The interpretation of bəjôm in Gen 2:4 as “when” in the sense of an unspecific period of time has often been used as an argument to defend an allegorical or figurative interpretation of the days of creation. A comparison with parallel grammatical constructions throughout the Pentateuch casts severe doubts on that idea, which are confirmed by a closer exegetical analysis of bəjôm in Gen 2:4b in its individual literary contexts (Gen 2:4a, 1:1, 2:5-3:24, especially the parallel narrative sequence following 5:1-2). Without “Systemzwang,” all arguments point to the natural understanding of bəjôm in Gen 2:4 as “in the day,” referring to a specific day, the first day of creation.
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