Originally Posted by forever_frost
I have been asked this question quite a bit and pretty much summed it up like 46Tbird. The book of Genesis doesn't say 7 24 hour periods. It says 7 days according to God. Hell, before he said "Let there be light" there weren't days so I'm pretty sure that He and us aren't working on the same time schedule.
But you fall into a serious trap of logic if you do. The Genesis account can only be thought of as occuring in 6 standard 24 hour days. To speculate differently is a serious blow to faith in the bible as inerrant and true.
If you want to assume that the 6 days are metaphoric and really imply 6 time periods of millinnea in order to satisfy a geological and archeological record, then you inadvertently create a conflict with the rest of the bible. You legitimize a fossil record that is incompatible with the story of a global flood, and an archeological record that is incompatible with the Exodus narrative. Among other things.
There is no other use in the bible of the word YM or yom for anything other than a 24 hour day, except as a figure of indefinite time like "in the days of...". Linguistically, the 6 days stand as actual 24 hour days.
In fact the separation of light from darkness as a discription of the divide between night and day are carefully placed first to define the use of the word day; he mentions for good reason that the evening and the morning were the first day. You cannot extrapolate a figurative length of time from that account because it specifically mentions one day as consisting of one moring and one evening. Furthermore, the account is evenly divided between 6 equal time periods, not 6 periods of indefinite and variable length.
There is also a reference to light separating day from night, for all the years to come. The concept of night and day is clearly a dichotomy. If "day" means an indefinite period of time, then what does "night" mean? The opposite, or no time at all? And what does "years" mean?
And then there is the notorious seventh day. God rested on the seventh day and therefore made it holy. If the other days are not really days, then what is this seventh day? Why is it referred to as the sabbath? To be figurative with the others means that this is also figurative, so that whole generations of people could pass before anyone was actually required to keep the sabbath.
You can't have it both ways. Like I said elsewhere, proof and faith are not two ends of the same spectrum, they are two unrelated concepts.