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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Day

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Day. The Hebrews, probably, from the narrative of creation, Genesis 1:5; see Daniel 8:14, marg., began their day at sunset. Leviticus 23:32. Their divisions of the day appear to have been in early times very inartificial. Thus we read of a distribution into three parts—evening, morning, and noon. Psalms 55:17. The first mention of an hour is by the prophet Daniel, Daniel 3:6; Daniel 3:15; Daniel 4:19, "for a while," R. V.; 5:5; probably, then, the reckoning of the twelve hours or the day was borrowed from the Chaldeans. In New Testament times it was a well understood distribution of time. John 11:9. These twelve hours, extending from sunrise to sunset, were, of course, of variable length. The variation is not, however, so much as it would be in our latitude: and, the sixth hour being noon, the third may be roughly said to be our nine in the morning, the ninth three in the afternoon. The nights were divided into watches, at first three, afterwards four. The word "day" is used in various senses, sometimes for a festal or birthday, Job 3:1; sometimes for the great day of God's judgment, Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 1:18. The meaning is sometimes indefinite, as it is with us, Genesis 2:4; and according to some the "days" of creation, Genesis 1:6; Genesis 1:8; Genesis 1:13; Genesis 1:19; Genesis 1:23; Genesis 1:31, indicate not natural days, but long periods of time. Day is also used symbolically, Numbers 14:34; and sharp contests there are among interpreters of prophecy whether the days of Daniel 12:11-12; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 11:9 do not mean years.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Day'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/d/day.html. 1893.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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