Essentially the view states since Day 7 does not contain the evening-morning formula, then it continues until today. If it continues today, then it is not literal and cannot be interpreted as a normal 24-hour day. Therefore, Day 1-6 should not be interpreted literally either. But is this a valid conclusion? Here are six reasons to believe Kline’s view is not Biblically correct.
First, Day 7 does not contain the evening-morning formula because it does not contain the five-folded structure of a creation day. That is, Moses used a fivefold pattern to structure each of the six creation days.
- Divine speech (“God said”)
- Fiat (“let there be” or an equivalent)
- Fulfillment (“there was”, “it was so”, “God created”, etc..)
- Evaluation (“God saw that it was good”)
- Conclusion (“there was evening and there was morning, the (blank) day)
Second, the evening-morning conclusion marked a transition to the next day. Since the creation week was accounted for in the narrative, there was no need for a transition to the eighth day.
Third, Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 rule out an open-ended interpretation of Day 7. One thing I learned long ago in Bible study is to allow the Bible to interpret itself. We should examine all Bible passages about one topic before drawing a conclusion on that issue. The two verses above do that for us here.
- Exodus 20:11, “For in six days the Lord mad the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
- Exodus 31:17, “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
It takes a hermeneutical gymnast to get around this basic understanding and it seems as if we have some Gold Medal winners in Biblical scholarship. For example, Kline argues since the Bible metaphorically pictures God resting on Day 7, then a literal interpretation of the creation days is unwarranted. But this logical simply does not follow and does not match proper Biblical interpretation. The Bible frequently uses anthropomorphic language towards God’s being without nullifying the literal nature of historical events; “God looking” (Gen 6:12), God remembering (Gen 8:1), and God smelling (Gen 8:21).
Fourth, if Day 7 is interpreted as unending, then God blessed/sanctified it and cursed it on the say day. This seems highly unreasonable. How could God call the Fall “good”?
Fifth, if the days of creation are not 24-hour days, then the comment on Adam’s life-span in Genesis 5:5 is rendered meaningless. The Bible says Adam lived 930 years. According to old-earth-creationist and other non-literal interpreters, the days of creation are actually periods of millions of years. Therefore, according to their view, Adam wasn’t able to even make it to Day 7. This leads to all sorts of Biblical confusion:
- Adam died while God was still creating(?)
- The Fall happened before God blessed the earth and sanctified the Sabbath
- How many descendants did Adam and Eve have before Day 7?
Sixth, the omission of the evening-morning motif as support of a non-literal interpretation of the creation days is at best an argument from silence. Inherently arguments from silence are weak and bad hermeneutical practice as any first year Bible college student knows.
The six reasons given above should provide enough reasons to us to abandon non-literal interpretation of the creation week and hold a literal 24-hour day understanding of the creation days.