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The word Shabbat, the Sabbath[s] (plural) of Scripture and the new covenant

Sabbath means rest in Hebrew it is shabbat.

Exod. 16:8: “Six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to Jehovah your God; you shall do no work therein

When the Sabbath was instituted in the Mosaic covenant the labor that was formerly permitted on the seventh day was no longer allowed by law.

Exod. 16:23 Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.'"

They prepared ahead to keep it.

Exod 16:25-30 Then Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field."Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there will be none.Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? "See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." So the people rested on the seventh day

After hundreds of years of hard labor as slave s in Egypt Israel was given a day of rest. It was connected to Gods work in creation, that they understood they had a covenant with the God who did creation of all things.

Exod. 20:8-11 " Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

There is no mention of worship, but instead ‘rest’, God rested on this day after his work of creation and so should Israel that is separated to God as no other nation was. They were separate from all the gentiles by their laws.

In this portion of Scripture (Lev.23) we have the feast days, the nation of Israel’s holy Days. Lev 23:3 'Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. Verse 35 has the first day as a special holy day, no work is to be done; it is to be treated as a Sabbath day, just as the 7 th day each week is.

The eighth day is known as Shmini Atzeret, was the closing of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is treated as a Sabbath in that no work was permitted on this day. So by Scripture we see that God gave more than one day of rest. One was weekly the other, was yearly.

So we can see that there are other First day’s considered as a Sabbath.

Exodus 12:16 “ On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you.

Leviticus 23:7-8 “ On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.

The Lord repeats himself in v:35 “ On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it.”

Leviticus 23:39-40 on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. Leviticus 23:24: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall  be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. Verse 18 states: In the first day shall be a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work; Verse 25 states: And on the seventh day ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work.

This is another reference to the first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread;

The Sabbath

This reference is to the Feast of Trumpets, which is a holy convocation where no work is permitted Leviticus 23:39-43.

The date is the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after they have gathered in the fruits of the land, the summer harvest; this is a summer firstfruits observation. That lasts seven days.

So we can see the Bible instructs other days to be a Sabbath not just the 7 th day each week.

After Israel was in captivity and were brought back into the land they made sure they would not forget the Sabbath. Local Synagogues were made and they congregated. It was Rabbinic Judaism that later made the Sabbath a day of corporate worship; But according to the Law of Moses this was not so.

Furthermore, synagogues were located within the two-thousand-cubit perimeter. Corporate worship under the Mosaic Law was allowed only where the Tabernacle or Temple stood, which ultimately became Jerusalem. Only those living in Jerusalem could enjoy corporate worship every Friday night to Saturday night. Those who lived in Galilee had a three-day journey from Jerusalem. Those in other cities like Galilee would have to walk

up for t3 days to get there for the Sabbath worship, and then walk 3 days home. He would not be working 6 days but walking for 6 days.

the Law of Moses required corporate worship only three times a year: on the Feast of Passover, the Feast

of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles at the Temple.

Profaning the Sabbath

Neh. 13:16-18 Men of Tyre dwelt there also, who brought in fish and all kinds of goods, and sold them on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, "What evil thing is this that you do, by which you profane the Sabbath day? "Did not your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Yet you bring added wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath."

Jer. 17:21-22 'Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; "nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.

Ezek. 46:1-3 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.

"The prince shall enter by way of the vestibule of that gateway from the outside, and stand by the gatepost. The priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening."Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.

The Pharisees used their law keeping, their main complaint was that Jesus did not keep the Sabbath. Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made for man (to rest after 6 days of labor) not man made for the Sabbath.

Sabbath and Sunday

The Sabbath commemorates God's creation, and his rest, Sunday is NOT the day set aside for rest, there is no New Testament command to do so. Sunday is the day to gather and celebrate the new covenant where Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 20:7; 1Cor.16:2 these days relate to the event).

Luke 24:1-2 “ Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb.”

Matthew explains in more detail how it took place 28:1-2 N ow after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn , Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb

Mark 16:2 “Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.” V.9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week”

John 20:1 “ On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”

Each tell us the first day not the Sabbath but after the day of rest which is Sunday.

The Messiah was resurrected on the first day of the week, and that point is made by all four Gospels (Mat. 28:1; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1). Sabbath ends Saturday evening, we read of the resurrection happening near sunrise on Sunday. The Sabbath was the seal of the Old covenant of Moses, This was the new covenant, that was a completely new agreement between God and mankind.

What about keeping the Sabbath today?

The Sabbath requirement was never transferred to Sunday; the Sabbath is still the seventh day of the week, not the first day of the week. This is true whether one observes it or not. The Sabbath begins from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday.

Most important is that it is no longer mandatory to observe. The Sabbath day mentioned 9 times in the Book of

Acts, the formation of the Church. It is never spoken of with the worship of Believers in the new covenant. Only in reference to a synagogue Sabbath day. Law keepers use Paul's actions of attending the synagogue on the Sabbath day, which is not a church gathering of believers. To actually follow Paul's example, they should not go to church on Saturday, but instead go to a synagogue with unbelieving Jews. Church and synagogue or the temple are not the same.

In the Epistles, the Sabbath is mentioned in Rom. 14:5, Gala. 4:9-10, and Col. 2:16-17. Again we find in none of these passages the believer in Christ is obligated to worship on the Sabbath day

Rom.14:5 states: “ One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind.”

This verse tells us there is no special day of the week. Not Sunday nor the Sabbath, we can choose one day or another as special. Another person can choose a different day, each is to be fully persuaded in his own mind.

He is free to set any day of the week aside for worship.

Col. 2:16-17: “ Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.”

We are specifically told not to judge a believer concerning the Mosaic Law, i.e. the Sabbath days. So if one does not observe the Sabbath and someone mentions this as leverage of disobedience, it is they that are actually disobeying the command of Christ.

Gala. 4:9-10, states: but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again? Ye observe  days, and months, and seasons, and years.”

The Sabbath was part of the Law of Moses, it sealed the covenant. Paul admonished the mostly Gentile believers of Galatia not to get involved with the former things of the Mosaic Law since they now know God. He mentions days, which are Sabbath days; months, which would be new moon festivals; seasons, the Passover; feast days, and years , such as the Sabbatical Year. Paul said these are not required for the Church.

During the present time we (believers) are in the age of grace, not law, living by the new covenant Jesus made. There is no command in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath, which would be a necessity for Gentiles who knew nothing of the Old Testament.

All believers are told to meet corporately on a regular basis (Heb. 10:25), the day of the week is optional (Rom. 14:4-11). It can be Sunday as the majority of the church did from early on because of the resurrection, or it can be Monday, even Saturday. None of this is by obligation but by choice. If you do not understand this then you are in need to learn the new covenant, and its commands that supersede the Old testament .


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