God Pursued Work Resting with Adam and Eve Whom He Created to Make
Resting with Adam and Eve on the 7th day of creation week was essential for God to continue His work
Before I answer the point from the last article about what God was making or doing on the seventh day, let me ask another question: with what, with whom is He doing something? Remember, the creation was finished, so what is still in the works. If God continues to make or do something, on what, with what is He exercising His skills?
(Origin of the Universe, chapter 5.3)
Being a pivotal piece of the puzzle, we need to look at the various angles to make sure we assemble it in its rightful place in the puzzle. I’m going to add an element to the comprehension of this verse supported by Hebrew vocabulary, biblical reasoning (This is Godly theology, not human theology), and especially corroborative contexts. Indeed, what God is working with, making and doing, is supported by hundreds of other contexts, in fact, the core of the whole Bible — both Old and New Testaments. It is a fundamental principle of the entire story we’re about to unfold. And unfortunately, it is not widely understood.
Let’s look into just one simple but meaningful word which rounds off the edges of this translation in Genesis 2:3.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all (mikol) his work which God created and made.
The two words from all come from one Hebrew word mikol, which is a combined form of 2 words min (H4480-from) and kol (H3605-all). How else has min been translated? We return to Strong’s:
min (min); or minniy (min-nee’); or minney (constructive plural) (min-nay’); (Isaiah 30:11); for H4482; properly, a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses (as follows):
KJV — above, after, among, at, because of, by (reason of), from (among), in, neither, nor, (out) of, over, since, then, through, whether, with.
H3605 kol (kole); summarized by ‘properly, the whole; hence, all, any or every’
Notice, the last entry of H4480 above (these entries are in alphabetical order) after the KJV: one translation of min is with. Granted, not often translated this way, but it can have this meaning as seen in Gen 25:30, “And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray you, with (min — H4480) that same red pottage…”
Please use the Bible tool at UnlockBibleMeaning.com to verify Gen 2:3 and the Hebrew, via the Interlinear Bible for from all. I am NOT saying that this translation from all is incorrect. What I am saying is that we can ALSO translate mikol as with all. And when you do a Bible study, both these terms are correct in context. It gives a fuller meaning.
I realize this manipulation of Biblical Hebrew might feel, look, and sound strange if not downright far-fetched to you. But, I remind you, it is the KJV translators that have given this single Hebrew word min multiple meanings, not James Strong or Sam Kneller. All Strong did was compile all the translations in the Bible for min. All I’m doing is invoking one of these translations, with, from Strong’s compilation.
We already saw that we can render shevet with: rested, cease, sit down, among others. As I’ve said, each Hebrew word tells a story; this includes shevet and min. Yes, this is a new concept for you, and it is maybe difficult to digest. So, keep it in mind for now, if you can’t swallow it yet.
Let’s look at this supplemental approach to Gen 2:3, “… he (God) had rested with all his work which God created and made,” from an additional angle by considering what I call corroborative contexts. These are Bible verses elsewhere in this voluminous book that support the idea God rested WITH all His work.
Here is the quickest and simplest biblical context with which practically all Bible readers would immediately identify: Emmanuel = God WITH us (Matthew 1.23). One of the names of God sums up what His goal is: To be with His creation, with His work, with Adam and Eve. Many other texts relay this basic desire of God (see Further Study below).
To my knowledge, no Biblical translation of Gen 2.3 captures this concept of God doing something with His creation.
Am I saying that the various translations of this and other texts are incorrect? No, the scholarly translators have gone to great lengths to stay as close to the original meaning as possible. But, as was pointed out in the chapter about the Hebrew language and vocabulary, a word can have multiple meanings, even opposite meanings (see the final point about ended in Further Study below) — depending on the context. Bible context is king, and context is not just the verse or chapter. Each puzzle piece — or word — must fit together with the hundreds of other pieces — words and context — in the puzzle. Each piece — each word — points to the whole: The complete picture.
In this verse, which states God is WITH His work, God is gently reminding us that He is still onstage.
He has just spent six days configuring an exquisite planet Earth, the culmination of those six days is the creation of man. He could have placed Adam and Eve in any geographical location on the planet, and they would’ve been in sumptuous surroundings. But He didn’t. Instead, God goes to the pains — on the 6th day — of planting a Garden — a unique garden — His very own Garden on Earth, with a couple of exceptional Trees. In the entirety of Earth, there is nothing similar to this Garden; it’s very distinctive. As the piece de resistance, in this particular Garden, He places the dustpeople — Adam and Eve.
Two soil people in His personal Garden of God; this is even more extraordinary than summoning a commoner to an event like Prince William’s and the Royal Princess Catherine’s late-night wedding reception party on the landscaped grounds of Buckingham Palace. Why such an honor for a couple of such humble origins?
