LXX Genesis 2:2


1 And the sky and the earth were finished, and all their arrangement. 2 And on the sixth day God finished his works that he had made, and he left off on the seventh day from all his works that he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it he left off from all his works that God had begun to make. 4 This is the book of the origin of heaven and earth, when it originated, on the day that God made the sky and the earth

Megillah 9a

Babylonian Talmud

Instead of: “And on the seventh day God concluded His work” (Genesis 2:2), which could have been understood as though some of His work was completed on Shabbat itself, they wrote: And on the sixth day He concluded His work, and He rested on the seventh day. They also wrote: Male and female He created him, and they did not write as it is written in the Torah: “Male and female He created them” (Genesis 5:2), to avoid the impression that there is a contradiction between this verse and the verse: “And God created man” (Genesis 1:27), which indicates that God created one person.

 Notes and References

"... Readers perceive themselves advancing from one day to the next, learning the details of Creation and the logic behind it. Naturally, then, this path leads to the final stage, which is the Creator’s rest once his work has ended. The writer or editor chose the materials for his new story from the versions within the traditions at hand, or even from a familiar epic. This new story is designed to announce an additional creation connected with the seventh day, namely, resting after six days of work. This perception that cessation from work is a kind of creation arises from the phrasing ‘On the seventh day God finished the work that He had been doing’; and it is not written that he finished his work on the sixth day, or at least at the end of the sixth day. (In the Samaritan Version, the Septuagint and the Peshitta it is the sixth day. Compare also Jubilees 2:2, 16, as well as Talmudic and Midrashic attempts to confront this difficulty by describing the Holy One as one who ‘entered by a hair’s breadth’ (b. Megillah 9a; Genesis Rabbah 10:10 and Rashi’s commentary on this verse). The ancient versions, the Sages and the commentators who followed them, in contrast to the Masoretic text, have in mind the pragmatic halakhic problem of Sabbath observance, hence the centrality of separating the days from what was done on each day) Hence the Masoretic version prepares the basis for the oxymoronic concept of activity that is cessation, and thus hints at the creation of the Sabbath as a new entity that is cessation of any type of work ..."

Amit, Yaira, and Betty Sigler Rozen In Praise of Editing in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays in Retrospect (pp. 5-6) Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2012

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