In many verses of the Bible, God is described as omnipotent or all-powerful. In Genesis 17:1, God describes Himself to Abraham by saying, I am Almighty God. Abrahams son, Isaac, in blessing his son Jacob, said: May God Almighty bless you…. The omnipotent nature of God can be seen throughout the Bible. The psalmist wrote: Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5). From such verses, we get the idea that God can do anything that can be accomplished with power. We also get the idea that Gods power never runs out, and He does not get tired. As Isaiah wrote: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary (40:28).
But, if God does not get tired, why does the Genesis account of Creation say that on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done (Genesis 2:2, emp. added)? What does the Bible mean when it says that God rested? Were the rigors of creating the Universe so difficult for God that He needed a break? Did His creative power need to be rejuvenated? And, does this resting not militate against the idea that God does not faint nor is weary? The answers to these questions are really very simple.
When we hear the English verb rest most of us immediately think of being tired or needing to recuperate drained energy, but the Hebrew translated rest in Genesis 2:2 does not always carry that same idea. In fact, the first two definitions given for the Hebrew word translated rest (shābat or shābath) are to cease, desist. The Enhanced Strongs Lexicon documents that, of the 71 times it is used, 47 of those times it is simply translated cease, and only 11 of those times is it translated rest (Shabath, 1995). The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament states: The translation to cease, desist can be illustrated in the following verses: Day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22)…. (Harris, et al., p. 902).
A brief look at the original word translated rest or rested shows that God did not get tired, nor did He need a day to convalesce or build up His strength. He simply stopped creating the Universe. He finished in six days and stopped on the seventh day to set a pattern for a seven-day week. God does not need to rest or relax, because He neither faints nor is weary. In dealing with questions like this, sometimes a brief look at the original language can go a long way.
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer Jr. and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Shābath (1995), Enhanced Strongs Lexicon (Electronic Database: Logos).
Copyright © 2004 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Alleged Discrepancies" section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the authors name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.
For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558