AN EXAMINATION AND REFUTATION OF 16 PROPOSITIONS AGAINST SABBATH KEEPING, PART 1
RESPONSE TO CHAPTER 1 OF “THE SABBATH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.”
by Edwin M. Cotto
Advent Defense League
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
This is a response to chapter 1 of the antisabbatarian book, “The Sabbath: What you need to know: 16 Propositions Against Mandatory and Salvational Sabbath-Keeping.” Please keep in mind that as we publish responses to chapters, changes may take place without notice to anyone. Please revisit this page often for updates as the goal is to reply to all 16 propositions. Responses to each chapter will continue to be published as time goes by. Visit chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Response to Chapter 1:
The Sabbath is not a Jewish Institution
In the first chapter Elce endeavors to prove that the Sabbath was not created during the creation week of Genesis 1 and 2, but rather that it was created in Exodus 16 for the Jews. The following summarizes the first chapter:
- Point 1: Tried to justify the phrase “Jewish Sabbath” (page 1).
- Point 2: The Sabbath was introduced for the first time in Exodus 16 (pages 2-3).
- Point 3: The word “Remember” in Exodus 20:8 functions as a future remembrance, not a past event (pages 3-4).
RESPONSE TO POINT 1: Tried to justify the phrase “Jewish Sabbath” (page 1).
Elce admits that the Sabbath is never actually called “Jewish” in the scriptures, but then proceeds to try and justify what he calls it’s “distinct Jewishness” by first claiming that ancient nations never had a “recurrent weekly Sabbath.”(1) According to Elce, the Sabbath began to exist, not in Genesis, but in Exodus 16 where it was “established” and “newly instituted.”
Elce seems to have skipped over the reference made of the Sabbath four chapters later in Exodus 20:11, where God clearly points to the seventh day of creation, referring to that seventh day by the noun, “Sabbath.” Exodus 16 does not say that the Sabbath began to exist there. Rather, in Nehemiah 9:14, a divine commentary on what took place in Exodus 16, we read that the Sabbath was at this point “made known” to them, not “established” or “newly instituted.” The phrase “made known” implies prior existence, and does not, as Elce likes to use it, prove that what was being revealed did not exist prior. For example, note that God also made Himself “known” to them:
“Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I [am] the LORD your God.'” (Ezekiel 20:5)(2)
Of course, God was known from Adam to Joseph, but He was making Himself known again to them after over 400 years in Egypt (cf. Ezekiel 20:7-8).(3)
To put it another way, just as God’s name was once known and uttered by primitive descendants of Adam who “called upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26), so the Sabbath was certainly known by early generations (Mark 2:27, Exo. 20:11). Yet over time the truth of God was buried and forgotten by the iniquity and paganism of the nations (cf. Gen. 6:1-6), making it necessary to “make known” or reveal once again, not just His name (Eze. 20:5) and the Sabbath (Neh. 9:14), but also his Laws and precepts to the people He chose to espouse to Himself (cf. Gen 26:5 w/Psalm 105:43-45). Evidently, therefore, in Exodus 16 God was not creating the Sabbath, nor “newly establishing” it, but rather He was re-establishing, re-introducing, or making it “known” once more to a people that lost the knowledge of both it and its creator while under sin and Egyptian bondage. We should expect that other nations did not have a “recurrent Sabbath” because it was lost sight of due to their willful indulgence in sin and iniquity, and forgetfulness of the Sabbath’s creator. Note the following parallel:
|GOD’S NAME||THE SABBATH|
|Known before (Gen. 4:26).||Known before (Mark 2:27).|
|Forgotten/Disregarded (Gen. 6:1-6).||Forgotten/Disregarded (Gen. 6:1-6).|
|Had to be “made known” again (Eze. 20:5).||Had to be “made known” again (Neh. 9:14, Psa 105:43-45).|
If “made known” means the Sabbath did not exist prior, then logically “made known” means that God’s name did not exist prior. But that, of course, makes no sense.
Discarding the Sabbath because it is supposedly “Jewish” is the easy way to avoid having to keep it, but he won’t discard with Jesus whom he also calls “Jewish” on page 7 of his book. I suppose he can have nothing to do with the New Covenant either, because the Bible directly calls that “Jewish.”(4) The very God of the Bible is called the “God of Israel” (Exo. 24:10), and what Gentle will refuse Him adoration for this reason? To remain consistent, Elce should not even be using the Old Testament scriptures to prove his points because, after all, it’s “Jewish.”
