Is " Evening and morning" metaphorical?

So basically, all they want is evidence of evening and morning being metaphorical, and early chapters of Genesis using metaphors

Yes. What comes after evening physically? The overnight hours. And then? Morning. Is that a 24 hour period? And God called the light “day” – he did not call the daylight hours “morning.”

Something to consider and it’s a common misrepresentation, if not outright lie , by YECist “theologians o.O)” . They claim a myth is equivalent to a lie. Within literary genres though that’s not what it means. Just like fiction books are not lies. As I’ve joked before no one goes to the library and asks for the liars section but the fiction section.

Jesus uses parables. Revelation is full of symbolism. The Bible is full of metaphors. None of those mean lies. Neither does the genre myth. A highly poetic prose developing a creation mythology is not lies anymore than a parable or allegory.


No they really want the first chapters to be literal. What about the use of metaphors in other parts of the OT? If that is ok why are metaphors in the first chapters NOT ok? And what about the other obvious metaphors such as a snake, who can talk, who is cursed to crawl on its belly when that is what snakes have always done? Trees with magical fruit? God walking in the Garden? I could go on and on but you get my point.

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One last thing , at least for now.

One of your questions directed at me earlier was that is only I could show you where those words are metaphorical in other places you would be able to accept it. I showcased why I think the contextual analysis is the story, and not individual words was why it’s not literal.

So building on your question I have one.

Can you show me another place in the entire Bible where dozens of people and different stories spanning thousands of years is found in just a few pages? The gospels spanned 30 something years and was mostly focused on the last few years of the life of Jesus and it took up 4 books. The story of Moses spanned a book and only was about roughly 40 years. I don’t see anywhere else in the Bible where a few pages spans thousands of years and full of so much fantastical tales between several stories and people.

So can you show me another section of the Bible that’s literal spanning all of that in a few pages?

The time span for Genesis 1-11 is the same as Genesis 12 to Revelation. Quite a difference in page count. Not to mention that starting in Genesis 12 the text actually reads more like a history.


I don’t know about the time span after it I just know it slows down significantly and when YECists are honest they see the difference in writing styles and can recognize the logical arguments for why G1-11 is not literal.

“Paralysis by analysis.”

Analysis is important. Scientists and theologians, despite many differences, both do lots of analysis. It is vital. But…

…but sometimes both stand back at look at things differently. And that is equally vital.

Lay aside, for a while, those analytical terms. Lay aside, for a while, thoughts of “allegory”, “metaphor”, “myth” and “literal”. Lay them aside. Even, for a while, lay aside “true” and “false”.

Turn, instead, to Job chapters 38-41. Sit down comfortably, with plenty of time and relaxation, and simply read it through. Imagine, if you like, reading it as a bedtime story to your children.

Get Job 38-41 into your system, into your bloodstream.

Once you’ve got Job 38-41 and can appreciate it for what it is…

…ask those questions of “allegory”, “metaphor”, “myth” and “literal” to those chapters. But see now what a misfit those words are for those chapters. Job38-41 is what it is; questions of “allegory”, “metaphor”, “myth” and “literal” don’t line up with the text of wonder and awe. Analysing those chapters with those words just doesn’t fit. Such analysis leads to contextual paralysis.

Having done that exercise. return to Genesis 1, in the light of those chapters from Job. See the resonance?

I hope that helps.

Evening and morning occur together in Daniel 8 in an eschatological context; commentators are all over the map on interpreting those as literal or non-literal days.


That’s a great example!

“For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” (Dan. 8:14 ESV)

Clearly this means 2300 days within the vision, but what the days represent may not be literal. I think Genesis 1 should be understood the same way, i.e., literal days in a potentially metaphorical week. It comes down to genre on how to understand the text in toto and not its individual parts. Genres like prophecy and parable operate this way; why not a highly poetic text like Genesis 1?


And of course I’m wrong. The whole is metaphoric. And some of the elements. Symbolic. If not all of the elements. On a spectrum of symbolism. I cannot see how day and night are symbolic of anything. The ancients hadn’t the faintest idea of what those terms could be metaphoric for, apart from the mists of time, the need for poetic structure.

The Bible doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The creation itself also exists, and it clearly states that it wasn’t created over a few days some 6 to 10 thousand years ago.

So that leaves us with two major choices. If Genesis was not written metaphorically, then Genesis is false as shown by the creation itself. If Genesis was written metaphorically, then Genesis and the creation can be reconciled. For the life of me, I don’t understand why creationists choose the worst option of the two.

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If you won’t believe the worst, it will be the worst for you.

It can also be translated as “days” or daylight. Since evening and daylight make up day in Judaism, it can be read as in 2300 days.

A literal application is possible, but most recognize it’s not obvious or necessary in a prophetic text. I’d argue a similar range of possibilities in Gen 1.

Then why are evening and morning and day all used in the same verse?

I thought I explained that like 4 days ago. Hebrew is read right to left. If you read that text right to left you will find that it says and there was evening and there was morning. The word for morning was translated as days in the wlc. YEC’s claim that the word Boqer( the word used) meant daylight hours in that case.

Not adequately for my thick skull. All three are in the same verse, regardless of order. Morning ≠ day or daylight hours.

ok. One more thing. My friend argues that ( he thinks Daniel 8:14 meant daylight hours) there is nowhere in the bible where evening and morning are used metaphorically, and he argues that interpreting Genesis 1 as metaphorical is inconsistent. Are there places n the early chapters of Genesis where symbolism is included? Are evening and morning used metaphorically anywhere else in scripture besides Genesis 1 and Daniel 8?

That there is poetic structure (and elsewhere in Genesis) might be a clue not to find metaphors a total shock.

“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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