Thursday, September 22, 2022

Deciphering Night and Day OR Day and Night?*

(Times and Seasons Series: Post #III)

[When the Lutes edition, Joseph Smith Translation, of the Bible, is used, strikeouts and bold type show the JST corrections.]

From my studies so far, the question of whether a new day begins at sunrise or sunset often seems to hinge on the definitions we insist on using — on the context we permit. Does morning or morrow mean “next day” or does it mean “the dawning of light”? Does day mean only daylight? or can it mean a 24-hour period? It seems to me, in some instances of disagreement, both positions could be argued using the same scriptures. In other instances, the case strongly supports a specific position.

So, further to the Déjà Vu Times II post of September 2, 2022,1 here are three additional considerations in exploring questions of signs, seasons, days, and years:

1. Was light the first thing created as claimed by many in support of sunrise2?
Light3 is first mentioned in verse three (first day). Verse one also mentions heaven and earth, but they are both called forth later and defined: heaven being the divider of waters above from waters below (vs. 4-8, second day); and earth being dry land (vs. 9-10, third day). In fact, earth seems to have two definitions: first as whole structure in verse one (before light) , and second as a portion of structure being “dry land” in verse ten. The waters, however, seem to have existed before everything, even light. So we have the question: Were the waters preexisting or were they the first creation (organization), though not mentioned as created or brought forth?

This is the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) description of events:
1 And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold,  I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak.
2 I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things.

3 1 Yea, in the beginning God I created formed2 the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.
4 2 And the earth was without form empty, and void desolate;3 and I caused darkness was to come upon the face of the deep.
5 2 And the my Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, for I am God.
6 3 And I, God, said, Let there be light, and there was light.4
From Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we read:
Elements Are Eternal
In the translation “without form and void” it should read, empty and desolate. The word created should be formed, or organized. (p. 181)
From the Book of Abraham, we read:
1 AND then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.
2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. (Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 4:1-2; bold emphasis added.)
Thus it seems that, in addition to waters, darkness preceded light in the unfolding of this heaven and earth creation / organization, (not to mention that the sun and moon did not appear till the fourth day, Genesis 1:14-19), which may lead us to:

2. More Symbolism:
In additional to the symbolism from Part I5:
▪ If astronomers are correct, there seems to be much more dark matter than luminous matter which is like an unfolding continuum of moving from the dark into the light, from the unseen into the seen.
"We became astronomers thinking we were studying the universe, and now we learn that we are just studying the 5 percent that is luminous." Vera Rubin6

▪ Providing an explanation for dark matter remains one of the biggest prizes in astronomy. However, in 1999, a possibly even more puzzling phenomenon was uncovered. It was discovered that 68 percent of the universe was neither matter nor dark matter, but so-called dark energy. Dark matter makes up 27 percent; visible matter comprises a mere 5 percent.
"For the moment we might very well call them DUNNOS (for Dark Unknown Nonreflective Nondetectable Objects Somewhere)." Bill Bryson7
3. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: No Firm Consensus
If Mary Magdalene came “the first day of the week” “early, when it was yet dark,” does that not mean that the first day had already begun while it was yet dark, before the sunrise?
1 THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. [JST adds only: and two angels sitting thereon.]
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. (New Testament | John 20:1-2: bold emphasis added)
This seems to contradict the accounts of Matthew and Mark which are the accounts argued by sunrise proponents.
1 IN the end of the sabbath [JST: day], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, [JST: early in the morning] came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (New Testament | Matthew 28:1)

1 AND when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. (New Testament | Mark 16:1-2)

Whereas Luke leaves the question unresolved.
1 NOW upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [JST: the women] came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. (New Testament | Luke 24:1)
Thus, deciphering the the truth of night and day or day and night continues.

*JST Genesis 1:18-21 | KJV Genesis 1:14-19
18 14– 15 And I, God, said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and it was so.
19 16 And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon.
20 16– 18 And he made the stars also were made, even according to my word; and I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.
21 18– 19 And I, God, saw that it all things which I had made was were good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Lutes, Kenneth and Lyndell. Joseph Smith Translation (p. 19). Lutes Publishing. Kindle Edition. (JST Genesis 1:18-21 | KJV Genesis 1:14-19)

2. Light being the first thing created is one of the chief arguments for many proponents of the “day begins at sunrise” as is stated here by Dave Wright (circa min. 8) “When Does the Day Begin in Scripture?” (World's Last Chance | Dec 8, 2019 | Time 55:00 min) at
Also: ▪ “When Does a Day Begin?” (World's Last Chance | Oct 7, 2012 | Time 15:00 min) at ;
▪ Sabbath at Sunset? Absurd and Impossible! (World's Last Chance | Dec 16, 2016 | Time 27:21 min) at
Or just web-search “new day begins at sunrise” to encounter numerous examples.
3. KJV Old Testament | Genesis 1:1-3
   1 IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
   2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
   3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
   4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
   5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
   6 ¶ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
   7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
   8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
   9 ¶ And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
   10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
4. Lutes, Kenneth and Lyndell. Joseph Smith Translation (p. 18). Lutes Publishing. Kindle Edition. (JST OT Genesis 1:1-6; KJV Genesis 1:1-3)
Internal footnotes in quote refer to Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Comp. Joseph Fielding Smith (p. 181)
6. DK. The Astronomy Book (Big Ideas) (p. 550). DK Publishing. Kindle Edition.
7. DK. The Astronomy Book (Big Ideas) (p. 556). DK Publishing. Kindle Edition.