Boker, our Hebrew word for morning, also carries a number of additional meanings, and like Erev, these may point to a deeper truth within. Boker conveys a sense of becoming discernible, vision is clearing, distinction is occuring, entropy – or confusion – is fading. It’s the casting away of the dark by a flood of clarity, and it has become synonymous with dawn or morning.
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Now, before we put it all together, let’s look at the last matter of the phrase above. What does the Scripture mean to convey with its declaration of “the first day?”
In Hebrew, the phrase is Yom Echad, or otherwise Day 1. There is no conflict with translating echad in “one,” but yom presents some wiggle room in terms of application. Yom, you see, in noted as many as 1480 times in the Old Testament, applied in ways as variable as noting days, ages, extended periods, etc. By far however it is used in reference to a single day of twenty-four hours or otherwise the period from sunset one evening until the subsequent evening, and this is the case without exception when yom is associated with a number. For example, the first day or day one; Yom echad.
It goes without says, even here early in the opening lines of Genesis, that the Scriptures present a clear understanding that the creation didn’t take place over untold epochs of time, but rather over the course of a single week. A day is indeed a day here in the beginning. Look no further than the next book, Exodus, which absolutely clarifies this reality in Chapter 20, verse 11:
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
God Himself clarified the issue for us directly there, and it has been further vindicated through modern scholarship.
Returning now to our investigation of the evening and the morning, could it be that each (still ends of a single day, mind you) were first meant to convey a sense of decreasing entropy or confusion? Did it denote a certain level of chaos being brought into clarity each day as order was instated? It may be that our modern understanding of erev and boker only came about later, taking on the linguistic application of evening and morning. After all, the final day of Creation Week lacked these descriptors, with neither morning nor evening being specified. Is it possible that this dovetails with the Scripture’s declaration that all was complete, after which God rested?
It should be mentioned here that it wasn’t a day of rest for a sleep God, but rather a day of repose. Indeed it may be that, as the disruptive chaos of the creative events finally concluded, and a state of universal repose was extended across the universe, this was the point at which scientific laws of nature as we know them were solidified across the whole creation.
Strange times, indeed…
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