Young Earth creationists go after the word 'yom' (again)

So, one of my favourite FB humour pages (which is very fundamentalist) posted this:

What do you think?

This one never gets old.

  1. Exceptions to the rule: Hosea 6:1-2; Zechariah 14:7. IIRC there are other examples as well.
  2. The way that “yom” is combined with a number (yom ehad, or “day one” — no definite article) in Genesis 1 is unique to Genesis 1. Elsewhere it’s always hayyom harison or hayyom hasseni — with the definite article.
  3. The context (large, grand scale events) of Genesis 1 is completely different from the context elsewhere (day to day dealings of human beings). See this excellent takedown by @Socratic.Fanatic back at the start of September.
  4. There are some very good reasons to believe that this “rule” is a YEC fabrication. It is only ever cited by YECs, and even then only ever in the context of trying to attack the day-age, gap or framework interpretations of Genesis 1. It first appeared in YEC literature in the 1970s and was unheard-of before then.
  5. Outside of YEC circles, no Hebrew scholar acknowledges its validity.

See: also this paper by Rodney Whitefield.


This is kind of like asserting that “bowl” combined with a number, or “bowl” combined with “pour” always refers to ordinary bowls, and then using that supposed rule to declare based on Revelation 16 that God’s wrath must be a liquid.


I think it would be important to add that, within the framework view of Genesis (a la John Walton), it is perfectly logical for the days to be “literal” days (as opposed to undefined periods of time). The seven (literal) days of the week are used as a vehicle/framework to convey God’s creative activity. So even if that rule would hold water for the word yom, it would not deliver as far as YECs would like it to.


It’s probably the worst piece of faux intellectualism coming out of the YEC camp:

2Peter 3:8
". . . be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

And even in the Old Testament:

Psa 90:1-4 [King James]
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction [non-existence]; and sayest, Return [to non-existence], ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."

2 Other Versions - -

The New International Version provides some additional comprehension:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night” [a few hours].

The New English Translation:
"… you have been our protector through all generations! Even before the mountains came into existence, or you brought the world into being, you were the eternal God. You make mankind return to the dust, and say, “Return, O people!” [to dust]. Yes, in your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday that quickly passes, or like one of the divisions of the nighttime". [< that seem to take forever?] < Maybe the use of “the night watch” is a particularly clever piece of word play.

“You bring their lives to an end and they “fall asleep.” In the morning they are like the grass that sprouts up…”


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@archicastor1 Perhaps not as academic or insightful as your other responses, but I would add that some DAY my wife and I would like to remodel our house with hardwood floors, adding a 3rd bedroom with attached bathroom, AND expanding an existing bathroom. Given the context nobody would believe that we intend to accomplish all of that within a literal 24-hour framework even though the vast majority of the time I use ‘day’ I am in fact referring to a 24-hour period in which I’d like to get some work done, maybe drive over to the folks, stop by at Bed Bath and Beyond…who knows? We may not have the time… (@BradKramer can we get an achievement for working decade old movie references into a post?)


Well, that is actually a very good response.

I tend to understand the Genesis 1 narrative as, in fact, referencing literal days. Indeed, the six days and seventh day of rest appears to be the inspiration for the Sabbath system, where people work for six days and then rest one the seventh. It is also in fact combined with the phrase “and then there was evening, and then there was morning”. Significantly, Exodus 20:11 writes “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” I seem to think that this is a simple reference to an ordinary week.

The entirety of the primeval history of Genesis is an allegory, an archetype of some sort, to begin with. There are numerous indicators within the text that show the primeval history is allegorical, and, in fact, the author of Genesis 1-11 was utilizing and transforming precedent near eastern stories (flood, list of generations before and after the flood, confusion of the languages, etc) and so this is yet another sign that, since the author was entirely transforming these texts in their meaning, Genesis rather represents an archetype of God, humanity and sin rather than any actual rendering.

Actually, it kind of does. But I’m glad you’re still up for responding. :+1:

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I don’t really think it does. YECs like using their already debunked arguments over and over again. Luckily, this YT playlist always comes in handy to obliterate their arguments:

Mar 10:3-6:
“And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.”

Creation of ?

Creation of Marriage…

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Can we really consider the Sixth Day as the Beginning of Creation? Or is it at the Ending of Creation?

Gen 1:1 < At the Beginning of Creation !

First Day: Where is Male & Female?
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light . . . And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Second Day: Where is Male & Female?
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Third Day: Where is Male & Female?
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Fourth Day: Where is Male & Female?
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Fifth Day: At Last, Male & Female? - But no Marriage?
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. Unchecked And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Sixth Day: Male & Female - - How is it that YEC’s think the last day of Creation was "In the Beginning of Creation?"
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This seems like the End of Creation … not the Beginning of Creation …

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Interesting point, Marshall!!

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