The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ??? (Stephen)

Liz Fried lizfried at
Thu Aug 31 00:03:18 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen C. Carlson [mailto:scarlson at]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 9:08 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ??? (Stephen)
> At 05:14 PM 8/30/00 +0200, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
> >I
> >in no way claim that the Hebrews worked on a notion of 24 hours:
> it is for
> >modern readers' convenience.
> I'm all in favor of convenience -- unless that convenience is an excuse
> to engage in sloppy thinking.  If you are unwilling to claim that the
> Hebrews worked on a notion of 24 hours, why smuggle that meaning into
> the text under the guise of "convenience"?

During the second temple period they had sundials which divided the
day into 12 hours, and the unrecorded night into 12 hours. The hours
were not all the same length, but varied with the length of the day.
In the winter days, when daylight was short, the daylight hours were
shorter and the nighttime hours longer.

I don't know when that was instituted, but I have a feeling that
it is Babylonian, and very early. It was the Babylonians who
invented the clock. This suggests that it was present in Israel
very early as well, perhaps in first temple times.
> ...
> >Could you supply some other way for us "moderns" to understand the period
> >of time which the writer indicates passes between one morning
> and the next
> >(the standard supplied in Gen1)?
> It is a "day."
I think that 24 hours is pretty accurate.

> Stephen Carlson
> --
> Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
> Synoptic Problem Home Page
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