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Exodus 35:1-3

Context
Sabbath Regulations

35:1 Moses assembled the whole community of the Israelites and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do. 1  35:2 In six days 2  work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a holy day 3  for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord. 4  Anyone who does work on it will be put to death. 35:3 You must not kindle a fire 5  in any of your homes 6  on the Sabbath day.” 7 

1 tn Heb “to do them”; this is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.

2 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.

3 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.”

4 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.

5 sn Kindling a fire receives special attention here because the people thought that kindling a fire was not work, but only a preparation for some kind of work. The Law makes sure that this too was not done. But see also G. Robinson, “The Prohibition of Strange Fire in Ancient Israel: A Look at the Case of Gathering Wood and Kindling Fire on the Sabbath,” VT 28 (1978): 301-17.

6 tn Heb “dwelling places”; KJV, ASV “habitations.”

7 sn The presence of these three verses in this place has raised all kinds of questions. It may be that after the renewal of the covenant the people needed a reminder to obey God, and obeying the sign of the covenant was the starting point. But there is more to it than this; it is part of the narrative design of the book. It is the artistic design that puts the filling of the Spirit section (31:1-11) prior to the Sabbath laws (31:12-18) before the idolatry section, and then after the renewal there is the Sabbath reminder (35:1-3) before the filling of the Spirit material (35:4-36:7).



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