Thursday: The Literal Day

Read Genesis 1:5831. What are the components of a creation day?

Image © Michael Agliolo from

Image © Michael Agliolo from

Does anything in the verses imply that these are not literal 24-hour days as we experience them today?

The nature of the days of Creation has been the subject of much discussion. Some have questioned whether the days were ordinary days or whether they might represent much longer periods of time. The text’s description of the Creation days provides the answer to that question. The days are composed of an evening (dark period) and a morning (light period) and are consecutively numbered. That is, the days are expressed in a way that very clearly shows that they are days just as we now experience them, an evening and a morning, a period of darkness and a period of light. It is difficult to see how the statement could be more clear or explicit in describing the days of a week. The repeated expression “and there was evening and there was morning” emphasizes the literal aspect of each day.

Read Leviticus 23:3. What indication do we have that all seven days of Creation week were the same kind of days as those that we experience?

The ancient Hebrews were in no doubt as to the nature of the Sabbath day. It was a day of ordinary length but carried a special blessing from God. Note the explicit comparison of God’s work week of six days with our work week of six days and the corresponding comparison of the day of rest for God and for us (see also Exod. 20:911). Even many scholars who reject the idea of these being literal days often admit that the writers of the Bible understood that literal days were meant.

So crucial to our relationship with God is our trust of God and of His Word. If we can’t trust the Word of God on something as foundational and as explicitly stated as the Genesis Creation in six literal days, what can we trust Him on?

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Thursday: The Literal Day — 14 Comments

  1. How stupid we have become... We do not sleep every year on the 31st of December waiting for the so-called "NEW YEAR" at midnight. The bible has always taught that at sunset a new day begins. Genesis1:5,8,31. When JESUS was crucified, the women went back home to prepare for the sabbath towards evening because a new day was about to begin. Luke23:53-56. Let us not confuse ourselves with the 24hour period to the extend of forgetting a simple rule taught by scripture. It is as simple as ABC in the bible that a literal day is evening and day. Evening+Day=One Day

  2. Other verses like Exodus20:9,11 help us understand that when GOD created heaven and earth it was not seven million years symbolized as seven days BUT seven literal days of creation

  3. I believe totally in creation, there are too many facts to prove that creation is the way things were made. Our loving heavenly Father created us from the dust of the ground, took His time and moulded us in His likeness and image, i did not evolve from any monkey. To end my comment, a question on evolution, " if we evolved from the monkey as some believe, why have we stopped evolving, why haven't we continued to evolve into something else by now?

  4. People seem to modify the sabbath to suit their schedule and satisfaction. As much as we are busy neglecting the truth and hiding from the world, God is busy teaching HIS PEOPLE through nature.

  5. Some scientists try forcibly to impose days of million years in order to explain the age of the Earth. Otherwise they don´t could. But the word of God is extremely clear, a day is composed by an evening and a morning, He did not say There were million years an evening and there were millions years a morning. There will be anything more clear than this?.
    Praise be to God

  6. We need to take God at His word and have the faith to know He is able. What is so difficult to believe that the bright section of the day was morning and the dark section evening or night. All of creation was literal, amazing it's true, but literal. All six days plus the rest day was indeed literal. Our God needs no validation. For He spake and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast. We need to believe and trust God's word.

  7. If the creation days were not literal days we would not be alive to rest on the seventh day to serve God, for if we had to work six million years before we can rest on the seventh day and then to rest a million years (the seventh day) how could that be? Also Adam would live at least a million years, contrary to what the bible says. In using carbon dating to age things scientist consider the world to be millions of years old but what they refuse to comprehend is that you can only age something that had a beginning and furthermore the world was created mature. Adam and eve did not grow and become mature so in that they are deceived. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments,and His ways past finding out" Romans 11:33.

  8. The problem that humanity has is that it wants to know the mysteries of God with finite minds - Man is limited!!, God is unlimited!!! The clay cannot say to its potter, 'why cant you make me different.' God is all wise!!! It is His discretion and prerogative to create in His own way. Believe in the unlimited God!!

  9. I think a couple of times we confuse ourselves. For in the Bible, specifically in Numbers, it is said that PROPHETICALLY 1 DAY is a YEAR. So since creation was not a prophecy, how can the days not be literal? Moreover, it is said time and again that a day is a (period of dark+period of light) so would God have honestly had one year of darkness and a year of light? Absolutely not!

  10. The Toledot Formula

    The creation record is a historical narrative. This is also demonstrated comparing all toledot passages (Genesis 5:1;6:9; 10:1; 11:10.27; 25:12.19; 36:1; 37:2) with Genesis 2:4. In the latter text toledot has to be translated the same way as all the other references in the book of Genesis. Toledot referes to an historical account. The creation record belongs to that literary category.

    Winfried Stolpmann

  11. First be a believer, than read the creation story. The creation story is read explicitly as day one through seven consecutively. I say seven, because He rested from His work and saw it was good, than sanctified the seventh-day. I believe the Seventh day was a part of the creation week. There is no time in between the days. If you are not a believer in Christ, The Word, The Truth, The Bible then it is easy to read into the story what you want it to say. Pray about it before you read the creation story the Holy Spirit will guide you into what is truth. As for me I believe God when He created this earth created it in six days,(created in 144 hours) then as a part of the creation week He created Sabbath as a day of rest once a week for man. Mark 2:27.

  12. Come to think of it, reading the creation story could make you a believer in Jesus Christ. The Bible and the Holy Spirit are mighty powerful.

  13. Looking at Genesis 1 as an author, the question about the length of the days is not difficult. In any literary work worth reading, the author is meticulous about the use of words. What is written matters; what is repeated, word-for-word, is crucial to the meaning, or it would not be repeated.

    In Genesis 1, the "evening/morning day" phrase is repeated six times. SIX times. The phrase, "the evening and the morning were the (number) day" is nine words long in English. The entire first Creation account (Gen. 1:1-2:4) runs to fewer than 800 words in English. That's a very compact account. And of those 800 or so words, 54 are used to repeat that one phrase. Just about one out of every seven.

    Any author who devotes fewer than 800 words to the entire creation story, yet devotes 54 of those precious words to repeating one phrase, does so either because he's sloppy, or because he doesn't want his readers to miss it.

    We have plenty of evidence the author of Genesis is NOT sloppy, so that intentional repetition tells us he's determined that we recognize something.

    That the phrase is so prosaic, so simple, so obvious in many ways, means we might overlook it. It's so obvious, Shakespeare uses it to indicate inevitability: "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day. . ."

    If the author of Genesis intended to indicate that the 'days' of Creation were anything other than normal, evening/morning/ 24 hour days, he certainly concealed it well.

    On the other hand, repeating that simple formula six times makes it pretty clear that he thinks it important to realize that the days of Creation week were normal, common, evening/morning 24 hour days.

    There may be arguments against the days of Creation being 24 hours long, but I don't see how anyone can derive them from the text.

    For those who are interested, I take up this question, and a couple of other linguistic/literary issues, in these two videos:


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