The Sabbath in the Scriptures

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The Sabbath in the Scriptures

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Most people have given little thought to what God says about the Sabbath in His Word. Here are some highlights:

  • The Sabbath is mentioned 117 times in the Bible (King James Version)—61 in the Old Testament and 56 in the new. None of these mentions refers to Sunday, the first day of the week, but all to the seventh day of the week (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset).
  • The Sabbath is mentioned 45 times in the four Gospels—far more than the number of times it is mentioned in the five books of Moses.
  • The Sabbath was made for man, not for any particular group, race or nationality (Mark 2:27 Mark 2:27And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • Jesus Christ's custom was to keep the Sabbath (Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And 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.
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • Jesus expected His followers would be keeping the Sabbath at the time of the end (Matthew 24:20 Matthew 24:20But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • Several decades after Christ's death, Luke described the Sabbath as a commandment (Luke 23:56 Luke 23:56And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • The apostle Paul taught both Jews and gentiles on the Sabbath, never hinting that they didn't need to observe it (Acts 13:42-44 Acts 13:42-44 [42] And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. [43] Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. [44] And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
    American King James Version×
    ; 17:1-4).
  • After Christ establishes His Kingdom on earth, "from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship" before Him (Isaiah 66:23 Isaiah 66:23And 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, said the LORD.
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • Out of 117 times the Sabbath is mentioned in the Scriptures, not a single one so much as hints that the Sabbath has been changed to another day or abolished.
  • The Bible nowhere gives man authority to change what God has commanded and made holy (Deuteronomy 4:2 Deuteronomy 4:2You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
    American King James Version×
    ; 12:32).
  • Nowhere in the Bible is there a commandment to remember or observe Sunday as the Sabbath.
  • God wants the Sabbath to be a delight to mankind (Isaiah 58:13-14 Isaiah 58:13-14 [13] If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: [14] Then shall you delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
    American King James Version×
    ). Those who condemn it or criticize its observance obviously have a view that differs from God's.