Keith Hunt - "Evening" as used in the Old Testament #6 - Page Six   Restitution of All Things

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"Evening" as used in the Old Testament #6

The books of Ruth, Samuel and Kings - Edersheim notes

RUTH 2:17, "...she gleaned in the field until even..."

     Nothing unusual here. Many farm and ranch people know
exactly what it is like to work from sun-up to sun-down, so did

1 SAM.14:24, "...eateth any (food) until evening..."

     Did they not taste any food only until the second past high-
noon or until 3 p.m. in the afternoon? I do not think so. They
ate nothing until sun-set or dusk.

1 SAM.20:5, "...the third (day) at even..."

     David was wanting to hide himself until the third day at
even. Was he going to come out of hiding the second after
high-noon on the third day? No! The sense is pretty
sensible....he was going to remain in hiding until sun-set of the
third day.

1 SAM.30:17, "...unto the evening of the next day..." 

     We see here "twilight" and "evening" being used as different
but as the same. A type of figure of speech we use even today. It
is a type of speech where we do not want to be repetitive with
words, so we use a phrase meaning the same twice in the same
sentence but with slightly different words. David fought and
killed his enemies from one twilight to the next twilight, or
from one evening to the next evening, or from one day's twilight
to the next day's evening or twilight. Another way in the Hebrew
language of saying "for 24 hours, this or that was done."
     It may also be here one of the "exceptions" to the norm. The
next day's "evening" is counted as part of that same day....or we
may say it was Roman time talk as such.

2 SAM.1:12, "...and fasted until even..." 

     A man comes to David during the day-light hour of a day and
tells him how Saul died. David was grief stricken, verse 11. All
of them with David fasted until even, verse 12. Did they fast
only until a minute after high-noon or only until the middle of
the after-noon? I think not! They fasted until sun-set, dusk, or
the beginning of the evening of that day (if you want to use
Roman time) or the start of the beginning of the next day (in
God's main and first way of counting of days).

2 SAM.11:2, " came to pass in an eventide..."

     If a day has been hot in Palestine, if the sun-set or coming
of evening was late (for that time of the year) or if it was not
that late coming, either way, a king would certainly have the
time to rest in his quarters before and at an evening time. The
sun now dipped below the horizon. Still light, not yet dark, but
so cooler, very nice from the heat of the day. David decides to
get up and take a cool refreshing walk on the roof (most houses
in those days had flat roofs).
     Nothing unusual here, pretty nice logical stuff in fact that
most of us would do at times if in the same situation. What could
be nicer than to walk on the roof of your palace, look out at
your city and domain, in the cool of sun-set or dusk. Still light
enough to see, for a while, and not have the blaring hot sun
beating down on you.

     Then if you want to understand this within the 12 hour day-
light day context, and evening coming after the 12th hour (as
sometimes used in the NT), then I have no problem with that
either. Maybe sun-set was 9 p.m. and David walked out on the roof
at 8 p.m. and saw Bathsheba bathing herself in the somewhat much
cooler part of the day (compared to high-noon or mid-afternoon).

     Either way - it all fits, but it sure was not taking place
just after high-noon or 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

2 SAM.11:13, " even he went out..."

     David hatches a plan to cover-up that he is the father to
the child now carried by Bathsheba after their adultery affair.
David wants Uriah to go to his house for an evening and night and
have sexual relations with Bathsheba. So the context goes. But
Uriah will not go down to his house. David feeds and waters him,
even getting him drunk, but come eventide, or even, come sun-set
and time to think about going home and sleeping (David hoped sex
as well) with Bathsheba, Uriah just goes out and sleeps alongside
David's servants.

     All fits nicely into an evening and night at the end of a
day-light part of a day, when evening and night is the time to
sleep, especially if you are fully fed and watered with wine (or
alcohol of some kind).
     Uriah went out to lie down to sleep at evening time as did
David's servants, and nothing is said about them being drunk. It
was just the time of day, after a good day of work, to sleep. 

1 KINGS 10:15, "...the kings of Arabia (perhaps lit. of the
mingled people)..."
JER.6:4, "...all the mingled people..."
24, "...the kings of the mingled people..."
50:37, "...upon all the mingled people..."
EZEK.30:5, "...all the mingled people..."

     Somewhat strange you may think...."mingled" for "evening" or
so the word is rendered in the immediate above passages.
     Well if we realize that "evening" is dusk or twilight, the
time when it is a mixture of LIGHT and DARKNESS, a mingled
mixture of the two, then we can see how this Hebrew word was used
for "mingled people" in some passages of the OT.

