Days: 24-hour or Age?

December 21, 2006

What does Genesis mean when it says the Lord created the earth in 6 days? Does it mean that it took God millions of years to create the earth? or does it mean that it really took Him 6 days? Which is true? This is a question many Christians in our day and age ask. Why do they ask?

First, I will show you why many people believe that God took millions of years. Primarily, they try to insert these long periods of time in Genesis 1. They claim that each ‘day’ really means ‘millions of years’. They claim that the word ‘day’ has many meanings, and that science has proven the earth to be this old. There are many faults with this idea.

The word ‘day’ found in Genesis 1 and throughout the Old Testament is the Hebrew word ‘yom’. ‘Yom’, when accompanied by an ordinal number (1st, 2nd, 3rd…) is always a 24 hour period. When it is accompanied by morning and evenging, it is always a 24 hour period. When it is accompanied by the word night, it is always a 24 hour day. So, if this is true, let’s look at what ‘day’ is accompanied by in Genesis 1.

In Genesis 1, every single time ‘day’ is used, it is accompanied by an ordinal number, and referal to morning and evening.

  • Genesis 1:5-God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
  • Genesis 1:8-And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
  • Genesis 1:13-And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
  • Genesis 1:19-And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
  • Genesis 1:23-And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
  • Genesis 1:31-And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Do you see a recurring pattern here? In every single instance where ‘day’ is used here in Genesis 1, it has the qualifications for it to be a real 24-hour period! If it is not a 24-hour period, I don’t know what the word ‘day’ means anymore. If this truth is not accepted and proclaimed by Christians, we will have no foundation to preach the Gospel to the world with. The infallibility, the inerrency, and authority of Scripture must be believed and proclaimed.

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