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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Were the creative "days" in Genesis literal 24 hour periods?

Gen. 1:2 and on describes God's preparation of planet Earth over a period of what the account calls as "days". However, these "days" were most likely NOT literal days, but rather figurative "days" such as the descriptive sayings: "Back in the 'day' of my youth" or "In the 'day' of the dinosaurs". Even the entire period of the six time units or creative “days” dedicated to the preparation of planet Earth is summed up in one all-embracing “day” at Genesis 2:4.

Simply by examining the Genesis account itself, it can be seen that the events that occurred during those "days" had to have been a much longer length of time than a literal 24 hour period.

To illustrate, all of the islands of Hawaii used to be under the ocean's surface an extremely long time ago. Due to volcanic activity, these islands slowly built up with time. The Big Island is still growing. Compared to the continents we see today, Hawaii is relatively small. The time it took for the natural process for all of this dry land to appear must have been much longer than a literal day or two. And yet, Gen. 1:9-13 tells us that dry land appeared within the third creative "day" or stage.

Additionally, it is hard to imagine that grass can shoot forth, vegetation can bear seed and fruit trees yield fruit in just one single literal 24 hour day. (Gen. 1:11-13)

A Religious Encyclopaedia (Vol. I, p. 613) sums it up: “The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each.” - Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.
So because these creative "days" were figurative, they actually could have been hundreds, thousands or even millions of years in length.
For more, see:
Is the Earth really only 10,000 years old? (Search For Bible Truths)
Creation (Search For Bible Truths)

Why Do Some Scientists Believe in God? (Search For Bible Truths)