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#1. BECAUSE GOD SANCTIFIED THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH

This bible study uses the Hebrew Unicode font and is printable.

Greek Word Study on 4521 σάββατον sabbaton Sabbath.
Hebrew Word Study on 7676 שַׁבָּת shabbat Sabbath.
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#1.11 God gave us an example from the beginning

GENESIS 2:1-3
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

EXODUS 20:8-11
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labour, and do all your work:
10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your foreigner who is within your gates:
11 For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Note: When Jesus was teaching people about divorce, he pointed them back to the beginning of creation in order to explain how things should be (Matthew 19:8; Mark 10:6), and when Paul would not permit a woman (or wife) to teach, he pointed them back to the beginning of creation in order to show them why (1 Timothy 2:11-14). Here, as regards the seventh day, we can also look back to the time of creation to see how it was in the beginning. After his work of creation, when God rested on the seventh day, "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:" (Genesis 2:3). When God spoke about this event as he gave the ten commandments, he said, "Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:11). The verb translated "sanctified" (Genesis 2:3) (Hb. קָדַשׁ , Htr. qādash) is the same verb translated "hallowed" (Exodus 20:11), but notice that in God's spoken version, he says that he blessed "the Sabbath day". So the Sabbath must have existed since the creation, and this is why the seventh day is called, "the Sabbath of Yahweh your God:" (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14). God even refers to the Sabbath day as, "my holy day;" (Isaiah 58:13), and "the holy Sabbath to Yahweh:" (Exodus 16:23). Has anything changed concerning this? No, because God has said the he will not alter what he has said (Psalm 89:34), so the Sabbath must still be his holy day. No again, because "whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it:" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). God doesn't change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so as far as he is concerned, the seventh day is still blessed and sanctified by him. If our heart is filled with love, which fulfils the law (See #1.25), then it would be full of God, because, "God is love." (1 John 4:8; 4:16), and we would keep the seventh day holy, just as he did. He gave us an example right back there at the beginning. Jesus told us to be like God when he said, "You be therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48), and showed us the principle that people do the deeds of their father:

(John 8:39) "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham."
(John 8:44) "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do."
(John 9:4) "I must work the works of him who sent me,"
(John 10:37) "If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me."

So if we are to follow God's example, while we are working in the world, then we ought to rest on the seventh day as God did. God sanctified the seventh day (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11), and he told us how to do it also:

(Exodus 20:8) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
(Exodus 35:2) "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a Sabbath of rest to Yahweh:"
(Leviticus 23:3) "Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work in it: it is the Sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings."
(Deuteronomy 5:12) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it."

#1.12 God wrote the Sabbath day commandment himself on a tablet of stone

EXODUS 31:18
18 And he gave to Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tablets of testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

EXODUS 32:15-16
15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand: the tablets were written on both their sides; they were written on the one side and on the other.
16 And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets.

DEUTERONOMY 5:22
22 And these words Yahweh spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tablets of stone, and delivered them to me.

DEUTERONOMY 9:10
10 And Yahweh delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which Yahweh spoke with you out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.

Note: There are several interesting facts which come out of these scriptures, concerning the ten commandments:

(1) God wrote them himself
Nowhere else in the whole bible is it recorded that God wrote commandments with his own finger, as he did here (Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10). The fact that God wrote them himself insured his total authority behind them, no mistakes were made when they were written, and they were engraved in stone for permanence. Notice that, "the tablets were the work of God," (Exodus 32:16), and as "his work is perfect:" (Deuteronomy 32:4), every commandment, including the Sabbath commandment, must be perfect. These commandments, which were the basis of the Old Covenant, were called "the tablets of the covenant." (Deuteronomy 9:9; 9:11; 9:15), and were placed in the ark called "the ark of the covenant" (Numbers 10:33; 14:44; Deuteronomy 10:8; 31:9). These are the same commandments and laws that are to be written on our heart when we become a partaker of the New Covenant (See #1.5), and which will be fulfilled by love (See #1.25).

(2) God spoke them to the whole congregation
God did occasionally speak to individuals on a lengthy basis (Job 38-41), but a discourse such as this, full of commandments, and spoken to so many people (Deuteronomy 5:22; 9:10), is totally unique. Approximately six hundred thousand men left Egypt (Exodus 12:37), plus women, plus children, plus others, so "all your assembly" (Deuteronomy 5:22) may have numbered around two million people. The fact that God chose to speak these commandments audibly himself, and not leave it to others to speak only, shows how much importance he placed on them, and emphasises their permanence:

(Psalm 89:34) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."

So we can be sure that God is not Going to alter the ten commandments. This can be confirmed by the fact that the ten commandments, which were written on stone, were also called "the testimony" (Exodus 25:16; 30:6; 40:20), and "tablets of testimony" (Exodus 31:18; 32:15; 34:29). They were placed in the ark, which was called "the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:22; 31:7; 40:3; Joshua 4:16), which was kept in a tent called "the tabernacle of testimony" (Exodus 38:21; Numbers 1:50; 1:53). Thus the word "testimony" in the Old Testament often refers to the ten commandments, and when we read:

(Isaiah 8:20) "To the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

we can know that there is no light in those who do not speak according to the ten commandments.

#1.13 God gave the Sabbath day commandment to his chosen people

EXODUS 20:8-11
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labour, and do all your work:
10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your foreigner who is within your gates:
11 For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

EXODUS 31:12-17
12 And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
13 Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, Surely my Sabbaths you shall keep: it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.
14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: every one who defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whoever does any work in it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh: whoever does any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

DEUTERONOMY 5:12-15
12 Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as Yahweh your God has commanded you.
13 Six days you shall labour, and do all your work:
14 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your foreigner who is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.
15 And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Yahweh your God brought you out from there through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

PSALMS 89:34 (God)
34 My covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips.

ECCLESIASTES 3:14 (Solomon)
14 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before him.

MALACHI 3:6
6 For I am Yahweh, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Note: After his work of creation God rested on the seventh day, and blessed it, and sanctified it (Genesis 2:3). Nothing has changed concerning this because, "whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it:" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). God doesn't change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), so as far as he is concerned, the seventh day is still blessed and sanctified by him. He gave no such blessing concerning Sunday, the first day of the week, but because the seventh day had been blessed since creation, when the law was given to his chosen people through Moses, it included a provision for rest on the seventh day:

(Exodus 20:8-10) "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ... the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God;",
(Exodus 31:12-17) "Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, Speak also to the children of Israel, saying, Surely my Sabbaths you shall keep: ... You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you: ... 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 for ever:"
(Deuteronomy 5:12-15) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as Yahweh your God has commanded you. ... the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God: ... Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."

Has God changed anything concerning these remarks? No, because he has said, "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34), and God spoke the ten commandments himself to the whole congregation of Israel (Exodus 20:1-19; Deuteronomy 5:4-22). The ten commandments were the covenant (Deuteronomy 4:12-13; 5:2). Therefore he cannot alter them, because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). This has been established with Israel, "throughout your generations;" (Exodus 31:13), "throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant." (Exodus 31:16), and "for ever." (Exodus 31:17). Therefore, at least as far as Israel is concerned it has not changed. The literal keeping of the Sabbath for the Jews will be superseded by the spiritual fulfilment of it, when they come to the true understanding, but this will not mean that they will cease to keep the Sabbath, and begin to keep Sunday.

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