Tag Archives: Definition

Who is my Neighbour? Defining the term “Neighbor”

Love your “Neighbour” as yourself, is one of the main tenets that we live by. But who is My Neighbour? Is it everyone on earth? Is it the person living next door? is it those who we can call our own? Let’s look for answers in the Scriptures and the Writings.

There are 4 Hebrew words which are commonly translated as Neighbour in our English Translations. These 4 Hebrew Words have different meanings, and understanding these meanings will help us understand the real meaning of the Golden Rule.
1. H7934 – Shaken
2. H7453 – Reya
3. H5997 – Amiyth
4. H7138 – Qarob

1.H7934 – שׁכן – shâkên
This is the Neighbour living next door to you. The person who becomes a Neighbour because of the physical closenes you have by living close to each other.

Exo 3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour(H7934), and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
Exo 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour(H7934) next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
Rth 4:17 And the women her neighbours(H7934) gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours(H7934), even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

2.H5997 – עמית – ‛âmı̂yth
This is the Neighbour who is a fellow citizen. The person who is a Neighbour because of being in the same race or nationality.

Lev 6:2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour(H5997) in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour(H5997);
Lev 18:20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s(H5997) wife, to defile thyself with her.
Lev 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour(H5997).
Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour(H5997), and not suffer sin upon him.

3.H7138 – קרב / קרוב – qârôb
This is the Neighbour who is related to you by blood. The person who is a Neighbour because of being in the same family.

Lev 21:2,3 But for his kin(H7138), that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother, And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh(H7138) unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.
Lev 25:25 If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin(H7138) come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.
Exo 32:27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour(H7138).
Psa 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour(H7138), nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour(H7138).

4.H7453 – ריע / רע – rêa‛ / rêya‛
This is the Neighbour who is a friend. The person who you are affectionate towards and consider an intimate companion.

Gen 11:3 And they said one to another(H7453), Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Exo 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour(H7453).
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s(H7453) house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s(H7453) wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s(H7453).
Gen 38:20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend(H7453) the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not.
Exo 2:13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow(H7453)?
Exo 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend(H7453). And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour(H7453) as thyself: I am the LORD.
Deu 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend(H7453), which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
2Sa 13:3 But Amnon had a friend(H7453), whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
2Sa 16:17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend(H7453)? why wentest thou not with thy friend(H7453)?
Psa 88:18 Lover and friend(H7453) hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
Pro 17:17 A friend(H7453) loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Pro 18:24 A man that hath friends(H7453) must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend(H7453) that sticketh closer than a brother.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend(H7453).

So it is clear that the Neighbour mentioned in the Commandment does not mean the next door neighbour or a general countryman or a person of your family. The Neighbour mentioned in the Commandment speaks of a person who you are affectionate towards, whether the person is the next door neighbour, a general countryman, a person of your family or any other human being.

But does this mean that we love only those who we count as friends or fellow companions? The Scriptures are clear about how we should treat even our enemies.

Exo 23:4,5  If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
Pro 25:21  If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
Pro 24:17  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Pro 29:10  The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

The Sermon on the Mount
Our Messiah Yeshua speaks of the above tenets when He says “Love your enemies”. If you curse a person who curses you or hates a person who hates you or persecute a person who persecutes you, you are no better than that person. Yeshua expects us to take the high road and keep the judgement unto our Father in Heaven.

Mat 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

While there is no commandment or instruction to “Hate one’s enemies” in the Scriptures, Yeshua’s instruction shows us that we must strive to be better than our enemies.

Who is my Neighbour? The Parable of the Good Samaritan
When the expert in the Law asked this particular question in Luke 10:29, Yeshua shows that a person who is merely one of your people does not guarantee to be your Neighbour. The person who shows compassion towards another is deemed the Neighbour whether he/she be close to you or not.

The Neighbour as we saw through the above Scriptures was the one deemed as the true friend – a person who shows compassion without hesitation just like the Samaritan. The Samaritan truly lives upto the Commandment “Love your Neighbour as yourself”, as he shows his love for the injured man even when he does not know him.

