Sabbath And Black Sabbath: Beyond The Day Of Rest

Sabbath And Black Sabbath: Beyond The Day Of Rest

Most Westerners have at least heard the term Black Sabbath, usually in connection with the famous British rock band, fronted by singer Ozzy Osbourne, formed in the late 1960s and known for its heavy metal music and its dark horror/occult themes. According to the band, the group derived their name from one of their early songs – “Black Sabbath”—which documents a band member’s experience with the occult and his fascination with horror films.

By Sanjoo Thangjam

Ever heard of the term “Black Sabbath”? It sounds scary, but what does it really mean? Let’s get to the bottom of it.

According to Buddhism, The Uposatha has been observed since Gautama Buddha’s time (500 BCE), and is still being kept today in Theravada Buddhist countries. It occurs every seven or eight days, in accordance with the four phases of the moon. Buddha taught that Uposatha is for “the cleansing of the defiled mind”, resulting in inner calm and joy. On this day, disciples and monks intensify their practice, deepen their knowledge, and express communal commitment through millennia-old acts of lay-monastic reciprocity.

Thai Chinese likewise observe their Sabbaths and traditional Chinese holidays according to lunar phases, but not on exactly the same days as Uposatha. These Sabbaths cycles through the month with respect to the Thai solar calendar, so common Thai calendars incorporate Thai and Chinese calendar lunar dates, as well as Uposatha dates, for religious purposes.

However, in Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath (/ˈsæbəθ/) or Shabbat (from Hebrew שַׁבָּת Šabat) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, as God rested from creation.

Most Westerners have at least heard the term Black Sabbath, usually in connection with the famous British rock band, fronted by singer Ozzy Osbourne, formed in the late 1960s and known for its heavy metal music and its dark horror/occult themes. According to the band, the group derived their name from one of their early songs – “Black Sabbath”—which documents a band member’s experience with the occult and his fascination with horror films.

Additionally, Black Sabbath is a name that refers to a meeting of those who practice witchcraft, or Witches Sabbath, or other occult or superstitious rites. It is also used to describe the Sabbath immediately preceding the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, as it is a day of mourning. However, the term doesn’t appear in the Bible.

While Black Sabbath has negative connotations, there’s nothing at all dark or negative about the genuine Sabbath. The true Sabbath is something entirely different …

The true Sabbath was established by the Creator of the universe at the end of creation week. Look at this –

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:1–3).

Did you get that? God actually set aside the last day of the week, made it incredibly unique—different from all other days—and gave it as a gift to mankind.

The “seventh day,” or Saturday, is the genuine Sabbath, and keeping it can make an enormous positive difference in your life and even your health. The Sabbath is an uplifting day of rest and re-creation, a time to revitalize our relationship with our Maker and receive strength and courage for our day-to-day struggles. It’s also a time to reconnect with family and friends, to cement those relationships that mean so much to us. God even promises amazing blessings to those who honor this special day.

Did you get that? God actually set aside the last day of the week, made it incredibly unique—different from all other days—and gave it as a gift to mankind.

The “seventh day,” or Saturday, is the genuine Sabbath, and keeping it can make an enormous positive difference in your life and even your health. The Sabbath is an uplifting day of rest and re-creation, a time to revitalize our relationship with our Maker and receive strength and courage for our day-to-day struggles. It’s also a time to reconnect with family and friends, to cement those relationships that mean so much to us. God even promises amazing blessings to those who honor this special day.

Source https://www.sabbathtruth.com/freeresources/article-library/story/id/1835/t/whatis-a-black-sabbath

Biblical Sabbath

Sabbath (as the verb שָׁבַת֙ shabbat) is first mentioned in the Genesis creation narrative, where the seventh day is set aside as a day of rest (in Hebrew, shabbat) and made holy by God (Genesis 2:2–3). Observation and remembrance of Sabbath (Hebrew: שַׁבָּת shabbat) is one of the Ten Commandments (the fourth in the original Jewish, the Eastern Orthodox, and most Protestant traditions, the third in Roman Catholic and Lutheran traditions).

