Beginners Sabbath Guide

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Scripture & The Seventh Day Sabbath

One of the first questions that I'm often asked is when did Sunday replace the 7th day Sabbath. When I answer the question people are often amazed that the answer does not match what they have been taught. The person is totally shocked to discover that there is no commandment in the scriptures that mandates replacing the seventh day Sabbath with Sunday. In fact, the two scriptures that most people use to prove the case for Sunday are Mathew 28:1 and Acts 20:7.

Mathew 28:1 states "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher." This passage is not directing the apostles to replace the Sabbath with the first day of the week. This passage is trying to direct the readers attention to the fact that the Sabbath ended before "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" visited the tomb. In other words, these two Marys waited for the Sabbath to end before visiting the tomb. Therefore, this passage makes it appear that these two women honored the Sabbath by staying away from the unclean contact with the dead on the Sabbath. Acts 20:7 states "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight". The passage states that the disciples met on the first day of the week. This is not surprising since Acts 2:46 states " And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart," Acts 2:46 makes it clear that the early followers of Yeshua assembled daily and broke bread together daily. However, neither passage in Acts shows that any other day of the week replaced the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is the first Holy Day sanctified and set apart by HaShem in the Torah. This first occurrence of the Shabbat appears in Genesis 2:2-3 which states "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. 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." According to this passage the Sabbath is a direct reflection of HaShem's cessation from creation. Therefore, the idea of replacing the seventh day Sabbath with Sunday would have been appalling to the disciples. In fact, God himself honored the Sabbath as a day of rest. We can see this Exodus 16:23-30 which states "And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, tomorrow 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. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day." The Torah, shows that God ceased production of the Manna on the seventh day. Not only did HaShem cease production of Manna, HaShem produced twice as much Manna on the sixth day. Therefore, the Children of Yisrael did not need to work at collecting Manna on the Seventh day. This allowed the Children of Yisrael to rest on the seventh day. In other words, HaShem was allowing the Children of Yisrael to emulate Him by ceasing from work. The cessation of work on the seventh day allowed Yisrael an opportunity to share in the rest of HaShem.

Here are some suggestions to help you enter the rest of HaShem on the Shabbat.

  1. Read the weekly Torah portion
  2. Assemble with like minded individuals
  3. Actively seek to forget the problems you encountered in the past week