Days Of Creation
Charles J. Aebi
Dear Aebi: “Were the days of creation regular days as we know them, or were they long ages of time? Give reasons for your answer, please.”
Genesis 1 describes, briefly, what God did on each of six days, including an evaluation that “God saw that it was good” and ending the details of each day’s work with, “And there was evening and there was morning, the ____ day.” Genesis 2 says God rested on the seventh day, then gives more details about the creation of man and woman and their home in Eden.
Some believe that the days of creation in Genesis 1 were long time periods, and they usually cite 2 Peter 3:8, which has no bearing on this case because it is only saying that time is irrelevant to God and does not affect His promises. Some argue that long time periods for the days of creation were necessary to develop all the plants and animals we now have, i.e., in order to allow for the theory that evolution is the process of creation.
The Hebrew word yom (day) can mean “time period,” as “in Jesus’ day,” but, like our word “day,” yom usually means a solar day, or 24 hours. Genesis 1:5 describes a day as a period of light, as opposed to night as a period of darkness, and 1:13 describes the third day as consisting of “evening and morning.” These are characteristic of our 24-hour solar days. The same usage is found in Exodus 20:8-11, which treats the six days of creation as 24-hour days. Every time a succession of days (first day, second day, etc.) is used in the Bible, it refers to solar days. The only reason anyone proposes long time periods is to accommodate evolution.
The atheistic evolutionists do not concern themselves with the days of Genesis 1; they talk about geologic eras rather than Genesis days, and they speculate that the geologic eras were very long and not equal in length. It is necessary to their hypothesis of evolution that they have impossible flexibility in proposing millions or billions of years for everything to develop naturally without God in the picture. The proposal that the days of Genesis 1 were long time periods is an attempt to somehow combine evolution and religion into “theistic evolution,” which will not work because each Genesis day had a period of light followed by darkness. A million years of darkness would extinguish all life, so evolution would have to start all over again and not be a continuous process. Bible believers need not try to reconcile Genesis with evolution. Evolution is an attempt to explain everything without God in the picture; with God in the picture, we have no need for evolution. I repeat: the only reason anyone proposes long time periods for the days of Genesis is to accommodate evolution.
The rule of all language is to accept words at face value unless good reason exists to understand them as figurative. Because God is God, He did not need millions of years to create things that man could not do even if he had billions of years. Ultimately, this becomes a question of our faith in Jehovah God and whether He could ever perform miracles, as opposed to our faith in science and men, which we know cannot perform real miracles. If we believe that God is God, we need not suppose that the Genesis “days” are any different from any other days. -2660 Layman Rd., Vincent, OH 45784. firstname.lastname@example.org
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