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This means that, quite aside from how one interprets the days of Genesis 1, the origin of the Universe (and, indeed, the earth) occurs, as far as the information provided in Scripture is concerned, at an indeterminate time in the past.

a definite article associated with the sixth and seventh day, which seems to suggest there is something special — or different — about those latter two days.

These are: In approaching the text of Genesis 1, we notice that there are certain features which are suggestive that the text need not be read as necessitating that we take a young-earth view. This being so, there is the implication that day 1 commences in verse 3, while the description in verses 1-2 of God creating the heavens and the earth precedes it.

This conclusion receives still further support from the fact that the verb “created” in verse 1 is in the perfect tense, whereas the use of the narrative tense begins in verse 3.

On the latter view, Genesis 1 comprises a mythological allegory; Adam and Eve are reduced to mere literary devices; and the historicity of Noah’s Flood is typically abandoned altogether.

There is a plethora of competing views which reside in the middle of those polar extremes: Examples include the Day-Age Theory; the Gap Theory; and various forms of progressive creationism.

This pattern may suggest that the exact chronological sequence of events is not in mind here. This may suggest that God allowed the trees and vegetation to germinate and grow by virtue of natural processes.

From the courtyard, one would move into the organised cosmos as he entered the antechamber, which is where one would find the Menorah, teh Table of Bread and the incense alter.

In the descriptions of the Tabernacle, the lamb and its olive oil are provided for “light” (which is the same word used to describe the celestial bodies in day four).

The diversity of views on Genesis, even among the most learned of exegetes and scholars, is staggering.

While one extreme insists that the days of Genesis must strictly be interpreted as seven consecutive 24-hour periods (thus rendering the earth very young indeed — in the order of thousands, and not millions or billions, of years old), at the other extreme lies the notion that the early chapters of Genesis are devoid of any historical content at all.

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