Is there a standpoint from which the creation days in Genesis 1 are described as 24 hours per day?

Hello everyone,

I’m new to this forum and joined because I’ve been searching the internet extensively for an answer to my question. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t find search results that fully addressed my inquiry. My curiosity led me here in hopes of finding some clarity.

My question is about in the Young Earth viewpoints. I’m interested in understanding the Young Earth perspective. To approach this, I’ve set aside my knowledge of evolution but retained two key understandings:

  1. The Earth rotates.
  2. Day and night occur simultaneously on different parts of the Earth.

With this groundwork, I’ve positioned myself as someone who believes (possibly due to upbringing) that the universe and Earth were created in six 24-hour days, although I haven’t yet read the Bible’s account in Genesis 1.

Upon reading Genesis 1:1-5, I’ve drawn my own conclusions:
The first moment of the first day began shortly after verse 4, with the separation of light from darkness. However, if I were unaware that day and night occur simultaneously on Earth (and there are no other people who live on the other side of the earth), I would naturally assume that the first moment of the first day began in the evening, as darkness prevailed. In this case, maybe it can be said that my knowledge is Geocentric or maybe Flat Earth.

However, considering my awareness of how day and night occur globally, I’m faced with a dilemma. There are essentially “two worlds” – one experiencing darkness (world A) and the other experiencing light (world B) for the first time simultaneously.

Thus, my question is:
According to literalists about the creation day, when did the first moment of the first day (the first hour of Sunday) for the very first time begin? in the evening or in the morning?

Thank you.

Not too many literalists here, so likely you will find most of the answers related to how other interpretive traditions read those verses.

I will say they are literal in one sense, however. As Jesus said, the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and Genesis 1 seems to me to be written with this in mind. It is a pattern of work and creation made not to be taken as scientific or material history, but rather as a pattern to model life by in our daily work. In that sense, they are all literal days, as the author and audience read them as literal days without knowledge of earths global form or rotation. But they are not a literal record of the time span of creation, but rather as an example to follow.

In the same way, Jesus taught things like we should literally help someone bleeding in the ditch, even though the story of the Good Samaritan was a parable.


I don’t think most people care, because the Genesis account was written before people knew the earth was a sphere that rotated around the sun and spun on an axis or that half the globe was experiencing night while the other half was experiencing day. So why would anyone logically assume the account is going to have that kind of astronomic precision? The Bible can’t do what it was never intended to do. It isn’t a set of empirical data about creation. If you want precise measurements, you need to look to science, not Scripture.

Many Hebrew scholars think the refrain “there was evening and there was morning” is not so much a statement about the progression of time, but a statement about the progression from order to chaos that the creation event represented. Night/darkness being conceptually associated in the ANE mind with peril, chaos, and the unknown, and light being associated conceptually with security, blessing, and knowledge as well as God’s presence. The fact that evening is listed first probably has more to do with an emphasis on God bringing order and blessing to the created world than it has to do with labeling points on a timeline.


The first 24 hour “day” was created on Day 4 with the creation of the sun and moon.

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I have a bit of a question myself.

I heard something about Hebrew cosmology in the past, but I’m not sure if it is accurate, or perhaps I misunderstood it at the time.

From what I (poorly?) remember, the authors of Genesis didn’t view the light of day as necessarily coming from the Sun. If we step back for a moment I think this actually makes a bit of sense in the same way that common everyday observations would lead someone to believe in a flat Earth. During the day the whole sky is lit up. In fact, even before the Sun is seen in the sky we can see light. Therefore, the light in the entire sky was viewed as something separate from the Sun itself. The Sun is described as ruling the sky during the day, not as the source of light that illuminates the entire sky.

Is this accurate? Is this a disputed understanding of ancient Hebrew cosmology? Or am I just misremembering something?

That is what I remember someone saying. Makes sense when you consider the sun was created on Day 4 to rule over the day so there was “light” before the sun. And strictly speaking, from a phenomenological perspective there is some source for daylight before the sun appears.

Having read critical commentaries on Genesis over many years I am of the opinion that the setting of the first creation story in a seven day setting was as dramatic liturgical affirmation or parable instead of portraying actual history. It does not make physical sense anymore to think of light occurring before the sun and stars and the original authors did not know that the stars are like our sun at huge physical distances from the earth.


I’m remembering this too, though like the others; I can’t site a source. I almost certainly read of it on this forum. One of the reasons it makes sense biblically is that light was created on day 1 (darkness and the chaotic waters were already there - pre-existing according to the text). And light and darkness were separated from each other (day 1). That matches the evening / morning experiences that the author can then use as the template for everything else to follow. As you’ve observed, it isn’t obvious that daylight should be tied to the sun since it doesn’t come up till later after daylight is already established. And the whole sky seems more or less uniform with the twilight too, so there isn’t some obvious gradient from darkness on the opposite horizon toward sunlight on the sunrise horizon that would visually indicate in an obvious way that the sun is the source of all that light. Atmospheric diffusion would also not have been part of their knowledge.

