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Today's Creation Moment

Oct
28
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How Long Was Each Day of Creation Week?

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." – 2 Peter 3:8

This verse is a favorite proof text for those who believe that the Bible supports long periods of time for each day of Creation Week. Though much has been written to show that the days of Creation Week were literal, 24-hour days, some creationists persist in saying that each day of Creation Week could be a thousand years … or even longer.

So we'd like to ask them a question. For the sake of argument, let's say that they're right and that each day of Creation Week is a thousand years. According to Genesis 5:5, Adam lived to the ripe old age of 930 years. This means that Adam died during Day 6 of Creation Week. And according to Genesis 4:8, Cain killed his brother Abel during Day 6.

So how do you explain Genesis 1:31: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

Death, murder, sin – all these things occurred during Day 6 of Creation Week, according to your way of reckoning time. So why did God call Day 6 not only good but very good?

Comments

This would also mean that Adam died before God rested or finished His work. Many who believe in the Day Age viewpoint (each creation day being a vast age of unknown measure) believe that the earth is billions of years old, and each day was at least a million years long, some longer.

If day 6 was a million years long, then each hour was a little more than 40.5 thousand years. If Adam lived 930 years, then he would have only lasted about couple of minutes on day six. If you look at the genealogy of Adam, you will see that while he lived 930 years, he had many sons who had to also be born on day six (since Adam never got out of day six alive). When you build you story on a lie, it will have a domino effect which ends in confusion.

The Hebrews' day started in the evening, each day in the creation week ends with the expression: “And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.” Etc. If God who knows how to express Himself (He invented and equipped Adam with a language) meant a longer period of time, He could have used the Hebrew word “olam” which means an immense about of time. Or, He could have expressed long ages the way He told Abram about his descendants.

“I will surely bless you and make your
descendants as numerous as the stars in
the sky and as the sand on the seashore.”
Genesis" 22:17

He could have said: If you can count the sands of the sea, that is how long it took me to complete the creation. No, He said "day" and even told us what a day is: "evening and morning".

God said evening and morning was the first day, 24 hours. Some don't believe this so they don't have to take all of God's Word as TRUTH. God could have made all of creation in 6 seconds, but for a pattern for us to follow that is a very short week. God likes to give us examples as a help as He is much wiser than we.

The Hebrew word for day, "yom," can mean a 24-hour day, or it can refer to a longer period of time. But when used with the phrase "and there was evening, and there was morning" its meaning is defined as the 24-hour hour meaning. Whether someone believes this or not is another matter. According to the language of the text, in this passage it can only mean a 24-hour day.

Genesis 1:5 literally says "one day" not "first day"

Thank you, I appreciate your post. Often I listen to different radio stations to fill my two and half hour commute. It's always interesting to hear such talented people try to out think and talk God's Word. We had the opportunity to visit the Creation Museum this year. How spectacular. I recommend it to anyone of any age. I would like to read what you have to say about those that have predicted the last day coming soon. Because they are using the days and years for their dates.

Thank you again,

Dixon

Your mention of the domino effect when one tries to modify what the Bible says reminded me of a joke I heard awhile ago:

A certain young fellow is sitting at the kitchen table reading from Exodus. At one point he exclaims, "Wow, what a miracle!"

His older brother, a skeptic, sitting on the couch nearby, replies, "Ok, what?"

The younger brother says, "God split the water of the Red Sea in two, and Moses and the Israelites walked across without even getting their feet wet!"

The older brother replies, "It wasn't the Red Sea, it was the Reed Sea, which was only ankle-deep water. There wasn't any miracle, they just waded across and only their feet got wet."

To which the younger brother replies, "Oh" and keeps on reading. Pretty soon he says, "Wow, what a miracle!" again.

The older brother says, "Now what?"

"God drowned Pharaoh and all his army in only ankle-deep water!"

On the one hand I can understand why some people think that the earth is millions or even billions of years old, simply because God has not opened their eyes! But if we use the same logic as to days being more than 24 hours, it begs the question how many of those extended hour days does it take to make a year, or even a million years. By the same standard, how long, and by what standard are these years measured? And when did they become exactly 24 hours?

The fact is that we can know that the lunar cycle is exactly (and always has been) 29.53059 days. Therefore, each year is exactly 365.2422 days. As God said, the times and seasons will remain till the end.
Sadly this same flawed logic is applied to evolution! If man evolved (I gag on the words even!) from apes, why are the apes still here?

The earth was physically created rapidly. Not only does Genesis indicate that, but common sense backs it up. Everything had to be in place at exactly the right time.

Strange theories about millions of years — such as the Gap Theory and Progressive Creationism — are completely without biblical foundation and should be thrown out. Anyone who thinks the earth's physical age is much more than 6,000 years is following the vain theories of science, not the truth of the Bible and the actual evidence.

How can we understand what "evening and morning" mean on days 1, 2, & 3 before the sun, moon and stars are made?

Kate,

All you need for a day is a rotating earth and a light source. God supplied both.
He made light on day one. Light did not exist before that (God is uncreated light). He made the wave-lengths, the particles, the speed, ultraviolet light types the temperature, etc.
The energy that He produced in the beginning would automatically produce light.

Great answer. Thanks.

God said that the evening and the morning was the first day and so on. This was before he created the sun and the moon.

There really is no room in Genesis to support millions of years during creation, especially when you throw in evolution. As we know from other scripture, the Lord created all things by the word of his power. The Lord didn't have to learn how to say monkey before he said men. Anyone who believes evolutionary nonsense and tries to cram it into the Bible is like Cinderella's stepsister trying to cram her shoe into the glass slipper. It's not going to fit.

Here is how I break down 2 Peter 3:8

‎1: The context says that people claim that all things continue as they have since creation.There is nothing in the context of this passage that ties verse 8 to the days of creation.

