The Saturday Sabbath debate has gone on for ages and certainly will not end any time soon.
Well known Jamaican Theologian and author on his blog has joined in on the debate by positing the following:
- At Sinai, God gave 2 laws. The primary was the Decalogue, moral in essence, written on stone tablets and placed inside the golden ark. The secondary, the ‘book of the law’, ceremonial in essence, written by Moses and placed beside the ark (Deut. 31.26) is what is referred to in the New Testament as the ‘first/old covenant’.
- At Calvary, it was the ‘book of the law’ only that was abolished.
- The context for the ‘cutting of the covenant’ or the giving of the law, at Sinai is in Ex. 19.5ff, where the people promise to obey the covenant directives from God (v.8).
- God begins speaking, 20.1, the ‘words’ (Heb[i]. Debarim; LXX[ii], logous) of the Decalogue, 20.1-17, and continues to speak, 20.22, and in 21.1-23.19, he tells Moses the ‘laws’ (Heb. Mishpatim; LXX, dikaiomata) to set before the Israelites.
- Then comes the summary comment in 24.3 that Moses told the people “…all the Lord’s words [Heb. dibrey YHWH; LXX, rhemata tou theou] and laws [Heb. Mishpatim; LXX, dikaiomata]…”
- After hearing the people’s pledge to do all that the Lord had said, in 24.4, “Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said [Heb. col dibrey YHWH; LXX, panta ta rhemata kuriou].” So he wrote down the ‘words’ (the Decalogue) plus the ‘laws’!
- In 24.7, “…he took the book of the covenant [Heb. sepher haberith; LXX, to biblion tes diathekes]…” read it to the people and again the people responded with a pledge to obey.
- As far as the text and context are concerned the ‘book of the covenant’ contained the ‘words’ (the decalogue) plus the ‘laws’. Note as well that Moses wrote down ‘everything God said’ before the text mentions anything written on tablets of stone.
- Concerning the content of the ‘book of the law’, presumed by some Sabbatarians to exclude the Decalogue, see the following text.
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