Preface: My method of interpretation of the biblical texts may in some small part be defined as a “whole’istic” approach to the various biblical texts. When I say biblical, I mean simply that all texts relative to the faith-walk that I have done for years now, since coming out of the Free Methodist church as a teenager. A good analogy might be a very large jigsaw puzzle. I used to see my grandfather painstakingly put these together. Grandma would buy the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles for him and he would dump the entire thing out on the table and would separate all the pieces so that they laid flat on the table. Surely but slowly he would begin to form small pictures of items such as a tractor wheel, an exhaust pipe, a flower, a barn roof corner and would set those in positions on the table that reflected what he thought the overall picture might be. Eventually, he would have the entire thing together as he took the smaller pictures and set them in the larger frame , filling in the middle parts. In the same way, I have applied myself to put a larger picture together from all the associating scriptures on a topic, from various books, many of which are not included in the 66 book canon of the protestants in the western civilized part of the world. The alternative, is to take a minimialist approach and take each jigsaw puzzle piece and scrutinize it to see if it appears to fit the larger picture I might have already formed in my mind, and toss it out if it doesnt fit that picture. This approach is also known as “german higher criticism.” I reject such a philosophy, and instead apply the wholeistic approach in all my teachings.
…the eternal sabbath, from the beginning, so does it declare unto the end…
There are many different viewpoints on how people should keep the Sabbath in our community. I will not try to pontificate one private interpretation of this important command. There are some scriptural guidelines that we can look to. We look at the many Sabbath guielines in order to find out how we can come into compliance with the cycles that our master put into place. These are set in stone from the foundation of the world.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.Genesis/Bereshite 2:1-3
And on the seventh day יהוה ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And יהוה blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which created and made
Things to Note
- The Almighty established the Sabbath from the very beginning in context of the creation of the world
- The Sabbath is set-apart and ordained by יהוה himself. It is blessed by יהוה and confers those blessings on those who keep it.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Exodus/Shemot 20:8-11
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of יהוה אדוני : 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:
For in six days האדוני made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore האדוני blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- We see the Sabbath this is one of the 10 Commandments, (the fourth commandment) and is included amongst the ten found on the very codified tablets of stone written with the finger of God and given to Moses to give to all people of the covenant
- One of the most notable things, is that the Sabbath is a time of rest, and no regular work should be done on this day.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of האדוני, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:Isaiah/Yeshayahu 58:13-14
Then shalt thou delight thyself in האדוני ; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth ofיהוה hath spoken it.
- We see that we ought to refrain from our own pleasures, activities, things we customarily do on the other days and focus instead on spiritual matters during this time.
- If we obey, יהוה promises is that we will be fed with the “heritage of Jacob” and our blessings will multiply.
Thus saith האדוני , Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.Isaiah/Yeshayahu 56:1-8
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to יהוה, speak, saying,האדוני hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
For thus saith האדוני unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to האדוני , to serve him, and to love the name of יהוה, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. האדוני יהוה , which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
- There is no respect of persons with יהוה. All can be part of his kingdom, whether Strangers, Eunuchs, or outcasts of any background. The Sabbath is the universal sign of His covenantal promises to all those who keep it.
And He gave us a great sign, the Sabbath day, that we should work six days, but keep Sabbath on the seventh day from all work. And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes -He hath bidden us to keep the Sabbath with Him in heaven and on earth. And He said unto us: ‘Behold, I will separate unto Myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall keep the Sabbath day, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify (it) unto Myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their אלוהים.Jubilees 2:17-19
- The Sabbath is a a reflection of what is already happening in Heaven among the angels of Heaven.
- The Sabbath separates us from the rest of the world, and even from the church world, which follows the “changing of times and laws,” power that resides in the vatican.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.Daniel 7:25
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of יהוה : I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:Isaiah/Yeshayahu 14:12-13
ואתה אמרת בלבבך השמים אעלה ממעל לכוכבי־אל ארים כסאי ואשב בהר־מועד בירכתי צפון׃ (hebrew text of Isaiah 14:13)
- The words in bold text are very telling because they tell us that the English translators did not want to reveal what the Hebrew text is revealing to us. The word is “b’har-moed.” We know the moeds are the feast days and calendar that יהוה Himself gave to us in Leviticus 23.
- In Leviticus 23:1b we read that the feast days are described in this way – “‘These are my appointed festivals (מועדי , moedai), the appointed festivals (מועדי, moedai) of יהוה”
“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures”Acts 17:2
“Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.”Acts 18:4
- Paul kept Sabbath. It is odd that most of the churches use the apostle Paul and his writings to say that the Sabbath is no longer relevant us to keep. as the old saying goes, don’t believe what someone says, believe what they do. When we look at what the apostle Paul did, it is clear he affirmed Torah, and the Sabbath.
- The Sabbath is the beginning of a restoration, a deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. We can parallel this to our own dleiverance from spiritual Egypt, when the Sabbath is recovered.
“And he daily went forth and came into the land of Goshen, where his brethren the children of Israel were, and Moses saw them daily in shortness of breath and hard labor.Jasher 70:34-36
And Moses asked them, saying, Wherefore is this labor meted out unto you day by day?
And they told him all that had befallen them, and all the injunctions which Pharaoh had put upon them before his birth.
And Moses was in the king’s house going out and coming in, the Lord gave him favor in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants, and in the eyes of all the people of Egypt, and they loved Moses exceedingly. 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.Jasher 70:40-51
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 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.”
- Moses advocated for the Hebrews to be able to keep the Sabbath, because it was “for” their relief, in the midst of horrifying slavery and abuse. This was also looked upon as a type of restoration sign, as the Torah was once again being restored to the people.
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.Luke 4:16
- Yahshua’s custom was to keep the very Sabbath He athored as an example to the people, that sabbath is important.
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.Mark 2:27-28
- An halachic determination of where the Sabbath is ranked and how it should be observed, in that the entire purpose is for mankind’s benefit, for rest, and observance of spiritual matters that they be refreshed into the coming week.
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. 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? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.Matthew 12:10-12
- Another Halachic interpretation of the Sabbath, and how it relates to life. Life is more important that religiousity and rigorous repitition at the expense of higher principles. We see this particular hermaneutic in one of Hillel’s rules of interpretation, known as Kal V’Khomer (light and heavy). HIllel never invented the rules, but they are a constant principle we find all throughout the scriptures, from the beginning to end.
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And יהןה did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if יהושע had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of יהוה. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as יהוה did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.Hebrews 4:1-11
- The gospel preached unto us, is the gospel preached unto the forefathers, but they failed in faith, as they refused to keep the seventh day Sabbath because of fears that יהוה would not provide for them if they did. We see this in the events of the children of Israel as they journeyed from Egypt into the Wilderness and refused to follow instructions about the Mannah that fell from heaven every morning, except the seventh day – Shabbat. If we fail to enter into His rest, on His day, wrath and curses remain on us until we come into compliance with our Father’s way of doing things.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first dayGenesis 1:5
- Establishing the period of the Sabbath.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.Genesis 1:13-14
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.Nehemiah 13:19