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1. Named

2. Leviticus 16

(1) Contents, Structure and Position

(a) Leviticus 16:1-10

(b) Leviticus 16:11-24

(c) Leviticus 16:25-28

(d) Leviticus 16:29-34

Use of Number Four

Place in Leviticus

(2) Modern Attempts to Disprove Unity of Chapter II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

1. The Significance for Israel

2. The Significance from a Christian Standpoint


1. The Long Silence of History

(1) The Facts and the False Conclusions

(2) The Historicity of the Day of Atonement

2. Further Development

I. The Legal Enactments.

1. Named:

In addition to the chief passage, Leviticus 16, which is treated under a separate head, we have the following:

In Exodus 30:10 it is mentioned in the directions that are given for the construction of the altar of incense that Aaron, once a year, is to make an atonement on the horns of the altar, with the blood of the sin offering, which is used for the purpose of an atonement for sin.

In Leviticus 23:26-32 mention is made in the list of festivals of the Day of Atonement, on the 10th day of the 7th month. It is ordered that for this day there shall be a holy convocation at the sanctuary, a fast, an offering by fire, and rest from labor from the 9th day of the 7th month in the evening.

According to Leviticus 25:9 the year of jubilee begins with the Day of Atonement.

Numbers 18 speaks of the duties and the rights of the priests and the Levites. In contrast with the latter, according to 18:7, Aaron and his sons are to perform the duties of the priesthood in all matters pertaining to the altar and of the service within the veil and shall render this service. We have here doubtless a comprehensive law for the entire priestly order, so that from this alone it cannot be determined that the service within the veil, by which reference is made to the ceremony of the Day of Atonement, has been reserved for the high priest alone, just as in Deuteronomy 10:8; Deuteronomy 33:8, everything that pertains to the whole tribe of Levi is found combined, without thereby the division into high priest, priests and Levites, being regarded as excluded (compare EZEKIEL, II, 2, (1), c).

Numbers 29:7-11 contains in connection with the laws treating of sacrifices also the enactment, that on the 10th day of the 7th month there shall take place a holy convocation at the sanctuary, fasting and rest from labor. In addition to the sin offering, which is brought for the purpose of atonement for sin, and in addition to the regular burnt offerings and the accompanying meal offerings and drink offerings, burnt offerings also are to be brought, namely, one young bullock, one young ram, seven lambs of the first year (all without blemish); then meal offerings, namely, three-tenths (compare Numbers 28:12-14) of fine flour mingled with oil for each bullock; two-tenths for each ram; one-tenth for each lamb; then a sin offering, namely, one he-goat. Ezekiel in his vision of the new temple, of the holy city and the holy country (chapters 40-48), in 45:18, gives a series of enactments for the festivals and the sacrifices. According to these, on the 1st day of the 1st month and on the 7th day of the 1st month (on the 1st day of the 7th month according to the Septuagint), the sanctuary is to be cleansed through a young bullock without blemish, the priest taking some of the blood of the sin offering and putting it on the posts of the temple, on the four corners of the altar and on the posts of the gate of the inner court; and this is to be done for the sake of those who perhaps have sinned through error or ignorance. Further, that sacrifice which is to be brought on the Passover by the princes for themselves and all the people of the land (compare 45:22) appears to present a clear analogy to Leviticus 16. As for the rest, Ezekiel 40-48 cannot without further consideration be put on the same level with the other legal enactments, but are to be regarded as an ideal scheme, the realization of which is conditioned on the entrance of the wonderful future (compare EZEKIEL).

2. Leviticus 16:

(1) Contents, Structure and Position.

Leviticus 16:1-28 contains instructions given by Yahweh to Moses for his brother Aaron (16:1, 2).

(a) Leviticus 16:1-10.

Leviticus 16:1-10 contain presuppositions, preparations and summary statements of the ceremonies on the Day of Atonement. According to 16:1, 2, Aaron is not allowed to enter the holy place at any time whatever, lest he may die as did his sons with their unseemly fire offering (compare Leviticus 10:1); 16:3-5 tell what is necessary for the ceremony: For himself four things: a young bullock as a sin offering (compare 16:6, 11, 14, 15, 27); a ram for burnt offering (compare 16:24); sacred garments, namely, a linen coat, linen breeches, linen girdle, linen mitre (compare 16:23, 32); a bath. For the congregation: two he-goats as a sin offering (compare 16:7, 15-22, 25, 27, 28, 32, 33), a ram as a burnt offering (compare 16:24). The passages in parentheses show how closely the succeeding parts of this account are connected with this introductory part, 16:1-10. In other parts of Leviticus also it is often found that the materials used for the sacrifices are mentioned first, before anything is said in detail of what is to be done with this material. Compare 8:1, 2 with 8:6, 7, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26 and 9:2-4 with 9:7, 8, 12, 15-18. In 16:6 Aaron's sin-offering bullock is to be used as an atonement for himself; 16:7-10 refer to the two goats: they are to be placed at the door of the tent of meeting (16:7); lots are to be cast upon them for Yahweh and Azazel (16:8); the first to be prepared as a sin offering for Yahweh (16:9); the second, in accordance with the law, to be sent into the desert (16:10).

(b) Leviticus 16:11-24.

Leviticus 16:11-24 describe the ceremony itself and give fuller directions as to how the different sacrificial materials mentioned under (a) are to be used by Aaron: 16:11-14 speak of the atonement for Aaron and his house; 16:11, of his sin-offering bullock to be killed; 16:12, of burning coal from the altar and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small to be placed behind the veil; 16:13, of the cloud of incense to be made in the Holy of Holies, so that the top covering is hidden and Aaron is protected from the danger of death; 16:14, of some of the blood to be sprinkled once on the front of the top covering and seven times in front of it. Leviticus 16:15-19 prescribe the ceremony with the first sin-offering goat for the congregation: in 16:15, 16, the ceremony described in 16:14 is directed also to be carried out with the goat, as an atonement for the inner sanctuary, cleansing it from blemishes; in 16:16b the same thing is directed to be done in regard to the tabernacle of revelation, i. e. the holy place, in 16:17, no one is permitted to be present even in the holy place when these ceremonies take place; in 16:18, 19, the altar too is directed to be cleansed by an atonement, some of the blood of both sin-offering animals being smeared on the horns and sprinkled seven times on the ground.

Leviticus 16:20-22 prescribes the ceremony with the second sin-offering goat for the congregation: 16:20 directs it to be brought there; in 16:21 there takes place the transfer of guilt; Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the goat; shal l confess all guilt over him; shall lay them upon the head of the goat; shall through a man send him into the desert; in 16:22a, the goat carries the guilt into an uninhabited land; in 16:22b, he is not to be let go until he is in the desert.

Leviticus 16:23, 24, the concluding act: in 16:23a, Aaron takes off his linen garments in the tent of meeting, and in 16:23b puts them down there; in 16:24a, he bathes in the holy place and again puts on his usual clothing; in 16:24b he brings the burnt offering for himself and his people. (The statement `for himself and his people' at this place concludes the ritual as such.)

(c) Leviticus 16:25-28.

Leviticus 16:25-28 are explanatory, with three additional directions. In 16:25, the fat of the sin offering is directed to be consumed into smoke on the altar; 16:26, he who has taken away the second goat must wash his clothes and bathe himself, and only then is he permitted to enter the camp; 16:27, the fat, flesh and dung of the sin-offering animal, and then the blood that was brought into the (inner) sanctuary, are to be burned outside of the camp; 16:28, he who has burned these must wash his clothes, and must bathe, and only after this can he enter the camp. (In this case 16:25 and 27 correspond, and also 16:26 and 28; and in addition 16:26, 27, 28 are united by their reference to the camp.)

