The English Standard Version (ESV) of Genesis 2:2 states:

"And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done."

This verse describes God resting after creation. The concept of Tikkun in Rabbinic Judaism refers to the ongoing process of repairing and perfecting the world.


Can God's act of resting in Genesis 2:2 be interpreted within the framework of Tikkun? Would this imply a need for God to "repair" Himself after creation, or is there another way to understand this concept in light of God's perfection?

  • 1
    Where do you get the idea of Deity 'repairing' himself ? The cessation of work (rest) is not a 'repair'.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 10 at 15:37
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    Strictly speaking, "Tikkun" is not a Biblical term and thus not really a biblical question.
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 10 at 20:39
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    @Dottard—A word (term) does not need to occur in the Bible in order for it to be a biblical concept. Consider “Trinity”, for example. The Hebrew word תיקון‎ (tikkun) is related to the verb תָּקַן (takan) which does occur in the Bible. Whether tikkun ha-olam is or is not a Biblical concept is worthy of consideration, hence the question. Commented Mar 10 at 21:15
  • @DerÜbermensch - you are correct.
    – Dottard
    Commented Mar 10 at 22:08
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    @NigelJ - kabbalistic Judaism understands that the process of creation involved the "breaking of the vessels" of divine light. After the 7 Days, Man began his responsibility to work with God to complete task of restoration. Commented Mar 11 at 6:48

1 Answer 1


The Definition: Tikkun is a term used in Rabbinic Judaism to describe the ongoing process of repairing and perfecting the world.

In the Book of Genesis, it states in verse 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” The phrase “rested on the seventh day” isn’t meant as a need for God to repair himself, but rather as a model for human behavior and an expression of God’s satisfaction with the work He had done.

The Tikkun interpretation of God’s rest at the end of creation (Genesis 2:2) suggests that the end of creation is the start of humanity’s relationship with God as we work together to perfect and preserve the world.

God’s rest is an example for us to take a break from our work, reflect on the beauty of creation and to steward and care for the world as we work toward Tikkun.

Tikkun doesn’t mean that God had to "repair" himself, but rather it is God’s call for humanity to take part in the process of making the world better, in relationship with God. So, while God’s work of creation is “complete,” humanity’s role is to add to the eternal "flourishing" and renewal of creation, fulfilling the idea of Tikkun.

Do all Christians agree with this interpretation? That's another whole story.

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    + 1 -- Yes, God's rest indeed marks the beginning of humanity's work to repair the universe. Underlying this is the kabbalistic understanding of what need to be repaired... which is beyond the scope of the question. Commented Mar 11 at 6:41

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