When Does A Day Begin?

Thorah 1.1-5 (aka Genesis 1:1-5)

ba-ra'ashayth bar' ala'aym ath ha-shamaym wa-ath ha-arats wa-ha-arats haythah tha'o wa-ba'o wa-khashach ghal panay tha'om wa-rokh ala'aym marakhapath ghal panay ha-maym wa-ya'amar ala'aym YA'AY OR wa-ya'ay or wa-yar' ala'aym ath ha-or chay tob wa-yabadal ala'aym bayn ha-or wa-bayn ha-khashach wa-yakar' ala'aym la-or yom wa-la-khashach kar' laylah wa-ya'ay gharab wa-ya'ay bakar yom akhad.

"In the beginning created ala'aym the heaven and the earth. And the earth was flat and empty. And darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the power of ala'aym fluttered upon the face of the water. And ala'aym said: 'LET THERE BE LIGHT'. And there was light. And ala'aym saw the light that it was good. And ala'aym put a division between the light and between the darkness. And ala'aym called the light 'Daytime' and the darkness He called 'Nighttime'. And there was evening and there was morning: Day one".

The first mistake most people make when they read Genesis chapter one is reading it from a watered down translation in English made over 400 years ago, or some other heathen tongue. The second mistake most people make is to assume that the "Jewish" interpretation of this chapter is incontrovertible. The third mistake everyone makes when reading this text is assuming the first mention of khashach ("darkness") in Genesis 1:2 is the same thing as the gharab ("evening") mentioned in Genesis 1:5. The word khashach simply means the absence of light. But the word gharab is not simply the absence of light. The word gharab involves the motion of the sun. The word gharab means when the sun moves beyond the western horizon line and can no longer be seen, i.e. sunset. You cannot have a sunset without a sun. The straightforward chronology given in Thorah 1.1-5 leaves no shadow of any doubt whatsoever that the Day begins at sunrise in the morning.

  1. heaven and earth created in the beginning

  2. darkness was upon the face of the deep

  3. ala'aym said: 'LET THERE BE LIGHT'

  4. light was divided from darkness

  5. light was called 'Daytime'

  6. darkness was called 'Nighttime'

  7. and then there was evening (sunset)

  8. and then there was morning (sunrise)

  9. Day 1 ends (and Day 2 begins)

The light created on Day 1 was the sun. People are misreading Genesis 1:14 where it mentions that the sun was made the greater light on Day 4. All this means is that the sun, which was created on Day 1, received the company of additional luminaries on Day 4, but the sun was made the greatest light. Before Day 4 the sun was the only light around, but as of Day 4 it could be compared to other lights in the sky and the sun was now made to be the greater. Day 4 was not the day the sun was created. It was the day the sun was made to be the greatest of all lights.

The light that the sun cast down upon the earth on Day 1 was called yom ('Daytime'). The mention of yom precedes the mention of laylah ('Nighttime'). Notice that khashach ('darkness') does not receive a name until AFTER light is given a name. This proves that yom ('Daytime') comes before laylah ('Nighttime') and that a yom cannot begin with darkness. How can Daytime hours begin at the same time Nighttime hours begin? Makes absolutely no sense.

The expression "and there was evening" also proves that the sun was created on Day 1 and that gharab ('evening') is always that point in the course of a day when the sun vanishes from sight at the western horizon line. In other words, 12 hours after the sun was created there was sunset in the west.

The expression "and there was morning" also proves that 12 hours passed after the first sunset unto the first sunrise in the east. The word bakar ('morning') also means sunrise. You cannot have a sunrise without a sun!

If there is nothing new under the sun then a typical 'day' has always been 24 hours long, and sunset and sunrise have always been separated by 12 hours max. Therefore, the full expression "and there was evening and there was morning" in Genesis 1:5, and throughout the first chapter of Genesis, does not encompass a full 24 hours. This expression only covers 12 hours max. Thus, a full 24-hour day begins with 'Daytime' hours at sunrise and ends the following sunrise. It always has. The passage in Nakham-Ya'oh (aka Nehemiah) where he ordered the gates of the city of Yaroshalam (Jerusalem) shut at sundown does not mean shabath began at sundown. He ordered the gates shut so that the foreign merchants would not be able to get inside the city in the nighttime and set up their booths to be ready to start selling their goods at sunrise, and thereby cause the people to violate the shabath day. The merchants tried to circumvent the order by setting up their lodgings and their booths along the walls of the city on the outside on the shabath days until Nakham-Ya'oh threatened them with violence (Neh. 13:15-21).

Another point where people go way wrong, because they are following the Jewish interpretation, is with Thorah 3.23.32 (aka Leviticus 23:32) where the special shabath prior to the Day of Atonement begins at even and ends the following even. This is a unique ANNUAL event, not a weekly event. The chart below breaks it down. This special annual shabath commences in the evening of 7/9 so that there will be a window of time every year on the Day of Atonement (7/10) for you to prepare for the weekly shabath which begins the next day (7/11) at sunrise. The weekly shabath begins at sunrise just like every other day of the seven-day week.

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