The Seven Days of Genesis

All research or scholarship questions
will6344
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The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby will6344 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:01 am

A recent discussion I had with a Christian friend of mine led to a question of the interpretation of the beginning of Genesis. If taken literally, it goes against rationality and scientific evidence, and shows the book of scripture and the book of nature to be in disagreement. So it must be a metaphor, but what do the seven days represent?

"We Bahá'ís do not believe in Genesis literally. We know this world was not created in seven days, or six, or eight, but evolved gradually over a period of millions of years, as science, has proved. As to where the idea of a seven-day week originated, it is certainly very ancient and you should refer to scholars for an answer."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 28, 1949)

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 493)

Likewise, the statement that God created the heaven and the earth in six days is symbolic. We will not explain this further today. The texts of the Holy Books are all symbolical, needing authoritative interpretation.

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 219)

Our Exalted Lord said that a great Manifestation
appears on the earth every 500,000 years.
The difference between a great Manifestation
and a lesser One, is as that between the sun and
the planets. The 7th "day" of Genesis, 1st chapter,
refers to the Great Manifestation.

(Compilations, Baha'i Prayers 9, p. 50)

The Master and the Guardian ask us to look to scholars to decipher the hidden meaning of the seven days of Genesis, but everywhere I look I see only highly opinionated platitudes. On one side are literalists who say that there is only one meaning of Genesis. On the other, critics of the Bible who use the absurdity of the former's claim to say the Holy Book is fictitious, fantastic, useless, and should be paid no heed.

My question restated: What do the seven days of Genesis mean?

brettz9
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:02 am

This doesn't answer regarding the seven days specifically, but I think you may find a general answer at http://www.bahai-library.com/zamir/barstow2.html#143 where it begins:

Regarding thy question as to the beginning of Creation: Know thou that the Truth (GOD) has eternally ever been, and so also have His creatures, for there is no beginning either for the Truth (GOD) or for the creatures. According to the bodies in this contingent world, the "beginning" mentioned in the Holy Scriptures means the beginning of the Manifestation, and "Creation" signifies the Second Spiritual Birth: as Christ says, "You must be born again." There is no doubt that the beginning of this Spiritual Creation was the Manifestation Himself, for such Manifestation of the Divine Manifestations is the Adam (of His time) and His first believer is Eve, while all the souls who are born of the Second Birth are His children and decendents.


Besides quotes mentioned at http://bahai9.com/wiki/Adam , there is the following symbolical interpretation of Adam and Eve which might possibly be of interest if not sparking some ideas on the 7 days as well.

It is titled as "Lesson on Adam and Eve and Garden of Eden, as recorded in Genesis." at http://www.bahai-library.com/zamir/barstow2.html#138a . Per http://bahai-library.com/lovejoy_dwight ... collection , this talk might be a pilgrim's note but the source was not even identified, so it is not clear whether this may have even been from 'Abdu'l-Baha at all (and if so, whether it were authentic), or some other believer.

The passage on making man in God's image (from within the passages of Genesis on the 7 days of creation) is specifically discussed at http://bahai-library.com/writings/abdul ... up.html#69 and a number of other places, though it is not given in the context of the meaning of specific days.

Perhaps of most interest, it looks like the collection referenced above might also have some further answers on this (133A-B which mentions "five days of creation"), though unfortunately, this is not yet online. I have a copy, but it is not in the country; I will see if I can get it scanned maybe in the next couple days.

Best wishes,
Brett

BruceDLimber
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby BruceDLimber » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:32 am

Also, while it's not about "creation" specifically, you should probably check the chapter "Adam and Eve" in Some Answered Questions, which is of course Baha'i scripture.

Peace, :-)

Bruce

BruceDLimber
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby BruceDLimber » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:33 am

Jonah, you still haven't given us back the posting numbers.

Please do this.

