Did God Finish Creation on Day Six or Day Seven?
The creation account appears to be completed by the end of the sixth day with the creation of Humans. Genesis 2:1 clearly states that the heavens and earth and all their host were completed at the end of day six. The problem is Genesis 2:2 which says, "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done. . ." (ESV) So, which is correct? Did He finish creation on day six or day seven?
Genesis 2:2 has caused translators huge problems. What do we do with this verse that appears to contradict the previous verse that states creation is completed after day six? The Septuagint (Greek translation used in Jesus' time) resolved the problem by changing the word 'seventh' to 'sixth'. Its translation says, "And on the
seventh sixth day God finished his works that he had made. . ."
Some recent translations resolve it be changing the preposition from 'on' to 'by' or 'before'. "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. . ." (NIV) However, this destroys the two parallel phrases in Genesis 2:2. The second line is translated correctly in the NIV as, "so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." The two lines are clearly parallel, and changing the preposition on one destroys the parallelism the author created.
Was God completely done with creation by the end of day six? Was there be anything else to create -- perhaps something that required a pause before He could create it? 1 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (ESV) There was one essential creation that was not completed by the end of the sixth day.
When Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross He cried out, "It is FINISHED." This was just moments before the Sabbath (seventh day) began in Jerusalem, and had already begun in lands further east. This completed work of Christ provides the way for the ultimate creation -- to be born again as sons of God. Perhaps that is why Genesis says what it does. The heavens, earth, and all their hosts were completed by the end of day six. But, God paused on the seventh day and set it aside as holy because there was one more creation yet to be completed, but it had to wait until the proper time.
Perhaps that is why for days one through six Genesis says that there was evening and there was morning the ____ day, and it never says that for the seventh day. The seventh day creation was not yet completed. Perhaps this is why Jesus performed key miracles on the Sabbath. He was letting poeple know that He had come to complete the Sabbath creation. The Sabbath creation that was made for man (not man for the Sabbath).
Is this a Pause or Rest?
Literally: "Created for to Make"
What Did God Do on Day Eight?