Is There Support That a “Day” Could Be a Long Time Period?

The seventh and the symbolic eighth day have covered thousands of years. That is possible because a “day” can represent long time periods of unspecified length. As the apostle Peter pointed out:

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day (2 Peter 3:8.)1

 That verse was never meant to be taken literally. Rather, it means that when God refers to a “day,” He may be referring to a time period that is longer than twenty-four hours and could expand over eons. Many of the early teachers of the church supported that position. Those included Irenaeus (second century), Origen (third century), Basil (fourth century), Augustine (fifth century), and Aquinas (thirteenth century).2 Therefore, using the word day as a description for a long time period is consistent with both Scripture and the historic teachings of the church.



Throughout the eight days and their corresponding time periods of the First Creation, Fallen Creation, and the New Creation, God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose is gloriously revealed in a way that humanity could have never imagined. Since the Bible is the only source for that revelation, it becomes crucial to understand more about the Bible and its trustworthiness.

  1. The apostle Peter is quoting from Psalms 90:4, a book of poetry where the writer compares our days to God’s days.
  2. Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God (Orange: Promise Publishing Co, 1991) 141.


Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
All rights reserved.
Reprinted 2017

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.