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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Rest, or Repose

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was enjoined upon the Israelites on the Sabbath day for the glory of God, in that he rested after the six days of creation. (See SABBATH).

Rest also signifies a fixed and secure habitation. "Ye shall go before your brethren until the Lord shall give rest to your brethren, as well as to you, and until ye are come into the land whither ye are going to possess it" (Deuteronomy 3:20). So also Deuteronomy 12:9 : For ye are not as vet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God giveth you," i.e. you are not as yet settled in that land which you are to possess. Naomi says to Ruth, "My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?" (Ruth 3:1) i.e. I shall endeavor to procure you a settlement. David, speaking of the ark of the covenant, which till his time had no fixed place of settlement, says, "Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength" (Psalms 132:8). Likewise Ecclesiastes 36:15: "O be merciful unto Jerusalem, thy holy city, the place of thy rest."

Rest has the following figurative meanings: to lean, or trust in (2 Chronicles 32:8); to continue fixed (Isaiah 51:4); to come to an end (Ezekiel 16:42; Ezekiel 21:17); cease from war (Joshua 14:15). Rest, like sleep, is in the Scriptures sometimes used as the symbol of death. Thus the patriarch exclaims, "For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept; then had I been at rest, with kings and counsellors of the earth" (Job 3:13); and thus a charge is given to Daniel: "Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (Daniel 12:13). This phrase also occurs in 1 Samuel 28:15; Job 11:18; Acts 2:26; Revelation 6:9; and is common on Jewish monuments for the dead, as "May his rest be in the garden of Eden, with the other just men of the world." "May his soul rest in peace till the Comforter come." "May his rest be in the garden of Eden, with other just men. Amen, amen, amen, Selah."

In a moral and spiritual sense, rest denotes a cessation from carnal trouble and sin (Matthew 11:28-29). Finally, it is used to represent the fixed and permanent state of repose enjoyed by the blessed in heaven; and to this Paul makes an application of what is said of the settlement of the Israelites in the Land of Promise: "I sware to them in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest," i.e. into the land of Canaan (Psalms 95:11). "Therefore," says Paul (Hebrews 3:17-19; Hebrews 4:1-3), "as they could not enter therein by reason of their unbelief, let us be afraid of imitating their example: for we cannot enter but by faith," etc. (See SABBATISM).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Rest, or Repose'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/r/rest-or-repose.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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