The Covenant Law of Yah Part 4

This is the fourth in a 10-part series that focuses on the covenant law of Yah which was inscribed on tablets of stone at Mount Sinai. What do these laws really mean and how are we to keep them?

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The fourth commandment is the last of the commandments that deal with loving Yah with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and the next six involve our love of our neighbor. Also, the fourth commandment was kept by Yah himself in the Garden according to Genesis chapter 2:

2 And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.

—Genesis 2

In resting on this day he set apart as pure, Yah left an example for us to follow. And we are told that he changes not:

6 For I am Yah, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.

—Malachi 3

If he rested on the seventh day, and he does not change, what does that tell us? It tells us that the law concerning the Sabbath, and the Sabbath itself, did not change either. But what exactly is the Sabbath, and how is it to be kept? The Scriptures reveal the answers to these important questions.

First, we’ll look at the book of Exodus, specifically chapter 31.

12 And Yah spoke unto Moses, saying, 13 Speak also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am Yah that does sanctify you.

14 You shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is pure unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

15 Six days may work be done; but on the seventh is the sabbath of rest, pure to Yah: whosoever does any work on the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

—Exodus 31

And in the next verse we get the connection to Genesis 2:

17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days Yah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

—Exodus 31

So the Sabbath actually functions as a sign. It reveals who the children of Israel are linked to, and it is also Yah’s personal signature of his handiwork. You see, most artists use signatures to mark their work, be it sculptures, paintings, or what have you. Well Yah’s signature is actually the Sabbath. It tells the world who created everything we see. That is why the heavenly messenger of Revelation 14 has only this to say with regard to the Creator:

7 . . . and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

—Revelation 14

We know only by looking at the Sabbath who the “him” being referred to in this sentence actually is. It is the one who rested from his work of creation according to Genesis chapter 2 verses 2 and 3, which we have already cited. The law clearly states the requirements of the fourth commandment, and the very first mention of this command calls Israel to remember it:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it pure.

—Exodus 20

Having just come out of bondage, the nation of Israel had lost its heritage and customs. In fact, Yah had to send the following message to Pharaoh:

16 And you shall say unto him, Yah Elohim of the Hebrews has sent me unto you, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness. . . .

—Exodus 7

Israel, in other words, could not properly serve Yah in captivity. This requires complete freedom and nationhood. So when they were fully freed in the Exodus, they were reminded of their long-held customs, which involved laws, statutes, judgments, and commandments, all of which their ancestors kept before them. We are even told of Abraham, who lived long before the Egyptian bondage:

5 Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

—Genesis 26

Continuing with the requirements of the fourth commandment:

9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yah your Elohim: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:

11 For in six days Yah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: therefore Yah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

—Exodus 20

The Sabbath, we are told, is a day in which no work should be done by anyone in our household. Laborious work that could be reserved for the other six days is not permitted on the Sabbath Day.

15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys; and also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them about the day in which they sold provisions.

—Nehemiah 13

Even buying and selling is not permitted:

31 And if the people of the land bring in wares or any grain on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it from them on the sabbath, or on the pure day. . . .

—Nehemiah 10

The Sabbath, in other words, is reserved for Yah. It is a day in which we are to reflect on him and his Word; to draw near to him and not do our own pleasure. The book of Isaiah plainly defines this aspect of the law:

13 If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my pure day; and call the sabbath a delight, the pure of Yah, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:

14 Then shall you delight yourself in Yah; and I will cause you to ride upon the heights of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of Yah has spoken it.

—Isaiah 58

Anything that can be done during the six days of labor should be kept for those days, that is why the sixth day is considered a preparation day to complete all the things we need for the Sabbath, so that the Sabbath can be kept undefiled. In fact all Sabbaths had a preparation, which is the day that precedes it (see Mark 15 verse 42).

That being said, there is good work that is permitted on the Sabbath, however, that might involve heavy labor. When it comes to doing good on the Sabbath, certain things are permitted beyond the letter of the law if you are fulfilling the higher spirit of the law, that is “loving your neighbor as yourself.” Yeshua himself said:

12 Therefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.

—Matthew 12

One ruler of a synagogue even challenged Yeshua for healing on the Sabbath, and Yeshua replied:

15 . . . You hypocrite, does not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

—Luke 13

This act should be considered work as well, but a living, breathing animal needs food and water to survive, and that hunger and thirst must be satisfied on the Sabbath also. Therefore, to do this kind of laborious work on the Sabbath is permitted. This is doing good on the Sabbath Day. And Yeshua fulfilled this by healing on the Sabbath and having his disciples pluck grain and eat on the Sabbath when they were hungry, two acts that the Scribes and Pharisees viewed as work.

