Creation week: Day 1 - 5

Before you read this section on the days of the creation week, I would encourage you to read Genesis 1 v 1 to 2 v 3.

When reading, try to picture in your mind the flow and progression of the creation week. See how each new day is a compliment to and an extension of the previous day.

Science does not accept that the universe was formed in six days. Indeed, there is even a school of thought among some Christian scholars that the creation week was not a literal week consisting of six literal 24 hour days, but should be interpreted as an extended work of creation with some processes requiring prolonged periods of time to fully mature.

Strangely, no individual from this school of thought will commit to any precise period for such extended time 'gaps'. More critically; it is difficult to find any other scriptures to support this view.

We have become so used, perhaps almost immune to the notion of millions and billions of years, when in actual fact there are no human records as proof of such a distant past.

On the contrary, the most reliable relics and manuscripts from antiquity date back only several thousand years. Furthermore - many other scriptures support the view of a young humanity and a young universe. We will develop this thought on this page.

In contrast to the suggestion of extended time gaps during the creation week, we will discuss - according to scripture - how unlikely it is that these gaps occurred between the days of the creation week.

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”

And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day.

(or) a first day.

DAY 1 - Heavens, Earth and Light

Gap Chasm

What is 'The Gap Theory' anyway?

Some scholars suggest that there was an extended time gap between Gen 1 v 1&2. This has been referred to as the GAP theory. This idea was developed to appease the prevailing view of science – that the universe could not have been formed in six literal days. 

With the increase in ‘creationists’ (those who believe in the literal six day creation) the Gap theory is becoming less popular among scholars today.

Creationists believe that the process of creation and the forming of the universe happened within the creation week as outlined in Genesis 1; and therefore they believe that the universe has not existed for millions or billions of years.

An interesting observation is this; the actual mechanism for measuring the period of a year was established on Day 4 of the creation week. We measure years in terms of the earth orbiting the sun and therefore to 'talk about time' in terms of years prior to Day 4 of the creation week is illogical.

Time in this sense is actually a feature of our Solar System and might not even be relevant beyond it.

The centrality of earth

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."

I am not suggesting that the earth is the centre of the universe; rather, that the earth is central in the Genesis account of creation. Given the vastness of the universe; why does Genesis 1 v 1 include planet earth along with the vastness of the heavens? I suggest that this statement is significant.

This opening statement of Scripture confirms that the earth was created at the very beginning. We observe that on Day 4 of the creation week, the sun and moon were created and commissioned as part of our Solar System.

We know that the planets within our Solar System are balanced through gravitational forces which operate in perpetual motion sustaining equilibrium. I am inclined to think that the very existence and preservation of earth within this system is proof that there can be no extended time gap within the first two verses of Genesis chapter 1.

In short; this page on creation will promote the idea that our Solar System was created and commissioned by God at the beginning of creation - during the six day creation week; not millions or billions of years after the creation of the heavens and the earth.

The earth functions as an integral part of the Solar System and should not be viewed as having existed in isolation for millions or billions of years prior to it. This notion does not sit comfortably with the design and function that is evident within the Solar System.

On this basis - I suggest that it is unlikely that there is an extended time gap of millions or billions of years between Genesis 1 v 1&2. Otherwise we must subscribe to 'two beginnings'. The bible consistently refers to 'The Beginning'. I would suggest that there is only one beginning - not two. We will develop this thought on the creation page.

"Let there be light."

I would like to suggest that on Day 1 of the creation week, when God said, "Let there be light"; at this moment, the earth was set in motion rotating on its own axis and evening and morning were the result of the earth rotating on its axis against this light source.

Evening and morning were identified by the earths rotation against this light source on Days 1 to 3. The sun and moon were not created until Day 4 and therefore from Day 4 onward, the Solar System became the mechanism for measuring time as we know it.

"And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

The earth was covered with water, so perhaps the Spirit of God was maintaining order until Day 4 when the sun and moon were set in place. On Day 4 the gravitational forces within the Solar System would kick in and regulate the tides 'over the waters'.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the creator made them male and female.

But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female.

50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary.

Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

Is the age of the universe indeterminate?

Age Of Universe

The above Scriptures in Matthew, Mark and Luke, were quoted by Jesus.

Adam had a definitive starting point in time; Day 6 of the creation week. Therefore, on the basis of the connection of Genesis 5 v 3 to the above Scriptures, we should consider the possibility the that the age of the universe is not indeterminate.

