“God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5).
“So there was evening, and there was morning, a second day” (Genesis 1:8 ).
“So there was evening, and there was morning, a third day” (Genesis 1:13).
“So there was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:19).
“So there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day” (Genesis 1:23).
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).
Each of the first six days of creation began and ended with “there was evening and there was morning.”
The Hebrew word for ‘day’ is yom. It is the period of daylight that contrasts night’s darkness. With regards to creation, each yom was a 24-hour period that began in the evening at sunset and went through day until the next sunset. The original Sabbath yom did not have a time limitation, there was no ‘evening and morning.’ The created Sabbath yom was never supposed to end. Adam and Eve were to live in Gan Eden for eternity; however, when sin entered the world, the eternal Sabbath yom ended. It became a weekly Sabbath yom.
“On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce” (Genesis 2:2-3).
The Hebrew word for ‘light’ is or and is first seen in Genesis 1:3. It does not mean ‘day’ but is the opposite of darkness.
The Hebrew word for ‘night’ is laila. It is the period of time that is dark. During Biblical times, laila was divided into three watches: sunset to 10 p.m., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., 2 a.m. to sunrise.
The Hebrew word for ‘darkness’ is choshek and means darkness and obscurity. The or was separated from the choshek.
The Hebrew word for ‘evening’ is erev. This word represents the time of day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun and was used in Genesis 1:5 on the first day of creation. Erev can also mean night and therefore, there was night and then there was day. This is significant because darkness always comes before light whether it’s the first day of creation or we walk in darkness until we are called into the light.
The Hebrew word for ‘morning’ or ‘daybreak’ is boker. It does not mean the period of time before noon, but that point in time which night is changing to day or the sunrise. When it is used as the antonym for night, boker means the entire period of daylight.
The Seventh Day
“Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God” (Genesis 1:31).
One of The Ten Commandments is to ‘remember’ the Sabbath yom –– the Eternal yom with a weekly yom. The weekly yom of Sabbath became part of the seven-day cycle of the week with each yom beginning with evening (erev) and ending with morning (boker).
The importance of remembering the Sabbath yom is not about looking back to what was lost, but looking forward to. To ‘remember’ the weekly Sabbath yom is a vision of the restoration of the eternal yom in Paradise.
Evening to Evening, Sunset to Sunset
The command to eat matzah went from the erev of the fourteenth day to the erev of the twenty-first day and lasted seven days. Each yom was counted from evening to evening or sunset to sunset.
“From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day, you are to eat matzah” (Exodus 12:18).
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Since this holy day is called a yom, this is a perfect example of how God defines a yom.
“It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening” (Leviticus 23:32).
Nehemiah had the gates of Jerusalem closed for the Sabbath. When the sun began to set, the gates closed until after the Sabbath. No loads were brought into the city during the nighttime hours or the daytime hours.
“So when the gates of Yerushalayim began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat” (Nehemiah 13:19).
The Gospels make clear when the Sabbath begins and ends. Matthew states the ‘day was dawning’ or boker. Mark says it was ‘just after sunrise” or boker. These verses prove that erev Shabbat was over and daylight was coming in the sunrise. Luke and John say that it was ‘very early’ and still dark. The yom begins not in the morning at daylight, but in evening when darkness falls.
“After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave” (Matthew 28:1).
“Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb” (Mark 16:2).
“But the next day, while it was still very early, they took the spices they had prepared, went to the tomb” (Luke 24:1).
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb” (John 20:1).
“Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
In Eternity, the restored Sabbath, yom and laila will no longer exist nor will the ‘light’ of a lamp or the sun –– Adonai is the light. Still, the 24-hour Sabbath yom will still be celebrated along with a monthly cycle through the Rosh Chodesh. How will that be? Only God knows. Until then, from sunset to sunset on the seventh day, Adonai gave the weekly Sabbath yom to enter into a moment of what is to come.
“For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. “Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai” (Isaiah 66:22-23).
©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing and Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew and Greek Words.