THE WEEKLY SABBATH DAY
Ex. 16:23 And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath to the LORD: bake that which you will bake today, and boil that which you will boil; and that which remains over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Ex. 16:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses said: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm in it.
Ex. 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that today; for today is a Sabbath to the LORD: today you shall not find it in the field.
Ex. 16:26 Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Ex. 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day to gather, and they found none.
Ex. 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?
Ex. 16:29 See, for that the LORD has given you the Sabbath, therefore he gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
Ex. 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:23-30 is the first mention of the word, “Sabbath,” in the Bible. It is also the first time since sin entered that any people of any nation are said to “rest” on a particular day of the week. This is at the very least 2500 years since Genesis 4 and is clearly a new revelation from God. Only the Israelites were given this special revelation. “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath to the LORD (Yahweh)” was not given to, and does not include, any other race of people. Pharaoh had previously said in Exodus 5:2 “Who is the LORD [Yahweh, Jehovah], that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” Not only was the Sabbath rest not known universally, but God as LORD, Yahweh, was not known universally. The Sabbath “unto the LORD” was now made known only to Jacob’s descendants by divine revelation!
The Israelites did not know how to act properly on this very first divinely revealed Sabbath day and some immediately ignored it. “The LORD has given you [Israel] the Sabbath” means only Israel. When Israel had transgressed God’s commandments about gathering, baking and boiling the manna, God asked “How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?” Thus the Sabbath-rest commandment became not only the very first commandment of the Law officially given, but it also became the very first one transgressed! Transgression of it did not yet carry the death penalty because the Old Covenant had not been ratified.
Notice that the exact wording of the Sabbath commandments does not even command corporate worship! “Abide every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” It was a day of total rest inside one’s own residence! Since the Jewish and SDA concept of corporate worship at the Temple, in the synagogues or in their churches are greatly evolved concepts from Exodus 16, it should be self-evident that the current concept of Sabbath worship cannot possibly reflect an eternal moral principle of the character of God.
Ex. 19:3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel;
Ex. 19:4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles wings, and brought you to Myself.
Ex. 19:5 Now then, IF you [Israel] will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you [Israel] shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine.
Ex. 19:6 and you [Israel] shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.
From the creation account in Genesis to Exodus 16 the Sabbath day played absolutely no part in the Abrahamic Covenant and its confirmations in Genesis chapters 12, 13, 15, 17 and 22. The Sabbath was not mentioned in God’s dealings with Israel’s forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even though violations of the other nine commandments are evident and punished, Sabbath-breaking was never included in the lists of transgressions and punishments.
Immediately before giving His Law in Exodus 20 onward, God made it clear in Exodus 19 that the Old Covenant, or Mosaic Covenant, in scripture is addressed only to the nation Israel! No other nation was ever commanded to obey the terms of the Old Covenant (19:3-6). The identifying reference point is specifically “deliverance as a nation from Egypt.” This theme is repeated often in Scripture. Only the nation Israel meets this physical description (19:4). The phrase “to the sons of Israel” is repeated for emphasis many times, at almost every address concerning the Mosaic Law, or Old Covenant.
Unlike the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, this Mosaic Covenant was conditional upon national Israel’s obedience (19:5). Every commandment, every statute, every ordinance, and every Sabbath in this covenant was to end (as a covenant) if its conditions were not met by literal Israel (and they were not met). This passage, Exodus 19:4-6, is extremely important! Either Israel was to be saved under this covenant (and it was not), or by the New Covenant (which terms were met by Christ and is unconditional to true believers in national Israel).
TWO DIFFERENT SABBATH COMMANDMENTS
Ex. 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
Ex. 20:2 I am the LORD your God who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Deut. 5:1 And Moses called all Israel and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that you may learn them and keep and do them.
Deut. 5:2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
Deut. 5:3 The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
Deut. 5:4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mountain out of the midst of the fire.
Deut. 5:5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to show you the work of the LORD: for you were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount.)
Deut. 5:6 I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
There are two different versions of the Ten Commandments in God’s Word. While most Christians make the Exodus 20 version their standard, few place more importance on the second and final version found in Deuteronomy 5.
