Why did the Pharisees say it was illegal to carry the mat on the Sabbath?


John 5:10

ESV - 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 12 2013 Mini Beverly Bethea

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Stringio Vincent Mercado Supporter Skeptic turned believer, Catholic, father of 3
Halakha (Jewish law) identifies thirty-nine categories of activity prohibited on Shabbat, and clarifies many questions surrounding the application of the biblical prohibitions. Many of these activities are also prohibited on the Jewish holidays listed in the Torah, although there are significant exceptions permitting carrying and preparing food under specific circumstances.

Jews disagree about how to interpret these categories and there are often strong disagreements between Orthodox Jews and Conservative Jews or other non-Orthodox Jews.

The thirty-nine creative activities are:
1. Planting
2. Plowing
3. Reaping
4. Gathering
5. Threshing/Extraction
6. Winnowing
7. Sorting/Purification
8. Grinding
9. Sifting
10. Kneading/Amalgamation
11. Cooking/Baking
12. Shearing
13. Scouring/Laundering
14. Carding/Combing wool
15. Dyeing
16. Spinning
17. Warping
18. Making two loops/threading heddles
19. Weaving
20. Separating two threads
21. Tying
22. Untying
23. Sewing
24. Tearing
25. Trapping
26. Slaughtering
27. Flaying/Skinning
28. Curing/Preserving
29. Smoothing
30. Scoring
31. Measured Cutting
32. Writing
33. Erasing
34. Building
35. Demolition
36. Extinguishing a fire
37. Igniting a fire
38. Applying the finishing touch
39. Transferring between domains

Carrying of mats fall under #39.

November 26 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Seth3 Seth Freeman
The Jews were not allowed to work on the Sabbath, and they had very strict rules about what was classified as work. It was considered work to carry his mat, and therefore the Pharisees would have seen it as wrong.

November 12 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini NicLaatz Laatz
As is apparent already, the Jews had a set of extra-biblical laws and traditions which Jesus endeavored to destroy, as they had no biblical authority. 

The carrying of a mat was considered a burden; however, the biblical injunction is to refrain from secular work, not to be idle. In fact, Isaiah 58 describes the Sabbath as a day not for rest in general, but of ceasing from our own work and doing God's work.

Hebrews states concerning the Seventh Day,"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His".

The Sabbath is ceasing from our own works, as God ceased from His own works on the seventh day, wherefore, according to the 4th commandment, He sanctified and blessed that day. But it is more importantly, a day to take up the works of God, wherefore of the Sabbath day Christ declared, "My Father is at work until now, and I work".

Jesus broke the Sabbath of the Jews, but restored the Sabbath of God, wherefore "the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day".

October 11 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Nathaniel Sklenicka
I think the religious leaders in Jesus's culture missed the heart of God behind the commandments in the Torah and regarding carrying on the Sabbath. I believe the heart is not going about one's own work, which is for personal profit or gain, but instead, focusing on God's work and his desires.

In a more technical way, I believe the intention behind the sabbath rules were about work that produced or created. Carrying one's mat would not fall under that intent unless you were doing it to create or produce something (such as a profit). The guy just wanted to move his belongings without any intent to profit or produce from it.

May 13 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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