The Biblical Sabbath

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  • Topic: Sabbath in Christianity, Judaism, Moses
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  • Published : April 3, 2009
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The Sabbath of the Pentateuch

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 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: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

These were the words that were spoken by God to Moses who gave the Law to the flock of Israel. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy was spoken by God, but He did not leave the flock of Israel in the dark with such a broad commandment. Moses could reflect back to when the flock of Israel was on their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: the children of Israel cried because they were hungry, having just left Egypt and entering into the wilderness, they counted their deliverance of little or no value. They cried, “we should have died in Egypt, and died by some of the plagues which slaughtered the Egyptians” as if it were not the hand of the Lord, but Moses who delivered them into that hungry wilderness. So Moses remembered what the Lord told him in the past. He (God) would be the One to take care of Israel and bring them into a land where milk and honey flowed abundantly. God told Moses to go and let them know that I have heard their cry and I will provide for them. I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather as much as they only need for the day, this way I can see if they walk in my law. The only day they can collect a double portion is on the sixth day. Why would they be collecting a double portion on the sixth day? It is all due to the Sabbath, in this paper we will look at the Sabbath and hopefully come to an understanding of why this topic is an unresolved subject.

How were the children of Israel commanded to keep the Sabbath

And the Children of Israel gathered it (The Food or Manna) every morning, every man his own portion: and in the heat of the day when the sun was extremely hot, the food melted. So it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses that some were gathering more. For some reason, I can see Moses with a look of frustration having to explain this once again, so he said to them, This is that which the LORD said, tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath[1] (this is the first time that Sabbath is used in the Bible although the ideal of a “Sabbath” has been around since creation) unto the LORD: A double provision will be provided by God which the Israelites would collect enough manna for two days. God had appointed them to rest on the seventh day, he took care that they should be nobody left out; and no one will ever be left out by serving God. So they kept it till the morning, as Moses told them: and it had not melted. So Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a Sabbath[2] unto the LORD: today you will not find it in the field. So from now on we will gather it for six days, except on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath.[3] This would have been a very good display of obedience but as people tend to do they went on the seventh day to get some food and they found none. These people may have been looking for the manna because they were lazy the day before and did not collect enough or maybe they just ate it all in one setting, nevertheless it angered the LORD and He said to Moses, how long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See, the LORD gives...
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