- Skeptics claim that Genesis chapter 2 conflicts with chapter 1. Genesis 2:5 says that no “shrub of the field” was yet in the earth and no “plant of the field” had yet sprouted - for it had not rained and there was no man to be tilling the ground. Skeptics claim this is a contradiction, since plants were created on day three (Genesis 1:11 -12). The shrub-word in Hebrew often refers to a dessert bush. The text explains why there were no desert bushes. Water came out of the ground to water the entire face of the earth. A fully watered world cannot have a desert. What about the “plants of the field?” Again the text explains there was no man (Hebrew uadm - Adam) for tilling the ground. Genesis 3:18 When God cursed Adam, He used the same phrase “plants of the field.” Adam would eat the plants of the field - in the sweat of his face he would eat bread. When did God command the ground to produce grain plants? Evidently when Adam could no longer eat the fruits in the garden and in the sweat of his brow tilled the soil for bread. There are 70 Hebrew verbs relating to the events of day-six. Only nine of them refer to completed commands or actions. Imperfect verbs refer to continuing commands and continuing actions. They are not equivalent to the modern past tense because they do not mention completions. Ancient Hebrew had no verb tenses. We should take care not to tailor the text to fit our tensed grammar.
Genesis 1:24 - 28 Then God continued to say, Let the earth continue to bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind; and it was so. God continued to make the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God continued to see that it was good. Then God continued to say, Let Us continue to create man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them continue to rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps (in unbroken continuity) on the earth. God continued to create man in His own image, in the image of God He created (completed action) him; male and female He created them (completed action). God continued to bless them; and continued to say, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
When Elohim (the plural God who uses singular grammar) speaks to Themselves, the speaking continues as though the planning and creation of man continued up until the woman was created. Both male and female were created (perfect verb - completed action) in the image of God.
Genesis 1:29-31 Then God continued to say, "Behold, I have given you (completion) every plant continually yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so. God continued to see all that He made (perfect verb), and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
How long was day six? During Moses day, people could not draw history with equal spacings on a straight line. Ideas about linear time did not come on the scene until 3,000 years later. All ancient people adjusted their dynamic calendars to fit the cycles of the heavens and used them to count years. According to the rabbis’ count, we are near the end of year 5,773 (March 2013) since Adam’s creation. However, ancient people had no constants even with respect to days and years. They thought the first people lived for eons and that the earliest days were the longest. Jacob said his days and years were shorter and worse than the days and years of his fathers, Genesis 47:9.
The ancient notion that earlier days were longer than later days, fits the text for day six. The process of examining and naming all the land animals and birds could have taken Adam several modern years, yet in happened on one primordial day. Then God put Adam into a continuing deep sleep and took one of his bones and fashioned from it the woman. She was to be his companion, taken from his side, not his superior or his foot stool.
When Adam met Eve, he continued to say, this is now (pa’am) bone of my bone. Pa’am refers to repetitive things like strokes, hoof-beats and footsteps - used to mark time. After all that Adam had seen and cataloged on that long day, at last he sees the woman and names her what she was, out of man. Then God established the first law for all generations, that a man should leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and they should be one.
In the ancient way of thinking, a primordial evening and morning took an eon compared to a rapid later evening and morning. Have you ever wondered why ancient people traveled much farther than we can in the same number of days? (Jacob drove suckling lambs from the Euphrates to the mountains of Gilead in seven days). Do you notice life speeding up as you age? Those interested in primordial notions of time and history should read Mircea Eliade’s The Myth of the Eternal Return (Cosmos and History). You can also read ancient poems on how the golden age turned to iron (Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Hesiod’s Works and Days).
We can see the evidence that ancient orbits were much slower than modern ones in the only history that is visible as it occurred, cosmic history. In billions of spiral galaxies at many ranges (eras) the star streams spread outward, the star orbits not closing. Billions of galaxies grew from tiny naked globs into huge, local, growth spirals. Orbits that spread out are by nature accelerating (relative to their previous state). What we observe in all directions and many ranges, fits what the Bible says began on day four. He continued to form (imperfect verbs) the Sun, Moon and stars and continued to place them in the spreading place (raqiya). The text of the Bible plainly denies the western notions of linear time. Why should days and years continue to accelerate? http://www.godsriddle.info/2010/07/6000-years-of-gravity.html
Many creationists arguments with evolutionists use the traditional exegesis based on the Vulgate: one-time commands and creations completed each day. A creationist could claim, you are compromising with evolutionists. On the contrary, I accept the creation account in its grammatical, historical and textual context. God’s wrath is against those who suppress the truth and refuse to honor Him as Creator. Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”