Day of Atonement from Even To Even : is this when all days and Sabbaths begin?
Lev 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Rightly dividing the word of truth
We will look into what I consider an erroneous extrapolation vs sound exegesis.
We’ve have been conditioned by Jewish tradition to erroneously apply the stipulations of the high day sabbath of yom Kippur and apply it to the weekly sabbath
Lev 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the SEVENTH DAY is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the יהוה in all your dwellings.
Are we to observe the weekly sabbath by the same reckoning as we do the sabbath of the Day of Atonement from evening to evening?
Proper exegesis and critical analysis with unveil the truth.
Lets see where correct interpretation leads.
Lev 23:32 is referring exclusively to Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the 10th day of the 7th month. But the fast and the rest commenced from the evening of the 9th to the evening of the 10th – a period of 24hours.
One Day Cannot Be Two Days
While the rituals of the Day of Atonement is carried out on the 10th day (daytime) of the 7th month the fast and sabbath rest covers the night following the 9th day to the 10th day.
“From evening to evening shall you celebrate your sabbath”
If a day begins from the previous evening of each day – sunset to sunset, then the statement “from even to even shall you celebrate your sabbath” would be redundant, because the 10th day would’ve commenced from the the evening following the 9th day anyways.
Lev 23:26 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:27 “However on the TENTH DAY of this seventh month is the day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 23:28 You shall do no kind of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before Yahweh your Elohim.
Lev 23:32 ‘It is a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your beings. On the ninth day of the month at evening, FROM EVENING TO EVENING, you observe your Sabbath.”
Why is there a need to state verse 32? Isn’t it a bit redundant, seen it would be already understood when a day begins and as a consequence when the sabbath begin- from sunset to sunset? Unless this an exceptional clause?
No other feasts have evening to evening clause
All the other moedim (feasts) do not have this clause, including the weekly sabbath.
For example consider the preparation meals allowed on the high day Sabbaths during the days of Unleavened Bread.
Exo 12:16 There will be holy assemblies on the first day and the last day of the festival. You must not do any work on these days. The only work you can do is preparing the food for your meals.
Are we to apply this allowance to the other high days sabbaths and the weekly sabbath? absolutely not!
Sabbath [cessation/rest] is not limited to a day, 12 hour period, 24 hour period, a year, or years – as we see sabbaths lasting for all those durations in the scriptures.
Yahweh decides how long a sabbath rest will last.
Sabbath is not Sabbaths (singular is not plural)
Last point, notice the text didn’t say “celebrate your sabbaths” as in plural, it said “sabbath” as in singular, in reference to the Day of Atonement.
It is such an important and necessary command to RIGHTLY DIVIDE the word of truth, but as Sha’ul declared concerning many among us.
1Ti 1:7 They want to be teachers of the Law of Moses. But they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they think they do.
(ESV) desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
To be continued….
For a deeper look into when a Sabbath begins, take a look at When does the Sabbath Begin?
Contributed by Pastor Robert Walker of First Congregation of Yahweh International (Jamaica).