Thus, Nechunya claimed that if you properly understand how to use the 42-lettered name, Genesis provides for a period of time between the origin of the universe and the creation of man, namely 42,000 "Divine Years." But a "Divine Year" isn't 365.25 of our days; it's 365,250 of our years (a day in shemayim is 1000 years on Earth, from the Psalms). So, between the origin of the universe and the creation of man there transpired 42,000 X 365,250 years. In other words, says Nechunya, Genesis tells us that the universe came into existence 15.34 billion years ago.
The information that the kabbalists use was derived from sources in the Zohar. I was not able to come up with an exact reference.
Science is presently at 13.7 billion years which means they are getting close. From several books that I have on the subject and this Wikipedia write-up:
The age of the universe is the time elapsed since the Big Bang. The best current estimate of the age of the universe is 13.75 ± 0.11 billion years (4.339 x 1017 seconds) within the Lambda-CDM concordance model. The uncertainty range of 0.11 billion years has been obtained by the agreement of a number of scientific research projects, such as microwave background radiation measurements by Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and other probes. Measurements of the cosmic background radiation give the cooling time of the universe since the Big Bang, and measurements of the expansion rate of the universe can be used to calculate its approximate age by extrapolating backwards in time.
Einstein calculated using the effects of relativity and concluded that the six 24 hour days of the creation took 15.75 billion years which is .41 billion years different from the Zohar. From Dr Gerald Schroeder's book, Genesis and the Big Bang. Very detailed answer is needed but I will try to explain in a nutshell.
• The first of the Biblical days lasted 24 hours, viewed from the "beginning of time perspective." But the duration from our perspective was 8 billion years.
• The second day, from the Bible's perspective lasted 24 hours. From our perspective it lasted half of the previous day, 4 billion years.
• The third 24 hour day also included half of the previous day, 2 billion years.
• The fourth 24 hour day ― one billion years.
• The fifth 24 hour day ― one-half billion years.
• The sixth 24 hour day ― one-quarter billion years.
When you add up the Six Days, you get the age of the universe at 15 and 3/4 billion years.
Yes the final answer is that the universe took exactly six 24 hour days to create and those six days took 15.34 billion years (I didn't say the answer would be easy to understand).
This is not a simple nor a cut and dry answer, but I guarantee the Torah has all the answers, not science. There are many books written on the subject which will wow you. They talk about many scientific discoveries of the past 10, 50, 100 years and tell you exactly where to find that information in scriptures. The Rabbi’s knew all this information thousands of years ago.
Two books (there are many others) that I recommend that will explain where in scriptures one can find answers to scientific discoveries are:
- The Coming Revolution by Zamir Cohen (originally written in Hebrew but translated into several languages including English)
- Mysteries of the Creation by Rabbi Dovid Brown
The Rabbi’s didn’t forget. All the information was past down though the millennia with the commentary of many Rabbi’s (Rashi, Rambam, Ramban, Arizal, Ramchal, etc, etc, etc).
Hopefully, this gives you the information you are looking for. It is not easy, without writing a book, to explain such complicated information simply without losing most of my readers. Any more questions, fire away.
I decided to change my topic for today since I would like to answer a very good question that was submitted on a previous post, 27 March 2012: