What Does the Bible Say About . . . .
SABBATH & THE LORD'S DAY
The Sabbath has always been a intriguing and uplifting source of Bible study to many. The Sabbath day was initiated by God on the seventh day of Creation as a memorial of His creative powers. He reinforced it to His people by its inclusion in the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath day is a day of rest and worship that will continue to be observed in Heaven (see Isaiah 66:22 and 23).
Yet there has been some controversy as to whether the requirement to observe the Sabbath day as a day of rest is still relevant given that many feel that the Ten Commandments were done away with at the cross. A similar viewpoint was that grace did away with the commandments, i.e. the law. Others argue that the Sabbath was just for the Jewish people and doesn't apply to Gentiles. Are any of these arguments valid? If not, then how and when did most Christianity begin worshipping on Sunday rather than on Sabbath?
In the search for truth regarding this important topic, I compiled all the texts in the Bible related to the subject by using a computer to search for words that I felt are relevant or of interest to the genuine seeker for truth. These words or terms are listed below.
Two items should be noted. First, the term "Sabbath" is used for more than just the seventh day of the week. It also refers to:
The general term "Sabbath" meant a God-designated time of rest, a cessation of regular work.
Secondly, in the Bible, a day was considered as extending from evening to evening. This was instituted at Creation. In the Genesis account, we find the terms "And there was evening, and there was morning, the (first, second, third, etc.) day." (See Genesis chapter 1).
This compilation also has extensive commentary available.
Parentheses ( ) enclose the various suffixes used.
Only texts relevant to the subject of the Sabbath and the Lord's Day were kept in the main section. The rest are included in the Appendix.
Gen. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Exod. 16:21 Each morning everyone gathered as much [manna] as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.22On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much --two omers for each person --and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: `Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'" 24So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25"Eat it today," Moses said, "because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any." 27Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28Then the LORD said to Moses, "How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out." 30So the people rested on the seventh day.
Commentary: Some people have wondered whether we could be observing the wrong day as the Sabbath. If there had been any error in the observance of the correct day of the week between Creation and the Exodus, God certainly would have corrected this error when He withheld manna from the Israelites on the Sabbath.
Exod. 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exod. 23:10 "For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops,11but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12"Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed."
Exod. 31:12 Then the LORD said to Moses,13"Say to the Israelites, `You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. 14"`Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. 15For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.'"
Exod. 34:21 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest."
Exod. 35:1 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, "These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do:2For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. 3Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day."
Lev. 16:29 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work --whether native-born or an alien living among you--30because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. 31It is a Sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.
Commentary: This special day, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, was to be a special Sabbath of rest also.
Lev. 19:1 The LORD said to Moses,2"Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: `Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. 3"`Each of you must respect his mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.
Lev. 19:28 "`Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.29"`Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness. 30"`Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.
Introduction: The following verses are given to aid in the understanding of later verses regarding Sabbath rests. It should be noted that the Jewish people followed a lunar month of 29 or 30 days (a lunar month is 29.54 days), beginning each new month at the new moon. Therefore, the fifteenth day of the seventh month or tenth day of the seventh month, etc, did not fall on the same weekday every year. In other words, the first day or eighth day did not refer to the first day of the week, but rather the first or eighth day of the festival or month.
Lev. 23:1 The LORD said to Moses,2"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.
The Sabbath day
3"`There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD.
The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread
4"`These are the LORD's appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times: 5The LORD's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. 6On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. 7On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. 8For seven days present an offering made to the LORD by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.'"
9The LORD said to Moses, 10"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. 11He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. 12On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the LORD a lamb a year old without defect, 13together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil --an offering made to the LORD by fire, a pleasing aroma --and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. 14You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
Feast of Weeks
15"`From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. 16Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. 17From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD. 18Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings --an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 19Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. 20The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest. 21On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
22"`When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'"
Feast of Trumpets
23The LORD said to Moses, 24"Say to the Israelites: `On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.'"
Day of Atonement
26The LORD said to Moses, 27"The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. 28Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. 29Anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30I will destroy from among his people anyone who does any work on that day. 31You shall do no work at all. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. 32It is a sabbath of rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath."
