Genesis 2:1


(1) Were finished.--The first three verses of this chapter form part of the previous narrative, and contain its Divine purpose. For the great object of this hymn of creation is to give the sanction of the Creator to the Sabbath. Hence the ascribing of rest to Him who wearies not, and hence also the description of the several stages of creation as days. Labour is, no doubt, ennobled by creation being described as work done by God; but the higher purpose of this Scripture was that for which appeal is made to it in the Fourth Commandment, namely, to ennoble man's weekly rest. Among the Accadians, Mr. Sayce says (Chald. Genesis. p. 89), the Sabbath was observed--so ancient is its institution--but it was connected with the sun, moon, and five planets, whence even now the days of the week take their titles, though the names of Scandinavian deities have been substituted in this country for some of their old Latin appellations. Here every idolatrous tendency is guarded against, and the Sabbath is the institution of the One Almighty God.

The host of them.--The word translated host does not refer to military arrangement, but to numbers gathered in crowds. This crowded throng of heaven sometimes means the angels, as in 1Kings 22:19; oftener the stars. Here it is the host both of heaven and earth, and signifies the multitudes of living creatures which people the land, and seas, and air.

Verse 1. - Thus the heavens and the earth were finished. Literally, and finished were the heavens and the earth, the emphatic position being occupied by the verb. With the creation of man upon the sixth day the Divine Artificer's labors were brought to a termination, and his work to a completion. The two ideas of cessation and perfection are embraced in the import of calais. Not simply had Elohim paused in his activity, but the Divine idea of his universe had been realized. The finished world was a cosmos, arranged, ornamented, and filled with organized, sentient, and rational beings, with plants, animals, and man; and now the resplendent fabric shone before him a magnificent success - "lo! very good." This appears to be by no means obscurely hinted at in the appended clause, and all the host of them, which suggests the picture of a military armament arranged in marching order. Tsebaam, derived from tsaba, to go forth as a soldier (Gesenius), to join together for service (Furst), and applied to the angels (στρατία οὐράνιος, Luke 2:13. 1 Kings 22:19; 2 Chronicles 18:18; Psalm 148:2) and to the celestial bodies (δύναμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν, Matthew 24:29. Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 40:26; Daniel 8:10), here includes, by Zeugma, the material heavens and earth with the angelic and human races (cf. Nehemiah 9:6). If the primary signification of the root be splendor, glory, like tsavah, to some forth or shine out as a star (T. Lewis), then will the LXX. and the Vulgate be correct in translating πᾶς ὁ κόσμος αὐτῶν and omnis ornatus eorum, the conception being that when the heavens and the earth were completed they were a brilliant army.

2:1-3 After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but as one well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace, in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. The solemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest and holy work, to God's honour, is the duty of all to whom God has made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human race were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbath was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also. The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing the work of our redemption.Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,.... Perfected and completed in the space of six days, gradually, successively, in the manner before related; by the word and power of God they were on the first day created out of nothing, but they were not perfected, beautified, and adorned, and filled, until all the creatures in the were made:

and all the host them, of the heavens and the earth; the host of heavens are the sun, moon, and stars, often so called in Scripture, and also the angels; see Luke 2:13 wherefore this may be considered as a proof of their creation within the above space of time, probably on the first day, though the Jews commonly say on the second; for if all the host of heaven were made at this time, and angels are at least a part of that host, then they must be then made, or otherwise all the host of heaven were not then and there made, as here affirmed: and the host of the earth, or terraqueous globe, are the plants, herbs, and trees, the fowls, fishes, animals, and man; and these are like hosts or armies, very numerous, and at the command of God, and are marshalled and kept in order by him; even some of the smallest of creatures are his army, which are at his beck, and he can make use of to the annoyance of others, as particularly the locusts are called, Joel 2:11.

Genesis 1:31
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