When we connect the Genesis 5 & 11 genealogies - Adam to Noah, Noah to Abraham and Abraham to the Nation of Israel; we can estimate the origin of humanity as circa 4000 + BC.

It therefore follows that we can estimate the origin of the universe at the same time - according to the statements of the Lord Jesus in the above Scriptures.

See link at the bottom of this page to Timeline 1 & 2 on Genesis genealogies.


Let's consider the statements of the Lord Jesus:

Matthew 19 v 4 "at the beginning the creator made them male and female."

Mark 10 v 6 "at the beginning of creation God made them male and female."

Luke 11 v 50-51 "since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel.."

These scriptures clearly suggest that man was made at the beginning of creation; not millions of years after it all started.

According to these statements made by the Lord Jesus, it is very difficult to contemplate any extended ‘time gaps’ in Genesis 1 v 1-2 or anywhere in the creation week for that matter.

Based on the above scriptures, I have asked myself this question;

a) What specific stage in the creation process was the Lord Jesus referring to when he made the above statements in Matthew 19 v 4 and Mark 10 v 6?

The answer seems obvious; he was referring to Day 6 in the creation week.

b) How can Jesus say that male and female were created at the beginning of creation if there is an extended time gap of millions or billions of years between Genesis 1 v 1&2?

The answer seems obvious; according to the Lord Jesus, who was present and active in creation, there appears to be no such gap.

c) How can Jesus say that male and female were created at the beginning of creation if there are extended time gaps between the successive days of creation?

Again, the answer seems obvious; according to the Lord Jesus, who was present and active in creation, there is no suggestion of any such gaps. I am tempted to say - He knows, he was there!


Let's read the words of Peter on the subject.

2 Peter 3 v 3-7

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Peter is reminding us of the creation of the world and the critical point is this; he is linking his human ancestors with the time from the beginning of creation to the flood.

According to Peter it seems quite obvious that there is no extended time gap between Genesis 1 v 1&2. His ancestors were on earth at the beginning of creation - not millions or billions of years after it all started.

This short passage of scripture captures the theme of this bible timeline; Genesis to Revelation - creation to the end of the world.

And so we have it;  on Day 1 of the creation week, God created the heavens and the earth and he also said "Let there be light". There was evening and morning a first day.

Regarding the creation week, there is a critical issue at stake - the bible speaks of one beginning, not two!

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.

8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning - the second day. (or) a second day.

DAY 2 - Sky

Sea And Sky No Clouds

On day one God separated light from darkness.

On day two he separated water under the expanse of the sky from water above the expanse.

We will do well to note here that the earth's surface and the atmosphere were very different before the flood. Before the flood there was a protective layer of water above the sky.

This may well have served to filter ultra violet rays from the sun and radiation waves from outer space and hence prolong human life on earth.

Genesis 6 v 3 tells us that God reduced man's lifespan to 120 years effective immediately after the flood. The waters above the expanse were no longer there. The protective layer of water (or vapour) had gone.

Read Psalm 90 v 10 - in this Psalm of Moses, the average human lifespan was further reduced to 70 or 80 years. With few exceptions, this has been the normal human life span ever since.

See Timeline 1 at the bottom of this page; The Genesis 5 genealogy highlights the fact that several of the Patriarchs lived to over 900 years of age.

All the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened and rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.

There has been much media coverage of widespread local flooding across the UK in recent years. Can you imagine rain falling on every square mile of the earth's surface at the same time for forty days and forty nights nonstop!

This is what happened in the days of Noah. The flood, as recorded in the bible, was a deluge not a prolonged local thunder storm. The earth's surface and atmosphere would be subject to fundamental and catastrophic changes as a result of the flood.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

The first mention of rainbow in the bible is after the flood. The rainbow in the clouds is the sign of God's new covenant with mankind.

Something in the earth's atmosphere had fundamentally changed immediately after the flood which allowed the rainbow to appear in the sky. We deduce that it was not possible for the rainbow to appear prior to the flood.

Read the page on The Flood for more details on the catastrophic scale and consequences of the Flood for mankind.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. (or) a third day.

DAY 3 - Dry land and Vegetation

Land And Sea

On day one God separated light from darkness.

On day two he separated water under the expanse of the sky from water above the expanse.

On day three he separated land from water and then the land produced vegetation.

Here on Day 3 we see the separation of land and water. Then God creates vegetation, plants and trees. All of these have seeds according to their various kinds.

