Reference to the Sabbath in Exodus 20 illustrates God’s pattern of six days of work and one day of rest, not their duration: God’s six yôms (epochs) of creating and one of rest. The land’s six years of cultivation and one year of rest (Leviticus 25:4).
Gleason Archer notes, “By no means does this demonstrate that 24-hour intervals were involved in the first six ‘days,’ any more than the eight-day celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles proves that the wilderness wanderings under Moses occupied only eight days.” Both young-earth and old-earth creationists believe the Bible is inspired and defend their views as being literal. Bruce Waltke asserts young-earth exegesis is hindered by an adherence to a “woodenly literal” reading of Genesis.
This paper presents the biblical case for “old-earth creationism” (OEC) and endeavors to clear up theological misconceptions regarding OEC held by many well-intentioned “young-earth creationist” (YEC) believers.
The purpose is not to dissuade young-earth believers from their position, but rather to propose OEC as a well-reasoned, Bible-honoring view that has been embraced by scholars such as Francis Schaeffer, James Boice, and Norman Geisler.
Neither is there a rule of Hebrew language demanding that all numbered days in a series refer to twenty-four hour days.