The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???

Michael Hildenbrand hildenbr at Haas.Berkeley.EDU
Mon Aug 28 11:34:07 EDT 2000

None of these passages have YOM used in conjunction with numbers, as in
Gen 1.  My argument still stands.

As to "evening and morning":  Since this phrase only occurs here, you
would have a case of special pleading if you took it any other way than
its constituant parts indicate.  That is, evening should be taken as
"evening" and morning as "morning" unless otherwise indicated.  In *every*
case where the two are used in the same sentence (some 35x in Bible
works), the words *never* bear any other meaning than the literal.  This
makes the case for "evening and morning" in Gen 1 quite strong to
understand them to refer to the same evening and morning as we are
familiar with.  


 On Sun, 27 Aug 2000, Peter Kirk wrote:

> I was surprised to come across this morning in my church service, in a song
> which we sang, clear evidence that YOM does NOT always mean a 24 hour
> period, even when it has no preposition. The song quoted from Isaiah 61:2,
> in which YOM is in parallel with SHANA, in a clear case of synonymous
> parallelism. Well, the parallel between "favour" and "vengeance" seems odd,
> but I am sure that there is no intention of contrast between the time
> periods involved. There are similar parallels in Is. 34:8, 63:4. The
> parallel makes it clear that this "day of vengeance" was not intended by the
> author to be understood as a 24 hour period. So why is it so certain that
> the "days" of Genesis 1 are 24 hour periods, in the author's intention?
> The "evening and morning" formula is hardly strong evidence as it occurs
> only in Genesis 1, if I remember rightly. And the lack of examples of YOM
> with an ordinal number tells us little because I am sure that almost all
> cases of this outside Genesis 1 are in dates, so in a construction which is
> not comparable. Unfortunately, as a general rule in Hebrew studies, the
> limited size of the corpus and the lack of native speakers means that we
> cannot argue that a word or phrase must always have a particular meaning
> from the lack of unambiguous examples of it having another meaning.
> Peter Kirk
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Hildenbrand" <hildenbr at Haas.Berkeley.EDU>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
> Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 9:19 PM
> Subject: Re: The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???
> > We seem to be slipping in this thread.  I sent what is written below out
> > to the list some time this past month.  The issue is a non-issue.  YOM in
> > Gen 1 linguistically *has* to refer to a day of the 24 hour variety.
> > That is a certainty.  Now, what you DO with that is up to your theology.
> > It is not optional as to the intent of the author/editor of Gen 1.  The
> > meaning of YOM is a linguistic question, not theological.
> >
> > Michael
> >
> > -------------------------------------
> >
> > Actually, YOM falls into quite clear categories.  When it is not augmented
> > (prefixed article or pronoun-like "b"- or in the plural) and used with
> > numbers, the word *always* refers to a literal day (some 200x), Gen 1 of
> > course being a battleground.  Further in Gen 1, YOM is delimited by
> > "evening and morning" a phrase which is never used in reference to
> > anything other than a literal day.  I am sure that we do not want to get
> > too deeply into this (presuppositions being what they are in this area)-I
> > don't either.  BDB had this figured out a long time ago (they have these
> > categories very clearly set out).  Also Evan-Shoshan divides up the usages
> > quite neatly.
> >
> > Michael
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
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