RESPONSE TO POINT 2: The Sabbath was introduced for
the first time in Exodus 16 (pages 2-3).
Elce continues to try and hammer the point that the Sabbath is distinctly Jewish by trying to prove that the Sabbath was newly instituted at the border of Sinai in Exodus 16. Claiming that it is first mentioned “by name, practice and observance” in Exodus 16, Elce proceeds to say that God actually tested the Israelites regarding the Sabbath “just before he made a covenant with them” despite the fact that they “were not used to any prior sabbatical restrictions…”
First of all, it is true that in Exodus 16 the Sabbath existed, like Elce said, before God “made a covenant with them.” But this proves that the Sabbath was not dependent on the Covenant which was made days later at Mt. Sinai. In fact, God designed that this point remain forever in the minds of the Israelites when later he commanded that a piece of Manna be put into a pot and then placed before the “Testimony,” or Decalogue (verses 32-34). By way of its connection with the Sabbath, this would forever serve as a reminder that the Sabbath existed before the covenant was made at Mt. Sinai.
Second, it may be true that they were not used to any sabbatical restrictions before. What else should we expect from a group of people that just left over 400 years of slave labor and hardly any rest! But does that prove that the institution of the Sabbath did not exist prior? Hardly. Recall that Nehemiah 9:14 says that God “made known” the Sabbath to them. The fourth commandment points to the existence of the Sabbath from the creation of the world, as does Mark 2:27, but it is quite reasonable to lose sight of it under the slavish conditions that they were in for all those years in Egypt.
Third, Elce says that in Exodus 16 it was there that it first began to be known “by name, practice and observance.” Actually, it was first known “by name” in Genesis 2:2-3. We know this because the commandment itself points to Genesis 2:2-3 and refers to that seventh-day with the name “Sabbath.” Also, the Peshitta translation of Hebrews 4:4 calls that first seventh-day by the name “Sabbath.” Quite literally the text reads, “For he said concerning the sabbath, God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” (see footnote 6), and so does Jesus in Mark 2:27, which He refers to creation’s Sabbath with that very name. Also, it was first known by “practice and observance” in Genesis 2:2-3, because there God kept the seventh day holy, and so did Adam (Mark 2:27). Elce’s attempt here to place the Sabbath “by name, practice and observance” in Exodus 16 fails miserably.
Critics like Elce and others love making a big deal about the missing word “Sabbath” in the Hebrew of Genesis 2. According to them, when Genesis does not mention something, it does not exist. “For example,” say they, “the noun ‘sabbath’ is missing from Genesis, therefore it did not exist and no one kept it.” Here’s the problem with this line of argumentation. It is a fallacy of silence. The absence of terms or actions does not prove the absence of concepts or institutions. By the critic’s logic, the commands to love thy neighbor, to honor your parents, to respect God’s name, to not kill, steal, hate, also the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, the new heavens and the new earth, or the second coming of Christ, did not exist either. Various terms are missing from the Bible, which again according to these critics, proves it did not exist. Trinity is missing from the Bible, Millennium is missing from the Bible. BIBLE is missing from the Bible. Get this, the words “Lord” and “God” are missing from the book of Esther… therefore, God did not exist in Esther like “Sabbath” did not exist in Genesis. What nonsense!
To further demonstrate the utter ridiculousness of this fallacy, notice that although Genesis does not mention the coming of the Lord and its subsequent destruction of the ungodly, it was nonetheless being preached:
Jude 1:14 – And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.
In like manner, Genesis may not mention the noun for the Sabbath or its observance by man, yet Exodus 20:11 names that first seventh day by the noun “Sabbath,” and so does Mark 2:27, which also names that first seventh day with the noun “Sabbath,” and speaks it being made for the benefit of “man.” We will delve deeply into Mark 2:27 in chapter 2.
