Genesis 2:4-5

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← Overview of Genesis ch.2


These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Verse 4 is cited by Jacaf at The Earth 6000 years old as "indicat[ing] that the earth was created in the 6 days of creation, which we know to be about 6000 years ago"

It is claimed that this verse shows that a "day" in Genesis may not be a literal day of twenty-four hours. Bro Ron Abel suggests the following arguments in Wrested Scriptures to make the contrary case:

1. "Day" in scripture is sometimes used to represent an unspecified length of time.[a]The Hebrew word "yom" translated "day" in this passage is translated "time elsewhere. (e.g., Gen. 4:3; 26:8; 38:12). But when second, third, etc., occur as they do in Genesis 1, the word refers to a literal day, defined in Genesis by the "evening and the morning".

[a] For example, "the day of temptation" (Psa. 95:8), "the day of adversity" (Prov. 24:10), "the day of vengeance" (Isa. 61:2), but when Scripture refers to "the fifteenth day of the same month" (Lev. 23:6), the seven days of Unleavened Bread, or the fifty days until Pentecost, the word "day" can mean only a 24 hour period.

2. As used in Genesis 2, "yom" covers the whole period when the LORD God "made the earth and the heavens". (Gen. 2:4). Failure to distinguish between these two uses of "day" have led to faulty interpretations of Genesis 1. The days of Genesis 1 are determined by light and darkness, evening and morning.

Test these arguments for yourself against the Scriptures cited at Non-literal days in the Bible.

See Comparing the two accounts of the Creation in Genesis