Define the Parameters of Day and Night
The visible stars are often mentioned in Scripture in combination with the sun and moon. All three were designed by the Creator to measure the parameters of His units of time, i.e., signs, seasons, days, and years (Genesis 1:14-18). These three luminary types unitedly testify with their different voices the harmonious precision of our Creator’s eternal astro-luni-solar units of time. Each creates its own accountability for the other two. Thus, they form an unbreakable three cord bond entwined for accuracy, assurance, and perpetual continuity. But why might this be so important?
This three part union of the sun, moon and stars carries great weight, because together they display the living time mechanism created and appointed so that earthlings may be synchronized with the worship rhythms of their Creator, His New Moons, Sabbaths and appointed feast days. His ordained lights to form a celestial wheel of time that arises shamelessly in the east in full visible display. This shamayim time-centric production contrasts distinctly from all the artificial earthly time systems exhibited by clocks, paper wall calendars, and imaginary date lines. As a result, this subject may only matter to you if you seek truth as for buried treasure and are inspired to be obedient to your Creator’s call. Your choice of calendar appears to have a pivotal role in your future reward.
According to the Scriptural narrative, the sun directly defines the parameters of the four seasons, as well as each solar revolution also known as a civil day. This includes both the day and night. The sun also differentiates, with its precise points of sunrise and sunset, exactly when the day and night begin and end. But the sun rules only by day as a visible luminary.
The moon manifests time when ruling the whole night through on one night only as it receives its fullness of light from the sun beginning on the first day of the month as Rosh Chodesh. So in tandem, the sun and moon declare lunisolar years commencing in the spring, and lunar months commencing with the full New Moon. The moon simply cannot beacon time without the express support of the sun. Just as the civil calendar dates commence their count each lunar cycle with the full New Moon day, so too the lunar weeks with their Sabbaths are to be counted, one through seven days in sets of four weeks, lining up approximately with the four quarter lunar phases. For accuracy, the weeks are to commence with day one on the day following the New Moon day, because the work days can never overlap New Moon days (Ezekiel 46:1). So calendar dates and their monthly feast days can only be established by the light shining in its fullness on the moon commencing as day one of each lunar month. The moon is visible during the daylight an equal length of time as it is visible during the night. But when the moon rules, it is only by night, and as a visible luminary. There is only one night each month that it is fully visible and ruling all night long, and this is the night of the full moon.
Perhaps lesser known and understood is the role the stars play in defining our Creator’s time units. The stars define the seasons and they specifically define the “nights” in which they rule. But by default, the stars also define the parameters of the “day,” because stars only become visible after sunset. They begin to shine at the commencement of the First Watch, continuing throughout the four watches of the night and wholly disappear again at sunrise. But the stars rule only by night as visible luminaries.
All days, including the sanctified Sabbath commence when the stars cease to shine at the very moment the sun sends forth its first brilliant rays of light across the landscape. While the “break of day is synonymous with sunrise, “dawn” is synonymous with the Fourth Watch of the night, referred to as the Morning Watch. This is because the “day” is ruled by the sun and “dawn” (the Fourth Watch of the night) continues to be ruled by the stars.
We must remember that any mixture of truth with error is still error. In the same way, any mixture of light with darkness is still characterized by darkness.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that Alahim is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahusha, the Messiah, His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5 NKJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Then Alahim said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the shamayim to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the shamayim to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then Alahim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. Alahim set them in the firmament of the shamayim to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And Alahim saw that it was good. Genesis 1:14-18 NKJV
The sun to rule by day, for His mercy endures forever; the moon and stars to rule by night, for His compassion endures forever. Psalms 136:8-9 NKJV
In Genesis and Psalms the word “rule” has been chosen by the translators with reference to the sun, moon and stars ruling either the day or the night. Other Strong’s Concordance word definitions that also apply are the words “govern” and “having dominion.” This last term “dominion” holds particular interest as the root word for “dominion” is “dome.” Are not all three of the lights designed by the Creator to define time as they are visible at specific times in the sky’s shamayim dome, having dominion over the day or over the night? Another interesting consideration is the Dictionary definition of the word “rule.”
