|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (n.) That part of the natural day when the sun is beneath the horizon, or the time from sunset to sunrise; esp., the time between dusk and dawn, when there is no light of the sun, but only moonlight, starlight, or artificial light.
2. (n.) Darkness; obscurity; concealment.
3. (n.) Intellectual and moral darkness; ignorance.
4. (n.) A state of affliction; adversity; as, a dreary night of sorrow.
5. (n.) The period after the close of life; death.
6. (n.) A lifeless or unenlivened period, as when nature seems to sleep.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
DAY AND NIGHT
"Day," yom; ordinarily, the Hebrew "day" lasted from dawn to the coming forth of the starts (Nehemiah 4:21). The context usually makes it clear whether the term "day" refers to the period of twenty-four hours or to daytime; when there was a possibility of confusion, the term laylah, "night," was added (Genesis 7:4, 12; Genesis 31:39). The "day" is reckoned from evening to evening, in accordance with the order noted in the account of Creation, namely, "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:5); Leviticus 23:32 and Daniel 8:14 reflect the same mode of reckoning the day. The phrase `erebh boker, "evening-morning," used in this last passage, is simply a variation of yom and laylah, "day" and "night"; it is the equivalent of the Greek nuchthemeron (2 Corinthians 11:25). That the custom of reckoning the day as beginning in the evening and lasting until the following evening was probably of late origin is shown by the phrase "tarry all night" (Judges 19:6-9); the context shows that the day is regarded as beginning in the morning; in the evening the day "declined," and until the new day (morning) arrived it was necessary to "tarry all night" (compare also Numbers 11:32).
The transition of day to night begins before sunset and lasts till after sunset; the change of night to day begins before sunrise and continues until after sunrise. In both cases, neither `erebh, "evening," nor boqer, "morning," indicate an exact space of time (compare Genesis 8:11 Exodus 10:13 Deuteronomy 16:6).
The term nesheph, is used for both evening twilight and morning dawn (compare 1 Samuel 30:17 2 Kings 7:5, 7; Job 7:4). Since there were no definite measurements of the time of day, the various periods were indicated by the natural changes of the day; thus "midday" was the time of the day when the sun mounted its highest (cohorayim); afternoon was that part of the day when the sun declined (neToth ha-yom); and evening was the time of the going down of the sun (`erebh). "Between the evenings" (ben ha-`arbayim) was the interval between sunset and darkness. The day was not divided into hours until a late period. [sha`ah = Aramaic] (Daniel 3:6), is common in Syriac and in later Hebrew; it denoted, originally, any short space of time, and only later came to be equivalent to our "hour" (Driver). The threefold division of the day into watches continued into post-exilic Roman times; but the Roman method of four divisions was also known (Mark 13:35), where all four divisions are referred to: "at even" (opse), "midnight" (mesonuktion), "at cock crowing" (alektorophonia), "in the morning" (proi). These last extended from six to six o'clock (of also Matthew 14:25 Mark 13:35). Acts 12:4 speaks of four parties of four Roman soldiers (quaternions), each of whom had to keep guard during one watch of the night. In Berakhoth 3b, Rabbi Nathan (2nd century) knows of only three night-watches; but the patriarch, Rabbi Judah, knows four. See also DAY.
Horace J. Wolf
See DAY AND NIGHT for the natural usage and the various terms.
1. In the Old Testament:
Figurative uses: The word "night" (laylah or layil is sometimes used figuratively in the Old Testament. Thus, Moses compares the brevity of time, the lapse of a thousand years, to "a watch in the night" (Psalm 90:4). Adversity is depicted by it in such places as Job 35:10; compare Isaiah 8:20 Jeremiah 15:9. Disappointment and despair are apparently depicted by it in the "burden of Dumah" (Isaiah 21:11, 12); and spiritual blindness, coming upon the false prophets (Micah 3:6); again sudden and overwhelming confusion (Amos 5:8 Isaiah 59:10 the King James Version, nesheph, "twilight" as in the Revised Version (British and American)).
2. In the New Testament:
On the lips of Jesus (John 9:4) it signifies the end of opportunity to labor; repeated in that touching little allegory spoken to His disciples when He was called to the grave of Lazarus (John 11:9, 10). Paul also uses the figure in reference to the Parousia (Romans 13:12), where "night" seems to refer to the present aeon and "day" to the aeon to come. He also uses it in 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 7 where the status of the redeemed is depicted by "day," that of the unregenerate by "night," again, as the context shows, in reference to the Parousia. In Revelation 21:25 and 22:5, the passing of the "night" indicates the realization of that to which the Parousia looked forward, the establishment of the kingdom of God forever. See also Delitzsch, Iris, 35.
Henry E. Dosker
nit'-hok (tachmac, "tachmas"; glaux, but sometimes strouthos, and seirenos; Latin camprimulgus): The Hebrew tachmac means "to tear and scratch the face," so that it is very difficult to select the bird intended by its use. Any member of the eagle, vulture, owl or hawk families driven to desperation would "tear and scratch" with the claws and bite in self-defence. The bird is mentioned only in the lists of abominations (see Leviticus 11:16 Deuteronomy 14:15). There are three good reasons why the night-hawk or night-jar, more properly, was intended. The lists were sweeping and included almost every common bird unfit for food. Because of its peculiar characteristics it had been made the object of fable and superstition. It fed on wing at night and constantly uttered weird cries. Lastly, it was a fierce fighter when disturbed in brooding or raising its young. Its habit was to lie on its back and fight with beak and claw with such ferocity that it seemed very possible that it would "tear and scratch the face." Some commentators insist that the bird intended was an owl, but for the above reasons the night-jar seems most probable; also several members of the owl family were clearly indicated in the list.
Night (3322 Occurrences)
Night is used 3322 times in 12 translations.
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