Genesis 2:1-13 Day Seven The Sabbath
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
The climactic seventh day is remarkably different from the foregoing six days of creation.
there is no introductory formula (“then God said”) because his creative word is not required
Second, this day does not have the usual closing refrain “evening” and “morning” to indicate its termination
Theologically the absence of the refrain implies that creation was intended to enjoy a perpetual rest provided by God, although that rest was disrupted by human sin.
Third, the seventh day is the only day of the week blessed and consecrated by God.
Fourth, unlike the creation days, the number of the “seventh” day is repeated three times
Fifth, the seventh day stands outside the paired days of creation, having no corresponding day in the foregoing creation week
Verses 2–3 contain four lines, the first three of which are parallel, each possessing seven words (in the Hebrew), with the midpoint of each line having the same phrase, “the seventh day.
A literal translation displays the structure:
So God finished by the seventh day his work which he did,
and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he did,
and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,
because on it he rested from all his work which God created to do.
God’s finished task is sealed in the words he rested
It is the rest of achievement, not inactivity, for he nurtures what he creates
we may compare the symbolism of Jesus ‘seated’ after his finished redemption
8 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
Our Lord based his own constructive use of the sabbath on this understanding of the divine rest
17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Characteristically he went to ‘the beginning’ for his teaching
But God’s rest was pregnant with more than the gift of the sabbath
that God has “blessed”, “sanctified” … this rest means that’ the author ‘does not consider it as something for God alone but as a concern of the world.
The way is being prepared, therefore, for … the final, saving good.
In the Babylonian creation stories the gods are freed from their labors after the creation of humans, who were formed for the sole purpose of serving the deities’ needs
God’s sabbath, however, is not aversion to labor but the celebrative cessation of a completed work
he expresses his mastery over time by sanctifying it.
Whereas in the Hebrew calendar (and those of other peoples) the days, months, and years were related to the solar and lunar cycles, the Sabbath is not tied to any celestial movement.
The Sabbath thus underlines the fundamental idea of Israelite monotheism: that God is wholly outside of nature
The seventh day alone is called “holy”
It is significant that the word holy is applied in Scripture first to the concept of time, not to space
For the apostle Paul, Sabbath was a foreshadowing of the eternal realities of the Lord and the church
Let no man therefore judge you xin meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come;
The old signs of circumcision, dietary laws, and sabbath observance were set aside as “boundary markers for the people of the covenant
Christians are circumcised in heart (Rom 2:29)
undefiled by foods (John 15:3)
and free to treat every day as sacred (Rom 14:5, 12; 1 Tim 4:3–5)
Sabbath has given way to the realities of the “Lord’s day”
The church set aside the first day of the week as a special day for worship and proclamation
By the first day the Christian community proclaims the new creation, the era of messianic redemption.
5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
8 And being found in ufashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest