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A Scriptural Challenge to all Christians

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How Long was a day of Creation

Have you ever considered just exactly how long were the creation days that Mosheh (Moses) describes in the book of B’ereshiyth (Genesis)? This has been a question debated throughout the centuries, and it has caused division among those who would follow our Almighty Creator. However, this truly is a question that has been answered in scripture, in our Creator's own Word. This truth only becomes evident when we are willing to open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts while we study scripture so that we may see and know the length of a day of creation that Yahuwah has revealed to us.

I believe unconditionally that unless we are "Lovers of the Truth", we will not be able to see the Truth. Only through searching for the Truth will we find it, I know this because Scripture reveals to us that "if we do not have the loving affection of the truth, Yahuwah will send us strong delusion that we should believe the lie." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Let us now with open eyes, minds, and hearts consider each of the different beliefs surrounding how long a day of creation was.

The 24 Hour Creation Day
Many hold the belief that each creation day was a literal 24-hour day, and they contend that scripture substantiates this. This is called by some the Young Earth Theory, which claims that the earth, and all creation is around 6,000 years old.

One person who strongly believes this to be true is Russell Grigg. He presents his evidence from scripture claiming proof in his article titled "How long were the days of Genesis 1?" He writes:

Most people who support the literal 24 hour creation day do so by citing documents which have used Scripture to calculate the age of the world. One such document is titled " The Annals of the World, " written by Archbishop Ussher in the 1650's CE. Archbishop Ussher composed a 1,600-page document in Latin, his complete history of the world, which covered every major event from the time of creation to A.D. 70. In the 1650s he put forth his scholarly thesis that Creation began on October 23, 4004 BC. This year appeared as a marginal note in most Bibles until the end of the twentieth century.

Ussher began his studies with the assumption that God’s Word is true and reliable, thus he believed that the Bible was the only reliable source document of chronological information for the time periods covered in Scripture. For his calculations he mainly used the Book of Genesis, particularly the chronologies listed in chapters 5 and 11. In the original document, his detailed calculations consumed over 100 pages. In the 2003 edition of Ussher’s The Annals of the World, revised and updated by Larry and Marion Pierce, Appendix B relates some of the reasons and explanations of how the date of Creation was determined. In the Editor’s Preface of this revised book they state:

To answer the question of how long was each day of creation using only Scripture, as did Archbishop Ussher back in the1650's CE, we must still today compare Scripture with Scripture to determine if Scripture reveals and confirms the Young Earth Theory. Comparing Scripture with Scripture truly is the only correct method we can employ to answer questions that arise when reading Scripture.

We shall look at the Scripture Creation account momentarily, but first I would like to discuss the other theories which surround the length of the creation days. Others who would challenge the Young Earth Theory, claim that the creation day was longer, some quote Scripture as saying:

As well they can provide other scriptural evidence to support their claims, so let us now look at the evidence for a Long Creation Day, which attempts to harmonize the creation account in the book of Genesis with evolutionary geology.

Others who would challenge the Young Earth Theory claim that the creation day was longer. Some say that, "to Yahuwah a day is like a thousand years," and they give scriptural evidence for this as well, so let us now look evidence for a Long Creation Day.

The Long Creation Day
In the article titled "Biblical Evidence for Long Creation Days" found on his web site, Rich Deem has this to say:

Literal translations of the Hebrew word, yōm, like our English word "day," can refer to a 24 hour day, sunrise to sunset (12 hours), or a long, unspecified period of time (as in "the day of the dinosaurs"). The Hebrew word ereb, translated evening also means "sunset," "night" or "ending of the day." The Hebrew word boqer, translated morning, also means "sunrise," "coming of light," "beginning of the day," or "dawning," with possible metaphoric usage. Our English expression: "The dawning of an age" serves to illustrate this point. This expression in Hebrew could use the word, boqer, for dawning, which, in Genesis 1, is often translated morning.

