• Eddie Rogers, Minister

True News 4 U — Truth-Religion — 01/02/2021


This is the first of a six part study of The Fourth Commandment.


Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.


8 Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. 11 For in six days the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].

(Exodus 20:8-11, Amplified Bible, (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


12 Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God), as the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock or the stranger who stays inside your [city] gates, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You [the nation of Israel] shall remember [with thoughtful concern] that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

(Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Amplified Bible, (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The Seventh-Day Sabbath

Controversy and Division


YHWH’s people are probably divided more over the Fourth Commandment than all of the other nine commandments put together. It is tragic that this commandment which was given to bless man is so often used to alienate Christians.


There are divisions over this commandment, almost without exception, and it has to do with the timing of the weekly Sabbath. More than 95% of the material that has been accumulated on the Fourth Commandment addresses when the Sabbath is to be kept. There are advocates for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, a rotating Sabbath or any day one chooses and most of them make a plausible argument for their case. There are proponents for sunset to sunset, midnight to midnight, dawn to dawn and noon to noon. There are 20 different possible combinations from these options and if each of these combinations were represented by a group insisting that theirs was the only correct interpretation (as most of them do), we would end up with 20 assemblies of Christians condemning each other as apostates. With this in mind, it is doubtful that another voice on the timing of the Sabbath would make a difference in bringing unanimity to this issue. Consequently, this teaching will be devoted to how the Fourth Commandment should be kept rather than when it should be kept. It is a shame that we cannot all be on the same page when we read our Bible. All too often, too many people read into the Scriptures (eisegesis) what they want it to say to line up with their theology/teaching/understanding rather than letting the Scripture speak for itself (exegesis).


This should not be misconstrued to mean that the timing of the Sabbath is unimportant. It is important and it behooves everyone who believes that the Fourth Commandment is a part of Yahweh’s New Covenant to determine when the Sabbath should be observed. However, until Yahweh clarifies His perfect will as to the timing of His Sabbath and we all understand it the same way, the days and hours must be approached from a Romans Chapter 14 perspective, that is, as a matter of personal conscience.


Although the commandment to keep the Sabbath is not optional, we must stop judging our brethren on their heartfelt beliefs about its timing. Nearly all Christians regardless of what camp they are in have arrived at their diverse positions in the same manner. Desiring to please Yahweh, they went to His Word seeking His will. However, because we all approach Yahweh’s Absolute Written Word with finite limitations at different levels of our human incompetency, we have not all arrived at the same conclusions.


It is true that there are people who approach Yahweh’s Word to further their own agenda and one should beware of such people. However, not everyone who has arrived at a conclusion different from our own has done so because they are dishonest. Therefore, when it has been determined that a fellow Christian believes what he or she does as a result of their devotion to Yahweh, then we must respond differently to them than we would to someone who has proven themself to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The sincere Christian should be accepted even as Yeshua accepts them just like He accepted you and me. They should not be despised or ostracized for their beliefs. Instead of being torn down, they should be edified:


Principles of Conscience


1 As for the one [Some Jewish believers may have struggled with abandoning all the old requirements of the Law regarding eating things considered unclean, while some Gentile believers may have been overly sensitive to anything associated with paganism, such as eating meat offered to idols.] whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions. 2 One man’s faith permits him to eat everything, while the weak believer eats only vegetables [to avoid eating ritually unclean meat or something previously considered unclean]. 3 The one who eats [everything] is not to look down on the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat must not criticize or pass judgment on the one who eats [everything], for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own master he stands [approved] or falls [out of favor]. And he [who serves the Master—the Lord] will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.


5 One person regards one day as better [or more important] than another, while another regards every day [the same as any other]. Let everyone be fully convinced (assured, satisfied) in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord. He who eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord]. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For Christ died and lived again for this reason, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.


10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you again, why do you look down on your [believing] brother or regard him with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God [who alone is judge]. 11 For it is written [in Scripture],


As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,

And every tongue shall give praise to God.


12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.


