And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had
Not that God wrought anything on the seventh day, or finished any part of his work on that day, because he could not then be said to rest from all his work, as be is afterwards twice said to do; and because of this seeming difficulty the Septuagint, Samaritan, and Syriac versions, read, "on the sixth day". The two latter versions following the former, which so translated for the sake of Ptolemy king of Egypt, as the Jews say F1, that he might not object that God did any work on the sabbath day: and Josephus F2 observes, that, Moses says the world, and all things in it, were made in those six days, as undoubtedly they were; and were all finished on the sixth day, as appears from the last verse of the preceding chapter; and yet there is no occasion to alter the text, or suppose a various reading. Some, as Aben Ezra observes, take the sense of the word to be, "before the seventh day God ended his work", as they think (b) may be rendered, and as it is by Noldius F3: or the words may be translated, "in the seventh day, when God had ended", or "finished his work" F4, which he had done on the sixth day, then
he rested on the seventh day from all his works which he had
not as though weary of working, for the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, nor is weary, ( Isaiah 40:28 ) but as having done all his work, and brought it to such perfection, that he had no more to do; not that he ceased from making individuals, as the souls of men, and even all creatures that are brought into the world by generation, may be said to be made by him, but from making any new species of creatures; and much less did he cease from supporting and maintaining the creatures he had made in their beings, and providing everything agreeable for them, and governing them, and overruling all things in the world for ends of his own glory; in this sense he "worketh hitherto", as Christ says, ( John 5:17 ) .
F1 T. Bab. Megilla fol. 9. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
F2 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 1.
F3 Concord. part. Eb. p. 144. No. 1007. Perfecerat. "ante diem septimum"; some in Yatablus.
F4 (lkyw) "et compleverat", Drusius; "quum perfecisset", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "had finished", Ainsworth.