Question of the week: Why does Genesis 1 use the words “evening” and “morning” to indicate the ending and starting time of each creation day?
My answer: Biblical Hebrew has a very small vocabulary size, only about 3,000 words if one does not count the names of people and towns. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that virtually every biblical Hebrew noun has multiple distinct literal definitions. The Hebrew words for evening (‘ereb) and morning (boqer) include as part of their literal definitions, beginning and ending. The words and phraseology used in Genesis 1 for creation days 1 through 6 are the most appropriate to indicate that there was a definite start and end time for each creation day. That there is no evening-morning phrase for the seventh day (Genesis 2:1–4) implies that God’s seventh day is not yet finished, as Psalm 95:11 and Hebrews 4:1–11 affirm. For a detailed analysis of the evening-morning phrases used in Genesis 1 and the use of the Hebrew words ‘ereb and boqer elsewhere in the Old Testament, see A Matter of Days, 2nd edition. Anyone can get a free chapter of this book at reasons.org/ross.