International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
DAY BEFORE THE SABBATH
(he paraskeue, "preparation"): Considered as a day of preparation, in accordance with Exodus 16:23, both before the regular Sabbath and before a feast Sabbath (Matthew 27:62 Mark 15:42 Luke 23:54 John 19:14, 31, 42). At 3 p.m., the Hebrews began to prepare their food for the next day, and to perform all labors which were forbidden to be done on the Sabbath and yet must be done. They bathed and purified themselves, dressed in festive apparel, set their tables, and lighted their lamps. On the day before Easter, the Hebrews of the later period made it their chief business to remove all leaven from the house (1 Corinthians 5:7). This custom of converting at least a portion of the day before the Sabbath into a holy day was recognized by the Romans to such an extent that, according to a rescript of Augustus, Jews need not appear in court after 3 p.m. on such days. Criminal cases were not brought before court on this day, and journeys exceeding 12 Roman miles were prohibited. The signal for the preparations was given by the priests by means of trumpets blown six times at intervals.
Frank E. Hirsch
MORROW AFTER THE SABBATH
(mochorath, or mochoratham, "the morrow," or "tomorrow," "the day following"; mochorath ha-shabbath, "the day after the Sabbath," i.e. the first day of the week): The first day of the week was designated for the formal offering of the first-fruits in the form of wave-sheaves (Leviticus 23:11), and of the wave-loaves 50 days later (Leviticus 23:16, 17). This recognition of an after-Sabbath during festive periods has its counterpart in the later ecclesiastical practice of celebrating not only Easter Sunday, but also Easter Monday, etc., and undoubtedly was a factor in establishing the custom which transferred the sanctity of the Sabbath to the first day of the week after the resurrection of our Lord.
Frank E. Hirsch
sab'-ath (shabbath, shabbathon; sabbaton, ta sabbata; the root shabhath in Hebrew means "to desist," "cease," "rest"):
I. ORIGIN OF THE SABBATH
1. The Biblical Account
2. Critical Theories
II. HISTORY OF THE SABBATH AFTER MOSES
1. In the Old Testament
2. In the Inter-Testamental Period
3. Jesus and the Sabbath
4. Paul and the Sabbath
The Sabbath was the day on which man was to leave off his secular labors and keep a day holy to Yahweh.
I. Origin of the Sabbath.
1. The Biblical Account:
The sketch of creation in Genesis 1:1-2:3 closes with an impressive account of the hallowing of the 7th day, because on it God rested from all the work which He had made creatively. The word "Sabbath" does not occur in the story; but it is recognized by critics of every school that the author (P) means to describe the Sabbath as primeval. In Exodus 20:8-11 (ascribed to JE) the reason assigned for keeping the 7th day as a holy Sabbath is the fact that Yahweh rested after the six days of creative activity. Exodus 31:17 employs a bold figure, and describes Yahweh as refreshing Himself ("catching His breath") after six days of work. The statement that God set apart the 7th day for holy purposes in honor of His own rest after six days of creative activity is boldly challenged by many modern scholars as merely the pious figment of a priestly imagination of the exile. There are so few hints of a weekly Sabbath before Moses, who is comparatively a modern character, that argumentation is almost excluded, and each student will approach the question with the bias of his whole intellectual and spiritual history. There is no distinct mention of the Sabbath in Gen, though a 7-day period is referred to several times (Genesis 7:4, 10; Genesis 8:10, 12; 29:27 f). The first express mention of the Sabbath is found in Exodus 16:21-30, in connection with the giving of the manna. Yahweh taught the people in the wilderness to observe the 7th day as a Sabbath of rest by sending no manna on that day, a double supply being given on the 6th day of the week. Here we have to do with a weekly Sabbath as a day of rest from ordinary secular labor. A little later the Ten Words (Commands) were spoken by Yahweh from Sinai in the hearing of all the people, and were afterward written on the two tables of stone (Exodus 20:1-17; Exodus 34:1-5, 27 f). The Fourth Commandment enjoins upon Israel the observance of the 7th day of the week as a holy day on which no work shall be done by man or beast. Children and servants are to desist from all work, and even the stranger within the gates is required to keep the day holy. The reason assigned is that Yahweh rested on the 7th day and blessed it and hallowed it. There is no hint that the restrictions were meant to guard against the wrath of a jealous and angry deity. The Sabbath was meant to be a blessing to man and not a burden. After the sin in connection with the golden call Yahweh rehearses the chief duties required of Israel, and again announces the law of the Sabbath (Exodus 34:21, ascribed to J). In the Levitical legislation there is frequent mention of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:13-16; Exodus 35:2 Leviticus 19:3, 10; Leviticus 23:3, 18). A willful Sabbath-breaker was put to death (Numbers 15:32-36). In the Deuteronomic legislation there is equal recognition of the importance and value of the Sabbath (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). Here the reason assigned for the observance of the Sabbath philanthropic and humanitarian: "that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou." It is thus manifest that all the Pentateuchal codes, whether proceeding from Moses alone or from many hands in widely different centuries, equally recognize the Sabbath as one of the characteristic institutions of Israel's religious and social life. If we cannot point to any observance of the weekly Sabbath prior to Moses, we can at least be sure that this was one of the institutions which he gave to Israel. From the days of Moses until now the holy Sabbath has been kept by devout Israelites.