When the introductions in Exodus 20:1-2 and Deuteronomy 5:1-6 are compared, it is clear that the LORD (Yahweh) was giving His entire Law only to the nation Israel (Deut. 5:1) whom He had just delivered from Egyptian slavery (Ex. 20:2; Deut. 5:6). The Law is the same as the Mosaic, or Old, Covenant (Deut. 5:3).
When Deuteronomy 5:3 says “The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers,” Moses is referring to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants up until deliverance from Egypt. Again, there is no reason to conclude that the seventh-day Sabbath, a key part of the Mosaic Covenant, had previously been given to, or observed by, previous generations prior to Exodus 16. In Deuteronomy Moses made it clear that the Ten Commandments which he was about to re-read were part of the whole Law, the entire Covenant, including statutes and judgments. These laws were only for national Israel and had not been given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, their forefathers, “as a set of laws.”
ONE: Ex. 20:3/Deut. 5:7 You shall have no other gods before me…..
TWO: Ex. 20:4/Deut. 5:8 You shall not make any graven image …..
THREE: Ex. 20:7/Deut. 5:11 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…..
FOUR: Ex. 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…..
FOUR: Deut. 5:12 Keep [NAS, RSV: observe] the Sabbath day to sanctify it…..
FIVE: Ex. 20:12/Deut. 5:16 Honor your father and your mother……
SIX: Ex. 20:13/Deut. 5:17 You shall not kill.
SEVEN: Ex. 20:14/Deut. 5:18 You shall not commit adultery.
EIGHT: Ex. 20:15/Deut. 5:19 You shall not steal.
NINE: Ex. 20:16/Deut. 5:20 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
TEN: Ex. 20:17/Deut. 5:21 You shall not covet your neighbor’s…..
The Ten Commandments shown above are the shortened version which appears on most “official” displays. Except for numbers 7-9 which add one consonant to change “not” into “neither,” they are almost identical in Hebrew. However, the fourth (Sabbath) commandment changes “remember” (zaakor) into “observe” (shaamor).
The short version above is most likely closer to the original version given by God to Moses. Careful reading, comparison and internal evidence indicates that the extra words which are usually omitted are probably “explanatory” commentary by Moses.
Ex. 20:10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God;
in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates.
Deut. 5:14 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God —
in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your ass, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates; that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as yourself.
Notice the italicized words. Either they are Moses’ commentary on God’s Words, or else Moses had taken unimaginable liberty in changing God’s exact wording. The commandment also indirectly approves of bond-slavery which was accepted as part of the Old Covenant. This alone should define the Sabbath as a temporary cultic “ordinance.”
Ex. 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Deut. 5:15 And remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD your God brought you out from there through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
IMPORTANT! The two sets of explanations for the Sabbath are completely different in the two sets of Ten Commandments! Why? If the creation were such an important part of the Sabbath commandment, as SDAs claim, then why was it not included in the final version, the most important version, of the Ten Commandments found in Deuteronomy? Unless Moses knew that God’s intention of “remember” was “observe,” then we have no explanation for the change in the basic commandment. However, the every-day rest from Egyptian slavery in Deuteronomy 5:15 must be seen as an improvement on the reason for national Israel to observe the Sabbath. Thus, the “rest” from creation in Exodus 20:11 may not have been an actual part of God=s handwriting on the stones Cotherwise Moses was guilty of an extremely serious change in God=s Ten Commandment Law!
Almost 40 years had passed between Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Except for Moses, Joshua and Caleb, all older adults who had been present in Exodus 20 had died. The new generation was about to enter and conquer Canaan with almost the same numerical strength in which the previous generation had refused.
Deuteronomy has much more importance than Exodus in Judaism. In fact, it is the most important book in all of the Bible! Therefore, its list of Ten Commandments should be more important than the list in Exodus. And, for this reason, the difference between the Sabbath commandment of Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 is important. The Ten Commandments immediately followed the covenant conditions of Exodus, chapter 19. They began the entire Old Covenant presentation and re-presentation of both Exodus and Deuteronomy. They should not be separated from their Old Covenant context. That covenant was an indivisible whole, and the Ten Commandments are wholly in the context of that Old Mosaic Law Covenant. As such, the Ten Commandments are only addressed to the nation of Israel which was brought out of Egypt. This is a difficult truth to accept, but no Old Testament or New Testament writer would imagine separating the Ten Commandments from the remainder of the Mosaic Law.
