Sabbath Day's Journey
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Sabbath Day's Journey

SABBATH DAY'S JOURNEY

jur'-ni (sabbatou hodos): Used only in Acts 1:12, where it designates the distance from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus led His disciples on the day of His ascension. The expression comes from rabbinical usage to indicate the distance a Jew might travel on the Sabbath without transgressing the Law, the command against working on that day being interpreted as including travel (see Exodus 16:27-30). The limit set by the rabbis to the Sabbath day's journey was 2,000 cubits from one's house or domicile, which was derived from the statement found in Joshua 3:4 that this was the distance between the ark and the people on their march, this being assumed to be the distance between the tents of the people and the tabernacle during the sojourn in the wilderness. Hence, it must have been allowable to travel thus far to attend the worship of the tabernacle. We do not know when this assumption in regard to the Sabbath day's journey was made, but it seems to have been in force in the time of Christ. The distance of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem is stated in Josephus (Ant., XX, viii, 6) to have been five stadia or furlongs and in BJ, V, ii, 3, six stadia, the discrepancy being explained by supposing a different point of departure. This would make the distance of the Sabbath day's journey from 1,000 to 1,200 yards, the first agreeing very closely with the 2,000 cubits. The rabbis, however, invented a way of increasing this distance without technically infringing the Law, by depositing some food at the 2,000-cubit limit, before the Sabbath, and declaring that spot a temporary domicile. They might then proceed 2,000 cubits from this point without transgressing the Law.

And in some cases even this intricacy of preparation was unnecessary. If, for instance, the approach of the Sabbath found one on his journey, the traveler might select some tree or some stone wall at a distance of 2,000 paces and mentally declare this to be his residence for the Sabbath, in which case he was permitted to go the 2,000 paces to the selected tree or wall and also 2,000 paces beyond, but in such a case he must do the work thoroughly and must say: "Let my Sabbath residence be at the trunk of that tree," for if he merely said: "Let my Sabbath residence be under that tree," this would not be sufficient, because the, expression would be too general and indefinite (Tractate `Erubhin 4:7).

Other schemes for extending the distance have been devised, such as regarding the quarter of the town in which one dwells, or the whole town itself, as the domicile, thus allowing one to proceed from any part of the town to a point 2,000 cubits beyond its utmost limits. This was most probably the case with walled towns, at least, and boundary stones have been found in the vicinity of Gaza with inscriptions supposed to mark these limits. The 2,000-cubit limits around the Levitical cities (Numbers 35:5) may have suggested the limit of the Sabbath day's journey also. The term came to be used as a designation of distance which must have been more or less definite.

H. Porter

Library

Mount Olivet. The Mount of Olives, 2 Samuel 15:30
... distant five furlongs." But Luke saith, Acts 1:12, "Then they returned from the
mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath-day's journey." But now ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 40 mount olivet the.htm

Bethphage
... he was about to ascend into heaven, he is said to lead out his disciples, "as far
as Bethany," Luke 24:50; but not farther than a sabbath-day's journey, Acts 1 ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 37 bethphage.htm

Caphar Hananiah. The Middle of Galilee.
... of Caphar Shichin were neighbours to those of Arumah, being distant only four thousand
(cubits)." Which distance exceeding a sabbath-day's journey, the poor ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 61 caphar hananiah the.htm

The Entry into Jerusalem.
... [653] The Sabbath-day's journey allowed by the law was 1000 paces; but
Bethany was twice that far from Jerusalem. The habit was ...
/.../section 243 the entry into.htm

Chammath. Ammaus. The Warm Baths of Tiberias.
... Talmudists write thus: "The men of a great city may walk" (on the sabbath) "through
a whole small city" (which was within a sabbath-day's journey); "but the ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 74 chammath ammaus the.htm

The Country of Jericho, and the Situation of the City.
... The hinges of the gates of the Temple are heard as far as the eighth bound of the
sabbath"; that is, as far as a sabbath-day's journey eight times numbered. ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 46 the country of.htm

The Ascension
... 12. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which
is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey.13. And when ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/the ascension.htm

Tsok: and Beth Chadudo.
... They, therefore, who received him there, went not farther than a mile with him,
that they might not exceed a sabbath day's journey: but, standing there, they ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 54 tsok and beth.htm

