Compiled by JS Lowther
KEEPING THE SABBATH
Explaining the 4th Commandment
Rest & Holy
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:..For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested (sabbathed) the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Remember the sabbath day…
Gen 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Gen 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Gen 9:17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token (sign , outh) of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
The 4th command is the only command that starts with remember / zekar, consider the rain bow is the same as the sabbath moon in many ways… it is seen and remembrance is had about a covenant, the thing seen is a sign / token.
The idea of remembrance is had from seeing a thing, a sign, token.
This can also be seen as we see another command of the law:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
you can see that remembrance is had by seeing the ribband, this is how we can seen that the sabbath really is a sign.
Deu 5:15 adds
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
the sabbath day,
as discussed, the word sabbath references rest, as well as the fulfillment day, the completion day. this is the thing to be remembered when it is seen. The rest God had in creating the earth, as well as the completion of creation and the fullness of the creating.
…to keep it holy.( lit. to hallow it)
In this way the Sabbath was consecrated thus by YHWH first in Gen 2, and this for the cause of Adam, that he would keep it pure, holy, sanctified, venerated and hallowed for the purpose of rest from labour and by extension for worship of the creator in place of work. The hallowing is a special setting apart specifically for resting in YHWH.
The keeping of the sabbath holy is one of those things which every soul must study out and define for them selves. It can be a sticky thing to get involved with your brethren or neighbors sabbath keeping.
there are divisions on many things, and your personal definition of one tenant of sabbathing may not be agreed on by those around you. In times when people took council from there elders, and heads of families he would most likly be the one to decide if one was willfully or ignorantly breaking the sabbath. Yet in a time when Israel is in such disarray, this thing must be focused on by the devoted head of house (grandfather, father, brother, step father (master), who ever you have as your highest God ordained authority. And if you are the only one observing, then you are left to your own research. Fathers should take this as a special part of their God ordained authority, to arrange the laws of God in your home as you can understand them. Don’t be afraid to take council, but do not pass the
buck. Very importantly, we should all respect our fellow brothers personal observations, in this world biblical reality is not the easiest thing to follow, nor is any lawful following, so especially on the sabbath, protect your self from the pitfall of self righteousness, while still walking circumspectly. I’m not implying to keep fellowship with those who willfully break their own understanding of the sabbath, or have none at all, with the exception of being a witness.
With that being said let us consider a few verses which are commonly viewed in an un-biblical realistic way…
Exo 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
Exo 35:3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
Here is a good place to make mention of this common phenomenon of un realistic bible keeping:
What do I do in the winter if I can’t kindle a fire to stay warm?
May be it never gets that cold in Israel?
Biblical reality answer:
It Gets cold enough to snow in Israel as the people knew what snow was well: Exodus 4:6; Numbers 12:10; 2 Samuel 23:20; 2 Kings 5:27; Job 6:16; 9:30; 24:19; 37:6; 38:22; Psalms 51:7; 68:14; 147:16; 148:8; Proverbs 25:13; 26:1; 31:21; Isaiah 1:18; 55:10; Jeremiah 18:14; Lamentations 4:7; Daniel 7:9; Matthew 28:3; Mark 9:3; Revelation 1:14;
Remember also that Peter warmed him self by the coals in Joh_18:18
So what do we do to keep warm on the sabbath?
maybe the Prohibition is on making the fire, as kindle means to start in English ?
No, the word kindle is the Hebrew word ‘bawr’ H1197, and is translated burn, burnt, burned more often than not. So simply it is “ye shall burn no fire…” What to do? Ignore? Justify? Break to stay warm?
Consider the context of Ex 35
1. Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together..
2. Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest…
3.kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
4.Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass…on
5.goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,
8. to make The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets,
Exo 35:12 The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering,
Exo 35:13 The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread,
Most all of the things mentioned that needed to be made require fire. Smelting, drying, tanning,The context of Ex 35 and 36 is that work needed to be done, but don’t use working on the temple as a reason to break the sabbath, why else would this be the first thing said to the congregation be fore all the rest?
for me it is the best answer, if you wish to not have a fire on the sabbath then that is your studied opinion, I would, however, that you not judge me for my understanding , and just not invite me over on a freezing sabbath to see your conviction.
When trying to understand the sabbath, remember it is a realistic command, and must be attainable.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work…
Some say that labour is not commanded for six days, but it is here.
Most of the people who object to a Lunar Sabbath which holds the new moon as an extended sabbath period, argue that it is contrary to the 4th commandment. But is it? Ezekiel held the six working days as separated from the sabbath and the new moon.
Eze 46:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
Not only is it practically seen for good health to be active and not ‘resting’ or sitting around every day, but only hard working people respect the festival aspect of sabbath keeping, especially the new moon when one spends much time away from family, friends and worship as well as study of the creators word.
The command to do something productive for six days consecutively at the least is not a burden, it is again another way YHWH shows his own self through his law, as his desire for his people. No mater what you do for work or what you consider labour if you are doing it for 6 days consecutively you will be more diligent in keeping the seventh sabbath day, the fulfillment day as holy, they will work hand in hand.
The new moon based sabbath proposed breaks the 4th commandment by having it’s first or last week of 8 days depending on the new moon and NOT having a consistent 7 day week through out.
Answer- While this is true that all lunar months will have no less than 8 days to the first week of a month of 29 days and if the moonth has 30 days, the last week directly before the 8 day first week will have 8 days as well. Yet this does NOT break the commandment for the following: The days of Sabbath are NOT working days, and simply comply with all sabbatical law that states ” Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath…”, by this harmony is found as YHWH speaks in Ezekiel 46:1 (as mentioned previously), the Sabbath and new moon are NOT among the “six working days”. This is the simplest way to harmonize the Sabbath command with the Creation laws of Genesis 1:14 leading us directly to the new moon.