Until Someone Unsettles It

Douglas Wilson:

The creation account in Genesis is read in different ways. It would be easy therefore, to jump right into the Genesis text and show that I read it in one of those different ways.

I do read it in one of those different ways, and bringing out arguments accordingly would be easy. Before getting to my main set of points, let me give just one example. All sides agree that the Hebrew word for day — yom — admits of different meanings, just as the English word day does. For example, I could say, “Back in my grandfather’s day, he was a champion at picking corn, and, while it was day, could average ten bushels a day.” Now several things are true about this. One is that my grandfather really was a champion at picking corn, but that is another story for another time. The second thing is that day has three different meanings in the course of just one sentence. Day first means time, “in my grandfather’s time.” Second, it means “while the sun was up,” day as opposed to night. And third, it meant “twenty-hour increments,” Tuesday and then Wednesday, and so on. But the third thing to note about this is that for native speakers of English, the different uses of day do not throw us in a state of consternation. We pick up on all kinds of contextual clues that enable us to tell what is going on. Now when the Hebrew word yom is used elsewhere in Scripture, and is associated with evening and morning, it always means twenty-four hour day. And when it is used with either a cardinal or ordinal number it always means day.

Until Someone Unsettles It |Douglas Wilson.