When Does The Sabbath Begin?
Morning or Evening?
© 1995 Greg L. Price
Historically, there has existed a controversy over the terminus a quo (i.e. the starting point) of a new day. Two views have predominated the discussion: (1) A new day begins at morning; or (2) A new day begins at evening. However, within each of these major views there are even further distinctions. On the one hand, if one holds that a new day begins in the morning, does it begin at midnight or sunrise? On the other hand, if one affirms that a new day begins in the evening, does it begin at noon or sunset?
These are questions that may seem to be quite trivial at first glance. What difference does it make to God when I reckon a day to begin and end? There are certain duties I must perform each day in order to be faithful to the Lord and I must perform the same duties whether I reckon a day to begin in the morning or in the evening. Right? Wrong!
The significance of this study revolves around the necessary issue of Sabbath keeping. It is a necessary and binding obligation upon all people everywhere to keep the Sabbath day holy unto the Lord. This moral duty rests upon the following warrant from God’s holy Word: (1) It is a creation mandate just as is marriage, procreation, labor, and dominion (Gen. 2:1-3); (2) It is a moral commandment from the Judge of the universe just as is the prohibition against worshipping other gods, murdering, committing adultery, stealing, or lying (Ex. 20:1-17); (3) It remains a binding duty upon “man” (not simply upon Israel) for the Son of Man continues to be Lord of the Sabbath (Mt. 12:8; Mk. 2:27-28); and (4) It marks the beginning of the new creation at the Lord’s resurrection (Mk. 16:9; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Heb. 4:9; Rev. 1:10). For further study on matters related to the Sabbath, you will find resources listed in the Bibliography (pp.28-29)…