Our modern midnight-to-midnight reckoning came from the Romans.The Month Governed by the Moon.—Just as one complete rotation of the globe on its axis, from sunset on to sunset again, marks off one day on this earth, so the time required for the moon to go once around the earth—that is, to pass through its visible phases, as from crescent to full moon and to crescent again—constituted the original month.Wherever this record can be adequately tested, it stands revealed as trustworthy history.
The harmony of the time statements in the Scripture strengthens our confidence in the accuracy of the inspired Word, but chronology is not essential to salvation.
That is evidently why God did not see fit to fill in all the details of chronology.
When God set this globe spinning on its axis and sent it on its yearly course around the sun, accompanied by its smaller attendant, the moon, He decreed that these heavenly bodies should govern the earth’s day and night, and, further, that they should be “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Genesis ).
Thus time is measured for the earth by these motions.
The Year Measured by the Sun.—As our spinning earth, circled continuously by the moon, traverses its vast course around the sun, it makes the circuit of the four seasonal landmarks—the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumnal equinoxes—to complete what we call a year.
These points do not mark off the year as visibly as the moon does the lunar month, yet even relatively primitive peoples can recognize them by repeated observation of the shadows cast by the sun at rising, setting, and noon throughout the year.
For “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Genesis 1:5).
As we, on any given spot on this spinning globe, are carried eastward, out of the sunlight and into the shadow, we say that the sun is setting in the west.
To dogmatize on chronology or to attempt to fix every date once for all would be not only presumptuous but impossible.