1.  Read the text about the creation of day and night

  1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day (yowm), and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day (yowm).

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day (yowm) from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days (yowm), and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day (yowm), and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day (yowm) and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day (yowm). (Genesis 1: 14 – 19)

2.  The creation account reveals that God created light and called it day.

The Genesis account clearly painted the picture of an earth that was that was completely submerged with water – a wilderness, a dark, empty place in need of transformation. Darkness was the subject of the first transformation.

Although light was a highly desirable element, God did not entirely eliminate darkness. Instead, He divided them from each other.

Badal (H914) is the Hebrew word used for divided and it is used to denote separation.

For example, the vail in the temple separated (badal) the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.  God first created light in order to illuminate the earth

3.  Definitions of Day and Night

  • God created Light.
  • He then divided the Light from the darkness
  • God defined Light as “day”
  • He defined darkness as defined as “night”

4.  God created a day/light cycle and defined the timing of days and nights

On Creation Day 4, God placed lights in the heaven to divide the day from the night. The creation of the sun instituted the 24 hour days/night cycle which God called days. Days are individual 24 hour cycles of  light/day and darkness/night

The phases of  a day/night cycle or days are:

  • Light of sunrise = new day
  • Dark or Night which encompasses
  1. Evening – time when sun is setting
  2. Twilight – stars appear
  3. Midnight
  4. Dawn
  • Light of a new sunrise = subsequent  new day

5. God’s 24 hour day/night cycle  goes from sunrise to sunrise.

During this cycle, light refers to hours of day and dark referred to night.  This day/night cycle takes place once every 24 hours.

Based on the Genesis revelation, I see that God wanted us to start counting the entire 24 hour day/light cycle from sunrise to sunrise. He showed us this pattern by using light to dispel darkness. This light was called day.

God’s plan for the day/night cycles has prophetic significance, showing us that light will always envelope darkness. Days begin with sunrise and darkness is sandwiched between that sunrise and the upcoming one. God designed light to mark the beginning of days so we can have something exciting to look forward to at the end of darkness. Christ the Light of the world came to dispel our darkness.

However, current practices differ:

  • For example, the Gregorian system begins and ends its 24 hour cycle midnight.
  • In the Jewish tradition, a Jewish calendar date begins with the night, so that a Jewish day goes from nightfall to nightfall.
  • The Jews follow this pattern based on  their interpretation of the Genesis account. They believe that  “when G‑d created time, He first created night and then day” (chabad.org).