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Lesson 16: Did God Create in Six Days?

by Stacia McKeever and Dan Lietha on March 14, 2016
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day . . . .” (Exodus 20:11).
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Exodus 20:11 says, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day . . . .” From this verse, it seems clear that God created all things in just six normal-length days, doesn’t it? And yet, there are many who say that God created over millions of years or that He used the process of evolution to bring about the universe we see today.

So, why do we believe that, according to Genesis 1, God created in six normal-length days? To understand the answer to this, we need to learn some Hebrew. That’s the language Moses used to compile the book we call “Genesis,” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is important that we understand what Moses originally wrote because those are the words God inspired!

The Hebrew word for “day” is יוֹם (pronounced “yom”). Yom can have many meanings—a period of daylight, time, a specific point in time, a year, or a period of 24 hours (actually, much like the word “day” in English). Yom is the word used in Genesis 1 when God describes what He created on each day.

So, how do we know which definition of yom Moses meant in Genesis 1? The meaning depends on the context—the words surrounding yom. Throughout the Old Testament, when the phrase “evening and morning” or a number is used with yom, it refers to a “period of 24 hours”—a normal-length day, not “time” in general or a “year” or “millions of years.”

Both “evening and morning” and a number are used with yom in Genesis 1 (look up verses 5, 8, 13,19, 23, 31), so we know it refers to a day of regular length. It is as if God wanted to remove any doubt, so He defined the word yom all six times He used it.

Because of the words of Scripture, we can be confident that God didn’t take millions of years or use evolution. He created the universe in six real days, and rested on the seventh!

Want to learn more? Read the entire Answers for Kids Student Handout Set online!

Lesson 16: Did God Create in Six Days? Download PDF