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God, The Sabbath, The Law, and The Jews
Genesis 1:31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis 2:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
God, The Sabbath, The Law, and The Jews
It is Friday afternoon, September 11, 2015. In my little town, the Sabbath is moving quickly on its way to us. It is important for us to understand the true meaning of the Sabbath. There has been a lot of bad teaching on the subject of the Sabbath, or seventh day, which has distorted a truth that is clearly written in God’s Holy Word.. Hopefully, there will be a sense of clarity that will come from the information that is contained in this post.
Many people say that their Sabbath can be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or any day that they choose. However, it is clearly stated in Genesis 2:2-3 that the seventh day, and not any other day of the week, was blessed and sanctified by God, and it was on the seventh day that God rested. We can not buy a large tape measure and measure around the corners of the sabbath day, put white lime on the borders of the sabbath day so that it can clearly be seen, get into an excavator and dig up the sabbath day and move it to any other day of the week where God’s Holy Day can find a different place to be planted, and call that new location, “our sabbath.” (that’s a bit wordy, but it illustrates the error of trying to make any day of the week, except the seventh day, the Lord’s Sabbath (Ex 20:10).
Per the Scofield Study Bible, the date of Genesis 2:1-3, when the seventh day was first mentioned in the Bible is 4004 B.C. The date of the first mention of Sabbath worship is 1491 B.C., when it is found in Exodus 16. So, there has not been a “forever” existence of Sabbath worship. The date that the law was given was also 1491 B.C., where it is found in Exodus 20. God told the nation of Israel that the sabbath is a sign between Him, and Israel, as is shown in Ex 31:16-17. God gave the law to Israel, as is written in Ex 19, 20, and was not given until 1491 B.C.
There was no observance of the Sabbath, and no following of the law for a period of 2513 years from the time of Gen 2:1-3 until Ex 16-20. But, there has always been conscience in the minds of mankind. A careful study of the scriptures of this post will show that God spoke the requirements of the Sabbath and the Law to the Jews, who were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. No other people were groups were present when God spoke to Moses and the Israelites about the law and the Sabbath. Only the descendants of Abraham and Isaac, and those who were descendants of Jacob, found themselves to be those who were under the requirements of the Sabbath and the law. Still, remember that mankind has conscience. The non-descendants of Jacob were not present when the requirements of the Sabbath and law were given, “to the descendants of Jacob.” The church of Christ has no responsibility of keeping the Sabbath and the Law, as God gave those requirements to the Israelites. The purpose of those who became “the church of Christ,” was to tell others about saving faith in Christ. Consider the following scriptures.
Acts 8:35 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Per Philip, the evangelist)
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.
1 Corinthians 2:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Per the apostle Paul)
2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
So, what do we say about the keeping of the Sabbath and the Law. It is not a requirement for maintaining fellowship with God. To recognize the Sabbath as being a day of the week, as being a day that God blessed and sanctified, is to honor God. The Law, to include the Ten Commandments, also include the 613 Torah Laws, which deal with the proper treatment that Jews should have toward one another. Those same Torah (teaching) Laws give a standard of conduct that all of God’s mankind creation should have toward each other. The Torah includes the first five books of the Bible. A meaning of Torah is teaching. God chose the Jews to not only bring the Messiah into the world, but also to be a standard-bearer of truth, righteousness, and holiness. Because of the responsibility that God gave to “His chosen people,” (Den 7:6), and to be the vessel of salvation (John 4:22), God’s teachings were sometimes very severe for His chosen people. But, there is no teaching for us to stone people to death,or to cut peoples’ hands and heads off, as has been shown by the non-descendants of Jacob.
Shortly, I will notice the beginning of the seventh day of the week, which is the Lord’s Sabbath. I am going to say to God, “hey God! You did an awesome job of creating this holiest day of the week,” as well as the first six days. I am also going to consider the Holiness of God when He gave the Law to Moses and the Israelites, and wonder why our government finds such a danger to society by having the Ten Commandments posted in schools, and in other public places.
Let me now ask you to read the following verses of scripture, very carefully, and possibly learn some things that may have never been taught to you. It is important to know that the total conversation takes please between God and Moses, and is directed to Jews. Please let me add a Jewish greeting, “Shabbat Shalom,” which means “peaceful Sabbath.”
Exodus 31:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
Exodus 2:23-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.
Exodus 3:5-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
Exodus 3:14-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt.
Exodus 6:1-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
God Promises Action
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.”
2 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. 4 I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. 5 Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.7 Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord.’” 9 So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.
Exodus 14:30-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.
Exodus 16:22-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Sabbath Observed
22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 then he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” 24 So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.”
27 It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? 29 See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 19:1-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Moses on Sinai
19 In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. 9 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.
10 The Lord also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; 11 and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. 15 He said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
The Lord Visits Sinai
18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down,warn the people, so that they do not break through to the Lord to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, or else the Lord will break out against them.” 23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 Then the Lord said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, or He will break forth upon them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
Exodus 20:1-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Ten Commandments
1 Then God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.
Exodus 24:1-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
People Affirm Their Covenant with God
1 Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance.2 Moses alone, however, shall come near to the Lord, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.”
3 Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!” 4 Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”8 So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Exodus 31:12-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Sign of the Sabbath
12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”
18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Exodus 33:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Journey Resumed
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’
Exodus 34:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Covenant Renewed
10 Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.
Exodus 34:27-28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 35:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Sabbath Emphasized
1 Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do:
2 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.”
4 Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded,…”
Exodus 40:34-38 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Glory of the Lord
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.36 Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. 38 For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.