And there was evening and there was morning?

If the days in Genesis are longer than 24 hours, then why are they described in the phrase and there was evening and there was morning?

Interesting questions. Tough to have evening and morning without the sun. Of course, a literal 24 hour day is not mentioned, as they didn’t have hours yet. And tough to define a day a rotation of the earth about its axis, as they didn’t know earth was a spherical object, or that it rotated, or that it orbited the sun as a planet. And of course the problem of morning being something that takes place continuously over the planet, progressing over the day around the world, with evening the same. So, with all these questions, perhaps it is because Genesis is not concerned with the length or days?

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Ok, but God said let there be light, implying that evening and morning were a possibility. zwat does evening and morning mean?

Was the primordial light unidirectional? Was the earth rotating in relation to it before the sun, or if from all directions, did the light pulse in a 24 hour cycle pre-sun? To me, it is easier to answer those questions if the days are considered poetic rather than literal.


Ok, then why are they described as and there was evening and there was morning?

Does anyone here have an alternative interpretation?

Earth’s morning has long since passed and its day nearly spent. Its evening will be over when the bright Morning Star returns.

It’s a poetic description of the final product of God’s creation. Not a blow by blow description of how He created. God created by command and wouldn’t need any period of time to create. Even the early church fathers were aware of this and so didn’t take the “days” to be literal.


God is not short of power that he could not have done it instantaneously nor was he short of time that he could not have set it up to evolve over eons.

By a Christian physicist:

Ok. What do you think evening and morning means then?

Does it have to “mean” anything? Your Cartesianism is showing. It could just be a verbal flourish that means “let’s get to the next day.”

BTW, you are looking for cartesian meaning in a text written long before cartesian meaning was known.

It has been suggested that the progression from the darkness of evening to the light of morning is a progression that symbolizes order and purpose “dawning” on disorder and void, which summarizes the creative acts of each day.


ok. I can see that.

You never responded on another thread, but I’ll give it another shot. My understanding is that the text does describe God working in ordinary days (their exact length is rather irrelevant), as a Divine Farmer going about his daily (and weekly) work to create something purposeful, functional, and beautiful. The description mimics what ancient Near Eastern farmers would’ve known so well. This makes the text highly anthropomorphic (after all, the real God does not need to “rest and be refreshed” [Exod 31:17], nor is he constrained to time…or is he?).

Now, whether or not the sequence and length of the events describes actually maps on to time, space, and history as we know it is an entirely different question (and conflating these questions is a main source of the confusion in these discussions). The concordist says “yes”; the non-concordist says “no.” This 2nd issue is not something purely derived exegetically, but brings in genre analysis and larger theological & philosophical issues (and all this is true even assuming inspiration and inerrancy, as I do).

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ok. well what do you think it means then?

How could He not be? He has created from eternity. Is He meaningful outside of that?

I don’t know what you mean by it, but I presume you mean the whole text. I think it means lots of things (I just wrote a book on this)–namely, lots of things about God’s character and purposes in creating, as well as the role and goal of humanity. These lessons are true whether or not one thinks the text is also giving a play-by-play of events.

What I meant was the evening and morning phrase. Do you think it’s symbolic? If so, what do you think it means?

God’s relationship to time is a longstanding philosophical debate, not directly related to the OP. I included it here only as an example of things to consider. Most Christians think of God as “outside of time”–yet the text described God as acting in time.

What I meant was the evening and morning phrase. Do you think it’s symbolic? If so, what do you think it means?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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