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When to Observe Sabbath?
- Some Thought Questions

When to observe the Sabbath - there have been questions raised lately. The following is not meant to be critical of any understanding. It is simply some questions to stimulate thought.

Let's suppose that:

  1. It is only the day (light) portion of any 24-hour period that is holy or to be observed (basically, half of the 24-hours).
  2. Night refers to only when there is no light from the sun.

If these are true, then:

While they dwelt in booths for 7 days the Israelites could go home and sleep in their regular beds at night as long as they were up early and back in their booths before daylight.

"Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:" (Lev 23:42)

They could go find the leavened bread they had stashed outside their house or outside the camp and eat it during the night. Remember, the Passover meal at which unleavened bread was eaten was at night on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread.

More questions:

If the Sabbath ends not at sunset but, rather, some time after it when there is no more light, then who determines when it ends? Who judges when there is no more light, especially in our day when we are generally inside with artificial lights in the evening? What if the moon is up - there is light - reflected from the sun? What about starlight? And even what about artificial light?

What happened to the concept of greeting the sabbath or guarding the edges of the sabbath? The sunrise theory has Sabbath starting before sunrise which can be very early during much of the year.

Then we would have a preparation day (the light hours only) followed by the 12 night hours to mess things up again before the Sabbath starts at first light.

So Sabbath hours are not determined by the rise or setting of the sun but strictly by the presence or absence of light which will vary considerably with the amount of cloud cover.

In some areas of the world (towards higher latitudes), the Sabbath could be mere minutes long. How would people get a real rest, significant holy time with God etc. with such a short Sabbath? Some people would not have much of a Sabbath to call "a delight." (Isa 58:13)

In fact, north of 66 degrees north latitude - a little north of Dawson City, Yukon or Fairbanks, Alaska (or south of 66 degrees south latitude) there would be no Sabbath at all for part of the winter months and Sabbaths of up to 24 hours for parts of the summer months.

Is it only the first half of the millennium (equivalent to daylight hours before the dark hours within a 24-hour period) that is antitypical?

Observe sabbath

The main question is: does the Sabbath refer to a "day" as in daylight hours only or a "day" as in a 24-hour time period that would be identified with a date on the calendar?

Note that these are just thought questions to point out some of the implications of this theory. You might think of others. Think about it.

 


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