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How long were the days of creation?
Quick-read this article:
The Bible says God created the universe in six days. Some people
think that the “days” were long periods of time. But
the clear meaning of the creation days is that they were literal,
ordinary, 24-hour days. Nothing else.
The Book of Genesis in the Bible says God created the
universe, and everything in it, in six days. Some people
have tried to harmonize this description with the theory of
evolution by suggesting that the “days” in Genesis
must have been long periods of time, or ages.
But the Bible has its own amazing way of showing that the long
“ages” idea is wrong. The days were real, ordinary,
solar days of around 24 hours each.
Here is why:
Reasons why the
days were 24 hours
- Genesis 1:14 says God created the lights to divide day from
night, and to be for signs, for seasons, for days, and for years.
If the days are ages, then what are the years?
- If a day is an age, then what is a night? The concept becomes
ludicrous when you try to stretch the length of a day.
- Whenever the word “day” in the Bible is limited
by a number (such as the first day, the third day, the sixth
day) it always means a 24-hour day.
- Whenever the word “day” is used with the phrase
“evening and morning,” it always means an ordinary
- Among the Ten Commandments that God gave to Israel, recorded
in Exodus 20, God said that His creation in six days followed by
a day of rest was to be the pattern for the Israelites' working
week: six days of labor followed by a day of rest. “Six
days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work …,” God
said, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the
sea, and all that in them is.”
This would not make sense if they had to work for six million years followed by a million years of rest.
Some people think that a day may mean a thousand years,
because the Apostle Peter said that “one day is with the
Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”
(2 Peter 3:8).
But Peter did not say a day is a thousand years, but it
is as a thousand years. He is saying that God is outside
time, that a thousand years are no more significant than a day in
God's eternal scheme of things. People who say Peter meant that a
day is a thousand years are ignoring the second part of
Peter's statement, which says a thousand years are as one day.
How could we count how many days are in a thousand years if a day
only means a thousand years? It becomes silly when you try to
force a meaning that wasn't intended.
Not an indefinite period either
The passage about a day being as a thousand years has also
been said to mean that a day is simply a long period of time. But
that makes nonsense of Peter's statement. It would mean that
Peter was saying that “a long period of time is a thousand
years.” See how ridiculous things get when you stray from
the straight meaning of Scripture?
The clear meaning of the days of creation is the obvious one:
that they were literal, ordinary, 24-hour days. Nothing more and nothing less.