Feast of Tabernacles
33The LORD said to Moses, 34"Say to the Israelites: `On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.
37("`These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire --the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)
39"`So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; the first day is a day of rest, and the eighth day also is a day of rest. 40On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41Celebrate this as a festival to the LORD for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths 43so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'"
44So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the LORD.
Lev. 24:6 Set [the shewbread] in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.7Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire. 8This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant.
The Sabbatical Year
Lev. 25:1 The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai,2"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6Whatever the land yields during the Sabbath year will be food for you --for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
The Year of Jubilee
8"`Count off seven Sabbaths of years --seven times seven years --so that the seven Sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. 11The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. 12For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.
13"`In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property.
Lev. 26:1 "`Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.2"`Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.
Lev. 26:32 [If you will not follow my commands,] I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.33I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. 34Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. 35All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it. . . .
39Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers' sins they will waste away. 40"`But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers --their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies --then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.
Num. 15:30 "`Anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the LORD, and that person must be cut off from his people.31Because he has despised the LORD's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.'" 32While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp." 36So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Num. 28:7 The accompanying drink offering is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drink with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the LORD at the sanctuary.8Prepare the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you prepare in the morning. This is an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 9"`On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. 10This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.
11"`On the first of every month, [the day of the new moon] present to the LORD a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. 12With each bull there is to be a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; 13and with each lamb, a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire. 14With each bull there is to be a drink offering of half a hin of wine; with the ram, a third of a hin; and with each lamb, a quarter of a hin. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon during the year. 15Besides the regular burnt offering with its drink offering, one male goat is to be presented to the LORD as a sin offering.
Commentary: It is interesting to note that the combination of Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed festivals (feasts, convocations) is mentioned ten times in the Bible.
Deut. 5:11 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.12"Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
2Kgs. 4:21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.22She called her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return." 23"Why go to him today?" he asked. "It's not the New Moon or the Sabbath." "It's all right," she said.
2Kgs. 11:3 [Joash] remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.4In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king's son. 5He commanded them, saying, "This is what you are to do: You who are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath --a third of you guarding the royal palace, 6a third at the Sur Gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard, who take turns guarding the temple-- 7and you who are in the other two companies that normally go off Sabbath duty are all to guard the temple for the king. 8Station yourselves around the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. Anyone who approaches your ranks must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes." 9The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men --those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty --and came to Jehoiada the priest.
2Kgs. 16:16 And Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had ordered.17King Ahaz took away the side panels and removed the basins from the movable stands. He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls that supported it and set it on a stone base. 18He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the LORD, in deference to the king of Assyria.
1Chr. 9:31 A Levite named Mattithiah, the firstborn son of Shallum the Korahite, was entrusted with the responsibility for baking the offering bread.32Some of their Kohathite brothers were in charge of preparing for every Sabbath the bread set out on the table.
1Chr. 23:29 They were in charge of the bread set out on the table, the flour for the grain offerings, the unleavened wafers, the baking and the mixing, and all measurements of quantity and size.30They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening 31and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on Sabbaths and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
2Chr. 2:3 Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: "Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in.4Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
2Chr. 8:12 On the altar of the LORD that he had built in front of the portico, Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings to the LORD,13according to the daily requirement for offerings commanded by Moses for Sabbaths, New Moons and the three annual feasts --the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles.
2Chr. 23:2 They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem,3the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, "The king's son shall reign, as the LORD promised concerning the descendants of David. 4Now this is what you are to do: A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors, 5a third of you at the royal palace and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the other men are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the LORD. 6No one is to enter the temple of the LORD except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the other men are to guard what the LORD has assigned to them. 7The Levites are to station themselves around the king, each man with his weapons in his hand. Anyone who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes." 8The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men --those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty --for Jehoiada the priest had not released any of the divisions.
2Chr. 31:2 Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to divisions --each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites --to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister, to give thanks and to sing praises at the gates of the LORD's dwelling.3The king contributed from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD.
2Chr. 36:19 [The Babylonians] set fire to God's temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.20He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21The land enjoyed its Sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.
Neh. 9:12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.13"You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses.