Exodus 16 speaks of the Sabbath in a way as if the people were already familiar with the seventh-day Sabbath.(5) After all, why would God “test” them on something which they did not already have at least a theoretical knowledge of (see verse 4)? I teach at a college and I don’t think my students would appreciate it if I tested them on something I had not taught them yet! In verse 28 God asks, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My Law?” Why would God ask this question if doubling on the sixth day and resting the seventh was not previously a command of God? Elce attempts to prematurely answer this question by saying that God called it His Law “because they were failing this test that they were just given, as verse 5 indicates.” But in verse 5 God is speaking to Moses, not the people (cf verse 4). The chapter does not give a command for the people to do it, and verse 22 reads as if the people did it of their own accord, “And so it was, on the sixth day, that they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. And all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.”
Elce once again quotes Nehemiah 9:14 to further drive his point that the Sabbath began to exist in Exodus 16 because it says the Sabbath was “made known.”(6) So let’s talk about this text a little more. In context this text is a commentary on the experience of God’s people, not beginning with the Exodus actually, but beginning with the creation of the heavens and the earth.(7) In the immediate context, verse 6 draws language directly from the fourth commandment, which in turn points to creation where the seventh-day was sanctified. Note the parallel:
|Exodus 20:11||Nehemiah 9:6|
|For in six days the Lord made…||You have made…|
|the heavens||heaven, the heaven of heavens…|
|and the earth||the earth…|
|the sea…||the sea…|
|and all that is in them…||and all that is in them…|
At the hearing of these words the minds of these Israelites would have gone directly to the Sabbath and it’s origin AT CREATION WEEK. The words “made known” in verse 14 would not contradict that. Although the knowledge of the Sabbath was lost sight of by the previous Israelite generations (evidently during their 400 plus years of enslavement in Egypt), what really took place in Exodus 16, as we already mentioned before, was the revealing or reintroduction of, not the instituting of, the Sabbath.
Another text that Elce brings up is Psalm 147:19-20. It reads: “He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!”
Using this text, Elce states that “God has not dealt with other nations as He had dealt with Israel in giving them the law, and that Gentile nations do not know God’s laws.” With that, he concludes that it is for this reason that “both Jews and non-Jews alike have correctly concluded that the Sabbath is a Jewish institution.”
However, this text can be looked at in two ways. If by “Jacob” God is referring back to Jacob the patriarch of Genesis, then God’s “word,” which in this text parallel’s his “statutes and judgments,” have existed before his descendants were exited out of Egypt. This conclusion is not far-fetched since Jacob was taught by his father and grandfather to obey God’s statutes and judgments:
“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” (Gen. 18:17-19).
“Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Gen. 26:5).
And since Elce apparently believes that the Sabbath constitutes a part of those statutes and judgments in Psalm 147:19, then we have the existence of the Sabbath as far back as during the life of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, contrary to the theory that it began in Exodus 16! In fact, the very reason why He brought them out of Egypt was both to be their God (Lev. 22:23) and also so that they could observe His laws (Psalm 105:43-44, cf. Gen. 26:5).
If, on the other hand, by “Jacob” is meant simply the children of Israel, this would not prove anything contrary to what I have been saying. Sure, the Sabbath was not declared to those “ancient nations.” True, they have not known his judgments. But that by itself does not prove that it did not already exist! For example, the patriarchs did not know God’s proper name, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them (Ex. 6:3)” even though previously people began to “call upon the name of the Lord (Jehovah)” (Gen. 4:26). Evidently, God’s proper name existed before it was finally revealed to God’s chosen.
Finally, Elce makes one more point I want to address here. Speaking of Exodus 16 again, he quotes verse 29 and says that “Initial Sabbath keeping was not ‘going to church,’ nor ‘worshipping’ on the seventh day but simply staying at home, in their tents, doing nothing-resting.” This rhetoric is often repeated by critics in an effort to say that Sabbath keepers today are not keeping it the way it was initially intended.
Apart from the presupposition that the Sabbath began in Exodus 16, this chapter is actually an example of how the Sabbath should not be treated. The people were explicitly told to rest on the seventh day but did not, so God sets up a temporary injunction to stop them from breaking His laws by trying to gather manna on the Sabbath:
“And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, 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. (Exo. 16:27-29).
