Was it 7 days, 24 hour days? [Related topic: https://ebible.com/questions/3901-did-the-author-of-genesis-ever-intend-the-7-day-creation-story-to-be-taken-literally]
Genesis 1:1 - 31
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
It took him six days. Genesis 2:2 NKJV And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Exodus 20:11 NKJV For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
He took six days to create the world and all in it. The seventh was a day of rest and sanctification, (hence the fourth commandment). See Genesis ch 1-genesis ch 2:1
I agree with Paul J and want to expand a bit. The writer of Genesis (some say Moses) had no concept of billions of years so he wrote in understandable words for the time. God is capable of _anything and we humans cannot ever fully understand Him while on Earth. If He wanted to create a 6 billion year old rock and put it in a lab He could. They could test it and find that it was made here on Earth even though the Earth is by scientific definition only 4.5 billion years old. That would create a furor for the entire scientific community and especially the carbon dating specialists. God's Creation and science aren't incompatible if you accept and believe (as I do) that the Creation was done over billions of years. I'm sure this will aggravate fundamentalists but I am responsible only to the Lord (and myself).
the Bible is it's own best commentary. Exodus 20v11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day. I firmly believe that God says what he means and means what he says.
I am for the literal interpretation of the six days of creation. The fact that Scripture records that God rested on the seventh day, and that the seventh day (Hebrew tB'v; Sabbath) is celebrated by Jews as a holy day, is instructive of the literal view. I do not find any reason to doubt God’s awesome power in concluding his creative work in a literal period of six days, just in the same way that there shall be a literal day of judgment and a literal lake of fire into which Satan and his agents and his worshipers will be consigned forever in God’s holy fury (Rev.19:20). Jesus himself declared in Matt 19:26 that with God all things are possible. What is it that God cannot do? The trouble with the human mind is its inability to perceive the divine realm or beyond the paradigms of its limited discernment, rational logic, and intuition. God is not caged in our limited time warp, nor is he limited to our rational thought and comprehension. God can do, and certainly does, what is humanly impossible. The fact that Jesus could dwell in human flesh, and still be without sin, is a matter of divine proportions which is totally incomprehensible to the human mind (2 Cor.5:21). How a Red Sea could open up dry ground, and the River Jordan disobey its laws of nature, is humanly incomprehensible; yet this was nothing to God. This is the aspect of our God that we need to appreciate as his children, and allow the divine things to God’s higher resolutions. Thankfully, Scripture declares that one day we shall share in some attributes of Jesus’s glorified nature, including his post resurrection body (1 Cor.15:44), and perhaps we shall be in a better position to comprehend these things. God did not rest in the seventh day because he was literally tired, but he took a break from his routine creation work which he had initiated in his divine wisdom. God’s creative nature continues to be manifested in his creation and his interventions into the universe. He is the porter who breaks and molds the clay to fashion it as he wills, within the duration of time that pleases him (Jeremiah 18:6). I am aware that those who are not comfortable with the literal view have used scientific principles and methodology to question the literal six day creation work of God. Some have argued that geological evidence disproves a six day creation, and on this basis they have gone ahead to reject the literal teaching contained in the Bible. Gen. 1:31 records the break of creation on the 6th day, but Scripture is also explicit about the duration of time. Exodus 20:11 is very clear when it says “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.” God does not mince figures, and does suggest elsewhere in Scripture a literal number of years for particular events. God told Abraham that his offspring shall be enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years, and this was a literal period (Gen 15:13). However, it is true that the Bible also contains figurative language and symbolism in some of its literature. For instance, '40 days and 40 nights' could be symbolic of a long period of time. Imagine Moses, who was at the mountain 40 days and 40 nights, broke the two tablets of the covenant law, then God called him back to write the same law again presumably for another 40 days and 40 nights! (Exodus 32:31) No human being would literally survive that long without food and water. The figurative language employed in Daniel 9 -12 are certainly symbolic of specific periods over which God intended to fulfill his plan for his people in the immediate (post exilic period) and distant future (messianic age). For instance, the seven week period in Daniel 9:24 cannot be interpreted in a literal sense, because we know from history that Jerusalem was captured from Gentile hands in 1967 in fulfillment of this Messianic prophecy. Much more is yet to be fulfilled.
Good point Kevin O'Donnell and I too have asked myself that question. If God didn’t create the sun, moon and stars until the fourth day, where did the light come from? Thank God the bible says search and ye shall find, and I did. Genesis 1:3-5 says that God called for light and there was light on the first day of creation. However, it was not until the fourth day of creation that the sun, moon and stars, was created, Genesis 1:14-19. So where did the light come from on the first day? Here is what I found. The light of Genesis 1:3-5 is a different light from Genesis 1:14-19. The light in Genesis 1:3-5 comes from the Hebrew word “ 'ôr ” which means to be or become light. The light in Genesis 1:14-19 comes from the Hebrew word “me'ôrâh” which means a luminary. A luminary is one of the celestial orbs. I would suggest that when God came into the presents of the earth that was without form, void, and filled with darkness, the earth began to move on its axis. Now since God stood on one side of the earth, as it rotated there would be a dark side and a lighted side. But where did the light come from. Rev 21:23 says “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Isa 60:19 says “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Psa 104:2 says “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment” and 1 John 1:5 says that God is light. God was the light of the world from the first day until He made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day. God took His time to create the earth out of nothingness. I could imagine as the world turned with God standing on one side of it, there was 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Therefore, allowing an evening and a morning – a 24 hour day.
The Universe was created in 7 days just like it says in the Bible. The question is how long was each day back then. A day back then could have been billions of years. This explains why we keep finding rocks that are hundreds of millions of years old. And yes, carbon dating has some error factor, but not a billion to one error factor.
