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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 68 Genesis 2:3

3. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He desisted from all His work which He had created by making.

Creatures have been blessed (v. 22), man has been blessed more richly (v. 28). The summary creation account which began at 1:1 is aptly concluded by an act of divine blessing, which, however, in this case attaches itself to the seventh day. The object of this rather unusual procedure is twofold: on the one hand, such an act serves as an indication to man that rest such as the divine rest is noble and holy and by no means to be lightly esteemed; in the second place, those blessings of the Sabbath that are later to flow forth for the good of than are potentially bestowed on it. For on the one hand, the verb "he sanctified it" (qiddesh), being a Piel stem, has the connotation of a causative--as the Piel often does (K. S. 95) and on the other hand, it at the same time has a declarative sense: "He declared holy, or consecrated." However, it should be well observed that no commandment is laid upon mankind at this point. Procksch remarks rightly and pointedly: "for the present the Sabbath stays in heaven." Yet this does not make the Sabbath a futile abstraction, but, as was remarked above, its connection with the divine rest or cessation from labour is made to stand forth as. a worthy divine act.

At the same time the entire groundlessness of the critical assumption becomes apparent, where the arrangement of works according to days is attributed to clever and purposeful manipulation on the part of the author. For, having eight major works, he (it is said) nevertheless compresses them within six days, to be followed by a seventh rest day, in order to secure a divine parallel to the Hebrew week. This is not a week ordained for man. It is entirely a divine week. Nor is there clever editorial manipulation, but simply an accurate and straightforward account of things as they actually took place.

With a certain fulness of expression this part of the account comes to a dignified close with the causal clause, "for on it He desisted," etc. The adjective clause "which He had created by making" conveys the thought that, though it was creative work (bara'), yet at the same time this creative work was accomplished by work which was done through successive steps: "by making" (la'asoth). This gerundival use of the infinitive is explained in K. S. 402 y and G. K. 114 o.

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