When Does The Day Begin? At Sunset Or Dawn?

If you ask the average person when the day begins, they would respond "at midnight" or they might respond "in the morning" or "at daybreak" or "at dawn". If you ask a 7th Day Sabbath Keeper or someone who keeps the Holy Days of The Almighty Creator, they would most likely respond "at sunset", "from evening to evening", "from sunset to sunset".

What is the Truth? How do we know? What does the Holy Scriptures say?

Let's take a look at the scriptures people use to say it is from sunset to sunset or evening. This is what I have always been taught by Sabbath keeping Pastors. Let's examine.

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

Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

And so on.

People usually automatically conclude that evening is therefore the beginning of the day since evening is mentioned first in each day. However, let's take a look at the entire context. Notice when The Almighty works, what comes next and what comes next, step by step in the entire context in stead of taking just the "evening and morning were...".

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created (perfectly, without flaw, without defect) the heaven(s) and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, and void (Hebrew – “Tohu Waw Bohu” – desolate and empty [Animal life and plant life no longer existed]); and darkness was (came) upon the face of the deep (by reason of him, the dragon, that subjected the same by hope via vanity Rms.8, Isa. 14; Ezek. 28:15-16). And the Spirit of God moved(Hebrew = "Rachaph", literally means “to brood or to incubate”) upon the face of the waters(Hebrew word “Hamajim” and means “melted water”).
(darkness = Hebrew – “Choshek” – a darkness that keeps out light and heat. “Tehom” – this is the Hebrew word for deep and it means raging waters. Absence of light and heat would result in ice (perhaps a reference to the Ice Age of science). Under this ice were the raging waters. The Spirit of God moved or incubated the ice and melted it into water again)
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Note that this is the very first thing to be renewed/created in this account, it is the very first thing that happens in this day of creation, Light is necessary in the restoration of life on the earth for heat and energy. The re-creation started with creating the light/heat for the earth to come out of the darkness. This is how the 1st day of recreation started!)
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (God did this work and then...) And the evening (it became evening/dusk) and the morning (it became morning/dawn) were the first day (thus the 1st 24 hour day. The context of darkness and daylight shows it is talking about a 24 hour period.).

Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. (God has done this work. It is accomplished.) And the (it became) evening and the morning (dawn/daybreak) were the second day.

Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:13 And the (came to be) evening and the (came to be)morning (dawn/daybreak/sunrise/twilight.....Stop) were the third day (3rd day is finished).

Did you read the above scriptures in your personal paperback/hardback bible today or just only on this website?
If only online, I encourage you to please open your bible and read these verses both on our website and in your bible. There is power in reading the real bible. Also, did you pray before beginning to read about this specific subject today? If not, I encourage you to take the time now to pray for understanding of truth.

Let's study the word "morning".

From H1239; properly dawn (as the break of day); generally morning: - (+) day, early, morning, morrow.

In each scripture session above, God did the work during the day and then it becomes evening/dusk, then it becomes night, then it becomes morning/dawn/break of the day/tomorrow! "Even" is not written first! The Work of God is written first and then the evening is written, then the morning is written, then the next day of work starts. Nothing happens in the dark periods, that's when there is no fruit in darkness. Work is done in the Light of Day, then evening comes and we settle down for the night and lock our doors. Then in the morning we get up and start a new day. Even our bodies teach us this.

Ask any farmer, anyone that lives on the land, the day starts at daybreak! The breaking or ending and starting point of the day. Nature teaches us this lesson!

The doctrine of sunset to sunset is a tradition and causes confusion for beginners and even seasoned sabbath keepers. Does the word "sunset" appear in the word of God? No! It is not there! Look for it and you will not be able to find it! Wow! Praise God for this renewed understanding! Okay, let's look at more evidence!

Lev. 7:15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.

If the offering is eaten the same day and none of it is to be left until morning, then the morning is not the same day! Again morning here is H1242 which means daybreak or break of the day or morrow! Let's look at another!

Passover and The Daybreak from Egypt

Ex. 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
(Passover is on the 14th of 1st month, you eat the passover in the evening. Does not say that the day starts at evening. Just says you kill/eat at evening.)