13 Then let us not criticize one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block or a source of temptation in another believer’s way. 14 I know and am convinced [as one] in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean [ritually defiled, and unholy] in itself; but [nonetheless] it is unclean to anyone who thinks it is unclean. 15 If your brother is being hurt or offended because of food [that you insist on eating], you are no longer walking in love [toward him]. Do not let what you eat destroy and spiritually harm one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is a good thing for you [because of your freedom to choose] be spoken of as evil [by someone else]; 17 for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For the one who serves Christ in this way [recognizing that food choice is secondary] is acceptable to God and is approved by men. 19 So then, let us pursue [with enthusiasm] the things which make for peace and the building up of one another [things which lead to spiritual growth].

(Romans 14:1-19, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and notes added)


The timing of the Sabbath is important. However, our individual interpretations of the timing may not be as important as we think they are and thus, the Sabbath should not be made a test of fellowship.


An Old and New Covenant Commandment


In the first giving of the Law, the reason provided by Moses for keeping the seventh-day Sabbath was that, after creating the universe, Yahweh Himself rested on the seventh day. This is essentially a repeat of what is found in Genesis Chapter 2:


1 So the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts (inhabitants). 2 And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.

(Genesis 2:1-3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


All creation stands today as a testimony and a witness to Yahweh’s creative act as it has in days gone by. Included in the creation week was Yahweh’s Sabbath rest after completing His six days of work. In Genesis 1:14, it declares that the “lights in the firmament of the heaven … divide the day from the night” and they are “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” However, the seven-day week, unlike the day, month and year, has no astronomical basis. We observe a seven-day week simply because our Creator did so first. With this being true, the seventh-day Sabbath remains as much a part of the testimony to Yahweh’s creation under the New Covenant as it did and still does under the Mosaic Covenant.


Furthermore, the Sabbath is to be a perpetual sign between Yahweh and the Israelites throughout their generations:


The Sign of the Sabbath


12 And the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] said to Moses, 13 But as for you, say to the Israelites, ‘You shall most certainly observe My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so that you may know [without any doubt] and acknowledge that I am the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] who sanctifies you and sets you apart [for Myself]. 14 Therefore, you shall keep the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it must be put to death; for whoever does work on the Sabbath, that person (soul) shall be cut off from among his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. 15 For six days work may be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath of complete rest, sacred to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; whoever does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 So the Israelites shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.

(Exodus 31:12-17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Yahweh’s covenants that He made with the Israelites did not end with the cessation of the Mosaic Covenant. The New Covenant, likewise, was made with Israelites:


31 Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “when I will make a new covenant with the house [The kingdom was united under David and his successor, Solomon, but it split up after Solomon’s son, Rehoboam became king.] of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and with the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 And each man will no longer teach his neighbor and his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text],’ for they will all know Me [through personal experience], from the least of them to the greatest,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]. “For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will no longer remember their sin.


35 Thus says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and of the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea’s roaring billows or stills the waves when they roar; The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] of hosts is His name:


36 If this fixed order departs From before Me,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “Then the descendants of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.


37 Thus says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “If the heavens above can be measured And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off and abandon all the descendants of Israel For all that they have done,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text].

(Jeremiah 31:31-37, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The Prophet Isaiah also tells us that Sabbath observance would be a part of the new heavens and the new earth:


22 For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I [Yahweh] make will remain and endure before Me,” declares the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “So your offspring and your name will remain and endure.


23 And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon And from Sabbath to Sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down and worship before Me,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text].

(Isaiah 66:22-23, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The new heavens and the new earth represent His Kingdom Age. Whether a person’s eschatology dictates that the Kingdom is already here or it is yet sometime in the future, it still places the Kingdom and thus, the Sabbath observance in the New Covenant time frame. Moreover, because the Sabbath commandment was given to bless and benefit mankind, it would be a cruel god who would take away from His servants what is best for them. If YHWH has removed the Fourth Commandment from His New Covenant as some Christians teach, He would be guilty of promoting slave labor, precisely what He has forbidden in Deuteronomy Chapter 5:


but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock or the stranger who stays inside your [city] gates, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

(Deuteronomy 5:14, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


From the perspective of the Ten Commandments, the Fourth Commandment is one-tenth of the Law. Actually, there are more Scriptures that are devoted to the Fourth Commandment than any of the other nine commandments and while the Fourth Commandment is never repeated verbatim in the New Testament, there is more dialogue in the four Gospels addressing the Sabbath than any of the other commandments.


