Does Genesis 2 Allow for Vast Ages of Time?

By Wayne Jackson

After that initial surgery, as Adam first saw his bride, he said: “This is now bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh…” (Gen. 2:23). Some writers suggest that the word “now” (Heb. pa’am) is a term which indicates that Adam “had been searching diligently for a long time for a suitable mate” (John T. Willis, Genesis, p. 113).

This argument is supposed to demonstrate that Adam’s exclamation implies that the 6th day of the creation week was, therefore, a long period of time. And since the 6th day was obviously of the same sort as the other days of that initial week, then all of those “days” must have represented vast eras of time. In this way, the Bible, supposedly, is brought into harmony with the facts of geology, which, it is alleged, prove that the world is billions of years old.

Such a notion is utterly void of support (see our book, {glossSub (“Courier Publications”,“Creation, Evolution and the Age of the Earth”)}).

The word pa’am has a variety of meanings in the Old Testament. The term certainly does not intrinsically require a lengthy span of time. The expression, in this context, can denote “this time — in this instance,” suggesting a contrast between Eve and the pairs of animals Adam had been surveying (M.W. Jacobus, Genesis, p. 110).

C.F. Keil renders the term “this time,” commenting that it expresses Adam’s astonishment at finding a suitable mate (The Pentateuch, p. 90). There is absolutely no support for the Day-Age Theory in this passage. It is tragic that so many have been influenced by evolutionary teaching.

There is, however, a significant point that can be made from this passage. When Adam says that “this time” I have found a companion like myself, he is drawing a vivid contrast between human beings and the animals. Adam was no evolutionist!

And so, circle “now” in Genesis 2:23, and marginally note: A contrast in kind. A denial of kinship with animals; no long period of time implied.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.