Mining the Truth . . .
So which day is it, anyway ?
Every religion has it’s own set of set-apart days and special commemorations and celebrations. Whether it be Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or any one of the other approximately 15 major world religions, along with the hundreds and hundreds of variations and sects, they all have one thing in common – special days. One debate that has rolled on for centuries is the discussion concerning the ‘Biblical Sabbath’ . Judaism and some Christian/Protestant denominations declare the Biblical Sabbath to be the day referred to as Saturday, usually beginning at point on Friday evening to a corresponding point on Saturday evening. Catholicism and the majority of Christian/Protestant groups declare the day referred to as Sunday as the Sabbath. So which day is it, anyway ?
There is a concept we like to refer to as ‘implied authority’. It simply means if Joe (no offence Joe) decides to start a group – Joe’s Group – and people want to be a part of Joe’s Group , Joe has the ‘implied authority’ to set rules and guidelines and the right of expectation for those rules and guidelines to be followed by prospective members. If we carry that concept over to the Bible and view the Bible as the ‘Guide Book for God’s Group’, recognizing God as the One Who started His group, it only follows He has the ‘implied authority’ to set the guidelines for His group and has the right of expectation for members of His group to follow those guidelines as outlined in ‘His Guide Book’ – the Bible.
The word ‘Sabbath’ in the English (Shabbat in Hebrew) appears over 150 times in the King James Version of the Bible and comes from the Hebrew root word of the same basic spelling which means to ‘cease, desist or rest’. The first time the word ‘Sabbath’ is used in the Bible is Exodus 16:23-ff. The first time the root word appears in the Bible is Genesis 2:3 where it reads “ Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested (shabbat) from all His work which God had created and made.” Didn’t Isaiah mention something about ‘God declaring the end out of the beginning’? (Isaiah 46:10) Genesis would qualify as ‘the beginning’, wouldn’t it ? From that point on, every time the word ‘Sabbath’ is used is in reference to the 7th day, or a day or event based on the principles of that day of the week – the 7th day.
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 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: 11 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.”
(number 4 of the Ten Commandments . . . you know, that document we want to hang around everywhere . . .) Did you know as far back as we can go in recorded history ( which I guess is as far back as we can go ) the day we refer to as Saturday has always been the 7th day ? You can check that out with the US Naval Observatory. Have you ever noticed how most calendars show Sunday as the first day of the week and Saturday as the seventh . . . even secular calendars ?
Now here’s a neat little bit of information. The Hebrew word ‘Sabbath’ is basically comprised of three Hebrew letters – Shin v ( ‘sh’ sound ), bayt b (‘b’ sound), and tav t ( ‘t’ sound ). Interestingly, the shin represents Shaddai – God Almighty, bayt is the word for ‘house’, and tav is ‘the mark’. Literally, the word Shabbat can be defined as ‘the mark on the house of the Almighty’. The House of The Almighty – the group God started.
Shalom – J & R