QA: Between the two Evenings

Q: “What is the meaning of “between the two evenings” in Exodus 12:6 regarding the Pesach (Passover) Sacrifice?
“Is there a contradiction in the Time of Messiah’s Death?
“Is there any Truth in the teaching that the Sabbath starts in the morning and not the evening?”

Answer

Hebraic Restoration commentators are generally anti-Rabbinic.  One of their main reasons is, that “the Rabbis have made their own laws which they call the Oral Torah”.

Messianics generally discard and reject the Oral Torah with contempt. Yet, they fail to realize that in interpreting the Bible, they are making their own oral interpretation which differs from teacher to teacher.  In their formulation of this oral Torah (interpretation), which they claim to be strictly according to the Written Torah,  they do not hesitate to be so audacious as to make major changes to the interpretation of Bible topics.

One such instance, is the interpretation that the 7th Day Sabbath starts on Saturday morning and lasts until Sunday morning. Of course, they will present their “authoritative Written Torah evidence”.

A recent question about the Torah stipulation in Ex. 12:6 about defining a Pesach time period “between the two evenings”, prompted an investigation of the Hebrew text in this regard.  This is another issue which has caused some havoc in Hebraic Restoration circles regarding the Sacred Calendar.  The Hebrew version of the Torah and Jewish age-old custom did not only clarify this dispute, but also highlighted the ridiculous unfounded reasoning of the Shabbat morning till morning theory.

Let us first resolve the problem of “between the two evenings” – the rest will then be easy to comprehend:

Exod. 12:6  Pesach (Passover) is to be commemorated “on the 14th day between the two evenings” (bain ha’aravim), i.e. keep the sacrificial lamb until the 14th day and slaughtering it “between the two evenings.”  YAHU’SHUAH of course fulfilled this Torah instruction to the Day (on the Jewish Calendar), when He was crucified on the 14th of the month Aviv in Jerusalem.

A problem does however arise, because Messiah died at the end of the 14th day, at the very time that the Jews of the time were slaughtering their Pesach lamb for the Pesach Seder that evening of the 15th.  Messiah had partaken of His Pesach Meal the previous evening, the start of the 14th day.  This may well be why the Torah even makes provision for the Sacrifice of YAHU’SHUAH towards the End of the 14th – while he suffered that entire Day “between the two evenings”.  Hebraic Messianic interpretations stumble greatly over this issue.  What must be borne in mind, is that as a Human Being, the omni-present Spirit Being, YHVH, was limited to the physical impossibility of first being sacrificed and then afterwards partaking of the Pesach Meal.  It seems therefore, that this rule of “between the two evenings, was instituted for spreading His Sacrificial ordination “between the two evenings”.

Hebraic commentators however, stumble over this stipulation of “the two evenings” and question what it really defines.  A lot of confusion has also been sown by uninformed English translators.:

The Creation account in Genesis defines “evening” (erev) repeatedly as the start of the new day, at even (sunset). :”And it was evening, and it was morning, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th day …” etc.  Evening (Erev) thus starts or precedes the day.  Exod. 12:6 literally states “between the two Erev’s – on the 14th day”  The English translations have changed it to: “on the 14th  … in the evening.” – which could be construed as “the start of the 14th.” or “the end of the 14th.”  Sabbath morning observers should take note that the evening defines the start of the Sabbath.  This fact is repeated seven times on  the very first pages of the Bible.

Lev. 23:32 defines this time stipulation even further: verse 27:  The 10th day of the 7th month is to be a Fast Day Sabbath – Yom Kippur. Verse 32 stipulates “on the evening of the 9th day, from this to the following evening.”  Does this now refer to the 9th or the 10th day?

This is where knowledge of Jewish custom comes to play: viz.

  • Sabbath is the 7th day of the week, from Friday sunset, to Saturday sunset.
  • Friday evening is known as “Erev Shabbat” (Shabbat evening)

But, Shabbat ba’Erev (Shabbat at even) means Saturday evening!  – or Motzei Shabbat (the outgoing of the Sabbath).

There is thus a big difference in an invitation for “Erev Shabbat” (Frid. evening) and for “Shabbat ba’Erev” (Sat. evening).

Christian commentators have made a big issue of “between the evenings” (bain ha’aravim) as referring to the end of the day, between afternoon and evening (dusk and darkness, etc.)

Lev. 23:32, which some commentators will regard as a contradiction, or tampering of Scripture, therefore actually defines it, when it says literally “On the 9th day at even (ba’erev), from evening to evening (mi erev ad erev)” – thus at the end of 9th day, from evening to evening, i.e. the 10th day.

Here, millennia in advance, God made very sure that no one would be able to question the start and end of the Sabbath – that is, if they would care to take note of Jewish  Torah interpretation and tradition. Note also how the Lev. 23 definition of a Festive Sabbath (Yom Kippur – the most solemn Sacred Day in the Bible Calendar) is being repeated in the Sabbath Blessing that Jews recite every week at their Sabbath Family Dinner table.  Lev. 23 defines the 10th day as being “on the 9th day ba-erev (at even), from this evening to the following evening” (Jerusalem Bible. confirming exactly the Hebrew). The Jewish 7th day Sabbath Kiddush (Blessing) starts as follows: “And it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day …”  and then the 7th day Blessing follows. This confirms the completion of the Creation on the 6th day – then, at even on the 7th day, the Creator confirms the Sabbath by resting on it. 

If the Great Yom Kippur (Judgment Day) Sabbath on the 10th Day of the seventh month, is so clearly defined as starting at even on the 9th day, to evening the 10th day, how can any other ‘evidence’ ever change the definition of the Biblical Day to be “from morning to morning”?  If the Creator Himself ‘rested’ on the Sabbath Day, starting at even, the end ofthe 6th day, what more proof do we need of the time setting of the Sabbath?

All this also proves why Hebrew is the only language, and authentic Judaism is the only religion that one can really trustingly apply,  to interpret the Bible.