Tuesday, May 07, 2019

24 Hour-Days

The word “day” is used three ways in the Bible – (1) a 24 hour cycle (day & night, an entire revolution of the earth); (2) the period of time between sunrise and sunset (i.e. daylight); or (3) some unspecified period of time (i.e. figurative). This introduces the possibility that the days of creation – those seven days mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis 1:1–2:3 in theory might be any one of these three.[i] Which is biblically correct?

Reasons that the first seven days are 24-hour periods

  • “Day” in the Bible sometimes means indefinite, undefined, or prolonged periods (Cf. 2 Tim. 4:8). However, in all five of Moses’s books (the Pentateuch) when “day” is used with a numerical adjective,[ii] its meaning is restricted to a literal 24-hour day (Cf. Exod. 12:15; Lev. 23:5; Num. 29:17; Deut. 5:14). Genesis chapter 1-2 is no exception.
  • The specific mention of evening and morning indicates that the Bible is speaking of 24-hour days. The writer’s intent is to describe these days just like any other days. Evening and morning is meaningless if referring to some unknown length of time. Bible days began at sunset rather than at midnight as our days (Cf. Gen. 1:5; Exod. 12:18; Lev. 23:32).
  • If one interprets the evening as the first half of an extended period of time – say, 1000 years, for example – and the morning the second half, then an evening lasted 500 years and a morning 500 years. The evening is darkness and the day is light (Gen. 1:4-5). What happened to the plants created on the third day when the 500-year evening of the fourth day came? The same goes for the animals, and so on.
  • Gen. 1:14 ties the work of the “lights in the firmament of the heaven” not only to the division of day and night, but also to dividing time into years. If normal units of time are not referenced, the text becomes obscure and abstruse.
  • Adam was 930 years old when he died (Cf. Gen. 5:5). If Genesis Chapter 1 days were 1000-year periods, Adam would have been over 1000 years old on the second day of his existence and over 2000 by the time he died – since he was created on the sixth day. 930 years old becomes meaningless, whereas the writer clearly intends to convey chronological/genealogical history. The first seven days were the same kind of days Adam lived all of his life, and by which the days of his life were counted. If each day of Adam’s life were 1000 years, Adam would have been around 334,800,000 years old when he died![iii]
  • Why would it take God 6000 years to create the world? God did not need 1000-year days – the theistic evolutionists need that length of time to explain their views. The Genesis account tells of a God who spoke and things came into existence. None said these days were ages before the scientists said the earth was billions of years old. The motive behind lengthening the first seven days is make the Bible conform to science – to fit the belief that the earth if billions of years old. Many scientific theories oppose God’s Word. No proven scientific fact disagrees with the Bible. Should scientists ever arrive at the truth, they will find Bible-believers are already there! 
  • Man’s six work days correspond precisely to God’s six work days. Man’s day of rest corresponds to God’s day of rest. Man’s seven-day week is the same as God’s seven-day week. See Exodus 20:8-11. The first seven days are the same kind of days as our 24-hour days – the first week a week by which all weeks thereafter are patterned. The truth is plain and simple in Genesis, if we have eyes to see and are not searching for something else.
  • Jesus and his disciples accepted Genesis 1 and 2 as plain, simple, straightforward history. When Jesus taught concerning marriage, he went back to “the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6). God made them male and female.” When he spoke of “that tribulation” he made comparison to real history – “the beginning of the creation which God created until now” (Mark 13:19). When Paul sought to explain the origin of sin (Rom. 5:12-14) or the fact of the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:45), he rooted his argument in real biblical history. Over and over the biblical writers, in both Old and New Testaments, accepted the creation account as written, without excuse.

[i] This writing is a revision of 7 things about the first 7 days from February 2013.
[ii] That is, “first day” (Gen. 1:5), “second day” (Gen. 1:8), “third day” (Gen. 1:13), “fourth day” (Gen. 1:19), “fifth day” (Gen. 1:23), “sixth day” (Gen. 1:31), “seventh day” (Gen. 2:3).
[iii] 930 years X 1000 year-days X 360 days in a year equals 334,800,000 years.

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