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Genesis translational challenge: Sixth day or seventh day?

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by BWSmith, Mar 22, 2002.

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  1. BWSmith

    BWSmith Biblical Scholar

    BWS: Here's a challenge for you on the text of Genesis 2:2. What did the original text say?

    The Masoretic text (and hence most of our English translations) says:
    "By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done." (seventh = "ha'shivi'i")

    In contrast, the Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, and Syriac version say:
    "By the sixth day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done." (sixth = "ha'shishi")

    Add also that Jubilees (little Genesis, written between 153-96 BC) 2:16 says:
    "And He finished all his work on the sixth day -all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and in the seas and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything."

    What did the original text say, sixth or seventh? Sixth makes more sense in the context, but how do you explain the shift to "seventh" if sixth is the original?
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