Evening

Evening (עֶרֶב, e'reb, e dusk; ἑσπέρα, ὀψία), the period following sunset, with which the Jewish day (νυχθήμερον) began (Ge 1:5; Mr 13:35). SEE DAY. Some writers have argued that the first creative day (Ge 1:5) is reckoned from the morning, when light first appeared (verse 3), as if "evening" then designated not a portion of time, but a termination of the first creative period or age; but this does violence to the whole order of the narrative, in which a period of night invariably precedes one of daylight, precisely in accordance with the conventional Hebrew usage of a νυχθήμερον or "evening-and-morning," and as the terms are expressly defined in the former clause of verse 5. If "evening" in the phrase in question be distinguishable from the "night" as a terminus, it is certainly a terminus a quo, as dating the latter from the aboriginal "darkness," verse 2, and not a terminus ad quem of the ensuing day. SEE NIGHT.

The Hebrews appear to have reckoned two evenings in each day; as in the phrase בֵּין ערבִּיַם, between the two evenings (Ex 16:12; Ex 30:8), by which they designated that part of the day in which the paschal lamb was to be killed (Ex 12:6; Le 23:5; Nu 9:3,5; in the Hebrews and margin); and, at the same time, the evening sacrifice was offered, the lamps lighted, and the incense burned (Ex 29:39,41; Nu 28:4). But the ancients themselves disagreed concerning this usage; for the Samaritans and Caraites (comp. Reland, De Samarit. § 22, in his Diss. Miscell volume 2; Trigland, De Karaeis, chap. iv) understood the time to be that between sunset and twilight, and so Aben Esra at Ex 12:6, who writes that it was about the third hour (9 o'clock P.M.); the Pharisees, on the other hand, as early as the time of Josephus (War, 6:9, 3), and the Rabbins (Pesach, 5:3), thought that "the first evening" was that period of the afternoon when the sun is verging towards setting (Gr. δείλη πρωϊvα), "the second evening" the precise moment of sunset itself (δείλη ὀψία), according to which opinion the paschal lamb would bed slaughtered from the ninth to the eleventh hour (3 to 5 o'clock P.M.). The former of these opinions seems preferable on account of the expression in De 16:6, "when the sun goeth down," בּבוַֹא הִשֶּׁמֶשׁ; and also on account of the similar phraseology among the Arabs (Borhaneddin, Enchiridion Studiosi, 8:36, ed. Caspin, Lips. 1838; Kamus, page 1917; on the contrary, see Pococke, Ad Carmen Tograi, page 71; Talmud Hieros. Berach. chapter 1; Babyl. Sabb. 2:346, fol.; Bochart, Hieroz. 1:634, Lips.). SEE PASSOVER.

Definition of evening

 
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