Ex. 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; [and] with bitter [herbs] they shall eat it. (eat it that night of the 14th)

Ex. 12:10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.
(all of the Passover meal is to be eaten that day, none of it is to be left until the next day or morning! It must be eaten on Passover. The next morning would be a different day!)

Ex. 12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
(1 Cor. 11:25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.)

Ex. 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.
(High Sabbath on 1st day of Unleavened Bread, the day after Passover. Also no work on 21st day of month, the 7th day of Unleavened Bread.)

Ex. 12:18 In the first [month], on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

Exo. 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

Moses told them to not leave until the morrow!

Exo. 12:31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.
:32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.
: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.
:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
:36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
:37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
:39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.
:40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
:41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
:42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.

The children of Israel marched out of Egypt the day (morning or morrow) after the Passover even of the death of the first born of Egypt. The death event occurred at midnight on the day of Passover but they are forbidden to leave their houses on Passover night until morning and they were commanded to leave immediately but not until the tomorrow or daybreak. Then when they marched out of Goshen that morning it was the 1st day of unleavened bread and then later that same night, the 1st night of unleavened bread was the night to be much observed because it was the same day they had went out! Not a different day! If the day starts as sunset, then it would have been a different day. But the Word of God says "...even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
:42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt:"

Exo. 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.

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.

They departed on the 15th day, on the morrow after the Passover!

But yet they were in a hurry and were very angrily being thrust out of Egypt, not even having time to wait for the bread to leaven/rise. They could not wait until evening! They could only wait until morning to depart but no longer!
Now let's review: The Passover angel flew over Egypt on the 14th. It was Passover that night.
The next morning, They left Goshen in the morning on the 15th, the first day of Unleavened Bread. Then they came to the waters. They crossed the waters all night long during the night of the 15th. The evening and night that they crossed is called The Night To Be Much Observed.


Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
(Says nothing about "even"!)

Matt. 28:1 "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 sepulchre."
Mark 16:1 "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun".

Read that over and over again until you understand what it is saying! All 3 verses of the resurrection morning declare that the Sabbath ended at sunrise and the first day of the week started at sunrise!

No more worrying about sunset times. When you see the day break through the darkness, you know that day has come! You can see it! You can see it better than the sunset — or I can, at least. This also gives us more time to prepare on the preparation day, Friday!

And the Other Holy Days:
Lev.23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
(Says nothing about "even"!)


Lev.23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. (In or inside the 14th day, not when the 14th day begins. It says "the LORD's Passover" is at "even", which we know the Passover event/meal/partaking is at even! It does not say the "Day of Passover" starts at even! There is a difference.)

Feast of Unleavened Bread:

Lev. 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

Exodus 12:18: "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even".
(It doesn't say that the day starts at even. Even/sunset is only when you start and stop eating unleavened bread. It says nothing about when the days begin or end. Be careful to not jump to conclusions that the scriptures cannot support.)

We are commanded to eat Unleavened Bread from even to even.
It is not saying that the day starts at evening. It says "on the 14th Day". Not "beginning the 14th day". What it is saying, is that we are to eat unleavened bread from even to even. What does Atonement and the Passover Season have in common? They are both types of fast. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, you are fasting from leavening. Therefore, you start fasting from leavening at sunset on Passover evening, which is the evening before the first day of Unleavened Bread. In the same way that God wants our stomach empty when the Day of Atonement starts at sunrise on the 10th of the 7th month, He also wants us to start the process of removing leavening from our lives as soon as we partake of symbolically His Body and Blood on Passover. This also represents that as soon as we surrender to Him, that the process of removing sin from our lives start. Although He forgives us of our sins as soon as we surrender to Him, it is a life long journey of learning and unlearning and growing in His Will.
The Passover observance/meal (although the day starts at sunrise, actually twilight) is eaten at sunset. It is a solemn observance remembering Christ sacrifice, that we are saved by His Body and Blood, represented by the unleavened bread and wine.
The Night To Be Much Observed is the night after Passover. It is the first day of Unleavened Bread. The observance of the Night to be Much Observed starts at sunset, 24 hours after the Passover communion. It represents the night that God brought the Israelites (which represent the New Testament Church) out of Egypt (which represents a long journey of the process of removal of sin).
The 7 Days of Unleavened Bread are solemn reminders for us to continue to remove sin from our lives. Philippians 2:12-13
Pentecost is a day of celebration. As such, it starts and ends at sunrise and has no commandment to do anything at even or until even.
The Feast of Trumpets is also a day of celebration. There is no commandment to do anything at even.
The Day of Atonement is a solemn day. It is on the 10th of the 7th month.
The fasting observance starts at evening on the 9th. Until the evening on the 10th. It reminds us Christ is our atonement.
The 7 Days of the Feast of Tabernacles are days of celebration and have no eventide commandment.
The 8th Last Great Day is a day of celebration and has no eventide commandment.

