How can there be a day when the sun wasn’t created until third day?

According to Genesis the first days were sunless.

There are three ways that we can understand the idea of a day…

The first is a 24 hour day.  Technically, the sun has nothing to do with a 24 hour day.  The 24 hour day has everything to do with how long it takes for the earth to rotate once.  Right now at the North Pole they won’t see the sun for another month or so, but it still takes the globe 24 hours to spin all the way around.  Many people believe that the earth was created in six 24 hour days.   And this view can easily be understood if for no other reason then the author 6 times says “there was evening and there was morning”.  This however may simply be a way of expressing the transition from one stage of creation to another.

The second definition of day has to do with the time when there is light outside.   Likewise, the time when it is dark outside is called night even though night is a part of the same 24 hour day.  The first order of God’s creation was to make light and separate it from the darkness.  God distinctly calls the light “day” even though there is no mention of sun for another couple ‘days.’  So in one verse God the author of Genesis used two definitions of the word day: the definition of day that associates with light, and the definition of day that associates with time.  But when it comes to time, 24 hours is not the only time-related definition of day.

The third kind of day is also related to time, not lightness.  It is a long period of time, an age of time, or longer.  For example our grandparents may have said of their youth, “back in my day” in which case “day” may represent several years of their lives.  Sometimes we might say the day (or age) of the dinosaurs is over.  In those cases a day is not a specific length of time, but a very long time with imprecise boundaries.  It is very likely that this might be the proper understanding of day in Genesis 1, as God may have taken years or epochs to create things.  (see the post on evolutionism vs. creationism).

In short, the sun is only a small part of the meanings concerning the word day.  Thus, there could have been days before the third ‘day’ of creation.

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5 Responses to “How can there be a day when the sun wasn’t created until third day?”

  1. akoosticman Says:

    what a great resource and blog topics – will be sure to chime in w/ questions or thoughts as we move forward!

  2. Simon Says:

    I’m a big believer in the 24 hours = 1 day. I know people who try to bend it to make it fit with evolution by stretching the meaning and time duration of what a day means, but just like God created adam as a mature man, God could have created the earth and the universe having already aged. (e.g. the time it takes for light to reach the earth from stars. God already created the realization of light reaching all the edges of the universe)

  3. Simon Says:

    btw…can’t wait 24 on Jan 17th

  4. Steve Says:

    I agree, it’s important to acknowledge that God can do it how ever he wants. I tend toward the idea that the days did not equal 24-hour days, but not because I don’t think God couldn’t do it. Many people try to “bend” the idea of 6-day creation, as you said, because they are trying to explain away what they think is an impossibility. But there is nothing that is impossible for God. He could have made the world in 6 days, he could have made it in 6 million years, and he could have made it in 6 seconds.

  5. Evan Says:

    It very likely that much of Genesis was long told as an oral story/traditional long before physically written as part of the Torah. I would agree with Steve that it’s very much possible for God to have done so but there are too many physical evidence that indicated otherwise.

    What important scientifically, is the order/sequence of creation. This aligns very well with science.

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