Evening to Evening - Pagan, Babylonian, Pharisaical Day Reckoning

December 15, 2016
Appointed Times

This is my third post in the series to debunk the Evening to Evening day reckoning. First I explained that Genesis is a proof for the Morning to Evening Day reckoning and then listed 20+ bible verses to prove that the Morning to Evening Day reckoning is Scriptural. Now, I'd like to show you some quotes from researchers that prove without any doubt that the Evening to Evening Day reckoning is Pagan and Babylonian. But let's start with the foundation. Do you agree that we shall not add or take away from the Word of Yahuah?

You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahuah your God which I command you.

- Deuteronomy 4:2

I recommend you watch this video by Nehemiah Gordon, he explains what is a Pharisee. 


1. In Judaism Custom becomes Law

"It is not easy to draw any rigid lines separating Jewish Law and Jewish Custom. There is an ancient saying that in Judaism Custom becomes Law. And the history of Judaism will reveal many religious laws widely recognized and observed, which had their origin in Long-accepted folk practices... When the Jews returned to Palestine after their Babylonian exile (516 B.C.E.) they brought back with them the Babylonian astronomy and way of reckoning time..."

- What is a Jew? (page 105, 108)

2. The Babylonians counted their days from sunset to sunset

"...The Israelites, like the Babylonians, counted their days from sunset to sunset..."

- NIV Study Bible (page 707)

3. Evening to Evening is a new concept

"The original meaning of the word "Day" is the period of the Daylightfrom sunrise to sunset, as distinct from the night, the period of darkness ...in this sense the "Day" is said to "decline" (Jer.6:4) in the late afternoon, and is followed by Night . Hence the earlier sequence, "Day and Night... The flesh of the thanksgiving sacrifice shall be eaten on the day it is offered; none of it may be kept till the next day" (Lv. 7:15), the Nighttime is considered as belonging to the preceding period of Daylight. From this there developed the meaning of "day" in the sense of the cycle made up of one period of daylight and one period of darkness, or according to our modern reckoning, twenty-four hours... from he natural viewpoint the twenty-four hour day begins at sunrise...However, beside this conception there arose another idea of the twenty-four hour day, according to which this daily period began at sunset. It was no doubt the lunar calendar of the Jews which gave rise to this viewpoint...Although the earlier computation did not die out completely, the custom of considering the Day as beginning at sunset became general in later Jewish times..."

- Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (page 497)

4. From dawn to darkness

"...the time of light, or the interval between one night and the next; the time between sunrise and sunset, or from dawn to darkness."

- Webster's New International Dictionary--Second Edition (page 672)

5. Under Babylonian influence the calendar changed

"...early in the Old Testament period, when Canaan was under Egypt's influence, the day started at sunrise... later, perhaps under Babylonian influence, the calendar seems to have changed. The day began at moonrise (1800 hrs) and a whole day became an evening and a morning..."

- The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible (page 163)

6. The Hebrew mind

In the Hebrew mind the "Day" began at the rising of the sun"

- Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

7. From Dawn to Evening

"Day" (Hebrew, "yom"): In the Bible, the season of light (Gen. 1:5), lasting "from dawn (lit. "the rising of the morning") to the coming forth of the stars"

- The Jewish Encyclopedia

8. Greeks reckoned the day from sunset to sunset

"Among the Greeks the day was reckoned from sunset to sunset..."

- Handbook of Chronology, op.cit. (page 8)

9. Jewish calendar mixed with Greek mindset

"When hours were used, they were not of fixed length, but each 1/24 of the day and night, consequently varied with the season. Our hour is the.. hora aequinoctialis, l/12 of the day or night at the equinox. In other words- what we would call an hour is reckoned at the equinox when TIME is equal. Besides the natural reckoning of the day from dawn, it was common in Greece to reckon it officially, for calendar purposes, from sunset to sunset; the Romans reckoned from midnight."

- The Oxford Classic Dictionary. Oxford., England: Clarendon Press. 1949. (page 909)

10. In later Bible times

"In later Bible times, the day started at dusk. A whole Day became an evening and morning."