In Matt. 26, We see proof that the day of Passover/Unleavened Bread starts before evening comes but is observed at evening.
Matt. 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
(It was not evening yet, but it is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread!)
:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
:20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.


Lev. 23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
:12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
:13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
:14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
:15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
:16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.

(Says nothing about "even" but rather "morrow"! Also the count for Pentecost starts with the morrow after the sabbath or weekly sabbath that occurs during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It does not start with the High Holy Day Sabbath like some teach! We count 7 sabbaths, that is weekly sabbaths, starting with the morrow after the 1st weekly sabbath that is in the midst of Unleavened)
:17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.
:18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
:19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
:20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.
:21 And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute for ever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
:22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Feast of Trumpets:

:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
:25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. (Again says nothing about "even"!)

Day of Atonement:

Lev. 23:26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
: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.
:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
:29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
:30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
:31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
(Only Passover/Unleavened Bread and Atonement says to start anything at an "even".)

It plainly says the Day of Atonement is the 10th Day (vs. 27)! It is the same day! It says it is "that same day" in verse 28, 29 and 30! The confusion comes about where it says 9th day from even to even in verse 32. This is the only Sabbath or Holy day where it uses this phrase of "from even unto even". This is also the only time this phrase "even unto even" in the entire bible! That is interesting! (the closest to it is Unleavened bread which we will discuss in just a minute.) What is unique or different about The Day of Atonement? It is the only day that we are commanded to fast on a particular day. Most fast days are considered minor fast days. That means the fast usually lasts from sunrise to sunset. (Source 1, Source 2. On these days, breakfast is permitted if eaten before sunrise. But the Day of Atonement is different. It is a major commanded fast. It would not do any good to eat a breakfast and then proclaim your fast and say "I'm going to fast now Lord", when you just finished stuffing your stomach! No, you must have your stomach empty or near empty at the beginning of your Day of Atonement fast! So that is why the Lord wants you to start your fasting on the evening of the 9th. But the actual Holy Day is the 10th as it says it is. We understand now why God would want us to start our fast "from" the previous evening. You are fasting from sunrise (which is the beginning of the 10th) until sunset on the 10th because the Holy Day is on the 10th. But you start fasting on the 9th so that your stomach is empty by the 10th, for a true humbling fast.

Why Fasting Ends in the Midst of the Day of Atonement at Sunset

On the Day of Atonement, we are commanded to afflict our souls (fast) on the 10th of the 7th month starting from the sunset of the previous day on the 9th, which in itself also proves that the days are sunrise to sunrise, because you can not start fasting at sunset the previous day on the 9th if that same sunset begins the 10th day! That would not make any sense. Only by having the days go from sunrise to sunrise does it make any sense to begin fasting on the previous day on the 9th at sunset and it not yet be the 10th.
Only the fasting and resting for the observance of the Day of Atonement in the Autumn and the fasting from unleavened bread for the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" in the spring of the year are commanded to be observed from sunset to sunset. None of the other holy days carry that commandment.
There is something very unique about the Day of Atonement that explains why we fast only until sunset on the Day of Atonement, when in fact the holy day itself does not end until sunrise of the 11th. And that is the fact that the saints will temporarily be caught up into Heaven during their fasting on the Day of Atonement, thereby breaking their fast during the midst of the holy day! When we are caught up into Heaven for the Marriage Supper, we will no longer have any flesh. Our flesh will be turned into spirit. We will marry Christ and will partake in a great feast of wine and food in Heaven. That will break our fast! Therefore, every year, we break our fast in the middle of the Day of Atonement at sunset to represent that we will break our fast when we are caught up for the Marriage Supper!
Please click here for proof that we will be caught up on the Day of Atonement.
Please click here if you don't believe that we will ever be caught up into Heaven at any time.