(d) Leviticus 16:29-34.

Leviticus 16:29-34: Over against these sections (a)-(c) (16:1-28), which contain the instructions for the high priest, we have a fourth (16:29-34), which already through the address in the second person plural and also by its contents is intended for the congregation. In 16:29-31, the demand is made of the congregation. As in Leviticus 23:26; Numbers 29:7, a fast and absolute rest are prescribed for the 10th day of the 7th month as the Day of Atonement; in Leviticus 16:32-34, a number of directions are given in a summary to the congregation on the basis of 16:1, namely, 16:32, how the atonement is to take place: the priest who is anointed; he shall be consecrated; that he perform the service in his father's place; in his linen garments; 16:33 prescribes when and for whom the atonement is to take place: for the holy of holies; for the holy place; for the altar; for the order of priests and all the people; in 16:34, the one Day of Atonement in the year for all sins is declared to be an everlasting statute. The statement that Aaron (16:2), according to Yahweh's command, did as Moses directed aptly closes the whole chapter.

Use of Number Four

The number four appears to occupy a predominating place in this chapter, as the bird's-eye view above already shows, and as this can be traced still further in the details of the accounts. But even if this significance of the number four in the division of the chapter is accidental, although this number appears almost as a matter of course, and in Exodus 35:4-40:38, in Genesis 12-25, in the story of Abraham, Leviticus 11-15, and Deuteronomy 12-26 naturally fall into four pericopes with four subdivisions, yet this chapter is, as far as contents are concerned, so closely connected, and so well organized as a whole, that all attempts to ascribe it to different sources, concerning which we shall speak immediately, must come to naught in view of this fact.

Place in Leviticus

At this point we first of all draw attention to the fact that Leviticus 16 has its well-established place in the whole of the Book of Leviticus (compare LEVITICUS). The whole book has as its purpose to regulate the dealings of the Israelites with their God, and it does this in such a way that the first part (Leviticus 1-17) removes the hindrances that have been caused by sin. In this the ordinances with reference to the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), and with reference to the significance of the blood (Leviticus 17), constitute a natural acme and excellent conclusion, while this prepares for the positive sanctification, which is discussed in Leviticus 18. In 15:31 we find in addition a clear transition to the thoughts of Leviticus 16, for in this passage mention is made of the uncleanness of the Israelites, which contaminates the dwelling-place of Yahweh that is in their midst.

(2) Modern Attempts to Disprove Unity of Chapter.

A large number of attempts have been made to destroy the unity of this chapter, which has been demonstrated in division (1) above. Thus Stade separates Leviticus 16:3-10 as the original kernel from the explanatory and changing details that were added in 16:11-28. But we have already seen that 16:3-10 are the preparation for all that follows, so that these verses demand 16:11 as a necessary complement. Again Oort separates 16:1-4, 1 1b, 14, 16, 18a, 19, 23, 24a, 25a, 29a from the rest, by using the purification of the sanctuary and the atonement of the people as the measure for this separation; but above all it is proved by Ezekiel 45:18-20 that just these two thoughts are inseparably united. In recent times it has become the custom, following the leadership of Benzinger, to divide the text into three parts. Baentsch divides as follows:

(a) Leviticus 16:1-4, 6, 12, 34b contain a single pericope, which on the basis of the fate of the sons of Aaron, described in Leviticus 10, determines under what circumstances Aaron alone is permitted to enter the Holy of Holies;

(b) Leviticus 16:29-34 a contain "an older, relatively simpler law in reference to the yearly day of penitence and atonement";

(c) 16:5, 7-10, 11, 14-28 are a "later enlargement of this ritual, with a more complicated blood rite," and above all with "the rite of the sin goat." Of these three pieces only (a) is thought to belong to the original Priest Codex, as proved especially by its reference back to Leviticus 10; (b) is regarded as belonging to the secondary parts, because the day of repentance is not yet mentioned in Nehemiah 8; compare III, 1; at any rate the anointing of all the priests is there not yet presupposed (compare LEVITICUS); (c), however, is declared to be very late and its separate parts are regarded as having originated only after the others (thus recently also Bertholet).

It is impossible here to enter into all the minor parts eliminated by the exegetes; and in the same way we do not intend in our examination to enter into all the incorrect views found in these criticisms. We confine ourselves to the chief matter. The very foundation of the criticism is wrong. What Aaron's sons experienced according to Leviticus 10 could very easily have furnished a connecting link for that ritual which is introduced in Leviticus 16:2, but could never have furnished the occasion for the composition of the pericope described above (a); for Nadab and Abihu had not entered into the Holy of Holies at all. Just as little justifiable is the conclusion drawn from chapter 10, that chapter 16 originally followed immediately on chapter 10. For who could possibly have conceived the thought of inserting chapters 11-15 in an altogether unsuitable place between chapters 10 and 16 and thus have split asunder a connection so transparent? In general, the different attempts to break the unity of this chapter show how subjective and arbitrary these attempts are. They are a characteristic example of the manner in which the Priest Codex is now being further divided (compare LEVITICUS). In general, sufficient material for the positive refutation of such attempts has been given above.

II. The Significance of the Day of Atonement.

1. The Significance for Israel:

The significance of the day is expressed in the name "Day of Atonement" Yom ha-kippurim: (Leviticus 23:27; 25:9) in the same manner as it is in the fast which was enjoined on the congregation as a sign of sorrow for their sins (this fasting being the only one enjoined by the law: Leviticus 16:29, 31; Leviticus 23:26; Numbers 29:7), as also finally and chiefly in the entire ritual (Exodus 30:10 Leviticus 23:28 Numbers 29:11 Leviticus 16; compare also Ezekiel 18:20, 22). Then, too, the atonement takes place for the sanctuary which has been defiled by the contamination of the Israelites (Exodus 30:10 Leviticus 16:16-20, 33; compare also Ezekiel 45:18-20). In particular, mention is made of the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16:33, called Miqdash ha-qodhesh; otherwise in Leviticus regularly ha-qodhesh), then of the holy place (16:16b, 20, 33), and then of the altar (16:18, 20, 33). In the last-mentioned case it is a matter of discussion whether the altar of incense is meant, as is claimed by Jewish tradition, on the basis of Exodus 30:10, or the altar of burnt offerings, for which reference could be made to the additional statements in Leviticus 16:18, to those of 16:16, and to the conclusion in 16:17. The altar of incense (Exodus 30:10) would then be included in the atonement of the tent of meeting. The somewhat remarkable position of 16:17b would then at the same time find its motive in this, that, while 16:6 and 11b mention an atonement only for Aaron and his house, the atonement of the Holy of Holies and of the holy place in 16:17 is for Aaron, his house, and the whole congregation, while the atonement of the burnt-offering altar in the forecourt (16:18) would be intended only for the sins of the congregation. The atonement, however, takes place for all the transgressions of the congregation since the last Day of Atonement (compare 16:21, 30, 34). In reference to the significance of what is done with the second goat of sin offering, compare 16:8, 20, and AZAZEL, II,