Yeshua declared…


The whole Law [the Mosaic Law which is the Torah] and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two [greatest] commandments.

(Matthew 22:40, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


From the second greatest commandment, Yeshua said…


36 Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37 And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.

(Matthew 22:36-40, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Some see the Ten Commandments broken up as follows:

  1. The First Five Commandments address “how” we are to love Yahweh and

  2. The Second Five Commandments address “how” we are to love our neighbor.

Further still, there are others including myself that look at the Ten Commandments as follows:

  1. The First Four Commandments address “how” we are to love Yahweh and

  2. The remaining Six Commandments address “how” we are to love our neighbor.

I personally take this a little further. When Yeshua said ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, I see this as a “one-liner” statement. It makes a simple statement without getting into the “details” of “how” we are to love Yahweh with all of our heart, soul and mind. To add to this “one-liner,” I see the First Four Commandments expanding on the “one-liner.” It is more in the form of a sentence in that it gives us a little bit more instructions on “how” we are to love Yahweh with all of our heart, soul and mind. Now, we can expand upon these two by looking at the Torah, the books of Moses wrongly translated as “The Law” to learn even more specifics of “how” we can love Yahweh with all of our heart, soul and mind. In the Torah, we learn what Yahweh has laid out for us as His children on “how” He wants and expects His children to love Him. If our love does not line up with the way He has given us His instructions on “how” He wants us to show Him our love for Him, our love is in vain and worthless.


Likewise, when Yeshua said ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others], this same principle applies that He has given us for loving Him. We can see what Yeshua said as a “one-liner” statement. Again, it makes a simple statement without getting into the “details” of “how” we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. To add to this “one-liner,” the last Six Commandments expands on the “one-liner.” It is more in the form of a sentence in that it gives us a little bit more instructions on “how” we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Again, we can expand upon these two (the “one-liner” and “the sentence”) by looking at the Torah. In the Torah, Yahweh has laid out for us the “details” on “how” we are to love our neighbor as ourselves by giving us a lot of details for our instruction and guidance. All we have to do is take the time to sit down and read His Absolute Written Word.


Let’s look at the Ten Commandments:


2 I am the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.


3 You shall have no other gods before Me.


4 You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. 5 You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding {God does not tolerate the transfer of the honor and worship that is due Him to any other being or object.} what is rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing graciousness and steadfast lovingkindness to thousands [of generations] of those who love Me and keep My commandments.


7 You shall not take the name of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes [Using the name of God in a casual, frivolous way establishes a mindset that diminishes and dishonors the omnipotent God. Using the name of God to abuse, manipulate, or deceive invites judgment.] His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].


8 Remember the Sabbath (seventh) day to keep it holy (set apart, dedicated to God). 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates. 11 For in six days the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day. That is why the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [that is, set it apart for His purposes].


12 Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God gives you.


13 You shall not commit murder (unjustified, deliberate homicide).


14 You shall not commit adultery [Jesus amplified this commandment in Matthew 5:27-28. Not only is adultery forbidden, but also any act of sexual impurity or unchastity, and any form of pornography or other obscenity.].


15 You shall not steal [secretly, openly, fraudulently, or through carelessness].


16 You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie, withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person).


17 You shall not covet [that is, selfishly desire and attempt to acquire] your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

(Exodus 20:2–17, Amplified Bible (AMP))


As we can see from looking at all of the Ten Commandments there are instructions there teaching us on “how” to love our Neighbor as ourselves. The Ten Commandments are also in Exodus 20:2–17.


