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Length of Creation Days
Some folks think that each day of the Creation process was one thousand years long and I did as well because I just accepted the traditional belief but then I read Dr. Bullinger’s work on it and I now have a different take on it.
Here is what Dr. Bullinger has to say:
"The word “day”, when used without any limiting words, may refer to a long or prolonged period: as, the “day of grace”, the “day of visitation”, the “day of salvation”, the “day of judgment”, the “day of the Lord”, “man’s day” and so on.
But when used with a numerical (cardinal or ordinal), as one, two, three, etc. or first, second, third, etc., evening and morning (as in Genesis 1), or the “seventh day” (as in Exodus 20:9; 11, etc.), it is defined, limited, and restricted to an ordinary day of twenty-four hours.
The word day is never used for a year. Sometimes a corresponding number of days is used for a corresponding number of years, but in that case it is always expressly stated to be so used; as in Numbers 14:33-34:
Numbers 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. KJV
But, even in these cases, the word day means a day, and the word year means a year. It is not said that a day means a year; but the number of the forty years is said to be after the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days.
It is the same in Ezekiel 4:5,
Ezekiel 4:5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. KJV.
...where the years of Israel’s iniquity were laid on Ezekiel “according to the number of the days”. In this case also, the word days means days, and the word years means years.
There is no Scriptural warrant for arbitrarily assuming this to be a general principle in the absence of any statement to that effect."
So, with all that being said, it can be simplified as such: when the days of Creation are written of in Genesis, at the end of each day it says:
And the evening and the morning were the ….
Based on Dr. Bullinger’s principle this means that each day is a 24 hour day. The 7 days of Creation would be a full week of days, as we know them to be, so what gives people the idea that each day was 1000 years?
We find that out in 2nd Peter:
2nd Peter 3:8 But, beloved, 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. KJV
There are only a few places in Scripture where this phrase, thousand years, is used. There are six instances in Revelation and that refers to the 1000 years that Satan will be chained in the pit, the period known as the Millennium.
It’s also used once in Ecclesiastes 6:6 in reference to a man, a theoretical man, used as an example by King Solomon for living a fruitless life.
Ecclesiastes 6:6 Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place? KJV
The last place that we find it is in Psalms 90:4;
Psalms 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. KJV.
We, as humans, view time as something critical and vital to us and if a man were to live 120 years we would really be impressed by that but our Father doesn’t see it that way. To Him, 120 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Neither is 1000 years by this same standard. His standard.
So, we are left with only two choices concerning the length of a Creation day: a 24-hour period or a 1000 year period. What if both are correct? What if the actual day of Creation was 24 hours and the time between these 24-hour days were 1000 years? What would we have then?
Would this simply be reconciling the erroneous assumptions of the masses with the facts presented to us by a biblical scholar? Maybe. Maybe not. The word week is never associated, in Scripture, with Creation; there was never a reference to a Creation Week.
We associate the word week with a seven day period due to the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The Julian calendar was first established in 325 AD. Then, because this calendar was based on the cycles of the moon, Easter began to fall on some very odd days and that upset the Catholic Church. The observance of Easter was tied to the spring equinox which made the holiday vary somewhat.
They fooled around with the cycles of the moon and inserted leap years to compensate for the difference and came up with the Gregorian calendar. Had they simply based a calendar on solar calculations there would not have been a problem at all. That’s the “calendar” that our Father used. The Hebrew nation used a calendar that incorporated both the lunar and solar time scheme.
Anywhere you look in Scripture, all of the holidays and feast days that our Father told the Hebrew children to observe, were given on a day of the month, not a day of the week.
So, if we incorporate the information in verse 8 of chapter 3 from 2nd Peter, with the scholarly statements of Dr. Bullinger, we would have something that might look like this:
24 Hr 24 Hr 24 Hr 24 Hr 24 Hr 24 Hr 24 Hr
| | | | | | |
O<----1000 yrs----->O<-----1000 yrs----->O<-----1000 yrs----->O<-----1000 yrs----->O<-----1000 yrs----->O<-----1000 yrs----->O
| | | | | | |
1st Day 2nd Day 3rd Day 4th Day 5th Day 6th Day 7th Day
I know, pretty impressive, isn’t it? (Not how smart I am but that I was able to create a good-looking sketch like this with a word processor!)
And the old, worn out statement by the majority of Christians…..the Bible says that this here earth is only 6000 years old….still works for them! How good can this get?
There is nothing in the Scriptures that says, definitively, that the days of Creation were 24-hour days or 1000-year days. Dr. Bullinger points out that days is never representative of years, so with that understanding, we should not recklessly infer that each day was equal to 1000 years.
The verse in 2nd Peter was put there for a purpose, Peter deliberately wrote be not ignorant of this one thing, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, and for what purpose were we supposed to pay attention to those words? That time is irrelevant to our Father?
Perhaps we’re missing the point entirely, perhaps we’re trying to apply this idiom to something that we ought not. The subject of 2nd Peter, chapter 3, is the end of days, the end of this current dispensation, the end of life in these flesh and blood bodies and the coming of our Lord.
With this in mind, the word day would be the Lord’s Day, that day at the end of this current time period, when He will actually return to this earth and to Jerusalem. It would make total sense, then, that the reference to the 1000-years would be the Millennium which Is the Lord’s Day.
My conclusion is this: the phrase a thousand years is as a day with the Lord does not have any qualifiers with the word day and it would literally mean that a day is equal to a thousand years. When we look at the Creation Days, there ARE qualifiers with the word day and could mean a 24-hour day, according to Dr. Bullinger.
Time means nothing to our Father and He well understands how impatient human beings can be and Peter cautions us to be patient, not like those that have no understanding of any of our Father’s Word. Perhaps the point that Peter wanted us to get out of this is to just sit tight, continue to believe that our Father is in control, and wait for His promises to be fulfilled. In His own time.
Personally, I really hope that I’m around when the Lord’s Day occurs but at my age it’s more likely that I won’t. Oh well. The end result will be the same regardless.
I had fun with this…..I hope you did as well.
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__24 September 2014__