I have to say I’m among those who used to believe erroneously that the DAY starts at sunset/sundown as is still believed by most Seventh-Day Adventists and various other Sabbatarian groups and individuals. When one actually reads the texts of Scripture that are usually put forward in support of the belief that the day commences at sunset (the precise time when night/darkness starts), the discerning reader can see quite easily that the sunset-to-sunset “day” is just but a theory and tradition of man which is not supported by the full volume of the Scriptures. Rather, the Scriptures teach that the DAY begins at dawn/sunrise, with the coming of light…
Take Genesis 1:5 for instance, which clearly says Elohiym called the light “DAY” and the darkness He called “NIGHT” (not evening as some assume). Then the very same Scripture goes on to say “the evening AND the morning were the first DAY.”
Now, notice this:
What is it in this very text of Scripture that Elohiym had called “DAY?” Yes, that’s right…THE LIGHT!!! Thus BOTH evening and morning are part of what Elohim called “DAY” which is DAYLIGHT TIME not Darkness. Simple enough hey? Well, apparently it’s not so clear-cut at least for some. But we have only to read what is written and say YAHmein!
– Morning, which is the first part of daylight, commences at sunrise and terminates at noon. This period of time is also called “the rising of the sun.”
– Evening or “Even” which is the second part of daytime, commences at noon and terminates at sunset. This period of time is also called “the going down of the sun.”
***People often confuse this daylight “evening” (which is generally also called afternoon), with the “Evening Watch,” which is the first watch of the night, occurring after sunset and also known as the twilight. Just as the Morning Watch is the last watch of the night.
It is my sincerest prayer that all who believe and teach the sunset to sunset theory may have occasion to review their position on this matter with an open mind. Let us permit the Scriptures to speak.
The Scriptural DAY is only 12 hours long – from sunrise to sunset. (see John 11:9).
However, a CALENDAR DATE (position in the month), is sometimes also loosely referred to even in Scripture as a “DAY.” Notice however that, whenever the Scriptures use this terminology, a NUMBER for the DATE is also usually stated within the text.
In this case, a CALENDAR DATE or “day of the month,” commences at sunrise and terminates at the next sunrise. In other words, it encompasses BOTH the DAY(light) period and the NIGHT(darkness) period.