World Watch


Between the Evenings: ben ha arbayim

Moses uses the term “Between the evenings” in reference to the Daily Evening Sacrifice and to the Passover, which seems to have confused many. 


Historically During the period up until after the destruction of the temple by the Romans in the first century; temple activities were carried out by the priesthood of Aaron, called in the Gospels the Sadducees, the Scribes copied and preserved the scriptures, and the Mosaic Pharisees  acted as the religious think tank of the day.

During the Roman wars the temple was destroyed and the priesthood went into obscurity not having a temple in which to conduct their ritual and the Mosaic Pharisees were destroyed leaving the way open for the Hellenized Pharisees of the diaspora to take over the religion of the Jews. 

The scribes were largely scattered and came into conflict with the Hellenized Rabbins who made false claims thay they had authority equal to God’s word; claims that the scribes rejected.  The Rabbins then called the Scribes “Karaites” [Lovers of the scriptures] above loving the supposed authority of the Rabbins.  Just like many today love the supposed authority of the elders above the authority of the word of God.

The Hellenized Rabbins claimed to have equal or superior authority to the scripture and wrote the  Talmud which has two components.  The first part is the Mishnahc. 200 AD), a written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism’s reasoning’s. 

Torah in its broadest sense meaning “Instruction or Teaching” in Hebrew; and therefore the word Torah means all that a modern Jew holds sacred; including the scriptures, and the reasoning’s of the Rabbins.  

Just like many “Christians” hold the teachings of their church as more important than the actual scriptures, so does modern Rabbinism!. 

God told Moses that nothing was to be removed or added to the law and there was no such thing as an Oral Law.  This was merely claimed, so that the Hellenic Rabbins could appear authoritative when they changed scripture meaning through their own reasoning’s.  The second part of the Talmud is the Gemara c. 500 AD, which is now reasoning’s about the reasoning’s of the Mishnah and related writings. 

It was well into the second century that the Talmud began to be written and these Hellenized Rabbins changed much of scriptural meaning to fit their own agenda. They changed the dating of Pentecost, they turned away from the Biblical calendar and they changed the Passover from the beginning to the end of the 14th day. 

They also declared that the Evening Daily sacrifice was to be held at 3 PM when the sacrifices were again started. 

These things had nothing to do with what was done in the Temple and were deliberate deceptions to prevent the people from following Yeshua as Messiah; as the disciples used these truths as proofs of his Messiah-ship. 

The  Samaritans, Karaites, and Sadducees, taught that the term “between the evenings”  was the time between sunset and full darkness when the stars could easily be seen. (Interpreter’s Bible, Ex.12:6; also The Jewish Encyclopedia, art. Passover, page 553). 

The Mosaic Pharisees also taught that the term “Between the evenings” meant between sunset and full dark; in other words twilight or dusk. While the later Hellenized Rabbins who took over after the destruction of the temple and wrote the Talmud, taught that the term “Between the evenings”  meant any time from noon to darkness. 

The point of confusion, is that BOTH of these groups were called Pharisees; which is why I use Mosaic and Hellenic prefixes to separate the identification of the two groups.

In fact during the days of Christ and before that time; the term “between the evenings” had always meant between sunset and full dark, and this was changed only later by the apostate Hellenic Rabbins. 

Therefore it is absolutely wrong to say that Jesus died as the killing of the Passover lambs began!

In fact the killing of the Passover lambs began at sunset beginning the 14th day, and then continued for the tens of thousands of sacrifices until the killing was completed.  And Jesus would have sent his disciples to have their lamb killed for the coming Passover meal right at sunset beginning the 14th because he had a deep desire to eat the Passover with his disciples.

The apostate Hellenic Rabbins used this killing through the 14th to change the beginning of the sacrifices until late on the 14th, in order to try and defeat Christ as being killed on Passover, by moving Passover to the beginning of the 15th day!  They managed to accomplish this because most of the people with sharp memories of the temple services had been killed in the Roman wars. 

The Historians

Today here are two differing definitions attached to ben ha arbayim. The modern Hellenic Talmudic Pharisees, in accordance with their man-made Talmudic adherence, defined ben ha arbayim as any time from afternoon to sunset.

Conversely, the Sadducees, Karaites, and Samaritans, in accordance with the Biblical Torah (law), have continued to  interpret “ben ha arbayim” from Moses to the present  as being the time from sunset to complete darkness.

Exodus 12:6  And you shall keep it [the Passover sacrifice] up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (literally, “between the evenings.”). The Pharisees interpreted this as meaning between midafternoon, when the sun’s heat abated, and sunset, whereas the Sadducees [priests, Boethusians] took it to mean between sunset and dark” (Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary, note at Ex. 12:6).

Another authority says, “In the evening. Hebrew, between the evenings. From very early days opinions have differed as to the exact time of the sacrifice. The Samaritans and the Karaites construed it as the time between sunset and complete darkness. The Pharisees held to the traditional explanation that it was from the beginning of lengthening shadows to sunset, approximately 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and with this the Talmud agrees” (Wycliffe Bible Commentary, note at Ex. 12:6).

