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  • Writer's pictureLeon Valley Church of Christ

Yom In Genesis

"God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Gen. 1:5). 

It’s no secret that Bible believing people are disparaged by modern gnostics who trust in their knowledge derived from “scientific” methods. To make matters worse, milquetoast Christians bow to such evil influences, pitifully attempting to reconcile the clear, indisputable teaching of Scripture with “irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge...” (1 Tim. 6:20).

Yom is the Hebrew word translated “day” in the creation account of Genesis. The passing of each day concludes as you would expect—with the words, “...and there was evening, and there was morning," always paired with a number. It seems strange to me, that one would think a “day” in Genesis constitutes millennia, when each of the six yamim clearly have an "evening" (עֶרֶב) and "morning" (בֹּקֶר). It’s as if the Holy Spirit is appealing to our natural understanding of what a day is, wouldn’t you say? What room do we have for symbolic or metaphorical interpretations here? 

Furthermore, the basis for Israel’s Sabbath observance, as found in Exodus 20:8-11, is this: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex. 20:11). Why would God equate the seventh day mentioned in Genesis with a literal 24-hour day He expected His people to observe? What I'm asking is this: Were the Israelites expected to observe eras, generations, or millennia? Yom in Genesis 1 is a single, 24-hour day of the week, just as yom in Exodus 20 is a single, 24-hour day of the week. 

Consider how Jesus Himself treated the Genesis account. He spoke of it as literal and not as an extended metaphor, allegory, or poem. He quotes Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, treating the passages as a historical and authoritative account. This shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus consistently upheld the authority and reliability of Scripture (Matt. 5:18). He also alluded to other Old Testament events, like Noah's flood and Jonah's time in the great fish (Matt. 24:37-39), without trying to allegorize them. No He treated them as historical realities.

Yes, this understanding clashes with prevailing scientific views, and a literary interpretation that sees Genesis 1 as metaphorical rather than historical, but so what? 

Scripture remains the ultimate authority. Let God be true, and every man a liar! (Rom. 3:4) Science, while valuable, is not infallible. God's Word declares that He created the heavens and the earth in six days (Ex. 20:11), cultural norms and popular opinion notwithstanding.  

Either we embrace the Bible as the highest authority (Ps. 119:160), or we subordinate it to human philosophies and logic. We can't have it both ways. There is no reconciliation. Genesis 1 isn't a myth, but a declaration of God's power and authority. In six literal days, He shaped the world, made humanity in His image, and rested on the seventh day. May we stand firm on His Truth, proclaiming His power and glory to the world.

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1 Comment

May 10

Good one. It has been a while since you posted.

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