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People's Dictionary of the Bible

Watches of the Night

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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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Bibliography Information
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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