One of the common ways that people try to reconcile the creation account in Genesis with the claim that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old is that they tried to claim that the days of the creation week are not ordinary earth days. They will either claim that they are figurative for long periods of time or that they were actual days just extremely long ones. The reason they tried to do this is that they have been convinced that science has proven the earth to be 4.5 billion years old. They are usually totally ignorant of the fact that this date is based on an Atheistic model of the Earth’s origin that assumes the Bible is wrong. but what does the Bible really say?
The argument is also made that the word day or yom in Hebrew can refer to more than just a regular Earth day but also long periods of time. However, if you really look at the verses and the pattern that they have. It clearly points to the days of the creation week being regular days. So first let's look at Genesis chapter one.
Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23, 31
5, And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
8, And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
13, And the evening and the morning were the third day.
19, And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
23, And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
31, And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The pattern should be obvious to anyone.
- And the evening and the morning were the first day.
- And the evening and the morning were the second day.
- And the evening and the morning were the third day.
- And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
- And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
- And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Each part starts off with evening and morning, which is not only clearly a reference to regular days in English, but from a Hebrew perspective even to this day according to the Jewish mindset, the next day starts at sunset on the previous evening. For example, Jews always start their Sabbath Friday night even in 2022. This pattern makes it absolutely clear these are supposed to be ordinary earth days. Furthermore, each day is numbered in sequence and that too is always a reference to regular Earth days. This is further expressed in the book of exodus.
9, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10, But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11, For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Here God connects the days of the creation week with ordinary workdays, further showing that He is intending to say these are ordinary earth days. In fact, in these verses, God seems to be going out of his way to make the point that these are ordinary days. It is as if He is saying hay stupid these are ordinary days.
Those pushing the idea that the days of Genesis one were long periods of time like to turn to verses like 2 Peter 3:8.
2 Peter 3:8, But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
They completely ignore the fact, but this verse is simply referring to the timelessness of God it has nothing to say about the length of the days of creation. What makes this even worse of an argument is that they are using a statement written in Greek to justify a particular interpretation of a Hebrew word.
The simple fact is that there is no textual reason for concluding that these days were anything but ordinary days. The only reason why people say otherwise is because they are not willing to accept the plain wording of the text. While, you have had those who questioned it because they couldn't imagine God taking so long, the main reason for questioning these days being ordinary is to try to reconcile the Bible with an age for the earth that is consistent with atheism.