No other day in the Scriptures is given more prominence than the weekly Sabbath. Yet, in our society the first day of the week has far outdistanced the Sabbath in the number of people who acknowledge it. Does it make any difference to Yahweh which day is kept? Did the Savior change the day of worship by His resurrection, or are many deceived today?
The Sabbath is first mentioned in the Bible in the Ten Commandments given at Sinai.
b. Yahweh established the day of rest at Creation by resting on the seventh day Himself (Gen. 2:2-3). This was long before Moses received the Ten Commandments at Sinai. The Fourth Commandment says to “remember” the Sabbath because it had already been a long-established institution. (See Ex. 16:23, which was a Sabbath command before Sinai.
In Hebrew the word “Sabbath” means...
c. The word Sabbath comes from the primitive Hebrew root word shabath, which means to repose, to desist from exertion. By its many uses it signifies to cease, rest, celebrate
Yahshua said that the Sabbath was made...
b. Responding to the Pharisees’ criticism in Mark 2:27, our Savior said that the Sabbath was made for man, not just for Israel or for the Jews. If the Fourth Commandment is Jewish, so are the nine others! The truth is, the Sabbath was created long before the Jews came into existence.
The Sabbath is a sign for all generations.
a. For those who would be Yahweh’s people, the week is an important pattern that follows Yahweh’s example: regular work for six days and rest on the seventh day. It is a covenant sign for His people. “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed,” Exodus 31:16-17.
One observes the Sabbath by...
d. The Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20:8-10 states that we are to cease from all work on the seventh day. In Isaiah 58:13-14 Yahweh tells us, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Yahweh, honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then shall you delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth…” The Sabbath is observed by focusing the entire day on Yahweh through worship, Bible reading and study, meditation, prayer, and other activities that honor Him. Proper Sabbath observance includes spiritual instruction of children. Yahweh calls it a “holy convocation” in Leviticus 23:3, a word that means a time of “coming together” and worshiping Him
Shopping or going to restaurants on the weekly Sabbath is okay so long as we ourselves are not working on that day.
b. Israel rebelled against Yahweh and He condemned them because “my Sabbaths they greatly polluted,” Exekiel 20:11-13. The Sabbath is polluted through commercial activity. Nehemiah proclaimed that if the people of the land bring merchandise or food on the Sabbath, that “we would not buy of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day” (Neh. 10:31). There were those who were bringing food and wares into Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath (Neh. 13:15-21). The prophet called their profaning the Sabbath “an evil thing.” In Amos 8:5 the people waited for the Sabbath to pass before buying and selling. Jeremiah warned against carrying burdens on the Sabbath day, 17:21-22. It is clar that all our commercial activities are to cease on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath begins and ends...
a. Many passages show that one day ends and another begins at sundown. Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 all say, “the evening and the morning were the ___ day.” This was at creation. Evening comes first, then the morning or daylight, i.e., night then day. In Exodus 12:18, the Feast of Unleavened bread is established as beginning at evening and ending a week later at evening. A man who became unclean was not to come into the camp until sundown, Deuteronomy 23:11. Samson had given the Philistines within seven days of the Feast to answer his riddle. On the seventh day, just before sundown, they answered the riddle correctly, infuriating the deceived Samson, Judges 14:18. The gates of Jerusalem were shut as the sun was setting before the Sabbath, and were not opened again until after the Sabbath, Nehemiah 13:19. The people waited until sunset ended the Sabbath to seek Yahshua’s healing of those who were diseased and possessed, Mark 1:32.
The word SABBATH is found how many times in the New Testament?
d. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance lists exactly 60 places where the word Sabbath is found in the New Testament. By contrast, “first day of the week” is found in only 8 places (“Sunday” is nonexistent), and in each of those the word “day” was added by translators, leaving unclear whether these 8 refer to a particular day or just the first part of the week. Nowhere in the New Testament do we see the Savior or His followers worshiping on Sunday. “Day of the L-rd” and “L-rd’s Day” are references to the day of the Savior’s return, not to the first day of the week (see Joel 2:1; Amos 5:18; Zeph. 1:14-18; Acts 2:20; 1Thes. 5:2; Rev. 1:10).
Who kept the Sabbath in the New Testament?
d. The following Scriptures show Yahshua and Paul keeping and worshiping on the Sabbath: Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:16, 31; 6:6; 13:10; Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 17:1-2; 18:4.
There is no Sabbath command in the New Testament.
b. Hebrews 4:9 says, “There remains therefore a rest to the people of Elohim.” The word “rest” is the Greek sabbatismos, which is the Sabbath. The verb form, sabbatizo, means to keep Sabbath. In His prophecy of the last days, Yahshua said, “Pray that your flight be not...on the Sabbath day,” Matthew 24:20. Clearly the Sabbath is still in effect.
By His resurrection, Yahshua...
d. At no time did Yahshua change the Sabbath. He did not rise from the tomb on Sunday, but was already gone by the time the women got there at sunset Sabbath evening, Matthew 28:1 (“in the end of” is the Greek opse, meaning “late in the day,” “at the back end of.” “Dawn” is epiphosko, “draw on”). A resurrection day is nowhere given special status as a Sabbath day or to replace the Sabbath day in Scripture. As shown, Paul continued to keep the Sabbath with both Jews and gentiles even after the resurrection.
In the coming Kingdom...
a. A prophecy of the Kingdom in Isaiah 66:23 says that from one Sabbath to another “all flesh” will come to worship Yahweh. Yahweh’s Sabbath day stands forever, from Creation on into the Kingdom.