My Question: Which day is the Sabbath Day

Hi everyone, I have a question regarding the keeping and observing the Sabbath Day as described here
Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, 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.
Which day of the week is this to be?

Depends who you are talking to. Messianic Jews still celebrate Shabbat on Saturday while gentiles usually go to church on Sunday.

I think this is one of those things where following the spirit of the law is better than the letter of the law. Also, you have to take into context that this command was given so that the Israelites would give their bodies a break to recover since they worked a lot harder than we do today.

While some people outside of the Church may not know that Saturday is the Sabbath, I don’t know any Christian who denies it - certainly no knowledgeable Christian would. Most Christians meet on Sunday in honor of the resurrection, and many refer to it as the Lord’s Day. But even those who call it a “Christian Sabbath” do so to distinguish it from what we all know is the Sabbath in the Bible - the seventh day - Saturday, which God gave to Israel for a day of rest as a sign between Him and them (Exodus 31:12-17).

Some people teach that because the Sabbath rest is included in the 10 Commandments, that makes it a part of the moral law which is binding upon all men everywhere. And even before that, they note that in the creation story God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it, so it has been binding on mankind ever since the beginning.

But others note that it could hardly have been a commandment for mankind to rest in paradise when plucking fruit freely from the garden was no burden at all. They point out that God sanctified it because He rested (Genesis 2:3) - He sanctified it unto Himself, not for mankind.

Furthermore, if this were a moral law binding on all mankind, then it could not have been a sign between Him and Israel. Moral laws binding on everyone don’t work as signs to distinguish one group of people from the rest.

Finally, moral laws are written in the hearts of all mankind. People’s consciences pain them if they kill an innocent person, if they steal, if they lie. Even people in primitive cultures without a Bible recognize the basics of moral right and wrong.

So when’s the last time your conscience beat you up about mowing your lawn on a Saturday? Or doing laundry? Now, if you grew up in a Jewish or sabbatarian family, you might feel guilty for doing something you were taught to feel guilty about. But that’s not the same as intuitive guilt that no one had to instill in you.

So why do Christians in general feel no guilt about working on Saturday? Because Hebrews 4:1-10 explains that we who have believed in Christ have entered into the rest that Jesus promised all who come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30). Under the New Testament, Sabbath keeping along with kosher diets, circumcision and all the rest of the Jewish ceremonial rituals were “nailed to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-17).

Having said that, though, I would not deny that it is beneficial to rest about once a week - and the Lord’s Day when the saints gather to worship is undoubtedly a very convenient day to do this for most. But obviously we shouldn’t turn it into the kind of burden that the Pharisees did to the Sabbath in Jesus’ day.

Hope it helps!

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Thank you Jesse for taking the time to reflect on my question, and to reply

Thank you also jlyons for your reflection, along with scriptural referencing pertaining to the command.

@JPederson

I would like to add a few things to consider when approaching this question. The above answers are correct a traditional Jewish sabbath day is observed on Saturday. Christians typically (Seventh-day Adventists excluded) observe it on Sunday “the Lord’s day”. However many protestant pastors take their sabbath on Monday, as Saturday and Sunday’s are technically workdays for them. All of these variations make the sabbath day something that is not concrete. Here is what Jesus said in regards to the sabbath, 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”- Mark 2:27-28 ESV. I would say in light of Jesus’ words, the sabbath should be a day that is observed each week. Which day? It doesn’t matter, rest in the Lord.

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I agree with what’s been said already. My pastor did a great job by teaching that keeping the sabbath and like the other 9 commandments are principles to live by. While the sabbath is Saturday, specifically Friday sun down to Saturday sun down, I have my sabbaths on Monday. Why? I work for my church on the weekends so I apply the principle of rest on Mondays bc it works for me. I do stil honor the actual sabbath just because I like to like lighting Shabbat candles and reciting the Jewish blessings and attending a Jewish Havdalah class at my church on Saturday evenings. Christianity after all is a Jewish sect. I love learning about my Jewish roots. Blessings!

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Hebrews 4:1-12 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

One important clarification on that passage - when verse 8 says that if Jesus had given them rest, he would not have spoken of another day - most people’s natural assumption would be that the “Jesus” he means is Christ - but in the context of the Israelites entering the Promised Land, he’s actually meaning Yeshua, which in English is Joshua, the leader who succeeded Moses. The verse is not saying that Jesus Christ failed to give His people rest - it was Joshua’s generation that failed to completely drive the Canaanites out of the land.