In Hebrew, she is “he,” he is “who,” and who is “me.” If that isn’t confusing enough to English speakers, here’s another twist: Evening is the beginning of the day, night the second part, and afternoon the last. The first man, Adam, knew it was a good time to meet with His Maker for fellowship. This idea is contrary to the common practice of personal devotions as soon as you roll out of bed, and morning as the first part of the day.
There are a lot of theories by scholars and commentators about why the writer of Genesis states “and there was evening and morning, the first day” in the first chapter. Some think because our 24 hours cycle of sunrise and sunset are attached to the sun, solar system, and rotation of the earth, those first days were epochs — perhaps lasting thousands of years — because the sun and moon were not yet created.
The Hebrew word for “day” does not mean a specific amount of hours. It means an undetermined time span. This is quite an interesting theory, and I don’t know if it is true or not. I like to ponder it.
But my idea about the day as we know it in a 24 hour period, starts in God’s mind with evening instead of morning. It was a sweet time of fellowship between Creator and creation. It was cool which is inviting. It prepared for a peaceful sleep and the next phase of work in morning and afternoon.
The Jewish culture has a good understanding of this concept. Shabbat and all holidays begin at evening and carry on through morning and afternoon. Evening begins a new day of celebration or normal activity.
Many things in the Bible are unclear and not delineated step-by-step as the Ten Commandments are, and I feel the Lord allowed that on purpose. For instance almost nothing is said about how to celebrate Shabbat, the holiest day of the Jewish festivals. Much is said that no work will be accomplished and that it belongs to the Lord. From there ,rabbis and biblical scholars have created books and books of dos and don’ts. While many of their ideas and thoughts are inspirational and maybe some illuminated, they are still non-biblical interpretations and not the law itself. They are not to be exalted above God’s Word but used as a helpful guide.
Imagine switching your concept of the beginning and ending of each day? This idea IS biblical and worth exploring. There maybe something to this concept that you miss until you try it.
Below is a poem I wrote about the cool of evening and the fellowship it affords during the first of the day, evening.
Beyond the glass pane, blurred
by rain and age, the sun-dappled
garden winds into surprise. There
the scarlet peony races in a dead-heat
competition with the sweet, wild rose;
and the lilac remains one lap ahead of the
honey suckle. Swans glide at sunset and
the succor of serenity is as sweet and soft
as twilight’s magic twinkle. This is the
evening cool called new day—
the sacred hour selected to walk with the
just the two of us and the velvet white
petals of lilies, lean their heads into the dusky
sky and cast their beauty upon our footprints.
As evening light fades into the repose of a fresh start,
hand-in-hand we walk until night falls.
~Bonnie Saul Wilks, July 27, 2011