Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Six days shall work be done.—Recurring every week, and being the most important as well as the oldest of all festivals, the sabbath introduces the holy seasons. Hence, during the second Temple it was declared that “the sabbath is in importance equal to the whole law; he who profanes the sabbath openly is like him who transgresses the whole law.” The hour at which it began and ended was announced by three blasts of the trumpets.
Ye shall do no work therein.—Better, ye shall do no manner of work, as the Authorised version renders this phrase in Leviticus 23:31 of this very chapter. (See Leviticus 16:29.) Whilst on all other festivals servile work only was forbidden (see Leviticus 23:7-8; Leviticus 23:21; Leviticus 23:25; Leviticus 23:35-36), and work connected with the preparation of the necessary food was permitted (see Exodus 12:16), the sabbath and the day of atonement were the only days on which the Israelites were prohibited to engage in any work whatsoever. (See Leviticus 23:28; Leviticus 23:30; Leviticus 16:29.) Though manual labour on the sabbath was punished with death by lapidation (see Exodus 31:14-15; Exodus 35:2; Numbers 15:35-36), and though the authorities during the second Temple multiplied and registered most minutely the things which constitute labour, yet these administrators of the Law have enacted that in cases of illness and of any danger work is permitted. They laid down the principle that “the sabbath is delivered into your hand, but not you into the hand of the sabbath.” Similar is the declaration of Christ (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:27-28).Leviticus 23:3. The seventh day is first named as a holy convocation — A day to be kept holy by every Israelite, in all places wheresoever they dwelt, as well as while they lived in the wilderness; and as a day of rest, in which they were to do no work — A similar prohibition is declared Leviticus 23:28, concerning the day of expiation, excluding all works about earthly employments, whether of profit or of pleasure; but upon other feast-days he forbids only servile works, as Leviticus 23:7; Leviticus 23:21; Leviticus 23:36; for surely this manifest difference in the expressions used by the wise God, must needs imply a difference in the things. In all your dwellings — Other feasts were to be kept before the Lord in Jerusalem only, whither all the males were to come for that end; but the sabbath was to be kept in all places, both in synagogues, and in their private houses.Exodus 20:1-11 notes. As such it properly held its place at the head of the days of holy convocation. No work; so it runs in the general for the sabbath day, and for the day of expiation, Leviticus 23:28, excluding all works about earthly occasions or employments, whether of profit or pleasure; but on other feast days he forbids only servile works, as Leviticus 23:7,21,36, for surely this manifest difference in the expressions used by the wise God must needs imply a difference in the things. In all your dwellings: this is added to distinguish the sabbath from other feasts, which were to be kept before the Lord in Jerusalem only, whither all the males were to come for that end; but the sabbath was to be kept in all places, where they were, both in synagogues, which were erected for that end, and in their private houses.
but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest; from all bodily labour and work of any kind; typical of rest by Christ and in him:
an holy convocation; when the people were called to holy exercises, to pray and praise, and hear the word, and offer sacrifice:
ye shall do no work therein; not any at all, see Exodus 31:15,
it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings: other feasts were kept in the sanctuary, in the tabernacle or temple, or where they were; but this was not only observed there and in their synagogues, but in their private houses, or wherever they were, whether, travelling by sea or land; and so the Targum of Jonathan and Aben Ezra interpret it.Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 3. - The seventh day is the sabbath of rest. This is a very strong expression, literally, the sabbath of sabbatism, which doubles the force of the single word. Ye shall do no work therein. The sabbath and the Day of Atonement were the only days in which no work might be done, whereas on the other festivals it was only no servile work that might be done. It is not to be observed solely where the tabernacle is pitched or the temple is built, but in every town and village of Canaan - in all your dwellings. In the sanctuary itself the peculiar characteristics of the sabbath were a holy convocation, the renewal of the shewbread, and the burnt offering of two lambs with their meat and drink offerings (Numbers 28:9, 10); elsewhere it was observed only by the holy convocation and rest from all labour. It commenced at sunset on Friday evening, and continued till sunset on Saturday evening. In later days the hour at which it began was announced by three blasts of the priests' trumpets, immediately after which a new course of priests entered on their ministry. Exodus 23:19 and Deuteronomy 22:6-7, and was intended to lay it down as a duty on the part of the Israelites to keep sacred the relation which God had established between parent and offspring. - In Leviticus 22:29, Leviticus 22:30, the command to eat the flesh of the animal on the day on which it was offered (Leviticus 7:15; Leviticus 19:5-6) is repeated with special reference to the praise-offering.
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