For information about 4 additional holy days that line up perfectly with the end time prophetic time line, please click here!

Feast of Tabernacles:

Lev. 23:33 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD.
:35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (Says nothing about "even"!)
:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
:37 These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
:38 Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.
:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day (Last Great Day or 8th Day) shall be a sabbath. (Says nothing about "even"!)
:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
:44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

Leviticus 24
In the original bibles, there was no separation of chapters. Therefore we should not stop reading about the Holy Days in the last verse of Lev.23.
Lev.24:3 "Until morning" proves that days begin at sunrise, not at sunset. Notice verse 4 says "until the next day & verse 3 says until morning. Therefore days begin in the morning, not at sunset. This verse is extremely clear.

Other Scriptures

-John 20:19 "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"
How can it be the same day of the week if a new day starts at evening? It would have said "at evening at the start of a new day". But it doesn't say that!

-Ex. 32:5 "And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD.
:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play".
How could they rise up early tomorrow if the tomorrow starts at evening? You don't rise at evening!

-Mark 4:35 "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side".
At the same day when even was come! If the day starts at evening, it would say it's a new day, not the same day!

-Neh. 13:19 "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".
This is a very popular verse to try to prove the Sabbath begins at dark. However it says the dark comes before the Sabbath! Friday is the preparation day. Therefore they needed to close gates at evening and continue their personal preparations. This is like if I owned a store with business hours of Monday-Thursday 9 am-9 pm. Friday 9 am-5 pm. Closed Saturdays and Sundays. Just because I am closed Sundays doesn't mean I am keeping the Sabbath on Sunday. And just because I close Friday at 5 pm (close my doors/gates) doesn't mean I start the Sabbath at 5 pm Friday. It just means I am preparing for the Sabbath. I also need to note here that many people say "gates of the temple". But this verse is actually talking about the gates of the city of Jerusalem. Instead of setting an alarm clock to get up early Saturday morning to go out to close the gates, they closed them Friday afternoon for the Sabbath weekend just like people do today for their private places of work. It's best to sleep in on the Sabbath if possible. Also notice the context in verses 15-22 that merchandise peddlers had been coming into the city to sell their stuff. The closing of the gates was to prevent the peddlers from coming in to sell their stuff on the Sabbath. Therefore it makes sense to close the gates before they could enter the city. They would come in from different towns. They most likely would come in Friday evening to set up. So they closed the gates Friday afternoon before dark.

-Acts 4:3 "And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide".
The next day was not eventide! My Zondervan KJV Study Bible has a note here saying that the Temple closed at 4pm every day!

-Lev. 6:20 "This [is] the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night".
Each day there was a morning offering and an even offering. Notice it does not say the offerings spanned over a 2 day period. Each day's offerings consisted of a morning offering (mentioning morning first) and then an even offering.

-Lev. 7:15-16 "And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.
But if the sacrifice of his offering [be] a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten"
It was to be eaten the same day, none of it left until morning. Morning was the next day, not evening.

- Lev 9:1 "And it came to pass on the eighth day, [that] Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
Lev 9:17 And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt [it] upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning"
The first offering of the 8th day was in the morning!
1 Samuel 11:10-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB) "Then the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good [a]to you.” 11 The next morning Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together".

The Preparation Day and The Gathering of Manna

Exo. 16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. (In the morning, Moses was proclaiming the Sabbath!)
:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Now it is true that the Manna was collected in the morning on the preparation day (Friday) (vs.12-14), so they could have collected it and cooked it until evening Friday, then they could still have observed the Sabbath starting that evening, and the next morning would still be the Sabbath. However, when was the proclamation of the Sabbath made by Moses? It was the following morning. If the Sabbath had started in the previous evening, wouldn't he have made such a proclamation in the evening?

How does this renewed understanding affect the Crescent New Moon understanding and observance? They actually confirm one another! The only way it affects it is that we will already be in the first day of the month before we have eye witness confirmation of it, we cannot see the new crescent moon on this first day until near sunset. As far as being in the first day of the month before you have confirmation of that event, That reminds me of Gen. 28 when Jacob said "The Lord is in this place and I knew it not". Sometimes we can already be at a place or time and not realize it.

