Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Yom Bomb

I have been reading the case for a young earth at Answers in Genesis1 and have a few things I would like to say.

Firstly the context of the word day. It's amazing how people will assert that the word day does not have to mean a literal 24 hour period2, yet not willing to accept the fact that it can mean a literal 24 hour period. With this, I would like to see one instance of YOM used in the OT where it does not mean a literal day, when it is accompanied by a number and the words 'morning', 'evening' or 'morning' and 'evening'. Some people say yom should be translated as time3 (i.e. this was the second time God did creative work). What about when it is accompanied by the words Morning and / or Evening? God was being explicit.

Another point I would like to make, is people tend to use the 'stupid man' argument. "How was Moses supposed to understand billions of years?" some will ask. The argument is that men back then would not be able to grasp really large numbers and so God spoke allegorically. Firstly, there are better Hebrew words for long periods of time4. God did not have to give the exact age of the earth, but the question remains as to why did He use the word 'yom' in the context of numbers and morning / evening.

On a second note, is God is incapable of explaining large numbers to people? How small is God? Liberals try to use this verse to prove 'stupid man:'

"I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,"
-Genesis 22:17 [Emphasis Added]

Now consider what God is telling Abram here. He is saying there is no point in trying to count the amount of offspring he will receive. If God had meant many years (in Genesis) he could simply have said "as many days as in a pinch of sand" or something like that.

A 'stupid man' argument would follow the lines of "God did not say billions or zillions because Abram could not understand those terms." If this were the case, consider if I said to you, "I will bless you in the hundreds". This limits my blessing to you to a maximum of 999, any further blessing is not part of the deal. Now consider the amount of people in the world today, over 8 billion. The amount of people to have existed in the last 4000 years (we all agree the earth is at least 4000 years old) must be far over billions and even zillions. God not only said what he said beautifully, he said exactly what he meant to say: "Do not bother trying to count." God was showing that when it comes to blessing, there is none like Him.

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1Terry Mortenson, Answers in Genesis, Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years?, Accessed 29 August 2007

2 Accuracy in Genesis, The Days of Genesis, Accessed 29 August 2007

3 [DIRECT PDF LINK] Rodney Whitefield, Ph.D., The Hebrew Word “Yom” Used with a Number in Genesis 1: What does “yom” mean in Genesis 1?, Accessed 29 August 2007

4 Russell Grigg, Answers in Genesis, How long were the days of Genesis 1?, Accessed 29 August 2007

3 comments:

Tyler said...

I think it's Ken Ham who makes the comment "When have you ever been at a Bible study where people were arguing over whether Jonah was in the whale's belly for three days or for three thousand years?"

Qjay said...

Yes it is him. He is so excellent when it comes to this.

The whole thing makes me wonder, if the bible can say that the earth is millions of years old, how do we really know what a day is. My question to old earth-creationists is: How do we know from a text when a day means a day and when it doesn't?

I think Ken Ham probably either asked this question himself or I have finally watched all his DVDs...

gymbrall said...

Great post. I think it's kind of humorous, because they way these old-earth creationists talk, they make it sounds as if it is impossible to be specific when using the Hebrew language. This always leaves me with the image in my mind of a young Hebrew boy reading a letter from his father telling him that his father will be home in three days. But the boy has no idea it's going to be three days, he's thinking, "Dad may be home in three weeks or three months, or three million years... I wish there was some way to know for sure... I wish we spoke English" Also, it's clear that something like FedEx could not have existed in ancient Israel "When it absolutely positively has to be delivered in an uncertain amount of time... Israel Express"

Anyway, sorry for the ramble... again great post!

Charles