Neh. 10:30 "We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.31"When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts. 32"We assume the responsibility for carrying out the commands to give a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God: 33for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moon festivals and appointed feasts; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.
Neh. 13:14 Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.15In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. 16Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. 17I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, "What is this wicked thing you are doing --desecrating the Sabbath day? 18Didn't your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath." 19When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21But I warned them and said, "Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you." From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. 22Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
Job 37:5 God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.6He says to the snow, `Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, `Be a mighty downpour.' 7So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor. 8The animals take cover; they remain in their dens.
Ps. 92:0A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day. 1It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.
Isa. 1:11 "The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.12When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies.
Isa. 56:1This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. 2Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." 3Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people." And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree." 4For this is what the LORD says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-- 5to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. 6And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- 7these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Commentary: Note the difference between the two preceding sections. In order to truly keep the Sabbath in a way that God can accept, one must be keep it with the right attitude, obeying God in all His commands.
Isa. 58:13"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Commentary: The above verses provide some excellent guidelines on keeping the Sabbath holy. Notice that keeping the Sabbath is as much an attitude as it is an action. Note the terms: as you please, delight, honor, and joy. The Sabbath is not burdensome, but rather a blessing and a delight (1John 5:3).
Isa. 66:22 "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure.23From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD.
Jer. 17:19 This is what the LORD said to me: "Go and stand at the gate of the people, through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem.20Say to them, `Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21This is what the LORD says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your forefathers. 23Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24But if you are careful to obey me, declares the LORD, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it, 25then kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense and thank offerings to the house of the LORD. 27But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.'"
Lam. 2:5 The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for the Daughter of Judah.6He has laid waste his dwelling like a garden; he has destroyed his place of meeting. The LORD has made Zion forget her appointed feasts and her Sabbaths; in his fierce anger he has spurned both king and priest.
Ezek. 20:10 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert.11I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. 12Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy. 13"`Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws --although the man who obeys them will live by them --and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert. 14But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 15Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them --a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands-- 16because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols.
Ezek. 20:18 I said to their children in the desert, "Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols.19I am the LORD your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 20Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God." 21"`But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws --although the man who obeys them will live by them --and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert. 22But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, 24because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes [lusted] after their fathers' idols.
Ezek. 22:6 "`See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood.7In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 8You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths.
Ezek. 22:24 "Son of man, say to the land, `You are a land that has had no rain or showers in the day of wrath.'25There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. 26Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.
Ezek. 23:36 The LORD said to me: "Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront them with their detestable practices,37for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. 38They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths.
Ezek. 44:24 "`In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to my ordinances. They are to keep my laws and my decrees for all my appointed feasts, and they are to keep my Sabbaths holy.
Ezek. 45:17 It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths --at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel. He will provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.
Ezek. 46:1 "`This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The gate of the inner court facing east is to be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New Moon it is to be opened.2The prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening. 3On the Sabbaths and New Moons the people of the land are to worship in the presence of the LORD at the entrance to that gateway. 4The burnt offering the prince brings to the LORD on the Sabbath day is to be six male lambs and a ram, all without defect. . . .10The prince is to be among them, going in when they go in and going out when they go out. 11"`At the festivals and the appointed feasts, the grain offering is to be an ephah with a bull, an ephah with a ram, and with the lambs as much as one pleases, along with a hin of oil for each ephah. 12When the prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD --whether a burnt offering or fellowship offerings --the gate facing east is to be opened for him. He shall offer his burnt offering or his fellowship offerings as he does on the Sabbath day. Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut.
Hosea 2:9 "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness.10So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. 11I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days --all her appointed feasts.
Amos 8:3"In that day," declares the Sovereign LORD, "the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies --flung everywhere! Silence!" 4Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5saying, "When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?"-- skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, 6buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
Matt. 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath." 3He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread --which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
7If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" 11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
Matt. 24:18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
Commentary: The desolating armies of Rome surrounded Jerusalem first in the fall of 66A.D. and then three and a half years later in the spring of 70 A.D. (compare the above with Luke 21:20). Jesus told the disciples to pray that their flight from Jerusalem would not take place on the Sabbath. This prophecy was fulfilled years after Jesus' death and resurrection.