1. In this way Delitzsch has correctly called the Day of Atonement "the Good Friday of the Old Testament." How deeply the consciousness of sin must have been awakened, if the many otherwise commanded private and congregational sacrifices did not make such an institution superfluous, and if even the high priest himself stood before God as a sinner (16:6, 11). On this day, with the exception of the mitre, he does not wear the insignia of his high-priestly office, but wears white garments, which in their simplicity correspond to the earnestness of the situation. The repetition of the bath, both in his case and in that of the other persons engaged in the ceremony (16:4, 24, 26, 28), was necessary, because the mere washing of the hands and feet (Exodus 30:19 f) would not suffice on this occasion (compare Numbers 19:7, 19, 21). The flesh of the sin-offering animals was not permitted to be eaten but had to be burned (16:27) because it was sacrificed also for Aaron's sin, and its blood was carried not only into the holy place but also into the Holy of Holies, compare 16:27 with Leviticus 6:23; Leviticus 4:11, 21; Exodus 29:14 Leviticus 8:17; Leviticus 9:11; Leviticus 10:19. And in comparison with the consciousness of sin that had been aroused, how great must on the other hand God's grace appear, when once in each year a general remission of all the sins that had been forgiven was guaranteed.

2. Significance from a Christian Standpoint:

"The Day of Atonement, the good Friday of the Old Testament"-these words express not only the highest significance of the day but also its limitations. As the tabernacle, the sacrificial system, the entire law, thus too the Day of Atonement in particular contained only the shadow of future good things, but not these things themselves (Hebrews 10:1), and is "like in pattern to the true" (Hebrews 9:24). Christ Himself entered into the holy place, which was not made with hands, namely, into heaven itself, and has now appeared before God, by once for all giving Himself as a sacrifice for the removal of sin (Hebrews 9:23). By this act the purpose of the Old Testament sacrificial cult and its highest development, namely, the Day of Atonement, understood in its typical significance, has been fulfilled, and at the same time surpassed and thereby abrogated (compare LEVITICUS). Accordingly, our hope, too, like an anchor-(Hebrews 6:19), penetrates to the inner part of the veil in the higher sense of the term, i. e. to heaven.

III. On the History of the Day of Atonement.

1. The Long Silence of History:

(1) The Facts and the False Conclusions.

The Day of Atonement is stated to have been instituted in the times of Moses (Leviticus 16:1); the ceremony takes place in the tabernacle (tent of meeting); the people are presupposed to be in the camp (Leviticus 16:26); Aaron is still the high priest. Very remarkably there is but little evidence of the observance of this prominent day in the later history of Israel. Down to the time of the Exile there is found a deep silence on this subject.

The days of atonement in Ezekiel 45:18 (compare under I, 1) differ in number and observance from that in Leviticus 16. According to Zechariah 3:9, God in the Messianic future will take away the guilt of the land in a single day; but this too presents no more than an analogy to the results of the Day of Atonement. On the other hand, there is no reference made to the day where we could expect it. Not only 2 Chronicles 7:7-9 in connection with the consecration of Solomon's temple, and Ezra 3:1-6, in the account of the reintroduction of the sacrificial services after the return from the Exile, are silent on the subject, which fact could possibly be explained in an easy manner; but also Nehemiah 8. According to 8:2, Ezra begins on the 1st day of the 7th month in the year 444 B.C. to read from the law; on the 2nd day of the 7th month remembrance is made of the ordinance treating of the feast of tabernacles, and on the 22nd day of the 7th month (Nehemiah 8:13), this festival is observed; on the 24th day of the 7th month a day of penance is observed (Nehemiah 9:1); but of the Day of Atonement coming in between Nehemiah 8:1 and chapter 9:1, namely, on the 10th day of the 7th month, which would seem to make the day of penance superfluous, nothing is said.

From these facts the Wellhausen school has drawn the conclusion, in accordance with its principles elsewhere observed, that all those legal enactments that have not in the history a sufficient evidence of having been observed, did not exist until the time when they have such historical evidence; that therefore the Day of Atonement did not originate until after the year 444 B.C. It is claimed that the day originated in the two days of atonement mentioned in Ezekiel 45:18-20 (compare under I, 1); in the four national fast days of Zechariah 7:5, and 8:19, and in the day of penance of 444 B.C., just mentioned, on the 24th day of the 7th month, which is said to have been repeated on the following New Year's day, the 10th day of the 7th month; and that by the sacred character of its observance it soon crowded the New Year day upon the 1st day of the 7th month (compare Leviticus 23:23; Numbers 29:1; contrary to Leviticus 25:9 and Ezekiel 40:1). In this way it is thought that Leviticus 16:29 first originated, and that at a still later time the complicated blood ritual had been added (compare under I, 1, 2). But it is to be observed that in still later times there is found no more frequent mention of the Day of Atonement than in the earlier, although it is the custom of modern criticism to place a much larger bulk of Biblical literature into this later period. It is only when we come to Jesus Sirach (Ecclesiasticus 50:5) that the high priest Simon is praised, when he came forth from behind the veil; and this is certainly a reference. to the Day of Atonement, although no further mention is made at this place of the ceremony as such. Then there is a further silence on the subject down to Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 6:19; Hebrews 9:7, 13; 10:1; compare under II, 2). It is probable too that the fasting mentioned in Acts 27:9 is based on the Day of Atonement. We have in this manner a characteristic example to show how carefully we must handle the argument from silence, if we do not want to arrive at uncomfortable results.

(2) The Historicity of the Day of Atonement.

Since Leviticus 16 constitutes only one part of the Levitical legislation, the question as to the original and historical character of the day cannot be fully discussed at this place (see LEVITICUS). At so late a period, naturally all the data that would lead to an explanation of the origin of such a fundamental institution as the Day of Atonement are lacking. It is all the more impossible to separate Leviticus 16 from the other priestly ordinances, because the name of the lid of the ark of covenant hakapporeth: (Exodus 25:17; 26:34) stands in the clearest relation to the ceremony that takes place with this ark on the Day of Atonement. The impossibility of splitting up Leviticus 16 as is the manner of critics, or even as much as separating it from Leviticus 11-15, has been sufficiently demonstrated above (compare under I). Against the view which forces the Priest Codex down at least to the Exile and to claim the tabernacle as the product of imagination and as a copy of the temple of Solomon (see EXODUS), we have still the following to add:

If the ark of the covenant was no longer in existence after the Exile and if, according to Jeremiah 3:16, the Israelites no longer expected its restoration, then it would have been absolutely impossible in the ritual of the Day of Atonement to connect the most important ceremony of this ritual with this ark and on this to base the atonement. In the second temple, as is well known, the incense pan was placed on the "foundation stone" in the Holy of Holies, because there was no tabernacle. Against these facts the counter-arguments mentioned above cannot stand. Even those who deny the existence of the Day of Atonement do not lay much stress on 2 Chronicles 7:1-9 and Ezra 3:1-6; but Nehemiah 8 also does not deserve mention, since in this place the emphasis lies on the purpose of showing how the congregation was to declare its adherence to the law, and how the Day of Repentance, which had been observed since the beginning of the history of Israel, was instituted to be observed on the 24th day of the 7th month for all sins (9:1), and was not made superfluous by the celebration of the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the 7th month, on which day only the sins of the last year were taken into consideration. But Ezekiel changed or ignored also other pre-exilic arrangements (compare EZEKIEL), so that he is no authority in deciding the question as to the earlier existence of the Day of Atonement. Finally, attention must be drawn to the fact that the Passover festival is mentioned in prophetic literature, in addition to the mere reference in Isaiah 30:29, only in Ezekiel 45:21; the ark of the covenant only in Jeremiah 3:16; the Feast of Tabernacles only in Hosea 12:9 Ezekiel 45:25; and that in its historical connection the Feast of Weeks is mentioned incidentally only in 2 Chronicles 8:13, and possibly in 1 Kings 9:25, and is not at all found in Ezekiel (compare 45:18), although the existence of these institutions has for a very long time been called into question.

