There seems to be a lot of interest in this subject lately based on the number of people asking about the Sabbath rest. Here is the very first Sabbath in scripture.
We know that the concept of a seven day week was continued. When Jacob complained to Laban about receiving Leah instead of Rachel, Laban told Jacob to give Leah her week and then he would give Rachel to Jacob as well. The word week comes from shabuwa and means sevened or in other words a seven day week.
Although not canonical the Book of Jasher, which is twice referenced in the Old Testament, showed Moses obtaining a Sabbath for the people while he still lived in Pharaoh's house. This will be a little longer quote to show the story.
Jasher 70:34-36, 40-51
The next mention of a Sabbath is when Moses returned to Egypt to free the children of Israel. Pharaoh complained to Moses that one of the reasons they wanted to go worship God was because the people rested.
The next mention is in Exodus 16, four chapters before the contract Law, the ten commandments, was given.
Notice that four chapters before the giving of the ten commandments God called the Sabbath one of His commandments and one of His laws in verse 28.
Just to be complete here is the Law of the Sabbath as it appeared when written on stone. (The ten commandments was a contract of marriage between Yahweh God and Israel.)
At this point I can hear many say, "Well that is fine, but we live under the new covenant." So to the New Testament we shall go to show that the Sabbath continues today.
There is one mention of Sabbath in the gospel of Matthew that would be of concern after the death of Christ. Since most believe that the keeping of a Sabbath ended with the death of Christ this instance is important. It was Christ himself who mentioned it.
Here Christ was telling people that they should pray that their flight from Jerusalem in 70 A.D. not be on the Sabbath. I am sure that Christ knew that the event he was foretelling was to be well into the new covenant. It was 37 years after the new covenant took effect.
In Luke 23:56 the women who prepared spices for the body of Christ rested on the Sabbath. Would they have not known that it was no longer necessary? Surely Christ would have taught them. However look at what the scripture says.
According to the Bible the Christ has died at this point in time thus making the new covenant active. However the scripture here says that keeping the Sabbath was according to the commandment of God.
This is a good time to interject one particular thing that many think is a part of the Sabbath. God's Law does not include any ordinance concerning a distance one could travel on the Sabbath. That law is a creation of the Pharisees and should be ignored. However it was common in the time of Christ to refer to the distance allowed by the Pharisees as a Sabbath Day's journey. Acts 1:12 mentions it. I do not think that it adds to or subtracts from any discussion concerning the validity of the Sabbath. It was merely a convenient method of measure.
There are several mentions in Acts of Paul attending the weekly gathering on the Sabbath to teach. The apostles and elders in Acts 15 and 16 referred to the Sabbath without objection. Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 are used by many to attempt to prove a first day of the week gathering. However there is no statement in those accounts that one can draw any more than a sufficient inference. There is not enough information for one to make any necessary inference.
Briefly in regard to the phrase "the first day of the week" I would like to suggest that it really should have been what the Greek says, "first of Sabbaths". Please look and note that each time that phrase occurs in the new testament it is at a specific time of the year. The phrase was used for one specific Sabbath in the spring. There is one other time when a specific Sabbath was mentioned. Luke 6:1 mentions the second Sabbath after the first.
Please consider that if the Sabbath had been officially changed it would seem to me that we would have seen the apostles meeting and making regular mention of meeting on the first day of the week. There would also probably be some explanation of why they did so. Then we would have more than one occurrence and more information to go by. Many of you know that 1 Corinthians 16:2 has nothing to do with a meeting of the saints, but only tells the saints to set aside money by them (at home) so that it would be available when needed. Preachers are reluctant to teach that for fear the offering would diminish.
Colossians 2 is sometimes mentioned to try to diminish the Sabbath. However these verses really serve to show it's continuation and that the Sabbath of today is just a shadow of what it will be in the next age. This is a good spot to include Isaiah 66.
It should be obvious that this prophecy has not yet happened since we are still not on the new earth as mentioned in verse 22.
Hebrews 4:1-11 goes right along with Isaiah. In fact in almost every verse in Hebrews 4:1-11 the word rest occurs. In all but one instance the word rest is translated from the Greek word katapausis which means rest. However in verse 9 the Greek word is not katapausis. The word found there is sabbatismos. The verse should have been translated as follows.
One common misconception is that the Sabbath is only a particular day. It is a day, but mainly it is, as the name implies, a rest. The Sabbath was made for man. So unless one thinks that in this modern era we have evolved and no longer need or require rest then we should consider that a weekly rest is given to us because God knows we need it.
Now after all that I will say that we can not obey the original Sabbath due to how our calendar works today. So we must do what we can and make sure that we take 24 hours each week for a rest (Sabbath). The idea is to rest from work, but one does not have to stay in bed or stare at a wall.
Apparently some were turning the Sabbath into a huge party. It is to be a restful time at home with your own family.
I am inclined to believe that the original Sabbath day of God occurred from noon till noon rather than sunset to sunset. I believe the sunset evening Sabbath to be a corruption that was brought from Babylon. In Genesis chapter 1 a day is mentioned as "And the evening and the morning" were such and such day. If you consider that a day began at noon, when the sun begins to set, then evening and morning can represent 24 hours. May I suggest Saturday noon till Sunday at noon. That way one could include church in one's Sabbath. All day Sunday or whatever day one is able to observe it is fine if one follows the guidelines we have from God for it's observance.
Here is a drawing that shows the evening and morning being a day.
How does the above work if the Sabbath is now destroyed or Is the Son of Man Lord of something that has been destroyed?
...And God appointed the sun to be a great sign on the earth for days and
Feel free to send your helpful comments.
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Is God's Law Still in Effect, Part 1
Is God's Law Still in Effect, Part 2
Was all of God's Law Nailed to the Cross?
The Law of God before Moses
What is the New Covenant?
Is The New Testament Complete?
Clean or Unclean "Food"
There Remains a Sabbath for the People of God.
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Biblical Necessary Inferences
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