Simply put, God had punished them for being disobedient children like any father would do when his children do not obey. But like any punishment, it was temporary. First, the commandment itself does not say anything about staying home on the Sabbath day (Exo. 20:9-11), and we do not find any command to do so thereafter. On the contrary, God later commands them, along with the priests, to leave their homes on the Sabbath in order to bring offerings and congregate (see Num. 28:9-10, Lev. 23:3). Did God make them break the Sabbath for telling them to do that? Obviously, the punishment ended. Notice that In Ezekiel 45:1-5, God designates a piece of land for the temple and for the “houses” of the priests (verse 4). Yet, the priests were to leave their houses on the Sabbath to open the “gateway of the inner court” and prepare offerings for the prince (ibid, 46:1-2). The homes of the rest of the Israelites were to be located outside of that piece of land (verse 8), yet they too were to leave their homes on the Sabbath for worship:
“Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.” (Eze. 46:3)
Incidentally, in chapter 14 Elce brings up the fact that Sabbath breakers had to be stoned to death, and references the incident when a man was stoned for gathering sticks on the Sabbath day (Num. 15: 32-36). Though we will discuss this in more detail in chapter 14, it’s worthy noting for now that it didn’t occur to Elce that in order to both notice the activities of the man and also for the entire congregation to stone him, they had to have been outside their homes! Evidently, the people in Exodus 16 did not interpret the injunction the way antisabbatarians like Elce interpret it today.
Even though the people were punished for their disobedience, that does not imply anything insofar as Sabbath keeping is concerned. If Elce intended on using this text to dictate how Sabbath keeping ought to be performed today, he has inserted into the text an idea that is both absent and inconsistent with the rest of scripture. And if that was not his intention, what was the purpose of even bringing it up? Nothing, apparently.
RESPONSE TO POINT 3: The word “Remember” in Exodus 20:8 functions as a
future remembrance, not a past event (pages 3-4).
According to Elce, the word “remember” in Exodus 20:8, “does not mean that it is pointing back to creation as the time it was established and is therefore being enforced,” but rather “as an exhortation for future remembering,” like saying, “keep in memory to do from this point on.” In a footnote, he points to the feasts of unleavened bread and Passover in Exodus 12:14 and 13:3, saying that Israel was to remember those events “from this point on.” Regarding both these events he says that they were not “instituted from creation and now are being reinforced as something to remember because they were forgotten.” But, can’t “remember” still point to the past, without going as far back as creation? Isn’t it obvious that the Israelites were to remember these feast days because of what God did in the past? If it is not so obvious then we can read it for ourselves:
“It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. “And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ “that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.‘ “So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exo. 12:25-27)
“And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.’” (Exo. 13:8)
In plain view God tells them that these feasts were designed to help them forever remember their past experience as a nation. To prevent “forgetting” this, they were to teach it to their children from one generation to the next. Yes, they were to observe it “from this time forward” but the point is that it was about a past remembering, not just a future remembering! How easy it is to encounter erroneous teachings by simply reading these passages in their proper context.
To obfuscate the issue further, Elce uses a grocery list example. When a mother sends her son to the grocery to get a few items she may tell him to “remember to get the salt.” To Elce, this means that, “getting the salt is not something that had happened before but something that is to happen and she wants him to remember it based on its importance and necessity.” Yet doesn’t the word “remember” in this example imply that the salt was previously on the list? Why tell him to remember something she did not at first tell him to get? Or, why can’t it be that she told him to remember the salt because in her past experience he has forgotten a thing or two? My wife often sends me to the grocery store also. Bless her heart, she worries that I may forget one of the items she needs. So, although she already told me, it usually happens that when I’m in my car ready to drive back home, I receive a text saying, “remember such and such item!” Of course, “remember” here functions as a past event, when she wrote it down on the list.
Now let us examine the texts. Beginning with “remember” in the fourth commandment, Elce said that it “does not mean that it is pointing to creation as the time when it was established…” First, the commandment actually points to creation, “for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day,” and then it says that God blessed and sanctified the “Sabbath day,” calling that first seventh day of creation by the noun “Sabbath.”(8) Critics try to divorce the blessing and sanctifying of the Sabbath from having taken place at creation even though this is the more natural rendering of the text. To stop at the resting that God did and jump over 2500 years or so later to then sanctify the seventh day at Mt. Sinai is an absurd reading of the text which disrupts it’s natural flow. There is no justification for doing that. Nevertheless, Genesis 2:3 says that it was upon that first seventh day that God pronounced the blessing because it reads, “then God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it…” Note it says then, not later, or at another time, but then, i.e. at that time, soon after, God set the seventh day apart.(9) Clearly it was in Genesis 2:2-3 that God sanctified the seventh day and it was there that he called it the “Sabbath.”
