Hebrew Roots/Neglected Commandments/Sabbath/Apologetics/Origin
Created for Man The first place the words “seventh day” occurs, denoting a set apart period of created time by Yahweh in the scriptures, is in Genesis 2:2-3. The word “Sabbath” from the Hebrew verb Shabbat, means "to rest from labor", the day of rest.
"And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had made. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, " Genesis 2: 2-4
Shabbat’s (the Sabbath) origins go back to creation, Genesis 2:1-3, where God worked for six days then rested on the seventh day. As with much of what the Bible presents to us, Shabbat is a foreshadowing, a reflection or picture of what exists in heaven and what those who follow Yahweh will enjoy one day in its heavenly spiritual reality on earth.
The Sabbath came into being as a final crowning part of the act of Creation. It was set apart at creation for the benefit of mankind. The Sabbath (Shabbat) is a day of rest.
A Specific Creation All the seasons, months, days and years are based on the movement of planetary bodies in relation to one another and to the sun. The week of seven days has no such cycle or basis for existence related to our solar system, other than in the book of Genesis based on Yahweh's specific determined order of creation. The “week” of seven days and the seventh day Sabbath of the week, is His personal creation solely for man and His purposes for man, and it has no other basis for its existence, as do the days, the months and the yearly cycle.
The day is created by the revolution of the earth with its 24 hour cycle being determined by the length of time of that revolution, with day being created by the part of the earth that faces the sun receiving light, and night by that in darkness.
The months are created by the movement of the moon in its orbit around the earth of approx. twenty-nine and a half days. The length of the year is established by the orbit of the earth around the sun, whereby also the seasons are created by the tilt of the earth's axis, but as stated there is no basis for a seven day week.
Yahweh ordered the work of creation, restoring it from chaos to order, completing it in six pre-determined days, setting aside a final seventh day for rest. He then finished His creation on the Seventh Day .
God does not change. Therefore, serenity and tranquility are part of His attributes. On the Seventh Day, Yahweh added tranquility and harmony to the world. It was no longer in the process of change, and so the creation and man partook of Yahweh's serenity, and became "Holy and Blessed".
The Sabbath thus was able to partake of God's timelessness, it became the Day of Eternity (Exodus 31:17). The Hebrew word Shabbat (Sabbath) is related to the word shevet - to dwell; on the Sabbath, Yahweh made the world His dwelling-place.
The Sabbath is Holy Since the Sabbath itself was "created" at the end of creation, when man was created, and was "blessed" and "sanctified" by Yahweh, and not any other day, He alone has the prerogative to choose and decide that day to be holy, The Sabbath is the day of Yahweh. "If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day;" Isaiah 58:13-14
The Sabbath was made "HOLY" at creation-- not some 2,500 years later, during the time of Moses when Yahweh brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt and gave them the 'law' . Being made "holy" at the creation of man, it's ordinance therefore precedes the 'law' and is not solely for Israel, but for all mankind.
Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart - "sanctified" it from all other days! This is a clear statement that the Sabbath is "HOLY" -- or "sanctified." (Genesis 2:3)
No other days are holy, but His designated Sabbath days! The only regular day of the week the Most High ever made holy is the seventh day. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make another day holy to suit our lifestyle, because holiness is not dependent on our determinations. Holiness is solely dependent on His determination. Many believers have thought to make certain religious days holy by the force of their celebration on that day.
No person can choose any day they wish to celebrate the Shabbat, because it is only the seventh day has been made holy. Celebration of the Sabbath rest on any other day is a man-made invention and has no validity. There is not one place in the Bible where anything is holy, except that called holy by the mouth of the “I AM”, the Almighty One. Since He is holy, then the experience of keeping His Shabbat is holy. As we experience His Holy, set apart Day, then we enter into His set-apart holy experience of spiritual rest. All other commandments require our efforts to enter into them and be holy. On the Sabbath, when we rest, it is God that makes us holy: "You shall keep My Sabbaths . . . that you may know that I am Yahweh, who makes you holy" (Exodus 31:13).
Hebrews 4:9 says, “There remains a Sabbath for the people of God.”
The Sabbath an Example God's Sabbath rest was a divine example for the benefit of man. Yahweh set Himself, on the seventh day of creation, as the ultimate example. He rested from all His work, giving us an example to follow, a pattern for His creation. How can we ignore this ultimate example? God did not rest because He was tired, but rather to appreciate His work. The rest of the Sabbath is a time-frame He allotted to punctuate a completed assignment of establishing the order of life for planet earth. "And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31) This was not the end of all work undertaken by the Almighty, but an interim to enjoy that which He had made. As Y'shua said, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." John 5:17
Does the Creator no longer want to have His creation appreciated?
The Shabbat is rest from the labor of creative processes. Because He stopped creating on the Sabbath, we stop also. When our mind and hands have stopped creating we have the time and ability to appreciate what has been created, especially by the Creator. Only then are we are experiencing something He experienced. It is His ultimate intention for us that we enter into His joy, as He says "My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands", - in His Millennial Sabbath (Isaiah 65:22d)
The Intended Purpose Seeing the Sabbath is a basic part of creation, specifically given for the benefit of man, keeping the Sabbath is for our benefit. It is a demonstration of our Father God's love, and is intended as a partaking of His blessing. If we do really love Yahweh, we will desire to spend time with Him and it will not be a burden, rather we should want to spend time with Him!
When Y'shua taught that, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27), He was teaching that it is not intended as a legalistic observance with burdensome rules, but a set-aside time of willing devotion. It is for the benefit of man, to be taken advantage of. Y'shua's words do not point back to the “Ten Commandments.” They pointed to the original purpose and will of the Father in creating the Sabbath for the benefit of humanity in rest and refreshing.
