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Easton's Bible Dictionary


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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 Daniel 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.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Day'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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