Genesis 1:1 tells of the creation of the starry heavens as well as this planet earth, and says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When this “beginning” took place, the Bible does not say. It is not until later in the Bible that we read of what God created on the first “day.” The six creative “days,” therefore, involve the creative acts of God in preparing the already-existing earth for human habitation, and not the creation of the earth itself. There is nothing in the Genesis account, then, to contradict the scientific conclusions of modern scientists that the material universe, including the earth, may be many thousands of millions of years old.
Then, how are we to understand the words of the Fourth Commandment, about God making the heavens and the earth during six days? (Ex. 20:11) It helps us when we understand that, just as Bible writers used the term “day” in more than one sense, so they also used the terms “heavens” and “earth” in more than one sense. Thus at times the atmosphere in which the birds fly is referred to as “the heavens.” (Jer. 4:25) This atmospheric expanse or “heavens” was made on the second “day” of the creative week. Also, it was not until the third “day” that dry land appeared. So it can be said that the earth, meaning the dry land, also was made during the creative week, but this not meaning that the earth, the globe or planet itself, was created then.—Gen. 1:6-10, 13.www.jw.org