When Jesus calmed the storm (Matthew 8 v 23-27), the natural process and time frame for a raging storm to subside into complete calm, was completely overruled by the command of Jesus. The disciples witnessed this and they were astonished. They asked each other, "What kind of man is this?"

I would suggest that here on Day 3 of the creation week, God may have overruled these laws to bring about order and calm on a global scale as He separated land from water.

In the natural flow of creation we can clearly see progression and in particular we see preparation for life on earth. An abundant habitat and food source was now being provided for the birds and animals and for mankind.

We should note at this point that there were no carnivores in the original innocent creation.

Genesis 1 v 30

And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food. And it was so.

According to the bible - carnivorous dinosaurs do not predate mankind. These became carnivorous after the fall as a result of the curse on the animal kingdom.

See link at the bottom of this page to read more about dinosaurs on the Flood page.

Interlude - Literal 24 hour days & Time gaps

Time Piece

Again, please let me draw your attention to the flow and progression of the Creation Week. Genesis chapter one is a sweeping story of creation which is characterised by flow and progression.

I find it difficult to visualise any extended time gap between Day 3 (the creation of the trees and vegetation) and Day 4 (the creation of the governing lights). Such 'time gaps' could be seen as interruptions to the flow and progression of the creation week.

We know that all the various forms of vegetation and trees require the repeated daily cycle of day and night for the production of oxygen and absorption of carbon dioxide. They also require the changing seasons to produce regular and sustainable growth and for the cycle of seed to fruit to complete.

Therefore an extended time gap between Day 3 and Day 4 is not rational and presents a major challenge to any botanist. Simply put; earth's trees and vegetation need the functioning Solar System in order to survive.

The Solar System was not commissioned until Day 4. Therefore it presents a major difficulty to imagine any extended time gap between Day 3 and Day 4.

A note on the seasons:

It is likely that the original - pre flood creation - enjoyed an atmosphere with evenly distributed temperatures and no wild fluctuations. This would certainly have been the case around the equator, where Adam and Eve lived in what we now call Mesopotamia. This area has been referred to as 'the fertile crescent'.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.

11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there)

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.

14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Ancient Mesopotamia Map

Map of ancient Mesopotamia

The above map shows the rivers - Pishon, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. This is where Adam and Eve lived. The Garden of Eden would not have been very far away from modern Iraq.

According to Genesis 8 v 20-22, we read of God's promise to maintain the seasons while the earth endures. It seems that something changed during the flood that would affect the earth's weather systems.

Also note; the vegetation (Day 3) was being prepared for the birds that would be created on Day 5 and also for the animals and man who were created on Day 6.

Therefore any extended time gap between Days 3, 4, 5 and 6, would render the creation of the vegetation (Day 3) redundant until the eventual arrival of the birds (Day 5), animals and man (Day 6).

I would suggest that the natural flow and progression of the text lends itself much more readily to a period of six literal 24 hour days.

An extended time gap between Day 3 and Day 4 would imply the lack of seasons and tides which the Sun and Moon would ultimately regulate and govern as they fulfilled their respective roles in our Solar System.

Again, this is not rational and does not fit into the natural flow and progression of the creation week. Every new day in the creation week is a compliment to and an extension of the previous day. So why would God leave extended time gaps in between these stages?

See link at the bottom of this page to read more on the Flood page - Additional reading - Springs and Floodgates.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.

16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

DAY 4 - Lights in the expanse of the Sky

Sun And Moon Aleksey Tugolukov

On day one God separated light from darkness.

On day two he separated water under the expanse of the sky from water above the expanse.

On day three he separated land from water and then the land produced vegetation.

On Day four he separated day from night and reiterates the separation of light from darkness.

Our attention is now drawn to the Sun, Moon and Stars. We now understand the function of our solar system and planets. We benefit from the inherent regulation and organisation of days, nights, weeks, months, seasons and years.

This was all designed and organised by our creator God. He is interested in how we plan and allocate our time. He planned it all at the start of creation.

It is also entirely rational that God, here on Day 4, provides the cycle of day and night and of the changing seasons for the trees and vegetation to go through their necessary cycles and thrive.

We may reasonably ask: If the sun and moon were made on Day 4, how was there evening and morning on Days 1-3?

We have already suggested that God supplied a light source other than the sun, to fulfill his purpose on Days 1-3 until he had set the sun and moon in place on Day 4.