Is not God just like this? Has He not loved us when we did not even know Him?

1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

By extending His Salvation when we were left for dead in Sin, God has shown us that He is the true friend and Neighbour towards us. And that is how we must live towards others as well. It is a tall order, but as Yeshua said in Mat 5:48, we must also strive to be perfect just as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Defining the word “Truth”

In Pontius Pilate’s words, “What is truth?” People have different opinions about “Truth”. But can there be different “Truths”? Or does “Truth” mean a specific thing in the Scriptures? Today, we will look into this simple word used dozens of times in the Bible and try to come to a conclusion into what it really means when it reads “Truth” in our Bibles.

Strong’s Hebrew Concordance –
*H571 – אמת – ’emeth eh’-meth – Contracted from H539; stability; figuratively certainty, truth, trustworthiness: – assured (-ly), establishment, faithful, right, sure, true (-ly, -th), verity.
(used over 125 times in the Old Testament)

Psa 119:142  Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth*.
Psa 119:151  Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth*.

(Some see God’s “Law” as bondage. The word which is translated as “Law” in English is not a perfect translation. The meaning of the word used here, could be better translated as “Instruction”. (Please read Defining the terms Sin, Law & Grace for more information on this)
The Old Testament showcases God’s Word (Whatever He commanded and whatever was spoken through His Mouth) as the “Truth”.

But is this idea consistent and in agreement with the New Testament? Is this the same truth that Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) also speaks of? Or is He referring to something else, when He says “Truth”?

Strong’s Greek Concordance –
**G225 – ἀλήθεια – alētheia – al-ay’-thi-a – From G227; truth: – true, X truly, truth, verity.
(used over 100 times in the New Testament).

Joh 8:46,47  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth**, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Joh 17:17
  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth**.

Yeshua’s Words also agree with what the Psalmist says discussed above. Which means all of what God has spoken or have commanded, which is God’s Word“, is “Truth.

In John 14:6, Yeshua proclaimed that He is The Way, The Truth & The Life. Does this disagree with what we have learned so far? Not at all. We know that Yeshua was the Word of God which was made flesh as per John 1:14. What does this mean? He was the embodiment of God’s Word on Earth. The Word which was put into action. Yeshua showed the true meaning of God’s Word by living it. He poured in the Spirit into God’s Commandments. He showed that we needed to keep God’s Word, not as a set of words, but through our hearts. For Example, God’s Word said “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, Yeshua redefined this by saying “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”(Mat 5:27,28). God’s Word written in the Old Testament was revealed for what it truly was, through our Messiah.

Yeshua told Pontius Pilate the reason why He was born into this world in John 18:37, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice”. According to His own Words, we understand that He was born into this world for one purpose. To witness to the Truth. Pontius Pilate was perplexed by this answer. He, like most of us did not know what “Truth” meant, and this caused him to ask Yeshua “What is truth?”.

What is Truth as per Yeshua’s own Words? Truth is “God’s Word”(John 17:17). And the reason He was here was to witness to “God’s Word” which is the “Truth”. This is what He did all throughout His ministry. Teach, Walk, Talk, Eat, Drink & Breathe God’s Word.

In Conclusion, as we have seen that God’s Word is “THE Truth”, If Yeshua was a witness to God’s Word, and we are asked to be witnesses of Christ, aren’t we in fact, witnesses of God’s Word? Shouldn’t we start walking as He walked, in obedience to all of God’s Word? Or do we have the right to pick and choose what we obey? In other words, can we choose to obey only part of the “Truth”? Just a question for us to ponder on, as we all learn more and more about the “Truth”.

Is Sabbath, Saturday, Sunday or Everyday? Defining the Biblical Sabbath day – Part I

2000 years after Yeshua, the first Apostles and the New Testament accounts written in the Bible, there is much debate about what “Sabbath” means. Some think it is of little importance while others believe it is everyday. Some say, “Isn’t love that matters? and keeping God’s Commandments?” There are others who say, “Is God really so petty, that He wants us to keep a certain day holier than others?”

