Please be aware that I had some free time to really get down and explain why I say days were 24-hours long. I will not always be able to take the time out of my schedule to do this.
In response to No’Vah’s comment: “Could you point out exactly where the Bible says “24″-hour day? In my bible lit class they asserted that the original Hebrew word later translated as ‘day’ in English could mean any specific period of time. Thanks.”
It doesn’t say “24 hours” specifically, but there are plenty of clues to see.
Let’s start by taking a look at Genesis 1:5 – And GOD called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
In my Bible’s Lexical Aids and Hebrew Dictionary, it says “evening” means: ereb, which basically means “dusk, evening, night”. Pretty much just regular ol’ night time. My Bible then goes on to say that “morning” means: boqer, which basically means “dawn, morning, day”. Pretty much just regular ol’ day time.
The first occurance of “Day” is the word that’s constantly in question as to what it really means when it’s defining a length of time. However, the same word also can be used to mean the state of…brightness, I guess. “From sunrise to sunset.” Which is what it means in the first occurance. “And GOD called the light Day.”
My Bible doesn’t give a definition for the second occurance of “Day”, which means that it is the same Hebrew word as the first occurance of the English word “Day”, and it is here that it means “length of time” and not to describe an unspecified source of light. (The Sun as we know it was created on the fourth day.)
According to my Lexical Aids and Hebrew Dictionary, the word used for “Day” can mean “a number of days, some time, a year.” “Today, in the daytime, on the same day, at present, now.” “24-hour period, time in general, a specific point in time, a year.” Seems to have many, many definitions based on context.
So that’s what we have to look at… the context. “Day” is in the sentence “And the evening and morning were the first day.” We could also read it as “And the (dusk, evening, night) and the (dawn, morning, day) were the first (period of time).”
In verse 9, GOD starts to separate the water and make some dry land and plants on the “third period of time”. He creates every plant on the planet during this “third period of time”… and then proceeds to create stars and the planetary bodies “Sun” and “Moon” during the “fourth period of time”. Although Dark and Light existed beforehand, as did the periods of dark and light (evening and morning) before He creates the Sun and Moon.
So okay… each period of time has two parts to it, and only two parts. A part of Darkness, and a part of Light, which were dubbed “Night” and “Day” by GOD. So… Let’s say the period of time was longer than 24 hours. Let’s say… 1,000 years! That would mean there’d be a period of Darkess that lasts for 500 years. Let’s say the period of time was a million years! 500,000 years of Darkness followed by 500,000 years of Light.
I brought up the Creation of Plants because, well, I don’t think plants could survive without light for 500 or 500,000 years. The same “evening and morning were the first day” is used for the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh days. My point being that the same phrase is used several times in the same context. It’ll mean the same thing every time. People have said that GOD could have simply kept them alive for that long. But… why? What would be the point? If He could do that, then He could surely just create everything quickly and without the need to take a gazillion years to make everything.
There would be no use in saying GOD took a million years to create Darkness and Light, a couple hundred to create Earth, and then only 24 hours to create plants and everything else from that point on. It’s just silly and confusing. I’m thinking it would surely be easier (if GOD is even restricted by such things as difficulties) to create Earth in 24 hours than it would be to create the plants and, later, the animals in the same amount of time.
Many of us believe that the days are 24 hours because that’s what it’s always been as long as humans can remember. Why would it need to change? Why did it STOP changing if it even did change at one time? Super insanely long days one moment, and regular ol’ 24 hour days the next? Naaaaah. I don’t subscribe to that. Just doesn’t really make sense.
I suppose you can believe that if you want, but…