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or, "to be light," "the light breaks" (2 Samuel 2:32); auge, "bright light," "radiance" (Acts 20:11).



da (yom; hemera): This common word has caused some trouble to plain readers, because they have not noticed that the word is used in several different senses in the English Bible. When the different uses of the word are understood the difficulty of interpretation vanishes. We note several different uses of the word:

(1) It sometimes means the time from daylight till dark. This popular meaning is easily discovered by the context, e.g. Genesis 1:5; Genesis 8:22, etc. The marked periods of this daytime were morning, noon and night, as with us. See Psalm 55:17. The early hours were sometimes called "the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). After the exile the day. or daytime was divided into twelve hours and the night into twelve (see Matthew 20:1-12 John 11:9 Acts 23:23); 6:00 AM.m. would correspond to the first hour, 9 a.m. to the third; 12 noon to the sixth, etc. The hours were longer during the longer days and shorter during the shorter days, since they always counted 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.

(2) Day also means a period of 24 hours, or the time from sunset to sunset. In Bible usage the day begins with sunset (see Leviticus 23:32 Exodus 12:15-20 2 Corinthians 11:25, where night is put before day). See DAY AND NIGHT.

(3) The word "day" is also used of an indefinite period, e.g. "the day" or "day that" means in general "that time" (see Genesis 2:4 Leviticus 14:2); "day of trouble" (Psalm 20:1); "day of his wrath" (Job 20:28); "day of Yahweh" (Isaiah 2:12); "day of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:5 1 Thessalonians 5:2 2 Peter 3:10); "day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2);. "day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

(4) It is used figuratively also in John 9:4, where "while it is day" means "while I have opportunity to work, as daytime is the time for work." In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 8, "sons of the day" means spiritually enlightened ones.

(5) We must also bear in mind that with God time is not reckoned as with us (see Psalm 90:4 2 Peter 3:8).

(6) The apocalyptic use of the word "day" in Daniel 12:11 Revelation 2:10, etc., is difficult to define. It evidently does not mean a natural day. See APOCALYPSE.

(7) On the meaning of "day" in the story of Creation we note (a) the word "day" is used of the whole period of creation (Genesis 2:4); (b) these days are days of God, with whom one day is as a thousand years; the whole age or period of salvation is called "the day of salvation"; see above. So we believe that in harmony with Bible usage we may understand the creative days as creative periods. See also ASTRONOMY; CREATION; EVOLUTION.

G. H. Gerberding

Figurative: The word "day" is used figuratively in many senses, some of which are here given.

(1) The span of human life.- Genesis 5:4: "And the days of Adam. were eight hundred years." "And if thou wilt walk. then I will lengthen thy days" (1 Kings 3:14; compare Psalm 90:12 Isaiah 38:5).

(2) An indefinite time.-Existence in general: Genesis 3:14: "All the days of thy life" (compare Genesis 21:34 Numbers 9:19 Joshua 22:3 Luke 1:24 Acts 21:10).

(3) A set time.- Genesis 25:24: "And when her days. were fulfilled"; Daniel 12:13: "Thou shalt stand in thy lot, at the end of the days" (compare Leviticus 12:6 Daniel 2:44).

(4) A historic period.- Genesis 6:4: "The Nephilim were in the earth in those days"; Judges 17:6: "In those days there was no king in Israel" (compare 1 Samuel 3:1 1 Chronicles 5:17; Hosea 2:13).

(5) Past time.- Psalm 18:18: "the day of my calamity"; Psalm 77:5: "I have considered the days of old" (of Micah 7:20 Malachi 3:7 Matthew 23:30).

(6) Future time.- Deuteronomy 31:14: "Thy days approach that thou must die"; Psalm 72:7: "In his days shall." (compare Ezekiel 22:14 Joel 2:29 Matthew 24:19 2 Peter 3:3; Revelation 9:6).

(7) The eternal.-In Daniel 7:9, 13, where God is called "the ancient of days."

(8) A season of opportunity.- John 9:4: "We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (compare Romans 13:12, 13 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8). See DAY (4), above.

(9) Time of salvation.-Specially referring to the hopes and prospects of the parousia (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). Romans 13:12: "The night is far spent, and the day is at hand."

Henry E. Dosker


"Day," yom; ordinarily, the Hebrew "day" lasted from dawn to the coming forth of the starts (Nehemiah 4:21). The context usually makes it clear whether the term "day" refers to the period of twenty-four hours or to daytime; when there was a possibility of confusion, the term laylah, "night," was added (Genesis 7:4, 12; Genesis 31:39). The "day" is reckoned from evening to evening, in accordance with the order noted in the account of Creation, namely, "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:5); Leviticus 23:32 and Daniel 8:14 reflect the same mode of reckoning the day. The phrase `erebh boker, "evening-morning," used in this last passage, is simply a variation of yom and laylah, "day" and "night"; it is the equivalent of the Greek nuchthemeron (2 Corinthians 11:25). 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" (Judges 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 Numbers 11:32).

The transition of day to night begins before sunset and lasts till after sunset; the change of night to day begins before sunrise and continues until after sunrise. In both cases, neither `erebh, "evening," nor boqer, "morning," indicate an exact space of time (compare Genesis 8:11 Exodus 10:13 Deuteronomy 16:6).

The term nesheph, is used for both evening twilight and morning dawn (compare 1 Samuel 30:17 2 Kings 7:5, 7; Job 7:4). Since there were no definite measurements of the time of day, the various periods were indicated by the natural changes of the day; thus "midday" was the time of the day when the sun mounted its highest (cohorayim); afternoon was that part of the day when the sun declined (neToth ha-yom); and evening was the time of the going down of the sun (`erebh). "Between the evenings" (ben ha-`arbayim) was the interval between sunset and darkness. The day was not divided into hours until a late period. [sha`ah = Aramaic] (Daniel 3:6), is common in Syriac and in later Hebrew; it denoted, originally, any short space of time, and only later came to be equivalent to our "hour" (Driver). The threefold division of the day into watches continued into post-exilic Roman times; but the Roman method of four divisions was also known (Mark 13:35), where all four divisions are referred to: "at even" (opse), "midnight" (mesonuktion), "at cock crowing" (alektorophonia), "in the morning" (proi). These last extended from six to six o'clock (of also Matthew 14:25 Mark 13:35). Acts 12:4 speaks of four parties of four Roman soldiers (quaternions), each of whom had to keep guard during one watch of the night. In Berakhoth 3b, Rabbi Nathan (2nd century) knows of only three night-watches; but the patriarch, Rabbi Judah, knows four. See also DAY.

