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ISRAEL, Sabbath

SABBATH (Hebrew verb shabbath, meaning “to rest from labour”), the day of rest. The day of rest was first mentioned in Genesis 2:2. “The Sabbath was made for man,” as a day of rest and refreshment for the body and of blessing to the soul.

It is referred to in connection with the gift of manna to the children of Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 16:23); and when the law was given from Sinai (Exodus 20:11), the people were solemnly charged to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

In the Mosaic law strict regulations were laid down regarding its observance.

Exodus 35:2-3 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. [3] Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day. [KJV]

Leviticus 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. [KJV]

Leviticus 26:34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. [KJV]

In later times Israel perverted the Sabbath by their traditions. Our Lord rescued it from their perversions, and recalled to them its true nature and intent.

Matthew 12:10-13 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. [11] And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? [12] How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. [13] Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. [KJV]

Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. [KJV]

Luke 13:10-17 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. [11] And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. [12] And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. [13] And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. [14] And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. [15] The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? [16] And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? [17] And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. [KJV]

It is a fact that the first day of the week (Sunday) has been observed as the day of rest since apostolic times, and we can be sure of one thing, the apostles would NEVER would have done it without the permission or authority from the Lord.

After His resurrection, which took place on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), we never find Christ meeting with His disciples on the seventh day (Saturday, Sabbath).

Christ specifically honored the first day (Sunday) by manifesting Himself to them on four separate occasions (Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:34, 18-33; John 20:19-23).

On the next first day of the week (Sunday), Jesus appeared to His disciples (John 20:26).

Some say that Christ's ascension took place on the first day of the week.

There can be no doubt that the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was on that day (Acts 2:1). Christ instituted a new day to be observed by His people (the church) known among them as the “Lord's day.”

Sabbath signifies a rest period.

Genesis 2:2-3 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. [KJV]

Establishing the Sabbath.

Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: [11] For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. [KJV]

Exodus 31:12-17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, [13] Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. [14] Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, 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 the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. [16] Wherefore 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 the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. [KJV]

The Sabbath was instituted for the nation Israel, NOT for any one else.

Verses 16 and 17 plainly states: “the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenantIt is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever.” It states NOTHING about Gentiles or the church keeping the Sabbath.


Leviticus 25:1-7 And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, [2] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord. [3] Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; [4] But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. [5] That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. [6] And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, [7] And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat. [KJV]

If anyone other that a Jew insists on keeping the Sabbath, they must also keep the Sabbath of tjhe land!

See: Ex. 23:11 Lev. 25:4 Deut. 15:1; 15:9; 31:10 2 Chron. 36:21 Neh. 10:31 Jer. 34:14 for the Sabbatic Year, one year in seven, or the year of release.


Leviticus 25:8-55 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. [9] Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. [10] And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. [11] A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. [12] For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. [13] In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession. [14] And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: [15] According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: [16] According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. [17] Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God.
[18] Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. [19] And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. [20] And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: [21] Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. [22] And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.
[23] The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. [24] And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.
[25] If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. [26] And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; [27] Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. [28] But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. [29] And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. [30] And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile. [31] But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubile. [32] Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. [33] And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. [34] But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession. [35] And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. [36] Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. [37] Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. [38] I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.
[39] And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: [40] But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile: [41] And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. [42] For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. [43] Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God. [44] Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. [45] Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. [46] And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
[47] And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: [48] After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: [49] Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself. [50] And he shall reckon with him that bought him from the year that he was sold to him unto the year of jubile: and the price of his sale shall be according unto the number of years, according to the time of an hired servant shall it be with him. [51] If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for. [52] And if there remain but few years unto the year of jubile, then he shall count with him, and according unto his years shall he give him again the price of his redemption. [53] And as a yearly hired servant shall he be with him: and the other shall not rule with rigour over him in thy sight. [54] And if he be not redeemed in these years, then he shall go out in the year of jubile, both he, and his children with him. [55] For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

The year of Jubilee started with joyful shouts and the blast of trumpets; it was a great semi-centennial festival of the Hebrews. It lasted for a year.

During this year the land was to be fallow, and the Israelites were only permitted to gather the spontaneous produce of the fields (Leviticus 25:11-12). All property during that year reverted to its original owner (Leviticus 25:13-34; 27:16-24), and all who were slaves were set free (Leciticus 25:39-54), and all debts were cancelled. The jubilee year was celebrated in Israel.

There is no record in Scripture of the actual observance of this festival, but there are numerous indirect references (Isaiah 5:7-10; 61:1-2; Ezekiel 7:12-13; Neh. 5:1-19; 2 Chron. 36:21) that it was observed.

The advantages of the jubilee year were many.

  • 1. It prevented the accumulation of land on the part of a few wealthy ones at the expense of the community at large.
  • 2. No one could be born to absolute poverty, since every one had his hereditary land.
  • 3. It prevented inequalities which are produced by extremes of riches and poverty, that makes one man have control over another.
  • 4. It did away with slavery.
  • 5. It gave a fresh chance to those who had had troubling times.
  • 6. It corrected disorders which crept into the state, preventing the division of the people into nobles and commoners.

Do you know any Gentile or church member who holds that Saturday is the Sabbath, who celebrates either the Sabbatical year, or the year of jubilee? I do not!


  1. Commanded, to be kept. Leviticus 19:3, 30
  2. Commanded to be sanctified. Exodus 20:8
  3. Servants and cattle should be allowed to rest upon. Exodus 20:10; Deut. 5:14
  4. No manner of work to be done on. Exodus 20:10; Leviticus 23:3
  5. No purchases to be made on. Neh. 10:31; Neh. 13:15-17
  6. No burdens to be carried on. Neh. 13:19; Jeremiah 17:21
  7. Divine worship to be celebrated on. Ezekiel 46:3; Acts 16:13
  8. The Scriptures to be read on. Acts 13:27; Acts 15:21be read on. Acts 13:27; Acts 15:21

~. . . ISRAEL . . . ~

Israel, Abraham, Things About

Israel, Beginning of

Israel, 12 Spies

Israel, An Adultress

Israel, A Byword Among the Nations

Israel Defeated in Battle

Israel, Dispersion

Israel, Divine Curse

Israel, God Hides His Face From Sin

Israel, Hatred of Israel is a Sin

Israel, Humbled

Israel and Idolatry

Israel Persecuted


Israel, Tribes

Israel, Unfruitful

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