“So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5)
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from The New King James Version.
Here we have the beginning of the first “day” of creation. The beginning is called evening which begins after the sun has set. This division of God’s time called “day” was divided into two parts:
“God called the light DAY, and the darkness He called NIGHT. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5)
The night or darkness preceded the light or day.
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:2-3)
Therefore the common expression of evening (even) as applied to the close of the day is incorrectly used according to God’s Word. The even or evening of any day is the beginning and not the ending. We must first have an ending. Let us search out some scriptures to give us light on this subject.
“At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.” (Mark 1:32)
This proves that even or evening is at sunset, the beginning of another day. In this particular instance it was the beginning of the first day of the week now commonly called Sunday. Why? Please read the 21st verse of Mark 1:
“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.” (Mark 1:21)
Reading on down this chapter we come to verse 32 which we just quoted to show that “at even, when the sun did set,” was after the Sabbath was past and another day had begun.
And again in Luke 4:16 it says:
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” (Luke 4:16)
Following the worship in the synagogue we read verse 40 of this same chapter:
“When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” (Luke 4:40)
This shows that the Sabbath day had passed with the setting of the sun, and another day had begun. For the Jews would not carry the burden of their sick to Jesus on the Sabbath day to be healed.
The evening of any day is not the end or close of that day, but is the beginning of another day. In Deuteronomy 23:11 it reads:
“But it shall be, when evening comes, that he shall wash with water; and when the sun sets, he may come into the camp.” (Deuteronomy 23:11)
Here we have two synonymous expressions: “When evening cometh on” and “when the sun is down,” showing the beginning of another day.
In Leviticus 11:24-25 it shows that uncleanness lasted until that day was past, and the even (beginning of another day) was come. Read both of these verses.
Turn to Judges 19:9, and read:
“Look, the day is now drawing toward evening; please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end; lodge here, that your heart may be merry. Tomorrow go your way early, so that you may get home.” (Judges 19:9)
Yes, the light part or day was drawing toward evening, but had not yet come to it. The day was growing to an end. The close of a day is called the end of that day.
In Matthew 28:1, we read:
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn (draw on), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.” (Matthew 28:1)
They came in the end (not the beginning) of the Sabbath (7th day) to see the sepulchre.
The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament gives it thus:
“Now late on Sabbath, as it was getting dusk toward (the) first (day) of (the) week, came Mary the Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” (Matthew 28:1)
The terms “late on”, “the end”, etc. denote the latter part of the day, never “even or evening.”
Now we return to Exodus 12:6,
“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.” (Exodus 12:6)
When was the Passover lamb to be killed? The verse just quoted says “in the evening.” This was the beginning (not the ending) of the fourteenth day after the sun had gone down. From the beginning of this day (the 14th) to the beginning of the next day (the 15th) there were twenty-four hours. The Passover lamb was not killed in the end of any day, but in the evening (the beginning) of the 14th just after the close or end of the
13th after the sun had gone down. Jesus ate the Passover lamb every year at the same time, and the last supper with His disciples was absolutely no exception. Everything concerning the last Passover supper that was observed by Jesus with His disciples was on the dark part (beginning) of the 14th day as it had always been since the coming of the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. Read Exodus 12th chapter. In John 13:30 it says:
“Having received the piece of bread, he [Judas] then went out immediately. And it was night.” (John 13:30)
This dark part (night) was the beginning of the 14th starting at sunset, and it is according to all the calculations governing God’s day. This rules out entirely the 15th of Nisan as having any part in the Passover, or the Lord’s Supper.
“that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread.” (1 Corinthians 11: 23)
It was in the evening (beginning) of the 14th that He ate the last Passover and instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; the very same night in which He was betrayed.
Sabbath evening is always recognized as the beginning of the Sabbath just after the end of Friday. Also the world recognizes this fact, for the so-called Christmas Eve is the evening or night preceding Christmas day.
Going back to God’s creation of the day in Genesis 1 says:
“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5)
This was a complete 24 hours. The beginning of the night was “evening”, and the beginning of the day was “morning.” Putting the parts together as a whole constituted the first full day. This was God’s first day, and this procedure was repeated until God had seven full days. This has never been changed, although man has repeatedly tried to do so.
For anyone to deviate from this timely way set forth in the Word of God may rob himself of eternal life. God’s way is the right way, and He is very particular. Let us adhere to it in every jot and tittle.
The Church of God - Publishing House- Salem, West Virginia