, a twist (away of the light), i.e. night; figuratively, adversity:--((mid-))night (season).
Morning: (S-1242)'boqer','sunrise', 'end of night', 'coming of daylight', and 'beginning of day'
Light is day! Day is light! The absence of light is what darkness is! To put it another way: darkness is the absence of light! So, when He called light Day, it cannot include darkness because darkness is an antonym for light, the opposite in meaning. It is the defining description direct from Scripture! Without arbitrary assumptions, day cannot include darkness because He separated them by calling light day and darkness night. With that in mind, read the fourth Commandment in a new light:
'Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahuweh thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:' (Ex.20:9.10).
The same word for 'day' (Heb., Yowm) is used in the fourth commandment, therefore, the Sabbath Day is a day of Light that does not include darkness because He separated them by the definitions Day and Night.
From the first day, Yah gave the appellation 'Day' (Heb. 'Yowm') to His light, but darkness He called 'Night' (Heb.'Layil'), because He had divided His light from the already existing darkness. (Cf. Gen 1:4). These are the words Yahuweh gave to us as He saw the light He had created and called it good. 'And Elohim saw the light, that it was good: and Elohim divided the light from the darkness.' (Gen. 1:4).
'Divided' is a key word. What does it mean? On day four, Yahuweh declared that dividing the light was good (Cf. Gen. 1:18), but on none of the creation days did He say that darkness was good. Light is absent in darkness disqualifying it for designation as good.
In the Hebrew text, the word 'divided' (Heb. badal) is in the form of a causative verb, meaning Yah caused something to happen which separated the light from the darkness. The separation of light from darkness reveals a major benefit of the Creator's light. Since light is the absence of darkness, one must be aware of the separating power of light. 'And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not'. (Jn. 1:5).
From day one of the creation, the one element that is common to all of Yah's creation days is His light that is kept separate from darkness in a unique process. The Day/Night names apply specifically to Planet Earth, because the Earth's rotation alternately reveals light and darkness as separated on opposite surfaces, making the Day/Night designations a creation fact of separation.
Evening and morning mark out the beginning and end of darkness, which cannot represent a full day/night cycle. As the Earth spins on its axis in a counter-clockwise motion, west to east, evening and morning occur precisely at the same moment in time on opposite sides of the globe. Thus, evening and morning are not successive as we normally think of them on a solar day. We view a solar day from a fixed position on Earth with dawn followed by daylight, and the subsequent evening leading into darkness. That is, we are inclined to think of a day as a 24 hour successive cycle.
However, if we could view Earth from space as it spins from west to east; we could observe Yah's Day in progress. First light appears just before dawn at Sunrise on one side of the planet, while 180 degrees to the west, dusk signals the approaching darkness of Night on the opposite side of the Earth.
The evening and morning are equidistant on each of the sides, whether measured on the dark side or on the lighted side. Thus Day can just as easily be described similarly to the way that Yah defined light as separated from darkness: 'And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.' (Gen. 1:5).
The Apostolic Day
The following Scriptures show clearly that apostolic believers started their day at sunrise while also honoring the darkness portion of the civil day of the Sanhedrin that began and ended a day at sunset.
'Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.' (Mt. 28:1).
If it is late on the Sabbath day at dawn, then the Sabbath must have started at the previous dawn.
'Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun was risen' (Mk. 16:2).
How could it be early if the day started at sunset or midnight? If it were sunset, then the day would have been more than half over and it would not have been early.
'Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.' (Lk. 24:1).
Luke said it was early in the morning of the first day of the week, then the Sabbath must have ended a few minutes before. Obviously, Luke considered that it was a sunrise to sunrise day.
'The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.' (Jn. 20:1).
John said it was early on the first day of the week before sunup. Therefore, the seventh day was ending as the first day was beginning. It was a sunrise to sunrise day.
The 24 Hour Day Now, we must acknowledge that the word 'day' as translated from the Hebrew word 'yowm' does have two applications that depend on the context in which it is used. The word can mean the daylight portion from Sunrise to Sunset, but it can also include the night portion with the daylight portion, describing a day/night 24 hour day.
An outstanding example of Scripture's day/night, twenty four hour Day/Yom, is found in the account of the first Passover. 'In the fourteenth day (yowm) of the first month at even is Yahuweh's Passover' (Lev. 23:5). On that fourteenth day the Passover lamb was killed between the evenings in the late afternoon, but the memorial itself started in the evening.
The next day, Yisrael departed Egypt at dawn on the 15th day of the first month: 'And they departed from Ramses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Yisrael went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.' (Num. 33:3).
The 'morrow after the Passover' could only be the following day, the first day of Unleavened Bread, or the fifteenth day of the first month, which had to begin at Sunrise. The entire Passover occupied the day, evening and night hours of the fourteenth day of the first month, Sunrise to Sunrise.
The Genesis account of the creation week spells it out: 'the evening and morning were the fourth day.' (Gen. 1:19). If the fourth day of creation ended in the morning, which is what it says, then all of the creation days end in the morning. So, when does the following day start? Of course! The next day starts as all days do, in the morning.
What is evening? Answer: It is the end of day. What is morning? Answer: It is the beginning of day. Conversely, one could say that evening is the beginning of night darkness and morning is the end of night darkness. Either way, it is a figurative fence around darkness. Advisory! Don't cross the fence unless the text says to cross the fence!
The Beginning of Day One more bit of evidence that a day in Scripture never begins in the evening. Consider these passages about 'tomorrow:
'And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.' (Ex. 18:13).
'Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal, David's wife, told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, tomorrow thou shalt be slain.' (1 Sam. 19:11).
'In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women,' (Esther 2:14).
The Sun extends its rule after the day (light) by the lesser lights of the Moon and Stars. Every day (light) starts at dawn and ends at evening, but the full day and night ends at the following dawn. The sunset to sunset day tradition is a flagrant violation of a simple truth, which is a deserving target of Isaiah's warning: 'Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!' (Isa. 5:20). You cannot mingle light with darkness in the pursuit of truth (light). Separate light from darkness and truth will be revealed.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that Yahuweh is light, and in him is no darkness at all.' (1 Jn. 1:5).
'Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.' (1 Thess. 5:5).