The Days in Genesis
Silently a huge, powerful form slides through the deep, cold, dark depths of the sea. The men aboard the nuclear submarine have seen neither sun nor daylight for months, yet each one knows what day it is. The men know what day and what time it is even without seeing daylight, because the sun’s movement – like a clock – only measures time; it doesn’t create it.
God doesn’t need the sun to measure time either. When He tells us in Genesis 1 that He created everything in six days and rested on the seventh, we know these are days like ours, even though the sun was not created until the fourth day. Some people wonder whether the days of Genesis 1 could be figurative days. Well, the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture itself. What does it say?
The word translated “day” in Genesis 1 is the Hebrew word yom. Whenever that word is used anywhere else in the Old Testament with a number – like 10 yoms – it always means a 24 hour day. And whenever yom is used anywhere else in the Old Testament with the phrase “evening and morning,” it always means a 24 hour day.
Going back to Genesis 1, we see that the Holy Spirit has made sure that both of these rules are in force to assure us that the Genesis days are like ours!