The natural man thinks that the keeping of the seventh day is not important, because he cannot discern with his five senses why it would make any difference to keep one day above another. But, "the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).
The spiritual man does not reason as to why it is important. The spiritual man knows that the Sabbath is most assuredly one of "the things of the Spirit of God" because He instituted it; and that is its importance.
Keeping the Sabbath can cause blessings or adversity. This is what the Bible teaches when it promises good things ("blessings") for keeping the Sabbath and bad things ("curses") for breaking it. (as with all His commandments) We may not always see how the blessings or curses are the result of our having kept or broken the Sabbath, but there is an unseen spiritual dimension to life. The spiritual man knows that his actions in the physical realm affect the unseen angelic and demonic powers that are at work in the spiritual realm, and we will reap according to either our obedience or our disobedience.
His Ordained Pattern The New Testament teaches in Hebrews 8-10 that the earthly Tabernacle with its priesthood and worship was a "shadow," patterned after a Tabernacle that exists in the heavenly realm, with its priesthood and worship.
God has a pattern for worship, and since the first week of Creation, that pattern has included the 7th day of the week as the Sabbath. Some believe that the Sabbath is only a "shadow," an outward symbol of the inward rest of the soul that Y'shua promised. It is a shadow of the spiritual life, but if one cannot keep it in the natural, there will not be a reality of it in the spiritual. The principle is, "first the natural, then the spiritual" (1 Corinthians 15:46)
If a person cannot cease from their own works for one day, then they will not live a surrendered lifestyle that has ceased from following one's own desires in fulfilling one's own works the other six days. By keeping the Sabbath we consecrate a day to abstain from all self-interest and self-motivation and enter into His Sabbath rest.
This knowledge should motivate us to step into that shadow and enjoy its fruits by keeping the Sabbath. The shadow has a solid reality behind it in the spiritual realm. When we step into that shadow, our soul steps into the spiritual reality which is casting the shadow. As the Bride says of the Bridegroom in the Song of Solomon, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste" (2:3)
Evidence of the Sabbatic Order before the Flood The weekly cycle of seven days signified by the Sabbath, was clearly known from the beginning of humankind. Cain and Abel brought their offerings at the “end of days”, (literal translation) probably referring to the Sabbath (Genesis 4:3). Noah and his sons enter the Ark precisely seven days before the flood commences (Genesis 7: 4, 10). Later when the flood is over, he sends out the doves over a period of several weeks, following the same seven-day weekly cycle (Genesis 8:10,12). This evidences the fact that the weekly cycle of seven days was known to them as a pattern to follow.
Throughout the world the same seven-day weekly cycle has been known, from ancient to modern times. From linguistic studies there is evidence that from ancient times the Sabbath was known in most major language groups. Hundred of languages actually name the seventh day with some derivative of the Hebrew word “Shabbat”.
In Assyrian it is sabatu; In Persian shambid; In the Caucasus region samat; In Central Africa assebatu; In Hungary szombat; Abyssinia sanbat; Java saptu; Afghanistan shamba; Malta issibt; Turkey essabt; Borneo sabtu; In Arabic assabt. Even the Romance languages of Europe, though eventually Christianized, still maintain this ancient “Jewish” designation for Saturday, the seventh day; Latin sabbatum; French samedi; Italian sabbato; Romanian sambata.
Yahweh reminds Isaac that Abraham was chosen because “He kept my commandments, my statutes and My laws” Gen. 26: 5. See also Gen.18:19 - He not only kept the way Himself, but also ordered his household in the ways of Yahweh. Although they did not know the Torah in the detailed form in which it was given to the nation of Israel later, they did understand the righteous way of life, which involved the ordained principles of Yahweh, which would have involved keeping all His ordained principles and that included Shabbat, since it was ordained in the beginning. Genesis 18:19
Therefore the keeping of Shabbat is not intrinsically limited to the Mosaic Covenant, but it had been ordained long before Sinai. This is even evidenced in the very wording of Exodus 20:8 for the fourth commandment, “Remember--- the Sabbath .. .. ..” - this admonition to "remember" indicates prior knowledge which had possibly been forgotten or set aside during the hard labour under the Egyptians.
The Mosaic covenant was a written contract between Yahweh and the nation of Israel of their agreement to His principles, statutes, testimonies and laws. It set out that which the patriarchs had known and lived by, in an extended form for the whole nation. It established for them a standard of rule, law and authority, as against that which they had been subjected to under the Pharaohs. But it was not new! His appointed times and seasons were understood from the beginning.Therefore the concept that the seventh day has been annulled and set aside by the establishment of the new covenant is invalid, as it was not instituted though Moses, but rather began to be observed by Adam and continued by the godly line.
It is keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day according to His decree, not on the first day of the week, that will bring the blessing and healing that His Body needs. God blesses and uses His people, even though they do not keep the Sabbath.
He blesses and uses people in spite of their flaws and ignorance when it is not a result of willful rebellion. He can and does bless His people every day. However, there are some specific blessings which can be received only by stepping into the shadow of Yahweh's specifically appointed times. He promises to those who will keep His Sabbath, "Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer."
"Then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it." Isaiah 56: 7; 58:14
There are two basic concepts in all the accounts regarding the Sabbath, and they are, To remember it, and, To guard or keep it holy.
Each Sabbath day, week by week, we are brought together in a worldwide spiritual fellowship and solidarity that stretches back to Eden and forward to the coming Kingdom when the whole world will experience His true Sabbath rest and peace.