Someone may ask: “How does Sabbath keeping demonstrate love for Yahweh?” The love of money or wealth probably replaces love for Yahweh more than anything else in the hearts of most men and some women. For the love of money, man often sets aside the Sabbath. A man or woman who keeps their business open or works seven days a week rather than only six days has the potential of making that much more money, or so they think. Consequently, the man or woman who forfeits the extra money in order to keep the Sabbath demonstrates that they love Yahweh more than they do wealth. As it is with tithing, prosperity is promised when we observe the Sabbath, not when we neglect it:


“13 If you turn back your foot from [unnecessary {The ancient rabbis established strict limits for travel on the Sabbath, excepting unintentional violations and religious errands. This verse became a rabbinic proof text to rule on whether a person who had put one foot beyond the Sabbath limit for his city could reenter the city. But the Hebrew text may not refer to travel at all; turn back your foot from the Sabbath can be interpreted as an idiom referring to keeping oneself from violating the Sabbath in other ways.} travel on] the Sabbath, From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, and the holy day of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] honorable, And honor it, not going your own way Or engaging [Literally, finding.] in your own pleasure Or speaking your own [idle] words,


14 Then you will take pleasure in the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], And I [Yahweh] will make you ride on the high places of the earth, And I will feed you with the [promised] heritage of Jacob your father; For the mouth of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has spoken.

(Isaiah 58:13-14, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


24 But it will come about, if you listen diligently to Me,” says the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “to bring no load in through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 then kings and princes who will sit on the throne of David will enter through the gates of this city, riding in chariots and on horses—the kings and their princes, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city will be inhabited and endure throughout the ages. 26 People will come from the cities of Judah and the places all around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country and from the South (the Negev), bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]. 27 But if you will not listen to Me and keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load as you come in the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle a fire in her gates that cannot be extinguished, and it will devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

(Jeremiah 17:24-27, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


When we see what Yahweh says about the Fourth Commandment transgression, it is a heinous crime against Yahweh’s moral nature as are all capital crimes. Because Yahweh’s moral nature has not changed. It follows that Yahweh’s Laws have not changed either. Thus, desecration of His Sabbath is still a sin in His sight and it is seen the same as murder, adultery, homosexuality and all other capital crimes.


In Malachi Chapter 3, we are warned that it is sinful to rob Yahweh of His tithes. Sabbath observance, in a sense, is a type of a tithe, a “tithe” of our time dedicated to rest, worship and the study of His Written Word. Moreover, the Sabbath reminds us of our accountability to Yahweh as our Creator and Redeemer. The Fourth Commandment points us to the true and living God. Thus, when the Sabbath is observed in the proper spirit, idolatry cannot exist.


Fourth Commandment Regulations


Sad to say but many people view the seventh-day Sabbath and its regulations as infringement upon their way of life rather than liberation. If a person views Yahweh as a tyrant Who desires to enslave His people then, indeed, the Sabbath regulations, along with the rest of Yahweh’s Laws, become oppressive. On the other hand, if a person’s perspective of Yahweh is one of a loving Father Who looks out for His children and Who requires from them only what is best for them, then these regulations are actually liberating. The Apostle John advocates the latter perspective:


For the [true] love of God is this: that we habitually keep His commandments and remain focused on His precepts. And His commandments and His precepts are not difficult [to obey].

(1 John 5:3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Although there are specific regulations associated with the Sabbath, a person should be careful that he or she does not approach the Sabbath with just the regulations in mind. John Calvin suggested that God’s Sabbaths are polluted when they are rendered to a series of observances.[1] Under the New Covenant, we keep Yahweh’s Laws not because we are forced to, but because we desire to as a result of our love for Yahweh and our fellow man. Moreover, Yeshua made it perfectly clear that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)


[1] John Calvin, Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses in the Form of a Harmony (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981) Volume II, pg. 435.


Attention to Six Days of Labor


It is often overlooked that six days of labor are as much a part of the Fourth Commandment as it is the seventh day of rest:


Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

(Exodus 20:9, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)


Labor is commanded, if for no other reason, than society cannot function properly without it. In fact, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church that in a Christian society anyone unwilling to work is not permitted to eat:


10 For even while we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not [I.e., if one is able, but unwilling to work to provide for himself or his family, it is unjust for him to receive the necessities of life provided free by those who willingly work.] to eat, either. 11 Indeed, we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined and inappropriate life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies [meddling in other people’s business]. 12 Now such people we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work quietly and earn their own food and other necessities [supporting themselves instead of depending on the hospitality of others].

