Study to shew thyself approved to Yahweh, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
The Sabbath is truly a delight!! And YES, the Sabbath IS in the New Testament. Let's find out why the Scriptures call it a delight and a blessing for mankind. It is a gift from Yahweh to us. It is time that He has set aside to have a "date" with each of us every week. The Hebrew word is moedim meaning appointed times. It is such a wonderful thing to enter into that "date/appointment" with Him and spend time at His feet to learn from the Scriptures and to worship Him!!
The words Sabbath and Seventh Day are found over 200 times in the Bible. They are found over 60 times in the New Testament alone. The Sabbath is first mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3 when Yahweh established the Sabbath by resting on the 7th day himself. This was long before Moses received the Ten Commandments at Sinai. The Fourth Commandment says to “remember” the Sabbath because it had already been established.
The English word "Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew word shabbat, which means to repose, rest, to desist from exertion. The Sabbath begins and ends at sunset. Many passages show that one day ends and another begins at sundown. Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 all say, "the evening and the morning were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, ..... day." This was at creation. Evening comes first, then the morning or daylight, night then day. In Exodus 12:18, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is established as beginning at evening and ending a week later at evening. In Lev 23:32, the day of Atonement is established as being celebrated from even unto even. Lev 23:32 "It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath." Some today argue that the sabbath changes from month to month, but that is not the truth according to Scripture. That false doctrine comes from Satan, the author of confusion.
The following passage from Exodus 20 is the portion of the 10 Commandments that contains references to the Sabbath. Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
WOW! He blessed the 7th day and made it holy and set it apart from all the other days of the week! When I realized this, I asked myself, "Who am I to change what day is the Sabbath and what day is set aside as HOLY!"
The Sabbath was given to us as a gift by Yahweh himself. The following verses give great detail about what and who the Sabbath was for.
Exo 31:12 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, 13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am Yahweh that doth sanctify you. 14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to Yahweh: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Lev 19:1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I Yahweh your Elohim am holy. 3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am Yahweh your Elohim.
Lev 23:1 And Yahweh spoke unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of Yahweh, which, ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. 3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no, work therein: it is the sabbath of Yahweh in all your dwellings.
Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of Yahweh, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in Yahweh; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Yahweh hath spoken it.
Eze 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh that sanctify them.
Eze 20:19 I am Yahweh your Elohim; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; 20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.
Isa 56:1 Thus saith Yahweh, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, Yahweh hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith Yahweh unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to Yahweh, to serve him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 Yahweh Elohim which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
Yahweh gave the Sabbath as a sign between Him and the children of Israel (His covenant people) AND all who CHOOSE to join themselves to Him and choose to follow Him. Are you one of His covenant people or have you joined yourself to Yahweh and taken hold of His covenant? Hopefully the answer is "YES!" Then, let me ask this. Are you spending your Sabbaths with Yahweh? He desires to spend time with you on the sabbath day every week. I know in this day and age we are so busy all week long. We try to spend some time with Yahweh every day, but He desires to spend the ENTIRE Sabbath with us every week, not focusing on OUR work, but rather, focusing on HIS work in and through us.
Yahweh fed the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness and He did not want them even gathering the Manna or quail on the sabbath days so on the sixth day, He would provide the food for 2 days! Here's the story directly from the pages of the Scriptures.
Exo 16:11 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim. 13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. 14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which Yahweh hath given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which Yahweh hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. 22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said unto them, This is that which Yahweh hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto Yahweh: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto Yahweh: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28 And Yahweh said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that Yahweh hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Deu 5:12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as Yahweh thy Elohim hath commanded thee. 13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: 14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of Yahweh thy Elohim: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. 15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that Yahweh thy Elohim brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore Yahweh thy Elohim commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
I've heard some people say that the sabbath is only for the "Jews", but when I read the above passage, I think a Gentile is better than a Jews ox and cattle. Gentiles should definitely rest, too.
Yahweh even wants us to give our lands a rest. Read the following passages from Leviticus 25.
Lev 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto Yahweh. 3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for Yahweh: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
Lev 25:20 And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: 21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. 22 And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.
Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And Elohim did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief (disobedience): 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Yeshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a Sabbath keeping to the people of Yahweh. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as Yahweh did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief (disobedience). 12 For the word of Yahweh is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word in verse 9 that is translated here is the Greek - sabbatismos which means a keeping of the Sabbath. Certain translations simply say, There remains therefore a rest.... But that diminishes from the true context and meaning of the text.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of man is Master even of the sabbath day. 9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: 10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Mar 2:27 And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Master also of the sabbath.
