When God created the heaven and the earth the Bible says the seventh day God rested.  But when one thinks we realise that "rest" is a characteristic of imperfection.  Can we say instead that God took one day to relaxe?  Is it a translation mistake?


The word translated "rested" in Genesis 2:2,3 is the Hebrew word sabat.  The meaning of this word is to rest or to cease working, to put an end to or to stop.  In other words, the meaning is that on the seventh "day," God did not work.  Of course, God is always working, as it requires "work" for God to simply sustain his creation. but perhaps he is not always creating the earth.  So God stopped his creative work on the seventh day.  The "work" of creating the world was done, but God was not sitting around ignoring the world.  I believe it is a mistake to make too big a deal out of the exact meaning when the Bible said that God stopped working.  The point of the passage in Genesis and the point of the Sabbath regulation in general is not about God.  The point of Genesis 2:2,3 is that we need to take time to stop working so that we can relax and contemplate God and what he has done for us.  I do not understand why you believe resting represents imperfection.  Perhaps this may have to do with a language issue, as I assume your first language is French.  Even for human beings, it is not shameful or weak for us to take time to rest from our labor.  If you want to think of the word relaxe in place of rest for the word sabat, I do not see a problem with this.  It seems a bit colloquial to think of God relaxing, but it does not do violence to the idea behind resting in Genesis chapter two.

John Oakes

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