How Long is a Day ?                 SCROLL 2.pngSCROLL 2.png                


Introduction   Webster’s  Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary gives us four options as to what constitutes a day :

         [ 1 ]  the time of light between one night and the next

         [ 2 ]  the period of the earth’s rotation on its axis

         [ 3 ]  the mean solar day of 24 hours beginning at mean midnight

         [ 4 ]  a specified time or period: AGE


As we read the Genesis account in chapters one and two of the Bible (King James Bible Translation - KJBT), we see that what is meant by a day is generally what we normally conceive a day to be, a 24-hour period.  Since God does not inform us as to any other definition (the exception being that, at times, God will consider one day as a thousand years with the Lord - for example, when Adam’s life span was cut short of a thousand years for eating the forbidden fruit), using any other time period would require us to specify how long it would be and our motivation for doing so. 

It seems that God would have qualified His account of creation were it not of the 24-hour variety.  Definition [4] above demands a specified time or period , which we are not given in the Bible.  Before we go any further, let me state that God can create anything He wills instantly, and He doesn’t necessarily need any particular time period to do it in.  Let’s consider God’s magnificent creation according to His account: 

The First Day      In the beginning,   God created a mass of earth and water,  without form and void of life.  Next, God shone His Light upon the mass of water (Let us not forget that God Himself is Light, and in Him is no darkness, so the scripture must refer to His light upon the mass of water).   Next, He divided the Light from the Darkness, called the Light Day, and the darkness He called Night.  We know that the Light referred to here is the light provided upon the mass of water by God Himself: (And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2) and that that portion of the mass of water not being shone on by God was the Darkness.   These creations God said were made in the first day.  Definition (2) above can be used here.

Note   Although God does not tell us about the matter (elements) which constituted the mass of water, it is implicit that all the elements with which we are familiar today were created by God and they were all contained in the initial mass of water. 

The Second Day     Next, God created an expanse (firmament) between a portion of the mass of water and beyond by separating the mass of water into two parts.  This firmament God called Heaven.  These creations God said constituted the second day.

The Third Day     Then,  God made the dry land appear in one place from the mass of water under the firmament and called it Earth.  Likewise, He gathered the remaining waters of the mass of water into Seas.  Next, God created grass, herbs, and fruit-bearing trees, fully mature creations already providing sustenance for the living creatures which God was about to create.  God created these, and provided the Light which they required for life, for there was no sun created as yet.  These creations constituted the third day.

Note      Most scientists today agree that the earth at one time was one land mass.  This land mass was divided into the seven continents we have today just a few years over 4,000 years ago, in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25).  This continental divide took place after the flood of Noah’s day.  According to scientists, such a geological change as this would cause world-wide catastrophic upheaval, resulting in untold number of casualties.  Yet, the Bible doesn’t mention any such thing.  No, when the Lord does make drastic changes (as in this case when He scattered the Tower of Babel builders), He takes care of His creation, irrespective of the physical laws that would normally hold.  If one accepts the biblical account of the Great Flood, there are several necessary reasons why this drastic change has to have had occurred [Please see PANGAEA].

The Fourth Day   Next, God created the sun, moon, and stars, in that order.  This means that God created the earth before He created the rest of the Universe. This may not set too good among scientists and evolutionists, but they didn’t create the Universe, God did.  Also, God created the rest of the Universe apart from the earth  for the purpose of accommodating the earth with what He wanted it to have:                         

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.  Genesis 1:14-19

The Fifth Day  Next, God created all the sea creatures and all the winged fowl, and told them to be fruitful and multiply (so they had to have all been created mature i.e., not evolving):

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23

The Sixth Day  On the sixth day, God created Adam and Eve and all the land creatures:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,  and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  Genesis 1:24-31

The Seventh Day   God rested on the seventh day and thereby established the Sabbath day which He would (eventually) set aside as a special day of worship:


Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  Genesis 2:1-7

The Bible and Evolution   The belief that the earth must be millions of years old has long been held by the followers of Charles Darwin, for his theory of evolution requires millions, billions, or even more years to consummate its conclusion, if it were even possible. Yet, bible-believers, generally speaking, accept the story of the creation of man as God describes it in Genesis.  The bible contends that man (and woman) were created in the sixth day of God’s creation.  Thus, if a person believes that the bible refers to a 24-hour day, God accomplished His task of creating mankind in a single, 24-hour time span. 

