Sabbath Observance Pre-Moses?

As we continue to look at the Sabbath we find something interesting, a noticeable lack of a mention of the Sabbath, or even rest, in many books of Scripture. 

One of the oldest books is the Book of Job.  Many Scholars feel that Job predates Abraham. Job whom the Lord actually brags about to Satan never mentions the Sabbath. 

Job 1:8 (ESV) And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Job sacrifices offerings to the Lord, yet does not appear to celebrate a Sabbath.

Job 1:5 (ESV) And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Actually even, the only rest that Job talks about is looking forward to the rest of death or better yet in his mind the rest of having never lived.

Job 3:11-17 (ESV)
11 “Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?
12 Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?
13 For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,
14 with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
15 or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?
17 There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest

But this causes a problem because see if the verses in Genesis 2:1-3 mean that from that time men observed a Sabbath we have Adam through Abraham up to Moses with no record of observing a Sabbath rest.  We also have Job who does not observe a Sabbath rest.  But even more challenging is the fact that the Lord Himself calls Job “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.” (Job 1:1)

We have Noah who was righteous and blameless yet he never observes a Sabbath. (Genesis 6:9)

We also have Abraham who “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Galatians 3:6)

Scripture records these blameless men’s sacrifices and their sin, yet no mention of observing the Sabbath.  Those who say that man has always been supposed to observe the Sabbath are adding to Scripture something that is not there.  As we saw in looking at Genesis 2:1-3 the Lord observed the rest upon the seventh day after Creation, not man.

Genesis 2:1-3 (ESV)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

We also run into another difficulty.  While we do not know the author of the book of Job, we do know that Moses wrote the first five books of “The Law”.  We do not have any record that even man knew that the Lord rested upon the seventh day.  That was not recorded in writing for us until the time of Moses.  The Lord did walk and talk with man more before Moses yet no record of any discussion about the Sabbath.

So what do we do when others claim that the Sabbath was an everlasting covenant?  Read the Scriptures closely.  See what everlasting means and whom each everlasting promise was made to.  Then look at the prophecy verses.  Ezekiel and Isaiah both have prophecies that mention a Sabbath but we cannot look at OT prophecies without first looking at the NT and seeing what it says.  Only then can we interpret the OT prophecies that may, or may not, deal with endtimes or that still remain in the future and whom these prophecies refer to.  We cannot understand the future without looking at what has already happened.  So what does Jesus say about the Sabbath?



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4 thoughts on “Sabbath Observance Pre-Moses?

  1. Now this is an angle I have never heard before.

    That said, it is vitally important since the Scripture calls those of us who have believed children of Abraham according to our faith and not children of Moses, to whom the law was given.

    Looking forward to the next post.

    [Reply]

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    It seems that those that are adamant that Christians should observe the Sabbath on the seventh day always refer to the Genesis 2:1-3 verses as “proof” that the believers have always observed a day of rest since creation and always will. But when you really read the Scripture without preconceived notions then you see that there is no basis to say that all men have always known to observe the Sabbath. Even more telling is that our Faith Chapter Heroes (Hebrews 11) did not evidence observation of the Sabbath until after the Law of Moses was given.

    Looking at what Jesus said has been very interesting also. 🙂

    Berean Wife

    [Reply]

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