- Almanac of Bible Facts (page 170)

11. Later Jewish calendar adopted the Babylonian fashion

"Later Jewish calendar: Following the reign of King Josia (c. 640-609), and especially after the Babylonian exile a number of significant and enduring changes occurred in the Israelite calendar showing that the Jews gradually adopted the Babylonian calendar of the time...The seven day week persisted despite its failure to divide evenly either the month or the year. The Day however, was counted from Evening to Evening, after the Babylonian fashion..."

- New Catholic Encyclopedia -Volume 11 (page 1068)

12. Babylonian Month names

"Obviously the Jews in exile in Babylonia knew the calendars of the temples there; they knew the myths of the months. So effective was the Influence of Babylonia upon them that they abandoned their own names for the months and accepted the Babylonian names."

- Babylonian Menologies and the Semitic Calendars (page 21)

13. Rabbinical enactments to justify changes

"When Rabbis in the academies of Babylonia declared that because of the uncertainty of the calendar (It was not always possible to fix precisely when the New Moon of Tishri had appeared and the month had actually begun), Rosh Hashana should be celebrated as a two-day holiday...Since the Bible specified that Rosh Hashana should be a one-day holiday, the Rabbis had to justify the change to a two-day holiday. This was done by means of a legal-fiction: they began referring to the two days of Rosh Hashana as Yoma Arichta, meaning "One long day" of forty-eight hours... Tishri is a Babylonian word and was not used to designate the seventh month in the Jewish calendar until after the Babylonian exile, when the Jews returned to Palestine. The name Tishri is never mentioned in the Bible."

- This is The Torah (page 315, 386)

14. Babylonian system of 60s

"In addition to the decimal system familiar to Western culture (which uses powers of 10), Babylonian scholars also used a sexagesimal system (employing powers of 60) originally devised by the Sumerians and coming down to us in the form of the 60-minute hour and the 360-degree circle...This innovation directly inspired the calendar of Orthodox Judaism."

- Peoples of the Old Testament World (page 71)

15. The Jews adopted after the Babylonian captivity

"The Babylonian Day was divided into 12 'double hours', each divided into 60 'double minutes', in turn containing 60 'double seconds', a system adopted by the Jews after the Babylonian captivity."

- Babylon (page 186)

16. The Babylonian day starts in the evening

"So far as we know, the Babylonian calendar was at all periods truly lunar...the month began with the evening when the new crescent was for the first time again visible shortly after sunset. Consequently, the Babylonian day also begins in the evening..."

- The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (page 106)

17. The pagan practice of starting the day from Moon-rise

"Moon-worship was dominant in the Mesopotamian world from which the patriarchs emerged, around 1800 B.C.E., with Abraham the key Bible figure. At that time and in succeeding centuries, moon-worship in Mesopotamia centered on a large pantheon of assorted gods whose images proliferated in the temples...Myths die hard, and the Bible is full of graphic detail showing how the ancient Hebrews slipped readily from time to time into celebrations that bore the mark of the original pagan practices...Many hitherto puzzling aspects of the Jewish tradition were illuminated in this process. A notable example is the way in which all festivals, including the Sabbath, start with Moon-rise on the night before. The reason is an echo of the way the Babylonians and the Assyrians assigned the respective roles of the two great luminaries, the Sun and the Moon."

- Festival Days: A History of Jewish Celebrations (page 55, 57, 58)

18. Pharisaical additions to the Law

At The Beginning of The Common Era...In order to assure against profanation of the Sabbath the Jews Added the late Friday afternoon hours to the Sabbath.

- The Jewish Festivals: History & Observance (page 13)

