How Long is a Day in Genesis 1?

How long is a “day” in Genesis 1? Is it a real period of time? Is it a measurable amount of time or, rather, is it an indeterminate period of time?

Notice that in the text, the “day” is defined as a repeating period of one turn between dark and light. The text calls these periods “evening” and “morning.” This was, in the case of days 1, 2 and 3, done without any celestial bodies. Rather God sets up dark and light to happen in each period. And then the sun, moon, and stars were made on day 4, according to the text.

I believe that all of this, up to this point, if we are pointing out what the text says and not to interpretation, is indisputable. In the text, day 1 is an evening and morning pattern. So is day 2, and day 3. These three days are, in the text, a pattern of evening and morning. And in the text, day 4 sees the creation of day and night-time rulers. The sun is set in the sky for the period of the already-established day.

James B. Jordan points this information out in his book, “Creation in Six Days.” He explains that the period of time in which the sun would operate was set up and already operating for three days before the sun was made. So we should note that the sun’s appearance each day was designed to fit the length of time already created, and already in place.

From day 4 onward, a day is defined as a period of evening, and a period of morning, whose dark and light are now caused by an intentional clock and calendar set up – the sun and moon are for days, and special seasons, and signs.

It should become apparent to us:

  • that these timekeeping terms are used: day, night, evening, morning, days, seasons.
  • that the time schedule of day and night was set before the sun was placed to mark out that time period.
  • that, if nothing else, in the text these are six working days and a sabbath. Normally, that means a week of seven days.
  • that without being told otherwise, nothing in the text would lead you to believe that day meant a period which was not actually a sun-governed, night and day schedule.

Photo at top:
Czech-2013-Prague-Astronomical clock face” by Godot13Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Does the Bible Comment on the Historicity of Adam?

Areopagus

We should be interested in the way scripture views itself from one passage looking at another. For example, Peter says that Paul wrote scripture. And Paul quotes from Luke and calls it scripture. That’s cool. But what about Adam, was he historical as an individual, actual man? Does anyone in the Bible tell us that Adam was historic? Yes, in fact; Paul does in Acts.

Consider Paul at Mars Hill in Acts 17 (The location seen above). He preaches his famous sermon to the Gentiles. He leaves out almost all detail of name, date, or history from the Old Testament, because he is preaching to those who may have no prior knowledge from the Hebrew scriptures. So we don’t hear about Abraham or even David, though elsewhere Paul puts the davidic sonship of Jesus as a crucial part of his gospel. So this is very minimal. But for some reason Paul feels, in the midst of his most minimalistic of sermons, that it is necessary to point out the historicity of Adam (in verse 26):

Acts 17.24-27

“24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…”

The whole goal of Paul’s homily is to say all humanity has God as its source of life, and that all humanity is responsible to God. There is one God for judgment and salvation, and all humanity is before him. Paul’s proof of the unity of humanity is in v.26: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…”

All humans came from a single father. Not from a race of hominids formerly having no theistic relationship. That is, if you believe scripture, and the apostles.

If you’re enjoying this blog, consider commenting here, or sharing a post on facebook, or twitter. Find the SUBTEXT page on facebook, and like it to keep up with new posts. Follow me on Twitter: @lukeawelch

Luke Welch has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He also blogs about culture, theology, and politics over at  Kuyperian Commentary

Are the Old Ages in Genesis Supposed to be Read as Real?

 

Are the Old Ages in Genesis Supposed to be Real?

 

One of the helpful notes within the text comes from mouth of Jacob: 

Genesis 47.7-9

7 Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and stood him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.”

Jacob was a mere 130 years old, not like the long lives of his ancestors. He is aware of the old ages of his forbears, and he tells us that 130 years is a number “few and evil.”

Lest we think that Jacob is only referring to his grandfather Abraham, we should see the textual connection between Adam who gave birth to Seth at 130 years old (Gen 5.3), and Jacob who is 130 years old (Gen 47.9). Jacob is a bookend, connected with reference to Adam, speaking about the shortness of 130 years.

I believe the text indicates that we should read the ages in Genesis 5 as straightforward.

–About the image above, from Wikimedia Commons:

  • English: Illustration by Owen Jones from “The History of Joseph and His Brethren” (Day & Son, 1869). Scanned and archived at http://www.OldBookArt.com where it was marked as Public Domain. Text from Book: And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Genesis, C. XLVII. V. 7.”

 

If you’re enjoying this blog, consider commenting here, or sharing a post on facebook, or twitter. Find the SUBTEXT page on facebook, and like it to keep up with new posts. Follow me on Twitter: @lukeawelch

Luke Welch has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He also blogs about culture, theology, and politics over at  Kuyperian Commentary

Passover, Part 1 – This Time the Children

Sanai, thanks to Wikimedia CommonsJoseph is freely allowed by his Pharaoh to leave Egypt for Canaan. He goes back to the cave at Machpelah to bury Jacob with his brothers. Not only does Joseph’s freedom to leave stand in contrast to Israel’s bondage later, but so does a statement in the narrative also stand in direct contrast to the text of Exodus 10.

Gen 50.7-8
“So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen.”

Compare this to:

Exodus 10.8-9
“8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God. But which ones are to go?” 9 Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old. We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”

So the second passage should be memorable because it is in contrast to the first. God wanted all the people to be present for that first Passover, including the children. This is to be seen as a significant detail. Not only has the detail changed between passages, but it also answers the key question in the text: “But which ones are to go?”

This is a little beginning of demonstrating that Passover was indeed for the children of the covenant, and not just for grown ups. I first read the fact of Exodus 10 outlining the party invitations for the Passover a number of years ago from Tim Gallant in “Feed My Lambs.” He makes the point that Passover was held in Egypt because Pharaoh wouldn’t let them worship at Sinai; therefore, Ex 10.9 outlines who was intended at the Passover meal, including children. More later.

If you’re enjoying this blog, consider commenting here, or sharing a post on facebook, or twitter. Find the SUBTEXT page on facebook, and like it to keep up with new posts. Follow me on Twitter: @lukeawelch

Luke Welch has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He also blogs about culture, theology, and politics over at  Kuyperian Commentary

The Last Chiasm of the Whole Bible

The last words of the book of Revelation are a chiasm, and grace is at the center.

“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

(Rev 22.20-21)

See?

A  “Amen.
B  Come, Lord Jesus!
C  The grace of
B’  the Lord Jesus be with all.
A’  Amen.”

It is even better than just that. “Come…” implies the later “be with all.” John is praying for the final fulfillment of the “Immanuel” promise. The Parousia of the final state is his “with-us-ness” and to get things to be that way requires that he “come.” So the chiasm can be written this way:

A  “Amen.
B  Come,
C  Lord Jesus!
D  The grace of
C’  the Lord Jesus
B’  be with all.
A’  Amen.”

Chiasm in Galatians 5

Galatians 5.13-6.1

Chiasm in Galatians 5

A – KEEP WATCH OUT FOR YOUR OWN SIN

5.13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,

6.1 Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

B – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

5.13-14 but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

6.1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Continue reading ‘Chiasm in Galatians 5′

That Glutton Jesus

John the Baptist Preaching, Brueghel the Elder

John the Baptist Preaching, Brueghel the Elder

Did you know that Jesus could be mistaken for a drunk? And his cousin John never touched a drop for the same reason. They were both heralding aspects of a big, coming change. See Matthew 11:

Continue reading ‘That Glutton Jesus’



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