How Long is a Day?
In Genesis chapter 1, we read that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Evolutionary theory, taught in public schools and advocated by many books and magazines, claims the world is billions of years old. Obviously Genesis and Evolution conflict on the age of this world. Many Christians have tried to blend the two in a position that is often called the "Day/Age Theory." The point made is that perhaps the days of creation were not really literal 24-hours days; instead, they represent ages. Each age would have lasted thousands or even millions of years.
People do not understand that Evolution is unprovable, unscientific speculation. Evolutionary theory is based on the assumption that one day we will prove its truth. In contrast, the Bible claims to be The Truth. It contains the Words of God, complete and accurate. Proofs are offered throughout the book with the accuracy of its information, the complete and accurate fulfillment of its prophecies, and the miracles supporting the teachers of the Word. Why would anyone wish to water down Truth with speculation?
Have you considered what the consequences would be of the Day/Age Theory to the believableness of the Scriptures? If we cannot accept that the world was created in six literal days, then can we accept the virgin birth of Jesus? After all, it is presented in the same book. Could we believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ? If we can accept these as facts, why is Genesis chapter 1 different?
If the early chapters of Genesis are just an allegory or a fable, then where do the real events and people begin in the Scriptures? Was Adam the first man, created shortly before Eve? If this is a fable, then what does this make the passages based on this event, such as Romans 5:14, I Corinthians 15:21-22, or I Timothy 2:13? If Eve was not the first to sin, then what do we do with Paul's proof in I Timothy 2:14? Was Enoch truly the seventh descendant from Adam as Jude claims in Jude 14? Who was the first real person in Christ's lineage in Luke 3:23-38? Was there really a universal flood as Peter refers to in II Peter 3:5-7 to prove that the world will one day end in fire? As you are beginning to see, most of our Bible rests on the validity of the early chapters of Genesis. If the early chapters of Genesis are not factual, then what part of the Bible can we claim is true?
If the creation did not take place in six 24-hour days, then did it actually rain 40 days and night at the start of the flood? Was Jonah truly in the belly of the great fish for just three days? Was Jesus' body in the tomb for three days? If we cannot accept that the world was created in six days, then we cannot prove that the use of the word "day" in the Bible was just a single 24-hour period.
Jesus stated that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6. Six days from creation is near the beginning, but can you claim many millions of years later is anywhere near the beginning?
If each day of creation was actually an age, then we run into many problems. For example, the Yucca plant was created on the third day. If this was a period of a million years or so, then it would have had to exist and reproduce for millions of years before the pronuba moth was created. However, the Yucca plant is dependent on the pronuba moth to fertilize its seeds! So how did the Yucca exist for a million years?
How much of the sixth "age" did Adam and Eve live? Even if they were created on the last literal day of the sixth "age", then they would have had to live millions of years through the seventh "age" when God rested. Does this mean that Adam was more than 930 years old when he died? If a day was approximately a million years, then Adam, must have been 1,000,930 years old at his death! Do you think that Satan would have truly waited over a million years to cause the fall of God's creation? How did Adam and Eve postpone bearing children for a million years? Or do you propose that they had the ultimate birth control methods in the beginning? God did command Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Would God have tolerated Adam and Eve waiting a million years to obey his command?
Do you truly doubt that God could have created this world in just six 24-hour days? If you cannot believe this, then can you truly believe that God had the power to raise Christ from the dead on the third day?
It is true that the Hebrew word "yom," which is translated as day, can sometimes refer to a general period of time, such as in Abraham's day or in his grandfather's day. However, you could also state it as in the 24-hour days that Abraham lived. In addition, when "yom" is preceded by a number, "yom" always refers to a 24-hour period. In Genesis chapter 1, "yom" is referred to as the "first day," the "second day," the "third day," and so on. As if anticipating a question about the length of each day, the writer shows a 24-hour period: "evening and morning were the first day."
Notice that when God established the week for the Israelites, He paralleled the six days plus the Sabbath day to the six days of creation plus the day God rested (Exodus 20:9-11). If the Hebrew word "yom" was so imprecise, then why was the Sabbath held so regularly. If anyone knew Hebrew, it was the Israelites and they understood precisely what God meant in the Ten Commandments and in the creation account. Can we not do as well?