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Hebrews and Greeks divided the day, only according to the three sensible differences of the syn, when it rises, when it is at the highest point of elevation above the horizon; and when it sets; that is, they divided the day only into morning, noon, and night. And these are the only parts of a day which we find nientioned in the Old Testament; the day not being yet divided into twenty-four hours. Since that, the Jews and Romans divided the day, that is, the space between the rising and setting of the sun, into four parts, consisting each of three hours. But these hours were different from ours in this, that ours are always equal, being always the four and twentieth part of the day's whereas, with them the hour was a twelfth part of the time which the sun continues above the horizon. And as this time is longer in summer than in winter, their summer hours must therefore be longer than their winter ones. The first hour began at run-rising, noon was the sixth, and the twelfth ended at sun-set. The third hour divided the space between sun-rising and noon; the ninth divided that which was between noon and sun-set. And it is with relation to this division of the day, that Jesus Christ says in the Gospel, Are there not twelve hours in the day?*
The Hebrews likewise distinguished between two evenings. The first began at noon, when the sun begins to decline, and reached to its setting; the second began at that setting; and they call the space of time between these two, that
is, from noon to sun-set,* Been Haarbaim, that is, between the two evenings.t
The night was likewise divided by the Hebrews into four parts. These were called watches,
and lasted each three hours. The first is called · by Jeremiah the beginning of the watches ;the
second is called in the book of Judges, the middle watch, $ because it lasted till the middle of the night. The beginning of the third watch was at mid-night, and it lasted till three in the morning; and the fourth || was called the morning watch. The first of these four parts of the night began at sun-set, and lasted till nine at night, according to our way of reckoning; the second lasted till midnight; the third till three in the morning; and the fourth ended at sunrising. The Scripture sometimes gives them other names; it calls the first the evening, the second midnight, the third the cock crowing, and the fourth the morning.**
Secondly, The Hebrews, like us, make their Weeks to consist of seven days, six of which are appointed for labour; but they were not suffered to do any work on the seventh day, which was therefore called the sabbath, that is, a day of rest,
The observation of the sabbath began with the world. God, after he had employed six days in making the universe out of nothing, rested the seventh day, and therefore appointed it to be a duy of rest.tt But this term sabbath is
* Or rather, the ninth hour, which is the middle point between them, is what they called between the evenings. Lamy, de Tabern. 1. 7. c. 7. $ 1. Exod. xii. 6. Lam. ü. 19.
Ş Judg. vii. 19. Matt. xiv. 25. Exod. xiv. 24. ** Mark xiji, 35. ft Gen.ü.
likewise likewise sometimes taken for the whole week. And from hence it is, that the Pharisee, when he would express his fasting twice in a week, says, that he fasted twice every sabbath. f
The days of the week have no other names but those of their order, the first, second, third, &c. from the sabbath; and therefore, as the Hebrews express one and the first by the same word, una Sabbati is with them, the first day of the week. But nevertheless, the Hellenist Jews have a particular name for the sixth day, that is, for the vigil of the sabbath, and call it, Parasceue; that is, the Preparation.I
; -. But besides this week of days, the Hebrews had another week, which consisted of seven years; the last of which was a year of rest, and was called the sabbatical year. The earth rested on this year, and no one was suffered to cultivate it. And at the end of seven weeks of years, that is, after forty-nine years, the forty-ninth year was called the year of Jubilee. Some think it was the fiftieth year, but they are mistaken. It is true, that according to the common manner: of speaking in the Scripture, the year of Jubilee is the fiftieth year; as the Sabbath-day is called the eighth day, that is, reckoning from one sabbath to another, inclusively of both. And in the same manner the Olympiads, which contained the space of four years, are called Quinquennium, the space of five years; because by one Olympiad was ordinarily understood the spaće contained between the two Olympiads,
+ See the original in Luke xviii. 12.
Mark xv. 42.
with which it began and ended, reckoning the beginning of the latter as included in the former.
Thirdly. It is certain that at first the months were regulated by the moon ; because the in-tervals of time are most easily. distinguished by the course of this planet. When it is before the sun, it is as it were swallowed. up in its rays ; but as soon as it begins to separate from it, its. crescent begins to shew itself, and increases insensibly, till at last its whole disk becomes lu-: minous, and then it is at full;after which, its light diminishes, and returns through the same figures, to its first crescent, and then it re-enters: the rays of the sun.....
And as the moon regulates the months, so; dots, the sun the year; and the division which we make of the year into twelve months, has no relation to the motion of the moon. But it was not so with the Hebrews; their months. are lunar; and their name sufficiently shews it. They call them Jarchin, which comes from Jarač, which signifies the moon. It is disputed; whet, ther the antediluvian months were not rather regulated by the sun; that is, whether they were not all equal, so that each contained the twelfth part of a year; but learned men are agreed, that from the tinie.of Moses the Jewish months have been lunar. They do not reckon the beginning: of them, from the time that the moon joins the sun, because that planet. then disappears; but. they begin it, at her first phasis, as soon as upon her separation from the sun, she first shews her: self in the west, after sun-set.. And for this reason they call the beginning of the month the 91ew moon ; though the Latin interpreter, to ac
commodate himself to the Roman style, calls it the calends.*, · The moment in which this conjunction between the sun and moon is made, can only be known by an astronomical calculation, because she does not then appear; and because the Hebrews were little skilled in this science, especially at the first forming of their republic, God therefore commands them to begin their months at the first phasis, or first appearance of the moon, which required no learning to discover it. And because this first appearance of the moon was of importance in their religion, God having commanded that the new moon should be a festival, and that they should offer up a particular sacrifice to him on that day; for it cannot therefore be improper, to give some account here, of the care "the Hebrews 'took to discover this new moon.
And in the first place then, this was an affair, in which the great Sanhedrim was concerned : there were always some of that body, who applied themselves to astronomy; and the different phases of the moon were likewise painted upon the hall, in which the Sanhedrim assembled. And in the second place, it belonged to them to choose men of the strictest probity, who were sent to the tops of the neighbouring mountains at the time of the conjunction ; and who now sooner perceived the nero moon, but they came with all speed, even on the sabbath-day itself, to acquaint the Sanhedrim with it. It was the business of that council to examine whether the moon had appeared, and to declare it; which
* Numb. x. 10. Numb. xxviii. 11.