Bruce

brettz9
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:56 pm

Hi,

This talk about six days of creation (mislabeled in the introduction as five days of creation) by Albert Windust, an early American Baha'i, is now at:

http://bahai-library.com/zamir/barstow2.html#133a

Based on the pilgrim's note you found, I wonder whether at least some of this, if not all, is inspired by 'Abdu'l-Baha's words, though it could just as well only be his own attempt at interpretation.

Best wishes,
Brett

onepence
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby onepence » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:55 am

I remember hearing a talk once that mentioned the seven days as being symbolic for the individual Days of the Manifestation.

I believe this talk was from a Hand of The Cause in which he briefly stated something along the lines of each Day represented the religion of a Prophet.

No further thought was given in the talk i listened to, but i thought, wow, that is interesting , i wonder why he thought that.

I never found a clear cut answer, never really researched it much.

I do know, in my own mind, I have heard Christians talk about being given "authority" to rule over the animals ... so ... i think one Day of Creation is about animals .... another Day of Creation, i think was land, and i know Muslims talk about "nation" building ... ... and that is about as far as I got with this idea or theory.

Also, I would be hesitant to consider a linear progression of Creation with a linear progression of Religion, for Religion is Creation and Creation is Religion; furthermore, God works in mysterious ways and thus i would be hesitant to add our Faith into any one of The Seven Days of Genesis, that is, if you think clearly about Whom is authoring the seven days then it is is obvious that

This is the Day of Majesty of Glory of Will of the year of Luminous of the Ninth Vahid of the First Kull-iShay of Baha'u'llah!

Glad Tidings

oneness
dh

ps ... just thought ... stars = fire = Zoroastrian .... maybe ... ????

will6344
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby will6344 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:30 pm

The concept of Creation being rebirth, and the days symbolizing different religions brought up a thought. For each religion there is a day and a night, a golden age and then decay until the light of that religion has gone out. Day and night. I'm starting to see some possibilities here.

brettz9
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby brettz9 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:48 pm

BruceDLimber wrote:Jonah, you still haven't given us back the posting numbers.

Please do this.

Bruce



This is now added. Jonah and I are busy with other items in life and also may have our own priorities as far as Baha'i projects, so we cannot always immediately respond to requests (if implementing them at all). However, feel free to continue with requests such as these if you are aware of useful mods. Please also note that these "mods" (modifications) involve improving a specific version of the software which means we may need to reapply the same work upon each upgrade (which is not all that convenient). It may sometimes be easier to request and wait for an official release of the software to include this functionality rather than rely on these third-party mods.

Best wishes,
Brett

iranpour
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Re: The Seven Days of Genesis

Postby iranpour » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:03 pm

Will6344 wrote Apr. 17, 2012:
A recent discussion I had with a Christian friend of mine led to a question of the interpretation of the beginning of Genesis. If taken literally, it goes against rationality and scientific evidence, and shows the book of scripture and the book of nature to be in disagreement. So it must be a metaphor, but what do the seven days represent?
…… My question restated: What do the seven days of Genesis mean?

Hello the dear friends in this Forum. I am a new member and this is my first post. I hope to enjoy your views and let the friends to be acquainted with my views.

Hello will, I think I have the answer to your question and hope to describe the subject in detail.

In the Old Testament of the Bible it has written:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. (Genesis, 1:1).
“…… And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”. (Genesis, 2:2-3).

You know that regarding the importance of the subject, THE CREATION OF THE WORLD IN SIX DAYS and THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GOD IN HIS THRONE on the seventh day is recorded in seven different chapters (Surahs) of the Qur’an as well:

“Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He established Himself upon the Throne, directing all things”. (The Qur'an, 10:3).

Now let’s know that the definition of “DAY” in the term of the Scriptures is known as the “DAY OF GOD” which is recorded equal to “A THOUSAND YEARS” in the “BIBLE” and the “QUR’AN”:

“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”. (2 Peter, 3:8).

“And they will bid thee hasten on the Doom, and Allah faileth not His promise, but lo! a Day with Allah is as a thousand years of what ye reckon”. (The Qur'an, 22:47).

