What is a Day?

One of the major areas of contention between Creationists and Evolutionists, and between different Creationists is the concept of a "day" as used in Genesis chapter 1. Iíd like to examine some of the different ways that "day" is used and the different beliefs stemming from the uses of the word. Iím not trying to tell you what to think or believe, but maybe help to clarify some thinking.

There are many different uses for the word "day" just in the first chapter of Genesis.
Daylight (Genesis 1:5a)
A period marked out by evening & morning (Genesis 1:5b)
A beginning and an ending (Genesis 1:5b)
Daylight as opposed to darkness (Genesis 1:14a)
A 24 hour day (Genesis 1:14b)
The entire time of Creation (Genesis 2:4)
This alone shows that there are so very many different interpretations for the word "day" it is hard to know where to start.

Letís start with the simplest explanation, the basic 24 hour day concept. The theory that God created the Universe and earth in 6 literal 24 hour days. This seems to be supported by Moses (Exodus 20:11) when he was giving the children of Israel the 10 Commandments. The fact is that God could have created the universe in those 144 hours, he could have created it in 144 micro-seconds, he could have taken eternity to create it.

The 24 hour day is also a necessity when you realize that ancient Hebrew thinking required a 24 hour day for completion. Any reasoning was not complete without the closure of a 24 hour day.

A variation on the 24 hour day is the Revelation Theory. When God revealed the principals of creation to Moses on Mount Sinai, He did it step by step. On the first day of the revelation God told Moses about the creation of light and Moses wrote it down. On the second day God told Moses about the creation of heaven and Moses wrote it down, and so forth through six days. This also satisfies the Hebrew need for a 24 hour day and therefore a sequential creation that was easy to grasp and fit the literal translation of the passage.

Next let's look at the idea of "day " as an eon or a God appointed time. The "day of the Lord" refers to the entire period of the end times, when God intervenes in the affairs of men, when man's day (man's time period) comes to an end. (Isaiah 22:5) (Jeremiah 46:10) (Joel 1:15) (2 Peter 3:10) The day of Judgment is a long process covering many days. (2 Timothy 4:8) (2 Peter 3:7) The day of Salvation has already lasted for two thousand years.(2 Corinthians 6:2) The day of Creation (Genesis 2:4) refers to the entire process of creation. The concept of day here is a time frame, a specific event that may take years or millennia to complete.

Lastly is the idea of the "divine-day". God existed before the beginning. (Genesis 1:1) He exists outside of our time, for He created time when He created the sun and the moon of "day" four. (Genesis 1:16-19) Since He created time, He is not bound by time. Sort of like the artist is not contained inside the finished canvas and the potter is not bound inside his vase. Therefore, God can designate a "day" to him to be whatever He chooses. (2 Peter 3:8) ( Psalm 90:4)

Take your pick of the above "Theories" to explain the use of "day". But when all is said and done, does it really matter at all. In the light of Eternity, which is important, how long of a day God used to create heaven and earth, or whether you believe that He created it at all! Which, in the light of Eternity will be more important to you, the length of the day of creation, or how long God's "day" of Grace is going to last.

Think about it!!!

Just Wondering IndexWhat is Faith
Chapel

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Return

Genesis 1:5a

God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."

Return

Genesis 1:5b

And there was evening, and there was morning-- the first day.

Return

Genesis 1:14a

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night,

Return

Genesis 1:14b

and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,

Return

Genesis 1:16-19

God made two great lights-- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-- the fourth day.

Return

Genesis 2:4

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens--

Return

Exodus 20:11

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Return

Psalm 90:4

For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

Return

Isaiah 22:5

The Lord, the LORD Almighty, has a day
of tumult and trampling and terror
in the Valley of Vision,
a day of battering down walls
and of crying out to the mountains.

Return

Jeremiah 46:10

For that day belongs to the Lord God of hosts, A day of vengeance, so as the avenge Himself on His foes.

Return

Joel 1:15

Alas for that day!
For the day of the LORD is near;
it will come like destruction from the Almighty.

Return

2 Corinthians 6:2

For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation

Return

2 Timothy 4:8

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Return

2 Peter 3:7

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Return

2 Peter 3:8

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Return

2 Peter 3:10

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Return