How many times is rest mentioned in the Bible? (what does the Bible say about rest?)

I have always been a workaholic since Bible school. It got worse when I became a pastor since I spent so much time working and barely slept. This affected my health, and I had to see a counselor at one point. The counselor, who was also a Christian, reminded me of the importance of rest outlined in the Bible. I remember one of the questions he asked me was, “How many times is rest mentioned in the bible?”

The number of times rest is mentioned in the Bible ranges between 390 and 520, depending on the version. For instance, the word rest is mentioned around 496 times in the New International Version and 380 in the King James Version of the Bible. One thing that contributes to the difference in the versions is its synonyms like relax, refresh, peace, or Sabbath.

In this article, I invite you to join me as we look at the topic of rest in the Bible. Keep reading to find out what the Bible says about rest, how many times Jesus rested in the Bible, the types of rest, and much more!

What does the Bible say about rest?

The Bible tells us that rest is important to God. That is why after he created the world for 6 days, he rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:2). This verse also tells us that resting is not an excuse to be lazy. We should work just like God then take a break for a day. We also see in the Bible Jesus encouraging his disciples to rest for a while in Mark 6:31.

Additionally, one of the commandments that Moses was given was about rest. This is recorded in Exodus 20:8, which reminds us to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy. This verse shares the same message as Hebrews 4:9, which says that the people of God should observe a Sabbath rest.

Bible Verses About Rest

How many times is rest mentioned in the Bible?
Bible Verses About Rest. Image source: Freepik

Exodus 23:12 emphasizes the importance of everyone resting, including servants and animals like donkeys. While Exodus 34:21 also talks about resting after 6 days, it reminds us that we should rest at harvest time. According to Leviticus 25:4, the people were not to prune their vineyard on the Sabbath since this represented a resting period.

Mark 2:27 reminds us that man was not made for the Sabbath. On the contrary, God made the Sabbath for man. Additionally, Revelation 14:13 reminds us that those who die knowing Christ are blessed since they will rest from their labors. God said in Exodus 33:14 that he would be with Moses and that he would give them rest.

How does rest appear in the New Testament?

The New Testament uses the term rest differently. For instance, In Matthew 11:28, Jesus told anyone heavily laden to come to him with the promise that he would give them rest. In this case, the term appears as physical rest. Additionally, rest is used in Matthew 12:8 to mean Sabbath. In this verse, Jesus refers to himself as the Lord of the Sabbath.

In 1st Corinthians 16:18, we read of Paul’s final greetings to the Corinthians, where he expressed how happy he was when his friends arrived. He said that they refreshed his spirit. Christians believe that refresh is a synonym for rest.

Rest also appears in the New Testament to describe maintaining a quiet life (1st Thessalonians 4:11). Rest in the New Testament also appears as God’s Kingdom. Hebrew 4:3 reminds us that only those who believe shall enter God’s rest.

Examples of rest in the Bible

Psalm 55:4-8 reminds us of David’s frustration from being surrounded by his enemies. In this verse, he fantasizes about flying away and finding a place to rest and be at peace. In Jeremiah 6:16, Jeremiah tries to convince the Israelites to walk on the right path since they would find rest for their souls.

Mark 6:46 may not mention the word rest, but Christians believe that it is an instance that demonstrates rest. This verse tells us how Jesus left the crowd and went to pray in the mountain. Leaving everyone behind and going away to recharge while talking to his father was a form of rest.

John 4:6 describes how Jesus rested by the well after spending hours walking through Samaria. Since Jesus had taken human form, he also got tired like the rest of us. Additionally, Exodus 31:17 describes how God took a break from labor after 6 days and was refreshed.

Additionally, 1st Peter 5:7 reminds us that the ultimate rest is only found in Christ; this verse tells us to cast our anxieties on him since he cares for us. Psalm 127: 1-2 reminds us of the importance of including the Lord in our labor. It says that rising early and resting very late at night is in vain without the Lord.

Isaiah 30:15 warns us against trying to solve our problems by ourselves. It says that in returning and rest, one shall be saved. And in trust and quietness, one shall gain their strength. This verse shares a similar message as Psalm 116:7, which tells us to go back to God’s rest since he is full of mercy. On the other hand, Psalm 4:8 reminds us that our lives are in God’s hands. This verse says that I will sleep in peace, knowing that God gives me safety.

How many times did Jesus rest in the Bible?

How many times is rest mentioned in the Bible? 
How many times did Jesus rest in the Bible? Image source: Pinterest

The Bible does not specifically mention how many times Jesus rested. However, most Biblical scholars speculate that Jesus rested regularly since he was human and got tired like everyone else. For instance, In Matthew 8:24, when there was a storm, and the boat was about to capsize, Jesus was resting.

Some theologians also imply that Jesus sitting down at the right hand of God after he had finished his mission on earth was him resting (Mark 16:19). Jesus also said that he overcame and sat down next to his father on his throne in Revelation 3:21. They suggest that this is an example of Jesus resting.

Others also argue that Jesus rested on the weekly Sabbath observed by the Jews. Luke 5:16 says that Jesus tended to withdraw from people and go to lonely places to catch a break and pray.

What is the importance of rest in the Bible?

God gave us the gift of rest when he created us because it is a way for our bodies to rejuvenate so that we can serve him better. It is important to God since it affects how we function physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Resting reminds us of our limitations and the need to rely on God for our existence. This fact keeps us grateful. Rest also allows us to reflect on our lives and refocus on what is important. It is a time of self-reflection that helps you determine whether you are headed in the right direction. Lamentations 3:23 reminds us that God’s mercies are new each morning. Therefore, by getting a good night’s sleep, we can pray to God for strength and help to get through another day.

Types of rest in the Bible

what does the Bible say about rest?
Types of rest in the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

Physical rest

Physical rest involves having proper sleep, just like Jesus did to regain strength. When the body does not get physical rest, it affects all other aspects of our lives. We can learn more about physical rest from the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. When he felt discouraged, God told him to rest and then embark on his journey. After doing this, Elijah felt better and did amazing things for the Lord.

Spiritual rest

The Bible also encourages us to rest in God’s salvation. The book of Psalms tells us that finding spiritual rest can restore our souls. It encourages us to get saved and trust God with our future. To find spiritual rest, we should also allow the Lord to lead us (Psalm 23).

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