2. Critical Theories:
"The older theories of the origin of the Jewish Sabbath (connecting it with Egypt, with the day of Saturn, or in general with the seven planets) have now been almost entirely abandoned (see ASTRONOMY, sec. I, 5). The disposition at present is to regard the day as originally a lunar festival, similar to a Bablonian custom (Schrader, Stud. u. Krit., 1874), the rather as the cuneiform documents appear to contain a term sabattu or sabattum, identical in form and meaning with the Hebrew word sabbathon." Thus wrote Professor C. H. Toy in 1899 (JBL, XVIII, 190). In a syllabary (II R, 32, 16a, b) sabattum is said to be equivalent to um nuh libbi, the natural translation of which seemed to be "day of rest of the heart." Schrader, Sayce and others so understood the phrase, and naturally looked upon sabattum as equivalent to the Hebrew Sabbath. But Jensen and others have shown that the phrase should be rendered "day of the appeasement of the mind" (of an offended deity). The reference is to a day of atonement or pacification rather than a day of rest, a day in which one must be careful not to arouse the anger of the god who was supposed to preside over that particular day. Now the term sabattum has been found only 5 or 6 times in the Babylonian inscriptions and in none of them is it connected with the 7th day of a week. There was, however, a sort of institution among the superstitious Babylonians that has been compared with the Hebrew Sabbath. In certain months of the year (Elul, Marcheshvan) the 7th, 14th, 19th, 21st and 28th days were set down as favorable days, or unfavorable days, that is, as days in which the king, the priest and the physician must be careful not to stir up the anger of the deity. On these days the king was not to eat food prepared by fire, not to put on royal dress, not to ride in his chariot, etc. As to the 19th day, it is thought that it was included among the unlucky days because it was the 49th (7 times 7) from the 1st of the preceding month. As there were 30 days in the month, it is evident that we are not dealing with a recurring 7th day in the week, as is the case with the Hebrew Sabbath. Moreover, no proof has been adduced that the term sabattum was ever applied to these dies nefasti or unlucky days. Hence, the assertions of some Assyriologists with regard to the Babylonian origin of the Sabbath must be taken with several grams of salt. Notice must be taken of an ingenious and able paper by Professor M. Jastrow, which was read before the Eleventh International Congress of Orientalists in Paris in 1897, in which the learned author attempts to show that the Hebrew Sabbath was originally a day of propitiation like the Babylonian sabattum (AJT, II, 312-52). He argues that the restrictive measures in the Hebrew laws for the observance of the Sabbath arose from the original conception of the Sabbath as an unfavorable day, a day in which the anger of Yahweh might flash forth against men. Although Jastrow has supported his thesis with many arguments that are cogent, yet the reverent student of the Scriptures will find it difficult to resist the impression that the Old Testament writers without exception thought of the Sabbath not as an unfavorable or unlucky day but rather as a day set apart for the benefit of man. Whatever may have been the attitude of the early Hebrews toward the day which was to become a characteristic institution of Judaism in all ages and in all lands, the organs of revelation throughout the Old Testament enforce the observance of the Sabbath by arguments which lay emphasis upon its beneficent and humanitarian aspects.
