20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; on it 1 you shall not do any work, you, 2 or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates. 3
31:5 and with cutting and setting stone, and with cutting wood, to work in all kinds of craftsmanship.
35:2 In six days 4 work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a holy day 5 for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord. 6 Anyone who does work on it will be put to death.
1 tn The phrase “on it” has been supplied for clarity.
2 sn The wife is omitted in the list, not that she was considered unimportant, nor that she was excluded from the rest, but rather in reflecting her high status. She was not man’s servant, not lesser than the man, but included with the man as an equal before God. The “you” of the commandments is addressed to the Israelites individually, male and female, just as God in the Garden of Eden held both the man and the woman responsible for their individual sins (see B. Jacob, Exodus, 567-68).
3 sn The Sabbath day was the sign of the Sinaitic Covenant. It required Israel to cease from ordinary labors and devote the day to God. It required Israel to enter into the life of God, to share his Sabbath. It gave them a chance to recall the work of the Creator. But in the NT the apostolic teaching for the Church does not make one day holier than another, but calls for the entire life to be sanctified to God. This teaching is an application of the meaning of entering into the Sabbath of God. The book of Hebrews declares that those who believe in Christ cease from their works and enter into his Sabbath rest. For a Christian keeping Saturday holy is not a requirement from the NT; it may be a good and valuable thing to have a day of rest and refreshment, but it is not a binding law for the Church. The principle of setting aside time to worship and serve the Lord has been carried forward, but the strict regulations have not.
4 tn This is an adverbial accusative of time.
5 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.”
6 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.