Why God wants Adam and Eve in the Garden with Him
Talk about a fairytale beginning to rival the royal newlyweds’ romance! We have the first 7th day, the Sabbath, with God desiring to be with Adam and Eve in the idyllic setting of the Garden of Eden, to do (laasot) something with (min) this first couple. If you were a couple, invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen and the Royal Prince and Princess, wouldn’t you want to know what to do in their presence? That’s what God had to do with Adam and Eve precisely — explain to them the basics.
God’s role was to work with Adam and Eve, to teach them, to elaborate to them what they were doing there with Him in the first place. Since you know the rest of this episode (what happened to Adam and Eve), I will add: To teach how to remain with God in the Garden — what their conduct should be, “You shall not eat…”A commoner invited to the Buckingham Palace Gardens knows there’s an explicit etiquette to be followed. In the same fashion, God explained the protocol of how this new couple was to go about their present lives in His presence. Imagine improper decorum in Buckingham Palace — do you think your presence there would continue if you took something that was forbidden?
Every individual and couple needs instruction on how to conduct themselves, although few receive such teaching, as we’ve discussed in Audit of the Universe in the chapters devoted to Individuals and Families. Adam and Eve were no different. God’s goal was to be with the couple to assist in their preparation for the days and years to come, their lives ahead. There was plenty to do for God; He expounded details of partaking of the Tree of Life and not eating from the Tree of Good and Evil — He gave them His instruction manual for this complex creation. Put another way, the couple had all the operating systems installed but no programs to run them. God was with Adam and Eve to inaugurate the working plan. That’s what He had to do (laasot) with (min) Adam and Eve on that first 7th day.
This article is an excerpt from chapter 5.3 of Origin of the Universe
As we start this incursion into the Biblical Hebrew of the Bible, it behooves you to take the time to verify what I’m offering you here. Don’t take my word for it. Look for yourself.
- Emmanuel — God with us. There are hundreds of contexts in both the Old and New Testaments to corroborate this. Find just a few of them; they do not necessarily include the word with. They are Bible stories that point out the principle that God always cares about and for His creation and, in particular, humankind. Think about how this is a central theme, if not the key theme of the Bible. The New Testament goes even further: God IN us and us IN Him; this is the ultimate with. Can you get any closer than being inside each other — totally interlaced?
Realize that God is not just interested in being with a part, or a single group of His creation. God wants to be with ALL His creation, every single human being that has ever walked the face of the Earth. In a day and age, when globalization is a reality, we need to consider that God is a global God, not a local, isolationist, private, elitist God. He plans to be WITH ALL His creation. But, it’s one teaspoonful at a time — until the bulldozer scoop is full. That’s the whole narrative of the Bible story.
- Study the word work (melach — 4399, which is related to 4397) used three times in Gen. 2:2–3. This word points to a specific aspect of God’s creation, and it is enlightening.
Use the study tools at UnlockBibleMeaning.com to look up its more complete meaning. Work is very general and impersonal, whereas the Biblical Hebrew original has a much more specific personal flavor and corroborates the point of God with us.
- If you want to get into the essence of what is going on with creation week, then also study the words finished and ended as in God ended His work in Gen 2.1–2.
Both finished and ended come from one Hebrew word: chol or kala, H3615 in Strong. Here’s just a part of how the KJV translators rendered this Hebrew word: accomplish, cease, consume (away), determine, destroy (utterly), be (when… were) done, (be an) end (of), expire, (cause to) fail, faint, finish, fulfill …
I have taken the liberty of color-coding this because it’ll immediately jump out at you that destroy and fail appear to be the opposite of finish and end. Or, at least negative endings, whereas the seven day creation week has a very positive ending.
We’re witnessing the second principle of 7 Keys to Understanding Biblical Hebrew: The same Hebrew word having opposite (negative/positive) meanings. My intention here is not to get you more mixed up! But, to get you thinking. Realize that these Biblical Hebrew words — say a lot more than our English, French, German, or whatever vocabulary. The Biblical Hebrew of the Bible encases MUCH MORE than you thought compared to a simple reading of words in your native language.
I have no intention of explaining these positive/negative translations of finished/ended — destroy/fail right now. Suffice to say that these translations are correct, and ADD meaning to this Genesis account. In due time I will explain this; it’s all part of digging for Bible meaning. We cannot take bulldozer scoops, we have to take it a teaspoonful at a time, and even then, it might be too much. Will you stay with me? That’s why I’ve written Origin of the Universe. We’re just beginning our journey into The Explanation. And it is the most exciting journey you’ll ever take.
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.