We must call attention to Meinhold's ingenious hypothesis as to the origin of the Sabbath. In 1894 Theophilus G. Pinches discovered a tablet in which the term shapattu is applied to the 15th day of the month. Meinhold argues that shabattu in Babylonian denotes the day of the full moon. Dr. Skinner thus describes Meinhold's theory: "He points to the close association of new-moon and Sabbath in nearly all the pre-exilic references (Amos 8:5 Hosea 2:11 Isaiah 1:13 2 Kings 4:23 f); and concludes that in early Israel, as in Babylonia, the Sabbath was the full-moon festival and nothing else. The institution of the weekly Sabbath he traces to a desire to compensate for the loss of the old lunar festivals, when these were abrogated by the Deuteronomic reformation. This innovation he attributes to Ezekiel; but steps toward it are found in the introduction of a weekly day of rest during harvest only (on the ground of Deuteronomy 16:8; compare Exodus 34:21), and in the establishment of the sabbatical year (Leviticus 25), which he considers to be older than the weekly Sabbath" (ICC on Gen, p. 39). Dr. Skinner well says that Meinhold's theory involves great improbabilities. It is not certain that the Babylonians applied the term sabattu to the 15th day of the month because it was the day of the full moon; and it is by no means certain that the early prophets in Israel identified Sabbath with the festival of the full moon.
The wealth of learning and ingenuity expended in the search for the origin of the Sabbath has up to the present yielded small returns.
II. History of the Sabbath after Moses.
1. In the Old Testament:
The early prophets and historians occasionally make mention of the Sabbath. It is sometimes named in connection with the festival of the new moon (2 Kings 4:23 Amos 8:5 Hosea 2:11 Isaiah 1:13 Ezekiel 46:3). The prophets found fault with the worship on the Sabbath, because it was not spiritual nor prompted by love and gratitude. The Sabbath is exalted by the great prophets who faced the crisis of the Babylonian exile as one of the most valuable institutions in Israel's life. Great promises are attached to faithful observance of the holy day, and confession is made of Israel's unfaithfulness in profaning the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:21-27 Isaiah 56:2, 4; Isaiah 58:13 Ezekiel 20:12-24). In the Persian period Nehemiah struggled earnestly to make the people of Jerusalem observe the law of the Sabbath (Nehemiah 10:31; Nehemiah 13:15-22).
2. In the Inter-Testamental Period:
With the development of the synagogue the Sabbath became a day of worship and of study of the Law, as well as a day of cessation from all secular employment. That the pious in Israel carefully observed the Sabbath is clear from the conduct of the Maccabees and their followers, who at first declined to resist the onslaught made by their enemies on the Sabbath (1 Maccabees 2:29-38); but necessity drove the faithful to defend themselves against hostile attack on the Sabbath (1 Maccabees 2:39-41). It was during the period between Ezra and the Christian era that the spirit of Jewish legalism flourished. Innumerable restrictions and rules were formulated for the conduct of life under the Law. Great principles were lost to sight in the mass of petty details. Two entire treatises of the Mishna, Shabbath and `Erubhin, are devoted to the details of Sabbath observance. The subject is touched upon in other parts of the Mishna; and in the Gemara there are extended discussions, with citations of the often divergent opinions of the rabbis. In the Mishna (Shahbath, vii.2) there are 39 classes of prohibited actions with regard to the Sabbath, and there is much hair-splitting in working out the details. The beginnings of this elaborate definition of actions permitted and actions forbidden are to be found in the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era. The movement was at flood tide during our Lord's earthly ministry and continued for centuries afterward, in spite of His frequent and vigorous protests.
