The New Student's Reference Work/Sabbath
Sab′bath (from shabath, to rest), the seventh day of the week, was set aside in the Hebrew Scriptures as a day of rest and devotion. It was observed by the Hebrews after the Exodus in commemoration of their deliverance from bondage (Deut. v:15), and perhaps preceded the Sinaitic legislation which merely confirmed its observance. The “Remember the Sabbath” of the Decalogue was followed in the giving of the laws by many regulations for the day, prohibitive of various forms of labor, and by commands to keep certain observances. The day was significant of the finishing of creation, of freedom from bondage and as a token of covenant. In the Epistles of the New Testament the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath is left optional with Christians (Col. II:16-17), who are exhorted to observe the first day of each week as the Lord's Day (cf. Rev. 1:10). The medieval schoolmen taught that the observance of the Lord's Day superseded the observance of the Sabbath by ordinance and custom of the church rather than by divine law.