The Biblical account of Jacob's ladder actually has a clue about this subject with in. Let's take a look.

Gen. 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

He laid down to sleep because the sun was set. It says nothing about it being a new day. It's time to sleep. Now take a look at verse 16-18:
Gen 28:16 And Jacob awakened out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

He rose early in the morning or H1242, daybreak or morrow. It was then a new day. And with renewed revelations and understandings! Gen. 28 is truly a picture of 2008 because of revelations and renewed understandings! Gen. 28-29 also represents 2008-2009. Think about it. Does God really want us to go to bed soon after the day has started? No, that does not make sense. But the day starting at twilight/sunrise makes plenty of sense!
Think about this: If the month is determined by the moon and the day is determined by the sun, and even the "sunset to sunset" doctrine teaches that the sun determines the beginning and ending of a day, then why would the sun determine the start of the day by setting/ceasing/resting/being lowered/going down at the start? Doesn't it make much more sense that the Sun determines the start of the new day by rising/springing forth/shining new light/casting away darkness? Which makes more sense?

Historical Sources

"...Early in the old testament period, when Canaan was under Egypt's influence, the day started at sunrise... later, perhaps under Babylonian influence, the calendar seems to have changed. the day began at moonrise (1800 hrs) and a whole day became an evening and a morning..." (Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible - p.163).

"...according to the Karaite historian Al-QirqisanI (ca. 975 CE), the dissident Meswi al-Okbari (ca.850 CE) broke from traditional Rabbinical Judaism in an attempt to get back to the original religion and began the reckoning of the day from sunrise. (The Itinerary of R. Benjamin of Tudela, ix, 5-8, ed. Gruhut-Adler, (1904), p. 23)

"...To the Light He gives the name Day, to the Darkness the name Night...Thus the work of the first day, reckoned probably from morning to morning, is accomplished. The period of Light is followed by Evening and Darkness, which comes to an end with the next morning when the second day begins..." (Peake's Commentary on The Bible, p.136).

"Among the Greeks the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset..." (Handbook of Chronology, op.cit., p.8)

"the Mishnah (the collection of Jewish law made at the end of the 2nd century AD) fully describes the system which the Jews had worked out under Babylonian influence..." (Eerdman's Handbook to the Bible).

"In order to fix the beginning and ending of the Sabbath-day and festivals and to determine the precise hour for certain religious observances it becomes necessary to know the exact times of the rising and setting of the sun. According to the strict interpretation of the Mosaic law, every day begins with sunrise and ends with sunset... (Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 591-597)

"There can be no doubt that in pre-exilic times the Israelites reckoned the day from morning to morning. The day began with the dawn and closed with the end of the night following it..." (Jacob Zallel Lauterbach, Rabbinic Essays, (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1951), p. 446)

"Among the ancient Israelites, as among the Greeks, the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset. This was the custom also of the Gauls and ancient Germans, and was probably connected originally with the cult of the moon. There is, however, evidence that this was not the custom at all times..." (Delitzsch in Dillmann's commentary on Gen. i. 5)

"...Numerous scholars have argued for the existence in Bible times of a sunrise method of day reckoning...the evidence for the sunrise reckoning is significant and cannot be ignored..." (The Time of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, Chapter 5)

"the days of creation are not reckoned from evening to evening, but from morning to morning..." (Commentary on the Old Testament, The First Book of Moses, p. 51)

"From a very early period the time of reckoning the day was from sunset to sunset, and this became the Jewish method..." (Unger's Bible Dictionary, "Day", page 1098)

"...In earlier traditions a day apparently began at sunrise (e.g., Lev. 7:15-17; Judg. 19:4-19)... later its beginning was at sunset and its end at the following sunset... this system became normative... and is still observed in Jewish tradition, where for example , the sabbath begins on Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday at sunset..." (Oxford Companion to the Bible, p.744).