Mar 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?
Luke 13:10 And he (Yeshua) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12 And when Yeshua saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified Yahweh. 14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Yeshua had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15 Yahweh then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Joh 7:21 Yeshua answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
The following Scriptures show Yeshua and Paul keeping and worshiping on the Sabbath: Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:16,31; 6:6; 13:10; Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 16:13; 17:1-2; 18:4.
At no time did Yeshua change the Sabbath or "do away with it". Paul continued to keep the Sabbath with both Jews and Gentiles even after the resurrection. In Luk 23:56 Scripture states, "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment." In Yeshua's prophecy of the last days, he said in Matthew 24:20 “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:" Clearly the Sabbath is still in effect!
Will the sabbath be kept in the coming kingdom? If the sabbath is truly done away with now, then it would be done away with in the kingdom, right? But according to a prophecy in Isaiah 66:22-23, in the coming Kingdom the weekly Sabbath will still be observed. Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Yahweh, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahweh. Yahweh's Sabbath day stands forever, from Creation continuously into the Kingdom.
So, let's enter into the rest that Yahweh has set aside for us every week and sit at His feet to worship and learn of Him. You will find that after you have experienced a true Sabbath rest, you will long for that time with Yahweh every week.
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Study to shew thyself approved to Yahweh, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
The 7 official fasting periods ordained in the ፍትሐ ነገሥት/Fitiha Negest:
- የረቡዕ እና ዓርብ ጾም/All Wednesdays and Fridays, except for the fifty days after Easter and also if the Feasts of Christmas and Epiphany fall on these days.
- Fast of the Prophets (ጾመ ነቢያት/Tsome Nebiyat): the fast preceding Christmas and which lasts for some 40 days. It begins with Sibket on 15th of the Ethiopian month of Hedar and ends on Christmas Eve with the feast of Gena on the 28th of Tahsas.
- ጾመ ገኀድ/The Gahad of Epiphany: the fast on the eves of Epiphany and Christmas
- The Great Lent: This fast is also known as Fast of Hudadie or ዐቢይ ጾም/Abiy Tsom. It is moveable and lasts for fifty five days
- Jonah's Fast of three days also known as Fast of Ninevah (ጾመ ነነዌ/Nenawe): This is also a fast of movable dates and is observed in commemoration of the preaching of Jonah. It comes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the third week before Lent.
- Apostles' Fast (ጾመ ሐዋርያት/Tsome Hawariat): It begins on Monday after Pentecost and ends on the 5th of July.
- Assumption of St. Virgin Mary (ጾመ ፍልሰታ ለማርያም/Tsome Filseta): This fast is held from August 1-15 and is dearly observed by many.
National Holidays of Ethiopia
Many holidays follow the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
- January 7 (Leap Year January 6) - Ethiopian Christmas - Genna (ልደተ-ለእግዚእነ/ ገና) [Nisan 27]
- January 20 - Timkat (Epiphany)
- March 2 - Victory at Adwa Day (የዓድዋ ድል በዓል) [Commemorates Ethiopia's victory over Italy in 1896.]
- March 28 - Day of Lament - Hazen (የቀይ ሽብር መታሰቢያ ቀን) [Commemorates Red Terror (Also called candle festival). Always held one month before National Day.]
- moveable in spring - Good Friday - Siklet (ዓርበ ስቅለት)
- moveable in spring - Easter - Fasika (ብርሐነ-ትንሣኤ/ፋሲካ)
- May 1 - Labour Day (የላብአደሮች ቀን)
- May 5 - Patriots' Day (የአርበኞች ቀን) [Commemorates Ethiopian patriots (Arbegnoch)who resisted Italian invasion and occupation from 1936-1941. Official name is Arbegnoch Qen. (Patriots' Day)]
- May 28 - Derg Downfall Day (ደርግ የወደቀበት ቀን) [Commemorates the end of the Derg junta in 1991. Although this day is Ethiopia's National Day, its official name is Derg Downfall Day.]
- September 11 (Leap year: September 12) - New Year's Day - Enkutatash (እንቁጣጣሽ/የዘመን መለወጫ/አዲስ አመት)
- September 27 (Leap year: September 28) - Finding of the True Cross - Meskel (ብርሐነ-መስቀል)