3. Jesus and the Sabbath:
Apart from His claim to be the Messiah, there is no subject on which our Lord came into such sharp conflict with the religious leaders of the Jews as in the matter of Sabbath observance. He set Himself squarely against the current rabbinic restrictions as contrary to the spirit of the original law of the Sabbath. The rabbis seemed to think that the Sabbath was an end in itself, an institution to which the pious Israelite must subject all his personal interests; in other words, that man was made for the Sabbath: man might suffer hardship, but the institution must be preserved inviolate. Jesus, on the contrary, taught that the Sabbath was made for man's benefit. If there should arise a conflict between man's needs and the letter of the Law, man's higher interests and needs must take precedence over the law of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14 Mark 2:23-3:6 Luke 6:1-11; also John 5:1-18 Luke 13:10-17; Luke 14:1-6). There is no reason to think that Jesus meant to discredit the Sabbath as an institution. It was His custom to attend worship in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16). The humane element in the rest day at the end of every week must have appealed to His sympathetic nature. It was the one precept of the Decalogue that was predominantly ceremonial, though it had distinct sociological and moral value. As an institution for the benefit of toiling men and animals, Jesus held the Sabbath in high regard. As the Messiah, He was not subject to its restrictions; He could at any moment assert His lordship over the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). The institution was not on a par with the great moral precepts, which are unchangeable. It is worthy of note that, while Jesus pushed the moral precepts of the Decalogue into the inner realm of thought and desire, thus making the requirement more difficult and the law more exacting, He fought for a more liberal and lenient interpretation of the law of the Sabbath. Rigorous sabbatarians must look elsewhere for a champion of their views.
4. Paul and the Sabbath:
The early Christians kept the 7th day as a Sabbath, much after the fashion of other Jews. Gradually the 1st day of the week came to be recognized as the day on which the followers of Jesus would meet for worship. The resurrection of our Lord on that day made it for Christians the most joyous day of all the week. When Gentiles were admitted into the church, the question at once arose whether they should be required to keep the Law of Moses. It is the glory of Paul that he fought for and won freedom for his Gentile fellow-Christians. It is significant of the attitude of the apostles that the decrees of the Council at Jerusalem made no mention of Sabbath observance in the requirements laid upon Gentile Christians (Acts 15:28 f). Paul boldly contended that believers in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, were set free from the burdens of the Mosaic Law. Even circumcision counted for nothing, now that men were saved by believing in Jesus (Galatians 5:6). Christian liberty as proclaimed by Paul included all days and seasons. A man could observe special days or not, just as his own judgment and conscience might dictate (Romans 14:5 f); but in all such matters one ought to be careful not to put a stumblingblock in a brother's way (Romans 14:13). That Paul contended for personal freedom in respect of the Sabbath is made quite clear in Colossians 2:16, where he groups together dietary laws, feast days, new moons and sabbaths. The early Christians brought over into their mode of observing the Lord's Day the best elements of the Jewish Sabbath, without its onerous restrictions.)
Seefurther LORD'S DAY; ETHICS OF JESUS, I, 3, (1).
LITERATURE. J. A. Hessey, Sunday, Its Origin, History, and Present Obligation (Bampton Lectures for 1860); Zahn, Geschichte des Sonntags, 1878; Davis, Genesis and Semitic Tradition, 1894, 23-35; Jastrow, "The Original Character of the Hebrew Sabbath," AJT, II, 1898, 312-52; Toy, "The Earliest Form of the Sabbath," JBL, XVIII. 1899, 190-94; W. Lotz, Questionum de historia Sabbati libri duo, 1883; Nowack, Hebr. Arch., II, 1894, 140;; Driver, HDB, IV, 1902, 317-23; ICC, on "Gen," 1911, 35-39; Dillmann, Ex u. Lev3, 1897, 212-16; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, II, 1883, 51-62, 777-87; Broadus, Commentary on Matthew, 256-61; EB, IV, 1903, 4173-80; Gunkel, Gen3, 1910, 114-16; Meinhold, Sabbat u. Woche im Altes Testament, 1905; Beer, Schabbath, 1908.
John Richard Samphey
III. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST POSITION
The views entertained by Seventh-Day Adventists concerning the nature and obligation of the Sabbath may conveniently be presented under three general divisions: (1) what the Bible says concerning the Sabbath; (2) what history says concerning the Sabbath; (3) the significance of the Sabbath.
1. What the Bible Says concerning the Sabbath:
(1) Old Testament Teaching.
In their views concerning the institution and primal obligation of the Sabbath, Seventh-Day Adventists are in harmony with the views held by the early representatives of nearly all the evangelical denominations. The Sabbath is coeval with the finishing of creation, and the main facts connected with establishing it are recorded in Genesis 2:2, 3. The blessing here placed upon the seventh day distinguishes it from the other days of the week, and the day thus blessed was "sanctified" (King James Version, Revised Version "hallowed") and set apart for man.