Most subscribers of the long creation day theory, do so following one of two main theories, although there are others which exist, however, we will cover the two most popular:

The honest truth is, we in the Consider This Ministry do not subscribe to either the Young Earth or the Long Creation Day theories, but rather we believe something else altogether. We shall call this the "Indeterminate Creation Time Theory" for lack of a better description. The Indeterminate Creation Time Theory is completely based in Scripture, and which hopefully we shall explain extensively and sufficiently over the next few pages.

For us to determine which is the correct view on the length of the creation day from Scripture, we must carefully consider several Ibriy (Hebrew) words. To aid us in this effort, we shall use Strong's Exhaustive Bible Concordance, which provides numbers and definitions for the Ibriy and Greek words used in scripture. The first Ibriy word we need to consider is yōm number H3117 found in Genesis 1:5:

Strong's definition of H3117 yōm yome:
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term).

From Strong's definition, we can clearly see that the Ibriy word yōm does not simply have the same meaning as our English word day, and while yōm is usually translated in our English dictionaries as "day", its meanings are much more broad than what we tend to associate with our word day. Yo?m actually has three different meanings;

It is not until we can accept this truth of the Ibriy word yōm that we can open up our hearts and minds to the possibility that something other than a literal 24 hour day is being spoken of here.

So now we have learned that the Ibriy word yōm H3117 is not only used literally meaning a period from sunrise to sunset or a time period of 24 hours from one sunset to the next, but it is also used figuratively, as a space of time. When used figuratively, the Ibriy word yōm is always defined with an associated term either preceding or succeeding it.

Now let us consider another Ibriy word found in Genesis 1:5, this is the word translated as one H259.

Strong's Definition of H259 - 'echad ekh-awd'
A numeral from H258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first: - a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any (-thing), apiece, a certain [dai-] ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together.

Strong's Definition reveals to us that the word one means first. To paraphrase Genesis 1:5, keeping the same intending meaning, we could properly rearrange the last two words as follows:

Our point is that the Ibriy word 'echad H259, is the associated term, which can either precede or succeed the Ibriy word yōm H3117, which then provides us with the writers meaning that in this verse the word yōm H3117 translated as day in our English language is meant to be used figuratively and NOT literally.

Determining the Correct Length of the Creation Day
For us to determine the correct length of a creation day all boils down to using the correct definition of the Ibriy word yōm, for it is the heart of all contention.

We must ask, is Russell Grigg correct in saying that Yahuwah combined yo?m with numbers (‘first day’, ‘second day’, ‘third day’, etc.), or is Rich Deem correct stating that the word yōm is a long, unspecified period of time, or are neither correct and is the length of Creation Time Indeterminate?

The answer lies in the sentence structure of Scripture. Russell Grigg states that Yahuwah combined yōm with numbers ‘first day,’ ‘second day,’ ‘third day,’ however, he has erroneously mistaken those words for numbers, instead of as associated terms, used to define the placement of the sequence of events.

We have already established that in B’ereshiyth 1:5, there is associated term used in conjunction with the Ibriy word yōm, to determine if yōm is meant to be taken literally or figuratively, it is the word: “one” H259. Therefore, we can deduce that the Ibriy word for day, yōm H3117 was truly meant to be figurative, and not literal by putting it in context. We can do this by examining the other scripture verses which detail the subsequent days of creation, to discover if they also contain any associated terms.

Strong's Definition of H8145 she?n??y shay-nee'
From H8138; properly double, that is, second; also adverbially again: - again, either [of them], (an-) other, second (time).

We see in Bereshiyth 1:8 there is indeed another associated term, the word second H8145, which is used in conjunction with the word day H3117. This again indicates to us that the word day H3117, is not meant to be taken literally, meaning from sunrise to sunset, or a 24 hour period from one sunset to the next, but it is in fact being used figuratively.

It is now becoming much clearer that in Genesis 1:5 the Ibriy word one H259, is not referring to a 24 hour period of time, but rather to a First period of time.

To absolutely confirm this, let us take a look at the remaining Scripture verses regarding the days of creation.

When we study all of the Scripture verses together, thus putting them in context, it becomes crystal clear that each and every one of the verses contains an associated term used in conjunction with the Ibriy word day H3117. Further it is unmistakable, that the associated term is used explicitly to describe the placement and sequence of the events that occurred, and NOT the length of time in which they occurred!

