“How Old Is the Earth?” series (post #2)
The Bible teaches that the days of the creation week, as described in Genesis chapter 1, were literal 24-hour days. Need proof of that? Then hang with me for this series entitled “How Old Is the Earth?”
In the series’ first post, I dealt with the Hebrew word yom, the word our English translations translate as “day” in the Bible’s creation story. There’s nothing unique or exciting about yom. For the most part it’s just the common Hebrew word for “day.” That in itself is significant. Then when we add in that the Bible specifically says that the six days upon which God worked on creation each had an evening and a morning, well, it takes some imagination to read anything other than 24-hour days into that.
Okay, so now with this second post I’d like to hit upon another easy-to-understand piece of evidence for those days being 24-hour days. That second piece of evidence is this: Adam and Eve were created on day six and lived all the way through days six and seven. You see, this one is so simple and obvious that many people read right past it. Call it a case of hiding in plain sight.
The record of God’s work on day six of creation is found in Genesis 1:24-31, and then further details of that work are provided in Genesis 2:1-25. First, the day began with God creating all of the earth’s land creatures: the beasts of the earth, livestock, insects, snakes, lizards, etc. (Genesis 1:24-25). Second, God created Adam and placed him in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:7-8,15). Third, God gave Adam the command not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Fourth, God brought the land creatures that He had created earlier in the day and allowed Adam to show his dominion over them by naming them (Genesis 2:19-20). Fifth, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, and while Adam slept God took a rib from him and from that rib created Eve (Genesis 2:18,21-25).
All of this allows us to place Genesis 2:1-3 into its proper chronological place in the order of events:
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (N.K.J.V.)
Now, the Bible doesn’t tell us how old Adam was when Eve gave birth to Cain or Abel (Genesis 4:1-2), but it does tell us that he was 130 when she gave birth to Seth (Genesis 5:3). That would be 130 years after the day when Adam himself was created. Following Seth’s birth Adam then went on to live another 800 years before dying at the age 930 (Genesis 5:4-5).
So you tell me, does any of that sound like either day six or day seven of the creation week was anything other than a 24-hour day? I mean, once Adam was created and placed in Eden, if either the rest of that sixth day or the entirety of the seventh day was thousands of years long or millions of years long, Adam would have been much older than 930 when he died. And the same thing holds true for Eve despite the fact that the Bible doesn’t mention her age at any point of her life or death.
You see, Adam dying at 930 — and there are solid explanations for how those early people lived such long lives — isn’t a problem if the days of the creation week were 24-hour days. It becomes a colossal problem, though, if we try to interpret those days as eons of time that gobbled up thousands, millions, or billions of years. I would even go so far as to say that God purposely inspired Moses to write Adam’s age at death as a way of confirming that the creation week was just that, an actual week. And needless to say, a literal week of creation adds up to an earth that is a few thousand years old and no more.