As this is quite a vast subject, with lots of questions and arguments around it, we will break this study down into 2 or 3 parts. In the 1st Part we will lay the groundwork in understanding The Sabbath day which is also God’s 4th Eternal Commandment.

In Part 1, we will cover these areas

  1. Biblical Definitions behind the word Sabbath
  2. The origins of the Seventh Day Sabbath
  3. The connection between the 7th Day of Creation to the Sabbath
  4. Why was this Commandment given to man?
  5. Is the Sabbath a day of special significance to man or to God?
  6. What is this Commandment? How do we obey it?
  7. The do’s and dont’s of the Sabbath
  8. The truth behind the claim that the 7th Day of Creation is not a 24Hour day
  9. Scripture References and important facts about the Sabbath

In Part 2 of this study, we will move onto answering some of the questions and thoughts that exist about the Sabbath.

  1. Did Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) break the Sabbath, showing us that it is no more?
  2. Since the “Keep Sabbath Holy” Commandment is never mentioned in the New testament, it is clearly not important
  3. Hebrews 4 proves that Yeshua is our Sabbath rest, not any particular day. We should keep everyday holy, not any particular day
  4. The 1st Century Church met on Sunday’s since the “Lord’s Day”(Yeshua’s resurrection) is on Sunday, which means they didn’t keep the Sabbath.
  5. There is no mention of the Sabbath in the book of Revelations
  6. Col 2:16,17 proves that we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  7. Yeshua said that I am working just as Father God is always working. So we do not need to keep the Sabbath, as Yeshua & God is working on the Sabbath
  8. Yeshua gave Commandments that abolished the Old, which contained the Sabbath Commandment
  9. The Sabbath Commandment is not a Spiritual Commandment, while we are asked to keep the Spirit of the Law, and not the letter of the Law
  10. We are under grace and not under Law, so we do not need to keep the Sabbath
  11. Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, so this Commandment ends with Him
  12. The Sabbath was made for Jews, not Gentiles. It was given to Israel and not the church
  13. It doesn’t matter which day you keep, as long as you keep one and you are fully convinced in your own mind according to Rom 14:5,6
  14. Sabbath keepers are working for their salvation and have fallen from Grace
  15. Gal 4:9,10 specifically says not to be in bondage to observing days
  16. Even if we do need to keep the Sabbath, we wouldn’t know which day it is because of the numerous calendar changes in history
  17. There is no proof in Scripture that the Sabbath is Saturday
  18. There is no Sabbath service near to where I live. Am I to keep Sabbath by myself? Isn’t it better for me to go on a Sunday and worship God along with others?
  19. How can this be right, when everyone I know including powerful Pastors & Teachers worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath
  20. Their were strict Laws concerning the Sabbath such as not lighting a fire. Are we supposed to stay in the dark without cooking food just to observe this old Sabbath Law?

1) Biblical Definition behind the term “Sabbath”
So let’s get down straight to it, and check the Definition of the word “Sabbath” in the Original Hebrew Manuscripts. (We will check the Greek Definitions in the Second Part of this Study)

H7676 – שׁבּת – shabbâth – shab-bawth’ – Intensive from H7673; intermission, that is, (specifically) the Sabbath: –  (+ every) sabbath.

This word “shabbâth” originates from H7673. Let’s look at this word as well.

H7673 – שׁבת – shâbath – shaw-bath’ – A primitive root; to repose, that is, desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causatively, figuratively or specifically): – (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause (make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.

Wherever the Seventh day Sabbath is mentioned, H7676 shabbâth is used in the Old Testament Scriptures. While H7673 – shâbath is used as the word “Rest” in most verses including Gen 2:2, where it says, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.”

The connection between “Rest” and “Sabbath” can be seen in verses such as
Exo 16:29,30 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath(H7676), therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested(H7673) on the seventh day.

2Ch 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths(H7676): for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath(H7673), to fulfil threescore and ten years.