1 rule– 1a : a prescribed guide for conduct or action 1b : the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members 2 d : a determinate method for performing a mathematical operation and obtaining a certain result
2 rule– 1a : to exercise supreme authority 1b : to be first in importance or prominence 3 : to lay down a legal rule
In combination with the Scripture verses above, we can see that the sun, moon and stars were given preeminence by the Creator for governing His ordained and appointed units of time. As the Creator is deserving of worship for religious purposes, is it possible the sun, moon and stars were designed with this purpose in mind, to pinpoint His sacred and set-apart times? Also, time according to the sun, moon and stars appears to take precedence over Rome’s purported week that cycles without end since creation, yet is void of regulation by the moon and the stars.
The Stars and the Night Watches
It is only when the stars are visible that they rule or have dominion over the night and define its parameters. The same principle must equally be applied to the sun. Therefore, it is only the visible sun that defines when a day begins and ends. This is not to be confused with an entire lunar civil calendar date, as the focus here is on the parameters of each day and each night, which are the two halves of the entire calendar date. In most cases in Scripture when the term “day” is used it refers specifically to the natural daylight portion of a lunar civil calendar date. This is particularly true in the Genesis 1 account of the Creation week as well as the Fourth Commandment, as they both speak of the same week of daylights followed by a Sabbath of daylight. Refer to article, “Sunrise or Sunset, When does a day begin.“
1. Evening Watch
The period of dusk/twilight commences at the moment of sunset and is referred to in Scripture as the Evening Watch or First Watch of the night. At this time the largest planet/stars become visible. While this is primarily Venus or Mercury, on occasion all of the main planets are somewhat visible just after sunset and just before sunrise.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:35 NKJV
2. Midnight Watch
“And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, honored are those servants. But know this that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.” Luke 12:38-40 NKJV
3. Cock Crowing Watch
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. Judges 7:19 NKJV
4. Morning or Day Break Watch
Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that Yahuah looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians . . . And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So Yahuah overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Exodus 14:24, 27 NKJVSo it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. 1 Samuel 11:11 NKJV
“Now when Mithridates, who was there at this time, heard that his villages were taken, he was very much displeased to find that Anileus had first begun to injure him, and to affront him in his present dignity, when he had not offered any injury to him beforehand; and he got together the greatest body of horsemen he was able, and those out of that number which were of an age fit for war. and came to fight Anileus; and when he was arrived at a certain village of his own, he lay still there, as intending to fight him on the day following, because it was the Sabbath, the day on which the Jews rest. And when Anileus was informed of this by a Syrian stranger of another village, who not only gave him an exact account of other circumstances, but told him where Mithridates would have a feast, he took his supper at a proper time, and marched by night, with an intent of falling upon the Parthians while they were unapprized what they should do; so he fell upon them about the fourth watch of the night, and some of them he slew while they were asleep, and others he put to flight, and took Mithridates alive, and set him naked upon an ass, which among the Parthians is esteemed the greatest reproach possible.” The Works of Josephus, Vol. 2, Book XVIII, Chapter 9, p. 6. (Translated from original Greek, by Havercamp’s Accurate Edition.), J. Grigg Publishing, 1825.
. . . Alahim divided the light from the darkness. Alahim called the light day, and the darkness He called night. Genesis 1:4-5 NKJV
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 2 Peter 1:19NKJV
. . . and I will give him the morning star. Revelation 2:28 NKJVI am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.” Revelation 22:16 NKJV
Just as Yahuah re-defined His time system to Israel at the time of the Exodus from Egypt, He is now revealing and re-defining the same time system as He prepares His obedient followers for the final Exodus and Promised Land beyond the shamayim. No other calendar/clock will work for His sacred and divine appointments, as these are nothing short of prophecies yet to be fulfilled at their precise time and according to His celestial time piece. It is protected in His ordained shamayim dome, out of the reach of the tampering of man or beast, and it remains harmoniously on time after 6000 years.
