**Exodus 31:17 ESV:

It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.

Isaiah 40:28 ESV:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

I would like to preface this by saying I am not asking the meaning of "rest" I understand that means to cease. Rather I am asking about the full phrase "he rested and was refreshed". That seems like God was refreshed as a result of ceasing creating, but that would imply that God was weary during creation if ceasing work made him refreshed.

Ive seen answers like "refreshed" as in taking pleasure, but that is an expression in english, how do we know that expression exists in ancient Hebrew as well? Similarly I have seen use of Genesis 1:31 as evidence, yet Genesis 1:31 refers to the sixth day, while Genesis 31:17 refers to the seventh day. I bolded the "how" here because I am satisfied with proof for an interpretation. Ex: If it is an anthropomorphism, how do we know it is that and not a contradiction?

I understand that the hebrew word for refresh that was used means "to take breath", but there are other places where that word is used to signify regaining energy from weariness, (Exodus 23:12 and 2 Samuel 16:14). What differentiates this usage in Exodus 31:17 from the other verses and what makes Exodus 31:17 not mean that God was refreshed as a result of his cessation of work (Because how can you be refreshed from stopping work if the work did not make you tired).

  • 1
    This question was effectively answered today on SE-Biblical Hermeneutics.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2023 at 7:15
  • @NigelJ The most top-voted answer didn't answer this question, it presents that idea that "was refreshed" should mean to take pleasure, but as I bolded in my question "how do we know" it should be taken that way? what I wanted that proof that the pleasure interpretation is correct. Does that expression exist in ancient hebrew?
    – User2280
    Dec 2, 2023 at 16:28
  • The answer dealt with he word נָפַשׁ (naphash) see Strong 5314. I don't know what more you would expect to be told in answer to your uestion.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 2, 2023 at 19:34
  • There's nothing in this question that is about Christianity specifically. It, obviously can be answered from a Christian perspective, but then again, so can the correct method of putting of folding linens or pairing wines and cheeses.
    – Peter Turner
    Dec 3, 2023 at 5:21
  • @PeterTurner Please consider that User2280 is a new user. If you consider it off topic here, could you kindly migrate this to BH.se? Dec 4, 2023 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


They do not contradict because "refreshed" does not imply what the OP suggests. Rather than being reinvigorated because he had ceased working, God felt a sense of refreshing satisfaction because at long last his children were finally alive. He is described as pronouncing His creation "very good" (Genesis 1:31), giving His blessing to man and woman to be fruitful and multiply, etc. The creation of man and woman marked a new phase in God's life. For the first time, God was the parent of living physical children and could look forward to the birth of grandchildren soon.

So we need not think of God's "refreshment" as related to weariness, but to his joy that his plan of creation reached fulfillment, similar to an artist stepping back and feeling completely satisfied with his masterpiece. Isaiah 40:28, on the other hand, simply expresses the fact that God is not like human beings, who grow physically tired. Exodus 31:17 refers to refers God's invigorating joy in knowing that he work was complete. Based on this interpretation the two verses do not conflict.

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