2: The context is dealing with the Lord's second coming, and that God is not slow in returning - verse 9.

3: The verse negates itself as a proof text for being a commentary on creation, because as noted "a day is like a thousand years, and thousand years is as a day," so it cancels itself out.

4: God is not effected by time nor does He exist within time. God is eternal and exists outside of time, and created time for His creation. Peter gives a paraphrase of Ps.90:4 where the Psalmist gives the comparison of 1000 years is to yesterday, or already past, or the watch in the night which would have been 3 hours. So we should not expect God to do things on our time basis.

5: Even if you were to accept the incorrect application of this verse to say a day is a thousand years, that doesn't provide the time frame that old earth creationists say or expect which is 10-14 Billion years. So each day needs to cover at least 1.43 to 2 Billion years per day. I haven't seen any scriptures that say, "a day is like 2 Billion years and 2 Billion years are as a day."

6: If we have an ALL POWERFUL GOD, and we do, than He could create in 6 seconds, 6 minutes, 6 hours or even 1 day if He chose to do so. Which incidentally is what they tried to argue in the days of Martin Luther, his response was. "When Moses writes that God created Heaven and Earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written."

Amen Tom! That is a powerful quote. That should cut to the heart of anyone being honest with themselves. You know what I think the sad part is? It's the fact that people (including some Christians) make it seem as if it is not possible for God to create the universe as we know it in 6 days. In a sense this is bringing God down and limiting his limitlessness (<--- is that a word? lol). God gave us the Bible to help us understand the world around us and to answer the many questions we may have, amongst other things. The problem is not everyone likes the answers.

"And he said, the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:27

Day 3 God created PLANTS, and plants require SOLAR SPECTRUM to live.

Day 4 God created the SUN and its spectrum for plants to live.

So if the days were a thousand years, then the plants would not have had sunlight spectrum to live.

To understand 2 Peter 3:8, imagine yourself being swatted by a fast flyswatter, it would hit you because it is moving rapidly. As a FLY being swatted by a person, the flyswatter would be moving so slow that the fly would fly circles around your attacks and swatter.

If the 'evening and the morning' was a thousand years, assuming they were equal, there would have been 500 years of darkness. Plants could not survive.

For the first 3 days, 500 years of darkness would not matter, but after plants were created it would.

There is absolutely no evidence that the first three days were any different than days 4-6.

The solar system is now in a 24-hour cycle. When did that start? When did it change from a thousand-year cycle to a 24-hour cycle?

The long-day people really need to THINK before they speak.

Let me state from the very start that I am more inclined to believe Darwin's theory of evolution rather than the creation story in the Bible but I'll listen to all points of view.

One point in particular to help out the 'long dayers' - the literal creationists are sticking to the notion of a day being 24 hours in length. Well, yes, it is for the earth. But depending on where you are in the universe - and I think we all agree that there is a huge universe out there, then there is a multiplicity of day lengths depending on which solar system you are in and how far you are from the sun.

Now, we are the only inhabited planet in our solar system, so you will shoot me down in flames when I point out that Jupiter's 'day' is a shade under 12 hours because it spins so fast on its axis, whilst Mercury's is 58 days+ because of the pull on it by the sun. However, are we the only inhabited planet in the whole of the universe? We don't know and the universe is so vast it would be pointless to speculate - and arrogant in the extreme to consider ourselves to be the only intelligent beings in such a huge 'creation'.

OK - so I'm sticking with Darwin, but you should think very carefully about day length if you're going to champion the bible's version.

Good point, Hilary. However, I think it's important to keep in mind that the Bible was given to humans on this earth and that it is a record of and story of God's interaction with us. While I don't think it's arrogant in the extreme to assume that we're the only intelligent beings in such a huge creation (it would be more ignorance rather than arrogance), it would seem silly to me that God would be writing from the perspective of a different part of the universe in some other galaxy where some other created beings live, and then to give that Bible to us with no relation or knowledge of the other beings.

If there were other beings in different parts of this universe, I would have to think that they'd have their own Bible and historical account of God's story on their world. And if their 'day' is 6 of our days, then I'd have to imagine that their Bible says that creation was created in 1 'day' and He rested for 1/6th of a day after all that hard work. =D

This is from our Creation Moments devotional titled "Genesis, Naturally":

Until the last century, virtually all Christians understood Genesis chapter 1 as a history of what actually happened during creation week. The few exceptions were influenced by Greek and Roman philosophy that was very much like modern evolution. For thousands of years believers understood the text of Genesis chapter 1 in its natural sense. In other words, unless the Bible itself gives us some reason to do otherwise, we understand the words in their literal, natural sense.

We could mention many leaders of the church who understood Genesis creation as a historical account of actual events. Most importantly, Jesus Christ treated the Genesis account of creation as actual history and Adam and Eve as real people. In defending the natural understanding of Genesis chapter 1, the great teachers of the church have most often cited Christ as the best example of how to understand Genesis.

I think it's obvious by when the day-age position began to be popular that it was a direct result of the long ages assertion as required by evolution. This means people are trying to reconcile an inherently atheistic position with the Bible, and as such are taking man's ideas as being of greater authority than God's Word.

Sir Charles Lyell played a pivotal role in putting a seemingly-scientific face on the long ages assertion. In doing so he asserted at least one flat out lie: he discarded decades of local observation of the erosion rate of Niagara Falls being in excess of three feet per year and instead picked one foot per year, which would make the falls about 35,000 years old. This was in keeping with his well documented intention of making the Biblical timeline appear scientifically impossible.

<a href="http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i4/niagara_falls.asp" title="http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i4/niagara_falls.asp">http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i4/niagara_falls.asp</a>