(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Implementation of this indispensable requirement of the Fourth Commandment would do away with the need for most of America’s current welfare programs. Everyone is required to work before they can sabbath and before they can eat.


Abstaining from Labor, Occupation and Business


but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock or the temporary resident (foreigner) who stays within your [city] gates.

(Exodus 20:10, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Like Yahweh, we need rest from our labors. The English word “sabbath” is translated from the Hebrew word “shabbath.” We find where James Strong translates both “shabbath” and its root word “shabath” as follows:


shabbath (shab-bawth’) … intermission, i.e. (specifically) the Sabbath.[2]


shabath (shaw-bath’); a primitive root; to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causative, figurative or specific).[2]

[2] James Strong, “Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990) pg. 112.


From these definitions and the commandment itself, it is obvious that the Sabbath is to be a cessation from labor for all classes of people and livestock. This seventh-day intermission is for the purpose of rest and refreshment:


Six days [each week] you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall stop [working] so that your ox and your donkey may settle down and rest, and the son of your female servant, as well as your stranger, may be refreshed.

(Exodus 23:12, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Many people think that they cannot afford to take off one out of every seven days. The opposite is actually true. It has been medically and scientifically proven that man’s biological rhythms are based on a seven-day week and that he/she functions best when they rest one day out of seven. It has also been demonstrated that if a person goes too long without taking sabbath rest that it results in their physical, emotional and spiritual deficiencies. It has also been found to sometimes lead to a complete breakdown. While Yeshua was here on earth, He demonstrated the necessity for rest:


He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while”—for there were many [people who were continually] coming and going, and they could not even find time to eat.

(Mark 6:31, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The Hebrew word “melakah” (Strong’s #H4399) translated “work” in Exodus Chapter 20 could have also been rendered “business” or “occupation,” as it is found represented in Psalm 107:23 and Jonah 1:8. Therefore, Exodus 20:10 could have also been translated as follows: “but the seventh day is a Sabbath [a day of rest dedicated] to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God; on that day you shall not do any business” or “on that day you shall cease from your occupations.


The man who broke the Fourth Commandment in Numbers Chapter 15, at the best, had not prepared adequately for the Sabbath. What was more likely the case, he gathered sticks on the Sabbath as a business venture for the purpose of selling them on the Sabbath. Which ever it was, it was a serious Sabbath transgression to Yahweh:


Sabbath-breaking Punished


32 Now while the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man who was gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation; 34 and they put him in custody, because it had not been explained [by God] what should be done to him. 35 Then the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] said to Moses, “The man shall certainly be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] had commanded Moses.

(Numbers 15:32-36, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Sabbath cessation from work includes prohibitions against food preparation and unnecessary travel:


4 Then the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] said to Moses, “Behold, I will cause bread to rain from heaven for you; the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I may test them [to determine] whether or not they will walk [obediently] in My instruction (Law). 5 And it shall be that on the sixth day, they shall prepare to bring in twice as much as they gather daily [so that they will not need to gather on the seventh day]. 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all Israel, “At evening you shall know that the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], for He hears your murmurings against the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]. What are we, that you murmur and rebel against us?


The Lord Provides Meat


8 Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning [enough] bread to be fully satisfied, because the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has heard your murmurings against Him; for what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text].”


9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of Israel, ‘Approach the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], because He has heard your murmurings.’ ” 10 So it happened that as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory and brilliance of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] appeared in the cloud! 11 Then the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] spoke to Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the Israelites; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God.’


13 So in the evening the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a blanket of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew evaporated, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine, flake-like thing, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What [Hebrew man hu, cf v 31.] is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has commanded: ‘Let every man gather as much of it as he needs. Take an omer [I.e., a little over two quarts.] for each person, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’ ” 17 The Israelites did so, and some gathered much [of it] and some [only a] little. 18 When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered a large amount had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered according to his need (family size). 19 Moses said, “Let none of it be left [overnight] until [the next] morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left a supply of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul and rotten; and Moses was angry with them. 21 So they gathered it every morning, each as much as he needed, because when the sun was hot it melted.


