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Greetings,

I have a question about the word "and." I am discussing a particular passage of scripture, which I would like interpreted according to the rules of English Grammar. To clarify, I am not asking for a biblical interpretation, but an interpretation according to English Grammar.

Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Now, it is my understanding that the word "And" means a continuation of what was stated in the previous section. When "On the seventh day" is mentioned in verse 2, all the "ands" that are mentioned AFTER this point, does it mean that all these events happened on the same 7th day?

It is my understanding that all these events DID happen on the same 7th day as verse 2 mentions.

I am discussing this passage with someone, and they claim the "and" in verse 3 is NOT necessarily a continuation of what happened on the 7th day from verse 2. He claims it might have happened on the 8th day, or a week later. Is there any merit to his statement?

But I claim that if the 8th day was meant, this passage would start with "on the 8th day" or "on the morrow," etc.

By the word "and" being used, does this mean that what happened in verse 3 happened on the same 7th day as verse 2? According to English Grammar?

Thank you for your help,

Rich
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Hi Rich,

Strictly by grammatical terms, the possibility exists that God blessed the 7th day at any time on after the 7th day had finished. Having said this, it is not for your friend to assume that this assumption is correct; the possibility merely exists. My personal understanding of this is that God blessed the 7th day sometime during or near the end of it, as it is mentioned he rested during the day.

As Guest has mentioned, there are many and varied translations of the Holy Scriptures, some poor, some excellent. Therefore in these instances it is essential to examine the context, and then research to see if there are any other scriptures which support your/his stance. This allows for a reasonable, informed and intelligent discussion.

Here is another for you, with the same proviso that you initially stated (purely grammatical interpretation)

John 1:1 - In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was a God.

Many translations render this '....and the Word was God'. The lack of an indefinite article changes the meaning considerably.

Hope this helps,

Tim
Comments  
In other words, could we say that it means that God rested on the seventh day because he had finished his work. I don't get what you mean by "on the eighth day"?
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Well, there are several points, here.

The first is that the Bible has been through MANY translations. If you really want to know the meaning as originally intended, I guess you'd have to ask a scholar of Ancient Greek, or something like that.

Secondly, I don't know which version of the Bible you have, but some (older) translations use a type of English that really isn't found anywhere else today, so some of the grammatical arguments that may be true of modern English wouldn't really apply. As you have noticed, there's a convention that MANY Biblical verses begin with "And". I'm not sure exactly why this is (again, a Biblical scholar would be able to help you). It may just be to preserve the sense that ALL of it is the Word of God. If you imagine the whole thing having "This is the Word of God:" inscribed on the first page, then it makes sense for the contents to say: "This, and this, and this..." to show that they are all STILL the Word of God.

Finally, to come to the specific grammar point, linking two events by "and" doesn't necessarily mean they happened at or about the same time. Suppose I write: "My grandmother was born in 1900, and she was a nurse." Obviously, it doesn't mean she was a nurse in 1900, when she was born. She couldn't have become a nurse until much later. So here, "and" is purely linking two statements. It doesn't mean one happened straight after the other.
My friend says that God could have blessed and sanctified the 7th day on the 8th day of creation. However, I believe when this passage starts with "ON the 7th day, God" did this and that, then this is telling us what happened on the 7th day.

For example, if I said,

"On the 7th day, I read a book and went to the store,"

both these things happened on the 7th day. If I wanted to express that I went to the store on the next day, this passage should be phrased as:

"On the 7th day, I read a book, and on the next day I went to the store."

Rich
In reply to:

"My grandmother was born in 1900, and she was a nurse." Obviously, it doesn't mean she was a nurse in 1900, when she was born. She couldn't have become a nurse until much later. So here, "and" is purely linking two statements. It doesn't mean one happened straight after the other.

But would it not be more in line with the rules of English Grammar to phrase it the following way:

"My grandmother was born in 1900, and she later became a nurse."
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 Timbo's reply was promoted to an answer.