The word Sabbath is, in Hebrew, shabbath', שִׁבָּת (comp. Ewald, Ausfuhrl. Lehrb. p. 400; and see on the form shabbathon, שִׁבָּתוֹן, at the end of this art.); in the Graecized form σάββατον, or, in the plural form, τὰ σάββατα (comp. Horace, Sat. 1, 9, 69). The derivation and meaning of the word are well known. Josephus (Apion, 2, 2) explains it as a rest from all labor, ἀνάπαυοις ἀπὸ παντὸς ἔπγου (comp. Ant. 1, 1, 1). Mistaken etymologies, by those ignorant of Hebrew, are found in Josephus, Apion, loc. cit.; Plutarch, Symp. 4, 6, 2; Lactantius, Institut. 7, 14. On Sabbath (G. σάββατα) in the sense of week, SEE WEEK. It is clear that the word ἑβδομάς (2 Macc. 6:11) means the Sabbath (comp. Josephus, War, 2, 8, 9).
This was the seventh day of the Hebrew week, extending from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday (comp. Le 23:32, and see Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. p. 312 sq.). SEE DAY. The time during which the sun was going down was the eve of the Sabbath. SEE PREPARATION. Of course, the commencement and close of the Sabbath varied with the higher or lower position of the observer. Thus, Carpzov quotes from the book Musar this statement: "Tiberias lay in a valley, where the sun disappeared half an hour before setting; Zephore was on a mountain, where the sun shone longer than on the plains. The people in the former, therefore, began their Sabbath sooner, in the latter later, than the rest of the nation." By a law of Augustus (Josephus, Ant. 16, 6, 2), the Sabbath began at the ninth hour. According to the disciples of the Gemara, the Sabbath began and ended in all Jewish cities at the sound of the trumpet (comp. Maimon.
Hilkoth Shab. c. 5). Josephus records this custom of Jerusalem (War, 4, 9, 12). In the Temple, the trumpet was to be blown from the "covert for the Sabbath," or Sabbath roof, Heb. Mesak hash-shabbath, מֵיסִך הִשִּׁבָּת (2Ki 16:18). See Rhenferd, Opera Philol. p. 770 sq.
This day was celebrated by the Hebrews as a holy day (De 5:12). a day of rest and rejoicing (Isa 58:13; comp. Ho 2:11; Ho 1 Macc. 1:41), by ceasing from all labor, with their servants and all strangers, as well as cattle (Ex 20:10; Ex 31:13 sq.; 34:21; 35:2; De 5:14, comp. Jer 17:21,24; Josephus, Apion, 2, 39; Dion Cass. 37, 17 [Philo, Opp. 2, 137, extends the Sabbath — rest even to plants — they were not to be eared or reaped on that day]), and by a special burned offering, presented in the Temple, in addition to the usual daily offering (q.v.) — which was doubled on this day — consisting of two yearling lambs, with the meat offerings and drink offerings belonging to it (Numbers 38:9; comp. 2Ch 31:3; Ne 10:33; Eze 46:4). In the holy place of the Temple, the shewbread was renewed (Le 24:8; 1Ch 9:32), and the new division of priests appointed for that week took their places (2Ki 11:5,7,9; 2Ch 23:4). The services of the priests and Levites in and about the tabernacle and Temple were not accounted labor (comp. Mt 12:5), and continued through the Sabbath. Circumcision, too, as a religious ceremony, took place on the Sabbath, when that was the eighth day (Joh 7:22 sq.; comp. Mishna, Shab. c. 19; Schottgen, Hor. Hebr. 1, 121; Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. p. 1028).
