When I decided to see what the original word meant I didn’t find in my Strongs for the New American Standard that the word holy was used. When I looked it up the NAS uses sanctified. The American Standard uses hallowed.
Here are some things that the commentaries mention on the first Sabbath or Sabbath Rest:
The first Sabbath: Here is what Matthew Henry’s commentary on Bible Gateway.com says about this 7th day:
After six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, or added to it. God did not rest as one weary, but as one well pleased. Notice the beginning of the kingdom of grace, in the sanctification, or keeping holy, of the sabbath day. The solemn observing of one day in seven as a day of holy rest and holy work, to God’s honour, is the duty of all to whom God has made known his holy sabbaths. At this time none of the human race were in being but our first parents. For them the sabbath was appointed; and clearly for all succeeding generations also. The Christian sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing the work of our redemption. (Ge 2:4-7)
I found a great website with many commentaries. Check it out for yourself. I love to study God’s word just one on one with Him and then share with others what He gives us as we study together. After your own study, commentaries are a great tool to read what great theologians who know the meanings of the original text, etc. have to say about it. They are just people though so always read it one on one first to see what God tells you personally. Try this website called Bible Study Tools with Dr. J. Vernon McGee.
This is from this online resource from the Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the whole Bible by Robert Jamison, A.R. Fausset and David Brown.
3. blessed and sanctified the seventh day–a peculiar distinction put upon it above the other six days, and showing it was devoted to sacred purposes. The institution of the Sabbath is as old as creation, giving rise to that weekly division of time which prevailed in the earliest ages. It is a wise and beneficent law, affording that regular interval of rest which the physical nature of man and the animals employed in his service requires, and the neglect of which brings both to premature decay. Moreover, it secures an appointed season for religious worship, and if it was necessary in a state of primeval innocence, how much more so now, when mankind has a strong tendency to forget God and His claims?
Same website from the Geneva Study Bible
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and (c) sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
(c) Appointed it to be kept holy, that man might in it consider the excellency of his works and Gods goodness toward him.
I think it is very clear that our mighty, never tiring God created the 7th day to be set apart as Holy, a day to worship and focus on Him as our creator God. A day He knew we would need because we do tire and need to rest. Even much more, this is a day to pull away from the things of this world and focus on Him. How so like my precious God to bless me with permission to spend time with Him, drawing away from the day to day good and bad of life and remember who He is, who I am in Him, and what He can do. This restores my soul, refreshes me spiritually, physically and emotionally and most of all fills me with His love and gives me hope! Hope for the things yet unseen that I yearn so for. What a blessing and gift this 7th day is to me! May you too be so blessed by His Sabbath Rest!