The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at
Mon Aug 28 18:28:05 EDT 2000

Dear Peter,

You write:

>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.

Daniel 8:14 is not exactly the same as the "evening and morning formula" in
Genesis 1, but there is a similar use of evenings and mornings to define
time periods the length of a day. The days implied in Dan 8:14 are those of
twenty-four hours.

				Harold Holmyard
>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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