Again, the one day Sabbath of Exodus 20 is a reminder of God’s every-day sinless creation rest until sin occurred. However, the Sabbath of Deuteronomy 5 ignores the creation altogether, and is a reminder of every-day freedom from Egyptian slavery. Crucial to a proper perspective and understanding of the covenants is the point that this is not the same covenant that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 5:3). The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional concerning the existence of the nation in the land, concerning Abraham’s descendants and the Seed, which was to be Christ (Galatians 3:16). The Mosaic (Old) Covenant was conditional and temporary until “faith” arrived, which is Christ. Disobedience delayed God’s unconditional promises, but did not annul them (Gal. 3:19-25).
Ex. 23:9 Also you shall not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Ex 23:10 And six years you shall sow your land and shall gather in the fruits thereof:
Ex. 23:11 But the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie still; that the poor of your people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner you shall deal with your vineyard, and with your olive yard.
Ex. 23:12 Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest: that your ox and your ass may rest, and the son of your handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
In Exodus 23:10-11 and 23:12 the reason for both the seventh-YEAR every-day Sabbath rest of the land and the seventh-DAY Sabbath rest is in the major context of providing rest to the poor and the “stranger” — not because of creation rest, because “you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (23:9). Therefore, it was just as much a transgression to ignore the seventh-YEAR every-day rest of the land (23:10-11) as it was to ignore the seventh-day rest of man and beast. Thus the reason for resting in Deuteronomy 5 is also found in Exodus 23. Sabbath-teachers who stress one reason and ignore the other are being incomplete with their interpretation. Also, does this authorize having children by slave ownerhip?
Ex. 23:32 You shall make no covenant with them [other nations] or with their gods.
Ex. 23:33 They shall not live in your land in case they would make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.
Deut. 7:2 And when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you; you shall strike them, and utterly destroy them; you shall not make any covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them:
Deut. 7:3 Furthermore you shall not inter-marry with them….
Deut. 7:6 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Three chapters after giving the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, and only two chapters after giving them in Deuteronomy 5, national Israel was specifically told not to share its special covenant with any other nation and not to make any kind of covenant with any other nation. God commanded Israel not to live with, inter-marry with, share with, or worship with other nations. Neither was it to make military alliances with them. As Israel ignored these restrictions, the other nations became snares. The Mosaic Law itself became a “hedge” or “partition” between Israel and other nations. This was especially true of the Sabbath commandment (Mark 12:1; Eph. 2:14).
“Do not make a covenant with them” must include the Sabbath because it was meaningless to non-Israelites outside of their covenant relationship. One cannot observe the Sabbath and ignore the remainder of the covenant B or the other way around! Therefore, none of the Mosaic Law of the Old Covenant (its commandments, judgments, statutes/ordinances) such as the Sabbath was to be compulsory for others, unless such were inside Israel’s towns (political control) and inside Israel’s homes! Strange as it may seem, Israel did not go out and deliberately evangelize and convert others to its covenant and lifestyle (see Matthew 10:5-6). Therefore, it can hardly be said that the “Sabbath” day, as understood in the Ten Commandments, was to be for all nations.
Notice “observe” from Deuteronomy 5:12 rather than “remember” from Exodus 20:8.
Ex. 31:13 But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall surely observe My sabbaths: for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
Ex. 31:14 Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Every one who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Ex. 31:15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of [NAS: complete; RSV: solemn] rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath shall surely be put to death.
Ex. 31:16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.
Ex. 31:17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.
Ex. 31:18 And when He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Exodus 31:13-18, a favorite with SDAs, is addressed specifically to the “sons of Israel” and only to national Israel! Verses 13 and 17 point out that the seventh-day Sabbath was only a sign of the Old Covenant between Yahweh and the sons of Israel! If the Sabbath were for all nations, then it could not (at the same time) be a unique sign of God’s covenant with Israel. Neither was the Sabbath ever given to the church as a sign of the New Covenant. Thus, at the very least, God did not intend for other nations to keep the Sabbath during the time of the Old Covenant.
