"At Even" does that mean at sunset or at dark?

If the day begins at even, does that mean at sunset or at dark?

This is important to know since both the weekly and annual Sabbath's are to be observed based on the term "at even".

First lets define what is sunset and dark in an effort to figure this out:

All the translations are from the Strongs Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary.

So what are the Scriptures that use the statement "At Even" that infer a time of day?

(H6153) From H6150; dusk: - + day, even (-ing, tide), night.
(H6150) A primitive root; to grow dusky at sundown: - be darkened, (toward) evening.

There can be no confusion in that it is the same word used over again in each instance above.

The following are from the new testament:

(G3798) From G3796; late; feminine (as noun) afternoon (early eve) or nightfall (later eve): - even (-ing, [-tide]).
Prolonged forms of an obsolete primary word δύω duō (to sink); to go “down”: - set.
(adverbially) late in the day; by extension after the close of the day: - (at) even, in the end.

The following scriptures deal with the subject of a darkness in an effort to show the differences between "at even" and "dark".

(H5939) Feminine from an unused root meaning to cover; dusk: - dark, twilight.
(H2822) From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: - dark (-ness), night, obscurity.
(H6751) A primitive root (rather identical with H6749 through the idea of hovering over (compare H6754)); to shade, as twilight or an opaque object: - begin to be dark, shadowing.
(G4653) From G4655; dimness, obscurity (literally or figuratively): - dark (-ness).

The following scripture is interesting only in that it uses several terms for both evening and night all in the same sentence.

(H5399) From H5398; properly a breeze, that is, (by implication) dusk (when the evening breeze prevails): - dark, dawning of the day (morning), night, twilight.
(H6153) From H6150; dusk: - + day, even (-ing, tide), night.
(H3117) From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially): - age, + always, + chronicles, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone),
(H380) Diminutive from H376; the little man of the eye; the pupil or ball; hence the middle (of night): - apple [of the eye], black, obscure.
(H653) Feminine of H651; duskiness, figuratively misfortune; concretely concealment: - dark, darkness, gloominess, X thick.
(H3915) From the same as H3883; properly a twist (away of the light), that is, night; figuratively adversity: - ([mid-]) night (season).

Final Thought

After reading the above, all indications are that a day begins with the setting of the sun (the sun has gone from view and the land is in complete shadow). When it comes to defining the point at which days begin and end, it is better to use the scriptures and empirical evidence than the traditions of men and a subjective standard.

A good website to check for complete Sun and Moon Data is the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Keep in mind that the times given at this site are not exact for figuring God's "at even", it will fall some where between sunset and end civil twilight listed depending upon your exact location.

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