What is the ninth hour of prayer

What does the ninth hour of prayer mean in Acts 3: 1?

According to Jewish tradition or according to the Mosaic Law, what happened in the 9th hour?

... in both Jewish and Roman timing systems.

See: Re. The Crucifixion: Possible Correlation Between Time Measurement and Calendar Days?

It is very likely that Peter and John - known as Christians - went to the temple for the 9th hour - because nothing was going on so as not to cause disputes.

According to Acts 2, Shavuot - Pentecost - had already occurred (Wikipedia; Exodus 23:16, Exodus 34:22, Numbers 28:26, Deuteronomy 16:10, etc.).

No other holidays seem likely in this context.

Neither morning (Shakharit) nor evening (Maariv) would have been prayers.

The afternoon service (Minkhah) was probably kept at all times - after 12:30 p.m. until evening, as the people come could (because of work, etc.).

There are too many forgotten and conflicting traditions to be sure: the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds (dated much later); the conflict between the Sadducees and the Pharisees; the Karaites; Etc;

However, I would suspect that the Sadducees still had authority in the temple. But they - and their traditions - have been removed from history.

The Jewish liturgy (see Siddur) has been "organic" throughout history. There are many of these liturgies today that all have been written - because there is no temple. None of them claim to reflect that time, let alone claim to have been passed on from Moses.

There is no way of knowing exactly what was going on around the 9th hour of the day. However, if an "event" had occurred, it would likely have sacrificed itself. Perhaps start with: Tract Zevachim, “Animal Sacrifice”, Bava Metzia 109b, Shechitat Kodashim, “The Slaughter of Consecrated Animals”.


Thank you very much for your informative and comprehensive answer. I appreciate it very much. I'll look at the sources you linked to. It appears from your answer that the answer is "we really don't know" and this leads me to believe that the gentlemen I have heard in so much detail may not have been able to make a mandatory list of activities as there is no prescription.

elika kohen

@ DJGray - Thanks for the comment. (A.) I don't want to mislead you, there are "recipes" for what "could have, should" have happened - but these all vary. I have quoted a few. (B.) Depending on their background, a person will argue vehemently in one way or another. (C.) Recipes / descriptions include: Zevachim's tract, the various Jewish traditions, liturgies, Alfred Edersheim's commentary, the New Testament, etc .; (D.)It's just hard to know for sure when so many traditions and prejudices are involved - I am very grateful that this idea came about through all of this.