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Institution of the Sabbath
1. WHEN and by whom was the Sabbath made?
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 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." Gen. 2:1,2.
2. After resting on the seventh day, what did God do?
"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." Verse 3.
3. By what three distinct acts, then, was the Sabbath made?
God rested on it; He blessed it; He sanctified it.
Sanctify: "To make sacred or holy; to set apart to a holy or religious
4. Did Christ have anything to do with creation and the making of the Sabbath?
"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was
made." John 1:3. See also Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2.
NOTE.-Christ, being the active agent in creation, must have rested on the seventh day
with the Father. It is therefore His rest day as well as the Father's.
5. For whom does Christ say the Sabbath was made?
"And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the
Sabbath." Mark 2:27.
NOTE.-It was not made for the Jews alone. The Jews derive their name from Judah, one of
the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom they are descended. The Sabbath was made more than two
thousand years before there was a Jew. When Paul says, "Neither was the man created
for the woman; but the woman for the man" (1 Cor. 11:9), we understand him to mean
that marriage was ordained of God for all men. So likewise with the Sabbath. It was made
for the race.
6. What does the Sabbath commandment require?
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, 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 man servant, nor thy maid
servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." Ex. 20:8-10.
7. What reason is given in the commandment for keeping the Sabbath day holy?
"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." Verse 11.
NOTE.-The Sabbath is the memorial of creation, and the sign of God's creative power.
Through the keeping of it God designed that man should forever remember Him as the true
and living God, the Creator of all things.
8. Did God bless and sanctify the seventh day while He was resting upon it, or when
His rest on that day was past?
"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." Gen. 2:3.
NOTES.-God blessed and sanctified the seventh day then future, answering to the day on
which He had just rested. The acts of blessing and sanctifying involve the idea of a
future use of those things which are blessed and sanctified. Past time cannot be used. It
is gone forever. The blessing and sanctification of the day, therefore, must have related
to the future- to all the future seventh days.
In Joel 1:14 we read: "Sanctify [i. e., appoint] ye a fast, call a solemn assembly,
gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord."
Wherever used in the Bible, the word sanctify means to appoint, to proclaim, or to set
apart, as in the margin of Joshua 20:7; , 2 Kings 10:20,21; Zeph. 1:7. So when the Sabbath
was sanctified, as the last act by which it was made for man, an appointment, or
proclamation, of the Sabbath was given. See Ex. 19:23.
"If we had no other passage than this of Gen. 2:3, there would be no difficulty in
deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a Sabbath, or seventh day, to
be devoted to God as holy time, by all of that race for whom the earth and its nature were
specially prepared. The first men must have known it. The words He hallowed it can
have no meaning otherwise. They would be a blank unless in reference to some who were
required to keep it holy."- Lange's Commentary, Vol. I, page 197.
9. How did God prove Israel in the wilderness?
"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you;
and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day; that I may prove them,
whether they will walk in My law, or no." Ex. 16:4.
10. On which day was a double portion of manna gathered?
"And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered
twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation
came and told Moses." Verse 22.
11. What reply did Moses make to the rulers?
"And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the
rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord." Verse 23.
NOTE.-This was a full month and more before they came to Sinai.
12. When had God said this?
In the beginning, when He sanctified the Sabbath. Gen. 2:3.
NOTE.-In the wilderness of Sin, before Israel came to Sinai, Moses said to Jethro, his
father-in-law, "I do make them know the statutes of God, and His laws"
(Ex. 18:16), which shows that these statutes and laws existed before they were proclaimed
13. What did some of the people do on the seventh day?
"It came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for
to gather, and they found none." Ex. 16:27.
14. How did God reprove their disobedience?
"And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and
My laws?" Verse 28.
15. Why was double manna given on the sixth day?
"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." Verse 29.
16. How, then, did the Lord prove the people (verse 4) whether they would keep His
law, or not?
Over the keeping of the Sabbath.
NOTE.-Thus we see that the Sabbath commandment was a part of God's law before this law
was spoken from Sinai; for this incident occurred in the wilderness of Sin, before the
children of Israel came to Sinai, where the law was given. Both the Sabbath and the law
existed from creation.
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