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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Days of Creation: Literal Days or Long Ages?
we view the "days" of Genesis 1 as long periods to harmonize with
evolutionary "science," or are they literal, consecutive days? To
weaken the doctrine about the days of creation is to weaken the doctrine of
creation itself, which in turn undermines faith in God and the Bible as God's
word. (Note that "day" must have the same meaning for each of the
"days" of creation.) Here is a brief summary of the evidence in the
Some say "a day is as a thousand years with God." But
"science" requires periods of billions of years, not thousands. No
Bible verse uses the word "day" for periods that long!
Study of context shows that, in about 95% of cases, YOM ("day")
refers either to a literal 24-hour day or to the period of daylight (in
contrast to night). So "day" is the normal meaning; and in a
historical context, the normal use should be accepted unless context proves
passages say God created all things in six "days": Exodus 20:11;
31:17. "Days" (plural) occurs almost 600 times in Bible history,
doctrine, and poetry. In every case, "days" is literal. Moses himself
uses "days" 191 times. All are literal; none refer to long ages.
Three passages refer to days of creation using a cardinal number
("one," "two," etc.): Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Genesis 1:5. A
total of at least Bible 235 verses of history or doctrine contain
"day" with a cardinal number. Every one of them refers to literal
days. Moses uses "day" with a cardinal number over 100 times. Always
it refers to literal days, never to longer periods!
verses refer to creation using "day" with an ordinal number
("first," "second," etc.): Gen. 1:8,13,19,23,31; 2:2,3;
Exo. 20:11; 31:17; Heb. 4:4. In all, Moses uses "day" with an ordinal
number over 100 times. It always mean literal days, never longer periods!
Further, when "day" is used with an ordinal number, the days are
always consecutive, without exception.
Bible contains thirteen examples in which "day" with an ordinal
number refers to two or more days in sequence (a "first day,"
"second day," etc.). Every one of these cases describes consecutive
literal 24-hour days! Genesis 1:8-2:3; Exodus 14:9,10; Numbers 6:9,10; Numbers
7:12-78; Numbers 28:16,17; Numbers 29:17-35; Joshua 6:14,15; Judges 19:5-8;
Judges 20:22-30; Esther 9:17; Esther 9:18; Esther 9:21; Ezekiel 45:21-25.
passages state that God made everything "in six days": Exodus 20:11;
31:17. The expression "in X days" in the Bible always means literal
consecutive, sequential days.
"days" of creation are defined to consist of "evening and
morning." Wherever these words are found together in Bible history, law,
or poetry they describe literal days.
Genesis 1:5 - Here darkness was called "night" and was separated from
the light, which is called "day." Day/light and night/darkness are so
closely associated with evening and morning that they appear to define the
terms and thereby define a day!
Genesis 1:14-19 - On the fourth day the heavenly bodies were designated to
measure "days," distinguished from "years." It follows that
the fourth "day" is the kind of "day" that those heavenly
bodies measure. (But remember that all the days of creation must mean the
The last day of creation was the seventh day on which God rested (Gen. 2:2,3).
This later became the basis of the Sabbath command (Exodus 20:9-11; 31:17; Heb.
4:4). What God blessed and sanctified was the seventh day on which He rested -
Gen. 2:3. But what God later blessed and hallowed was the Sabbath day - Ex
20:11. But the Sabbath day was a literal 24-hour day. Therefore, the seventh
day on which God rested at creation was a literal day! Surely this means the
six days of work were also literal days!
Nature involves highly-integrated interdependence which would have made life
impossible if the days were millions of years long. Plants were made the 3rd
day, but no animals till the 5th and 6th days. How could plants survive
millions of years without animals? How could life survive "evenings"
of millions of years of darkness?
There is no way evolution can be harmonized with the Bible or with science,
even if we take the view the days were long periods. So why compromise?
For a more detailed study of the days of creation, see our free Bible study
articles at www.gospelway.com/creation.
Copyright 2012, David E. Pratte You are free to keep copies of
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