The Numerology of Genesis 1


(system) #1

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/the-numerology-of-genesis-1

(Christy Hemphill) #2

This is a very nice article that is sure to be of interest to all the readers who regularly ask “why a creation week if the world wasn’t actually created in a week?” And even people very familiar with the Genesis discussion will probably learn something new.


How long are the days of Genesis 1? (Official thread for January theme)
#3

Somehow I find the discussion falling short of fully explaining away the perfectly clear statement that the heavens and the earth and everything in it was created in six perfectly normal, human understandable days.

The most glaring omission by the author was in not dealing with the obvious objections that the text itself raises against his argument. The text clearly states “it was evening and it was morning, the xxxth day”.
This is unmistakably aimed directly at how human beings understand what it means by a day or day and night.

So all his rather contrived effort to rid genesis 1 of its plain numerical order and clear statement of 6 days falls very flat on it’s face.

Besides which, Exodus 20:8-11 confirms that indeed the very same days in which mankind has to work are exactly the same as those in which God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it.

The only reason one would spend so much effort trying to subdue the clear voice of Genesis 1 has to do with the steadfast belief that the atheistic religious dogma of “billions of years,abiogenesis and darwinian evolution” is the sole authority on origins - and that everything else should bow to that authority, including the clear text of God’s Holy Word.


(Jay Johnson) #4

As Meredith Kline said more than 50 years ago:

Of greater significance for the life of man than these merely literary devices is the Sabbathic pattern of the over-all structure of Gen. 1:1-2:3. For the Creator’s way in the day that he made the earth and the heavens must be the way of his image-bearer also. The precise ratio of man’s work to his rest is a matter of following the chronological structure of the revelation in which God was pleased to record his creation triumph. The aeons of creation history could have been divided into other than six periods. For temporally the “days” are not of equal length (cf., e.g., the seventh “day” which is everlasting), and logically the infinitely diversified creative works were susceptible of analysis into other than six divisions. But the Creator in his wisdom, adapting the proportions of the ordinance, it would seem, to the constitutional needs of man, chose to reveal his creative acts in terms of six “days” of work followed by a seventh “day” of rest.

You should not ignore the fact that Exod. 20:8-11 is part of the Ten Commandments, and that it serves as the “pivot” between the first three commands, which regulate the relationship to God, and the final six commands, which regulate ethical treatment of others. The 4th commandment requires Israel to order its daily work in imitation of God’s creative work, and thus establishes the primary ethical principle of both Judaism and Christianity – Imitation of God/Christ.


(George Brooks) #5

@Prode

I think Genesis itself comes short of a full explanation. How can we rely on six perfectly normal, humanly understandable days, when half of those days are not measured by anything understandable to humans?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #6

Are you aware that the Big Bang was first formulated by a Catholic Priest, and that one of the reasons why it took so long to be accepted was because it was seen as theistic in nature, by asserting the universe had a beginning?


(RiderOnTheClouds) #7

An ancient Semite would have perfectly understood the rationale of the Earth being made in seven days, in light of the seven wandering stars in the sky. Why do you think the Menorah has seven lamps?


#8

Yes, I’m fully aware that Lemaitre surmised that it all started off with a big bang.

That doesn’t change the way Genesis 1 reads clearly in sequence of “it was evening, it was morning, the n-th day”.


#9

Now just would that be, Mr Brooks?
As far as I can see in the text it is quite clear that it was night followed by day and there’s a numerical sequence given for each consequent period. What would be the difference between a light shining and the sun shining and the author clearly showing that the two periods are measured by the same measure of a day?


#10

It really doesn’t matter that one can interpret the ten commandments as having a “pivot” or not. Fact remains that precisely the same days during which mankind has to work are exactly the same as the period in which God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. There is just no getting away from that.

One only wants to change the meaning of “DAYS” when one is influenced by something outside of the bible. The bible does not contradict itself in any way on this issue of days being normal, human understandable days. The only “contradiction” comes from people desperately trying to impose the atheistic religious authority of billions of years, abiogenesis and darwinian evolution on the text.


#11

Small correction, the earth was not made in seven days. All of the heavens and earth and everything in them was created in SIX normal, human understandable days. Not seven.


#12

This kind of interpretation of the text leaves a lot to be desired. Where is this infinite day of rest? Why are we working hard to earn our living every day at work? Why is it that Jesus said His Father is at work on the Sabbath and so should he also be?

This interpretation makes absolutely no sense in the context of daily living or in the context of God still working either. It doesn’t even make sense in the context of the rest of Genesis either. So it would be best to drop this nonsensical human traditional way of looking at the text.

It is also rather ironic that the quote includes the use of the word DAY which has a clear and unmistakable meaning in the text and then tries to redefine the meaning thereof.


(George Brooks) #14

@Prode

So, are you saying that Yahweh used something akin to “emergency lighting” for 3 days … until he could get that Sun revved up?

The “light shining” to which you refer is an ancient notion of how the sky worked … that God coordinated daylight in sync with the rising and setting of the sun - - and not that the Sun was causing the daylight.

In fact, the only thing God had to do was create the sun - - and both problems would be solved.


(George Brooks) #15

@Prode ( @Jay313 )

We’ve had a Creationist here on these boards, who insisted during his whole time here, that God’s work as creator ceased after 6 days.

So what work does Jesus mean? Clearly Jesus intends to nullify the “antique” idea of the 6 days… which is not qualitatively different from nullifying other obsolete notions of Genesis 1.


(Jay Johnson) #16

Yes, and he was as immune to “human reasoning” as Prode. Sorry to do this to you, George, but I’m going to have to leave him in your capable hands.


(George Brooks) #17

@Jay313

Jayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy… if not for the Father, your exit would make me feel completely alone… ;-D


(RiderOnTheClouds) #18

When the sabbath day is included it perfectly fits the context of the creation of a temple, something to think about.


(RiderOnTheClouds) #19

Actually there is a clear reference to the seventh day in Genesis 2:2. So no, there ARE seven days in the narrative, actually.


(David W) #21

I have heard this somewhere before. I think my Great Grandfather told me when I was a child. I am 50 now.

" In the beginning God created heaven and Earth.
On the 1st Day , God created COLOR ! "

He pulled out a sheet of white paper ( at 5 yrs old I understood color) see this white paper. This is God’s World. This where he lives. Of course I said "where is his family and house? " He laughed, God’s House is where He Lives and if you invite God into our house he can live here too. God’s Family ,we will say for now ,he hasn’t made a Family yet. Your jumping ahead of the Story of creation. On the sheet of paper what do you see ? Nothing… I said…but I just said it was God’s House. Yes I said. But I don’t see anything. No bed, no kitchen or any toys .? He told me God has everything he could want. But we are still learning what heaven is. And understand His plan for us as children of God. So what we think needs to be in a our Home is not exactly what God wants in his house. And if he did want a toy or a bed ,we might not know what it looks like . It took thousands of years of Prophets, teachers and humankind to give a highlights of what’s to come and prepare for the everlasting rest after our work on earth is done .We were Promised Rest ,for doing God’s Work not man’s work.
Ok back to the paper what you see? God’s House. Right! But we can’t see his plan ,to help us Know God’s Plan GOD IN GENIUS 1:1 had to create pigment or Color. For us his Children to understand. That is why God Created Black. Some teachers say Black could be Carbon based substance that most, if not all , living things Have. Which if you think Carbon has to be in everything since it was 1st made and all others that came after must have the same Designer maybe call GOD THE MASTER DESIGNER.
THEN…MY GRANDFATHER… would draw out what God’s World would be. Step by step drawing out God’s Gift to Us his children. For being apart of his family!