The Fourth Commandment

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dr. Walter, May 31, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    I realize the various views concerning the fourth commandment. There are some who believe it applies to Christians and some who believes it does not but the entire law has been done away completely. There are some who believe it refers to Saturday and others who believe it now applies to Sunday. There are some who believe every day is alike and Sunday worship is mere tradition without any Biblical command.

    However, what I am trying to zero in on is the actual wording and meaning of the command as given by God to Moses in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

    My Hebrew is extremely rusty but using a concordance it appears to me that the term "seventh" and the term "Sabbath" do not represent the same Hebrew term and that each term used comes from an entirely different root.

    Second, it would appear that the root term translated "week" in the Old Testament comes from the same root as translated "seventh" but not "Sabbath."

    Third, the Hebrew term translated "week" is missing from the fourth commandment terminology as well as from the creation account terminology.

    My position at this point, is that the term "week" is intentionally absent from both the fourth command and from the creation account and that the fourth command requires nothing more than six periods of "yom" (day) followed by a seventh period of "yom" (day) sabbath without any specific application to any particular "yom" or day of the week or any other date on the Jewish calander.

    Now the Saturday Sabbatarian response to my conclusion is one of logic rather than one of scripture. By the use of logic they demand that the first seven days in Genesis form the basis of our week and therefore God designed the Sabbath to be the seventh day "of the week." Second, they respond that it must have application and the only logical appliation is the seventh day "of the week."

    However, here is the problem with this very good sounding logic. The Sabbath command must be understood to be inclusive enough for God's application of the Sabbath and he does not restrict it to the seventh "yom" "of the week" but applies it to greater periods than the "day" of the week (seventh month, seventh year, fiftieth year, first, eighth, fifteenth, twenty-second days of the month, fiftieth day - Lev. 23, 25).

    In addition, in the creation days of Genesis the term "day" is used for a twenty-four hour period as well as for an extended period of time greater than twenty-four hours and in direct connection with the Sabbath command.

    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.
    4 ¶ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,


    In Leviticus 23 the Sabbath command is applied far more times to those days in a month that would be regarded the "first day of the week" than the "seventh day of the week." In a typical lunar month the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first and twenty-eighth days would correspond to the "seventh day of the week" application. However, in Leviticus 23 the first, eighth, fifteenth, twenty-second days of the month are Sabbaths. This is particularly seen in the seventh month as it begins with a sabbath observance upon the first day of the month.

    Also, the seventh month of the civil year is also the first month of the religious year so what has been regarded as the seventh becomes the first. Adam was created upon the sixth day in creation so the seventh day became His first full day.

    Leviticus 23 and 25 provide pictures of the New Covenant and in those pictures the preeminince of the first day sabbath of the week radically dominates.

    My position is that God intentionally omitted the phrase "of the week" from the creation account and the fourth commandment because His intent is to apply it to other days than the seventh YOM "of the week" and to greater periods than to 24 hour "yom" but to months and years.

    Therefore the Sabbatarian "logic" actually contradicts the Lord's actual application of the Sabbath command. The Sabbatarian logic would restrict the command to the seventh twenty four hour period "of the week" when actually God applies it to a "yom" of greater than 24 hour periods (month, year) and to different 24 hour days than the seventh day of the week (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 50th 10th).

    Therefore Moses intentionally omitted the words "of the week" from both the creation account and from the fourth commandment, not because it did not include it but because it was not to be restricted to it and the insertion of the words "of the week" would have restricted all application to the seventh day of the week and the Scriptures do not restrict the Sabbath command to the seventh day of the week.
     
    #1 Dr. Walter, May 31, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2010
  2. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Below is a more refined version of the original article posted by me on this thread:

    Why the term “week” is missing
    from the Creation and fourth Commandment accounts

    I realize the various views concerning the fourth commandment. There are some who believe it applies to Christians and some who believe it does not. There are those who believe the moral law is entirely abolished. There are some who believe it refers to Saturday and others who believe it now applies to Sunday. There are those who believe it begins 6 pm. Friday and ends 6 pm. Saturday. There are those who believe it begins 6 p.m. Saturday and ends 6 p.m. Sunday. There are some who believe every day is alike and Saturday and Sunday are pagan days and mere tradition rather than Biblical command.

    However, what I am trying to zero in on is the actual wording and meaning of the command as given by God to Moses in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

    My Hebrew is rusty but using a concordance and the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament edited by R. laird Harris, Gleason Archer and Bruce K. Waitke, it appears to me that the term "seventh" (Heb. Sheb-ee-ee or Sheb-ee -et)and the term "Sabbath" (Heb. Shabbath) do not represent the same Hebrew term or same root (“sheba” versus “Shabath”). The terms for “week” and “seventh” come from a root that means “to swear” or “oath” while the term for “Sabbath” comes from a root that means “rest” or “cessation.” Even if you don’t accept the different root meanings, the Hebrew words “sheba” and “shabbath” have different meanings by established usage.