One interesting thing to ponder in all this is that if all of space was full of atmospheric air (as many back then imagined, and as some flat-earthers still think today), then we would never have any dark night-time at all since there would be no “blackness” of space. We would just alternate between deep blue and brighter blue - but always with daylight if space wasn’t pretty much devoid of atmosphere.

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I also read St Augustine “The Literal Meaning of Genesis” where even he had to conclude there are non-literal meanings and interpretations that need to be applied to their text.


This site is not really geared towards young earth creationist. Not everyone where even accepts intelligent design , such as god guiding the evolutionary process. There are probably 1-3 young earth creationist or creationist of some sort that takes genesis 1 and 2 literally. But most here reject YEC and agrees with the scientific consensus on most if not all subjects. Or at the very least, will defer to them as experts even if we are not completely sold on how the data is used socially.

As someone mentioned, most here probably won’t really care if it was early morning or evening. Even those that may care, and I find it curious, but not that invested in it since I view genesis 1-11 as creation myths along with most of the Torah being hyperbolic. For example I think the story of Gilgamesh heavily influenced much of the tanakh. Not just in the Torah but that even Sampson may have been influenced by the character of Enkidu ( Gilgamesh’s ) twin/clone person. Thst maybe even the greatness of Abraham is influenced by Gilgamesh.

So since I view the days as poetry, I don’t know what time they presumed. I assume whenever they imagine their days start now is what it was then.

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Not so sure of that. Perhaps our urban lives make it less obvious, but if spending any time in an open rural area away from light pollution, it is pretty obvious that daylight originates from the sun. I know the Egyptian cosmology had the Goddess Nut as the sky, and I believe swallowing the sun at the end of the day. Not sure how they explained its rebirth the next morning, however.

An interesting aside . . .

The blackness of space was actually quite profound to cosmologists back in the 1800’s. If the universe were static, infinite, and uniform then why isn’t the sky full of starlight since a straight line going in any direction would end up hitting a star. This was called Olbers’s Paradox named after Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers (1758–1840). This served as a precursor to the discoveries made in the early 1900’s.


Yeah - true enough. Especially on a clear day - the morning horizon is definitely brighter just before the sun comes up. But even then - and if there is any overcast condition at all, there is sometimes the weird effect that the horizon opposite the sun seems to be well lit in the twilight too. Since we know it’s all sunlight - it makes a no-brainer to see it that way for sure.


Welcome! Alas, the information in the first chapter of Genesis conflicts with Creation.
Why is that?
Genesis grandfathers in a great deal of prior pagan myth, to wit:

  • The universe has no known beginning
  • but its original state was vast, featureless water
  • wherein dwelt Apsu (goddess of fresh water)
  • and Tiamat (goddess of salt water)
  • who, in a battle to the death, killed Apsu.
  • Victorious, she descended into the vast depths
  • where she killed a great beast.
  • She cut it into halves
  • and one became the firmament, placed above the waters
  • and the other became land, held up on pillars above the waters of the deep
  • which came up through the earth as springs.
  • Tiamat began to birth other gods.
  • To assuage their hunger Tiamat assigned a portion of the gods to:
    • dig irrigation ditches
    • raise grain
    • tend livestock
    • then burn grain and meat on sacrificial altars
    • so the smoke would rise to the sky
    • and thus feed all the gods.
  • This irksome burden let the earth-bound gods to make imagos of themselves
  • by killing one god
  • then mixing the blood with dust to form
  • seven breeding pairs of humans
  • which did all the hard work.
  • Alas they bred too well and filled the earth with their noise.
  • Unable to sleep or even think, the gods attempted genocide via a vast flood
  • but had to stop the flood when the gods themselves were pressed against the underside of the firmament
  • hence nearly drowned.
  • Fortunately one cagy goddess hedged their bets by accosting one wealthy human.
  • She nagged at him endlessly until he gave in and built a big boat
  • and loaded it with seed, livestock, fodder and his family.
  • One week after the flood ended he beached his boat
  • got out
  • and offered up burned grain and meat
  • which helped the gods realize their near-success at suicide via starvation.
  • In gratitude they gave him an herb; one bite and he would live forever on earth.
  • But they limited his offspring via pestilence and famine
  • so they would never again fill the earth.

So far so good? An actual mega flood had swallowed up all of Mesopotamia for weeks, to a depth of around ten meters. From a boat, neither horizon showed the smallest hill. It was all water, hence the flood “buried the mountaintops.”

Genesis accommodated the pagan “understanding” to the point that a Flood story had to be included. To show the majesty of God, the goal was to kill all pagans but leave alive Noah and his family. The original flood myth used disease etc. to limit the future ranks of humans, rather than risk another near-suicide by starvation. I AM simply chose to abide pagan apostasy, rather than suffer the deaths of so many Children all at once.