The Sabbath Observed


22 Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each person; and all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has said: Tomorrow is a solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; bake and boil what you will bake and boil [today], and all that remains left over put aside for yourselves to keep until morning. 24 They put it aside until morning, as Moses told them, and it did not become foul nor was it wormy. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none [in the field].


27 Now on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] said to Moses, “How long do you [people] refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions (Laws)? 29 See, the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you the bread for two days on the sixth day. Let every man stay in his place; no man is to leave his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

(Exodus 16:4-30, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The Sabbath Emphasized


1 Moses gathered all the congregation of the sons of Israel together, and said to them, “These are the things which the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has commanded you to do:


2 For six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; whoever does any kind of work on that day shall be put to death. 3 You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

(Exodus 35:1-3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The restriction against kindling a fire was most probably associated with food preparation, which was to be completed on the sixth day.


In Exodus 16:29, the command was given to “Let every man stay in his place; no man is to leave his place on the seventh day.” This was not meant to be taken literally because we see in Ezekiel 46:1-3 the prince and the people were commanded to worship at the Temple on the Sabbath. Consequently, the Israelites in Exodus Chapter 16 were being admonished to remain home rather than going out and gathering provisions or doing business. In our modern terms today, we should do what shopping has to be done before the Sabbath begins so that the same is not required on the Sabbath.


The Bible does refer to a “sabbath day’s journey:”


Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Olive Grove), which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day’s journey (less than one mile) away.

(Acts 1:12, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


A “sabbath day’s journey” before and at the time of Yeshua was generally considered two thousand cubits or approximately two-thirds of a mile. This was the estimated distance from the outside perimeter of the camp of Israel in the wilderness to the tabernacle and back. The average human’s walking gate is three miles per hour. Thus, it would have taken the average Israelite a total of fourteen minutes to travel the distance required for Sabbath services at the tent of meeting.


Although, the “sabbath day’s journey” is not mentioned anywhere in the Torah/Pentateuch, it is probably a fair representation of what the Israelites practiced in their day. However, times have changed and with them the means of travel. People seldom walk long distances and beasts of burden are no longer used in our automated culture. Consequently, there is virtually no work involved in traveling for man or beast, except possibly for long distance travel. Our places of worship are often at greater distances as well. As a result, it is safe to conclude that a “sabbath-day’s journey” has lengthened for modern man. As a rule of thumb, for church services and ministerial work the distance should be extended to whatever is required. If on an unavoidable trip on the Sabbath, the distance should be limited to the point of weariness.


Farmers might be inclined to think that during their planting and harvesting seasons their work would be exempt. This is not true:


You shall work for six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; [even] in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest [on the Sabbath].

(Exodus 34:21, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


In other words, even during these pressing times Yahweh wants us to trust in and obey Him. He is our provider. He knows what we need in order to live. After all it is He Who provides the sunshine and rain to begin with. Farmers and non-farmers alike would probably experience far less problems in their agricultural operations and businesses if they would simply trust Yahweh and observe the Sabbath.


Constraint from Buying and Selling


Constraint from buying or selling is included in the prohibition against doing business on the Sabbath:


Obligations of the Document


28 Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all those who had knowledge and understanding— 29 are joining with their fellow Israelites, their nobles, and are taking on themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given through Moses the servant of God, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of God our Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], and His ordinances and statutes: 30 and that we will not give our daughters [as wives] to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons. 31 As for the peoples of the land who bring merchandise or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day; and we will give up raising crops during the seventh year [leaving the land uncultivated], and forgive every debt [Literally, hand.].

(Nehemiah 10:28-31, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Sabbath Restored


15 In those days I saw some in Judah who were treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves or sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I protested and warned them on the day they sold the produce. 16 Also men of Tyre were living there who brought fish and all kinds of merchandise, and they were selling them to the people of Judah on the Sabbath, even in Jerusalem. 17 Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah, and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Did your fathers (ancestors) not do the same, and did our God not bring all this trouble on us and on this city? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”


19 Now when it began to get dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath [began], I commanded that the doors be shut and not be opened until after the Sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load [of merchandise] would enter [Jerusalem] on the Sabbath day. 20 So once or twice the merchants and sellers of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them, saying, “Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do so again, I will use [Literally, send a hand against.] force against you.” From that time on, they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 And I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and come and guard the gates to keep the Sabbath day holy. O my God, remember me concerning this also and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.