Bethany. Beth-Hene.
... from Jerusalem. And the coast of that name went on, till it reached the
distance of a sabbath-day's journey only from the city. ...
/.../lightfoot/from the talmud and hebraica/chapter 41 bethany beth-hene.htm

Acts i. 12
... Homily III. Acts I. 12. Acts I.12 "Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount
called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.". ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on acts and romans/homily iii acts i 12.htm

Subtopics

Sabbath

Sabbath and Feasts

Sabbath Day

Sabbath Day's Journey

Sabbath Day's Journey: About Two-Thousand Paces

Sabbath: Observance of by John

Sabbath: Observance of by Moses

Sabbath: Observance of by Nehemiah

Sabbath: Observance of by Paul

Sabbath: Observance of by the Disciples

Sabbath: Observance of by the Women Preparing to Embalm the Corpse of Jesus

Sabbath: Preparations for The

Sabbath: Religious Usages on The

Sabbath: Sacrifices on The

Sabbath: Signifying a Period of Rest

Sabbath: Unclassified Scriptures Relating To

Sabbath: Violations of Gathering Manna

Sabbath: Violations of Gathering Sticks

Sabbath: Violations of Men of Tyre

Sabbath: Violations of The Inhabitants of Jerusalem

The Sabbath: A Sign of the Covenant

The Sabbath: A Type of the Heavenly Rest

The Sabbath: Blessedness of Honoring

The Sabbath: Blessedness of Keeping

The Sabbath: Called: God's Holy Day

The Sabbath: Called: The Lord's Day

The Sabbath: Called: The Rest of the Holy Sabbath

The Sabbath: Called: The Sabbath of Rest

The Sabbath: Called: The Sabbath of the Lord

The Sabbath: Christ is Lord of

The Sabbath: Christ was Accustomed to Observe

The Sabbath: Christ: Taught On

The Sabbath: Denunciations Against Those Who Profane

The Sabbath: Dishonouring of: Gatherers of Manna

The Sabbath: Dishonouring of: Gatherers of Sticks

The Sabbath: Dishonouring of: Inhabitants of Jerusalem

The Sabbath: Dishonouring of: Men of Tyre

The Sabbath: Divine Worship to be Celebrated On

The Sabbath: First Day of the Week Kept As, by the Church

The Sabbath: God: Blessed

The Sabbath: God: Commanded to be Sanctified

The Sabbath: God: Commanded, to be Kept

The Sabbath: God: Hallowed

The Sabbath: God: Sanctified

The Sabbath: God: Shows Considerate Kindness in Appointing

The Sabbath: God: Shows Favour in Appointing

The Sabbath: God: Will Have his Goodness Commemorated in the Observance of

The Sabbath: Grounds of Its Institution

The Sabbath: Honoring of Disciples

The Sabbath: Honoring of John

The Sabbath: Honoring of Moses

The Sabbath: Honoring of Nehemiah

The Sabbath: Honoring of Paul

The Sabbath: Honoring of The Women

The Sabbath: Instituted by God

The Sabbath: Made for Man

The Sabbath: Necessary Wants May be Supplied

The Sabbath: No Burdens to be Carried On

The Sabbath: No Manner of Work to be Done On

The Sabbath: No Purchases to be Made On

The Sabbath: Observance of, to be Perpetual

The Sabbath: Punishment of Those Who Profane

The Sabbath: Saints: Honor God in Observing

The Sabbath: Saints: Observe

The Sabbath: Saints: Rejoice In

The Sabbath: Saints: Testify Against Those Who Desecrate

The Sabbath: Servants and Cattle should be Allowed to Rest Upon

The Sabbath: The Scriptures to be Read On

The Sabbath: The Seventh Day Observed As

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Bear Burdens On

The Sabbath: The Wicked: do Their own Pleasure On

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Hide Their Eyes From

The Sabbath: The Wicked: May be Judicially Deprived of

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Mock At

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Pollute

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Profane

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Sometimes Pretend to Zealous For

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Traffic On

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Wearied By

The Sabbath: The Wicked: Work On

The Sabbath: The Word of God to be Preached On

The Sabbath: Works Connected With Religious Service Lawful On

The Sabbath: Works of Mercy Lawful On

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