The Sabbath is also a feast, not a day for fasting, with one exception:

1 And Yah spoke unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yah, which you shall proclaim to be pure convocations, even these are my feasts. 3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a pure convocation; you shall do no work on it: it is the sabbath of Yah in all your dwellings.

—Leviticus 23

If, however, your fast stretches for many days and the Sabbath falls within that timeframe, then this is permitted, as we see with Moses and Yeshua in the twin 40-day fasts they kept (see Exodus 34 verse 28 and Matthew 4 verse 2). But to select the Sabbath itself for a fast out of all the days of the week is not in keeping with Scripture. Yeshua tells us:

24 Elohim is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

—John 4

His law is also spiritual and carries a meaning beyond the literal sense with a higher spiritual connotation. This is also true of the Sabbath day. In 2 Peter we are told:

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with Yah as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

—2 Peter 3

This is verified by a second witness in the prayer of Moses recorded in Psalm 90:

4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

—Psalm 90

Given this understanding of a thousand years representing a mere day in Yah’s eyes, we see this highlighted in several prophecies. One such prophecy is that of the thousand year reign of Yeshua, as recorded in the book of Revelation.

6 Blessed and pure is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of Elohim and of Messiah, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

—Revelation 20

Well in Yah’s eyes, the first six thousand years of our existence since the creation of Adam are but six days. That would make the thousand year reign with Yeshua a Sabbath day, being the seventh thousand-year period of our history. And we are given a few details about this peaceful millennial reign. The prophet Isaiah tells us that during that time:

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my pure mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yah, as the waters cover the sea.

—Isaiah 11

The knowledge of Yah will fill the whole earth, as the waters cover the sea. And we know that waters cover 100 percent of the sea. So the knowledge of Yah will fill 100 percent of the earth. Jeremiah adds to this:

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yah: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says Yah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

—Jeremiah 31

So we see that everyone on earth will be filled with the knowledge of Yah. That means that every fiber of everyone’s being will be solely concerned with the things of Yah. In other words, during the millennium, there will be no idle, worldly talk. Also concerning that time, the prophet Zechariah reveals this much:

20 Thus says Yah of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:

21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before Yah, and to seek Yah of hosts: I will go also. 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek Yah of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before Yah.

—Zechariah 8

The concern of the many gentiles that will fill the kingdom will be that of Yah alone. Their thoughts and prayers will flow to Yah. In this final verse of Zechariah chapter 8 we find the following:

23 Thus says Yah of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of every language of the nations, even shall take hold of the robe of him that is of the tribe of Judah, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that Elohim is with you.

—Zechariah 8

Talk will be of Elohim being with the people of Israel during this time. Worldly talk, as I’ve stated, will be a thing of the past.

So to recap the requirements of the Sabbath Day, idle or worldly conversation, or any kind of discussion that does not glorify Yah should not be enjoyed on the Sabbath day. It is a day for pure conversation. Work that is reserved for the other six days of the week should not be done on the Sabbath day, and neither should you buy or sell anything in any way. And the Sabbath is a feast day, the first of many feasts mentioned in the Levitical record of the Torah in fact.

You see, what the Sabbath truly represents is how things will be in the soon coming Kingdom of Yah, where we will never discuss anything idle, as all conversations will be Yah-centered. The redeemed will also finally experience true rest, which is represented as the Sabbath requirement to cease from labor. The prohibition to buy or sell represents the end of the Babylonian merchant and economic system that we are under, which will not exist during the millennium.

And the millennium will also be the time of the marriage supper of the lamb, which will be a great feast, as the Sabbath is in fact a feast day (see Revelation 19 verses 7-9).

It is important that we understand this law, and all the laws, so that we might serve Yah as he is supposed to be served. But for much more on the Sabbath, its history and purpose, and what actually constitutes a Sabbath Day, please watch our full-length documentary, Understanding the Sabbath. It is a companion to this particular scripture study. And with that, with regard to your next Sabbath, we bid you Shabbat Shalom!

Keywords: sabbath, the seventh-day sabbath, the sabbath day, millennial sabbath, the millennium, morning to evening Sabbath, 10 commandments , ten commandments

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