I’m not a Jew so what’s with this ‘Holy Sabbath?’

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (NAS, Exodus 20:8-11)

There is much that has been said about the Sabbath.  It is the only one of the Ten Commandments not mentioned in the New Testament.  There are those of the opinion that the Sabbath should still be observed on Saturday in the same manner as it was in the Old Testament. However, most observe Sunday as their day of rest.

The Sabbath was a memorial to the Israelites concerning their identity as a people delivered from slavery. It also represented a covenant between God and the Israelites.

And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day. Deut 5:15

The Hebrew word for holy is ‘godesh’ and means ‘set apart’ The Sabbath is also a Hebrew word – its origin is uncertain but most likely is taken from the word sabot which means to stop or cease.  The theological meaning is linked to God’s rest on the 7th day of creation.  Six days he created the earth, and on the seventh, he rested (stopped).  During the weekly Sabbath, the people were to do no work.  It was to be a day of rest.

Seven is a number used in scripture very often.  Some have determined with God it stands for completion.  If you study the many places it has been used – I would be inclined to believe this also.  Seven days in the week, seven years of famine, seven days of unleavened bread, seven days for consecration, seven churches, seven candlesticks, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven feasts, just to mention a few.  Also, there have been six thousand years since creation. There will be a seventh (thousand) called the millennium reign during which the earth will rest from the curse.  After the thousand years are completed the world of today will be destroyed, and a new world created.   Given this interpretation, it would make sense that God set apart the seventh day of creation not only as a day of rest but also to celebrate its completion.

Another observation is that the Sabbath was to be a day of rest, it was not hallowed (set apart) as a day of worship.  Nowhere in scripture was there a certain day set apart only for the worship of God.

In conclusion, Sabbath is a word that implies ‘to cease.’    This day of rest was a sign between God and the Israelites that He, (God) had (sanctified) set them apart from the world.

Scriptures:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:   Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.  Colossians 2:16-17                                                            

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:   Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Mark 2:27-28  

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!

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