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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leupold Genesis part 34 verse 5 'day'

Extensive discussion has centred around the last statement of v. 5: "Then came evening, then came morning--the first day." To try to make this mean that the day began with evening, as days did according to the later Jewish reckoning (Le 23:32), fails utterly, because verse 5 reports the conclusion of this day's work not its beginning. Or again, to make this statement refer to two parts of a long geologic period: the first part a kind of evening; the-second a kind of morning; both together a kind of long period, runs afoul of three things: first, that "evening" nowhere in the Scriptures bears this meaning; secondly, neither does "morning"; thirdly, "day" never means "period."

One major difficulty lying in the path is the attempt to make this whole statement like a problem in addition: evening plus morning, result: one day. Luther's translation, somewhat free at this point, seemed to support this view: da ward aus Abend und Morgen der erste Tag, i.e. "evening and morning went to make Up the first day." In reality, a vast absurdity is involved in this point of view. An evening may be stretched to include four hours, a morning could be said to be four or even six hours long. The total is ten, not twenty-four hours. The verse, however, presents not an addition of items but the conclusion of a progression. On this day there had been the creation of heaven and earth in the rough, then the creation of light, the approval of light, the separation of day and night. Now with evening the divine activities cease: they are works of light not works of darkness. The evening ('erebh), of course, merges into night, and the night terminates with morning. But by the time morning is reached, the first day is concluded, as the account says succinctly, "the first day" and everything is in readiness for the second day's task. For "evening" marks the conclusion of the day, and "morning" marks the conclusion of the night. It is these conclusions, which terminate the preceding, that are to be made prominent. They are "the terminations of the two halves of the first day" (Procksch).

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