Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Genesis 2:1-3

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

(I decided to go with the New International Version for now, to reduce issues of translation.)

The chapter division here is odd -- this really ought to be the end of Chapter One, not the beginning of Chapter Two. More on that next time, and why it might be.

It is noteable that the God we are starting to see revealed is not much like the modern Judeo-Christian-Muslim God, in many respects. Most notably, he is not all knowing and all powerful -- he has definite limitations, and very human quirks and weaknesses. If he made us in his image, the converse is that he resembles us, in all our imperfection.

And here is the first evidence of it - his labors make him tired, so he rests. Fortunately, that means he is sufficiently empathetic that he gives us a day of rest as well -- although as we shall see later he gets awfully nasty with people who don't seem to appreciate his gift.

I think that many pious Jews still have a sort of personal, human scale relationship with this very human-like G_d, in spite of his grandeur and power. For Christians, he tends to be more abstract and inscrutable. I don't know enough Muslims well enough to know how they perceive God's personality. Maybe someone else can comment on that.