A number of scholars in trying to prove the biblical day ended at sunset
make reference to the Creation verses in Genesis chapter 1.
Genesis, starting in verse 5, repeatedly describes a day as an 'evening
and a morning'.
Gen 1:5 ... So the evening and the morning were the
1:8 ... So the evening and the morning were the
The verse 5 text immediately followed after the creation of light, an
event which resulted in a period of daylight and a period of night.
Many, having been taught the biblical day ended at sunset, then conclude
'morning' equates to daylight and 'evening' equates to night.
Unfortunately Scripture does not confirm this reasoning.
Mark 1:35 Now in the morning, having risen a long
while before daylight, He went out and
departed to a solitary place; and there
Job 3:9 May the stars of its morning be dark; ...
Having seen that morning does not equate to daylight, one might conclude
that morning was the period from 'midnight to midday' and evening was the
period from 'midday to midnight'.
Even if for the moment one does consider the words 'evening' and 'morning'
in this context, the description 'the evening and the morning' would be
indicating that 'noon', the start of 'evening' and the end of 'morning',
represented the start (and end) of the 24 hour day and no one is suggesting
this is correct.
Surprisingly, Scripture does not tend to use the terms 'evening' and
'morning' to each describe 12 hour periods.
Scripture generally uses the term 'evening' to represent;
1) sunset, or
2) the following 2nd evening (ie midnight), or
3) the period between these two evenings.
It uses the word 'morning' to represent;
1) the time immediately after midnight, or
2) sunrise, or
3) the period between midnight and sunrise.
With these definitions of evening and morning the text in the first
chapter of Genesis would only be defining 12 hours, the hours of the
Hence, a literal understanding of the Genesis chapter one statement
of an evening and a morning defining a literal day makes little sense.
However, another look at the Hebrew used in Genesis indicates common
translations are the problem. The Hebrew shows 'becoming evening'
and 'becoming morning'.
This allows the following understanding of the first day.
1) God created light,
2) the day proceeded until the evening period began (at sunset),
3) the day further proceeded until the morning period began
This suggests that when God initially caused light to shine in the
darkness it did so at a midnight strength, continued to increase for
12 hours to mid-day strength, and then reduced for 12 hours to midnight
So that after God created light 18 hours passed before sunset was
reached and then an additional 6 hours of evening passed before the
first day came to an end.