Moreover, Elce points to the infinitive “to keep it holy” to force it to mean a future remembering, and not a past remembering. But the parallel passage in Deut. 5:12-15, which also says “remember” points to a past remembering when it says to remember “that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord brought you out from there…” And here we also have infinitives, “to sanctify it… to keep the Sabbath (KJV).” In chapter 5 of his book, Elce points to this text to say that the Sabbath functions as a past remembering, saying it “served to remind Israel of their past Egyptian slavery…” Here’s what else he said:
“This is a profound revelation about the Sabbath. It was to serve as a sign of former enslavement, redemption, and liberation for Israel. Every week, as they kept the Sabbath, they were to palpably recall how they were enslaved, oppressed, mistreated, and abused for over 400 yrs., but God miraculously redeemed and liberated them. This was to be their token of liberation, their ‘Independence Day.’ … God did not deliver any other formerly enslaved nation from Egyptian bondage and then gave them the Sabbath to keep as a memento of their deliverance. This was unique and exclusive to Israel.”(10)
He seems oblivious to the fact that he contradicted himself. How is it that “remember” in Exodus 20:8-11 does not function as a past remembering, while that same word in Deut. 5:15 does, even though both these texts point to previous events?(11) Reader, here are the facts. The term “remember” functions as both a past and future remembering! To the Israelites the Sabbath served to keep in their minds the fact that God was both their creator and redeemer, and also to remind them to keep every upcoming Sabbath as a memorial of these two great events. This is plain for everyone to see by simply reading these two texts carefully.
So far our brother Elce was unsuccessful in convincing us of the various points he made in this chapter. Calling the Sabbath “Jewish” because it was given to the Israelites to observe no more means I cannot keep it anymore than the New Covenant being Jewish means I have no part in it. Gentiles were invited to join Israel’s covenant and observe the Sabbath (Isa. 56). Moreover, Just because it was made known to the Israelites in Exodus 16, this does not prove it did not exist prior. Various indicators in Exodus 16 show that the Sabbath belonged to God, not to them, and that testing them on this point implies its previous existence. The evidence points to a better interpretation, that the Sabbath was given to mankind from the beginning but that humanity at large lost sight of its significance as they lost sight of everything else that pertained to God. God was re-establishing, not instituting, the Sabbath with the newly formed nation of Israel, and he desired that they share it with everyone else.(12)
The various texts quoted out of context not only cause Elce to lose credibility, but when seen in context they actually prove the very thing Elce is trying to disprove! Nehemiah 9 says “made known ” because contextually the chapter chronicles events beginning with creation to point to how much the people had forgotten about God’s majesty and leadings in this world and in their nation. Verse 6 borrows language directly from the fourth commandment which may very well explain the use of the words “made known” rather than “instituted” as Elce would have us believe. Other texts taken out of context were Exodus 12 and 13, and 16:29, but probably the worse was the apparent inconsistency of saying that “remember” in the fourth commandment of Exodus 20:11 does not function as a past remembering while claiming that the same word in the fourth commandment of Deut. 5:15 does! What led to this contradiction? Was it the desire to want the Sabbath to be strictly for the Jews so as to avoid the awful burden of having to take a break once a week? We shall see as we move forward into the next few chapters that Elce makes it a habit of contradicting both himself and the very texts he uses to discard with the Sabbath institution.
CHAPTER 1 FOOTNOTES:
1) The Sabbath: What You Need to Know, page 1, para. 1.
2) Also, see verses 10-13, 16, 19-21, 24 for the contrast between God’s laws and the laws of their fathers, compared to verse 18.
3) It was, however, given to the world in the beginning, according to Mark 2:27. But if the Sabbath was made for all of mankind, as this text clearly says, and yet Sabbath keeping was nonexistent among non-Israelite nations, then evidently the Sabbath, along with its author, was discarded altogether. Sabbath keeping would be the least of their concerns while commiting adultery, murder, theft, rebellion, sodomy, and all other kinds of wickedness (Gen. 4:19-24, 6:5, 11:1-9, 12:12; 141-17, 19:1-11). I will address Mark 2:27 further in the next chapter.