That the Sabbath thus instituted was well known throughout the Patriarchal age is clearly established both by direct evidence and by necessary inference.
"If we had no other passage than this of Genesis 2:3, there would be no difficulty in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a Sabbath, or seventh day, to be devoted to God as holy time by all of that race for whom the earth and all things therein were specially prepared. The first men must have known it. The words, `He hallowed it,' can have no meaning otherwise. They would be a blank unless in reference to some who were required to keep it holy" (Lange's Commentary on Genesis 2:3, I, 197).
"And the day arrived when Moses went to Goshen to see his brethren, that he saw the children of Israel in their burdens and hard labor, and Moses was grieved on their account. And Moses returned to Egypt and came to the house of Pharaoh, and came before the king, and Moses bowed down before the king. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, I pray thee, my lord, I have come to seek a small request from thee, turn not away my face empty; and Pharaoh said unto him, Speak. And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Let there be given unto thy servants the children of Israel who are in Goshen, one day to rest therein from their labor. And the king answered Moses and said, Behold I have lifted up thy face in this thing to grant thy request. And Pharaoh ordered a proclamation to be issued throughout Egypt and Goshen, saying, To you, all the children of Israel, thus says the king, for six days you shall do your work and labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest, and shall not perform any work; thus shall you do in all the days, as the king and Moses the son of Bathia have commanded. And Moses rejoiced at this thing which the king had granted to him, and all the children of Israel did as Moses ordered them. For this thing was from the Lord to the children of Israel, for the Lord had begun to remember the children of Israel to save them for the sake of their fathers. And the Lord was with Moses, and his fame went throughout Egypt. And Moses became great in the eyes of all the Egyptians, and in the eyes of all the children of Israel, seeking good for his people Israel, and speaking words of peace regarding them to the king" (Book of Jashar 70 41-51, published by Noah and Gould, New York, 1840).
"Hence, you can see that the Sabbath was before the Law of Moses came, and has existed from the beginning of the world. Especially have the devout, who have preserved the true faith, met together and called upon God on this day" (Luther's Works, XXXV, p. 330).
"Why should God begin two thousand years after (the creation of the world) to give men a Sabbath upon the reason of His rest from the creation of it, if He had never called man to that commemoration before? And it is certain that the Sabbath was observed at the falling of the manna before the giving of the Law; and let any considering Christian judge....
(1) whether the not falling of manna, or the rest of God after the creation, was like to be the original reason of the Sabbath;
(2) and whether, if it had been the first, it would not have been said, Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day; for on six days the manna fell, and not on the seventh; rather than for in six days God created heaven and earth, etc., and rested the seventh day.' And it is casually added, `Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.' Nay, consider whether this annexed reason intimates not that the day on this ground being hallowed before, therefore it was that God sent not down the manna on that day, and that He prhibited the people from seeking it" (Richard Baxter, Practical Works, III, 774, edition 1707).
That the Sabbath was known to those who came out of Egypt, even before the giving of the Law at Sinai, is shown from the experience with the manna, as recorded in Exodus 16:22-30. The double portion on the sixth day, and its preservation, was the constantly recurring miracle which reminded the people of their obligation to observe the Sabbath, and that the Sabbath was a definite day, the seventh day. To the people, first wondering at this remarkable occurrence, Moses said, "This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord" (Exodus 16:23, King James Version). And to some who went out to gather manna on the seventh day, the Lord administered this rebuke: "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?" (Exodus 16:28). All this shows that the Sabbath law was well understood, and that the failure to observe it rendered the people justly subject to Divine reproof.
At Sinai, the Sabbath which was instituted at creation, and had been observed during the intervening centuries, was embodied in that formal statement of man's duties usually designated as the "Ten Commandments." It is treated as an institution already well known and the command is, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). In the 4th commandment the basis of the Sabbath is revealed. It is a memorial of the Creator's rest at the close of those six days in which He made "heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is." For this reason "Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." This blessing was not placed upon the day at Sinai, but in the beginning, when "God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it" (Genesis 2:3).
From the very nature of the basis of the Sabbath, as set forth in this commandment, both the institution itself and the definite day of the Sabbath are of a permanent nature. So long as it is true that God created heaven and earth, and all things therein, so long will the Sabbath remain as a memorial of that work; and so long as it is true that this creative work was completed in six days, and that God Himself rested on the seventh day, and was refreshed in the enjoyment of His completed work, so long will it be true that the memorial of that work can properly be celebrated only upon the seventh day of the week.
