Is the evening the start of the day since God created “Evening and Morning”?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Evening – The Start of the Day

The question of whether the evening marks the beginning of the day is a topic of discussion that arises from the creation narrative in the Bible, where it is stated that God created “evening and morning” to mark the days of creation. This phrase has led to varying interpretations regarding the commencement of the biblical day. In this exploration, we will delve into the biblical perspective on the beginning of the day, drawing upon key passages from the Bible to discern their significance and implications.

The Creation Narrative

In Genesis 1, the account of creation unfolds over six days, with each day described as consisting of an evening followed by a morning. Genesis 1:5 states, “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” This pattern is reiterated throughout the creation narrative Genesis 1 (verse 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), emphasizing the cyclical nature of time as delineated by God.

The Jewish Understanding

In Jewish tradition, the day begins at sunset, following the pattern established in the creation narrative. This understanding is rooted in the Hebrew calendar, where each day begins at sunset and continues until the following sunset. Leviticus 23:32 affirms this perspective, stating, “It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

The Significance of Evening

The evening holds symbolic and practical significance in the biblical context. It is associated with starting the day with rest and reflection. Psalm 104:23-24 celebrates God’s provision and wisdom in the cycles of day and night: “Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions.”

Biblical Examples

Numerous biblical examples support the understanding of the evening as the start of the day. In Exodus 12:6, instructions are given for the Passover sacrifice to be performed in the evening: “Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” This passage suggests that the Passover observance begins in the evening, marking the start of the day.

Additionally, in Mark 1:32-34, Jesus heals many who were sick and demon-possessed after sunset, indicating the beginning of a new day: “At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons.” This passage suggests that the events described occur at the commencement of a new day.

Theological Considerations

From a theological perspective, the understanding of the evening as the start of the day underscores God’s sovereignty over time and creation. It reflects the cyclical nature of life, with each day beginning in darkness and culminating in light. Psalm 139:12 acknowledges God’s presence and sovereignty in both the darkness and the light: “Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

Application in Daily Life

Understanding the evening as the start of the day has practical implications for daily life and spiritual practices. It invites believers to embrace the rhythms of rest and reflection at the beginning of the day. Psalm 141:2 encourages evening prayer and worship: “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” This verse suggests that the evening is an opportune time for prayer and communion with God.

Variations in Cultural Practices

It is important to acknowledge that cultural practices and traditions may vary regarding the commencement of the day. While the biblical narrative and Jewish tradition affirm the evening as the start of the day, other cultures may follow different conventions based on regional customs or historical precedent. Nevertheless, the biblical understanding of the evening as the beginning of the day provides a foundational framework for interpreting time and observing sacred rituals.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the biblical perspective on the beginning of the day affirms the evening as the starting point, in accordance with the creation narrative and Jewish tradition. This understanding emphasizes the cyclical nature of time, the significance of rest and reflection, and God’s sovereignty over the rhythms of day and night. While cultural practices may differ, the biblical narrative provides a timeless framework for interpreting time and observing sacred rituals in alignment with God’s purposes and design.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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