Above is a planet visibility chart for the Gregorian months of the year 2010. The purpose of this chart is to show the visibility of the largest planets during each of the four watches of the night. Of particular interest is the fact that there is always a visible star/planet immediately after sunset and also just before sunrise, every night throughout the year. In other words, during the First Watch of the night, and also the Fourth Watch of the night, some of them are particularly bright and visible.
It is not the intention of this article to discuss the names of the planets for the purpose of worshiping them. Rather, these are their given names that we can effectively use for identification to determine that each of these planets/stars were designed by their Creator to measure the length of each night, from precisely sunset to sunrise. Because the stars so effectively define and illustrate the four watches of the night, from beginning to end, by default, they also establish the beginning and ending markers of each “day” as well. Therefore, according to the stars alone, the day (daylight) cannot commence at midnight, sunset, dawn, or noon. There is one and only one commencement point for the “day” as ordained by the Creator and that was at visible sunrise (Jeremiah 31:35-36; Psalms 136:7-9; Exodus 18:13). No other option will meet with the criteria and specifications of the sun, moon or the stars.
Sometimes the most “obvious” things slip past our power of discernment, perhaps because of the preconditioning from birth to adulthood concerning another time system. This occurs even for those avid Scripture scholars who are familiar with the terminology. So we can’t be too hard on ourselves. So here is the point, the Creator never intended a “day” to be considered a twenty-four hour period. The two are not one and the same. He ordained the “light” to be called “day,” and the “darkness” to be called “night” (Genesis 1:5). The “day” followed by the “night” make up a complete solar revolution, otherwise known as a calendar “date.” While there is much evidence for this, the greatest substantiation is in the profound contrast of how time is reckoned for the “day” in contrast to the “night.” As we have just learned the night commences at sunset and is divided into four parts of varying lengths known as the four watches of the night. The night was never intended to be divided by hours. Reckoning the night by hours is a modern invention that led to the commencement of the “day” at “midnight.” It may have also aided in some believing that the “day” actually commenced at sunset instead of sunrise.
Thus says Yahuah, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (Yahuah of hosts is His name): “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says Yahuah, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Jeremiah 31:35-36 NKJV
Yahusha answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. John 11:9-10 NKJV
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that Alahim is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Yahusha, the Messiah, His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5 NKJV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
It is found by doing a word study in Genesis 1:16 that the lesser light is to rule by night along with the stars. It was never intended by Yahuah or Moses that after defining when the sun and moon rule, that it would simply said, “He made the stars also.” This would be forfeiting the necessary contribution made by the starry constellations essential attributes as they too massively move through the 354 or 384 days each lunar year, declaring time while they rule by night.
At this late hour, when the world is bent on war and evil, while catastrophe rages all around, our loving Father is calling His obedient followers to wake up and be restored to His true time-keeping. This includes His astro-luni-solar years, lunar months, lunar weeks with their lunar Sabbaths, lunar civil calendar dates, the natural twelve hour days defined by the stars and the sun, along with His sacred appointed feast days ordained for worship on specific astro-luni-solar days.
All are invited to participate in worshiping our Creator and Savior according to His preordained rhythms, but only a few will see it as an honor to perpetually harmonize their lives in obedience to His will.
As Yahuah’s Ruach (spirit) of truth tugs on your heart, He will also equip you to be obedient. This is part of the last day preparation necessary, the final exam if you will, the prerequisite to entering the His sanctified Kingdom above. Only those who seek to “follow the lamb whethersoever He goeth” on earth in accordance with worship rhythm of the shamayim time model, regardless of who the world follows after, will be fit for a home with Him for eternity.