Did people in ancient times celebrate the Saturday sabbath?
A Sabbath meal
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
Thanks for asking such an interesting question. The answer is, in ancient times Jewish people celebrated Shabbat, the Saturday Sabbath but the Gentile nations were never commanded to keep Sabbath. Celebrating Sabbath is a distinctively Jewish thing, for the reasons listed below.
Reading your original question
causes me to believe you are confused about who should celebrate the Sabbath today. It is important to be aware of context when reading the Bible. We should always ask these questions.
* Who is speaking?
* To whom is he speaking?
* What is the historical situation?
* Where are the events happening?
* When did it happen?
* To whom did it happen?
* Why was the command given?
* What was the purpose of the command?
Helpful Biblical facts
about the Sabbath
Christians have never
- No one is commanded to keep the Saturday Sabbath from the creation of Adam until God gave Moses His law on Mt. Sinai, Exodus 16, 19, 20.
- We know that no one from Adam to Moses kept the Saturday Sabbath because Moses makes it clear that the Ten Commandments were a covenant God had never made with anyone before.
"The LORD made not this covenant (the Ten Commandments) with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day (approximately 1450 BC)." -Deuteronomy 5:3
- The Saturday Sabbath was first given to the nation of Israel in Exodus 16:26. Sabbath was to be kept by everyone within Israel's gates.
"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:" -Exodus 20:10
If the Saturday Sabbath is binding on everyone in every nation, why were Gentiles outside Israel's gates not required to keep Sabbath?
- God never commanded other nations to observe His Saturday Sabbath - the Saturday Sabbath is strictly a Jewish thing, between God and Israel.
("The Sabbath," v. 16) "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." -Exodus 31:16-17
How could the Saturday Sabbath be a sign between God and Israel, if God required all nations to keep it? What made the Sabbath distinctive as a sign between God and Israel is that no other nation on earth was required to keep Sabbath.
- We know that the New Testament never commands Sabbath keeping for any Christian anywhere. To disprove this statement, simply quote a New Testament verse (if you can find one), which commands Christians to keep the Jewish Sabbath.
- We know the Bible is absolutely clear about the question of Christians under law.
"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." -Romans 6:14
- We know that keeping Sabbath is the quickest way to put yourself under a curse because the Bible clearly states that if you keep one part of the law to justify yourself, you MUST keep all of the law.
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." -Galatians 3:10
been required to keep Torah.
What about the 4th commandment that starts w/ "REMEMBER..."? If I start a sentence to someone with"remember", I certainly wouldn't want it to be forgotten... What about the verse, Luke 23:56? And throughout the new testament where Jesus states, "If you love me, keep my commandments..."? Is the 4th commandment on part of the others? Historically, in looking this up, people of ancient times did keep the Sabbath commandment. Calender only changed once in 1582 -weekly calender never changed. In over 150 languages, Saturday derived from "Sabbath" as in the commandment Ex. 20 , Duet , study of astronomy. I don't get your arguement, since it is not based on facts.