What is the true meaning of Genesis creation “Days” — Are these regular days?
This has always been to me an extremely bizarre question. Yet, it has been a recurring subject in comments of viewers watching videos that describe my data-based research on Genesis Creation narrative.
Two common answers to what “Day” means in Genesis creation rely on terms and quotes from Scripture. We deliver these answers in the form of claims:
Claim I — Genesis “Day” is a regular 24-hours day (due to appearance of the basic components of a regular day, namely, “Evening” and “Morning”):
This claim is based on the use, for each creation day, of two Hebrew words — Erev (Evening) and Boker (Morning) — as in: “..and there was evening and there was morning one day” (Genesis 1:5).
I believe that this common interpretation of the meaning of Erev and Boker is misplaced. In the original biblical Hebrew, the two words can be differently interpreted. Erev indeed means evening but also mixture, for example, a mixture of people from different tribes, a mixture of people living in the desert or a mixture of different animals:
- “And a mixed multitude (Erev Rav) went up also with them…” (Exodus 12:38);
- “And all the kings of Arabia (Arav) and all the kings of the mixture of people (Erev) that dwell in the desert” (Jeremiah 25:24);
- “And Jehovah did so and there came a dense swarm of gnats (Arov) into the house of Pharaoh…” (Exodus 8:20).
Similarly, Boker derives from a root that means the opposite of mixture or chaos, namely, separation of the elements of a mixture into its individual components, instituting control and order:
- “He must not pick out (Yevaker) the good from the bad…” (Leviticus 27:33);
- “As the lookout (Ke-vakarat) of a shepherd after his flock, when he is with his sheep that are strayed, so will I look after (Avaker) my sheep and will rescue them from all the places that they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness” (Ezekiel 34:12).
In modern-day Hebrew, Bakarah simply means… control‼
Thus, “and there was Erev and there was Boker” simply conveys a description of a transition from a state of chaos, where all is mixed together, lacking distinguishable elements that render control feasible, to a state of distinction, order and control.
How incredibly scientific and up-to-date‼
From these two basic terms, Erev and Boker, two additional biblical Hebrew words, evening and morning, were later derived to indicate, respectively, a state of half-darkness, where things are not clearly visible and distinguishable from one another (Erev, evening), and a state of full light, when all is visible, distinct from one another and fully controllable (Boker, morning).
Claim II — Genesis “Day” is equivalent to a thousand years:
This claim relies on a single verse from Scripture, taken literally:
“For a thousand years in your eyes are like a day that has gone by and like a watch in the night…” (Psalms 90:4).
Incredibly as it seems, this claim is pursued and adopted by many (as judged from viewers’ comments).
My statistical analysis, as described in detail in my book and as presented in popular terms in the 71-minutes video, clearly indicates that a “Day” in Genesis creation story is equivalent to 3.0007 billion years‼
But does Scripture state anywhere that Genesis creation “Days” are no regular days??
Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding Yes‼
Let us read carefully the following verse from Deuteronomy and understand what it implies:
“For ask now for first days, long before your time, from the day that God created man on the earth…” (Deuteronomy 4:32).
This verse explicitly states that “first days” had started with the creation of man, namely, the sixth day of Genesis creation‼!
This verse is in conformance with the Jewish lunar-month-based calendar, which counts years from the day of creation of man, when the first lunar cycle is believed to have started, namely, the sixth day of creation. Furthermore, the verse is also compliant with the well-documented Jewish tradition that man was created on the fourteenth hour of the sixth day (find details in this post). As may be learned therein, this “minor” detail (“fourteenth hour”) serves to calculate average lunar-month duration to an accuracy of five decimal points (29.53059 days vs. NASA’s value of 29.530589 days).
Deuteronomy 4:32 explicitly states that “first days” had started with the creation of “man on the earth”, implying that Genesis creation days are no regular days!
* Shorty is a short post