"When the Jews returned to Palestine after their Babylonian exile (516 B.C.E.) they brought back with them the Babylonian astronomy and way of reckoning time..." (What is a Jew, p. 108)

"Days were reckoned from morning to morning... Following the reign of King Josia (c. 640-609), and especially after the Babylonian exile a number of significant and enduring changes occurred in the Israelite calendar showing that the Jews gradually adopted the Babylonian calendar of the time...the seven day week persisted despite its failure to divide evenly either the month or the year. the day however, was counted from evening to evening, after the Babylonian fashion..." (New Catholic Encyclopedia -Volume 11, p.1068)

"...The nighttime is considered as belonging to the preceding period of daylight. from this there developed the meaning of "day" in the sense of the cycle made up of one period of daylight and one period of darkness, or according to our modern reckoning, twenty-four hours...from the natural viewpoint the twenty-four hour day begins at sunrise... however, beside this conception there arose another idea of the twenty-four hour day, according to which this daily period began at sunset. it was no doubt the lunar calendar of the Jews which gave rise to this viewpoint... although the earlier computation did not die out completely, the custom of considering the day as beginning at sunset became general in later Jewish times..." (Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible. p.497)

"In the Old Testament the earlier practice seems to have been to consider that the day began in the morning. In Gen. 19:34, for example, the "morrow" (ASV) or "Next Day" (RSV) clearly begins with the morning after the preceding night..." (Jack Finegan, The Handbook of Biblical Chronology, p.7-8).

"In Israel, the day was for a long time reckoned from morning to morning...and it was in fact in the morning, with the creation of light, that the world began; the distinction of day and night, and time too, began on a morning (Gen. 1:3-5, cf. 14:16, 18). The opposite conclusion has been drawn from the refrain which punctuates the story of creation: “There was an evening and there was a morning, the first, second, etc., day”; This phrase, however, coming after the description of each creative work (which clearly happens during the period of light), indicates rather the vacant time till the morning, the end of a day and the beginning of the next work...The change of reckoning must there fore have taken place between the end of the monarchy and the age of Nehemias... this would bring us to the beginning of the exile..." (Ancient Israel, p.181-182).

"That the custom of reckoning the day as beginning in the evening and lasting until the following evening was probably of late origin is shown by the phrase "tarry all night" (Jdg 19:6-9); the context shows that the day is regarded as beginning in the morning; in the evening the day "declined," and until the new day (morning) arrived it was necessary to "tarry all night" (compare also Num 11:32)" (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

"in the second Temple, throughout its entire existence, the practice seems to have been in all ritual matters to reckon the day from dawn to dawn, and not according to the later practice, from sunset to sunset...even the rabbis, who, themselves, reckoned the day from sunset to sunset, and refused to admit the legitimacy of any other practice, or rather, absolutely ignored all divergent practice, none the less had to admit the validity of the interpretation of Lev. 7:15... the day was at one time reckoned from sunrise to sunrise... The earlier practice, which continued until the time of the secondary strata of the Priestly code, was to reckon the day from dawn to dawn... The later practice was to reckon the day from sunset to sunset... It was probably coincident with the revision of the festival calendar, which took place in the period after the time of Ezra, and was, in all probability, the work of the soferim or of the Great Synod in the fourth century B.C. This may also be inferred from the statement in the Talmud (Berachoth 33a) that the men of the Great Synod instituted the ceremonies of Kiddush and Havdalah, the solemn sanctification of the Sabbath on Friday eve, and its equally solemn ushering out on Saturday eve, in other words, ceremonies specifically marking the beginning and close of the Sabbath as at sunset. These were ceremonies for the Jewish home instead of the Temple. This, coupled with the fact that in the second Temple the old system of reckoning the day from dawn to dawn continued to be observed, as we have seen, may perhaps indicate that this entire innovation was the work of an anti-priestly group or party in the Great Synod..." (The Sources of the Creation Story - Gen. 1:1- 2:4, p. 169-212)