Matt. 27:65 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how."66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matt. 28) 1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Mark 1:19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. 21They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach.
Mark 2:23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.24The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 25He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." 27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Mark 3:1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.2Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone." 4Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.
Commentary: The Pharisees had quite a distorted picture of the Sabbath. They had burdened it down with their traditions and human laws, forgetting the weightier matters of justice, mercy and love. Jesus was appalled that they would rather keep their traditions than relieve a fellow human of his or her suffering. Jesus so well demonstrated and revealed their hypocrisy, that they sought to and eventually did kill Him.
Mark 6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.2When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
Mark 15:40Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. 42It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.
Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
Mark 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'"8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 9When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.
Luke 4:29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. 31Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.
Luke 6:1 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels.2Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 3Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." 5Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 6On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?"
Luke 13:10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." 15The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"
Commentary: The Jubilee, which involved the release of slaves and the return to one's ancestral land, was a type of sabbath. There is no better day than the Sabbath to proclaim liberty to those held in captivity by the evil one.
Luke 14:1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.2There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. 5Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"
Luke 23:52 Going to Pilate, [Joseph of Arimathea] asked for Jesus' body.53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. (Luke 24) 1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
John 5:7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."8Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat." . . . 14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." 18For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath [by the Pharisees' rules], but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
John 7:20 "You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"21Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?
John 9:12 "Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said.13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath. 15Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied, "and I washed, and now I see." 16Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided.
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.31Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
John 19:41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 20) 1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
John 20:17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, `I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"18Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her. 19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Acts 1:10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.11"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." 12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city.
Acts 13:13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.14From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.
Acts 13:25 As John was completing his work, he said: `Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'26"Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.43When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
Acts 15:19 "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.20Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."
Acts 16:11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.12From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
Acts 17:1When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, " he said.
Acts 18:2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,3and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Acts 20:5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas.6But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. 7On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.
Commentary: Some translations use the term "Saturday evening" instead of the first day of the week in the above verse. As previously mentioned, in God's time reckoning followed by the Jewish people and the civilized world at that time, a day began at sunset and went until sunset the following evening (see Gen. 1). It appeared that the disciples were having a going away "Agape" feast. Paul was going to travel during the daylight hours of the first day of the week.
1Cor. 16:1 Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do.2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
Commentary: Paul wanted to help the Corinthians learn fiscal responsibility with God's money. By individually (note the "each") setting their offerings aside at the beginning of the week, they would be less prone to spend it during the week. Otherwise, come the next Sabbath, there might not be anything left for God's offering. Additionally, I recently learned that the early Christian church did not practice the collection of tithes and offerings at their church services on the Sabbath day. These were collected at special times such as the visit mentioned by Paul above.
Col. 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Commentary: For a detailed look at the above verses, see the commentary at the end of the verse compilation.
Hebr. 4:2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, `They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." 5And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." 6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
Rev. 1:8"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." 9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: . . . "
Commentary: In its current usage, the term "the Lord's Day" refers to Sunday. However, John's words "the Lord's Day" in the text of Rev. 1:8 refers to the Sabbath day since it wasn't until about a 100 years later that Christians began to worship on Sunday. Then it began with the church in Rome, and slowly spread to other Christian churches. Jesus referred to himself as Lord of the Sabbath, commenting in Mark 2:28 "So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." See the Historical Perspective section beginning on page 18 for more information on this.
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There were a number of texts in the Bible which the computer search located that were deemed of less relevance to the study of the Sabbath. These have been included for completeness in this appendix. You may wish to examine them.
The types of phrases that were placed in appendix include usage of the phrase seventh day as it applies to the seventh day of a month, or the seventh day of a feast, the seventh day of a cleansing ritual. Similarly, in this section, the term first day does not imply a Sunday, nor does the term seventh day imply a Sabbath.
Exod. 12:14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD --a lasting ordinance.15For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat --that is all you may do.
Exod. 13:4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving.5When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites --the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey --you are to observe this ceremony in this month: 6For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the LORD.
Exod. 24:15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,16and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud.
