How Long Is A Day?
There is a theory that says each of God's days in Genesis were actually millions of years for us. Is this true? Maybe we need to ask what does the word "day" mean in Genesis?
The Hebrew word "yom" is translated as day in Genesis. Just as our word "day" can have different meanings based on its context, so can the word "yom". For example, in the Old Testament "yom" is translated to mean a 24 hour day 1109 times. It means a long, long period of time--such as an age--about nine times.
However, every time the word "yom" is used with the term evening or morning in the Bible, it means a regular 24 hour day.
Every time the word "yom" is used with a number, such as "40 yom" (40 days), it means a regular 24 hour day.
What we now see is that in Genesis chapter one God is going out of His way to emphasize that each day is a normal 24 hour day. For example in verse five He says:
"And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
Verse 8: "And there was evening and there was morning, a second day."
Verse 13: "There was evening and there was morning, a third day."
For each day of creation the pattern is the same: evening, morning, number, day. Just part of that pattern, for example using the words "evening" and "day" together, tell us it was a 24 hour day. But God tells us in three ways -- evening, morning, number -- that the word day means... an ordinary 24 hour day.
God is making it very clear: He created everything in six ordinary days.
Day 1: On the first day God created the Earth, which at the time would have been a giant ball of water, and He divided light from darkness. The supernatural light would not be talked about in science textbooks.
Day 2: On day two God separated the water from the air. In most textbooks, the origins of oxygen would not predate land.
Day 3: On the third day God created the land and plants.
Day 4: On the fourth day God created the stars and the sun. The Earth predating the sun and stars by three days is considered a heresy among secular scientists.
Day 5: On day five fish and birds were created. The birds coming before land animals contradict macro-evolutionary models.
Day 6: On the sixth day of creation, land animals and man were created. At this time there was no death on the Earth, and God proclaimed it was good. The six days of creation contradicts the Darwinian model, which claims death predates man.
Day 7: God "rested".
On the sixth day of creation, land animals and man were created. At this time there was no death on the Earth, and God proclaimed it was good. The six days of creation contradicts the Darwinian model, which claims death predates man.
The Hebrews used the word, “day” to mean time period. Proof: Genesis 2:4. In the day (singular) God created the Heavens and the Earth. “Morning” meant “beginning” and evening meant ending. Same word for both. And land and Earth were both the same word. The Black Sea Flood (Noah’s Flood) covered the entire land.
Moses used words poetically as do modern scientists. There really was no Big Bang. Sound does not travel in the vacuum of space. There was only a completely silent, sudden expansion of matter. There would however have been a sudden flash of light. “And God said let there be light and there was light.” It is perfectly ok to call it a Big Bang (God spoke and BANG! It happened!). But realize you are using poetry.
Did God create the Sun, stars and Moon after the plants? Of course not. It says He created the LIGHTS IN THE SKY after the plants. Either/or the Earth’s atmosphere was too thick to let Sun and star light reach it, and/or the Sun and stars had not condensed enough for fusion to make light, just heat. Both Jupiter and Saturn give off their own heat, but not light. They are almost proto-stars but a little too small to get lit up.
Amazingly it IS possible God made plants before light hit the Earth. Scientists (being poetic like Moses) have discovered a “Rose Garden” at the bottom of the sea! It is an entirely different kind of eco-system where the plants and animals get their energy from volcanic heat vents, not sunlight. No photosynthesis goes on. It is too dark down there. Earth’s first eco-systems may very well have been like those.
But did God make man before the plants (Gen 2:7) or after the plants as in the 1st chapter of Gen? Don’t worry. Moses was no fool. He could see the conflict. The whole point of both chapters and the contradiction is, the only important thing is, GOD DID IT! So do not worry about modern scientists coming up with still more creation theories, or filling in the details on the old ones. God is not harmed by that, and neither should be your faith.
The 2nd chapter contains much deep symbolic truth. The best commentary I ever saw on it was not by a believer but by Carl Sagan in his book, “Dragons of Eden.” It is a shame this man never found God, for as he said, “I do not want to believe God exists. I want to KNOW God exists.” If he had studied the strong, weak and modified weak anthropic principles, he would have known God exists. If he had taken a leap of faith and asked Christ into his operating system to save and debug it, he would have KNOWN from the gentle and loving Presence within him, that Christ is that God.
Are You Brave Enough to Try an Experiment?