During all the period from the deliverance out of Egypt to the captivity in Babylon, the people of God were distinguished from the nations about them by the worship of the only true God, and the observance of His holy day. The proper observance of the true Sabbath would preserve them from idolatry, being a constant reminder of the one God, the Creator of all things. Even when Jerusalem was suffering from the attacks of the Babylonians, God assured His people, through the prophet Jeremiah, that if they would hallow the Sabbath day, great should be their prosperity, and the city should remain forever (Jeremiah 17:18). This shows that the spiritual observance of the Sabbath was the supreme test of their right relation to God. In those prophecies of Isaiah, which deal primarily with the restoration from Babylon, remarkable promises were made to those who would observe the Sabbath, as recorded in Isaiah 56:1-7.
(2) New Testament Teaching.
From the record found in the four Gospels, it is plain that the Jews during all the previous centuries had preserved a knowledge both of the Sabbath institution and of the definite day.
It is equally plain that they had made the Sabbath burdensome by their own rigorous exactions concerning it. And Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath, both by example and by precept, brushed aside these traditions of men that He might reveal the Sabbath of the commandment as God gave it-a blessing and not a burden. A careful reading of the testimony of the evangelists will show that Christ taught the observance of the commandments of God, rather than the traditions of men, and that the charge of Sabbath-breaking was brought against Him for no other reason than that He refused to allow the requirements of man to change the Sabbath, blessed of God, into a merely human institution, grievous in its nature, and enforced upon the people with many and troublesome restrictions.
All are agreed that Christ and His disciples observed the seventh-day Sabbath previous to the crucifixion. That His followers had received no intimation of any proposed change at His death, is evident from the recorded fact that on the day when He was in the tomb they rested, "on the sabbath.... according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56); and that they treated the following day, the first day of the week, the same as of old, is further evident, as upon that day they came unto the sepulcher for the purpose of anointing the body of Jesus. In the Book of Acts, which gives a brief history of the work of the disciples in proclaiming the gospel of a risen Saviour, no other Sabbath is recognized than the seventh day, and this is mentioned in the most natural way as the proper designation of a well-known institution (Acts 13:14, 27, 42; Acts 16:13; Acts 18:4).
In our Lord's great prophecy, in which He foretold the experience of the church between the first and the second advent, He recognized the seventh-day Sabbath as an existing institution at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.), when He instructed His disciples, "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath" (Matthew 24:20). Such instruction given in these words, and at that time, would have been confusing in the extreme, had there been any such thing contemplated as the overthrow of the Sabbath law at the crucifixion, and the substitution of another day upon an entirely different basis.
That the original Sabbath is to be observed, not only during the present order of things, but also after the restoration when, according to the vision of the revelator, a new heaven and a new earth will take the place of the heaven and the earth that now are, is clearly intimated in the words of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Yahweh, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh" (Isaiah 66:22, 23).
Seventh-Day Adventists regard the effort to establish the observance of another day than the seventh by using such texts as John 20:19, 26 Acts 20:7 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; Revelation 1:10 as being merely an afterthought, an effort to find warrant for an observance established upon other than Biblical authority. During the last two or three centuries there has been a movement for the restoration of the original seventh-day Sabbath, not as a Jewish, but as a Christian, institution. This work, commenced and carried forward by the Seventh-Day Baptists, has been taken up and pushed with renewed vigor by the Seventh-Day Adventists during the present generation, and the Bible teaching concerning the true Sabbath is now being presented in nearly every country, both civilized and uncivilized, on the face of the earth.
2. What History Says about the Sabbath:
This summary of history must necessarily be brief, and it will be impossible, for lack of space, to quote authorities. From the testimony of Josephus it is clear that the Jews, as a nation, continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath until their overthrow, when Jerusalem was captured by Titus, 70 A.D. As colonies, and individuals, scattered over the face of the earth, the Jews have preserved a knowledge of the original Sabbath, and the definite day, until the present time. They constitute a living testimony for the benefit of all who desire to know the truth of this matter.
(2) Church History.