1 KINGS 17:6, "...and bread and flesh in the evening..."

     Elijah is provided food twice a day, in the morning and in
the evening. Morning makes sense as that is when he would be
awake from the sleep of the night - it was break-fast time. The
evening, or dusk time makes sense as that would be about 10 to 12
hours after break-fast time. Fed twice a day - with about 10 to
12 hours between times.

1 KINGS 22:35, "...and the king was stayed up ... and died at

     Once more the context is a battle taking place during the
day-light hours of a day. The king of Israel is smitten with an
arrow and is injured. The battle is said to have increased, verse
35, and the king of Israel is alive but wounded in his chariot,
he fights on against the Syrians, BUT come "even" or "evening" -
come dusk time, the end of the bright light hours of the day, the
king has lost so much blood, that he dies.
     It was "about" the going down of the sun, verse 36 - it was
about sun-set then, the evening, when this event took place, and
a proclamation was made after the king died, for the armies of
Israel to retreat back to their own countries or districts in
Samaria, and the king was brought back also (verse 37).

     Nothing here to support "even" as starting at the second
past high-noon. It all fits into and makes complete sense with
"even" being at the end of the day of sun-light, after a hard
fought battle during those full day-light hours.

2 KINGS 16:15, "...the evening meal offering..."

     Morning and "evening" sacrifice, as told in many other OT
verses, some we have seen, others will yet see. One at the start
of the day-light hours of the day, the other at the start of the
new day, in the evening, or dusk, or twilight time, or "between
the two evening."

     Here it is appropriate to quote from the Christian Jewish
scholar Alfred Edersheim and from his book "The Temple - its
Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Christ" pp,

     "For the service of the offering, ministers was not only by
     day, but also 'at NIGHT in the Temple.' From scripture we
     know that the ordinary services of the sanctuary consisted
     of morning and evening services....There is however, some
     difficulty about the exact time when each of the sacrifices
     was offered. According to GENERAL agreement, the MORNING
     sacrifice was brought at the 'third hour' - corresponding to
     our nine o'clock. But the preparation of it must have
     commenced MORE THAN TWO HOURS earlier ... In the modified
     sense, then, of understanding by the morning sacrifice the
     WHOLE SERVICE, it no doubt coincided with the third hour of
     the day, or 9 a.m.....The EVENING sacrifice was FIXED by the
     LAW (Num.28:4,8) as 'between the evenings,' that is, between
     the darkness of the gloaming and that of the night (Sunset
     was calculated as on average at 6 o'clock p.m. For a full
     discussion and many speculations on the whole subject, see
     Herzfeld, 'Gesch.d.V.Is.vol.3 Excurs. 14. par.2). Such
     admonitions as 'to show forth thy faithfulness every night
     upon an instrument of ten strings and on the
     psaltery,'(Psa.92:2,3) and the call to those who 'by night
     stand in the house of the Lord,' to 'lift up their hands in
     the sanctuary and bless the Lord,' (Psa.134) seem indeed to
     IMPLY AN EVENING service - an impression CONFIRMED by the
     appointment of Levite singers for NIGHT service in 1
     Chron.9:33; 23:30. BUT at the TIME of our Lord the EVENING
     sacrifice CERTAINLY commenced MUCH earlier....." (emphasis

     By the time of Christ, MANY changes and TRADITIONS had been
introduced in the WHOLE of popular Pharisee theology and Temple
services. While the Sadducees (temple priestly class) did not
agree with some of those CHANGES and TRADITIONS they obliged the
Pharisees and carried out their wishes as they were the most
powerful and influential "religious class" of the time - they
were the "people's religion" so to speak. It was the Pharisees
who controlled the synagogues.

     By the time of Christ, the "evening" sacrifice had been
PUSHED up to the middle of the after-noon, according to the
Jewish historian Pharisee, Josephus. But as Jesus sometimes said,
"...from the BEGINNING it was NOT so..." As Edersheim admits, the
weight of Scriptural evidence is that the "evening" sacrifice was
originally to be in the "evening" or "between the two evenings" -
dusk, or twilight time, and hence on into the evening of night.

     Again Edersheim, agrees that "between the two evenings" was
dusk or twilight time, or as he puts it in the English way
(Edersheim was a Jewish Englishman) "that is between the darkness
of gloaming and that of the night."

     So much for the books of Ruth, Samuel, and Kings and


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