Lev 26:34,35  Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths(H7676), as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest(H7673), and enjoy her sabbaths(H7676). As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest(H7673); because it did not rest(H7673) in your sabbaths(H7676), when ye dwelt upon it.

2) The Origin of the Seventh Day Sabbath
Some argue, that God did not institute the Sabbath on the Seventh day of Creation and even go on to say, that the Seventh Day of Creation could not be a Single 24Hour day. Let’s check whether these claims are true.

Gen 2:2,3  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (This verse says that God Rested from His work on the Seventh Day and blessed and sanctified the Seventh Day, which He did not do to any other day. We see this connection clearly stated by God in Exo 20:10,11 when He gave His Commandments)

3)The connection between the 7th Day of Creation to the Sabbath.
Exo 20:10,11  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.

4) Why was this Commandment given to man?
Exo 31:17  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Exo 23:12  Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
(God has said that it is a sign between Israel and Himself forever, and that it is given for rest and refreshment for man as it was for God on the 7th Day of Creation)

5) Is the Sabbath a day of special significance to man or to God?
Lev 23:2,3 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my “feasts”(H4150 – מועד – mô‛êd – an appointment). Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Isa 58:13,14  If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Isa 56:2-6  Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

The Sabbath is called “My Holy Day” and “My Feast/Appointment” by God along with other Feast/Appointed days which include days such as “Passover” & “Pentecost”(Pentecost means 50Days which refer to Lev 23:15,16 which was the same celebration everyone was gathered to in Acts 2:1. more on this in a later study on the Appointed days of God). He has also promised to Bless people who keep the Sabbath.

6) What is this Commandment? How do we obey it?
Since we have seen the clear connection between the Sabbath and Rest, we need to also understand a bit more about the Commandment of the Sabbath and the definition of keeping it “Holy” as well as what God meant when He said do not “Labour” and refrain from “Work“.

Exo 20:8-11  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.

Holy – H6942 – קדשׁ – qâdash – kaw-dash’to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): – appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly.
This is the same word used in Gen 2:3 which is translated as “Sanctified” in English.

Labour – H5647 – עבד – ‛âbad – aw-bad’ – to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: –  X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.
This word has been translated to English as,
Till/Tiller/Tillest in Gen 2:5, 3:23, 4:2, 4:12
Dress in Gen 2:15
Serve/Served in Gen 14:4, 15:3, 15:14, 25:23, 27:29, 27:40, 29:15, 29:18,20,25,27,30, etc
Servant in Gen 49:15
Keep in bondage in Exo 6:5
Compel him to serve in Lev 25:39
Bondmen in Lev 25:46

WorkH4399 – מלאכה – melâ’kâh – mel-aw-kaw’ – properly deputyship, that is, ministry; generally employment (never servile) or work (abstractly or concretely); also property (as the result of labor): – business, + cattle, + industrious, occupation, (+ -pied), + officer, thing (made), use, (manner of) work ([-man], -manship).
– H5647 – עבד – ‛âbad – aw-bad’ – to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: –  X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.
This word has been translated to English as,
Business in Gen 39:11, 1Chr 26:29,30, 2Chr 13:10, 17:13, Est 3:9, Psa 107:23, Dan 8:27
Goods in Exo 22:8,11
Workmanship in Exo 31:3,5, 35:31, 1Chr 28:21
Industrious in 1Kin 11:28
Workmen in 2Kin 12:14,15, 1Chr 22:15, 25:1, 2Chr 24:13, 34:10,17, Ezr 3:9
Labour in Neh 4:22
Occupation in Jonah 1:8

According to the scores of Scripture above, you can clearly see that “Work”/”Labour” is not defined as “anything you do”(cooking, cleaning, helping someone in need, healing, etc). It is the Business you are involved with from Tilling the Ground to all other occupations we are involved in, to make a living.

