© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
How Long was a Day of CREATION?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
Comparing Genesis and Science, we’ve said, the stakes are high. If we’ve found Genesis incompatible with Science, we’d conclude that Genesis is false, a mere myth. On the other hand, if we’ve found Genesis compatible with Science, then – WOW! How could Moses know, 3500 years ago, such a credible account of the Earth history?
Last class we saw that Moses’ Genesis can’t be counted among the ancient myths of his time. Now we ask whether Genesis CAN be seen to concur with the Scientific narrative about the Earth’s history. All I need to show that it CAN be matched, something we can’t do with any myths of his time.
What Fundamentalists say
In contrast to most scholars and biblical critics who see Genesis as a myth, the Bible fundamentalists, Jewish or none Jewish, believe in Genesis literally, on its face. They hold that the Heavens and the Earth exist only 5780 human years, and the world was created in one regular week. If fossils and radioactive measurements show otherwise, that’s science’ problem. There are parks built in the USA where Dinosaurs are shown side by side with Adam and Eve.
For people in the mainstream, the apparent clash between the Torah and Science is enigma. On one had they have learned to trust Science, and on the other hand they would love to believe in the truthfulness of the Bible. As a result they simply push the question aside, ignore it or leave it to “great rabbis.” Some see Genesis only as an allegory, for Heavenly Beasts and the like.
But ignoring the question incurs bad consequences. In a recent survey among college students in the USA, 70 percents related their rejection of the Bible to their disbelief in the story of Genesis.
So again, since we study the notion of ELKM as the Truthful JUDGE, His Name that appears 32 times in Genesis should be a stamp of truthfulness to the story. We should compare it to our Science.
So let’s first ask-
1: How old is Creation?
The ancient Greek believed that the Universe has always existed. Science says that the Universe is 13.7 Billion years old, starting with the Big Bang. What does Moses say?
On the surface, Moses says that the world is only 5779 years old. For biblical fundamentalists, this number is the true age of the Universe.
Yet this number is calculated from Cain and Abel – from Genesis Chapter 5 onward till today. It does not count the Six Days of CREATION in Chapter One.
Kabbalah therefore says that Chapter One should be counted separately. An ancient Kabbalah tradition, recorded by Rabbi H. Abulafia (13th century AD) based the calculation on Psalm 90. As you know, most Psalms were written by king David, but a few are attributed to Moses himself. One of them is Psalm 90 that says –
“For our thousand years are like one day in your eyes.”
Hence “One Day of the Creator” is our thousand years
One year of the CREATOR equals 350,000 of Man’s years (350×1000)
Since another kabbalah source teaches that 6000 Years of the CREATOR equal ‘One Day of CREATION” it comes out that
A Day of CREATION Equals 6000×350,000=2.1 Billion human years. And Six Days OF CREATION equal 2.1 x 6 = 12.6 Billion human years
Surprisingly, Rabbi Abulafia’s calculation comes very close to our scientific number.
The text of Genesis itself
We don’t need just Kabbalah. The Torah’s text itself suggests that a Day of CREATION is an era, a stage in the history of the World. How? At the end of the First Day it says:
“And ELoKiM saw that it is good, and it was evening and it was morning, one Day’
We may observe that –
(1) The Torah calls the first Day a Day, despite the fact that the Sun and the Moon would appear regularly much later, on the Fourth Day!
(2) The First Day is called ‘One Day’ instead of ‘Day One.’ All other Days are called in their proper numerical names, as Day Two, Day Three and so on.
In fact, the first verses in the Torah define for us the length of ‘One Day’ of CREATION. It is the time CREATION advanced from the ‘Beginning’ to see in it “Chaos, Matter, Abyss, Light and Water” as mentioned in the verse. The length could be 2.1 Billion human years, as Kabbalah has calculated.
Thus, a Day of CREATION refers to an era, a phase in World’s history. On the average, it lasted 2.1 billion human years. It was certainly NOT our one day.
So far, Moses’ Story CAN be matched with Science, something you can’t do with any of the ancient myths of his time. Can we also match the rest of Genesis with Science?
Read also: “Genesis Vs. Science, Can They Match?” By Zvi Aviner, at www.smashwords.com
END OF IDOLATRY CLASS 8
2: Is Genesis another myth?
How can we compare Mose’s story to the ancient myths of his time?
To our luck, Ms. Karen Armstrong herself tells us about the ancient myths in her book.
our scientific knowledge of CREATION. No way. Their story is mythical, whereas our scientific narrative is factual.