Kurieuo wrote:Gen 2:4 introduces a new creation episode. The traditional view takes “in that day” to mean “at the same time,” so that Gen 2:5-9 is a new way of describing the same events of Gen 1. However, “in that day” could very easily be construed in the sense of “right on the heels of” Gen 2:1-3. That is, right after God was done resting He got busy again- this time creating a special human (male) for a special place (presumably for a special purpose -perhaps to elect them as His own children amid the rest of humanity [created in Genesis 1], thereby providing a point of analogy with his later election of Israel). Later in Genesis 2:21-23 God creates a second special human, the female counterpart to the earlier created male human.[/list]
What I'm getting at here, is unless one believes and argues that Genesis 2:4 is the concluding verse all prior rather than the introductory verse to what comes after, then Gen 2:4 doesn't really hold much weight in way of an argument for understanding the days in Genesis 1 as representing long periods of time.
Where we agree... you are correct I do see Genesis 2:4 as the beginning of the section of the narrative that runs from Genesis 2:4 through the end of Genesis 4.
I also see the use of YHWH in this section of Genesis as an indicator that God is interacting with his covenant people beginning with Genesis 2:4 as opposed to generic humanity in Genesis 1:26-28 where Genesis uses the more generic Elohim (I was actually discussing this with my dad yesterday).
Here's where I disagree with your position. Genesis 2:4 is one of the 'toledot' transition verses which as you point out marks the beginning of a new narrative. And the toledot is used to indicate a relationship between the narrative beginning with the toledot and the narrative prior to the toledot. According to John Walton (The Lost World of Adam and Eve - Proposition 7). The toledot is used to indicate that the narrative beginning with Genesis 2:4 is sequential to what happened in Gen 1:1-2:3... not a recapitulation of the events that took place during 'day 6' of Genesis 1.
OK... so what does that have to do with the use of 'day' in Genesis 2:4?
My understanding of the function of the Genesis 2:4 toledot is to basically say... this is what happened when/after God created the heavens and the earth in the previous section.
So even though 'yom' in Gen 2:4 is is part of the beginning of a new narrative, it is still used to look back to the creation of the heavens and the earth which is described in the previous narrative. So It is legitimate to say that the Genesis 2:4 'yom' is used within the context of the creation of the heavens and earth which is described in detail in the previous section (Genesis 1:1-2:3)
The thing is when we see the towlĕdah
phrase used (i.e., "these are the generations of...
"), such points not to anything prior, but what is about to come after. This is the way it is always used in Scripture. Therefore, its use in Genesis 2:4 isn't saying this is what happened after God created the heavens and the earth (which would be to point backward), rather it is like the start of a new chapter.
Now, in response to what you say of John Walton, I don't disagree. If you pick up a book, you might skip chapter 1 and start at chapter 2. You should be able to have a general idea of what is being discussed, even if there are some gaps in your knowledge of things said (because you didn't read chapter 1). In this way chapter 2 is sequential
to chapter 1, BUT that's it. Unless an explicit statement made at the start of chapter 2 referring back to chapter 1, then there is no "basically say... this is what happened what/after [chapter 1].
" The toledot phrasing isn't such a statement, it is the start of a new thought that points forward
What is sequential is the juxtapositioning of Genesis 2:4 after Genesis 1:1-2:3. Due to the structuring of these two likely separate stories that had been handed down even unto Moses via ancient storytelling and transcription, who then structured and perhaps edited them together (which is what I believe likely happened). Given this, Genesis 2:4+ was from a different story told than Genesis 1-2:3. As such, Genesis 2:4 can't really refer to anything prior, except such is simply how Moses juxtapositioned the two different stories together when compiling Genesis.
So then, it is due to the order Moses compiles two unqiue and different creation accounts together, that Genesis 2:4+ is sequential to Genesis 1:1-2:3. NOT because of the towlĕdah
, which is part of a different story passed down through generations, and which marks the introduction to a new line.
dbowling wrote:Genesis 2:4 is my poster child of an example where yom does not (and cannot) refer to 24 hours within the context of the creation of the heavens and earth.
When I was Day-Age (and in a manner I'm still "like" Day-Age in many respects, although I no longer classify myself as such since I don't read any time period into yom
), this verse was also my "poster child" verse push-back against YECs. It was one of my number 1 arguments, so it wasn't with ease I let go of it. It just can't be used to support the Day-Age position, once one understands the use of towlĕdah
and how it points forward, and also that Genesis 2:4 is the start of a different creation accounting.
dbowling wrote:My other point "and there was evening and there was morning, day x" just points out that that phrase cannot be used assert a 24 hour day. I think the phrase most likely refers to the transition between two days. Something like "day x" came to an end and another day began.
No complaint here, such is a valid inference and likely intended. Yet, one should not also ignore the very plain and visual language used. While the words are being used in a style that ends a day in preparation for the next day (ending/introducing a new creation scene), one should also ask themselves why Moses kept/used plain and visual language associated with that of a solar day. What was the purpose of such?
I think Moses uses days, visualisations associated with ordinary days, as part of a literary structure which culminates in Genesis 2:3, stamping the conclusion that Israel's God is the one true God and Lord over all creation, above Ra, above any "god" of the sea, any "god" of the heavens, any "god" of land, nature, life. "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day
", so Israel was to keep the Sabbath in honour to YHWH who blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Ex 20:11) Keeping the Sabbath is to acknowledge and pay respect to God (Elohim - Gen 2:3 / YHWH - Ex 20:11), Israel's God, as the one true God and Lord of all creation. This is the importance of the Genesis 1:1-2:3 passage, and why Moses employs the use and language of "ordinary days" in a 7-day structure, rather than utilising a non-day framework akin to perhaps visions of creation scenes akin to the visions of John in Revelation.
dbowling wrote:All this to point out that there are a number of meanings for 'yom' in Hebrew, and contrary to the assertions of the YEC tradition there is nothing in the text of Genesis 1 to indicate that a day is 24 hours or a 'regular' day, especially since the word 'yom' is used before the markers for a 'regular' day even become visible on day 4.
There is nothing in the text of Genesis 1 to indicate ANY individual property of a day (e.g., a period of time) is intended for "day" in Genesis 1. Unlike many today, Moses has little concern over questions of "time".
However, the many visualisations inspired by the plain language used does indicate an ordinary day is indeed intended by Moses. As to why he employs the use of ordinary day descriptors, I say one should pay attention to the literary style and structure of Genesis to understand the reasoning. It also helps to have an Hebraic understanding of "day" which is dependant upon the two great lights, in particular seeing the Sun go through the heavens above Earth. Finally, I again point to the evident parallelism as I mentioned in an earlier post here