7) The do’s and dont’s of the Sabbath
Further evidence for The Sabbath rest to be connected to rest from your occupation can be found in the below verse, which explains how Israel , at one time, was breaking God’s Commandment – The Sabbath, by going about their own occupations & businesses
Neh 13:15-22  In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves(Corn), and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals(game meat/hunted animals). There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware(Merchandise), and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

Frequently asked Question: If “work” in the Commandment is business oriented, why was the man in Num 15:32, who “gathered sticks” on the Sabbath punished?
The better question we need to answer here is, why was this man “Gathering” “sticks” in the first place? Let us see the meaning behind the words “Gather” and “sticks” used here.

“Gather” – H7197 – קשׁשׁ – qâshash – kaw-shash’ – to become sapless through drought; used only as denominative from H7179 [H7179 – קשׁ – qash – kash – From H7197; straw (as dry): – stubble].; to forage for straw, stubble or wood; figuratively to assemble: – gather (selves) (together).
This specific word “H7197 – kaw-shash” which is translated as “gather” is seen only 7 times in the Scriptures and is used in the case of gathering straw or wood as material for work such as Carpentry, Brick making or starting fires which was essential for industry in ancient times (Exo_5:7, Exo_5:12, Num_15:32, Num_15:33, 1Ki_17:10, 1Ki_17:12, Zep_2:1). Note: the word Gather can be seen in scripture over 150 times while this particular word is seen only 7 times

“Sticks” – H6086 – עץ – ‛êts – ates – a tree (from its firmness); hence wood (plural sticks): –  + carpenter, gallows, helve, + pine, plank, staff, stalk, stick, stock, timber, tree, wood.
This specific word is translated as “Tree” close to 200 times in the Bible, but is used only 10 times as “sticks”.

Could it be that this man was collecting wood for work? There is quite a bit of difference when you say that, “he was gathering sticks” and “he was foraging for wood”.

What about Exo 35:3, which says that one cannot light a fire on the Sabbath.
Some say, Are you seriously saying we need to keep a Commandment which has a Law attached to it, which says you cannot even light a fire? If God has commanded, we have to obey. But we need to understand what He meant by this first. What did He mean by not lighting a fire? Did He mean that everyone has to go hungry that day, because you cannot cook a meal? Did He mean that you have to sleep in the cold and freeze to death because you cannot light a fire? We have to understand God’s Words and His Laws before we make any assumptions.

In Exo 35:2,3, God speaks through Moses saying, Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day. What is the context of Exo 35:3? Why does He say not to light a fire? Because God did not want anyone to do “regular monetary work” on that day. Remember that fire was essential for “work” at that time. If someone uses this verse to say “If you keep the Sabbath, you shouldn’t even cook”, I would show them Exo 12:16 which talks about the High/Special Sabbaths of Unleavened Bread, and how God specifically says that people can prepare their meals on these special Sabbath days.

8) The truth behind the claim that the 7th Day of Creation is not a 24Hour day
Some claim that The Seventh Day of Creation like all the other days of Creation were longer periods of time, and that it has no connection to the 24Hour Sabbath Day because the 7th day of Creation was not a 24 Hour day. They claim that the week of Creation is Millions of years long and because of it, the 7th day of Creation is not a Sabbath. How else could we explain the remains of Dinosaurs and the questions that Science bring forward saying the earth is Millions of Years Old?

First of all, I must say, I do not disagree with “most” of what Science says. We clearly cannot refute the fact that Skeletons of Dinosaurs do exist, and they could be thousands of years old. I believe Dinosaurs did exist. But they had to have existed before Adam if they are Millions of years old. Whoa! some would call this notion Ludicrous. But just hear me out.

From Adam to today, is roughly close to 6000years. How do we know this? Because all of the Genealogies, Births, Deaths and dates have been provided for us in the Scripture without any missing links. (I have done my research on this, and this is not an assumption, but Scriptural fact). The Scriptures say Adam was 930 Years old when he died(Gen 5:5). If The days of Creation were long periods of time(Millions of Years), and Adam was Created on the 6th Day, wouldn’t he have died before the Seventh Day?

Reading the first two verses in the Scriptures can help us understand how the Dinosaurs, if they are millions of years old, could have lived before Adam. Let’s check this claim. (Please note that this is my interpretation of the event of Creation and not clear fact as most of the other scriptures we have read through.)