Unlike the other nine commandments which were repeated to the church in terms of grace after Calvary, there is no holy day mentioned under the terms of the New Covenant. The “day” has been replaced by the “Person” of Jesus Christ who again provides every-day sinless rest to the believer (Heb. 4:3) — a restoration to Adam’s state before he sinned.
Concerning 31:15, present-day so-called “Sabbath-keepers” almost always sin against the original description of the Sabbath by not having “complete and solemn” rest (31:15). Among zealous Seventh-day Adventists the seventh-day is often the least restful and the busiest day of the week! Their many Sabbath activities cause both themselves and others to work (such as electric, fire, natural gas, police, telephone and water suppliers B even maintenance at SDA radio and television stations). “Whoever does any work on the sabbath shall surely be put to death” (31:15). Sabbath-breaking was punishable by death. Why do not strict Saturday-Sabbath and Sunday-Sabbath observers urge that violators be put to death? The death penalty was also specifically attached to violations of most of the Ten Commandments. Is the “commandment” New Covenant and the “penalty” for violating it only Old Covenant? Where is this principle found? Do any have the right to call themselves “commandment-keepers” if they do not attempt to prosecute violators as the commandment stipulations also require? Logic demands that, either Sabbath-day laws were abolished when the Old Covenant was dissolved, or else the death penalty should still be enforced.
Concerning 3:18, the “tablets of stone” should be compared to Second Corinthians 3:7 and 10. “But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses… For indeed what had glory in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses it.” The covenant symbolized by the Ten Commandments has “no glory” in comparison to the surpassing glory of the New Covenant of the Holy Spirit. (Also compare Romans 8:1-3.)
Ex. 34:21 Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest: in plowing time and in harvest you shalt rest.
Like Exodus 23:9-12, the Sabbath commandment here is surrounded by various judgments and statutes/ordinances such as the firstborn and yearly festivals. They all had the same value as part of the indivisible Law!
Ex. 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever does work therein shall be put to death.
Ex. 35:3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.
The context of this Sabbath text is the building of the tabernacle. Even this important project for God would stop on the Sabbath day. Not even rubbing sticks together or striking flint to kindle a fire was allowed for warmth. Transgression was to be punished by death! The Sabbath also applied to strangers within the Israelites’ control and household. Again, in modern applications, this would apply to causing strangers at the electric and gas companies to work in order to provide heat on the Sabbath.
It is not enough to argue that modern SDAs do not have to work in order to warm their residence on the Sabbath day. SDAs teach that all people of all nations of all time should observe the Sabbath rest. Thus, even before their existence began after 1844, they trace the history of pre-existing Sabbath-keepers all over the world. Yet this would have been impossible in cold climates where it has always been essential to work to build fires for survival.
Lev. 23:2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Lev. 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
Lev. 23:4 These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons.
In Leviticus 23 the seventh-day Sabbath is only the first of many equally important feasts and holy convocations which the LORD (Yahweh) had given only to Israel. Beginning with the weekly Sabbath day, the chapter progresses to the seasonally required feasts and their Sabbath days. However, since the Sabbath days of the festivals were determined by the beginning of the month (the new moon) and not by the weekly cycle, then none necessarily fell on the same day as the seventh-day weekly sabbath.
Deut. 6:20 When your son asks you in time to come, saying, What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?
Deut. 6:21 then you shall say to your son, We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.
What is the basic “meaning” of the entire Mosaic Law — the testimonies, or Ten Commandments, the statutes and the judgments? When the Hebrew child asked this question, the answer was the same as the most important reason for the Sabbath given in Deuteronomy 5: “Then you shall say to your son, we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.” Since that covenant and its laws were only given to national Israel, the correct answer could only be given by Israelites. Redemption is the foundation behind ALL of the Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments (testimonies) — especially every-day redemption from Egyptian slavery (6:21) which provided every-day rest from that bondage.
Numb. 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day.
Numb. 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation.
Numb. 15:34 And they put him under guard, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
Numb. 15:35 And the LORD said to Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.
