God Made Something on the Climactic 7th Day of Creation
God made, He was active on the 7th day of creation — the pivotal creation climax
The 7th day was a day when God made… This day was the pivotal creation climax simply because of the six other days leading up to and into it. (We’ll have plenty of space and time to develop the relationship between man and the seventh day of the week and the raison d’etre of this distinctive seventh day.)
(Origin of the Universe, chapter 5.2)
In Genesis 2:1, at the end of the 6th day, it clearly states that all the creation was finished.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
This statement means that all the physical, the animate (space, atmosphere, water, land, flora, fauna, life, human body, brain) and inanimate (mind) as I laid out in Inventory of the Universe, was indeed complete. As we look around, we take note of our surroundings with all of our senses; this is the physical world that science has investigated extensively and attested both its microscopic minuteness and its immense grandeur. Pick up a National Geographic or Geo magazine, and we are astounded by our Universe’s splendor, variety, and intricacy.
We’re going to see that although this physical creation was complete at the end of the sixth day, God still had much to accomplish.
Adam, created that sixth day, spent part of it naming the animals. As a plot twist, he has an element of himself removed, which becomes Eve, and then they spend a certain amount of time ogling over each other — put yourself in their shoes! — after which they both receive some instruction from God — and now it is sunset and the end of the sixth day.
Creation week still has one day to go. A significant day — the culmination day as indicated by Genesis 2:3:
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.
וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת-יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ: כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת
Here the Hebrew word shabbat is translated rested (I’m color-coding the English and Hebrew so you can see it, even if you can’t read it. You can also check UnlockBibleMeaning.com, find Gen. 2.3, and switch to the Interlinear Bible to see the word correspondence). From this term, we have the word: Sabbath, known as the Jewish day of rest from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
Galacti pulls out Strong’s Concordance for this next exploration. Remember, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is our handheld help-tool for every word in the Bible, with all the root meanings and derivatives. If you’re not aware of this Bible help, read up on it here.
Here’s what Strong’s Concordance has to say about rested — shabbat (H7673):
שָׁבַת shâbath shaw-bath’; a primitive root; to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causative, figurative or specific):
KJV — (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.
שֶׁבֶת shebeth sheh’-beth; from H7673 (שָׁבַת); rest, interruption, cessation:
KJV — cease, sit still, loss of time.
The basic word means rest, but in many implied relations. In the course of seeing the full shape of this Shabbat piece of the puzzle, we’ll visit all these various translations and meanings. For now, note 7674 — from 7673 — with the same three root letters — and one of these related meanings: sit still. We could say that God rested — sitting still. In modern Hebrew, the word to sit uses the same three root letters; shin (שׁ), beit (ב), tuf (ת).
Now notice the two verbs at the end of this same verse:
He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
(made-laasot: Strong’s H6213) אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת
(created-bara: Strong’s H1254) אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא
The word for created is bara, a verb only used with God as the subject (see Further Study below). The bara in Genesis is the creation ex nihilo (from nothing — remember, take it like a fairytale story if you like). I shall develop the creation story extensively in future blog posts and the book Origin of the Universe, but for now, we’re still focusing on God’s goal, the why of the Bible story.
Let’s turn our attention to made from the original word laasot and note a couple of points about the Hebrew text.
- The word and is not present in Hebrew — the translators added it. One of my Hebrew teachers made this astute comment, “The sentence could easily have ended after the word created.” It could’ve, but it doesn’t because the verb ‘made’ adds a vital fundamental point, without which this puzzle piece loses its entire shape.
- Now notice below that, in fact, the word made appears three times in verses 2–3. In Hebrew, the first two renditions are asa — made in the past tense. The third rendition of ‘made’ is not in the past structure, it is laasot — In English grammar, we’d say this is an infinitive. I have no intention of giving grammatical explanations. All I will say is that an infinitive is a verb preceded by the particle to — That said, you can laasot with to do.
2 And on the seventh day, God ended his work which he had made (עָשָֽׂה); and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made (עָשָֽׂה).
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 (לַעֲשׂוֹת).
When we put this all together, we have God sitting, resting, having ceased (see this KJV translation and meaning of H7673 above) from the ex nihilo creation, but He is in the state or condition of to do (H6213), doing something. He is anything but idle during the 7th day. God finished the creation in six days, but He is still diligent and busy. What occupation is He pursuing? What is He doing? What is He making?
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 5.2 of Origin of the Universe
- For those of you who have some knowledge of Hebrew, check the Hebrew words for had made at the end of Gen. 2:2 and the end of Gen. 2:3. Notice that the English translation is identical, but the Hebrew construction is very different. Verse 2 says had made, but verse 3 is to make.
For those of you without this knowledge of Hebrew, you can still see the difference in Hebrew verb construction by using the Interlinear Bible and checking the last word in Gen. 2.2 and 3
- Check to see that in Genesis 2:3, rested is indeed translated ceased by the KJV translators in Strong’s 7673. Yes, I want you to double-check these points at the beginning of our journey because I want you to know I’m not giving you Sam Kneller’s translation of the Hebrew. The KJV translators were much better Hebrew scholars than I’ll ever be. ALL their various translations for the SAME Hebrew word give ALL the nuances and multiple meanings of each Hebrew word. As I conclude in the course 7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew. Each Hebrew Word, of and by itself, tells a story. We’re just beginning to get into these exciting stories.
NB Remember that in Strong’s, all the words following ‘KJV” (King James Version) are words used by the original translators to render ONE Hebrew word. You may want to revise this concept of multiple English translations for each Hebrew word that I’ve expanded here. Soon there will be a video course about the 7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew. A Study Method to Unlock Bible Meaning. As you’re beginning to see, that’s what we’re doing in this blog post. And this is just an inkling of what we’ll be accomplishing.
- Bara: only God performs ‘creation.’ This word is used in other contexts and with other translations, but when it comes to this type of ‘creating’ something … only God is the Author. You can read ALL the contexts in the Old Testament, where we find the word bara. Here’s how:1. Go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com (this only works on desktop, not smartphones, for the time being)
2. Find the reference Gen 2.3 and the word ‘created’ in that verse
3. Switch to Strong’s Concordance for Gen 2.3 (use the drop-down box towards the top right of the screen)
4. Click on the number H1254 (to the right of ‘created’)
5. You’ll see the Strong’s information in the right pane of your screen
6. Mouseover the Strong’s entry for H1254 and the bottom section will reveal more links
7. Click on Hebrew Concordance for H1254
8. This view displays EVERY SINGLE USAGE of H1254 in the Old Testament in its contextual verse.
9. Read these verses to see that when it comes to create — bara, God alone does this.
You can read all of the book Origin of the Universe online. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.