MemberMarch 17, 2021 at 12:46 am
(quoting the H Family) “Mr. Ken Ham, president of… once stated
that everyone seems to know when a day doesn’t mean a day (in reference
to a literal 6 24-hour day Creation), but nobody can tell him when a
day does mean a day.”
I don’t think I can answer that either. Most people familiar with all these type of discussions are probably familiar with all the discussions on various sides about the Hebrew word YOM (day) and also whether it is linked to ordinals.
Reading Genesis 1 in the Hebrew is kind of cool. Whatever your view on it, the words are specially crafted and it is BEYOND a typical prose account. I’m not saying that to prove or disprove exactly how literal it is to be understood.
There is a well-known scripture in Peter where Peter states that with God a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. Yet, I feel stretching out the Genesis days into these time frames doesn’t work well from any perspective. It can be done, but, to me, it just creates as many problems as it tries to solve.
Each of the creation days are concluded with “And there was evening, and there was morning — the [first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth] day.” The Hebrew days start at sunset. I was confused until about an hour ago why the scripture ended along those lines. I don’t think these passages are meant to indicate the conclusion of each day. Now, I’m looking at it from a different perspective having just heard some talk about the documentary hypothesis. I don’t really buy into the hypothesis, but one of the people talking about it noted that editors compiling the Bible followed a principle of maximum conservation of the original texts, even if storyflow would get disrupted or seeming contradictions would get introduced.
From that perspective the Genesis creation account perspective makes more sense. The days are mentioned apart from what was created each day. Each day itself starts at evening [continues all night] and has a morning [which continues for the rest of the day, until evening] and then the Hebrew day changes. Jewish people and the many observers of the Biblical Sabbath all start their observance of Sabbath at Sunset. Many Christians prefer to rest on Sunday, and Paul pointed out another valid view is to consider “every day alike.” (Romans 14:5,6)
I’m not touching the creation account in this comment, but just reflecting a little bit about days and hours. I just wanted to expand the topic beyond the well-trodden arguments that have typified the debate over how to interpret Genesis 1’s days.
Hours in scripture, are subject to a kind of time-warp in a few scriptures. Most clearly “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18 NIV) Linguistic parsing beyond my ability is needed to discern whether hours in scriptural text are meant to be literal or figurative, or hyperbolic (or whatever words experts could apply to explain) in clarifying this matter. Context and science, for me are helpful in understanding this scripture. One doesn’t need to be an Einstein to know that we aren’t in the last literal hour. We’ve all lived a number of hours. We can make the scripture fit our understanding without trying to develop linguistic rules for how hours should be interpreted in scripture. If someone made a solid scriptural, Biblical and literary argument for John’s “last hour” to be taken in an extreme literal sense, we’d all reject it because it makes no sense. Even John could not have meant it literally because no one would have been able to read it. The letter could not have even been delivered within an hour.
Another scripture in Revelation has ten kings (Revelation 17:11) who will reign one hour with the beast. Though reading the passage my mind automatically tries to take this in a literalistic fashion, I’m not sure if any political event of such short duration would warrant wasting space in scripture. I certainly am not going to stake anything on a literal one hour for the reign of the ten kings. In our modern society, bound by electronics, a lot can happen in an hour, but I’m inclined not to view this literally, but to me the science has settled that John’s “last hour” can not be determined by examining textual usages of “hour.”