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Exodus 31:14-15

Context
31:14 So you must keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you. Everyone who defiles it 1  must surely be put to death; indeed, 2  if anyone does 3  any 4  work on it, then that person will be cut off from among his 5  people. 31:15 Six days 6  work may be done, 7  but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, 8  holy to the Lord; anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must surely be put to death.

Exodus 35:2

Context
35:2 In six days 9  work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a holy day 10  for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord. 11  Anyone who does work on it will be put to death.

1 tn This clause is all from one word, a Piel plural participle with a third, feminine suffix: מְחַלְלֶיהָ (mÿkhalleha, “defilers of it”). This form serves as the subject of the sentence. The word חָלַל (khalal) is the antonym of קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be holy”). It means “common, profane,” and in the Piel stem “make common, profane” or “defile.” Treating the Sabbath like an ordinary day would profane it, make it common.

2 tn This is the asseverative use of כִּי (ki) meaning “surely, indeed,” for it restates the point just made (see R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 73, §449).

3 tn Heb “the one who does.”

4 tn “any” has been supplied.

5 tn Literally “her” (a feminine pronoun agreeing with “soul/life,” which is grammatically feminine).

6 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time, indicating that work may be done for six days out of the week.

7 tn The form is a Niphal imperfect; it has the nuance of permission in this sentence, for the sentence is simply saying that the six days are work days – that is when work may be done.

8 tn The expression is שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן (shabbat shabbaton), “a Sabbath of entire rest,” or better, “a sabbath of complete desisting” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 404). The second noun, the modifying genitive, is an abstract noun. The repetition provides the superlative idea that complete rest is the order of the day.

9 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

10 tn The word is קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh, “holiness”). S. R. Driver suggests that the word was transposed, and the line should read: “a sabbath of entire rest, holy to Jehovah” (Exodus, 379). But the word may simply be taken as a substitution for “holy day.”

11 sn See on this H. Routtenberg, “The Laws of the Sabbath: Biblical Sources,” Dor le Dor 6 (1977): 41-43, 99-101, 153-55, 204-6; G. Robinson, “The Idea of Rest in the Old Testament and the Search for the Basic Character of Sabbath,” ZAW 92 (1980): 32-43.



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