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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Sabbath

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This was the original name first used by the Hebrews for the Lord's day. It is indeed an Hebrew word, and signifies repose or rest; and hence Christ, "who is the rest wherewith JEHOVAH causeth the weary to rest, and who is their refreshing." (Isaiah 28:12) is the very Sabbath of the soul. See Christ's invitation under this character. (Matthew 11:28-30) It is worthy remark that Noah, a type of Christ in the ark, is so called, from Nuach, which signifies rest. Some indeed derive his name from Nacham, consolation. But in either sense, or in both, it is blessed to eye Christ in the type. Hence the psalmist saith, (Psalms 116:7) "Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dwelt bountifully with thee." In the original it is, return to thy Noah. And surely JEHOVAH hath dealt bountifully with the souls of all his. redeemed, when like the dove returning to the ark whom she found no rest out of the ark for the sole of her foot, we return to the Lord Jesus, the only rest for the soul, and our salvation for ever. (Genesis 8:9)

The Sabbath was instituted, from the first dawn of the creation; for when JEHOVAH had called into existence the several works of his almighty hand, which his sovereign will and pleasure gave being to "he is said to have rested from his works which he had made;" and reviewing with complacency what his hands had wrought, beholding their number and order in the several ranks and disposals of his design, he sanctified the day of his rest, and commanded every seventh day to be hallowed for his more immediate worship, adoration love, and praise, by all his intelligent creatures. The Apostle to the Hebrews makes a short but beautiful observation on the spiritual tendency of the Sabbath when with an eye to Jesus he represents the believing soul resting in Christ as the rest for the people of God. "For he (saith the apostle) that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." (Hebrews 4:10)

Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the name of Sabbath hath been less used, and that of the Lord's day substituted more generally in its place; and the authority for so doing is derived from the apostles. Thus John, when speaking of those revelations made to him by the Lord Jesus in the Isle of Patmos, saith that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. (Revelation 1:10) And it is no small confirmation of the Lord's approval of the first day being appointed for the ordinance of the Sabbath, that not only the Lord Jesus arose on that day from the dead, but God the Holy Ghost made his first public descent, agreeably to Christ's promise, on that day. Hence divine honour is given in the observance of the Lord's day on the first day of the week to all the persons of the GODHEAD, for creation, redemption, and sanctification. It hath been said that the Jews at the giving of the law lost the true reckoning of the seventh day. It were devoutly to be desired that believers in the Lord Jesus, in their ordinary conversation, would distinguish the Sabbath by its proper name, and call it what the apostle called it, the Lord's day. Sunday is a name without meaning, unless indeed it he connected with its derivation, and then it becomes still more improper! for if it be supposed, as some have said, that it took its rise during the time of the Saxon Heptarchy, and had reference to the sun, and therefore called Sun-day, it savours of idolatry. We know that the sun hath been in all ages the great idol of the eastern world. (See Deuteronomy 4:19; 2 Kings 23:11; Job 31:26-28; Ezekiel 8:16) It is strange, therefore, that the name should be retained when the Holy Scriptures have never once mentioned such a name, and the apostle's example so sweetly recommends what ought to be so dear when we speak with reverence of the Sabbath, that we call it the Lord's day.

We meet with several expressions connected with the Lord's day in the New Testament, such as "a Sabbath day's journey, the second Sabbath after the first." These are not explained to us in Scripture, and therefore we are left to conjecture concerning their meaning. It is said that among the Jews there was a tradition not to walk more than six Stadia, or seven hundred and fifty paces, on the Sabbath day—that is, somewhat less than one of our miles. And perhaps in allusion to this it might be that our Lord, speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, enjoined his disciples to pray that their flight might not be in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. (Matthew 24:20)

Concerning the second Sabbath after the first, which we read of Luke 6:1; the meaning of it is not so clear as to determine exactly. But it hath been conjectured that the Jews particularly numbered their Sabbaths from the Passover, and that the second Sabbath was intended to mean from the Passover. But others have concluded that the second Sabbath meant the Pentecost, and the first the Passover.

It is astonishing to behold with what veneration the ancient Jews esteemed their Sabbaths. They considered the appointment of it by the Lord so peculiar a mercy, in that it distinguished them from all others nations, that they took the greatest delight in it, calling it their spouse. It is to be feared that in modern times their descendants have lost this reverence, as well as the true knowledge of their own Scriptures. Oh, that the Lord would hasten the time when "the Deliverer shall arise out of Zion, to turn away ungodliness from Jacob?" (Romans 11:26; Hosea 3:4-5)


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Sabbath'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/s/sabbath.html. London. 1828.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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