I have to note why the “Day of God” is “ATHOUSAND YEARS”:
The ordinary “DAY” is when the “SUN” rises in the morning and sets in the evening. The day follows by the “NIGHT” and then another “DAY” appears.
As it is with the “SUN” and the “DAY”, so it is with the “SUN OF TRUTH” (Divine Manifestation) and “THE DAY OF GOD” which is A THOUSAND YEARS of what we reckon.

Now that the definition of “DAY” in the Scriptures was known, let us see the duration of “Adamic Cycle”.

We know that the duration of Adamic Cycle was “SIX THOUSAND YEARS” and in this cycle there appeared six Manifestations of God (Prophets or Messengers). They are Adam. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, each about a thousand years. (The exception is the period of Moses (1300 years) and Jesus, Who came to complete Judaism, was (700 years), but the sum of the two cycles is (2000 years), makes a thousand years for each of the above religions..

And when the Adamic Cycle elapsed, THE DAY OF GOD arrived and the glad-tidings of the Qur’an for MEETING THE LORD accomplished:
:
“Who know that they will have to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are returning”. (The Qur'an, 2:64).

And the prophecy of Jesus in the parable of the Vineyard, “THE LORD OF THE VINEYARD SHALL COME” fulfilled:

“ ……What therefore shall the LORD OF THE VINEYARD do unto them? HE SHALL COME AND DESTROY THESE HUSBANDMEN, AND SHALL GIVE THE VINEYARD TO OTHERS”. (Luke, 20:15-16).

The duration of the cycle of each and every Prophet is clarified in the Qur’an, which says THE CAUSE OF GOD descends from the heaven of the will of God and return back in a period of a THOUSAN YEARS:

“He directeth the ordinance from the heaven unto the earth; then it ascendeth unto Him in a Day, whereof the measure is a thousand years of that ye reckon”. (The Qur'an, 32:5).


To confirm the interpretation of the verses of the Bible and the Qur’an regarding the six days of creation of RELIGION and establishment of BAHA’U’LLAH on the throne of REVELATION, I will quote some of the writings of Attar, the well-known poet, theoretician of Sufism and hagiographer from Neyshabur in Iran.

He was well-versed in the Qur’an and its interpretation.
In one of his poetical Books, named, Si-Fasl, (thirty chapters) interpreting the “QIAMAT” (Resurrection) that Muslims believed to be in the NEXT WORLD, he has discussed on the subject and refers to the six days of creation and the seventh day that God established in His Throne. I have read the book about sixty years before and remember some the poems.

He believes that his views is charged by the guidance of the Qur’an. He says that it was not destined for the Prophets to reveal THE SECRET OF THE QIAMAT (The Day of Resurrection) clearly. Qiamat is the cycle of the Faith of The Chosen One, in reality, it is the Gate of The Chosen One. Then he says, THE SIX DAYS are the CYCLES OF THE SIX PROPHETS:

The first call was uttered by Adam, who diffused and propagated THE RELIGIOUS LAW in the world. Then it was the turn of Noah who saved the people in the Ark of His Faith. (*)
Then it was Abraham Who was the exemplar of resignation, in Whose hands the FIRE OF NIMROD UNSCATHED. Then it was the DAY OF MOSES Who caused by His White, miraculous hand to destroy the serpents of magicians. Then it was the turn of Jesus, the Son of Mary, Who revived the whole mankind who were dead (spiritually).
Then it was the time of THE SEAL OF THE PROPHETS (Muhammad) Who was the HEAD OF THE MESENGERS.

Then Attar returns back to the subject and says that the SIX DAYS is THE CYCLES OF SIX MESENGERS, and at the END OF THE SIX THOUSAND YEARS The Promised One of the nations, QAIM, will appear.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
(*). In another poem he clarifies the meaning of the Ark of Noah. He says that Noah was an absolute Guide; the meaning of the Ark is “SUMMONING OF GOD” (His Religion); those who embraced the DIVINE SUMMONING, Noah saved them in THE ARK OF HIS FAITH.


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