GOD CALLED THE LIGHT "DAY", AND THE DARKNESS HE CALLED "NIGHT." AND THERE WAS EVENING AND THERE WAS MORNING-THE FIRST DAY. (NIV)
In ancient times naming something or someone implied having dominion or ownership.
The day and night belong to the Lord.
PSALM 74:16 : THE DAY IS YOURS, AND YOURS ALSO THE NIGHT;... (NIV)
This was the end of the first "day" Hebrew "yom". Remember the word "yom" can mean anything from a 12 hour period to any indefinite period of time.
Young's Literal translation says it this way:
AND THERE IS AN EVENING AND THERE IS A MORNING-DAY ONE.
The Hebrew word for first is "echad" and is used 952 times in the Bible. Of those 952 times in scripture 687 of them it is translated "one" instead of "first".
So instead of saying the "first" a good translation is day "one".
What does this mean?
Instead of saying that this is the "first" 24 hour time period it makes more sense to say this was "day" "yom" (indefinite time period) "one" filled with many 24 hour time periods.
2 PETER 3:8 ...WITH THE LORD A DAY IS LIKE A THOUSAND YEARS AND A THOUSAND YEARS ARE LIKE A DAY. (NIV)
PSALM 90:4 FOR A THOUSAND YEARS IN YOUR SIGHT ARE LIKE A DAY THAT HAS GONE BY,... (NIV)
You see, a "day" from God's point of view is much different than a "day" from ours. We are totally limited by TIME & SPACE. Once again God is ETERNAL!
We will get an even bigger hint at this point of view when we get to Genesis 2:2. It says that God "rested" from all His work on the Seventh "day". It means He stopped creating. Did He start creating again or are we still in His seventh "day" of rest? There are scriptures that indicate that we are still in His seventh "day" of rest. We will look at these when we get to Genesis 2.
Of course this does not have to be the case but it does fit with the original Hebrew. I am simply giving a different point of view.
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Quite interesting. You present your analysis well. I would tend to believe, however, that the literal translation of the first indicates that day one was just one day, in the literal sense. After the darkness and light were separated, there was *an* evening and *a* morning. I agree that it doesn't necessarily mean every day depicted in this first chapter was literally a single day, but in this case, based on the literal translation you showed, I'm inclined to think day one was so.