In examining the arrangement of the words in Genesis 1:5, as we did above when we paraphrased the verse, moving the associated term in front of the word day H3117, it may help to provide clarity, it would read as follows:

Ber 1:5 "And Elohiym called the light day and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were (the First or) one H259 day H3117."

When read in context then, with all of the other creation day verses, it removes all doubt about the Ibriy word: one H259 in Genesis 1:5, it simply is meant to mean: First, not a number indicating a 24 hour time period.

Still some would argue the assertion that it is out of necessity that each day of the creation had to be literal days of twenty-four hours each. Why? Because they base their position that any other period of time could not be used as a pattern for man to divide his time.

However, we would ask everyone to please remember what it says in Scripture:

We see that it was not until yo?m 4 that the Sun and the Moon were created, and where to be used for signs and appointed times, for days and years.

With that being the case, the Ibriy word yo?m as used prior to yo?m 4, most certainly could not mean a time period of a literal twenty-four day as there was no Sun from which to establish the hours. Further, why would mankind even need a reference of time, that he could understand prior to mans creation on yo?m 6? Time certainly is not the same for our Creator, as He has existed even before time itself!

We have found that readers have questions on our articles from time to time, and one such reader who shall be known simply as Elder Mike, asked the following questions of this article:

Unlike many websites on the Internet today, which claim to proclaim the truth, we actually encourage questions from our visitors that challenge the articles we have posted.  All too often people who declare to be proclaiming our Creators Word, are in fact totally mistaken in their interpretations, beliefs, and statements of truth. And even worse, they are not willing to discuss them in a non-confrontational manner, keeping an open mind to the possibility that they themselves may be wrong.

With that in mind, we provided the following reply to Elder Mike's questions:

In Conclusion
Just how long did each day of creation take? Our study of Scripture has not suitably revealed that to us. Therefore, we must conclude the we, nor can anyone else, use Scripture to make a definitive declaration as to the exact amount of time each day of creation took.

However, through the careful study of Scripture we can clearly determine that the days of creation, at least yo?m 1-6, as detailed in the book of Genesis, were never meant to be thought of as being literally 24 hour periods of time.

We also definitely believe that Scripture gives us clear indication that the creation days, yo?m 1-6, were also not literal time periods of one thousand years each either as some believe them to be.

We find the 1,000 year time designation in the book of Psalms, chapter 90 verse 4 and 2 Peter 3:8.

On first reading Psalms 90:4 seems to agree completely with 2 Peter 3:8, in declaring that a day to Yahuwah is as a thousand years and a thousand years as only one day. When we read the word yesterday we can easily equate that to a day. However, upon closer examination, we note the phrase "like a watch in the night". The phrase "like a watch in the night" is also describing a length of time, just as is the use of the word yesterday in the verse. Now a "watch in the night" was a period of time lasting around three hours, that was the assigned amount of time for those men who were to be on night watch guard duty. So we see that in Psalms 90:4, that a period of a thousand years is not only as one day, but also as a period of three hours to Yahuwah. Obliviously then we are not meant to take the statement as being literal, but rather it is meant figuratively speaking, to express to us that time is truly of no consequence to our Creator Yahuwah.

Some things are Loving Father Yahuwah has chosen to clearly reveal to us in His Word, others are not so clearly defined. Based on days 1-3, we would say that nobody really knows the length of those days except for Yahuwah, and it is not really that important anyway. In comparison, it is kind of like debating over how tall Yahushua was. There is no real way to find the answer in Scripture. We are all just going to have to wait until these things are revealed to us after Yahushua's second coming. Just make sure you are ready.

We encourage any and all questions you may have on this topic, or surrounding our Almighty Father Yahuwah's name or the commandments He has given us. If you do have more questions or would like to further discuss how to get into and stay in the body of Yahushua the Anointed, please feel free to contact any of us.

Lastly it is my sincere hope and desire that Yahuwah call you to grow closer to Him, so that you may find salvation and eternal life through His son Yahushua.

Brother Craig Timmreck