[b-hebrew] Yom in Biblical and Rabbinic Texts

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Oct 26 06:57:10 EDT 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2005 2:03 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Yom in Biblical and Rabbinic Texts

> Dear Peter and Jimmy,
>>On 24/10/2005 02:13, Jimmy Doyle wrote:
>>>I'm in a discussion with a creationist who believes in 6 literal 24-hour
>>>days of creation. Can anyone point me to good resources for the use of 
>>>in the Biblical texts and Rabbnic texts? From what I gather in BDB, the
>>>singular use of yom in the Biblical text generally refers to a single 
>>>but I feel as if I'm missing something here.
>>I think so. The "day" of Numbers 3:1 and Deuteronomy 4:15 seems to have
>>lasted 40 days, that of Ezekiel 39:13 seven months, that of 1 Samuel 7:2
>>for 20 years, and that of Judges 18:30 for about 70 years - and that of
>>Genesis 2:4 six "days".
> HH: The word day, "YWM," when used with a prefixed preposition "in"
> often has the idea of "when" (Gen 2:4). It word can sometimes mean
> "time" (Judges 18:30) but does not have a numerical modifier in those
> cases. In 1 Samuel 7:2 YWM could still indicate a particular day (the
> day the ark began to abide in Kiriath-Jearim), although "time" could
> be the sense. The word refers to literal days when it has a numerical
> modifier.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

Perfectly correct. The word "yom" can mean "time" - think of an old-timer in 
English saying, "in my day...". But when refering to a specific length of 
time, it means either a 24 hour period, from sundown to sundown, or the 
hours of light, as opposed to night.
In any case, a "creationist" would have to explain the first three "days", 
before the creation of the sun.


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