Sabbath Argument Refuted...

by Peter Salemi  


If every man from Adam to Moses kept the Sabbath, why is the Hebrew word for the weekly Sabbath found in the ten commandments, never found in the book of Genesis? Why is no one before Moses ever being told to keep the Sabbath. Why are there no examples of anyone keeping the Sabbath?

This is a three-fold question, so we will answer them one by one:

"If every man from Adam to Moses kept the Sabbath, why is the Hebrew word for the weekly Sabbath found in the Ten Commandments, never found in the book of Genesis?"

Well, the Hebrew word ratsach translated kill for the sixth commandment and the Hebrew word na’aph translated adultery for the seventh commandment are also… “never found in the book of Genesis.” You think this means God did not have a law established against such acts despite punishing Cain for killing (Genesis 4:9-12) and blessing Joseph for not committing adultery (Genesis 39:9)? How can God punish someone without there being a law in place telling them the reason why their being punished? In fact:

Romans 4:15
(15) Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Although the Hebrew word shabbath as used in the fourth commandments is not found in the book of Genesis, the Hebrew word shabath is, and this word means to:

The Strongest Strong’s #7673
“repose, desist, observe… cause to, let or make to keep Sabbath.”

This word is translated “rested” in Genesis 2:2, and is used in the context of sabbath resting in verses such as Exodus 16:30 and Exodus 31:16-17. In fact, in Exodus 16:30 this word is connected to God’s “commandments” as seen in verse 28 before the giving of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20!

While this provides evidence of the existence of sabbath resting in Genesis, one must understand that the focal point of the book of Genesis is history, not so much law, even though laws are mentioned therein. Just like the literal words for adultery and kill are absent from the Hebrew text of Genesis, and yet the concept for each of these was certiantly known, so the idea of the seventh day Sabbath was also present.

However, we don’t resort to the Hebrew word shabath as proof of the existence of the Sabbath in Genesis because its use can sometimes be a bit broad. For this we turn to Jesus:

Mark 2:27
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.

In context, the issue here is over the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The word “made” took Jesus’ listeners back to creation week, where everything was “made,” and the word “man” reminded them of Adam and Eve, the only “man” existing at the time of creation. Here Jesus connects the fourth commandment with the seventh day of Genesis 2:1-2. Therefore, the seventh day, upon which God shaw-bath, is the Sabbath Day of the fourth commandment.

"Why is no one before Moses ever being told to keep the Sabbath?"

Let’s consider a couple of verses. Romans 4:14 says that “where no law is, there is no transgression.” And that by definition, sin is the breaking or “transgression of the law” -1 John 3:4. So, in order for there to be sin, there must have been law established that would define sin. Our critic must agree that sin existed before Moses. As an example we provide just two verses:

Genesis 13:13
(13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

Genesis 39:9
(9) There is none greater in this house then I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?

Now James 2:10, in speaking about the 10 Commandments, tells us that one cant exist without the other, for if you break one, “you broke the other.” Therefore, as much as it was a sin to break the seventh commandment, adultery, it was also a sin to break the fourth one, the Sabbath. Just because we don’t have it written particularly in the book of Genesis that someone was “told” not to break the Sabbath, or to keep it, does not mean it did not exist.

"Why are there no examples of anyone keeping the Sabbath?"

Once again, Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for “man.” The word “man” is a Greek word which holds a more general, plural meaning. It could mean either male, female, or “all human individuals.” –See Strong’s. Since Jesus in this text is alluding back to creation week, and at the same time speaking in the context of the sabbath of the fourth commandment, he is basically saying that the Sabbath was made for all of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve. In other words, our first parents were the first sabbath keepers, and they were not Jews. This is the argument Jesus is using to defend his “well doing” (Matthew 12:12) on the Sabbath day, for it was made to be for us, and not against us.

Confining our research to just one part of the bible is not wise. We are instructed when trying to understand doctrine to study the whole bible “line upon line, here a little and there a little” –Isaiah 28:9-13.If you would have done this; you would have also learn that Noah, a character of the book of Genesis, kept the Sabbath:

2 Peter 2:5
(5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eight person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness. The bible declares the definition of righteousness:

Psalm 119:172
(172) My tongue shall speak of thy words, for all thy commandments are righteousness.

Noah preached righteousness, or, obedience to all of the commandments of God. We know that we can’t have one of these commandments without the other (James 2:10), therefore the Sabbath was one of them. If he preached it, you better believe he lived it!

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