Sabbath – Hebrew: Shabbat


Shabbat or Sabbath means ‘to cease.’ Shabbat also comes from the Hebrew word for ‘seven’ or sheva, or in Hebrew שבע. The Shabbat was blessed by God because on that day, He rested from creating. The Shabbat is a created day.

“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).

“ד “‘Observe the day of Shabbat, to set it apart as holy, as Adonai your God ordered you to do” (Deuteronomy 5:12).

This is the fourth commandment and represented by the Hebrew letter Dalet which is a picture of a Door and 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).

In the gospels, Yeshua says in Matthew that he is ‘Lord of the Sabbath.’ This means he is Lord of the seventh-day Sabbath as that was the commandment given by God. Had he disobeyed that commandment or even changed that commandment to another day, he would have been a sinful man instead of our Savior.

Yeshua also teaches that the Shabbat was created for man. This means that 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 commandments, how to observe and live it out. This is what happened each time he was accused of ‘breaking the Shabbat.’ It is ‘lawful’ to do good which includes 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

Shin is a picture of a Tooth and means ‘to consume.’

Bet is a picture of a House and means ‘family’ or ‘household.’

Tav is a picture of Crossed Sticks and means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant’

shabbat – consuming the family/household with the sign of the covenant


Sheva or ‘seven’ in Hebrew is a root of the word Shabbat. This is why the Shabbat is on the seventh day. A smaller Hebrew word is found in both Shabbat and sheva, the Hebrew word שב or shuv which means ‘to return.’

Hebrew Word Pictures

Shin is a picture of a Tooth and means ‘consume.’

Bet is a picture of a House and means ‘family’ or ‘household.

Ayin is a picture of an Eye and means ‘to see’ or ‘understand.’

sheva – consume the family/household with seeing and understanding

“So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people” (Hebrews 4:9).

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