It was at this point (Day 4) that the sun replaced the temporary light source which was in place to define the evening and morning on Days 1-3 during which time the earth was already rotating on its own axis.

Revelation 22 v 5

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.

If God has planned a future eternity with a light source other than the sun, it is clear that the provision of a temporary light source on Days 1-3 was not an issue.

Genesis 1 v 16

God made two great lights - the greater light to govern the day (sun) and the lesser light to govern the night (moon).

A light-hearted 'hypothetical' perspective


The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, so hypothetically speaking, If the sun was the size of a football; the moon would be smaller than a pin head!

The earth is circa 3.6 times bigger than the moon, so the next time you see a full moon, look up and imagine it to be the earth (as viewed from the moon) only 3.6 times bigger.

Perspective - if the moon is the diameter of a tea cup, the earth would be a dinner plate! This will allow you to visualise how close the earth is to the moon. Every time I look up at the moon, this is how I visualise it. I find this truly amazing.

Earth V Moon

Size of earth compared to moon

If the earth and the moon were static objects and you could drive to the moon in a straight line at a constant speed of 60 mph, it would take 6 months to get there. By contrast, it would take 177 years to reach the sun!

Consider this; the earth is a staggering 93,000,000 miles from the sun, the moon by contrast, is a mere 225,000 to 250,000 miles from the earth depending on its position in its elliptic orbit. Astronomers usually take this as an average 239,000 miles.

Although the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, they are positioned at just the right distance in relation to the earth that the sun and the moon (governing lights) appear to be the same size when viewed from the earth. This is masterful genius given the astounding disparity in size and distance from the earth!

The earth rotates on its axis at a speed of 460 metres per second or 1,000 miles per hour. It also orbits the sun at a staggering 30 km per second or 67,000 miles per hour. Although we are constantly rotating and travelling at these speeds, we have no sensation of this movement.   

The moon orbits earth and as a result its distance from the sun constantly changes during its orbit. As a result of this, the temperature on the moon varies from – 170 degrees C to + 100 degrees C.

We can deduce from this that although the earth is circa 93,000,000 miles from the sun; if the earth was any closer to the sun we would burn up and if it was any further away, we would freeze.

Science demands that this is the random result of a 'Big Bang'; faith accepts that this is the result of an intelligent creation. I suggest that only a creator God can sustain the perpetual motion and precision that we observe in our solar system.

Earth V Sun

Above - The earth and moon are tiny when compared with the sun.

And yet, despite the disparity in size and distance, God has these planets positioned in such a way that the two lights of Day 4 of the creation week, the Sun and Moon, look the same size when viewed from the earth!

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

DAY 5 - Sea creatures and Birds

Sea Life 2 Bird

Here we see God creating all the various kinds of birds and all the sea creatures, great and small. Both birds and sea creatures were commanded by God to fill the waters and increase on the earth.

On the subject of the flow and progression of creation, we are advocating the interpretation of a creation week consisting of six literal 24 hour days. Again, I find it difficult to seriously contemplate there being any extended time gap between Day 5 and Day 6.

Why would God leave all the birds and sea creatures (Day 5) to survive without the compliment and interdependence of all the other living creatures and animals (Day 6) ? An extended time gap of thousands of years between Day 5 and Day 6 introduces a major problem regarding how the various groups of birds and animals cohabit earth.

The notion of such an extended time gap between these two days in the creation week does not make any sense to me.

Genesis 2 v 19

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

The birds were created on Day 5 and the animals were created on Day 6. Therefore, the natural flow of this text puts the creation of the birds and the animals at the same time, i.e. one day apart. There is not even a hint of any extended time gap.

We need to ask; did all the varieties of birds remain unnamed for an unspecified period of time if there was an extended time gap between Day 5 and Day 6? I am inclined to think not. We repeat - every new day in creation is a compliment to and an extension of the previous day. 

Genesis 1 v 28

Adam was commanded to rule over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and all the creatures that move along the ground.

How could Adam rule over the birds of the air and the fish of the sea that were created on Day 5 if there was an extended time gap between Day 5 and Day 6? 

The notion of gaps between the successive days only serves to interrupt the flow and progression of the creation week and perhaps introduces more problems than it solves.


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Read moreTime and Motion

Read moreSix literal days, "And God said"

Timeline 1: Genesis 5 genealogy - Creation to the Flood

Timeline 2: Genesis 11 genealogy - The Flood to Jacob