Horace J. Wolf


(he paraskeue, "preparation"): Considered as a day of preparation, in accordance with Exodus 16:23, both before the regular Sabbath and before a feast Sabbath (Matthew 27:62 Mark 15:42 Luke 23:54 John 19:14, 31, 42). At 3 p.m., the Hebrews began to prepare their food for the next day, and to perform all labors which were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath and yet must be done. They bathed and purified themselves, dressed in festive apparel, set their tables, and lighted their lamps. On the day before Easter, the Hebrews of the later period made it their chief business to remove all leaven from the house (1 Corinthians 5:7). This custom of converting at least a portion of the day before the Sabbath into a holy day was recognized by the Romans to such an extent that, according to a rescript of Augustus, Jews need not appear in court after 3 p.m. on such days. Criminal cases were not brought before court on this day, and journeys exceeding 12 Roman miles were prohibited. The signal for the preparations was given by the priests by means of trumpets blown six times at intervals.

Frank E. Hirsch


On the other hand the New Testament idea is pervaded with the elements of hope and joy and victory. In the New Testament it is eminently the day of Christ, the day of His coming in the glory of His father. The very conception of Him as the "Son of Man" points to this day (E. Kuehl, Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu, 68). John 5:27: "And he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man" (compare Matthew 24:27, 30 Luke 12:8). It is true in the New Testament there is a dark background to the bright picture, for it still remains a "day of wrath". (Romans 2:5, 6), a "great day" (Revelation 6:17 Jude 1:6), a "day of God" (2 Peter 3:12), a "day of judgment" (Matthew 10:15 2 Peter 3:7 Romans 2:16).

Sometimes it is called "that day" (Matthew 7:22 1 Thessalonians 5:4 2 Timothy 4:8), and again it is called "the day" without any qualification whatever, as if it were the only day worth counting in all the history of the world and of the race (1 Corinthians 3:13). To the unbeliever, the New Testament depicts it as a day of terror; to the believer, as a day of joy. For on that day Christ will raise the dead, especially His own dead, the bodies of those that believed in Him-"that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day" (John 6:39). In that day He comes to His own (Matthew 16:27), and therefore it is called "the day of our Lord Jesus" (2 Corinthians 1:14),"the day of Jesus Christ" or "of Christ" (Philippians 1:6, 10), the day when there "shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven" (Matthew 24:30). All Paulinic literature is especially suffused with this longing for the "parousia," the day of Christ's glorious manifestation. The entire conception of that day centers therefore in Christ and points to the everlasting establishment of the kingdom of heaven, from which sin will be forever eliminated, and in which the antithesis between Nature and grace will be changed into an everlasting synthesis. See also ESCHATOLOGY (OF THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW TESTAMENT).

Henry E. Dosker


(he eschate hemera): Repeatedly used by Jesus in John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; John 11:24; John 12:48, for the day of resurrection and judgment (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT). Compare the usage in the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:2 Micah 4:1) and the New Testament (Acts 2:17 2 Timothy 3:1 2 Peter 3:3 1 John 2:18 Jude 1:18) of "last days" and "last time" to denote the Messianic age.


In John 7:37, "the last day, the great day of the feast" refers to the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles. This closing day was observed as a Sabbath (Leviticus 23:36). On it the libation of water made on other days was not made; hence, the allusion of Jesus to Himself as the Giver of the living water.

James Orr


Is found in Genesis 29:7 as a rendering of the Hebrew yom agadhol, literally, "great day." The Hebrew means the day at its height, broad daylight as contrasted with the time for getting the cattle to their sheds for the night (compare French grand jour). In John 19:31, "highday" renders megale hemera, literally, "great day," and refers to the Passover Sabbath-and therefore a Sabbath of special sanctity.


(he kuriake hemera):

1. Linguistic:

Formerly it was supposed that the adjective kuriakos (translated "the Lord's") was a purely Christian word, but recent discoveries have proved that it was in fairly common use in the Roman Empire before Christian influence had been felt. In secular use it signified "imperial," "belonging to the lord"-the emperor-and so its adoption by Christianity in the sense "belonging to the Lord"-to Christ-was perfectly easy. Indeed, there is reason to suppose that in the days of Domitian, when the issue had been sharply defined as "Who is Lord? Caesar or Christ?" the use of the adjective by the church was a part of the protest against Caesar-worship (see LORD). And it is even possible that the full phrase, "the Lord's day," was coined as a contrast to the phrase, "the Augustean day" he sebaste hemera), a term that seems to have been used in some parts of the Empire to denote days especially dedicated in honor of Caesar-worship.

2. Post-Apostolic:

"Lord's day" in the New Testament occurs only in Revelation 1:10, but in the post-apostolic literature we have the following references: Ignatius, Ad Mag., ix.1, "No longer keeping the Sabbath but living according to the Lord's day, on which also our Light arose"; Ev. Pet., verse 35, "The Lord's day began to dawn" (compare Matthew 28:1); verse 50, "early on the Lord's day" (compare Luke 24:1); Barn 15 9, "We keep the eighth day with gladness," on which Jesus arose from the dead." I.e. Sunday, as the day of Christ's resurrection, was kept as a Christian feast and called "the Lord's day," a title fixed so definitely as to be introduced by the author of Ev. Pet. into phrases from the canonical Gospels. Its appropriateness in Revelation 1:10 is obvious, as John received his vision of the exalted Lord when all Christians had their minds directed toward His entrance into glory through the resurrection.

3. In the New Testament:

This "first day of the week" appears again in Acts 20:7 as the day on which the worship of the "breaking of bread" took place, and the impression given by the context is that Paul and his companions prolonged their visit to Troas so as to join in the service. Again, 1 Corinthians 16:2 contains the command, "Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store," where the force of the form of the imperative used (the present for repeated action) would be better represented in English by "lay by on the successive Sundays." Worship is here not explicitly mentioned (the Greek of "by him" is the usual phrase for "at home"), but that the appropriateness of the day for Christian acts involves an appropriateness for Christian worship is not to be doubted. Indeed, since the seven-day week was unknown to Greek thought, some regular observance of a hebdomadal cycle must have been settled at Corinth before Paul could write his command. Finally, the phrase, "first day in the week" is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Matthew 28:1 Mark 16:2 Luke 24:1 John 20:1, 19. The word in all passages for "first" is poor Greek (mia, "one," for prote, a Hebraism), and the coincidence of the form of the phrase in Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 with the form used by all four evangelists for the Resurrection Day 'is certainly not accidental; it was the fixed Christian base, just as "Lord's day" was to the writer of Ev. Pet.

4. Origin:

The hebdomadal observance of Sunday points back of Corinth to Jewish-Christian soil, but it is impossible to say when the custom first began. Not, apparently, in the earliest days, for Acts 2:46 represents the special worship as daily. But this could not have continued very long, for waning of the first enthusiasm, necessity of pursuing ordinary avocations, and increasing numbers of converts must soon have made general daily gatherings impracticable. A choice of a special day must have become necessary, and this day would, of course, have been Sunday. Doubtless, however, certain individuals and communities continued the daily gatherings to a much later date, and the appearance of Sunday as the one distinctive day for worship was almost certainly gradual.

