Night (לִיַל, la'yil [with ה paragogic, לִילָה, la'yelath], νύξ), the period of darkness, from sunset to sunrise, including the morning and evening twilight, as opposed to "day," the period of light (Ge 1:5). Following the Oriental sunset is the brief evening twilight נֶשֶׁŠ, nesheph, Job 24:15, rendered "night" in Isa 5:11; Isa 21:4; Isa 59:10), when the stars appeared (Job 3:9). This is also called "evening" עֶרֶב, ereb, Pr 7:9, rendered "night" in Ge 49:27; Job 7:4), but the term which especially denotes the evening twilight is עֲלָטָה, alatdh (Ge 15:17, A. V. "dark;" Eze 12:6-7,12). Ereb also denotes the time just before sunset (De 23:11; Jos 8:29), when the women went to draw water (Ge 24:11), and the decline of the day is called "the turning of evening" (פּנוֹת עֶרֶב, Ge 24:63), the time of prayer. This period of the day must also be that which is described as "night" when Boaz winnowed his barley in the evening breeze (Ru 3:2), the cool of the day (Ge 3:8), when the shadows begin to fall (Jer 6:4), and the wolves prowl about (Hab 1:8; Zep 3:3). The time of midnight (חֲצַי הִלִּילָה,
half of the night, Ru 3:7, and הִלֵּילָה חֲצוֹת, the plural form, Ex 11:4), or greatest darkness, is called in Pr 7:9, the pupil of night (אַישׁוֹן לִילָה, A. V. "black night"). The period between midnight and the morning twilight was generally selected for attacking an enemy by surprise (Jg 7:19). The morning twilight is denoted by the same term, nesheph as the evening twilight, and is unmistakably intended in 1Sa 31:12; Job 7:4; Psalm cxix. 147; possibly also in Isaiah v , 11. With sunrise the night ended. In one passage (Job 26:10, חשֶׁך, choshek) "darkness" is rendered "night" in the A. V., but is correctly given in the margin. SEE DAY. As figuratively the term of human life is often called a day in Scripture, so in one passage it is called night, to be followed soon by day: "The day is at hand" (Ro 8:12). Being a time of darkness, the image and shadow of death, in which the beasts of prey go forth to devour, night was made a symbol of a season of adversity and trouble, in which men prey upon each other, and the strong tyrannize over the weak (Isa 21:12; Zec 14:6-7; comp. Re 21:23; Re 22:5). Hence continued day, or the absence of night, implies a constant state of quiet and happiness. Night is also put, as in our own language, for a time of ignorance and helplessness (Mic 3:6). In Joh 9:4, by a natural figure, night represents death. Children of the day and children of the night denote good men and wicked men. The disciples of the Son of God are children of the light: they belong to the light, they walk in the light of truth; while the children of the night walk in the darkness of ignorance and infidelity, and perform only works of darkness (1Th 5:5). SEE NIGHT-WATCH.
NIGHT (Latin Nox). The ancient Greeks and Romans deified Night, and called her the daughter of Chaos. Orpheus reckons her the most ancient of the deities, and calls her the mother of gods and men. The poets describe her as clothed with a black veil, and riding in a chariot, attended by the stars. The sacrifice proper to her was a cock, being a bird that is an enemy to silence. Night had a numerous offspring, as Madness, Contention, Death, Sleep, Dreams, Love, Deceit, Fear, Labor, Emulation, Fate, Old Age, Darkness, Misery, Complaint, Partiality, Obstinacy, etc. All this is plainly allegorical. Pausanias has left us a description of a remarkable statue of the goddess Night. "We see," he says, "a woman holding in her right hand a white child sleeping, and in her left a black child, asleep likewise, with both its legs distorted. The inscription tells us what they are, though we might easily guess without it. The two children are Death and Sleep, and the woman is Night, the nurse of them both." See Broughton, Hist. of Religion; Smith, Dict. of Classical Biog. and Mythol. 2:1218.