The Hebrew word for day is the word Yom. Young earth creationists have always argued that the word used for the days of creation can only mean a 24-hour day. In this article, we will examine the uses of Yom in the Old Testament, and show that it can mean a wide variety of time periods.
First, one must understand that the Hebrew language is not nearly is diverse as our English language. Whereas we have millions of words, the Hebrew source for the Old Testament only consists of slightly less than 8,700 words…and many of these could be considered duplicates with only slight differences. Thus, words which contain multiple meanings are common. Such is the case with the word Yom.
Lets start with the possible meanings of Yom;
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (1980, Moody Press)
“It can denote: 1. the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness), 2. the period of twenty-four hours, 3. a general vague “time,” 4. a point of time, 5. a year (in the plural; I Sam 27:7; Ex 13:10, etc.).”
Hebrew authorities attest to the fact that the word Yom is used for anywhere from 12...