5. Sunday and the Sabbath:

Sunday, however, was sharply distinguished from the Sabbath. One was the day on which worship was offered in a specifically Christian form, the other was a day of ritual rest to be observed by all who were subject? the Law of Moses through circumcision (Galatians 5:3; compare Acts 21:20). Uncircumcised Gentiles, however, were free from any obligation of Sabbath observance, and it is quite certain that in apostolic times no renewal of any Sabbath rules or transfer of them to Sunday was made for Gentileconverts. No observance of a particular "day of rest" is contained among the "necessary things" of Acts 15:28, 29, nor is any such precept found among all the varied moral directions given in the whole epistolary literature. Quite on the contrary, the observance of a given day as a matter of Divine obligation is denounced by Paul as a forsaking of Christ (Galatians 4:10), and Sabbath-keeping is condemned explicitly in Colossians 2:16. As a matter of individual devotion, to be sure, a man might do as he pleased (Romans 14:5, 6), but no general rule as necessary for salvation could be compatible with the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. Evidently, then, the fact that the Christian worship was held on Sunday did not sanctify Sunday any more than (say) a regular Wednesday service among us sanctifies Wednesday, noting especially that the apostolic service was held in the evening. For it was felt that Christian enthusiasm would raise every day to the highest religious plane, the decay of that enthusiasm through the long delay of the Parousia not being contemplated.

6. Later History:

The delay occurred, however, and for human beings in the ordinary routine of life there are necessary, not only set periods of worship, but set periods of relaxation from routine to make worship profitable. And the Christian fundamental doctrine of mercy demands that Christianity, where she has the power, shall give to men relief from the drain of continuous toil.

The formulation of general rules to carry these principles into effect, however, belongs to a period outside New Testament times, and so does not come within the scope of this Encyclopedia. It is enough to say that the ecclesiastical rules for Sunday were felt to be quite distinct from the laws for Sabbath observance, and that Alcuin (733?-804) is the first to hold that the church had transferred the Sabbath rules as a whole to Sunday. This principle is still maintained in Roman Catholic theology, but at the Reformation was rejected uncompromisingly by both Lutherans (Augsb. Conf., II, 7) and Calvinists (Helvet. Conf., XXIV, 1-2) in favor of a literally apostolic freedom (Calvin even proposed to adopt Thursday in place of Sunday). The appearance of the opposite extreme of a genuinely "legalistic" Sabbatarianism in the thoroughly Evangelical Scotch and English Puritanism is an anomaly that is explained by reaction from the extreme laxity of the surroundings.

7. Practical:

Sunday was fixed as the day for Christian worship by general apostolic practice, and the academic possibility of an alteration hardly seems worth discussing. If a literal apostolicity is to be insisted upon, however, the "breaking of bread" must be made part of the Sunday service. Rest from labor for the sake of worship, public and private, is intensely desirable, since the regaining of the general apostolic enthusiasm seems unattainable, but the New Testament leaves us quite free as to details. Rest from labor to secure physical and mental renewal rests on a still different basis, and the working out of details involves a knowledge of sociological and industrial conditions, as well as a knowledge of religious principles. It is the task of the pastor to combine the various principles and to apply them to the particular conditions of his people in their locality, in accordance with the rules that his own church has indubitably the right to lay down-very special attention being given, however, to the highly important matter of the peculiar problem offered by children. In all cases the general principles underlying the rules should be made clear, so that they will not appear as arbitrary legalism, and it is probably best not to use the term "Sabbath" for Sunday. Under certain conditions great freedom may be desirable, and such is certainly not inconsistent with our liberty in Christ. But experience, and not least of all the experience of the first churches of the Reformation, has abundantly shown that much general laxness in Sunday rules invariably results disastrously.

Seefurther, ETHICS OF JESUS, I, 3, (1).

LITERATURE. For the linguistic matters, Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 1910, 361-66. Hessey's Sunday (ed 1880) ("Bampton Lectures," 1860) contains a good summary of the history of the problems. Zockler's "Sonntagsfeier," PRE, edition 3, XVIII, 1906, 521-29 is the best general survey. In Sch-Herz this article ("Sunday") is harmed by abbreviation, but an exhaustive bibliography is added.

Burton Scott Easton





2250. hemera -- day
... day. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: hemera Phonetic Spelling:
(hay-mer'-ah) Short Definition: a day Definition: a day, the period from sunrise ...
// - 7k

1206. deuteraios -- on the second day
... on the second day. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: deuteraios Phonetic
Spelling: (dyoo-ter-ah'-yos) Short Definition: on the second day, on the next ...
// - 6k

1887. epaurion -- on the next day
... on the next day. Part of Speech: Adverb Transliteration: epaurion Phonetic Spelling:
(ep-ow'-ree-on) Short Definition: tomorrow Definition: tomorrow. ...
// - 6k

4315. prosabbaton -- the day before the Sabbath
... the day before the Sabbath. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: prosabbaton
Phonetic Spelling: (pros-ab'-bat-on) Short Definition: the day before the ...
// - 6k

3637. oktaemeros -- of the eighth day, eight days old
... of the eighth day, eight days old. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration:
oktaemeros Phonetic Spelling: (ok-tah-ay'-mer-os) Short Definition: belonging to ...
// - 6k

3904. paraskeue -- preparation, the day of preparation (for a ...
... preparation, the day of preparation (for a Sabbath or feast). Part of Speech: Noun,
Feminine Transliteration: paraskeue Phonetic Spelling: (par-ask-yoo-ay ...
// - 6k

3574. nuchthemeron -- lasting a night and a day
... lasting a night and a day. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: nuchthemeron
Phonetic Spelling: (nookh-thay'-mer-on) Short Definition: twenty-four ...
// - 6k

1967. epiousios -- for the coming day, for subsistence
... for the coming day, for subsistence. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration:
epiousios Phonetic Spelling: (ep-ee-oo'-see-os) Short Definition: for the morrow ...
// - 7k

2184. ephemeros -- for the day
... for the day. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: ephemeros Phonetic Spelling:
(ef-ay'-mer-os) Short Definition: for the day, daily Definition: for the day ...
// - 6k

4521. sabbaton -- the Sabbath, ie the seventh day (of the week)
... the Sabbath, ie the seventh day (of the week). Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: sabbaton Phonetic Spelling: (sab'-bat-on) Short Definition: the ...
// - 7k

Strong's Hebrew
3117. yom -- day
... 3116, 3117. yom. 3118 . day. Transliteration: yom Phonetic Spelling: (yome)
Short Definition: day. Word Origin a prim. root Definition ...
/hebrew/3117.htm - 7k

3118. yom -- day
... 3117, 3118. yom. 3119 . day. Transliteration: yom Phonetic Spelling: (yome)
Short Definition: days. Word Origin ... period (1). day by day, time. ...
/hebrew/3118.htm - 6k

3119. yomam -- daytime, by day
... 3118, 3119. yomam. 3120 . daytime, by day. Transliteration: yomam Phonetic
Spelling: (yo-mawm') Short Definition: day. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/3119.htm - 6k

1767. day -- sufficiency, enough
... 1766, 1767. day. 1768 . sufficiency, enough. Transliteration: day Phonetic
Spelling: (dahee) Short Definition: often. ... 1766, 1767. day. 1768 . ...
/hebrew/1767.htm - 6k

8032a. shilshom -- three days ago, day before, yesterday
... 8032, 8032a. shilshom or shilshom. 8032b . three days ago, day before, yesterday.
Transliteration: shilshom or shilshom Short Definition: previously. ...
/hebrew/8032a.htm - 5k

8032. shilshowm -- three days ago, day before, yesterday
... 8031, 8032. shilshowm. 8032a . three days ago, day before, yesterday.
Transliteration: shilshowm Phonetic Spelling: (shil-shome') Short Definition: time. ...
/hebrew/8032.htm - 5k

