How common is the notion of God taking a break from work?


In Judeo-Christian tradition, the day when God finished creating the earth is the day of rest. “and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. ” Does this idea appear in other religions eg. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc?


Posted 2020-11-02T23:03:49.483

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in short, no, not in the Eastern philosophies. – Swami Vishwananda – 2020-11-03T04:33:37.193

2Do note that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are closely related, so including Islam in "other religions" is a little strange for this question. I would expect the creation story to be very much resembling the Judeo-Christian one. – kutschkem – 2020-11-05T11:38:29.970

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– J D – 2020-11-08T15:58:00.483

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– J D – 2020-11-08T15:58:09.310

In current form, this quesiton seems to be about the universality of a religious notion from Christianity. I'm thinking that it's better suited for Christianity SE, but you might find a better fit if you look on All Sites SE.

– J D – 2020-11-08T15:59:56.740



The idea of a shared collective rest-time from work, is I think an under-appreciated aspect if the success of Abrahamic faiths - the invention of the weekend. It goes back as early in Judaism as there are records, and has been called "their first and most sacred institution" God resting serves this particular end of institutionalising a day of rest from work. This has had profound cultural consequences.

Obviously resting is not a break in omniscience, but from Creation. We are not talking about 'God's away on business', or the Zoriastrian/Gnostic doctrine that the devil made the world while God was sleeping.

For something equivalent, though it's going to be soecified differently because it doesn't serve an equivalent theological/social function, the place to look in other religions is probably in accounts of Creation & it's immediate aftermath: very often there is a time of activity, which once complete is followed by a different mode.

Greek & Egyptian Creation involved severing a primordial being.

Japanese mythology has stirring the oceans with a spear followed by building a pillar, followed by a kind of 'rest time' (for procreation)

Though Nataraja, the cosmic dance of Shiva never ceases & can be seen as symbolising all heartbeats & as involved in all change, there are depictions of Shiva reclining, with his head on Parvati's lap.

Fully entering Parinirvana in Buddhism, is implied to be a kind of rest, though it's doctrinally complex, and speculation on this state is discouraged on the basis it can only be understood by experiencing it.

The Dao is always resting, and always working.


Posted 2020-11-02T23:03:49.483

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1It's not clear that you answered the question, but partly this may have to do with the concept of "creation" in other religions. – Hot Licks – 2020-12-06T18:26:07.593


With regards to Islam, the greatest verse in the Quran(2:255) contains the verse "Neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him" . In Islam, there is no concept of God taking rest or break. The All-Hearing , The All-Seeing are couple of His attributes.

It was said that Prophet Moses had a similar question and in response, he was asked to hold two glass jars in his hands throughout the night. As he went to sleep, the jars fell down and broke. This implies that the heavens and earths would crumble down, if God were to take any rest.


Posted 2020-11-02T23:03:49.483

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Welcome to SE Philosophy! Thanks for your contribution. Please take a quick moment to take the tour or find help. You can perform searches here or seek additional clarification at the meta site.

– J D – 2020-12-19T11:02:19.830