“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”
One major argument used against biblical creationists is that the days of creation cannot be real 24-hour days because the seventh day in Genesis 2:2 still continues to present times. In support of this position, they offer Hebrews 4 as supposed proof.
In Hebrews 4:1, we read that entering God’s rest is as a result of faith. The writer of Hebrews then quotes Psalm 95:11, showing that God equated His rest with entering the Promised Land. Hebrews shows that the Promised Land is therefore a type of the world to come. Hebrews 4:4 quotes Genesis 2:2, implying that God’s rest was from His creative work, and that this rest has been available since then. What we should note, however, is that Genesis 2:2 does not equate God’s rest with the actual length of the seventh day, especially as shown in Hebrews 4:4. The Greek aorist tense used in the word κατέπαυσεν (katepausen: rest) suggests an activity begun in the past, but does not indicate that the activity is complete. The context in Hebrews suggests that God’s rest began on Day Seven, but does not suggest that Day Seven continues. Day Seven was thus the time of the beginning of God’s rest, but Day Seven came and ended 24-hours later, while God’s rest continues.
Hebrews 4:10 states “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” God’s rest is eternal, but the creation week was comprised of real 24-hour days.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Kulikovsky, A.S., God’s rest in Hebrews 4:1–11, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ) 13(2):61–62, November 1999. Image: Papyrus P46 (actually of 2 Corinthians), Public Domain.
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