The Torah uses the same word יום in the same verse to denote both "daylight" and "24 hours":

וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה
וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.

Those words are NOT interchangeable: it is meaningless to change them: "God called the light 24 hours" or "there was evening and there was morning, the first light".

I know they didn't have the word יממה yet, but why does Torah use the same word to denote both?

  • 4
    We do the same thing in English: "day [vs night]" and "day [of the week]" – Double AA Oct 28 '19 at 23:35
  • Your question needs some editing so we understand which concept you are focusing on. My guess is that you're questioning the concept of a "day" as a unit of the week, which means one rotation of Earth on its axis vs. the term "day" meaning the time between sunrise and sunset (or dawn to twilight, etc.) Of course, this is related to the notion of what this means prior to the creation of the sun and moon which didn't occur until the 4th "day". At any rate, pick an angle and clarify this in your question. In other words, it's not as much about the word usage as about the "bigger" concept. – DanF Oct 29 '19 at 14:06
  • @DoubleAA ... and because we mimicked that in English... What does it say about Loshon Hakodesh? – Al Berko Oct 29 '19 at 18:04
  • @DanF I think the Q is pretty simple - the same word refers to two not interchangeable terms, I don't care what they are. Why? Are we short in words? – Al Berko Oct 29 '19 at 18:05

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