Most Jews who observe the Sabbath regard it as having been instituted as a perpetual covenant for the Israelites (Exodus 31:13–17), as a sign respecting two events: the day during which God rested after having completed Creation in six days (Exodus 20:8–11) and the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12–15). However, most Sabbath-keeping Christians regard the Sabbath as having been instituted by God at the end of Creation week and that the entire world was then, and continues to be, obliged to observe the seventh day as Sabbath.

Originally, Sabbath-breakers were officially to be cut off from the assembly or potentially killed (Exodus 31:15). Observance in the Hebrew Bible was universally from sixth-day sundown to seventh-day sundown (Nehemiah 13:19, cf. Leviticus 23:32),[2] on a seven-day week. Consultations with prophets (II Kings iv. 23) were sought on the Sabbath.[3] Sabbath corporate worship was not prescribed for the community at large, and the Sabbath activities at the shrines were originally a convocation of priests for the purpose of offering divine sacrifices, with family worship and rest being centered in homes.[4][5]

Sabbath in Judaism

Jewish Shabbat (Shabbath, Shabbes, Shobos, etc.) is a weekly day of rest, observed from sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. It is also observed by a minority of Christians, such as adherents of Messianic Judaism and Seventh-day.

Sabbath in Adventists

Thirty-nine activities prohibited on Shabbat are listed in Tractate Shabbat (Talmud). Customarily, Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles shortly before sunset, at halakhically calculated times that change weekly and geographically. The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, a translation by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, reveals the Essene calendar as celebrating the Sabbath commencing on the 4th day of Abib (Nisan) page 192 3 days after the new moon of the Passover month then celebrated on the 11th, 18th and 25th. The second Essene month reveals a Sabbath on the second day exactly 7 days from the 25th of Abib Sabbath witnessing a solar calendar continuation for the rest of the year. The Essenes did it this way to be in harmony with the book of Genesis where God created the moon and sun on the 4th day and rested 3 days later.

Judah ha-Levi (12th century) proposed a nascent Jewish date line for dating of Shabbat, later calculated to fall between China and Japan (other lines exist, and travelers are expected to note both personal and local Shabbat); and Pinchas Elijah Horovitz (18th century) stated that polar regions should observe Shabbat based on calculating 24-hour days, although without establishing a date line.

Shabbat is a widely noted hallmark of Jewish peoples. Subbotniks (literally, Sabbatarians) are a Russian sect, categorized as either Jews or Judaizing Christians, that became particularly branded by strict Shabbat observance; (Hungarian-born radical Reform leader Ignaz Einhorn even shifted his congregation’s Shabbat worship to Sundays.) Several weekly Shabbats per year are designated as Special Sabbaths, such as Shabbat haGadol, prior to Pesach (literally, “the High Sabbath”, but not to be confused with other High Sabbaths); and Shabbat Teshuvah, prior to Yom Kippur (“Repentance Sabbath”).

Sabbath in Christianity

In Eastern Christianity, the Sabbath is considered still to be on Saturday, the seventh day, in remembrance of the Hebrew Sabbath. In Catholicism and most branches of Protestantism, the “Lord’s Day” (Greek Κυριακή) is considered to be on Sunday, the first day (and “eighth day”). Communal worship, including the Holy Mysteries, may take place on any day, but a weekly observance of the resurrection is made consistently on Sunday. Western Christianity sometimes refers to the Lord’s Day as a “Christian Sabbath”, distinct from the Hebrew Sabbath, but related in varying manner.

