Was God's 7th day holy Sabbath in effect prior to Mt Sinai?

(Exodus 16:23) God talking about His holy day prior to God speaking on Mt Sinai (Exodus 31:12).

Clarify Share Report Asked March 24 2019 Open uri20131210 31869 1ujcffl John Smith

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Mini Aurel Gheorghe
The Sabbath originated at the end of creation week (Gen 2:1-3). Some have questioned whether God’s 7th day Sabbath was observed before He gave the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai - citing that the Sabbath observance was never mentioned in Genesis. That is not entirely true. 

Cain was cautioned that disobeying God’s commands and being angry with Abel was a sin (Gen 4:6,7). In Genesis 5:22, 6:9 we read about Methuselah, Enoch and Noah being righteous and blameless - they walked with God hundreds of years, they spent time with God, talked with God worshiped God. It’s inconceivable to think that God never told them that idolatry, killing, adultery, lying, or stealing was a sin. How about the Sabbath? 

We can safely assume that the Ten Commandments existed in Noah’s day because the Bible says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" NIV (Gen 6:8; Heb 11:7). Where there is no law, there is no condemnation and need for grace. God destroyed the word with water because of men wickedness (Gen 6:5). We can be sure that there was idolatry going on, stealing, murder, adultery, lying and disregard for God’s holy Sabbath. While the first six chapters of Genesis are silent about specific sins, the antediluvians did offend God and cause Him to drown them. God destroyed them for the same reason Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. 

Some would argue that at Mt. Sinai God expressed His will for humanity by giving Moses the Ten Commandments; but only the Sabbath commandment (not any other commandment) was exclusively for Jews and doesn’t apply to Christians today. However, the language of the Fourth Commandment (Ex 20:11) makes directly reference to Creation (Gen 2:1-3). 

In addition, Exodus 20:1-3 points directly to Israel Egypt bondage but no one ever suggested that the First Commandment apply only to Jews. 

Furthermore, in Exodus 5:5 the Pharaoh complains to Moses and Aaron “You make them rest from their labor” (You make them sabbath from their labor) a direct reference to the Sabbath rest and this takes place while they were still in Egypt and before Sinai.

An even more concrete proof of the Sabbath before Mt. Sinai is found in Exodus 16, when God provided manna in the wilderness (Ex 16:23-30). Notice Exodus 16:28, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” This passage begs the question: What Laws and Commandments? If the Sabbath Commandant wasn't in place prior to Mt. Sinai why would God admonish them for not observing the Sabbath? The only logical conclusion one can draw is that the Ten Commandments themselves obviously weren’t something new. 

In the creation narrative God blesses the seventh day. As implied in Exodus 20:11, through the Sabbath, God blesses the person who keeps it. Why would anyone reject a blessing that God gracious is willing to bestow upon His children, and why would anyone consider “works” a day or rest and communion with God. 

The blessing pronounced on the seventh day is not intended for God personal benefit or pleasure but for those who would take the time to enjoy fellowship with Him within the fraction of time called seventh day Sabbath.

March 25 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Despite the reference in Genesis 2:3 to God blessing and hallowing the seventh day, there is no Biblical record (as far as I am aware) of the seventh-day Sabbath being kept or observed (before or after the calling of Abraham) prior to the exodus of Israel from Egypt, and the giving of the Law to Moses. Moses' indication to Israel in Deuteronomy 5:15 that God had commanded observance of the seventh-day Sabbath as a memorial of Israel being delivered from its prior slavery in Egypt would seem to indicate that it had not been observed prior to that time.

March 25 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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