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When Does It Start?

When Does It Start?

When does the Sabbath start? That may seem like a no-brainer, but from Creation through Bible times, the days did not begin and end at midnight as they do today. Genesis 1:5 says, “The evening and the morning were the first day.” A day began when the preceding day closed, at sunset. The dark part of the day came first, then the light part.

In describing how to honor one of the feast days, God instructed the Israelites, “From evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32). “Evening” is when the sun becomes even with the horizon, what we call sunset. “In the evening, at the going down of the sun ...” (Deuteronomy 16:6). “That evening, after sunset …” (Mark 1:32).

When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, Nehemiah had to teach them how to observe the Sabbath. To prevent the Israelites from carrying on their usual day-to-day business on Sabbath, Nehemiah commanded that the gates of Jerusalem be shut “when the evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:15-19).

When the sun goes down on Friday evening, Sabbath begins. It is this creation memorial that we are to remember and keep holy (Exodus 20:8).

- Emily Thomsen


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Articles
FAQ - Isn't 1 Corinthians 16:1–3 proof that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday?
Isn't 1 Corinthians 16:1–3 proof that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday?
Advanced Topics - Weighing the Evidence, which day is the Bible Sabbath?  Saturday or Sunday?
Weighing the Evidence, which day is the Bible Sabbath? Saturday or Sunday?
Arguments Refuted - In Exodus 31:14 we read that Sabbath violators were to be stoned to death. Do you believe the same penalty should be enforced today? If you say that the penalty feature of the Sabbath law is done away, then you have really declared the Sabbath abolished, for a law has no force if there is no penalty provided for its violation. Again, in Exodus 35:3 we read that no fires were to be kindled on the Sabbath. If you believe the Sabbath law is still in force, why do you kindle fires on that day?
In Exodus 31:14 we read that Sabbath violators were to be stoned to death. Do you believe the same penalty should be enforced today? If you say that the penalty feature of the Sabbath law is done away, then you have really declared the Sabbath abolished, for a law has no force if there is no penalty provided for its violation. Again, in Exodus 35:3 we read that no fires were to be kindled on the Sabbath. If you believe the Sabbath law is still in force, why do you kindle fires on that day?
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What The Bible Says

Sabbath References

All verses in the Bible that mention 'Sabbath'

'Seventh Day' References

All verses in the Bible that mention 'Seventh Day'

Sunday References

All verses in the Bible that mention 'the first day of the week'
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