19. Adding non-holy to the holy

The fact is that Rabbis of the Talmud no longer knew or would not acknowledge that in ancient times there was another mode of reckoning the day according to which the Evening preceding the tenth day still belongs to the ninth day. In the case of the Day of Atonement the law especially prescribes that the fast be observed in a new manner, covering part of the ninth and part of the tenth day...
In certain spheres of the population the older system continued to be in use, either exclusively or side by side with the newer system. Thus in the temple service the older system continued all through the time of the existence of the second temple, and there the day was reckoned from morning to morning...
In some circles or among some Jewish sects the older system continued and the Sabbath was observed from Saturday morning to Sunday morning...
Saturday - Not Friday Evening marked the entrance of the Sabbath. But the majority of the people, following the teachings of the Halakah, reckoned the day from evening to evening and the entrance of the Sabbath for them came after the sunset of Friday or on Friday evening...
But even among those who followed the Halakah allusion to the continuance of the older system and traces of an extension of the Sabbath rest to the night following Saturday are to be found. Thus in commenting on the different expressions...
used respectively in connection with the commandment about the Sabbath in the two versions of the Decalogue (Ex. 20:8 and Deut. 5:12) the Mekilta says: " 'Remember' and 'Observe.' Remember it before it comes and observe it after it has gone." (Mekilta deR. Ishmael, Bahodesh V11 (ed. Lauterbach, 11, 252). How to remember the Sabbath before it comes is well illustrated there (ibid., p. 253), but no illustration is given as to how the Sabbath is to be observed after it is gone. Instead of such an illustration there is added the remark about the conclusions which the teachers drew from the interpretation of the word "Observe" as meaning "observe it after it has gone."...
the teachers said: "We should always increase what is holy by adding to it some of the non-holy." But no illustration of the observance of the Sabbath after it has gone is given in the Mekilta. Such an illustration, however, is furnished elsewhere in the statement that the Jewish women refrained from work on Saturday night even after the Sabbath had gone (p. Pes. 4.1 (30c,dl). This custom of the women is disapproved by the teachers and declared to be not a proper custom...
But in spite of the disapproval of the teachers the custom has persisted among pious Jewish women to this day. It is evident that this custom of the Jewish women, which is supported by the saying of the Mekilta, is a relic of the ancient practice of keeping the Sabbath till the dawn of Sunday. The teachers, insisting that the Sabbath extends only from evening to evening, objected to this custom but they were unable to suppress it. They had to tolerate it, hence they tried at least to limit it to only a part of Saturday night...(ibid., loc.cit). And even this approved refraining from work during part of the time of Saturday night they explained to have its reason not in the assumption that Saturday night or part of it was still part of the Sabbath, but merely in the rule that it was a good custom "to add part of the non-holy to the holy." And to be consistent they said that such an addition should not be one-sided, i.e., not only part of the day following the Sabbath but also part of the day preceding it, should be added to the Sabbath. The women, while persisting in their practice and refusing to confine it to the limits fixed by the Rabbis for Saturday night, were nevertheless not unwilling to accept the reason for their practice as given by the Rabbis, and hence agreed that an addition to the Sabbath should also be made on the day preceding it. But they seem to have assumed that such an addition should consist not of a mere fraction of the day but of the whole day of Friday, just as the addition at the going out of the Sabbath consisted --in their practice-- of the whole night following the Sabbath. Thus they would refrain from doing any work during the entire day of Friday. This practice was likewise disapproved by the teachers and declared not to be a valid custom...(p. Pes., loc. cit. (30d). Here also the teachers insisted that only part of the day of Friday should be added to the Sabbath. And a Baraita in b. Pes. 50b declares that whosoever does work on Friday afternoon after the Minhah time and on Saturday night--significantly enough no time limit is specified as to what part of Saturday night--will not be successful. But it should be noticed that while the Rabbis were successful in persuading the women to do work on Friday, adding only a part of that day to the Sabbath, they did not succeed in making them abandon their practice of refraining from work on Saturday night, evidently because the latter custom was a survival of the ancient practice of observing the Sabbath till the dawn of Sunday."

- Rabbinic Essays (page 447-451)

20. Evening to Evening day reckoning is non-Biblical

"It may be surprising to some to note that no specific instructions are given in the Fourth Commandment on the manner and time of Sabbathkeeping. The only injunction given is to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" by doing all one's work in six days and by resting the seventh day "to the Lord your God." If we take a closer look at this text we will discover that the "time of Sabbathkeeping" is found within the Fourth Commandment. Since God called the light Day, we are to Remember the Sabbath light, to keep it Holy (Exodus 20:8). And that Sabbath is on the seventh light (Exodus 20:10). not the seventh night...it is thus important to note at the outset that the method of observing the Sabbath from sunset to sunset is dictated not by the fourth commandment itself, but by the method of sunset reckoning which became normative in Jewish history."

