Timing of the 24 hour day/night cycle is from sunrise to sunrise

We have seen that in scripture, day/light cycles began with sunrise at the start of new days. Day or daylight ended  at evening when the sun began to set. Nights therefore consisted of   evenings (start to end of sunset); twilight when stars appeared; midnight; to the end of the dawn.

Events in the timeline of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion confirm that Jews in His time followed this day/night cycle beginning with sunrise at each new day:

Evening of the day of the preparation for the Passover.

Jesus had given up the ghost at the 9th hour (about 2-3pm) and was hanging on the cross. When evening (G 3798) arrived, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for permission to bury Jesus. He did so because it was the day of preparation and the Sabbath “drew on”.  Evening was the time when the sun was setting (Mark 1: 32; Mark 15: 42; Luke 4: 40; Luke 23: 54).

The day of the preparation was Friday and the day before the Sabbath. The Sabbath  was a “high day” and this particular one would also commemorate the Passover  (Mrk 15: 42; Luke 23: 54; Jn 19: 31).   The women watching at the cross followed Joseph, identified the location of  Jesus’ sepulcher then went home to prepare spices to anoint His body (Mark 15: 47)


This was the Sabbath and the disciples rested according to the commandment (Luke 23: 56)

Dawn of the first day of the week or Sunday

The women left home and went to the sepulcher to anoint Jesus’ body. They had seen the sealing of the tomb by the Roman soldiers and were not who would roll it away.  All of the Apostles commented on the event:

  • Since John said that “it was still dark” and Matthew  said that “the first day of the week began to dawn”, we can conclude that the women must have left home at dawn  (Matthew 28: 1; John 20: 1)
  • It was still Sabbath or Saturday, but  quickly approaching Sunday morning.
  • Mary Magdalene lived in Bethany which was outside of Jerusalem. As she and the others walked to the sepulcher, the light became brighter
  • The Sabbath had passed … and very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun (Mark 16 :1, 2)
  • The rising of the sun marked the beginning of the first day of the week.

The women discovered an open tomb and  vacant when they arrived.  Jesus had risen early (G 4404) on the first day of the week.  (Mark 16: 9). “Early” refers to the 4th watch of the night and is commonly believed to be the period between 3am to 6am, possibly the dawn. However, he must have risen after the dawn since the scriptures had already said that dawn was part of the previous night.

Sunday evening

Jesus appeared to the disciples on the evening (G 3798) of the first day of the week as they hid in a room out of fear . This must have been before the sunset since John said it was still the first day of the week (John 20: 19)