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The Ten Commandments

dealing particularly with

 

the Fourth

(Remember the Sabbath day...)

 


The Commandments

as given in the Bible

Exodus 20:1-17

And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates. 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.

5. Honour your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.

6. You shall not kill.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

10. You shall not covet your neighbour's house, you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour's.


 

As changed by the "little horn"

in

A Roman Catholic Catechism or Teaching Book

Title page of book

Second page of book

The 4th Commandment as interpreted by this Catechism.

It is here called the 3rd Commandment because the second has been joined to the first and the tenth divided into two parts to make up the number.

 

Below are the two verses (in their context) referred as evidence of the apostles changing the law.

Acts 20:7-11

And upon the first day of the week [this was what we would call Saturday night, for the day starts at sundown], when the disciples came together to break bread [or have an evening meal], Paul preached to them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread [again], and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day [Sunday morning], so he departed.

Rather than resting or having a church meeting after sunrise on the first day of the week, Paul began his journey on that day, treating it as a working day.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Here the first day of the week is treated as a business day, counting out the increase of the previous week and setting a portion aside "by him", for a collection to be made when Paul visited. This was done at home and not in church.

[Return to Notes for The Revelation chapter 17]

 

Has the Sabbath day changed?

The Jewish witness

The seventh day of the week is still observed from sunset Friday night to sunset Saturday night by the Jews who have kept that day carefully since the giving of the Commandments on Mount Sinai. Referring to a ceremonial sabbath, or annual holy day, the Lord spoke to Moses and said,

Leviticus 23:32

It shall be to you a sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even to even, shall you celebrate your sabbath.

 

The Christian witness

This in turn is backed up by the Easter period observed by most who call themselves Christian. In this festival the crucifixion is seen to have occurred at 3pm on Good Friday, our Lord to have rested in the grave throughout the following day, Saturday, and risen in triumph on the third day, Easter Sunday.

Luke 23:50-56; 24:1-8

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation [Friday], and the Sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how He spoke to you when He was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words...

 

The Sabbath in the decades that followed

Jesus, when referring to an event which would take place 40 years after His crucifixion, the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies from 66-7oAD, gave warning to the Christians of the time,

Matthew 24:20

But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day...:


 

The Senior catechism of the Methodist church has this to say on the subject...

 

"What does the fourth commandment mean?

God has set aside one day in seven so that we may rest from work and worship Him."

(That's all it says!)

Published by The Methodist Publishing House (Frank H. Cumbers)

25-35 City Road, London, E. C. 1

Approved by the Conference of 1952


Until quite recently every calendar showed the seventh day of the week as being Saturday. But since the advent of computers many calendars (but not all), plus wrist watches, and other yearly records have changed the seventh day to Sunday.

Back to the notes for chapter seven

 

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