Christians often interpret creation based on traditions that originated with the Latin text. In Latin, the word for finish on the seventh day is perfecti, meaning completely finished. In Hebrew, the finishing verbs on day seven are imperfect, which refer to continuing or repeating actions.
In English you cannot be finishing what is finished and you cannot be doing what is done because “finish” and “done” are referenced to time. Biblical Hebrew did not have a concept of an actual time nor did it have past, present or future verbs. In Hebrew, to finish is referenced to other events in the narrative (called aspects), not time. God could continue to finish what is finished because in Hebrew some aspect of the work is complete but others are not.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were passively continuing to complete (pual imperfect) and all their hosts. The pual imperfect expresses a passive continuing of something that was at some point was intensive and intentional. By the seventh day, God was not making the heavens and the Earth stronger, more in number or more real, so in that respect the heavens and Earth were finished. However, the the finishing is passively incomplete.
Genesis 2:2, God ended his work and rested on the seventh day. Here the verb for finish (kalah) is piel showing that the intensive action of making the heavens and earth more in number, stronger or more real – ends. However, it is still imperfect showing that the action of finishing the heavens and earth extends. Evidently God continues to finish the heavens and Earth, but at a lower intensity than during the first six days.Genesis 2:3-4 Then God continued to bless the seventh day and continued to sanctify it, because in it He rested (completion) from all His work which God created (completion) and been making (infinitive). This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were passively creating (infinitive), in the day that the LORD God was making (infinitive) earth and heaven.
Do other biblical texts support the incomplete (imperfect) finishing of the heavens and Earth? Hebrews 4:3 His works were finished from the foundation of the cosmos. The context mentions the seventh day, so the days of creation are in view. The word finished is an aorist, passive-deponent participle. Aorist verbs are tenseless (not referenced to time), similar to the untensed Hebrew verbs in Genesis. The deponent participle shows both active and passive characteristics and the participle means finishing, similar to an English “ing” ending. At some point God ended the intensive activity of creating the heavens and the Earth, yet the finishing passively continues.
Is God still at work? When the Jews accused Jesus of violating the Sabbath, He said my Father continues to work (passive) until now. The Father works even on the Sabbath, so God’s rest is a lowering of activity, not inaction.
Exodus 20:11: In six days God made (perfect) the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. Therefore He blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. His rest (perfect verb) on the seventh day does not mean He stopped renewing, sustaining or changing since other verses support God’s continuing interaction with His creation. However, the intensive actions in creation were completed in six days.
Job 38:39-42 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, When they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair? Who prepares for the raven its nourishment When its young cry to God And wander about without food?” God takes credit for feeding lions and ravens, who were herbivores during the garden phase (Genesis 1:30). Many parallel digestive and instinctual changes are necessary for a fruit eater to become a carnivore or an omnivore. Only God could make such changes.
Job 12:10 “In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?” Jesus said not one sparrow will fall without your Father (Matthew 10:29). The middle deponent for fall does not mean He actively commanded the sparrow to fall.
God is not making new kinds of animals, so the intensity of creating life ended. When Adam sinned, God cursed all the animals and the ground with a passive curse. Degenerative changes occur naturally (passively) due to the curse. However, He is also adapting animals to the changing world, to preserve life. God’s providential care is not random, evolutionary speciation. “He is good to all and His mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9). This is a portion of Albrecht Durer’s “Adam and Eve” painted in 1507. Notice the serpent brings Eve the forbidden fruit.
He also is at work with respect to the physics of our planet. Psalms 136:6 “To Him who spreads out (in unbroken continuity) the earth above the waters, For His loving kindness is everlasting.” A global expansion seam oozes out basalt along the length of the underseas rift. The oldest seafloor is adjacent to the continents and the youngest alongside the rift. The continents only fit together on a tiny globe without major surface seas. Subduction is the theory that the Earth swallows its crust in the ocean trenches. Subduction is denied by the absence of scrapped off marine oozes, sea mounts or volcanic vents in the “subduction trenches.” A God who claims to spread out the earth in unbroken continuity is not completely at rest. The picture of the growing Earth is from Michael Netzer and shows how the Earth continues to grow in size as the continents spread apart. Four verses in the Bible support the evidence for a growing Earth, what the Biblical God claims He is doing in unbroken continuity. For example, Zechariah 12:1, he continues in unbroken continuity to lay the foundations of the Earth.
Isaiah 44:24 “I am the Lord who (actively in unbroken continuity) makes all things, stretching out the heavens and spreading out the earth all alone.” In Isaiah 40:22 He claims to, actively (in unbroken continuity) stretch the heavens and the earth. In Isaiah 40:26, He continues, in unbroken continuity, to call the hosts of stars to come out by name, none go missing. His glory is available for all to see in the plural heavens, the things that spread out (Psalm 19:1-2).
Galactic history is the most powerful evidence for a literal creation. Beginning on day four, He continued to form the Sun, Moon and stars and continued to make them into things that spread out. The earliest galaxies seem to be elliptical, galaxies that do not rotate. Around the giant ellipticals, we often observe strings of equally-spaced spreading-out miniature galaxies. We also find midget galaxies linked back to our Milky way with streams of neutral hydrogen, evidence that they were ejected from the core of our galaxy. The multiplication of galaxies may have happened between day four and day six. Since then, the stars continue to emerge and spread out as billions of galaxies grew into huge growth spirals. Evidently He finished the intensity of multiplying the hosts of heaven by day six, but He continues to call the stars to come out, yet no star goes missing.
Someone might claim, galaxies cannot grow in only 6,000 years. Please observe that the atomic clocks and the stars streams are both accelerating. The western concept of linear time is denied by the clocks and the star stream orbits changing together as billions of galaxies grew from their unformed-matter beginnings.
Abell 370 is a galaxy cluster whose light shines at 73% of the frequencies of modern atoms. Notice two small galaxies, at the end of a jets, emerging from an elliptical. A tail of stars and gas has emerged from one galaxy and threaded past four small galaxies. The presence of OII in the tail shows that it is a single object that shines at 57 % of the frequencies of modern atoms. Stars spreading out while shining at different clock frequencies does not fit the laws of physics. For this reason, scientists may claim 20 times as much invisible matter (as what is visible) is bending the light and distorting the scene. What is visible only fits the literal creation account.