When Is a Day a Day?
When is a day a day? And when is a day not a day? Are the days really 24 hours long? Let’s look at that well-known Bible passage that tells you about the first day, second day and so on. I am referring to Numbers 7.
What do you mean, you haven’t read Numbers 7 recently? It’s that exciting passage, when all the tribes of Israel brought their gifts for the Tabernacle to Moses. The tribe of Judah brought their gift on the first day. On the second day, it was the turn of Issachar. Zebulon came on the third day, and so on. Twelve tribes, twelve days. But a day with the Lord is like a thousand years! So poor old Moses must have sat there waiting for these tribes for 12,000 years!
I think you understand my point. The 12 days of Numbers 7 are obviously 12 literal 24-hour days, because the use of ordinal numbers only makes sense, if that were so. Yet the grammar and syntax of Numbers 7 is the same as that of Genesis 1. If you want to interpret Genesis 1 figuratively, then you ought to interpret Numbers 7 figuratively, and Moses had to wait thousands of years. But if you want to read Numbers 7 literally, as it is written, then you should read Genesis 1 the same. The days of Genesis 1 are literal, 24-hour days.