“And the LORD said unto Moses, They shall offer their offering, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar. And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah”
On that auspicious day in the wilderness, it is unlikely that Nahshon the Judahite knew that he was about to do something, which would be of significance thousands of years later. All he did was bring the gifts of his tribe to Moses to be used for the dedication of the altar in the Tabernacle. The next day, his fellow tribal chief, Nethanel of Issachar, brought his tribe’s gifts. On the third day, it was the turn of Eliab of Zebulun. Twelve tribes, twelve days, twelve sets of gifts. So what?
Well, a day with the Lord is like a thousand years, so poor old Moses had to sit there for twelve thousand years collecting gifts.
Of course, that is nonsense. The context clearly shows that these are twelve literal 24-hour days because each day is numbered and, less obviously, the literary style of the passage is historical narrative.
The style and grammar used of the days in Genesis 1 are identical to that used in Numbers 7, which details these Tabernacle gifts. We should be consistent with our interpretation of scripture. So, if Numbers 7 refers to literal days, then so does Genesis 1. Neither Genesis 1 nor Numbers 7 involves poetry. God had something to say to us, during the days of gifts for the Tabernacle, about how we are to read numbered days as real days.
Prayer: Your word, Lord, is true in every particular. Help us to be good students of Your word, studying to show ourselves approved. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2020), About Genesis, (J6D Publications), pp. 44-45. Image: Tabernacle model, Timna Park, Israel. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported.
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