Scriptural evidence for long days

 
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,


2 Tim 3:17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
 
 
 
 
 

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together , and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7

We must consider all related passages when studying Scripture. This passage in Job presents a contradiction to the traditional understanding of Genesis 1, which states the stars were made on day 4. They exist here before the creation of the earth. You cannot throw this passage out because you don't like it neither can you dismiss it as poetry. It is the LORD speaking. Day 4 should be understood as the cleansing of the atmosphere of volcanic ash, steam, and carbon dioxide. This interpretation does not prove long days but it does line up with the facts of nature. We should therefore search Scripture for more information.

A prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn men back to dust, saying, "Return to dust, O sons of men." For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psa 90:1-4

Here we are instructed that as God's ways are not our ways so God's time is not our time. Time and space actually began with the big bang. God is not confined to our universe. He is not limited. He is eternal. He is omnipresent. He is omniscient. He knows the future as well as the past.

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount. Heb 8:5

The things of worship that God commands are shadows of heavenly things, They are copies to enhance our understanding of God.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exo 20:8-11

We are still in the seventh day. God has not created since Adam and Eve. This passage must be understood as a "shadow of heavenly things".


Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. Lev 25:2-4

This is another example that is to be understood as a "shadow of heavenly things".


One of the main arguments against long days is that the days of Genesis 1 are numbered. It is stated that this must mean literal 24 hour days. Does It?

After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Hosea 6:2

Here Hosea is prophesying concerning Israel's spiritual awakening and subsequent return to the LORD. It should also be clear that the days are not literal 24 hour days but periods of time.


Another argument made for 24 hour days is that the Hebrew word for day yowm means day, and if God had meant long periods of time he would have used another word. In response, this is not true. There are many places in the Old Testament where yowm is translated as something other than a 24 hour day. For the purpose of this study we will look only at a few examples used in the book of Genesis.

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. Gen 2:4-6

This is an example where day is used, but it refers to a longer period of time. In this case whether day means 6 days or 15 billion years makes no difference it does not mean a 24 hour period.

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17

Here day seems to indicate when a judgment was made concerning Adam's future (and ours). I say this because Adam apparently lived a long time after this. Upon banning them from the garden, God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins to insure their survival. God seems to have wanted them to live and procreate. Most people believe Adam died spiritually that day. Certainly his innocence died. But Adam continued to talk with God after this event and Cain was concerned that he would no longer be in God's presence after being forced to leave his land because he killed Abel. Genesis 2:17 is confusing enough that we cannot be certain of the meaning of day in this passage.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. Gen 4:3

This passage translates yowm as the passing of time. This occurs many times in the Old Testament.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Gen 8:22

The lifetime of the earth is indicated by this use of yowm.

And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. Gen 26:8

Time does not relate directly to 24 hours but it is yowm that is used here.

And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. Gen 29:14

Once again the word yowm is speaking to us are we listening?

And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward. Gen 40:4

Scripture tells us Joseph was in prison a lot longer than a day. Yowm is translated season in this passage.

I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: Gen 43:9

How long is for ever ?Longer than 24 hours and yet ever is yowm in Hebrew.

And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. Gen 47:28

The age of Jacob, or the day of Jacob was 147 years.


As has been shown days can and often are understood in Scripture to mean a period of time greater than 24 hours and numbering the days does not force a fixed time limit upon the passage. One argument remains to be addressed:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Gen 1:5

Young earth creationists insist that the mention of evening and morning in combination with day forces day to be a 24 hour day.

Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. Gen 49:27

The Hebrew word for evening is 'ereb, it is translated night in this passage. The Hebrew word for morning is boqer and it means sunrise or the coming of light. In each of the creation days we see darkness followed by the coming of light. We see God's hand at work in his creation day as something that did not exist before or was invisible to us has been brought out into the light to declare His glory. We see what was formless and void receive limits, shape, fulfillment. This does not limit the day in any way to 24 hours. One thing that has always amused me about the traditional literal reading is that and the evening and the morning were not the first day but rather the first night. Of course understanding that the Hebrew day starts at dusk helps but then we are still faced with only half a day. It seems to flow more naturally to understand this verse as... and the darkness and the coming of light of the first creation age, or... and the void and the filling of the first creation age.


In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Titus 1:2

God's word is true because God is truth. He has revealed Himself in His word the Bible, and He has clearly revealed Himself in the created universe.

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret , in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Isa 45:18-19

The heavens declare the glory of God ; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psa 19:1-3

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, Rom 1:18-22

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