David, City OfAid to Bible Understanding
Ark having been stationed there. (1 Ki. 9:24; 2 Chron. 8:11) Solomon did further building work in the city of David, and Hezekiah did repair work there in preparation for Assyrian Sennacherib’s attack. (1 Ki. 11:27; 2 Chron. 32:5) Hezekiah also diverted the waters of the Gihon spring, bringing them over to the W side of the city of David, evidently by means of the rock-cut tunnel that has been discovered connecting that spring with the Pool of Siloam on the SW slope of the spur. (2 Chron. 32:30) His son and successor, Manasseh, built an outer wall along the eastern slope facing the Kidron valley.—2 Chron. 33:14.
From the above texts it is evident that, although Jerusalem’s area expanded in course of time, the city of David remained a distinct sector. This held true even after the return from Babylonian exile, certain features of the city being mentioned in connection with the work crews doing repairing of the city walls. (Neh. 3:15, 16) The “Stairway of the City of David” apparently led down from the southern extremity of the city. (Neh. 12:37) Excavations here have revealed portions of such a stairway, and a flight of steps roughly cut in the rock still lead down from the hill at this point.
In the Christian Greek Scriptures the term “David’s city” is applied to Bethlehem, the birthplace of David and of Jesus.—Luke 2:4, 11; John 7:42; see JERUSALEM; OPHEL.
DayAid to Bible Understanding
[Hebrew, yohm; Greek, he·meʹra].
Jehovah God introduced this fundamental division of time when, after the dissolution or removal of the obstructing cause of darkness, he caused the moisture-covered earth to experience its first day and night as it rotated on its axis through the light of the sun. “God brought about a division between the light and the darkness. And God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night.” (Gen. 1:4, 5) Here the word “Day” refers to the daylight hours in contrast with the nighttime. However, the record thereafter goes on to use the word “day” to refer to other units of time of varying length. In both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures the word “day” is used in a literal and in a figurative or even symbolic sense.
A solar day, the fundamental unit of time, is established by one complete rotation of the earth on its axis, as front the time the sun leaves a meridian, the highest point it attains at midday, until it returns to it. This solar or civil day is currently divided into two periods of twelve hours each. The forenoon period is indicated by the Latin “ante meridiem” (a.m.) and the afternoon period by the Latin “post meridiem” (p.m.). However, in Bible times various other methods were used for dividing the day.
The Hebrews began their day in the evening, after sunset, and ended it the next day at sunset. The day, therefore, ran from evening to evening. “From evening to evening you should observe your sabbath.” (Lev. 23:32) This follows the pattern of Jehovah’s creative days, as indicated at Genesis 1:5: “There came to be evening and there came to be morning, a first day.”—Compare Daniel 8:14.
The Hebrews were not the only ones who reckoned a day from evening to evening; the Phoenicians, Numidians and Athenians also did so. The Babylonians, on the other hand, counted the day from sunrise to sunrise; while the Egyptians and the Romans reckoned it from midnight to midnight (as is commonly done today).
Although the Hebrews officially began their day in the evening, they sometimes spoke of it as if beginning in the morning. For example, Leviticus 7:15 says: “The flesh of the thanksgiving sacrifice of his communion sacrifices is to be eaten on the day of his offering. He must not save up any of it until morning.” This usage was doubtless simply a matter of convenience of expression, to indicate overnight.
As mentioned in the creation account, the daylight period is also called “day.” (Gen. 1:5; 8:22) In the Bible it is divided up into natural periods such as the morning twilight or morning darkness, just before the day’s beginning with the rising of the sun or dawning (Ps. 119:147; 1 Sam. 30:17; Job 3:9); thereafter follow the morning (Gen. 24:54), noon or midday (Deut. 28:29; 1 Ki. 18:27; Isa. 16:3; Acts 22:6), and the time of the sunset, marking the day’s close and followed by the evening twilight or evening darkness. (Gen. 15:12; Josh. 8:29; 2 Ki. 7:5, 7) The times for making certain offerings or the burning of incense by the priests were also time periods known to the people.—1 Ki. 18:29, 36; Luke 1:10.
With reference to the slaying of the Passover lamb on Nisan 14, the Scriptures speak of the “two evenings.” (Ex. 12:6) While Jewish tradition tends to present this as the time from noon (when the sun begins to decline) on until sundown, it appears that the correct meaning is that the first evening corresponds with the setting of the sun, and the second evening with the time when the sun’s reflected light or afterglow ends and darkness falls. (Deut. 16:6; Ps. 104:19, 20) This understanding was also that offered by the Spanish rabbi Aben-Ezra (1092-1167 C.E.), as well as by the Samaritans and the Karaite Jews. It is the view presented by such scholars as Michaelis, Rosenmueller, Gesenius, Maurer, Kalisch, Knobel and Keil.
There is no indication that the Hebrews used hours in dividing up the day prior to the Babylonian exile. The word “hour” found at Daniel 3:6, 15; 4:19, 33; 5:5 in the Authorized Version is translated from the word sha·ʽahʹ, which, literally, means “a look,” and is more correctly translated a “moment.” The use of hours by the Jews, however, did come into regular practice following the exile. As to the “shadow of the steps” referred to at Isaiah 38:8 and 2 Kings 20:8-11, this may possibly refer to a sundial method of keeping time, whereby shadows were projected by the sun on a series of steps.—See SUNDIAL.
The early Babylonians used the sexagesimal system based on mathematical scales of twelves and sixties. From this system we get our time division whereby the day is partitioned into 24 hours (as well as into two periods of 12 hours each), and each hour into 60 minutes of 60 seconds each.
In the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry the practice of dividing the daylight period into hours was common. Thus, at John 11:9 Jesus said: “There are twelve hours of daylight, are there not?” These were generally counted from sunrise to sunset, or from about 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. So, the “third hour” would be about 9 a.m., and it was at this time that the holy spirit was poured out at Pentecost. (Matt. 20:3; Acts 2:15) When Jesus, tired out from a journey, was sitting at Jacob’s fountain it was about the “sixth hour” or noon, which was also the time when Peter became very hungry at Joppa. (John 4:6; Acts 10:9, 10) It was also about noon when darkness fell over all the earth until the “ninth hour,” or about 3 p.m., when Jesus expired on the torture stake. (Matt. 27:45, 46; Luke 23:44, 46) This ninth hour was also called “the hour of prayer.” (Acts 3:1; 10:3, 4, 30) So, the “seventh hour” would be about 1 p.m. and the “eleventh hour” about 5 p.m. (John 4:52; Matt. 20:6-12) The night was also divided into hours at that time.—Acts 23:23; see NIGHT.
There are times when the Hebrews used ‘day and night’ to mean only a portion of a solar day of twenty-four hours. For example, 1 Kings 12:5, 12 tells of Rehoboam’s asking Jeroboam and the Israelites to “go away for three days” and then return to him. That he did not mean three full twenty-four hour days but, rather, a portion of each of three days is seen by the fact that the people came back to him “on the third day.” At Matthew 12:40 the