Ralph's Daily Devotional - Tuesday, July 17

How one observed the Sabbath of Exodus 20:8-11 was scrupulously detailed in the Bible by things forbidden on that day, including lighting a fire or walking over a certain distance.  The Rabbis, fearful of offending God, worked out a code (The Shabbath) in which 39 kinds of activity were forbidden, including sewing, carrying, and even tying a knot or writing of any kind.

Over time it became so vigorous that at the time of the Maccabean war with the Syrians in 165 BC, 1000 Jews allowed themselves to be killed rather than take up arms on the Sabbath.  For this reason, Jews were excused from any military service or work when under later Roman occupation.

During the Roman siege of the Jewish temple in 70 AD, Jewish soldiers, upon hearing the trumpet sound for Sabbath, abandoned their stations with disastrous results.  Following that, Jews to this day are allowed the use of self-protection on the Sabbath.  Next we will consider Jesus and the Sabbath.

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