Although, the noun “Sabbath” is not present Genesis 2:1-3, yet we clearly see the Sabbath there. Dr. Sam Waldron remarks:
The relevance of this text for the subject of the Sabbath is made explicit by the statement in verse 2 that God “rested” in which word the verbal form meaning `to sabbath’ is used.
Therefore, we basically have God sabbathing on the seventh day of creation. What we basically have in the Creation week are: six days of work by God and then a day of rest on which no work of creation was done. God entered His Sabbath rest on the seventh day. He stopped His work of creation, but the work of providence by which He upholds the Universe is never ceasing (e.g. Heb. 1:3; Eph. 1:11).
Yet, some still contend that there is no command for the Sabbath to be kept here on the part of man. This is insufficient to disprove that the Sabbath was indeed an institution given to man at the Creation. This is because the Lord Jesus and God Himself look back to the Creation for the basis of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11 and Mark 2:27-28; as will be discussed below). The Seventh-Day Adventist Skip MacCarty responds with why such a hermeneutic or an approach simply doesn’t work:
While Genesis 2:2-3 lacks an explicit Sabbath command, no command forbidding murder is recorded until Noah’s Day (Gen 9:9-6 [sic, Gen 9:6]), and none of the other Ten Commandments is recorded until they were issued at Sinai. Yet Cain was held accountable for the murder of Abel, and Joseph knew that adultery was “sin against God” (Gen. 4:6-11; 39:9)…Instructively, the early chapters of the Bible do not explicitly state that God loves people, is merciful or compassionate, or will forgive sins; that was all revealed in the covenant He made and the Law He gave at Sinai (Exod 20:6; 34:6-7). Those characteristics, as well as the continued observance of the Sabbath by God’s people, were all assumed in those early chapters of the Bible that cover at least 2,500 years of human history.
The idea that the Sabbath was not instituted in Creation per Genesis 2:1-3, Dr. Archibald Alexander calls “an unnatural and forced construction.” It is clear, to the unbiased mind, that the Sabbath was instituted by God at the Creation per Genesis 2. Furthermore, this truth is even more strengthened when subsequent revelation looks back to the Sabbath in Creation. For whom would the Lord institute and bless the Sabbath but for man? It is for man’s benefit, not God’s. Although Genesis 2 contains no command, yet the divine example is sufficient for Adam to understand. After reflecting on the idea of man as the image of God and that doctrine entailing in it an obligation to follow God’s conduct, Dr. Waldron notes:
The point of all thi...