20 June, 2019

30. Sabbath Rest

Sabbath Rest

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.
—Genesis 2:1-2

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, right?

Actually...that's a presupposition.

(Sneaky little devils, aren't they?)

The Bible never says Adam and Eve lived there. It never says the garden belonged to them. In fact, it says the garden belonged to God and that Adam worked there.
You were in Eden, the garden of God...Ezekiel 28:13a

The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it...no tree in the garden of God was its equal in beauty...all the trees of Eden envied it, that were in the garden of God." —Ezekiel 31:8-9.
When God "rested" on the Seventh day, he was actually moving in, i.e. setting up residence in Eden, and making it His "dwelling place." [1]

Note that the Bible uses dwelling and resting synonymously when it comes to God.
Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord; let us worship at the footstool of his throne. Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place, along with the Ark, the symbol of your power...For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem; he has desired it for his home.“This is my resting place forever,” he said. “I will live here, for this is the home I desired. —Psalm 132:7-8 & 13-14
Genesis 1 is not a house story (with a focus on building), it's a home story (with a focus on moving [2]
in). Day 6 isn't the climax with a random God-rested-even-though-he-doesn't-get-tired Day 7 tacked on so we can have seven days in a week. Day 7 is the climax to a God-wishes-to-dwell-with-mankind love story that often gets missed in the heated debates over science and semantics.

So Adam was God's gardener?

Yes. And no.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. —Genesis 2:15
The words translated "till" and "keep" are terms used in the book of Numbers to describe the duties of the priests.[3] Check out Num 3:7-8, 8:26, 18:5-6.

So what was Eve's job?

While we don't know her specific duties, we do know she was Adam's helpmate. The Hebrew word is ezer, and lest anyone thinks that means one who is inferior, the only other time the word is used, it is describing God. That's right. The other 20x the word is used in the entire Old Testemnt is to describe God as the ezer of mankind. Obviously, God is not inferior to humans. Hebrew scholar Robert Alter says it is best translated "sustainer beside him."

Swordcraft Tip: In the margin of Gen 2:2, write "Eden = God's garden" and "Ez 28:13, 31:8-9." Underline, highlight, or circle the verbs in Gen 2:15 (usually translated work/tend and watch/keep") and write in the margin "priestly terms" c.f. Num 3:7-8, 8:26, 18:5-6. In the margin of Gen 2:18, write "God as helper (ezer): Deut. 33:26, 29; Psalm 33:20, etc."

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Photo Credit: Oast House Archive: CC BY-SA 2.0 / Sold House by Guy Kilroy / Help Button: Pixabay.

[1] Walton, John. (2015.) The Lost World of Adam and Eve.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.