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Morrish Bible Dictionary
This is mentioned as the greatest distance a Jew was allowed to travel on the Sabbath. There is no injunction as to this in the law, but when some of the people went out to gather manna on the Sabbath, Moses enjoined, "Abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." Exodus 16:29 . In N.T. times it was understood that a person might travel two thousand cubits (about five furlongs); this extent had been fixed on because when the Israelites were marching they were commanded to keep the above named distance from the ark, and it was concluded that when they were encamped, there was the same distance between the tabernacle and the tents, and that this space was constantly travelled for worship. When they were in the land the distance was reckoned from the gate of the city from which the traveller started. Acts 1:12 . The Lord perhaps referred to this custom when He bade the disciples pray that, in the judgement of Jerusalem, their flight should not be "on the Sabbath-day." Matthew 24:20 .
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Sabbath-Day's Journey'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/s/sabbath-days-journey.html. 1897.