Genesis 2:1-3

Genesis 2:1-3
Narrative Lectionary


Thus the heavensI and the earthII were finished,III and all their multitude.IV 

Notes on verse 1

I “heavens” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
II “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
III “finished” = kalah. This is to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed.
IV “multitude” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.

And on the seventh day GodV finished the work that he had done, and he restedVI on the seventhVII day from all the workVIII that he had done.IX 

Notes on verse 2

V “God” = Elohim.
VI “rested” = shabath. This is to rest, stop, repose, cease working. It implies to celebrate (as celebrating the Sabbath).
VII “seventh” = shebii. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/ sacred fullness). This is seventh.
VIII “work” = melakah. Fromt eh same as malak (messenger, an angel, or a deputy; human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God; also supernatural messengers i.e. angels). Properly, this is a deputyship or some kind of work. It can also be the product that comes from labor.
IX “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.

So God blessedX the seventh day and hallowedXI it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.XII

Notes on verse 3

X “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
XI “hallowed” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
XII “creation” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.

Image credit: A depiction of Adam naming the animals from the Byzantine era, source unknown.

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