And yet another source explains, “Between the evenings – Different opinions have prevailed among the Jews from a very early date as to the precise time intended. Aben Ezra agrees with the Caraites and Samaritans in taking the first evening to be the time when the sun sinks below the horizon, and the second the time of total darkness; in which case, ‘between the evenings’ would be from 6 o’clock to 7:20…According to the rabbinical idea, the time when the sun began to descend, viz. From 3 to 5 o’clock, was the first evening, and sunset the second; so that ‘between the evenings’ was from 3 to 6 o’clock. Modern expositors have very properly decided in favor of the view held by Aben Ezra and the custom adopted by the Caraites and Samaritans” (Commentary on the Old Testament, The Second Book of Moses).

It should be noted that the Pharisees, the political-religious leaders during the time of the Messiah, based their understanding only on the TANAKH [scriptures], while the Talmud of the modern Rabbinic Pharisees was written beginning about the 3rd century A.D. and completed hundreds of years later making up  their own Rabbinical teachings which are found in the Talmud.

On the other side, the Sadducess [priests who controlled the temple worship] and Karaites [scribes] used only the TANAKH [holy scriptures] to establish their beliefs.

Why is this important? Because we know that Yahshua kept the Passover; not on the day that was reckoned by the Modern Pharisees hundreds of year later on the 15th day, but on the day established by scripture [the 14th day] and followed by the Sadducees [the priests of Aaron who controlled the temple service], who were in charge of the Temple.

Because Christ kept the Passover on the beginning of the 14th of Abib as did the Sadducees, then He kept the Passover memorial at the beginning of the 14th day. That could only have occurred at the start of the 14th to meet the requirement that the entire Passover be observed on the 14th (Num. 28:16).

The Scriptures 

The phrase “between the evenings” is from the Hebrew ben ha arbayim.

The term “Between the Evenings” as used by Moses in reference to Passover.

Exodus 12:6 reads, “And you shall keep it [the Passover sacrifice] up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening” (literally, “between the evenings.”).

The term “Between the Evenings” as used by Moses in reference to the Daily Evening Sacrifice.

Exodus 29:38  Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even <6153>
(between the evenings):

Exodus 29:41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even <6153> (between the evenings), and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Numbers 28:3 And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even <6153> (between the evenings);

Numbers 28:8 And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even <6153> (between the evenings): as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

The time of the EVENING sacrifice WAS FIXED BY THE LAW (Numbers 28: 4,8) as “between the evenings” that is , between sunset and full darkness when the stars could easily be seen.    

Psalms 92:1-3    1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: 2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night [referencing the daily Sacrifice] , 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

 Psalm. 134     Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord. [referencing the daily evening Sacrifice]2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.3 The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Levites were appointed to assist at the evening sacrifice at the NIGHT service 1 Ch. 9:33; 23:30.

The Hellenic Pharisees after the writing of the Talmud taught that  “between the two evenings” was from anytime noon until full dark.

The Samaritans, Karaites [scribes], and Sadducees [temple priests], all always  taught that “between the evenings”  the time as AFTER sunset and BEFORE darkness (Interpreter’s Bible, Ex.12:6; also The Jewish Encyclopedia, art. Passover, page 553).

Let the Bible Interpret the Bible.

We find at the beginning of Genesis, the day defined no less that seven times; as the Evening and the morning, referring to the day beginning at sunset and the daylight beginning at sunrise.

Our days begin at sunset and our evenings begin at sunset.  No one begins the Sabbath at noon or 3 in the afternoon!  On second thought I must admit that someone somewhere is ignorant enough to do that!  But you get the idea! 

Now the Daily was commanded to be sacrificed in the morning AND in the evening.  WHY?  For the same reason that Genesis tells us that a complete 24 hour day includes the evening and a morning or daylight period! 

The Daily was meant to show the faithful service of the Lamb of God for his people throughout the complete 24 hour day.  With a sacrifice in the evening after sunset for the night; and a sacrifice in the morning to cover the daylight portion of the day. 

From the first establishment of the Daily it was sacrifice just after sunset and again in the morning!  Because the commandment required this. 

It was a few hundred years after Christ was sacrificed and then resurrected, and the Scribes, Priests and Mosaic Pharisees were largely destroyed by the Romans; that the  Hellenized Pharisees [modern Rabbins] used their reasoning’s to change the meaning of  “Between the evenings].  Please see the history of the Rabbins here:  Hellenism and the Birth of Modern Rabbinic Judaism

Very sadly there are many Judaizers who have no understanding of the difference between the Sadducees [priests], Scribes [Karaites] and Mosaic Pharisees of the days of Christ; and modern Rabbinism which is completely contrary to Moses, and totally different from the Judaism of the period in and before the first century. 

They think that they are getting back to the “Hebrew Roots” of true religion when swallowing modern Rabbinism, and have no idea that what they are swallowing is NOT the religion of Moses or of Christ.  

The Mosaic “Between the evenings” merely refers to that time between sunset and full dark when the stars can be easily seen; else utter confusion would reign as one chooses one PM and another choses four PM while another chooses sunset. 

Is God the author of such confusion over things as basic as the time of the beginning of the Weekly Sabbath, the Daily Evening Sacrifice and the beginnings of his Passover? 

For they are all days, and if we have no idea when each evening begins for the Daily, then we have no idea of when any other day begins. 

Brethren this depending on the reasoning’s of men is absolute nonsense and confusion; when we should be depending on the clear Word of God. 

Days begin at SUNSET and therefore the daily Evening Sacrifice must take place between sunset and full dark, as it relates to the period of the day called the night; while the morning sacrifice refers to the daylight portion of the 24 hour day.  See Understanding The Daily and The Sacrificial System  for more.


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