Originally posted by sumydid
As we know. The bible says God created the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th.
Can anyone here confidently define the unit of time the bible calls a "day?" If so, please elaborate.
No—the Hebrew word yom
did not refer necessarily to a “day”, but to an unspecified period of time (e.g., a year, any point in time, an unspecified duration, as well as a day). The phrase v’yehei erev v’yehei boqer
*, “there became evening and there became morning”, is clearly metaphorical (sun and moon were not created until the fourth “day” ) and FMF’s comment holds—actually, it is the important response. Biblical Hebrew is not really very amenable to specific, literalistic renderings anyway—which is why Judaism as a whole tends to eschew what rabbi and scholar Marc-Alain Ouaknin called the “idolatry of the one right meaning”.
* My transliteration from the Hebrew; not sure if it's standard, but ought to be close.