In my first piece, Was The Universe Created in 7 Days? I got a lot of feedback from friends and family and they had a lot of questions which I’ll attempt to answer in this article. Without further ado, let me get on with it.
It is important to note that the act of creation in Genesis 1:1-2 is separate from the 6 days of creation that follow it. Looking at the “creation days”, they each begin with the phrase, “And God said” and end with the statement “and there was evening and there was morning…”
To me, this means that according to the text, day 1 begins in verse 3 and not in verse 1. The initial creation took place before day 1, but Genesis does not tell us how long before.
What this means is the question of the age of the earth (and of the universe) is a separate question from the interpretation of the days. A point that is frequently overlooked by many.
From a Biblical perspective, the age of the earth (and universe) is not established. It is, therefore, logical to believe that the 6 days of creation could be 24-hour days and also to believe that the universe is +-4 billion years old.
The main takeaway here is that this isn’t about science, but about what the text says. Nothing less…nothing more.
Was The Universe Created In 7 Working Days?
Now that’s out of the way, if we were listing the “days” as normal weekdays, one could make the argument that we’d give each of the days indefinite articles or completely leave the articles out altogether. For the 5 days of Genesis, the text leaves the (definite) article and then adds them to the last 2 days.
The presence of an article indicates that the final 2 days are special or different. As previously mentioned in the first article, this point of grammar may also be a signal that the text is rather more sophisticated than we might first have thought.
This leads to the possibility that the writer of Genesis may have intended us to think of the first 6 creation days as a sequence; that is days of normal length in which God acted to create something new, but days that might well have been separated by long periods of time.
Finally, there’s the issue of the fourth day. If there’s a chronological dimension to the creation days, why then is the sun created on the fourth day?! “And God said, “Let there be the lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night… and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.
‘And it was so” (Gen. 1:14-15). If the text means that the sun came into existence on day 4, how are we to understand the first 3 days with their ‘evenings’ and ‘mornings’?
The word day makes no obvious sense in the absence of the sun. The logical explanation for this is that the sun existed at the beginning of the Genesis week, and then the account of day 4 would have to be read in light of that fact.
What this means is day 4 does not follow day 1 chronologically but rather revisits day 1 with details of how God separated day and night by means of sun and moon.
I hope I’ve done justice to the questions that some of you asked. Let’s keep the conversation going, nonetheless.
Author: The Broken Native
The Broken Native is a social runner, a budding poet, loves football, and basketball, reading, music (all things Indie and flirts with a bit of Jazz), and Philosophy.
And, er…ahem…he appreciates a glass of cold gin and tonic.