Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View (Part 1)

JP: By Bob McCabe of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr McCabe blogs at www.oldtestamentstudies.org/hebel

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 1

Excerpt:

… the semantic constraints of the singular “day” argue for a normal day. We should note that the noun yôm (“day”) always refers to a normal literal day when it is used as a singular noun. It is not found in a compound grammatical construction, such as the noun yôm being used with a preposition immediately attached to it, yôm being a part of the multi-word construction known as the construct-genitive relationship. (See Gerhard F. Hasel, “The ‘Days’ of Creation in Genesis 1: Literal ‘Days’ or Figurative ‘Periods/Epochs’ of Time?” Origins 21 [1994]: 23–24.) Since yôm is used in the Hebrew Old Testament 2,304 times in a variety of contexts (TLOT, s.v. “Yôm,” by J. E. Jenni, 2:526–272), lexicographers have a clear picture about yôm’s use. What we should not miss is that Hebrew lexicons consistently place yôm’s use in the creation account with normal days (BDB, p. 398; and HALOT, 2:399). In Genesis 1:1–2:3, yôm is used fourteen times, thirteen times in the singular and once in the plural (v. 14). (It is used in Genesis 1:5 [twice], 8, 13, 14 [twice], 16, 18, 19, 23, 31; 2:2 [twice]; and 2:3.) The lone plural use of “days” does not contradict our understanding of “day” as a normal day. Its use in 1:14 is consistent with our argument. While the use of the plural “days” is clearly not a reference to any of the specific days of the creation week, its use in 1:14 has specific reference to the movement of the heavenly bodies, which do enable people to measure the passage of literal days and literal years and recognize literal signs and seasons, according to their God-declared purpose. These are regular twenty-four-hour days! Returning to our point about the thirteen uses of “day” in Genesis 1, this type of singular use of “day” with a non-extended meaning is used consistently in this manner throughout Genesis, the Pentateuch, and the entire Old Testament to denote literal twenty-four-hour days (Hasel, “‘Days’ of Creation in Genesis 1,” 23–26).

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