Is " Evening and morning" metaphorical?

One argument brought up by young-earth proponents is the “evening and morning” phrase in the Genesis creation. About a month ago, I asked about it, and many of you guys said it’s metaphorical, and that it refers to a state of darkness being transformed into a state of light. However, young-earth creationists respond back by saying that whenever evening and morning is used in the bible, it doesn’t mean anything other than periods of time in a day. They also say that because Hebrew days begin with sunset, the phrase " and there was evening, and there was morning", clearly refers to a 24 hour day. Is this claim true?

By that reasoning, it should read “evening to evening” to get a 24 hour day. Evening to morning is just overnight.


Their argument is that evening refers to the night hoours and morning refers to the daylight hours.

You ignored my earlier answer to this question, so I encourage you to go back and look at it if you want to engage on it further. (And it’s not true that Hebrew days originally began at sunset…a point I also addressed on another thread.)

The very first time it’s used seems to contradict that:

Well there is a problem with this. Evening to morning would only be approximately half of a day. It could mean God doesn’t work the graveyard shift. Or God has to sleep at night to recover from His hard work during the day. Then there is the pesky problem of how do you have a 24 hour day before the sun was created, which was created to mark the day.

A quick Google search found this here emphasis by me.

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It’s not metaphorical or literal. It’s a story. A most quaint allegory of the human condition.


“Im so hungry I could eat a horse”.

Each of those words have a literal meaning. If an alien race found this planet 200,000 years from now and had a dictionary and could use it they may be able to accurately translate the sentence. They may even be able to gather evidence thst some of us did eat horses.

But none of that would matter if they did not understand the concept being told. The concept is not a literal interpretation where s man eats an entire horse. Until they understand what the purpose is they will not be able to understand it just means, “ I’m really hungry”.

The same is for the word evening.

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Ok. I have a question. What do you think the evening and morning represents? If it represents order be chaos, then wouldn’t it read and there was order and there was chaos? Now since the text suggests that the day begins at morning, what do you think it means?

I wanted to chime in on this question as well.

The Bible opens up with these lines.

Genesis 1:1-2

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was a formless and desolate emptiness, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

The formless , desolate earth of just deep waters is being described as chaotic. It would be. That’s contrary to our well being. We need light and land. None of us would survive very long floating in a deep dark pitch black ocean. It was chaos. The next six days is of god making creation better and better. That’s why he never says it’s perfect on any given day and instead says it’s good and it’s very good. The entire creation account is about chaos being tamed by Yahweh and becoming something good.

Edited in a bonus thing.
Roughly 107 years ago , and a day, the horror film “‘The Golem” came out. One of the tropes it seems is that the clay man brought to life was lonely and wanted a mate and chased a couple around out of jealousy. Seems inspired a bit by the story of Adam.

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The day begins at evening. Tohu and bohu are dealt with previously.

True. However, is there anywhere besides Genesis 1 where evening and morning are being used metaphorically? If so, then I would definitely agree with you. The only thing is that so far, I haven’t seen anywhere besides Genesis where evening and morning is used metaphorically. Is there anywhere besides Genesis 1 where it is being used metaphorically? If so, feel free to let me know. Thanks!

In Hebrew, you read right to left. After reading right to left, you will end up finding that it does in fact say and there was evening and there was morning.

That question was already answered. If you reread through the posts you should see it.

The words are not metaphors, the entire story is a myth…. Reread the post about “ so hungry I could eat a horse”.

There is no such thing really in the Bible as a word standing alone as a metaphor… that’s not how the language works. It’s a literary device showcased through contextual analysis. Right?

Ok. So you interpret Genesis as being a myth, therefore not factual? I’m not buying that. If you believe that some parts of the Bible are myths, why believe any of it?

There are plenty of other threads to answer that. This weekend I can answer that.

So sticking with your original question. I’m concerned you’re not certain what you are asking. You’re asking how is the words, night and day or morning and evening metaphorical. Words typically as a stand alone noun are not metaphorical. The metaphor is developed by the context of the surrounding scripture. It’s not evening and morning , or sun and moon, or greater and lesser light or void and darkness that’s a metaphor on their own but the context that clues us into it.

It’s like looking at a poem and saying which word is poetic? It’s a bad question based off of ignorance. The question would be how do we know this literary style is poetic or that it’s genre is poetry. Not the isolated word.

What specific aspect of genesis 1 makes you interpret it as literal? What clues are you looking at?

I’m not saying Genesis 1 is all literal. What I’m saying is that it’s not a myth, it’s not false. So even if Genesis don’t s metaphorical, it can still be true. I feel like your saying that it’s false. That’s all.

Myths are not automatically false when they are used to convey a truth. Think Aesop’s Fables.

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I see what your saying. The thing is that young earth creationists say that a metaphorical, mythical interpretation is inconsistent with scripture, namely, the rest of the ot. They want biblical evidence of evening and morning being used metaphorically. They also want evidence of metaphors in the early chapters of Genesis as well. To be honest, at the MOMENT (emphasis added) I do agree with them.

“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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