- The Time of The Crucifixion and the Resurrection (Chapter 6)

21. In ancient Israel day was reckoned from the morning

"In Israel, the day was for a long time reckoned from morning to morning... and it was in fact in the morning, with the creation of light, that the world began; the distinction of day and night, and time too, began on a morning (Gen. 1:3-5, cf. 14:16, 18). The opposite conclusion has been drawn from the refrain which punctuates the story of creation: “There was an evening and there was a morning, the first, second, etc., day”; This phrase, however, coming after the description of each creative work (which clearly happens during the period of light), indicates rather the vacant time till the morning, the end of a day and the beginning of the next work...The change of reckoning must therefore have taken place between the end of the monarchy and the age of Nehemias... this would bring us to the beginning of the exile...".

- Ancient Israel (page 181-182)

22. The day begins in the morning

"In the Old Testament the earlier practice seems to have been to consider that the day began in the morning. In Gen. 19:34, for example, the "morrow" (ASV) or "Next Day" (RSV) clearly begins with the morning after the preceding night..."

- Jack Finegan, The Handbook of Biblical Chronology (page 7-8)

23. The day is a period of sunlight

"The day was either the period of sunlight, contrasted with the night or the whole period of twenty four hours, although NOT defined as such in the Bible... In earlier traditions the Day apparently began at Sunrise (Eg. Lev 7:15-17, Judg. 19:4-19)... In earlier traditions a day apparently began at sunrise (e.g., Lev. 7:15-17; Judg. 19:4-19)... later its beginning was at sunset and its end at the following sunset... this system became normative... and is still observed in Jewish tradition, where for example, the Shabbat begins on Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday at sunset... 

- Oxford Companion to the Bible (page 744)

24. When to eat the sacrifice

The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning.

- Leviticus 7:15

The above verse is discussed by the source below:

“Must be eaten upon the day upon which it is sacrificed, and that nothing of it must be allowed to remain over until morning”.
Obviously the implication here is that the next morning is no longer a part of the day upon which the sacrifice was offered, but marked the beginning of the next day... The day was at one time reckoned from sunrise to sunrise. The later practice was to reckon the day from sunset to sunset... It is impossible to tell exactly when this change in the mode of reckoning the day took place in Israel, and what causes brought it about. Possibly it may have had something to do with the introduction of the lunar calendar instead of the solar, for the lunar calendar naturally presupposes a reckoning of the day from nightfall to nightfall...
It most likely coincided with the revision of the festival calendar, which took place in the period after the time of Ezra, and was, in all probability, the work of the soferim (scribes) or of the Great Synod (council) in the fourth century B.C. This may also be inferred from the statement in the Talmud (Berachoth 33a) that the men of the Great Synod instituted the ceremonies of Kiddush and Havdalah, the solemn sanctification of the Shabbat on Friday eve, and its equally solemn ushering out on Saturday eve, in other words, ceremonies specifically marking the beginning and close of the Shabbat as at sunset. These were ceremonies for the Jewish home instead of the Temple. This coupled with the fact that in the second Temple the old system of reckoning the day from dawn to dawn continued to be observed, as we have seen, may perhaps indicate that this entire innovation was the work of an anti-priestly group or party in the Great Synod..."

- The Sources of the Creation Story - Gen. 1:1- 2:4 (page 169-212)

25. The early calendar reckoned the day from morning

...the time of the transition from the reckoning of the day as beginning with morning to the reckoning of it as beginning with evening... that in the earlier calendar and in the literature which records this the day was reckoned from the morning, presumably from sunrise, while in the later calendar and the literature pertaining thereto the day was reckoned from the evening... Elsewhere we have presented quite a mass of evidence which establishes conclusively that the earlier practice in Israel during the biblical period was to reckon the day from sunrise to sunrise... That in the earliest period of Israelite sojourn in Palestine, under calendar 1, the day was reckoned from morning to morning is established by a superabundance of evidence... This in turn, together with other important considerations, would point to a time approximately about the beginning or the first half, of the third century B.C. as that of the introduction of the new system of reckoning the day."

- Supplementary Studies in The Calendars of Ancient Israel (page 1-148)

I’m Barnabas, a servant of Yahuah, who loves writing songs and speaking about the truth. Together with my lovely wife I run a small homestead where we raise free range organic chicken, ducks and turkey. We also have a garden where we grow seasonal vegetable. Read more