    Second, the Hebrew term translated "week" is missing from the fourth commandment terminology in Exodus and Deuteronomy, as well as, from the creation account terminology in Genesis.

    My position is that Moses intentionally avoided using the term "week" in the fourth command, as well as, from the creation account. The fourth command specifies nothing more than six periods of "yom" (day) followed by, and thus also, preceded by a seventh period of "yom" (day) sabbath without any specific application to any particular "yom" in the Jewish calander week, month or year nor limited to a 24 hour “yom.”

    Now the Saturday Sabbatarian response to my conclusion ultimately depends upon a mixture of logic with scripture rather than upon explicit scripture. They admit that the fourth commandment does not contain the words “of the week” but then demand that since it is explicitly designed by God to remember the creation which was concluded by God in seven literal 24 hour days then by necessary inference it must apply to the seventh day “of the week” even if those words are not found in Genesis or Exodus and Deuteronomy. Secondly, they would argue that the creation period of seven days forms the basis of the “week” that has been recognized from time immemorial. Thirdly, they respond that it must have a practical application to those receiving this command and the only logical and practical application is the seventh day "of the week" since it is the creation period of seven days that the Sabbath command is instituted to memorialize.

    However, here is the problem with this interwoven conclusion by logic with Scripture. The word “week” was available to Moses and yet He chose not to use it in any account of the Sabbath command. Why? I believe there is good reason. The inclusion of the prepositional phrase “of the week” would have firmly restricted its application to the seventh day of the current week used by the Jews. However, by omitting this phrase, the very logical application of the Sabbath rest to the seventh day of their week would be allowed without prohibiting a wider and different application to any 24 hour period that precedes and follows six 24 hour periods OR to any longer period than 24 hours that precedes and follows six equal periods. To test this hypothesis it is only needful to ask if the Sabbath law was restricted by Jews and God to the seventh day “of the week” and/or to only 24 hour periods?

    Since it cannot be successfully denied that God’s ultimate design for the Sabbath command is seen by his OWN APPLICATION of it and is OWN APPLICATION exceeds the Seventh Day Sabbatarian restriction to the seventh day “of the week.” Therefore, my hypothesis is proven to be accurate. God applies the Sabbath law not only to other 24 hour periods “of the week” than the seventh day “of the week” (1st, 8th, 10th, 15th, 22nd, 50th) in Leviticus 23, but he applies it to greater periods of 24 hours (month, year) in both Leviticus 23 and 25. The exclusion “of the week” was necessary to provide God’s wider application of the Sabbath law to other days in the week and other periods greater than 24 hours.

    Indeed, woven into the very context of the first mention of the Sabbath law in direct relationship to creation God is the double use the Hebrew term “yom” for both a literal 24 hour day and for a longer period;

    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.
    4 ¶ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens


    Therefore Moses intentionally omitted the words "of the week" from both the creation account and from the fourth commandment with good reason. First, omitting the prepositional phrase “of the week” allowed the scriptural connection with the seventh day creation and Sabbath and the logical application to their current seventh day “of the week” observance without restricting it to such. Second, the omission “of the week” was necessary to prohibit the exclusive application and understanding of the Sabbath law to the seventh day of their current week when by design God would apply it to other 24 hour period days that followed and preceded six days, as well as, to periods exceeding 24 hours that were followed and preceded by six equal periods of time. Third, God’s ultimate prophetic design for Sabbath application is to “another day” that commemorates another and greater work of God and greater creation by God. God’s prophetic design is found in the emphasis in Leviticus 23 and 25 upon applying this law to days identified as the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 50th days in regard to the work of redemption by Jesus Christ under the New Covenant. Moreover, the ultimate achievement of the New Covenant work of Christ is seen in the application of the Sabbath rest to periods of years consummated by the 50th year of Jubilee in regard to the New Covenant and Christ. The new Sabbath 24 hour day was the day that commemorates the resurrection of Christ – the first day of the week and the new Sabbath period greater than the 24 hour period is the EIGHTH thousand year or the “eternal day” of the new creation that follows the seventh thousand year millennium.

    There are other substantial evidence found in both the Old and New Testaments to confirm this transition from the seventh to the first. Creation’s seventh day Sabbath was Adam’s first full day of his week. The seventh Jewish month was also the first month of their religious calendar. The beginning of the first day of the week in Jewish times occurs on Saturday in our calendar as it begins 6 p.m. our Saturday evening. From the New Testament it can be easily proven that Christ arose from the grave before sunrise on the first day of the Jewish week no earlier than 3 a.m before sunrise. This is the new Sabbath of Psalm 118 and Mark 16:9 and the better Sabbath observance in Hebrews 4:9-11.
     
  3. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    If you posted in the "Other Christian Denominations" area, you would probably get some lively, and informed, debate on this issue.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  4. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Thanks, I will take your suggestion.
     

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