Exact and Inexact Numbers
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
One of the most important reasons given by biblical creationists, such as myself, as to why we accept the creation week as six literal days of creation, is that the word yom – Hebrew for day – always means a regular 24-hour day when accompanied by a number. But there are some who raise an objection to this, stating that the word day is accompanied by a number in Hosea 6, but refers to an inexact period of time.
The verse in question is Hosea 6:2. “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.” The argument is put that this phrase is not exact because we do not know whether it refers to two days or three.
This is an unusual construction in Hebrew, but it occurs elsewhere. For example, in Proverbs 6:16-17, we are told: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him.”
In English, we similarly use exact numbers to mean something inexact. We might have referred to two or three days, six or seven things, and so on. Clearly, “six or seven” means more than “two or three”. Although these phrases are inexact in total, they only make sense because the portion referring to the day or the object must be exact. Two days is exact, three days is exact, two or three days inexact. So the rule that a day is always a 24-hour day when accompanied by a number still holds, and the creation week must be six literal days.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that Your word is true and that there are no contradictions throughout it. Amen.
Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2015), 24 Hour Days: The Gospel Truth, < http://creationtoday.org/24-hour-days-the-gospel-truth/ >, accessed 2/24/2018. Image: Sunrise over Mojave Desert, Jessie Eastland, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.
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