No let us skip to verses 1 to 3. The original Hebrew said, "(1)When god began to create the heavens and the earth (2) there was only a vast featureless body of water, over which the Spirit of God hovered. (3) Then God said let there be light. There was evening and morning, of the first day,
HOWEVER when the Scriptures were transliterated from Hebrew and Latin into German and English, the Spirit (this is my version, but pay close attention)_ led to a variance:
(1) IN THE BEGINNING when God created the heavens and the earth (2)[[ keeping the pagan cosmology ]] there was nothing but vast water with the Spirit of God hovering over it (3) then God said "Let there be light. There was evening and morning of the first day.

Just about the same, yet this time verses 1 and 3 describe God creating time, space, matter, and light all at one go.
You might read into this translation that God was the source of the instigation of the universe.

God, in other words, was the sentient uncaused first cause of the Big Bang.

But wait, there’s more. Day Two raises a forever supply of rain above the firmament. Day Three lifts a flat earth from beneath the vast waters which become seas. Day Four fills the vault of the sky with sun, moon, and stars.
Yet Earth is a globe with a thin crispy crust of continents surrounded by flimsy wisps of salt water (the seas) with the moon a quarter million miles away and earth orbiting the nearest star
Or in other words the notion of the Days of Genesis collides head on with the Creation we inhabit.

Creation surpasses anything we might dream up as bronze age herders of sheep and growers of grain. For about the last 250 years men have studied Creation. Those studies, performed by the best thinkers and conceptualizers, and the best experimenters, have also led us to a God Who was the instigation, the sentient uncaused first cause, of the Universe itself. They obsess over what God wrought, and some of them conclude, in stark wonder, that the universe is the Creation of (a) God. Or in other words, they are not atheists.

Here is the kicker - philosophers “get it” that Creation does not display God per se. "
Therefore if we see no God, there is no God." But where a scientist knows in his bones that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, philosophers aren’t (as a group) that rational. To them absence of evidence “proves” that there is no god. Scientists, on the other hand, are much more cautious around that word proof.

Wait there is more! The material world has no answer to how soul unites with flesh. Yet there is much clear evidence of the soul and body separating in NDEs or Near Death Experiences. Do not rush to the web without realizing that NDES

  • vary according to culture
  • can happen in very rare cases while awake
  • are easy ground for people to grind axes
  • yet are consistent beyond the scope of copy catting.

Yes, Virginia, there is a soul that is separate from our flesh. NDEs can involve the body showing no circulation and no brain waves long enough for the MD to fill out a Certificate of Death, only to see the patient awaken and speak.

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Thanks for the reply, jpm.

About the Sabbath, just now I checked in the internet and found out as followed:

Adventists believe the days of Creation are literal 24-hour days—just as we measure a day today.

and another quote from the same website:

when the Sabbath shows up in Genesis 2:2, it picks up the same order of counting a day. It started in the evening, progressed through the morning, and continued until the next day began at sunset the following evening.

God provided a full 24 hours for His children to spend time with Him and enjoy what He had made for them.

Now it is known that according to Young Earth Creationism (YEC):
the first moment of the first day of creation began in the evening.

This is what is actually bothering me (as I position myself as a YEC). I reach an awkward situation:
“If the first day of creation began in the evening, then when did the first moment of the first day of creation begin from the viewpoint of the other part of the Earth?”

I really hope that there is a YEC/SDA/Literalist member here who can explain it to me.

Thanks for the reply, Christy…

Many Hebrew scholars think the refrain “there was evening and there was morning” is not so much a statement about the progression of time

Assuming that I’m a literalist/YEC because my parents told me so, but now, after reading Genesis 1, I also think that “there was evening and there was morning” is not about the progression of time. To me, those words are meant to be understood as happening simultaneously, experienced by the Earth.

But, if I live in the old days where the knowledge about the earth is flat, of course I can’t reach to that conclusion :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the reply, Bill.

It’s still hard for me to understand. Because if Genesis 1 is talking about a 24-hour day:

The first 24-hour “day” was created on Day 4 with the creation of the sun and moon.

At least to me, it still begs a question:
when did the first moment of the first hour of that first 24-hour “day” begin? In the evening or in the morning?

Rather than getting a headache because I myself can’t answer the question, I prefer to think that Genesis 1 doesn’t talk about a 24-hour day :slight_smile:

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I am sorry that I can’t reply to each of my responder.
Anyway, I want to say thank you to all of my responders.

But it is pretty clear the Hebrew used refers to a normal solar day with all the problems that generates. Second but, the intent of the author is not to present what we would call a scientific fact.

Not to add to your headache, but the concept of “when does a day begin” isn’t specified in Genesis and it has changed over time. The traditional Jewish day begins at sundown based on the “And it was evening, and it was morning; the second day”, but I believe there were some groups of Jews that used sunrise.


Here are some resources that you can access to understand the biblical young earth creationist position :

Creation Ministries International -
Answers in Genesis -
Institute for Creation Research -

Here is a helpful YouTube presentation:

Origins: Cornerstone Television has many half hour videos that are helpful: Origins | CornerStone Television Network

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