4) The Bible directly tells us that the New Covenant is made “with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Jer. 31:31).
5) Exodus 5:4-5 also demonstrates that Moses and Aaron were introducing the concept of rest from their Egyptian slave work, which may not be the seventh-day Sabbath specifically, but perhaps a precursor to it. Some commentators, like Matthew Henry, view this text as a “plain intimation of the observing of a seventh day sabbath, not only before the giving of the law upon Mount Sinai, but before the bringing of Israel out of Egypt, and therefore, from the beginning, Gen. 2:3.” He continued, “If the sabbath had now been first instituted, how could Moses have understood what God said to him (v. 5), concerning a double portion to be gathered on the sixth day, without making any express mention of the sabbath? And how could the people so readily take the hint (v. 22), even to the surprise of the rulers, before Moses had declared that it was done with a regard to the sabbath, if they had not had some knowledge of the sabbath before? The setting apart of one day in seven for holy work, and, in order to that, for holy rest, was a divine appointment ever since God created man upon the earth, and the most ancient of positive laws. The way of sabbath-sanctification is the good old way.” The italic emphasis is mine.
6) The hiphil, causative form of the hebrew word יָדַע (Strong’s H3045) means “to make known, declare” and gives it this force. God purposely caused the Sabbath to be made known or declared. However, Hebrew words should be understood in their context. Clearly, God caused the Sabbath to be known to the children of Israel at that point (just before Mt. Sinai) although it was in existence since creation week. Compare verse 6 with Gen. 2:2-3, Ex. 20:11 and see Heb. 4:4 in the Peshitta which interestingly calls that first seventh day the “Sabbath.” “For he said concerning the sabbath, God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” (Lamsa Translation – See: http://superbook.org/LAMSA/HEB/heb4.htm).
7) During the first half of the narration, points are being drawn from Gen. 1-2 , 13-15, 17, Ex. 3-4, 7-12, 13-14 and 16.
8) Further evidence of this is found in Hebrews 4:4 where the author quotes directly from Genesis 2:2-3, “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.’” The words “from all his works” is missing from Exodus 20:11, evidently quoting from the Genesis account. Interestingly, the Peshitta, the Aramiac Bible thought to have been the original used by early Aramiac/Hebrew speaking Christians, literally calls the seventh day of Genesis 2:2-3 the Sabbath. Here is the Lamsa translation of the Peshitta, “For he said concerning the sabbath, God rested on the seventh day from all his works” (Heb. 4:3). Thus, when the Peshitta quotes Genesis 2:2-3, it acknowledges that that first seventh day was the “Sabbath,” even though the word is not found in Genesis 2. To see the Lamsa translation, go to: http://superbook.org/LAMSA/HEB/heb4.htm or https://www.studylight.org/bible/glt/hebrews/4-4.html. To see the actual word שבתא in verse 4 of the Peshitta, go to: http://aramaicnewtestament.org/epistle/hebrews_4.htm.
9) Translations such as the NKJV, NASB and NIV begin this verse with “then.” That is because the Hebrew vav (ו) prefix is a conjunction that can hold this meaning.
10) See chapter 4 of his book, also called Proposition 4, “The Sabbath What You Need to Know: 16 Propositions Against Mandatory & Salvational Sabbath Keeping,” pages 14-15. Regarding the point that Deut. 5:15 proves the Sabbath was strictly for Israel, I will respond to that in chapter 4 of this book.
11) In the Hebrew text of Exodus 20:8 and Deut. 5:15 it is the same word זָכַר (remember) in the Qal stem. The only difference is that the one in Ex. 20:8 is in the infinitive while the one in Deut. 5:15 is in the perfect tense. But this does not hurt my argument because contextually both verses speak of past remembering, and both verses speak of future remembering. In the end, both words are being used the same way. Context is the best way to determine meaning and usage of Hebrew words.
12) In texts such as Isaiah 56, 42:6, and 49:6 we learn that the Israelites were supposed to share the knowledge of God and his Sabbath with the gentiles. The commandment itself invites the “stranger within thy gates” to observe the Sabbath also (who by the way were never slaves in Egypt). In fact, God instructed that every seven years while in the promised land, the people, including the stranger, be called together to hear and “observe” the law (Deut. 31:12).