According to church history, the seventh-day Sabbath was observed by the early church, and no other day was observed as a Sabbath during the first two or three centuries (see HDB, IV, 322 b).
In the oft-repeated letter of Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, to the emperor Trajan, written about 112 A.D., there occurs the expression, "a certain stated day," which is usually assumed to mean Sunday.
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SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY
jur'-ni (sabbatou hodos): Used only in Acts 1:12, where it designates the distance from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus led His disciples on the day of His ascension. The expression comes from rabbinical usage to indicate the distance a Jew might travel on the Sabbath without transgressing the Law, the command against working on that day being interpreted as including travel (see Exodus 16:27-30). The limit set by the rabbis to the Sabbath day's journey was 2,000 cubits from one's house or domicile, which was derived from the statement found in Joshua 3:4 that this was the distance between the ark and the people on their march, this being assumed to be the distance between the tents of the people and the tabernacle during the sojourn in the wilderness. Hence, it must have been allowable to travel thus far to attend the worship of the tabernacle. We do not know when this assumption in regard to the Sabbath day's journey was made, but it seems to have been in force in the time of Christ. The distance of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem is stated in Josephus (Ant., XX, viii, 6) to have been five stadia or furlongs and in BJ, V, ii, 3, six stadia, the discrepancy being explained by supposing a different point of departure. This would make the distance of the Sabbath day's journey from 1,000 to 1,200 yards, the first agreeing very closely with the 2,000 cubits. The rabbis, however, invented a way of increasing this distance without technically infringing the Law, by depositing some food at the 2,000-cubit limit, before the Sabbath, and declaring that spot a temporary domicile. They might then proceed 2,000 cubits from this point without transgressing the Law.
And in some cases even this intricacy of preparation was unnecessary. If, for instance, the approach of the Sabbath found one on his journey, the traveler might select some tree or some stone wall at a distance of 2,000 paces and mentally declare this to be his residence for the Sabbath, in which case he was permitted to go the 2,000 paces to the selected tree or wall and also 2,000 paces beyond, but in such a case he must do the work thoroughly and must say: "Let my Sabbath residence be at the trunk of that tree," for if he merely said: "Let my Sabbath residence be under that tree," this would not be sufficient, because the, expression would be too general and indefinite (Tractate `Erubhin 4:7).
Other schemes for extending the distance have been devised, such as regarding the quarter of the town in which one dwells, or the whole town itself, as the domicile, thus allowing one to proceed from any part of the town to a point 2,000 cubits beyond its utmost limits. This was most probably the case with walled towns, at least, and boundary stones have been found in the vicinity of Gaza with inscriptions supposed to mark these limits. The 2,000-cubit limits around the Levitical cities (Numbers 35:5) may have suggested the limit of the Sabbath day's journey also. The term came to be used as a designation of distance which must have been more or less definite.
SABBATH, SECOND AFTER THE FIRST
(sabbaton deuteroproton (Luke 6:1), literally, "the second-first sabbath," of the Revised Version margin): We will mention only a few of the explanations elicited by this expression.
(1) It was the first Sabbath in the second year of a 7-year cycle comprising the period from one Sabbatic year to the other;
(2) the first Sabbath after the second day of Passover, i.e. the first of the seven Sabbaths the Hebrews were to "count unto" themselves from "the morrow after the sabbath" (the day after Easter) until Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15);
(3) the first Sabbath in the Jewish ecclesiastical year (about the middle of March), the first Sabbath in the civil year (about the middle of September) being counted as the "first-first" Sabbath;
(4) the term deuteroprotos, is a monstrous combination of the words deuteros, "second," and protos, "first," attributable to unskillful attempts at textual emendation on the part of copyists. This supposition would, of course, render unnecessary all other efforts to unravel the knotty problem, and, as a matter of fact, deuteroprotos is omitted by many manuscripts (including Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus). To those not feeling inclined to accept this solution we would suggest the first of the above-named explanations as the most natural and probable one.
COURT OF THE SABBATH
See COVERED WAY.
SABBATH, COURT OF THE
See COVERED WAY.
SABBATH, DAY BEFORE THE
See DAY BEFORE THE SABBATH.
SABBATH, MORROW AFTER THE
See MORROW AFTER THE SABBATH.
See SABBATH, SECOND AFTER THE FIRST.