Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD your God has commanded you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)death as by His resurrection, we have a reason for keeping not the Sabbath, but the Lord’s Day.
It is worth while to observe that the Israelites had express authority given them to enforce the observance of the Sabbath upon Gentiles, when these could be regarded as “strangers within their gates.” The words Isaiah 56:6 seem to show that “strangers” who “took hold of the covenant” of Jehovah were expected to “keep His sabbath from polluting it.” For an example of its enforcement, see Nehemiah 13:16; Nehemiah 13:20-21.
If any difficulty is felt at the variation of the form of the commandment from that which we have in Exodus, it should be observed, first, that the command itself is not altered, as appears by Deuteronomy 5:13-14, compared with Exodus 20:9-10; and secondly, that in this exhortation Moses calls Israel to hear the statutes and judgments which he, as their mediator, commands them, and that he is free to enforce them by such reasons as may seem to him best.Deuteronomy 5:12. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it — Dost thou do no work on this day, which can be done as well on another? Art thou peculiarly careful on this day to avoid all conversation which does not tend to the knowledge and love of God? Dost thou watch narrowly over all that are within thy gates, that they too may keep it holy? and dost thou try every possible means to bring all men, wherever thou art, to do the same?Exodus 23:12) is pointed by reminding the people that they too were formerly servants themselves. The bondage in Egypt and the deliverance from it are not assigned as grounds for the institution of the Sabbath, which is of far older date (see Genesis 2:3), but rather as suggesting motives for the religious observance of that institution. The Exodus was an entrance into rest from the toils of the house of bondage, and is thought actually to have occurred on the Sabbath day or "rest" day.Keep the sabbath day, to wit, in mind and memory, as it is Exodus 20:8. As God hath commanded thee, to wit, in
Exo 20, whither he directs them, and therefore he here omits the argument of the creation, which is urged there. Exodus 20:8, where the phrase is a little varied, "remember the sabbath day to keep it holy"; it having been instituted before:
as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; not at Sinai only, for the same might then have been observed of all the rest of the commands, but before the giving of the law, at the first of the manna; see Exodus 16:23.Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Observe] A.V. keep, instead of remember, Exodus 20:8. In D remember is used almost exclusively of historical facts, e.g. Deuteronomy 5:15, Deuteronomy 7:18, Deuteronomy 8:2, Deuteronomy 9:7, Deuteronomy 15:15, Deuteronomy 16:3; but once with God, the giver of wealth, as the object, Deuteronomy 8:18. Observe or keep, used of the feast of unleavened bread by E Exodus 23:15, by J Exodus 34:18; the Sabbath by P Exodus 31:13 f., 16, Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:30; Leviticus 26:2 (H); the month Abib by D Deuteronomy 16:1. In Psalm 103:18 keep His covenant and remember His precepts are parallel.
as the Lord thy God commanded thee] not in Exodus 20:8; cf. Deuteronomy 5:16, here and there a needless expansion, for it cannot refer to some previous institution of the Sabbath.
12–15. The Fourth Commandment as in Exodus 20:8-11 with the following differences:Verses 12-14. - Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. This phraseology implies that the Sabbath institute was already well known to the people of Israel; so that this commandment was intended, not to enact a new observance, but to enforce the continuance of an observance which had come down to them from earlier times. The Sabbath was to be kept by being sanctified. This means that it was to be consecrated to God to be used as he had appointed. The sanctification of any object "always goes back to an act of the Divine will, to Divine election and institution. In other words, it is always a state in which the creature [or institute] is bound to God by the appointment of God himself, which is expressed by קֹדֶשׁ הִקְדִישׁ קִדֵּשׁ קָדושׁ, XXX" (Oehler, 'Theology of the Old Testament,' vol. 1. p. 155). The sanctification of the Sabbath, accordingly, was the consecration of that day to the Lord, to be observed as he had enjoined, that is, as a day of rest from all servile work and ordinary occupations. Among the Jews, those who were careful to keep this law "rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56). Not, however, in mere indolence and idle vacancy, unworthy of a man. Not thus could the day be sanctified to the Lord. Man had to "release his soul and body from all their burdens, with all the professions and pursuits of ordinary life, only in order to gather himself together again in God with greater purity and fewer disturbing elements, and renew in him the might of his own better powers" (Ewald, 'Antiquities of Israel,' p. 102). In the Sabbath institute, therefore, lies the basis of spiritual worship and pious service in Israel. Exodus 20, with only a few variations, which have already been discussed in connection with the exposition of the decalogue at Exodus 20:1-14. - In Deuteronomy 5:22-33, Moses expounds still further the short account in Exodus 20:18-21, viz., that after the people had heard the ten covenant words, in their alarm at the awful phenomena in which the Lord revealed His glory, they entreated him to stand between as mediator, that God Himself might not speak to them any further, and that they might not die, and then promised that they would hearken to all that the Lord should speak to him (Exodus 20:23 -31). His purpose in doing so was to link on the exhortation in vv. 32, 33, to keep all the commandments of the Lord and do them, which paves the way for passing to the exposition of the law which follows. "A great voice" (Exodus 20:22) is an adverbial accusative, signifying "with a great voice" (cf. Ges. 118, 3). "And He added no more:" as in Numbers 11:25. God spoken the ten words directly to the people, and then no more; i.e., everything further He addressed to Moses alone, and through his mediation to the people. As mediator He gave him the two tables of stone, upon which He had written the decalogue (cf. Exodus 31:18). This statement somewhat forestalls the historical course; and in Deuteronomy 9:10-11, it is repeated again in its proper historical connection.
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