I know a lot of people are doing Fr. Mike Schmitz’ Bible in a Year podcast. I’ve read the whole Bible before, but I’m jumping on the train this year. Albeit a couple days late.
So you may know that in the Creation story in Genesis, when it says “evening came and morning followed, the first day” — it’s really saying the name of the day of the week in Hebrew. And in Hebrew, it’s really “Day One,” because that’s how Hebrew names the days of the week.
Day One is the same as English’s Sunday, Spanish’s “domingo,” and so on.
So it’s pretty commonplace to observe that the week of Creation is divided into groups. Cosmic stuff is happening on Day One, Day Two, Day Three, and Day Four, and then animals and humans are happening on Day Five and Day Six, and then Day Seven/Day Sabbath is the end of the week, when God rests.
(Sabbath, or Hebrew “shabbath,” is yet another horrible/great Biblical pun. The phrase “shabath” means “He rested.” But “sheba” means “seven” and “shaba” means “to swear.” So it’s Day Seven, and the day God rested, and the sworn covenant day, all in one.)
Well… I noticed just now that Day Four, Wednesday, is indeed Hump Day. It’s not only the middle of the week, but the day when God creates the stars and Sun and Moon to time the years and seasons as well as give light. And then the next couple day are all about animals and humans, so it’s all different from then on.
A lot of Old Testament poetry and religious practice is about organizing the world into categories and distinctions, so it’s good to notice.
Four days plus two days plus one day. Everything building up. It’s not how modern people think, but it’s not a wrong way to do it. The very fact that Genesis is so easy to memorize shows that it’s set up well.
Right down to the horrible Biblical puns!