Genesis (Part 10)

The 7th day of Creation.

Genesis 2: 1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Translations:

From 2:1

“finished” = כָּלָה kâlâh, kaw-law’; a primitive root; to end, whether intransitive (to cease, be finished, perish) or transitive (to complete, prepare, consume):—accomplish, cease, consume (away), determine, destroy (utterly), be (when… were) done, (be an) end (of), expire, (cause to) fail, faint, finish, fulfil, × fully, × have, leave (off), long, bring to pass, wholly reap, make clean riddance, spend, quite take away, waste.

“host” = צָבָא tsâbâʼ, tsaw-baw’; or (feminine) צְבָאָה tsᵉbâʼâh; from H6633; a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); by implication, a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship):—appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war(-fare).

From 2:2

“work” = מְלָאכָה mᵉlâʼkâh, mel-aw-kaw’; from the same as H4397; properly, deputyship, i.e. ministry; generally, employment (never servile) or work (abstractly or concretely); also property (as the result of labor):—business, cattle, industrious, occupation, ( -pied), officer, thing (made), use, (manner of) work((-man), -manship).

“and He rested” = שָׁבַת shâbath, shaw-bath’; a primitive root; to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causative, figurative or specific):—(cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause (make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.

From 2:3

“sanctified” = קָדַשׁ qâdash, kaw-dash’; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally):—appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy(-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify(-ied one, self), × wholly.

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In these verses we have the first Shabbat, or (anglicized) Sabbath.

In Exodus 20, we see more on this: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

In Exodus 31: 13-17: 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

As we see in the passage from Exodus 31, the Sabbath was viewed as a “lasting Covenant” – and its breach – at this time in the history of the Israelites – was punishable by death.

In the Christian New Testament, it is written in Mark 2:23-28: 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of[a] Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

With the context of the passage from Exodus, above, you can see how Jesus put himself at odds with Jewish leaders over this issue.

Observance of the Sabbath is the 4th Commandment in Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant faiths. However, it is the 3rd Commandment in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions.

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“The heavens and the earth were finished, and all of the host of them.”

This is a strange verse. Elliott’s Commentary for English readers interprets the verse thusly:

The host of them.—The word translated host does not refer to military arrangement, but to numbers gathered in crowds. This crowded throng of heaven sometimes means the angels, as in 1Kings 22:19; oftener the stars. Here it is the host both of heaven and earth, and signifies the multitudes of living creatures which people the land, and seas, and air.

The Benson Commentary states:

The host of them — That is, the creatures contained therein. The host of heaven, in Scripture language, sometimes signifies the stars, and sometimes the angels. But, as Moses gives us no intimation, in the preceding chapter, that the angels were created at this time, and as Job 38:6-7, evidently implies that they had been created before, they do not appear to be here included.

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There is a rich amount of scholarship and some mystery on the topic of Sabbath. However, I thought I would share one somewhat popular prophetic belief, regarding Sabbath, of which I was previously unfamiliar. (To be clear… by sharing this I am not endorsing this! I just think it’s interesting.)

“Millennial Day Theory”

This belief holds that each “day” of mankind’s existence is equivalent to 1,000 years. As such, we get the following:

Day 1 – Sunday (1,000 years): Mankind is created, lives in the Garden of Eden, sins, is cast out, and almost at the very end of this period Adam finally dies at almost 1,000 years old.

Day 2 – Monday (1,000 years): Enoch is translated, wickedness increases, the Flood, the Tower of Babel event occurs

Day 3 – Tuesday (1,000 years): the life of Abraham, Hebrews are captives in Egypt, the Exodus, Mosaic Law established, Joshua leads the invasion of Canaan, Saul becomes King of Israel

Day 4 – Wednesday (1,000 years): David becomes King of Israel, 1st Temple both established and destroyed, Babylonian captivity begins and ends, the major and minor prophets teach in Israel

Day 5 – Thursday (1,000 years): The second Temple is built and destroyed, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus occurs, Constantine establishes Christianity in the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire falls, Charlemagne is crowned Holy Roman Emperor

Day 6 – Friday (1,000 years): The Crusades, the Dark Ages, Columbus reaches America, the Enlightenment, WW1 and WW2, the re-establishment of Israel [WE ARE HERE], then.. the Antichrist, Jesus returns

Day 7 – Saturday (1,000 years): Peace for 1,000 years, Satan is loosed, Gog and Magog, 2nd Resurrection.

By this teaching we are very near to some momentous events. Support for the theory is as follows (from Wiki):

The main support for this view is found in the passages regarding the original Sabbath system that the Judeo-Christian God instituted, while also taking the verses of Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 into consideration. According to the proponents of the theory, Hosea 6:1-2 demonstrates that after 2 days, the Lord will revive Israel, and on the third day, restore her and live with her forever. According to these Christians, Jesus has indeed been gone for two millenniums. He was crucified during a time of severe Roman oppression that was directed towards Israel, which eventually caused the dispersion of Israel in the 1st century AD. Counting the first two days as two millenniums, and the third day as the Millennium in which Christ reigns on Earth may invariably lead to the conclusion that Jesus will return soon – most likely within the 21st century. It is this perception of Bible prophecy that provides the motivation to create a theory that is rooted in absolute Biblical literalism and is entirely based on Premillennialism.

Additional support for the theory can be found in the Apocrypha. The Book of Jubilees records the end of the life of Adam in chapter four. Jubilees 4:29-30 “And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in the sixth year [930 A.M.] thereof, Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation, and he was the first to be buried in the earth. And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: ‘On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.’ For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it.” This theory has led some Christians to make a connection between the “Day of the Lord,” the “Last Day,” the “Sabbath,” and the 1000-year reign of Christ, seeing them as synonyms. However, this interpretation is not widely held at this time.

When we come back for more from Chapter 2, we will revisit the creation of man and woman.

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