After years of teaching that the day starts at sunrise and that Jesus died on Passover Day on the 14th & died the day after Passover on the 15th, I finally come across this additional confirmation and proof this week.
In the John MacArthur NASB Study Bible, Copyright 1997, 2006 in the Introduction to "The Gospel According to John", within the section "Interpretive Challenges", pages 2155-2156, it says, (With inserting my corrections to his timeline in italics)
Quote: "The chronological reckoning between John's gospel and the synoptics presents a challenge,especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (13:2). While the synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday (my note: Tuesday) evening, Nisan 14, and Jesus being crucified on Friday (my note: Wednesday), John's gospel states that the Jesus did not enter into the Praetorium "so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover" (18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening (my note Tuesday), but the Jews had not. In fact, John (19:14) states that Jesus' trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday (my note: Wednesday) Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (19:14). The question is, "Why did the disciples eat the Passover mean on Thursday?" (my note: Tuesday)
The answer lies in the difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Palestine calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. (my note: I disagree. I believe the Pharisees used sunset to sunset) But the Jews in the southern part which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees (my note: Pharisees), those groups followed the southern scheme".
... "On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and this disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday (My note: Tuesday, the 14th) and to end at sunrise on Friday (My note: Wednesday, the 15th). The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees (my note: Pharisees), considered Passover day to being at sunset on Thursday (my note: Wednesday) and end at sunset on Friday (my note: Thursday)". Unquote.
Online, John MacArthur says:
"In an interesting example of God’s sovereignty, Christ and His disciples were celebrating the Passover a night before most of the rest of Jerusalem. Galilean Jews observed Passover on Thursday night, since they marked their day from sunrise to sunrise. The Judean Jews marked their day from sunset to sunset, so their Passover would follow on Friday evening. It’s important to recognize the two authorized and legitimate celebrations, since they allowed for our Lord to celebrate the Passover one night and be the Passover Lamb the next".
"This takes place, as you know, on Thursday night of Passion Week. It is in the Jewish calendar the fourteenth of Nisan, year 30 A.D. And on that Thursday night is the Passover celebration for all of the Galilean Jews. In the Galilee, they celebrated their Passover on Thursday because they mark the Passover day from sunrise to sunrise. The Judean Jews in the south celebrated their Passover on Friday because they marked the Passover day from sunset to sunset. This difference we know from the writings of the Jewish Mishnah which are the official documents concerning the conduct of the Jews, and also from the history of Josephus. That’s important because that allowed our Lord to celebrate the Passover on Thursday night for a lot of critical reasons and still be the Passover on Friday, because they were two authorized and legitimate celebrations".

Day Actually Starts at twilight, Not Sunrise.

Some would say this is being to picky or legalistic.
However, if we are going to make a statement, it needs to be an accurate statement.
If we are going to proclaim or teach a doctrine, it needs to be accurate and correct. Specifics are important. Will God grant mercy and grace to a person who is off by a few minutes? Yes. But does God want us to grow in accurate knowledge and understanding? Yes.
What makes "night" night-time is darkness, absence of light.
What makes "day" daytime is the presence of light from the sun.
When it is totally dark, it is night. When there is sunlight, it is day.
When the daylight returns, it is day again.
When it is totally dark and the stars are still out, it is still night.
When the light from the sun is present enough to make the stars disappear, the sun has already begun a new 24 hr day and a new day has begun. The sphere of the sun may not be seen yet, but the light from it at twilight has begun to shine upon the Earth and the total darkness has disappeared, the stars disappear and the birds are starting to awaken and the roosters begin to crow. The disappearance of the stars before sunrise is part of the clock that God created.

Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights (sun, moon and stars) in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

So we see from Gen.1:14-16 that the sun, moon and stars, are all part of God's created clock. The new 24 hour day begins when the last star has disappeared at twilight, before sunrise. For more evidence that the stars are involved in the calculation of time, and is a part of Jesus' created calendar, please click here for the article "God's Created Calendar, How to calculate time".

Gen. 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Gen. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Will you see that the light is good? Will you embrace the light? We need to look at nature and learn the lessons from nature as we loose ourselves from the modern tide of darkness and the worlds society. Let's not focus on the setting sun, but let us recognize that it is a new start when the light breaks the darkness! This is a call to return to observing God's Created Calendar instead of the traditions that were passed down to us. It's also a call to return to living off the land and a call to work. Nature teaches us that when the light breaks the darkness, a new day has begun! Even spiritual warfare teaches us this lesson. Let the new day begin!

Related Article:

What time was Jesus' Burial and Resurrection? More proof that the day starts at twilight/sunrise based on the timing of Jesus' Burial and Resurrection.

Recommended Reading:
History of Mesopotamian/Sumerian Calendar
When does a day start? [Full Study] by Discovery update.com

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