On the Morrow

From The Lunar Sabbath Encyclopedia

The phrase "on the Morrow..." is important to understand in order to correctly identify several key dates in Scripture, such as the date that the Israelites began leaving Egypt.


The word interpreted as "morrow" by the KJV is the Hebrew word mohorat (מחרת), Strong's Number H4283. This word can also be translated as "the next day". This could mean the next day-light period, or it could mean the next calendar day. In order to establish which definition is correct, an exegesis of mohorat is required.


Genesis 19:33-35

describes Lot and his incest. The incident with his first daughter was the preceding night period, and his first daughter discusses it with his second daughter "...on the morrow" and makes plans for the next night.

And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. -Gen 19:33-35

In this passage is it not conclusive whether "morrow" (mohorat) refers to the next calendar day (starting at sunset) or the next daylight period. However it seems more likely from the context that the daughters would have this discussion the next morning and not wait until the next evening. More exegesis is required to better determine which interpretation is correct.

Judges 6:38

tells us about Gideon and the fleece. Gideon asked for a miracle in order to know YHVH's will. He left a fleece of wool overnight on the ground, and then inspected it "early on the morrow (mohorat)"

And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.  And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. - Jdg 6:36-40

First, let's consider whether "morrow" refers to the next calendar day, beginning with sunset. We know that dew typically forms overnight, when the ground cools off and the moisture from the air condenses on it.[2] The passage says that he "rose up early on the morrow", which by this definition would be shortly after sunset. If this is when he inspected the fleece, there would not have been enough time for dew to begin forming by that time. Furthermore, the phrase "rose up early" indicates that Gideon had gone to sleep and was getting up early to inspect the fleece. In order for "morrow" to mean after sunset, this would imply that Gideon went to sleep well before sunset and then arose shortly afterwards. Again, this does not seem very probable.

If instead we consider the definition of "morrow" as meaning the next daylight period, this passage makes much more sense. Gideon went to sleep, rose up early in the morning (after the dew formed overnight), and then inspected the fleece. This definition seems to fit the context of this passage much better than defining "morrow" as "the next calendar day".

1 Samuel 5:3-4

tells us that the priests of Dagon in Ashdod "arose early on the morrow (mohorat) to find that the statue of Dagon had fallen on it's face.

When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of YHVH. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of YHVH; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. - 1Sa 5:2-4

This passage contains the interesting phrase "arose early on the morrow morning". The word "morrow" is again the Hebrew word mohorat, and the word "morning" is the Hebrew word boquer(בקר), Strong's Number 1242. Boquer means "daybreak" or "morning". The meaning of the passage is that they arose early, the next day, in the morning. So it should be clear in 1Sa 5:4 that the "morrow" in this case refers to the morning and not the beginning of the calendar day.

1 Samuel 11:11

describes the Battle of Saul and the Ammorites.

And they said unto the messengers that came, Thus shall ye say unto the men of Jabeshgilead, To morrow, by that time the sun be hot, ye shall have help. And the messengers came and shewed it to the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 

1Sa 11:10  Therefore the men of Jabesh said, To morrow we will come out unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good unto you. 

1Sa 11:11  And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. - 1Sa 11:9-11

Here the word "morrow" (mohorat)=morrow is again used together with "in the morning" (boqer), describing the time at which Saul went to battle. This time is also referenced as "to morrow" in verses 9 and 10, which is the Hebrew word mahar (מחר), Strong's Number 4279, that means "tomorrow" or the "immediate next day". This passage clearly refers to "morrow" as the morning, not the start of the calendar day.


From this exegesis we can only conclude that mohorat=morrow refers to the next daylight period that follows the previous nighttime period. In other words, "the morning after". It does not refer to the next evening.

See Also

Abib 15 in Egypt

Passover in Gilgal


  1. "Berean Bible Study Group", Passover Study 1, Version 2.3
  2. Merriam-Webster Definition of "Dew"