How Long Were the Days of Creation? (part 2)

PMT 2013-018b by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Below is the second installment on a study of the length of creation days.

In my previous posting, I opened a consideration of the length of days in Genesis. This is of that study. The Bible is quite clear that God created the world in six literal days. Continuing my study, let us begin with my fifth argument.

(5) Argument from divine exemplar

In Exodus 20:9-11 (the Fourth Commandment) God specifically patterns man’s work week after His own original creational work week. Man’s work week is expressly tied to God’s: “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth” (Exo. 20:11).

On two occasions in Moses’s writings this rationale is used:

  • Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  • Exodus 31:15-17 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to theLORD…. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.

Once again, Robert Dabney’s comments are helpful: “In Gen. ii:2,3; Exod. xx:11, God’s creating the world and its creatures in six days, and resting the seventh, is given as the ground of His sanctifying the Sasbbath day. The latter is the natural day; why not the former? The evasions from this seem peculiarly weak” (Lectures in Systematic Theology [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1878, rep. 1972], 255).

(6) Argument from plural expression

In Exodus 20:11 God’s creation week is spoken of as involving “six days” yammim, plural. In the 608 instances of the plural “days” in the Old Testament, we never find any other meaning than normal days. Ages are never expressed as yammim.

(7) Argument from alternative idiom

. Had Moses intended to express the notion that the creation covered eras, he could have employed the term olam. Even the resting of God on the “seventh day” does not express His eternal rest, for it would also imply not only His continual rest but also His continual blessing of creation, as if sin never intervened: Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Any attempts to re-interpret Genesis 1 in order to allow for enormous stretches of time, are manifestly contra-Scriptural. If the Bible has any meaning at all, we who profess to believe it must acknowledge its clear teaching regarding creation in six twenty-four hour days.

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One thought on “How Long Were the Days of Creation? (part 2)

  1. Jonathan Turner November 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    PTL for your excellant articles defending a literal six day creation! with Ken Ham probably loves them also! It has been sad over the years to see the OPC and PCA reject a literal six day creation and go against the WCF and catechisms!

    In Christ forever,

    Jonathan Turner

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