Page 12 - A True Gospel Chronology from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection
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 All the information we have about the Onah comes from Jewish sources dating from the 2nd to the 6th centuries. In his highly recognized work, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalimi and the Midrashic Literature, Marcus Jastow gives us the basic definition of the Onah.
Onah - (root meaning: a turn, a circle, a period)
 1. The twenty-fourth part of an hour - a moment. 

2. A period of twelve astronomical hours, one half of the natural day and of the
natural night, or (at solstice) natural day or natural night.
 3. A due season, period, or stage.
Ok, now that we have that settled, how was it used? Was it used in the daily life of Judea in the First Century? To be honest, we don't know. We have no Biblical evidence of its use.5 But if it was used, how? Was it used at the discretion of whoever desired to apply it or was it used only in specific situations?
We can only find four areas in which it was applied: mourning, circumcision, the breaking of a vow and the time of uncleanness for a woman. The Encyclopedia Judaica (1905) gives us this bit of information, regarding the use of the word ‘Day'.
In Jewish communal life part of a day is at times reckoned as one day; e.g., the day of the funeral, even when the latter takes place late in the afternoon, is counted as the first of the seven days of mourning; a short time in the morning of the seventh day is counted as the seventh day; circumcision takes place on the eighth day, even though of the first day only a few minutes remained after the birth of the child, these being counted as one day. Again, a man who hears of a vow made by his wife or his daughter, and desires to cancel the vow, must do so on the same day on which he hears of it, as otherwise, the protest has no effect; even if the hearing takes place a little time before night, the annulment must be done within that little time. 6
5 I realize some hold up certain passages as examples, e.g., Esther and her fast of three days. But upon closer examination, it turns out not to be the same thing at all.
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