The Jewish Sabbath

Picture of the shape of Israel over a manuscript with the words"The Sabbath is only for Israel"

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.






Is the Sabbath only for the Jews and Israel?

The Sabbath is a gift from God to everyone.




The Christian Sabbath



We sometimes hear that Christians need not keep the Sabbath, because the Sabbath was given only to the Israelites. Is this statement true?

Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man. He never said it was only for Israel. Mar 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Paul said that there was no distinction between Jew or Greek. He said that we are all one. Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Paul also stated that we are grafted in and that we partake of the root.Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

The early Christian church met on the Sabbath. Act 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Act 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. Act 13:44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Notice that the Gentiles wanted to hear the preaching on the next Sabbath. Notice that Paul didn't preach to them the next day, which would have been sunday. If the early church was meeting on sunday, Paul would have simply taught them the very next day which was a sunday. He didn't do this. He waited until the next Sabbath.

Paul kept the Sabbath. We are told that Paul's custom was to preach on the Sabbath. Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

This is the early church and both Jew and Gentile were meeting together on the Sabbath.

Paul never taught that the Sabbath was just for Israel.
Jesus never taught that the Sabbath was just for Israel. In fact there is no mention anywhere in the Bible of the Sabbath being just for Israel or the Jew. There is also no mention in the Bible of the Sabbath day having been done away with or having been replaced. Pay close attention to Exodus 16:23.

Exo 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.

Does it say the Sabbath is for Israel or the Jews? No. It says "the holy sabbath unto the LORD". The Sabbath is the Lord's Sabbath. He made it for mankind, and He claims it.

Mat 12:8For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Mar 2:28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Luk 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

The Sabbath doesn't belong to Israel. It belongs to God, who made it for the benefit of mankind.

The Sabbath is the day of rest for everyone. It was made for all mankind by our creator. It was established by God at creation before there was Jew or Gentile. Gen 2:2 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. Gen 2:3 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.

Sabbath means sabbaton sab'-bat-on Of Hebrew origin [H7676]; the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations. It is a day of rest.

God sanctified the seventh day immediately upon the arrival of the very first Sabbath ever. Gen 2:3 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.

He set this day aside from the very beginning. At Creation. There was never a time when the seventh day of the week was not sanctified.

The Sabbath is the only day of the week that is given a name in the entire Bible. All of the months have names in the Bible. But only the seventh day of the week has a name. It is Sabbath. The other days of the week are simply called the first day of the week, the second day of the week etc...

God, Himself kept the Sabbath from the very first Sabbath which we have just read, to when He returned to His creation and walked among us as Jesus Christ.
Luk 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

His custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He provided us the perfect example to follow.

There is no mention of the Sabbath until the Exodus. Some will say that there is no mention of anyone keeping the Sabbath until the exodus. This is not true. We have just read above where God, Himself kept the very first Sabbath. Here are those verses again. Gen 2:2 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. Gen 2:3 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.
It is true that the word Sabbath does not appear in the Bible until Exodus 16:23. However, this verse also indicates that this is the same "Holy" day of rest that was sanctified at creation.

Exo 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning ...... Exo 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

The seventh day of creation was called the Sabbath.
Exodus 20:11 tells us specifically that the seventh day of creation was called the Sabbath.

Exo 20:11 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.

Keeping the seventh day Sabbath is the 4th commandment which is also the longest commandment.

Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: Exo 20:10 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: Exo 20:11 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.

Jesus instructed us to keep His commandments

Joh 14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

The New Testament reminds us again and again to Keep the commandments.

Mat 19:17 ...... but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Joh 14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 15:10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
1Jn 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.


Those two verses are very powerful. If we aren't keeping the commandments, then we don't know Him. We don't know God. Keeping the seventh day Sabbath is the 4th commandment as we have already seen.

The resurrection of Jesus did not change the Sabbath.Hebrews 4:8 tells us specifically that the Seventh day Sabbath was not changed by the coming of Jesus.

Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

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Picture of the Sabbath rest (chair) being pulled from underneath a falling man by the world.
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