This clashes immediately with the evolutionists who require millions of years for their fabricated explanation of man’s origin.  But, what about some Geologists’ contention that the earth has to be millions of years old, because of fossils and Carbon 14 dating of such fossils?  We come immediately to the crux of the matter, because both camps cannot be right - either God created mankind in a single, 24-hour day, or He did it through Darwin’s evolutionary process, or He may not have been involved at all in the emergence of man (and woman) on this planet.  Besides, Darwin’s theory cannot even get out of the gate when confronted with the Cambrian explosion discoveries in China, western Canada, and Wales, England.    There is absolutely nothing to support Darwin’s theory, but there are multitudes of fossil data which rejects his theory.

The standard for word definitions of Bible scriptures in their original languages is Strong’s Concordance.  Since most English-speaking people have no knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, they depend upon Strong’s definitions of these words as they are found in the Masoretic text, the only preserved, true Word of God for the Old Testament. And, of course, in the Greek for the New Testament.  No attempt will be made here to pit the scholarly expertise of the 47 translators of the King James Bible (the most able scholars in the British Kingdom in 1604 AD) versus the translators-for-hire of modern versions.   According to Strong’s Concordance, the word day is used 71 times in Genesis, and all the uses, aside from the contested earth creation time, refer ostensibly to a 24-hour day. Moreover, the exact same original word is used all 71 times.  Let's consider what the Word of God has to say in the creative account of the earth in Genesis. 

The Bible and Science   First, let us consider God’s creation regarding plants, animals, birds, aquatic life, and mankind.  All these creatures were created fully-functional, ready to be fruitful and to multiply.  Thus, we know the answer to the age-old question as to what came first, the chicken or the egg?  If archeological findings seem to give the impression that the earth has to be millions of years old because of the fossil record, or any other record, yet that impression is flawed at the outset because of what the Bible says.  A very simple illustration should prove the point:  All matter is made up of three basic elements, protons, neutrons, and electrons.    But scientists cannot explain what holds the neutron (which has no charge) in the atom’s nucleus to the positively charged proton.  While scientists cannot explain how this is accomplished, the bible can and does:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.   Colossians 1:15-17

All things consist (are held together) by Jesus Christ; i.e., Jesus is the “strong force” (scientists’ description of the neutron-proton attraction) by which this neutron-binding in the atom is accomplished. If scientists cannot explain the simplest structural binding force of the atom, which is the basis for all matter, who are they to tell the architect of the Universe “you cannot create a fully functioning Universe with age”?  

Faith, Certainty, and Logic    God has purposely allowed an element of uncertainty to exist in those areas where faith is also a possibility.  If there is no uncertainty, then faith cannot exist, and without faith, it is impossible to please Him: 

But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Hebrews  11:6

In matters concerning the earth and the Universe, God’s creation is certain, there is no uncertainty to it.  So, to try to explain the Universe with theories that contain elements of uncertainty, is to try to make a perfect creation imperfect, by definition. Man cannot use science to prove the bible, but man can, as has just been shown, prove science with the bible.

While the Bible does not tell us, we see that, in the beginning, God created the earth with matter which He created out of nothing:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  Hebrews 11:3             

The second avenue taken by some to explain the origin of the Universe, apart from science, is through the use of formal logic.  An extremely cogent demonstration of the existence of God and the Universe through pure logical reasoning has been given by Dr. R.C. Sprouls of Ligonier Ministries.  Less rigorous explanations must be able to incorporate the Lord Jesusmiracles of:

  ( 1 )  walking on water;

  ( 2 )  rebuking the storm and making it calm;

  ( 3 )  causing a fish to provide the coin to pay His and Peter’s taxes;

  ( 4 )  turning water into wine;

  ( 5 )  healing the sick and making the blind to see, even when He was not with the sick;

  ( 6 )  raising the dead, and raising Himself from the dead also;

  ( 7 )  never sinning (thus showing that the spiritual is mightier than the physical).


Now then, can science explain these supernatural events?  Of course not.  Neither can science explain the creation of the earth in a single, 24-hour day. Yet,  Jesus did accomplish these supernatural events, because He is God.  Can the thing formed say “Why has thou formed me thus?"  Neither can the Earth say to God, “why have you formed me thus”?  Therefore, neither science nor formal logic can be used to discredit the belief that God did indeed create the earth with all its creatures and the rest of the Universe in six 24-hour days, as penned in the Bible.   


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