Genesis 32:22-31 (Job 38:12)

In Genesis 32:22-31 (KJV), Jacob rose at “night” (V:22).  in verse 24, “…Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until THE BREAKING OF THE DAY” (or “until the coming up of DAWN” —from the book “The Five Books of Moses”, p. 155).  Verse 26 reads: “And let me go, for THE DAY BREAKETH…” (or “for DAWN has come up”–“The Five Books of Moses”, p.155 – author’s note, “…break of day…”).  The same word is used in verse 24 and verse 26 meaning daybreak/dawn.

Tradition tells us that in Bible times a day was 24 hours long and it began at evening and ran to the following evening.  The Bible actually shows us that a new day breaks in the morning (at dawn) and that there are 12 hours in the day (John 11:9, Matthew 20:1-12).  It is most interesting to note that in these Genesis scriptures,  Jacob realizes that he has been wrestling with God in verse 30 ( “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”).
And when they were wrestling, God Himself says in verse 26: “…Let me go, for the ***day breaketh…”.  God never says that “evening” is the beginning of a new day or daybreak.  Other Bible versions translate the words of God in verse 26 as:

“…day is breaking…” (Moffatt)

“…day is breaking…” (Amplified)

“…its daybreak…” (Complete Jewish Bible) verse 24, “…until daybreak…”

“…the day breaketh…” (The Holy Scriptures – Jewish Publication Society, 1917) verse 24, “…breaking of the day…”

“…dawn is breaking…”  (NASB) verse 24, “…until daybreak…”

“…day has broken…” (English Standard Version)

“…the daye breaketh…” (Tyndale, 1534)

“…the day breaketh…” (Webster)

“…day has dawned…” (LXXE)  verse 24, “… till the morning…”

“…morning appeareth…” (Geneva Bible, 1599) verse 24 …”breaking of the day…”

“…the day breaketh…” (Bishops Bible, 1568)

“…the dawn is up…” (Knox)  verse 24, “…day broke…”

“…the day breaks…” (The Jerusalem Bible – Koren Publishers)

“…the day breaketh…” (Revised Version)

“…day is breaking…” (Revised Standard Version)

“…day is breaking…” (The New Berkeley Version)

“…It is daybreak…” (NIV)

“…the day breaks…” (New King James Version)

If you read our main website ( you will find that the first light of morning (dawn) is the beginning of a day, and the scriptures showing this saturate the Bible from one end to the other.  In fact there are a number of Bible versions that translate “morning” as “daybreak”, “break of day” or something similar.  “Evening” is not translated as “daybreak”, etc.

You will also see numerous quotes such as these:

“…there is not the slightest trace of a day of twenty-four hours among the ancient Hebrews…” (Encyclopedia Biblica, p 4177).  Elsewhere they say, “Among the ancients the day was reckoned in a great variety of ways… ‘From dawn to dark’…was the ancient and ordinary meaning of a day among the Israelites…” (Encyclopedia Biblica, pp. 1035-1036).

Speaking of a 24 hour day, ” The Oxford Companion to the Bible” says, it is “not defined as such in the Bible”. They continue, “In earlier traditions the day apparently began at sunrise.” (p. 744).

“In the Biblical period most Near Easterners BEGAN THEIR DAY WITH SUNRISE and ended it with sunset…” (Harpers Bible Dictionary, p. 761).

The “Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible” says, “The ORIGINAL meaning of the word “DAY” is the PERIOD OF DAYLIGHT, FROM SUNRISE TO SUNSET, AS DISTINCT FROM THE NIGHT, THE PERIOD OF DARKNESS…” This same dictionary states, “…the CUSTOM of CONSIDERING the Day as beginning at SUNSET BECAME general in LATER JEWISH TIMES…” (p. 497).  In other word’s this was man’s tradition. Other encyclopedias and books on this website will say that an evening start to the day was a later invention.

Even the Jewish Encyclopedia admits:

“According to the strict interpretation of the Mosaic law, every day begins with sunrise and ends with sunset…” (pp. 591-597)

Emphasis mine on the information above and below.

***  Note:  When God personally spoke to Job (Job 38:12), He said,“Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place…” (KJV).  The word “dayspring” is the same word used in Genesis 32:24,26 for “daybreak”.  Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines “dayspring” as the “…dawn of morning; daybreak…”.  God also uses the word “morning” in this very same verse.  Strong’s states that “morning” is, “…properly dawn, (as the break of day)…”.  When God speaks to Job about the break of day, the word “evening” is once again not mentioned by Him.  Why? because “evening” is at the tail end of a day, not the beginning.  Darkness (night) ends the day (Genesis 1:5). (See more on Job 38:12 under the heading:  “And The Evening And The Morning Were The First Day (Genesis 1:5”) on our main website.



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