Exodus 31 closes with Moses being told what to say to the people, verbatim. The use of first person pronoun to refer to the LORD is consistent throughout the section. I quote it all just to display this:
Exodus 31:13-17 (ESV emphasis by me)
13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”
Yet, I notice that the final phrase says that "he"(third person) rested. In isolation, it would appear to reference "the LORD" who made heaven and earth, but just before that the speaker uses the first person pronoun "me and the people of Israel."
Is there internal evidence to point us to its referent?
- Simple Hebrew grammar solution?
- Are there textual variants at work here?
- Is the last phrase understood as a Hebrew "quote"? (Is the LORD is quoting Genesis?)
- Source Criticism's perspective?
I do note that even while in first person, the LORD refers to himself as "the LORD" in verses 13 and 15. So this would align with it's use in verse 17. However, this does not account for the third person pronoun, since in the case of v13, he reverts to first person again.