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

It is absolutely clear that God created the Heaven and Earth in the Beginning of time(whatever time this is. Please note, that this could have been Millions of years ago). But the 2nd verse shows us that the earth was suddenly formless and void with darkness upon the earth. Did God make a formless thing with darkness prevailing on it?(Remember all other things were made perfect in one go). So, could it be that there was a great amount of time between the 1st Verse and the 2nd Verse? What I am trying to say is, that God did not reveal everything to Moses(who wrote Genesis). Yes, God did Create everything at the very beginning, but between verse 1 & 2, something had terribly gone wrong with the earth(Maybe something like, what happened in the time of Noah).

Anyway, whether I am right or wrong, the Seventh Day of Creation cannot be a “Thousand Years”, as Adam would have died before entering the Seventh Day, if that was so.

Scripture References and important facts regarding the Sabbath

  1. The Sabbath is one of the 10 commandments (Ex. 20:8-11, Deut. 5:12-15).
  2. God finished His work of creation, rested, set apart and blessed the 7th day (Gen. 2:2-3, Ex. 31:14,17)
  3. God tells his people to keep the Sabbath so that we know that God is the one who sanctifies us (Ex 31:13)
  4. God tells his people to keep the Sabbath “throughout your generations – forever.” (Ex. 31:13, 16)
  5. The Sabbath is a sign of God’s authority over His people (Ex. 31:13, 17)
  6. The Sabbath commandment was written with the finger of God (Ex. 31:18, Deut. 9:10).
  7. God sent Israel into captivity for breaking and profaning the Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:17,18)
  8. Those who observe the Sabbath will be given “a place and a name better than sons and daughters” (Isa. 56:3-5)
  9. God promises to specially bless and bring those who keep the Sabbath to his Holy Mountain (Isa. 56:2,7)
  10. The Sabbath is intended to be a delight and people who keep it are blessed (Isaiah 58:13)
  11. In the future, after the Final Judgment, the Sabbath will still be in effect (Isa. 66:22-23)
  12. The Lord gave the Sabbath as a sign or a mark between Him and His people (Eze 20:12-24)
  13. God mentioned Sabbath breaking in a list of indictments against his people (Ezek. 22:8, 26, 23:38)
  14. The prophet Ezekiel describes a future temple in which the Sabbath will still be in effect (Ezekiel 46:1-12)
  15. God takes away the Sabbaths and the Feasts as a punishment (Hosea 2:1-11)
  16. Yeshua did not come to abolish even the least of God’s commandments (Matt. 5:17-19)
  17. Yeshua showed how to properly keep the 7th day Sabbath (Matt. 12:10-12, Mark 2:27-28, 3:2-4, Luke 6:1-11)
  18. Yeshua taught that the Sabbath would be in effect after his death and before the great tribulation (Matt. 24:20-21)
  19. Yeshua set an example by observing the Sabbath (Mark 1:21, 6:2, Luke 4:16, 13:10)
  20. Even after His crucifixion, some women “rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56)
  21. The Jerusalem council gave gentiles four basic commandments because they knew they would learn the rest of God’s commandments in the Synagogues on the 7th day Sabbath (Acts 15:21)
  22. Paul taught the people to uphold the Law of God which are the commandments (Romans 3:31)
  23. Jesus kept the Saturday Sabbath, and Paul was an imitator of Jesus, teaching others to imitate him (1 Cor. 11:1)
  24. Paul kept the 7th day Sabbath (Acts 13:14 ; 16:13 ; 17:2 ; 18:4)
  25. We are told that love for God = obeying his commandments (1 John 5:3).
  26. Those living in the end-times who keep God’s commandments, are praised in the Book of Revelations (Rev. 12:17)

I Sincerely hope that I have covered all the important facts regarding the Sabbath and given you a new view into one of God’s eternal Commandments. In the next part of this study, we will delve into questions and misunderstandings that concern the Sabbath, proving the facts whether the Sabbath is Saturday, Sunday or everyday and try to make this Commandment of God clearer and more relevant to our lives.