Examining Supposed Creation Passages in Proverbs to Isaiah | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

In a series of articles, I have been examining a list of biblical passages about creation compiled by Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe (RTB) in his book A Matter of Days. Ross contends that when these other passages about creation are considered with the creation account of Genesis 1–2, one reaches the conclusion that the world is billions of years old. However, proper study reveals that they do not lead to such a conclusion. There is nothing in these passages that warrant overriding the clear teaching of Genesis 1–2 that the creation was over six normal days. In my first article, I gave an overview and listed six types of errors that Ross committed when assembling his list, as well as a discussion of those passages elsewhere in Genesis. In subsequent articles, I discussed those passages from Joshua through Job (second article) and the Psalms (third article). Here I discuss passages on the RTB list from the book of Proverbs through the book of Isaiah.

Proverbs:3:19–20: Like Psalm:136:5 concerning the heavens, Proverbs:3:19 credits God with wisdom and understanding when he created the earth. Verse 20 states that by knowledge the depths are broken up and clouds drop dew. This mention of the depths being broken up is similar to the description of one source of the flood waters in Genesis:7:11, suggesting to some that it is referring to the Flood. Again, nothing here would undermine the young-earth view.

Proverbs:6:6–8: Like Proverbs:30:25, this passage instructs us to consider the ant and learn wisdom. This explains the provision that God has made for animals in the world today, not how they came into existence.

Proverbs:8:22–33: Proverbs 8 and 9 famously personify wisdom as one who was with the Lord “at the beginning.” Reminiscent of Psalm:136:5 and Proverbs:3:19, these verses relate wisdom to creation, which can be inferred from Genesis 1, but adds nothing to support Ross’ day-age view. That old-age view implies a foolish and wicked god who created the sun, moon, and stars (some of the latter exploded) billions of years before they could serve their purpose of telling time to man. And that god assigned man the task of ruling over sea, air and land creatures, most of which lived and died (and some kinds even became extinct) for millions of years before man existed to rule over them. Only the young-earth view is consistent with the wisdom, goodness, and power of God.

Proverbs:24:30–34: This passage deals with slothfulness, and so has nothing to do with creation.

Proverbs:30:24–28: Proverbs:30:24–28 draws spiritual lessons for man in the instinctive behavior of four animals, the ants, conies (or rock badgers), locusts, and spiders. Verses 29–31 mention three other animals: lions, greyhounds,1 and goats. The passage has nothing to do with when and how God created in Genesis 1.

Ecclesiastes 1; 3; 8–12: These are illustrations of how the world now operates, not how it was created.

It is not clear why, in his list, Ross claims seven of the twelve chapters of Ecclesiastes as creation passages. These chapters contain allusions to certain aspects of creation as it now exists. These include the abiding of the earth for generations (Ecclesiastes:1:4), the sun’s daily rising and setting (Ecclesiastes:1:5), the circulation of winds (Ecclesiastes:1:6), the hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes:1:7), a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes:3:1–8), and the admonishment to remember our “Creator” in our youth (Ecclesiastes:12:1–2). These are illustrations of how the world now operates, not how it was created. These chapters do not qualify as creation accounts and shed no light on the age of the creation.