Numb. 15:36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Seventh-day Adventists would rather not discuss these texts. They prefer to talk about how wonderful the Sabbath is and how God wants everybody to observe it. Yet Israelites did not expect those outside their covenant to be put to death for Sabbath-breaking. In reality, the seventh-day Sabbath was at the heart of a very strict old covenant relationship between Yahweh and national Israel. The death penalty was equally prescribed for transgression against most of the Ten Commandments. Israel was a very disobedient nation under a theocracy, the direct rule of God. As God’s chosen nation, Israel had awesome revelations, awesome possibilities, awesome responsibilities and awesome penalties. This was the nature of the old covenant which they agreed to in the Pentateuch. On the other hand, the New Covenant Christian was never offered such a choice as that of the old covenant relationship, including the Sabbath. Although the “wages of sin” are still “death,” physical death has only been prolonged outside of the theocracy.
Ezek. 20:3 Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them….
Ezek. 20:5 …On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt…
Ezek. 20:10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.
Ezek. 20:11 And I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which if a man observes them he will live.
Ezek. 20:12 And also I gave them My sabbaths to be a SIGN between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.
Ezek. 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, by which if a man observes them, he will live; and My Sabbaths they greatly profaned…
Ezek. 20:10-24 [much repetition for emphasis]
The Old Covenant relationship with the house of Jacob did not officially begin until the Egyptian redemption. God next gave national Israel a written code of laws. He then gave them his statutes (ceremonial worship ordinances) and His Sabbaths. All of them, not just the seventh-day Sabbath, were “signs” of the unique covenant made only with Israel.
Whereas all of the Sabbath days and Sabbath years in Leviticus 23 and 25 were “signs” of God’s Old Covenant promises to national Israel, the Holy Spirit is the “sign,” or “seal” of God’s sure promises to the church. Old Covenant Israel did not have the indwelling Spirit. To the church, God promised “In Him [Christ], you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you are sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). While Israel received its weekly, seasonal and yearly “Sabbaths” to remind them of their every-day redemption rest from Egypt, the church received the Holy Spirit seal to remind it of past, continuing, and future every-day redemption rest, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30).
Neh. 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
Neh. 9:13 You came also upon mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
Neh. 9:14 And made known to them your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses your servant.
Nehemiah separated the true Israelites from the false. He then restored the Levites and priesthood to their duties. Again, at approximately 444 B. C. the whole Law with the Sabbath is reserved only for true Israelites. At least at this time, every effort was made to exclude non-Israelites from joining in with the celebrations and worship services on the Sabbath. If Israel had thought that the Sabbath was also for other nations, then it would have encouraged those outside its covenant to worship with them on the Sabbath.
Neh. 10:31 As for the people of the land who bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or a holy day; and we will forego the crops the seventh year and the exaction of every debt. NASU
First, Nehemiah forbade any Israelite from buying anything on either the seventh-day Sabbath or the seasonal Sabbath holy day which usually did NOT fall on the seventh-day. This would even eliminate paying tolls for travel today. Second, Nehemiah forbade harvesting and tithing crops every seventh-year Sabbath. Yet how many SDA pastors tell their congregations not to bring in their food-tithes every seventh year? Third, Nehemiah equally enforced the Sabbath-year prohibitions against collecting debts. How many SDA leaders follow this Sabbath commandment today? Therefore, since the seventh-day Sabbath and the seventh-year Sabbath have equal validity in the indivisible Old Covenant, then SDAs should be just a vigilant in not farming every seventh-year and in not collecting debts every seventh year.
Neh. 13:19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath: and I placed some of my servants at the gates, that there no burden should be brought in on the Sabbath day. (See context 13:15-22.)
Nehemiah would not allow any traffic in or out of the Hebrew community on the Sabbath day. Yet SDA communities do not shut their gates on the Sabbath. They have tremendous traffic as they come and go to their various churches and mission work. Again, although they are “doing good” on the Sabbath, they are also causing “strangers” such as traffic controllers and utility personnel to work on the Sabbath B and this transgresses the precise wording of the Ten Commandments. Does “doing good” on the Sabbath nullify the clear commandments of God to Old Covenant Israel?