4283. mochorath -- the morrow
... 4282, 4283. mochorath or mochoratham. 4284 . the morrow. Transliteration:
mochorath or mochoratham Phonetic Spelling: (mokh-or-awth') Short Definition: day ...
/hebrew/4283.htm - 6k

1242. boqer -- morn- ing
... Word Origin from baqar Definition morn- ing NASB Word Usage dawn (1), dawn* (2),
day (1), daybreak (1), every morning (5), morning (195), mornings (2), soon (1 ...
/hebrew/1242.htm - 6k

5399. nesheph -- twilight
... Word Origin from nashaph Definition twilight NASB Word Usage dawn (2), dusky (1),
evening (1), twilight (8). dark, dawning of the day morning, night, twilight. ...
/hebrew/5399.htm - 6k

6153. ereb -- evening
... day, evening, tide, night. From arab; dusk -- + day, even(-ing, tide), night. see
HEBREW arab. 6152b, 6153. ereb. 6154 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/6153.htm - 6k


The Gospel Day
The Gospel Day. <. The Gospel Day Charles Ebert Orr. Table of Contents. Title
Page. PREFACE. INTRODUCTION. Christian Power. Christian Purity. ...
// gospel day /

All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
All Saints' Day and Other Sermons. <. All Saints' Day and Other
Sermons Charles Kingsley. Edited by Rev. W. Harrison ...
// saints day and other sermons/

'In that Day'
... 'IN THAT DAY'. 'And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture st john chaps xv to xxi/in that day.htm

The Last Day.
The Gospel Day. <. ... The Last Day. This gospel day is the last day.
There never will be another age of time. An age-to-come ...
// gospel day /the last day.htm

Christmas Day
... CHRISTMAS DAY. How will it dawn, the coming Christmas Day? A northern ...
Christmas Day. How will it dawn, the coming Christmas Day? ...
// and other poems/christmas day.htm

The Day of the Lord
... THE DAY OF THE LORD. ... Wisdom, Self-Sacrifice, Daring, and Love, Haste to the
battle-field, stoop from above, To the Day of the Lord at hand. ...
/.../kingsley/andromeda and other poems/the day of the lord.htm

Love and the Day
... ROMANS LOVE AND THE DAY. ... The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore
cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light, 13. ...
/.../maclaren/romans corinthians to ii corinthians chap v/love and the day.htm

A Day Off.
... (Mark vi:30-34.) A Day off. ... So He said to His disciples, "Let us take a day off."
And they could see the sense of it. They were tired too. ...
// talks on service/a day off.htm

My Song of To-Day
how I love Thee, Jesus! ... And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray! ...
// of a soul/my song of to-day.htm

The Joys of 'that Day'
... THE JOYS OF 'THAT DAY'. 'These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs:
but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you ...
/.../expositions of holy scripture st john chaps xv to xxi/the joys of that day.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The variable length of the natural day at different seasons led in the very earliest times to the adoption of the civil day (or one revolution of the sun) as a standard of time. The Hebrews reckoned the day from evening to evening, (Leviticus 23:32) deriving it from (Genesis 1:5) "the evening and the morning were the first day." The Jews are supposed, like the modern Arabs, to have adopted from an early period minute specifications of the parts of the natural day. Roughly, indeed, they were content to divide it into "morning, evening and noonday," (Psalms 55:17) but when they wished for greater accuracy they pointed to six unequal parts, each of which was again subdivided. These are held to have been --

  1. "the dawn."
  2. "Sunrise."
  3. "Heat of the day," about 9 oclock.
  4. "The two noons," (Genesis 43:16; 28:29)
  5. "The cool (lit. wind) of the day," before sunset, (Genesis 3:8) --so called by the Persians to this day.
  6. "Evening." Before the captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (Psalms 63:6; 90:4) viz. the first watch, lasting till midnight, (Lamentations 2:19) the "middle watch," lasting till cockcrow, (Judges 7:19) and the "morning watch," lasting till sunrise. (Exodus 14:24) In the New Testament we have allusions to four watches, a division borrowed from the Greeks and Romans. These were --
  7. From twilight till 9 o/clock, (Mark 11:11; John 20:19)
  8. Midnight, from 9 till 12 oclock, (Mark 13:35) 3 Macc 5:23.
  9. Till daybreak. (John 18:28) The word held to mean "hour" is first found in (Daniel 3:6,15; 5:5) Perhaps the Jews, like the Greeks, learned from the Babylonians the division of the day into twelve parts. In our Lord's time the division was common. (John 11:9)
ATS Bible Dictionary

The day is distinguished into natural, civil, and artificial. The natural day is one revolution of the earth on its axis. The civil day is that, the beginning and the end of which are determined by the custom of any nation. The Hebrews began their day in the evening, Le 23:32; the Babylonians at sunrise; and we begin at midnight. The artificial day is the time of the sun's continuance above the horizon, which is unequal according to different seasons, on account of the obliquity of the equator. The sacred writers generally divide the day into twelve hours. The sixth hour always ends at noon throughout the year; and the twelfth hour is the last hour before sunset. But in summer, all the hours of the day were longer than in winter, while those of night were shorter. See HOURS, and THREE.

The word day is also often put for an indeterminate period, for the time of Christ's coming in the flesh, and of his second coming to judgment, Isaiah 2:12 Ezekiel 13:5 John 11:24 1 Thessalonians 5:2. The prophetic "day" usually is to be understood as one year, and the prophetic "year" or "time" as 360 days, Ezekiel 4:6. Compare the three and half years of Daniel 7:25, with the forty-two months and twelve hundred and sixty days of Revelation 11:2,3.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Leviticus 23:32). It was originally divided into three parts (Psalm 55:17). "The heat of the day" (1 Samuel 11:11; Nehemiah 7:3) was at our nine o'clock, and "the cool of the day" just before sunset (Genesis 3:8). Before the Captivity the Jews divided the night into three watches, (1) from sunset to midnight (Lamentations 2:19); (2) from midnight till the cock-crowing (Judges 7:19); and (3) from the cock-crowing till sunrise (Exodus 14:24). In the New Testament the division of the Greeks and Romans into four watches was adopted (Mark 13:35). (see WATCHES.)

The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan. 3:6, 15; 4:19; 5:5. This mode of reckoning was borrowed from the Chaldeans. The reckoning of twelve hours was from sunrise to sunset, and accordingly the hours were of variable length (John 11:9).

The word "day" sometimes signifies an indefinite time (Genesis 2:4; Isaiah 22:5; Hebrews 3:8, etc.). In Job 3:1 it denotes a birthday, and in Isaiah 2:12, Acts 17:31, and 2 Timothy 1:18, the great day of final judgment.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The time of light, or interval between one night and the next; the time between sunrise and sunset, or from dawn to darkness; hence, the light; sunshine.

2. (n.) The period of the earth's revolution on its axis. -- ordinarily divided into twenty-four hours. It is measured by the interval between two successive transits of a celestial body over the same meridian, and takes a specific name from that of the body. Thus, if this is the sun, the day (the interval between two successive transits of the sun's center over the same meridian) is called a solar day; if it is a star, a sidereal day; if it is the moon, a lunar day. See Civil day, Sidereal day, below.

3. (n.) Those hours, or the daily recurring period, allotted by usage or law for work.

4. (n.) A specified time or period; time, considered with reference to the existence or prominence of a person or thing; age; time.

5. (n.) (Preceded by the) Some day in particular, as some day of contest, some anniversary, etc.