In my view the world was created in 6 literal days. The seventh day was a celebration of the work that God had done. That is the origin of the 7 day week as we know it. If we deny that the world was created in six literal days, we are in fact denying God His power. We are saying He could not have done all this in a literal 24 hour period. Remember that God created this world by the power of His Word! You will also notice that the question of whether these were 6 literal days originates with the evolutionists (those that believe that the world evolved over billions of years with no creator). For a christian who lives by faith is there a problem in believing God's 6 literal day creation? No? If we accept that God could not have created the world in 6 days we are denying Him his position as God and God cannot be God if He could not cretae life! The one thing that distinguishes God from the rest of the gods is that He is able to create. Jer 10:11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
God spoke His word to chosen men who in turn, wrote His words down. The Bible was written by God and is intended to be good for instruction. Yes, a day is as a thousand years to God. If He had been keeping a diary or had He been journaling, perhaps the "old earth" theory could work. God wrote His instructional love letter to us knowing how WE view time.....for our understanding. He was very specific when He used 1st, 2nd, 3rd.....and so on. He also used the words "morning" and "evening" for each day making it very clear that He intended man to understand that these were normal days. I could not find any noted Hebraist who disagreed. The introduction of a descriptive word to justify a noun, in the Hebrew, is an emphatic point to use the noun in it's literal or first meaning. The creation account is the very first use of the word "day". There is no way "day" would have been used symbolically before it had a literal meaning. It would have no context and would therefore be nonsensical. I think God would have used "hours" in His description if clocks had existed, but time was not divided to that degree when Geneses was written. Another point. Twelve men walked the earth with God for three years. Man's burning question since the beginning of time has concerned where we came from. I can't imagine that none of them asked Jesus any questions concerning creation. My thought is that questions concerning creation would have been like asking the obvious. It would have been silly (if not downright disrespectful) to ask Jesus a question that had long been answered. God, being God, knew this question would come up which is why He was so specific (1st, 2nd, 3rd, morning, evening, etc.). I choose to believe exactly what the apostles believed.
In the Jewish tradition of numerology, 40 days and 40 nights describes "a long time". Time is a relative term. 1 earth day? The sheer magnitude and magnificence of God is absolutely described in this idea that the Universe was created in 7 days. It is so beyond our human understanding and simply a matter of faith.
I suggest you check out a Godly woman named Kat Kerr who has been taken up in Spirit. See you Tube -soak She states that there was an enormous gap between days 1 and 2 and from day 2 onwards they were normal 24 hour days. Remember there was no Sun on day 1 so that could not have been a 24 hour day, in any case.
We cannot say the days are literal. A thousand years is just like a day in His presence. So ideally it is not just 24 hours or a day. But, God says : YOUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT MY THOUGHTS" so it may be several years or may be a day - 24 hours
Oh! come let us adore Him-The Unsearchable God. A thousand years is just like a day in His presence. No one is permitted to go into the time period between day one and two of creation. If you want to do then you have to look for the "book of the war in heaven" which no one knows how the war was fought and the time. I hope this will not create more questions.
Man is made in the image of God (Gen 1:26). It is therefore plausible that a working day of man is congruent with a working day of God. But as God is much greater than man, God’s day may actually be correspondingly greater than man’s day. A working day of man begins at dawn and ends at dusk. With God, the divine working day began at evening, stopped at night, and continued on through morning to the evening. Why purpose did this discrepancy serve? It is yet to be satisfactorily explained, but it does suggest that the divine day was not identical to the natural day from dawn to dusk, just as God is not the same as man. Did God require light (the definition of day, Gen 1:5) to issue commands to create the earth? According to the first day he didn’t, since the command for light was issued before light was separated from darkness. Nothing in the subsequent verses implies that God’s commands were issued after days began. The actual work of creation required a full day of light, but if the commands also did, then the working day was less than indicated. But this suggests that the days were separated by periods of night, in addition to the nighttime between evening and morning. How long would the periods between days last? We don’t know, but they could have been longer than expected, since a day (the time of light) of the Lord is as a thousand years, but the length of night has never been specified. So, in my opinion, it isn't possible to say exactly (in human terms of physical days and years) how long God took to create the earth from the scriptures alone.
Let’s read Genesis 1: 3-13: 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. In verse 3 God created Light. In verse 4 God divided the light from the darkness. Look at verse 14-19: 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. God didn’t create the sun and the moon until day 4. There are two separate divisions of light and darkness. The 1st day God created light and divided light from darkness. He called light day and darkness night and calls them evening and morning. In verse 14 God created the sun and moon to divide the day from night. They are signs for the seasons, days, years; man’s measurement of time. Verse 18 says the sun and moon will rule over day and night, to divide light from darkness. Why does God repeat himself? If He divided light from dark, day from night, morning from evening, in verses 4 and 5, why does He divide them again in verses 14-18? These are 2 different events. An earth day is 24hours, since it relates to the sun and moon, morning and evening, day and night. Without a sun and moon there would be no 24hr day. But, before the sun and moon were created God still refers to darkness as night and light as day, as evening and morning. I believe the 6 days of creation are not measured in 24hr periods, as no sun and moon existed until day 4, so, there could no 24hr day. You can argue after the sun and moon were created, days 5 & 6, were 24hr days, but, God does not make that distinction. He continues the same after each act of creation; “evening and morning were the 1st day”, “evening and morning were the 2nd day”, etc. No distinction is made before or after creating the sun and moon. 2nd Peter: 8 reads: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Peter tells us a day to God is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. He says “as a 1,000 yrs”, not a literal 1,000 yrs. Gods day is not a 24 hr day. If it were, God wouldn’t have to divide light and dark, day and night, evening and morning, twice. These are 2 separate events. 2 different time measurements for “day and night”.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.