First-day : Since Puritan times, most English-speaking Protestants identify the “Lord’s Day” (viz., Sunday) with a “Christian Sabbath”, a term Roman Catholics in those areas may also celebrate with the Eucharist. It is considered both the first day and the “eighth day” of the seven-day week. In Tonga, all commerce and entertainment activities cease on Sunday, starting at midnight and ending the next day, at midnight, as Tonga’s constitution declares the Sabbath sacred forever.[6] In Oriental Orthodoxy, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has observed both Sunday Resurrection Day and Saturday Sabbath in different ways for several centuries, as have other Eastern Orthodox traditions.

Puritan Sabbatarianism or Reformed Sabbatarianism is strict observance of Sabbath in Christianity that is typically characterized by its avoidance of recreational activities. “Puritan Sabbath”, expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, is often contrasted with “Continental Sabbath”: the latter follows the Continental Reformed confessions such as the Heidelberg Catechism, which emphasize rest and worship on Lord’s Day, but do not forbid recreational activities.

Seventh-day : Several Christian denominations observe Sabbath in a similar manner to Judaism, though with observance ending at Saturday sunset instead of Saturday nightfall. Early church historians Sozomen and Socrates cite the seventh day as the Christian day of worship except for the Christians in Rome and Alexandria. Many Sabbatarian Judeo-Christian groups were attested during the Middle Ages. The Waldensians, a religious group founded during the 12th century, are regarded as one of the first Post-Constantinian Christian groups to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. The Szekler Sabbatarians were founded in 1588 from among the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and maintained a presence until the group converted to Judaism in the 1870s. Seventh Day Baptists have observed Sabbath on Saturday since the mid-17th century (either from sundown or from midnight), and influenced the (now more numerous) Seventh-day Adventists in America to begin the practice in the mid-19th century. They believe that keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is a moral responsibility equal to that of any of the other Ten Commandments, based on the example of Jesus. They also use “Lord’s Day” to mean the seventh day, based on Scriptures in which God calls the day “my Sabbath” (Exodus 31:13) and “to the LORD” (Exodus 16:23) and in which Jesus calls himself “Lord ofSabbath” (Matthew 12:8). The question of defining Sabbath worldwide on a round earth was resolved by some seventh-day Sabbatarians by making use of the International Date Line (i.e., permitting local rest-day adjustment, Esther 9:16–19), while others (such as some Alaskan Sabbatarians) keep Sabbath according to Jerusalem time (i.e., rejecting manmade temporal customs, Daniel 7:25). Many of the Lemba in southern Africa, like some other African tribes, are Jewish and claim common descent from the Biblical Israelites, based on observing traditional Jewish customs. Genetic analysis has also demonstrated that a distinct group of the Lemba, have the oral history and genetic ancestry of early hebrews. The Lemba keep one day a week holy like Sabbath, and maintain many beliefs and practices associated with Judaism.

Sabbath in Islam

The Quran shares the six-part Abrahamic creation narrative (32:4, 50:38) and the Sabbath as the seventh day (yaum as-Sabt: 2:65, 4:47, 154, 7:163, 16:124), but God’s mounting the throne after creation is taken in contradistinction to Elohim’s concluding and resting from his labors. The Quran states that since Sabbath was only for Jews, Muslims replace Sabbath rest with jumu’ah (Arabic: جمعة). Also known as “Friday prayer”, jumu’ah is a congregational prayer (salat) held every Friday (the Day of Assembly), just after midday, in place of the otherwise daily dhuhr prayer; it commemorates the creation of Adam on the sixth day, as a loving gathering of Adam’s sons.

The Quran states: “When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday, hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business: That is best for you if ye but knew” (62:9). The next verse (“When the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land …”) leads many Muslims not to consider Friday a rest day, as in Indonesia, which regards the seventh-day Sabbath as unchanged; but many Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, do consider Friday a nonwork day, a holiday or a weekend; and other Muslim countries, like Pakistan, count it as half a rest day (after the Friday prayer is over). Jumu’ah attendance is strictly incumbent upon all free adult males who are legal residents of the locality.

(The writer is a Sub-Editor of The Morning Bell)

Close Menu