The Six Days of Creation
When the Genesis' account of creation is studied and not just superficially read, one is greatly impressed with how such a great amount of profundity and complexity is so simply and concisely presented (such is a vestige of inspiration). If mere man had attempted to pen Genesis one and two, a plethora of material would have been required and even with the plentitude, frustration would have been experienced.
In the Genesis account of creation, we observe all the necessary elements (according to science) in order to have creation. There was time, energy, force, space, and matter. All these elements are succinctly presented in the very first verse of Genesis chapter one. Another obvious fact of creation is the gradation involved from "the earth was without form and void" to "let us make man in our image" (vs. 1; 26). Still another elementary observation of creation is the reference to the six days comprised in effecting creation. You will observe that the creative activities and accomplishments of each day are followed by "and the evening and the morning were the first day," etc. (Gen. 1: 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). We read, "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made" (Gen. 2: 2). We marvel that the Creator is so omnipotent that he could create all that is created by his fiat in just six days (Ps. 33: 6, 148: 5, Ex. 20: 11).
Are the six days of creation six solar days? In view of the growing popularity of theistic evolution and man's efforts in general to merge Darwinian evolution and Genesis one, we are being inundated with the day-age teaching. Day-age creationists believe and teach that there are six ages set forth in Genesis one, each age representing aeons of time. Hence, man was a late introduction to an already old earth. For your consideration, allow me to present five reasons why we must view the six days of creation as literal twenty-four hour periods.
An examination of "evening and the morning were the day." I grant that yom (Hebrew word used for day) is used in several different ways in the Hebrew scriptures. However, when "evening and morning" are used in connection with "day," it becomes apparent that the days under consideration were normal solar days.
Had the inspired writer wanted to convey the thought of day-age, he could have done so. For instance, yamin (plural of yom, day) alone with "evening and morning" would have meant "and it was days of evening and morning." Such an expression would have been the simplest way for the writer to express the possibility of a period or age. Another choice would have been to use the Hebrew word olam (age). Olam combined with "day" would also have meant "and it was from day of old ." However, the writer did not use the choices that could have suggested day-age, he used a construction that left no doubt six literal twenty-four hour days are meant. Furthermore, if the writer had wanted to articulate to the reader a continuing event, he could have easily done so. For instance, the Hebrew dor used either alone or with "days," "days and nights," or "evening and morning" would have signified "and it was generations of days and nights ." Thus, he could have taught that creation took place over a vast amount of time (the necessary position of organic and theistic evolution). The Hebrew olam used with the preposition le plus "days" or "evening and morning" would have meant perpetual days in creation. However, creation is presented as an event, not a process. Also, the writer even had the choice of being ambiguous, time wise. Yom combined with "light" and "darkness" would have suggested "and it was day of light and darkness." Intelligent reader, yom (day) accompanied by "evening and morning," especially with a number preceding it, can never be ambiguous.
What I am attempting to say is, there is no way the writer could have expressed in words more decisively, irrefutably, and absolutely and without any doubt or possibility of alternate meanings the idea that God created all things in six consecutive literal twenty-four hour days than by saying "and the evening and the morning were the first day." Moreover, if "day" stands for "age," what would "evening" and "morning" (periods making up "day," see Gen. 1: 5) mean, shorter ages compared to "day"?
The days of creation cannot be ages in view of Adam. Man, Adam, was created on the sixth day (Gen. 1: 26 ff.). Adam and Eve lived through day six and day seven (if the six days are ages, then day seven would also be an age, more later). Upon Adam's expulsion from the garden, we are told about his life, his sons and their problems, and Adam's grandchildren (Gen. 4). We read, "And the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died" (Gen. 5: 5). Therefore, in view of Adam's age at death, the seven days of Genesis one could not have been long periods of time (millions of years, according to some).
The days cannot stand for ages in view of sin and death. Theistic evolutionists are telling us that death preceded Adam and Eve by vast periods of time (five ages, "days"). However, the scriptures tell us, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5: 12). Beloved, with sin came death, spiritual and physical. According to the Bible, preceding Adam's sin death was none existent. Hence, the day-age theory is diametrically opposed to the Genesis' days being simple solar days.
The days cannot be vast periods of time because of Jesus' teaching about the creation of Adam and Eve. Jesus said, "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female "? (Matt. 19: 4). If the five days of creation that preceded Adam and Eve are aeons of time, Adam and Eve were not made at the beginning, as Jesus said they were. As a consequence, the days of creation have to be understood as literal days. In addition, Jesus implied tribulation or affliction began "at the beginning of creation" (Mk. 13: 19). Since affliction is associated with man and sin, there could not have been extended periods of time before Adam.
The days of creation cannot be ages in view of the Sabbath day rest. As seen, the seventh day was the final consecutive day mentioned in connection with creation (Gen. 2: 1-3). It was on the seventh day that we are told God "rested" (Ex. 20: 11). Based on the seventh day, the Jews were commanded to set apart the "seventh day" for a Sabbath (Ex. 20: 10). How could the observance of the seventh day of the week have been based on the seventh day relative to creation, unless the seventh day following creation was a literal twenty-four hour day?
Concerned reader, there is no allowance for compromising God's word or attempting to merge the pseudo science of theistic evolution and the Bible (Deut. 4: 2, Rev. 22: 18, 19). We either accept or reject the Bible. According to a mountain of the clearest and most overwhelming biblical evidence, the days of creation were literal twenty-four hour solar days. Allow me to quote the celebrated commentator H. C. Leupold:
"When the verse concludes with the statement that the first 'day' (yom) is concluded, the term must mean a twenty-four hour period .There ought to be no need of refuting the idea that yom means period. Reputable dictionaries like Buhl, B D B or K. W. know nothing of this notion. Hebrew dictionaries are our primary source of reliable information concerning Hebrew words. Commentators with critical leanings utter statements that are very decided in this instance. Says Skinner: 'The interpretation of yom as aeon, a favorite resource of harmonists of science and revelation, is opposed to the plain sense of the passage and has no warrant in Hebrew usage.' Dillmann remarks: 'The reasons advanced by ancient and modern writers for construing these days to be longer periods of time are inadequate .'" (Leupold on the Old Testament, Vol. 1, pg. 56, 57.)
In closing, the writer of Exodus wrote: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day " (Ex. 20: 11). (Be sure to read, "The 'Days' of Genesis 1' (by Ferrell Jenkins) - a Review and "Creation, Genesis One and Two." In this material I review material prepared by Ferrell Jenkins that issues an appeal for unity in diversity and compromise on the days of creation issue. The next responsive material involving Florida College in the days of creation issue is, "An Analysis and Response to Caldwell, Scott, and Adams' Material in Truth Magazine," be sure to read all of these, Don Martin)