Lev. 13:4 If the spot on his skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to put the infected person in isolation for seven days.5On the seventh day the priest is to examine him, and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to keep him in isolation another seven days. 6On the seventh day the priest is to examine him again, and if the sore has faded and has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only a rash. The man must wash his clothes, and he will be clean.
Lev. 13:26 But if the priest examines it and there is no white hair in the spot and if it is not more than skin deep and has faded, then the priest is to put him in isolation for seven days.27On the seventh day the priest is to examine him, and if it is spreading in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is an infectious skin disease.
Lev. 13:32 On the seventh day the priest is to examine the sore, and if the itch has not spread and there is no yellow hair in it and it does not appear to be more than skin deep,33he must be shaved except for the diseased area, and the priest is to keep him in isolation another seven days. 34On the seventh day the priest is to examine the itch, and if it has not spread in the skin and appears to be no more than skin deep, the priest shall pronounce him clean. He must wash his clothes, and he will be clean.
Lev. 13:50The priest is to examine the mildew and isolate the affected article for seven days. 51On the seventh day he is to examine it, and if the mildew has spread in the clothing, or the woven or knitted material, or the leather, whatever its use, it is a destructive mildew; the article is unclean.
Lev. 14:7 Seven times he shall sprinkle the one to be cleansed of the infectious disease and pronounce him clean. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields.8"The person to be cleansed must wash his clothes, shave off all his hair and bathe with water; then he will be ceremonially clean. After this he may come into the camp, but he must stay outside his tent for seven days. 9On the seventh day he must shave off all his hair; he must shave his head, his beard, his eyebrows and the rest of his hair. He must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water, and he will be clean.
Lev. 14:39On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town.
Num. 6:7 Even if his own father or mother or brother or sister dies, he must not make himself ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of his separation to God is on his head.8Throughout the period of his separation he is consecrated to the LORD. 9"`If someone dies suddenly in his presence, thus defiling the hair he has dedicated, he must shave his head on the day of his cleansing --the seventh day.
Num. 7:43His offering was . . . 46one male goat for a sin offering; 47and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old, to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering. This was the offering of Eliasaph son of Deuel. 48On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, the leader of the people of Ephraim, brought his offering.
Num. 19:11 "Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days.12He must purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third and seventh days, he will not be clean.
Num. 19:19The man who is clean is to sprinkle the unclean person on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify him. The person being cleansed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and that evening he will be clean.
Num. 28:23 Prepare these in addition to the regular morning burnt offering.24In this way prepare the food for the offering made by fire every day for seven days as an aroma pleasing to the LORD; it is to be prepared in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. 25On the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.
Num. 29:30 With the bulls, rams and lambs, prepare their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified.31Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering. 32"`On the seventh day prepare seven bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect.
Num. 31:22 Gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, lead23and anything else that can withstand fire must be put through the fire, and then it will be clean. But it must also be purified with the water of cleansing. And whatever cannot withstand fire must be put through that water. 24On the seventh day wash your clothes and you will be clean. Then you may come into the camp."
Deut. 16:6 There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary of your departure from Egypt.7Roast it and eat it at the place the LORD your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. 8For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the LORD your God and do no work.
Josh. 6:2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.3March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. . . . 13The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. 15On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
Judg. 14:15 On the fourth day, they said to Samson's wife, "Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father's household to death. Did you invite us here to rob us?"16Then Samson's wife threw herself on him, sobbing, "You hate me! You don't really love me. You've given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer." "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother," he replied, "so why should I explain it to you?" 17She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people. 18Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him, "What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?" Samson said to them, "If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have solved my riddle."
2Sam. 12:16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground.17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 18On the seventh day the child died.
1Kgs. 20:28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, "This is what the LORD says: `Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.'"29For seven days they camped opposite each other, and on the seventh day the battle was joined. The Israelites inflicted a hundred thousand casualties on the Aramean foot soldiers in one day.
2Kgs. 25:8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.
Esth. 1:8 By the king's command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.9Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes. 10On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him . . . 11to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at.
Ezek. 30:20 In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the LORD came to me:21"Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It has not been bound up for healing or put in a splint so as to become strong enough to hold a sword.
Ezek. 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple. . . .
Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Many thanks go to Zondervan.
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