(Nehemiah 13:15-22, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Abstinence from One’s Own Pleasure


The Sabbath, as a holy day dedicated to Yahweh, should also be one in which we refrain from doing our own pleasure:


Keeping the Sabbath


13 If you turn back your foot from [unnecessary {The ancient rabbis established strict limits for travel on the Sabbath, excepting unintentional violations and religious errands. This verse became a rabbinic proof text to rule on whether a person who had put one foot beyond the Sabbath limit for his city could reenter the city. But the Hebrew text may not refer to travel at all; turn back your foot from the Sabbath can be interpreted as an idiom referring to keeping oneself from violating the Sabbath in other ways.} travel on] the Sabbath, From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, and the holy day of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] honorable, And honor it, not going your own way Or engaging [Literally, finding.] in your own pleasure Or speaking your own [idle] words,


14 Then you will take pleasure in the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], And I will make you ride on the high places of the earth, And I will feed you with the [promised] heritage of Jacob your father; For the mouth of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has spoken.

(Isaiah 58:13-14, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Instead of involving ourselves in what pleases us, the Sabbath is to be a day devoted to what pleases Yahweh. This is the meaning of Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” The inspiring story of Eric Liddel, who went to the 1924 Olympics as one of the world’s premier runners, is a stirring example of this kind of dedication to Yahweh. Mr. Liddel was unwilling to run on the day he considered the Sabbath and he would not justify doing so even for a gold medal in the Olympics. Had he done so; the Olympics rather than Yahweh would have become the “god” that determined his morality.

Old Testament passages that employ the Hebrew word “chephets” (Strong’s #H2656 חֵפֶץ) translated “pleasure” in Isaiah 58:13 provides us with some clues as to some of what pleases Yahweh. In the following two passages “chephets” is translated “delight:”


1 Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers) [I.e., shallow thinkers who are quick to mock or disdain.].


2 But his delight is in the Law of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], And on His Law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.

(Psalm 1:1-2, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


Great are the works of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], Studied by all those who delight in them.

(Psalm 111:2, Amplified Bible (AMP), comment added)


When seeking what pleases Yahweh, the Law and the work of Yahweh are some of what a Christian should involve himself or herself with on the Sabbath.


Attention to Worship


The Sabbath is a sacred day and it such should be devoted to worshipping Yahweh:


For six days work may be done, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation (calling together). You shall not do any work [on that day]; it is the Sabbath of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] wherever [Literally, in all your dwellings and this is so noted throughout Leviticus Chapter 23.] you may be.

(Leviticus 23:3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


The phrase “holy convocation” means a sacred public meeting. Strong’s Concordance defines the two Hebrew words “qodesh” and “miqra” translated “holy” and “convocation:”


qodesh (ko’-desh) … a sacred place or thing….[3]


miqra (mik-raw’) … something called out, i.e. a public meeting….[4]


[3] James Strong, “Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990) pg. 102. [4] Ibid, pg. 71.


The Prophet Ezekiel comments upon this type of Sabbath meeting:


1 Thus says the Lord God [Strong’s Concordance #H3069 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “The gate of the inner courtyard that faces east shall be shut during the six working days, but it shall be opened on the Sabbath day and opened on the day of the New Moon. 2 The prince shall enter by the porch (portico) of the gate from outside and stand by the post of the gate. The priests shall prepare and provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at [Only the priests will be allowed in the inner courtyard.] the threshold of the gate and then go out; but the gate shall not be shut until evening. 3 The people of the land shall also worship at the entrance of that gate before the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons.

(Ezekiel 46:1-3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)


We see a slight variation of the vowel points used for H3069 for “God” in verse 1 above compared to H3068 that is used for “Lord” in verse 3. According to Strong’s definition for H3069, it says, (used after H136 [Adonay], and pronounced by Jews as