THUS THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH WERE COMPLETED IN ALL THEIR VAST ARRAY. BY THE SEVENTH DAY GOD HAD FINISHED THE WORK HE HAD BEEN DOING; SO ON THE SEVENTH DAY HE RESTED FROM ALL HIS WORK. AND GOD BLESSED THE SEVENTH DAY AND MADE IT HOLY, BECAUSE ON IT HE RESTED FROM ALL THE WORK OF CREATING THAT HE HAD DONE. (NIV)
God's creative period is now completed. Scripture says that God "rested" from all His work. Does this mean that God was tired? The Hebrew word for "rested" is "shabath" It means "ceased." God "ceased" His creative acts after He made the Human race.
God blessed that day and made it holy. He set it apart as to rest, or cease, from His work of creating. He also set up a day of rest for humans (24 hour period).Exodus 20:8
Each of the six creation days ends with the words "There was evening and there was morning," then the days number. These statements suggest that each day had a start time and an end time. However, it is not used on the seventh day. There is no closure to this day.
The fact that the first six "days" consistently use these words, their absence from the seventh day can give us a hint that the "day" has not yet ended. This is confirmed by other verses in scripture. Psalm 95:7-11, John 5:16-18, and Hebrews 4:4-11 states that we are still in God's "day" of rest. This "day" of rest will end in the future when God once again starts His creative acts with the creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:1)
The seventh day of rest is a "period of time" that God has "ceased" from all of His creative acts. We know we are still in it today because God no longer is "creating" anything new in the heavens or on the Earth.
Science also attests to the fact that the seventh day continues. According to the fossil record, new life forms increased rapidly through the millions of years before man came on the scene.
After humans arrived, the extinction rate increased dramatically. However, the fossil record shows that the introduction rate of new species fell to a virtual zero! According to biologists, the production of a new animal species in nature has yet to be documented.
Science offers no explanation for the reason for the sudden drop to zero of species introduction after humans came on the scene. Here in Genesis we see the answer, God "ceased" His creative activity after He made mankind and has not been creating ever since!
If the seventh "day" does indeed continue as scripture indicates, we have a very good reason to believe that the word "yom", or "day", for each of the six creation days is longer than a 24 hour period.
Remember, we said earlier that the Hebrew vocabulary is more than a thousand times smaller than the English language. English has many words that can indicate a longer time period-epoch, era, age, etc. Hebrew does not have that flexibility. The word "yom" can mean a 24 hour period, daylight hours, or any long period of time.
Scripture and the world around us clearly reveal that we are still in God's seventh "day", "yom" of rest. Therefore, staying consistent with the word's usage in Genesis 1, we can conclude each creative "day", "yom", was a long period of time rather than a literal 24 hour period.
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