Day (17670 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary The Jews reckoned the day from sunset to sunset (Leviticus
23:32). ... The division of the day by hours is first mentioned in Dan. ...
/d/day.htm - 70k

Birth-day (2 Occurrences)
Birth-day. Birthday, Birth-day. Birth-pains . Easton's Bible Dictionary ... On the
occasion of Herod's birth-day John the Baptist was beheaded (Matthew 14:6). ...
/b/birth-day.htm - 7k

Holy-day (2 Occurrences)
Holy-day. Holyday, Holy-day. Holy-everyone . Multi-Version
Concordance Holy-day (2 Occurrences). Colossians 2:16 Let ...
/h/holy-day.htm - 7k

To-day (208 Occurrences)
To-day. Today, To-day. Today's . Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (prep.)
On this day; on the present day. 2. (n.) The present day. ...
/t/to-day.htm - 37k

Sabbath-day (23 Occurrences)
Sabbath-day. Sabbath-breaking, Sabbath-day. Sabbath-days .
Multi-Version Concordance Sabbath-day (23 Occurrences). Luke ...
/s/sabbath-day.htm - 13k

Day-time (11 Occurrences)
Day-time. Daytime, Day-time. Dazed . Multi-Version Concordance
Day-time (11 Occurrences). Luke 21:37 And in the day-time ...
/d/day-time.htm - 9k

Noon-day (8 Occurrences)
Noon-day. Noonday, Noon-day. Noontide . Multi-Version Concordance
Noon-day (8 Occurrences). Deuteronomy 28:29 And thou ...
/n/noon-day.htm - 8k

Day-star (2 Occurrences)
Day-star. Daystar, Day-star. Daytime . Noah Webster's Dictionary 1.
(n.) The morning star; the star which ushers in the day. ...
/d/day-star.htm - 8k

Day's (19 Occurrences)
...Day's journey. The usual length of a day's journey in the East, on camel or horseback,
in six or eight hours, is about 25 or 30 miles. ...DAY'S JOURNEY. ...
/d/day's.htm - 17k

Feast-day (5 Occurrences)
Feast-day. Feast, Feast-day. Feast-days . Multi-Version Concordance
Feast-day (5 Occurrences). Matthew 26:5 But they ...
/f/feast-day.htm - 7k

Bible Concordance
Day (17670 Occurrences)

Day occurs 17670 times in 12 translations.

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Day and Night

Day Before the Sabbath

Day of Atonement

Day of Christ

Day of Judgment

Day of Rest

Day of the Lord

Day of Yahweh

Day: A Creative Period

Day: A Time of Festivity Called A: Day of Gladness

Day: A Time of Festivity Called A: Day of Good Tidings

Day: A Time of Festivity Called A: Day Which the Lord Has Made

Day: A Time of Festivity Called A: Good Day

Day: A Time of Festivity Called A: Solemn Day

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Adversity

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Anger

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Calamity

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Darkness

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Destruction

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Evil

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Slaughter

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of The Lord

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Trouble

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Vengeance

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Visitation

Day: A Time of Judgment Called a Day of Wrath

Day: A Time of Mercy Called a Day of God's Power

Day: A Time of Mercy Called a Day of Redemption

Day: A Time of Mercy Called a Day of Salvation

Day: A Time of Mercy Called a Day of Visitation

Day: Artificial, Divided Into: Break of

Day: Artificial, Divided Into: Decline of

Day: Artificial, Divided Into: Evening

Day: Artificial, Divided Into: Morning

Day: Artificial, Divided Into: Noon

Day: Artificial, the Time of the Sun's Continuance Above The

Day: Day's Journey, Eighteen or Twenty Miles

Day: Divided Into Twelve Hours

Day: Judgment: A Figure of Spiritual Illumination

Day: Judgment: Called the Day of the Lord

Day: Later Subdivided Into Twelve Hours

Day: Made for the Glory of God

Day: Natural, from Evening to Evening

Day: Proclaims the Glory of God

Day: Prophetic

Day: Prophetical, a Year

Day: Sabbath Day's Journey, About Two-Thousand Paces

Day: Six Working Days Ordained

Day: Sometimes Divided Into Four Parts

Day: Spiritual Light

Day: Succession of, Secured by Covenant

Day: Th Sixth Day of the Week Called Preparation Day

Day: The First Day of the Week Called the Lord's Day

Day: The Light First Called

Day: The Path of the Just

Day: The Time for Labour

Day: Time of Judgment

Day: Time of, Ascertained by the Dial

Day: Times of Adversity Called Day of the Lord

Day: Under the Control of God

Day: Wild Beasts Hide During

Related Terms

Birth-day (2 Occurrences)

Holy-day (2 Occurrences)

To-day (208 Occurrences)

Sabbath-day (23 Occurrences)

Day-time (11 Occurrences)

Noon-day (8 Occurrences)

Day-star (2 Occurrences)

Day's (19 Occurrences)

Feast-day (5 Occurrences)

Judgment-day (4 Occurrences)

Mid-day (4 Occurrences)

Good-day (2 Occurrences)

Day-spring (2 Occurrences)

Festival-day (1 Occurrence)

Fast-day (1 Occurrence)

To-day's (1 Occurrence)

Day-break (1 Occurrence)

Preparation-day (1 Occurrence)

Three-day (2 Occurrences)

Seven-day (2 Occurrences)

Lord's-day (1 Occurrence)

Sabbath-day's (1 Occurrence)

Self-same (17 Occurrences)

Selfsame (18 Occurrences)

Servile (13 Occurrences)

Yesterday (13 Occurrences)

Yearling (48 Occurrences)

Sepulcher (48 Occurrences)

Susa (20 Occurrences)

Quail (5 Occurrences)

Quenched (22 Occurrences)

Sailed (28 Occurrences)

Xerxes (24 Occurrences)

Sixth (45 Occurrences)

Sunset (18 Occurrences)

Sailing (23 Occurrences)

Spoiling (20 Occurrences)

Shineth (13 Occurrences)

Yeast (48 Occurrences)

Vows (38 Occurrences)

Sheaf (11 Occurrences)

Vengeance (63 Occurrences)

Sepulchre (57 Occurrences)

Sorry (27 Occurrences)

Visitation (17 Occurrences)

Spent (76 Occurrences)

Quails (4 Occurrences)

Zeru'iah (24 Occurrences)

Kibroth-hattaavah (5 Occurrences)

Kibrothhattaavah (5 Occurrences)

Survived (15 Occurrences)

Succeeding (7 Occurrences)

Shadows (11 Occurrences)

Successful (16 Occurrences)

Swordsmen (8 Occurrences)

Saving (37 Occurrences)

Supposed (19 Occurrences)

Swords (50 Occurrences)

Spear (55 Occurrences)

Sang (28 Occurrences)

Spend (54 Occurrences)

Shave (19 Occurrences)

Sabbatical (1 Occurrence)

Servant's (29 Occurrences)

Zeruiah (25 Occurrences)

Kindle (25 Occurrences)

Sail (32 Occurrences)

Shouldst (61 Occurrences)

Shore (45 Occurrences)

Saveth (36 Occurrences)

Silent (120 Occurrences)

Sacrificing (39 Occurrences)

Serious (31 Occurrences)

Smiting (76 Occurrences)

Sacred (140 Occurrences)

Homes (43 Occurrences)

Kiriath-jearim (17 Occurrences)

Shine (62 Occurrences)

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