Genesis 1:14-18 "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good."
Determining an Hour
There is only one Scriptural reference to hours in a day.
Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Jesus clearly defines a complete day as twelve hours during the daylight portion,
and though he does not specifically says how many hours are in the night
portion, it would only make sense that there are twelve in the night portion as
So an hour can be defined as 1/12 of time between sunset and sunrise, and 1/12 of the time between sunrise and
sunset, equaling 24 hours for a complete day and night.
The first hour of the day is always based on the sunrise and divided into
twelve hours, thus the first hour of every day starts at sunrise and ends at
sunset. At sunset the first hour of the night begins, with hours one through
twelve repeated again for the twelve hours of night.
Matthew 20:3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing
idle in the marketplace,
Matthew 20:5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did
Matthew 20:6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others
standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
Matthew 20:9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they
received every man a penny.
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
John 1:39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
John 4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
John 4:52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
Acts 2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
Acts 10:3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
Acts 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
Acts 23:23 And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;
Something to keep in mind is that, God's hours do not equal exactly sixty
minutes as today's hours do.
The duration of an hour varies with the seasons. A day hour is shorter in duration during winter when
the night is longer in duration and a day hour during the summer is longer in duration.
There are always exactly 24 hours between the sunsets. However, the duration of time between two sunsets measured in
today's hours, minutes, and seconds changes slightly throughout the year.
The John 19:14 Confusion
John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth
hour (should say about the third hour, 9 a.m.): and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
There appears to be a discrepancy, or is there?
In the 200’s AD, one of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, wrote about the problem with John 19:14 in section 6 of a work entitled: That up to the Time of the Destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews Rightly Appointed the Fourteenth Day of the First Lunar Month:
“When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment-seat, in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the third hour,” as the correct books render it, and the copy itself that was written by the hand of the evangelist, which, by the divine grace, has been preserved in the most holy church of Ephesus, and is there adored by the faithful."
The original manuscript, which was still available at that time, had it correct.
Even today, a few ancient manuscripts still say “third hour” in John 19:14,
but because the numbers are small, most of the Greek texts that are the basis of modern Bible translations say “sixth hour”.
Determining a Day
A day begins at sunset and ends at the next sunset.
Sunset is the moment that the trailing edge of the sun's disc disappears below the horizon. Sunset should not be confused with
night which is the time between sunset and night and is called evening twilight.
The time between night and sunrise is called the morning twilight, which is
when the sky is beginning to light but the sun is not yet visible.
Genesis 24:11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the
*evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
Exodus 16:13 And it came to pass, that at *even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the
**morning the dew lay round about the host.
Leviticus 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at
*even, from even unto *even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Deuteronomy 16:6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at
*even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 28:67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were *even! and at
*even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
Judges 19:16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at
*even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.
1 Chronicles 23:30 And to stand every **morning
to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at *even;
*Even = (From H1239; properly dawn (as the break of day); generally morning: - (+) day, early, morning, morrow.)
**Morning = (From H6150; dusk: - + day, even -ing, tide)
Even twilight is understood as a transitional period between day and night, and
morning twilight is understood as a transitional period between night and day.
Determining a Month
A God's Month begins at the moment of sunset and the moon's crescent first becomes visible to the naked eye in
Jerusalem. Sightings with the naked eye only occur if the moon appears in the upper left area outlined by the white visibility lines in the sunset diagram below.
Crescent New Moon means the first visible sliver.
The New Moon was proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the 30th
day of each month there had to be testimony of two reliable witnesses, at which
time they sanctified the New Moon. If the Moon's crescent was not seen by the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st
God's months are 12 in a regular year, and 13 in a leap year.
Determining a Year
The year begins at the moment of sunset in Jerusalem, on the evening of the first crescent moon. A
year can begin before or after the spring equinox. It occurs in March or April each year based upon the lunar cycle.
Exodus 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
The new moon was just prior to the barley harvest, but long before the wheat harvest.
Exodus 9:30 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was boiled
(in bud). But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown
So the time of the year was in the spring just when the barley was beginning to ripen, but before its harvesting.
Leviticus 23: 10,11 When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the
During the week of unleavened bread, the third week of the first month, there was to be a sheaf of grain (barley) waved as part of the ceremony. The harvest could be under way during the time of this ceremony, but none of it could be eaten until after
the wave sheaf offering.
It is important we understand that the barley harvest was then in process, because this is a necessary
in determining which new moon to use as the first month.
For us to be in harmony with this festival practice, the first month of the new year must begin on or after the spring equinox.
Always begin the new year on the first new moon on or after the spring equinox. Always begin each new month on the visible appearance of the new crescent of the moon in Palestine.
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the sun, the sun being vertically above a point on the equator. The name equinox is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equal in length.
A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.
The average duration of an astronomical solar year is approximately 365.2422857 days based upon calculations of earth's orbit around the sun over a 7000 year period.