Were the seven days of creation in Genesis literal days?
2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
Side Score: 98
Side Score: 71
1. "When each day of the creation week is summarized, the singular
'day' is modified by a numerical qualifier, 'first day' (v.5),
'second day (v.8), and sequentially continuing to the 'sixth
day' (vv. 13, 19, 24, 31)."
2. "When yôm is qualified by a number, it is almost invariably
used in a literal sense." -
-- The numeric qualifiers suggest a literal day
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
The subject would not change from literal days to years or some other time period without letting you know.
Isn't it more likely that seven is just a significant number to Jews and Christians? Three is an important number to the Jews, because it symbolizes earth, water and air. Four is important because it symbolizes the directions: North, south, east and west. When you add three and four, you get seven... Which is the most sacred number to the Jews. It is mentioned throughout the Bible, especially in Genesis:
Genesis 21:28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
Genesis 41:6 Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them.
Genesis 41:18 Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow.
That's just a few from Genesis. Here are some from the New Testament:
Matthew 12:45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
Luke 8:2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,
Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
Revelation 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
As you can see, the number seven is used multiple times in Revelations. Although, the creation account in Genesis uses "day" as if they are actual 24 hour days, that does not mean that they are supposed to be interpreted as literal days, just as most of the Bible is not supposed to be interpreted literally, either.
It is phrased the only way that you could say 6 days.
Seven used to be the highest number that illiterate people could operate with. It is based on common short term memory span. Eight was simply too much.
Genesis is simple and childish story. Made up by a village idiot who simply could't do more than seven...
Notice it says "And the evening and the morning were the first day."
"And the evening and the morning were the second day."
"And the evening and the morning were the third day."
"And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
"And the evening and the morning were the fifth day."
"And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
It gives a specific reference to time. Evening and Morning a 24 hour period of time.
it is strictly defined as the light portion of a light/dark cycle as the earth rotated underneath a directional light source, producing day and night. It is also true that whenever "day" is modified by a number, like second day or six days, it can only mean a true solar day. There are no exceptions in Hebrew. Any uncertainty is resolved in the Ten Commandments as God commands us to work six days and rest one day just as He worked on the six creation days and rested on day seven (Exodus 20:11).
The use of a number with the word "day" is very illuminating. This combination occurs 357 times outside of Genesis 1. The combination is used in four different ways, but each time it is used, it must mean 24-hour periods of time. If the combinations had been intended to mean long periods of time, both the texts and contexts then become meaningless
the meaning of the word "day" with a number always means a 24-hour period of time outside of Genesis 1, then it should also mean a 24-hour period of time inside Genesis 1. The words that Moses used to communicate what God did during creation are very significant. If Moses had meant to signify that the "days" were more than 24 hours in length, he could easily have done so. If we are to understand what Moses wrote, then the language he used must be understood in its normal meaning. The normal meaning is that of 24-hour periods of time.
Everyone knows that evolutionists and creationists dispute how the universe began. And regardless of which side of the battle line you’re on, most people harbor strong feelings about the issue of origins . . . Yet there are a host of important questions at the core of the battle that relatively few in either camp have bothered to ask—much less answer:
Why is the issue of origins so universally controversial?
How can creationists support biblical claims that so obviously seem to contradict modern science?
Whose side of the argument does scientific evidence support?
What roles should science and the Bible play in a person’s beliefs about the physical universe?
With the curiosity of a student and the precision of a veteran Bible teacher, John MacArthur takes you to the heart of the battle in his study The Battle for the Beginning. Based on an in-depth examination of Genesis chapter 1, The Battle for the Beginning takes you on an instructive, fascinating journey into the Bible’s own claims about creation, evolution, and the vital issues at stake http://www.gty.org/products/Audio-
It is based on the fact that average untrained person can hold six to seven information in their short term memory.
Completely illiterate people can usually "count" to no more that to seven because they do not understand numbers properly, the way numbers mean to be understood. Seven was for them the ultimate number that they could somehow so so work with, highest number that still meant something. Saying 40 or 31 million meant nothing.
Also for example number twelve (dozen) was used by illiterate people in Mesopotamia, as a tool the used counting bones in fingers on a single hand. By combining two hand they could go up to 144 (12*12)...
No, but convincing people of this who have believed the 24 hour day thing is very hard to do. I tried to convince my youth pastor once and he thinks I've gone off the deep end now...now each time he teaches on creation, I silently in my head dispute every single point he makes.
Ha! That's the problem. Too many people interpret the Bible literally. Like with Satan and hell. The Jews added Satan into the Bible, and they even said that he is just a metaphor, not an actual being. And the Catholic church announced that after studying the Bible and Christian texts for centuries, they have come to the conclusion that hell is also a metaphor, which I think that is even more obvious than Satan being a metaphor. However, people still teach those things as real. Scaring people into thinking that leaving Christianity will result in them being condemned to eternal suffering.