Continuing with the brief study of the length of a day during Creation, Deem furthers his argument by claiming the early church
scholars, as well as Jewish scholars, all believed in a lengthy day at
creation. Deem states,” If God had
created the universe in an instant, there would be no evidence from nature that
He created it.”
His thesis is well thought out, and he concludes that God
does not lie. The length of each day of creation differed from each other and
signifies a “unit” of time. His conclusion presents the idea of the speed of
light and how long it takes to travel across the universe. This is proof of not
only a long day, but an old earth, according to him.
I can certainly see why people would embrace this idea. His
article is well written and well presented. It does make one think. And that is
not a bad thing. After reading it, my mind wandered in contemplation. But one
thing nagged me.
Why, in God’s account of creation, does He mention “there
was evening and there was morning” and then conclude with the number of the day
of creation? How does it translate in Hebrew?
Several things must be taken into consideration here.
Firstly, the Hebrew word for day is “yom”. Just as the word “day” has many
different meanings based on its context, so does yom. When the Bible speaks
about the Day of the Lord, for instance, it is talking about an era in time,
not a 24 hour period. Same in Hebrew. When looking at all the verses in the Old
Testament that use the word yom, it must be noted that when used in conjunction
with a number or with the phrase “there was evening and there was morning” it
signifies a 24 hour period!
Ken Ham explains it well in his article Could
God Really Have Created Everything in Six Days?
He makes some valid observations.
First, 359 different times yom is used, other
than in Genesis 1, to signify a standard day. Second,
61 times “evening” and/or “morning” appears alongside
yom, other than in Genesis 1, and signifies a standard day. 53 times the word
“night” is used in connection with yom, apart from Genesis 1 and it, too, means
a standard day.
It makes it easier to
understand that God is relating to us that a day in biblical creation was also
a 24 hour period, if we are keeping consistent.
Ham also explains that some of the church fathers may have
believed in a lengthy period for each of the days of creation, as Deem suggested
earlier. They were swayed by secular philosophy. They believed we cannot tag such human time
frames to God, such as 24 hours. He exists outside our limits. But isn’t that perhaps
the exact reason He clarified this by saying “there was evening, there was
morning…day 1” and so on?
This philosophy that a day was a unit of time, based on
Greek thinking, haunts the church to this present day. Martin Luther wrote,
“The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand that
these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the
Holy Fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the Fathers disagree
with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our
elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for
Good idea! Beware of what science teaches if it causes you
to doubt God at His word. Science is full of hypotheses. Not facts. And across
the Millennia, many ideas have grown holes and sunk. Even some that were once
You must be influenced by the very words of God.
In fact, why did it take God six days to make the earth? He
could have done it in a blink of an eye. All He has to do is speak, and things
come into existence.
The answer is purely symbolic. And there is beauty in it...