Sabbath or shabbat means ‘to cease.’ Shabbat also comes from the Hebrew word for ‘seven’ or sheva. The Sabbath is a created day, blessed by God because on that day, He rested from His finished work of creation.
“On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce” (Genesis 2:2-3).
“Gather it [manna] six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat — on that day there won’t be any” (Exodus 16:26).
“You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself” (Exodus 20:9-11).
“Observe the day of Shabbat, to set it apart as holy, as Adonai your God ordered you to do” (Deuteronomy 5:12).
Shabbat is the fourth of The Ten Commandments and delineated by the Hebrew letter dalet ד which means ‘pathway.’
“And the foreigners [non-Jews] who join themselves to Adonai to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant, I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:6-7).
“I am Adonai your God; live by my laws, observe my rulings, and obey them, and keep my shabbats holy; and they will be a sign between me and you, so that you will know that I am Adonai your God” (Ezekiel 20:19-20).
“A psalm. A song for Shabbat: It is good to give thanks to Adonai and sing praises to your name, ‘Elyon, to tell in the morning about your grace and at night about your faithfulness, to the music of a ten-stringed [harp] and a lute, with the melody sounding on a lyre. For, Adonai, what you do makes me happy; I take joy in what your hands have made. How great are your deeds, Adonai! How very deep your thoughts! (Psalm 92:1-5).
Yeshua says that he is ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ (Matthew 14:8). This means he is ‘Lord’ of the seventh-day Shabbat, day set-apart by his Father. Had he disobeyed the fourth commandment or even changed the Shabbat to another day, he would have sinned.
Yeshua teaches that the Shabbat was created for man. As the ‘Son of Man,’ he had authority over the day –– not to change it or ‘break’ it –– but to determine according to the Torah, how to observe and live it out: feeding the hungry or healing the sick.
“For the Son of Man is Lord of Shabbat!” (Matthew 12:8).
“Then he said to them, “Shabbat was made [created] for mankind, not mankind for Shabbat; So the Son of Man is Lord even of Shabbat“ (Mark 2:27).
Hebrew Word Pictures
ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’
ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’
ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for shabbat: consume the family, covenant sign.
Sheva or ‘seven’ in Hebrew has the same root as Shabbat. This explains why Shabbat is on the seventh day. A smaller Hebrew word found in both Shabbat and sheva is shuv which means ‘to return’ as in ‘repent.’
Hebrew Word Pictures
ש Shin is a picture of a Tooth and means ‘consume.’
ב Bet is a picture of a House and means ‘family’ or ‘house.’
ע Ayin is a picture of an Eye and means ‘to see’ or ‘understand.’
The Hebrew word picture for sheva: consume the family/house with understanding.
“So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people” (Hebrews 4:9).
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