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People's Dictionary of the Bible
Watches of the Night
Watches of the Night. The original division of the night was into three watches—"the beginning of the watches," from sunset to 10 o'clock, Lamentations 2:19; "the middle watch," from 10 to 2 o'clock, Judges 7:19; and "the morning watch," from 2 o'clock to sunrise, Exodus 14:24; 1 Samuel 11:11—but after the captivity the Jews adopted the custom of Rome and Greece, which divided the twelve hours of the night into four watches, beginning with 6 in the afternoon—"even," from 6 to 9 o'clock; "midnight," from 9 to 12; "cock-crowing," from 12 to 3; and "morning," from 3 to 6. Matthew 14:25; Mark 13:35; Luke 12:38.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Watches of the Night'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/w/watches-of-the-night.html. 1893.
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