Deliberate profanation of this day was punished with death (Ex 31:14 sq.; 35:2), which was inflicted by stoning (Nu 15:32 sq.; Mishna, Sanhedr. 7, 8). But if the law of the Sabbath was broken through ignorance or mistake, a sin offering was required, and the offense pardoned (comp. Shab. 7, 1; 11, 6, Chrithuth, 3, 10). There were times, too, when the Jews dispensed with the extreme severity of their law (Isa 56:2; Isa 58:13; Eze 20:16; Eze 22:8; La 2:6; Ne 13:16); and the legal observance of the Sabbath seems never to have been rigorously enforced until after the Exile. At this time, too, the meaning of the work which profaned the Sabbath was first strictly defined, since the lawgiver had left this to be determined by experience, and, in certain doubtful cases, the individual conscience, definitely prohibiting but one act — the kindling of a fire in one's house (Ex 35:3; comp. Eichhorn, Repert. 9, 32; 13, 258) for cooking (Ex 16:23; Nu 15:32;
comp. Mishna, Terum. 2, 3). This was interpreted by the Jews, however, to include the lighting of lamps, and they used to do this before the Sabbath began (Mishna, Shab. 2, 7; 16, 8; comp. Seneca, Ep. 95, p. 423, Bip.). This prohibition compelled the Jews to cook and bake their food for the Sabbath on the preceding day, and it was often kept warm in vessels set in dry hay or chips (Mishna, Shab. 4, 1 sq.; comp. also Josephus, War, 2, 8, 9, on the Essenes). The intermission of labor was required on feast days as well as on the Sabbath, except the preparation of food (comp. Ex 12:16; see Mishna, Yom Tob., 5, 2; Megilla, 1, 5). A later age, which sought to observe painfully the letter of the law, and to confide as little as possible to the judgment and conscience of individuals, extended the meaning of this work much further, and strove to complete a formal code for Sabbath observance. Marketing and public trade ceased on the Sabbath, of course (Ne 10:31; Ne 13:15-16); and it was merely an auxiliary police regulation of Nehemiah to close the gates on that day (Ne 13:19). It was in the spirit of the law, too, that traveling on the Sabbath was forbidden, with reference to Ex 16:29 (comp. Josephus, Ant. 13, 8, 4). SEE SABBATH DAYS JOURNEY. But the conduct of the Jewish armies in refusing to arm on the Sabbath, and suffering their enemies to cut them down, certainly savored of fanaticism (1 Macc. 2, 32 sq.; 2 Macc. 6:11, Josephus, Ant. 12, 6, 2, War, 2, 17, 10; Life, p. 32; comp. Plutarch, Superstit. p. 169). A parallel may be found in the Jewish steersman who left the helm at the moment of a squall because the Sabbath was beginning (Synes. Ep. 4, p. 163, ed Petav.). Yet the apprehension of the great advantage which would thus accrue to the enemy led prudent commanders to observe this rest from fighting only so far as to abstain on the Sabbath from offensive operations (1 Macc. 11:34, 43 sq.; Josephus, Ant. 13, 1, 3; 14, 4, 2 sq.). Marching armies halted on that day (Josephus, Ant. 13, 8, 4; comp. 14, 10, 12). The last passage seems to show that the Sabbath law was made a pretext by Jews to escape from foreign military service when they wished (see again Ant. 18, 9, 2; 10, 2; War, 4, 2, 3; Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 4, 133 sq.). Yet in the last Jewish war less caution was exercised, even in abstaining from offensive movement (Josephus, War, 2, 19, 2); and many an artifice was carried on by the aid of the Sabbath and its observances (ibid. 4, 2, 3. In this instance, it was less the fear of breaking the law than a shrewd calculation of advantage which prevented the Jews from engaging the enemy on the Sabbath).
The Pharisees gave very minute directions on the observance of the Sabbath; and although different teachers differed in many points, yet in the New Testament period we find great rigor prevailing. The plucking of single ears of grain in passing (Mt 12:2; Mr 2:23 sq.; Lu 6:1 sq.), the healing of the sick (Mt 12:10; Mr 3:2; Lu 6:7; Lu 13:14; Joh 9:14,16; Thilo, Apocr. p. 503), the walking of a cured patient with his bed (Joh 5; Joh 10), all were considered as desecrations of the Sabbath by the Pharisees and their disciples; although when property was in danger, many acts which were certainly waork were freely performed in case of pressing need (Mt 12:11; Lu 14:5; comp. Gemara, Shab. 128, 1); yet even in the care of cattle (comp. Lu 13:15) all work was to be shunned which was not really necessary (Shab. 24, 2 sq). The Essenes seem to have been yet stricter in observing this day. The Mishna (Shab. c. 17) has severe regulations against the removal of goods; yet certain exceptions were allowed (comp. Philo, Opp. 2, 569). On the severity of the Samaritans in this respect, see Gesen. De Theol. Samarit. p. 35 sq.; comp. Origen, Princip. 4, 17; tom. 1, p. 176). They refrained from sexual intercourse on the night of the Sabbath (Eichhorn, Repert. 13, 258). The Mishna, in the tract Shab. (2d part), which treats the whole subject of this article, names in particular (7, 2) thirty-nine forms of labor which are forbidden on the Sabbath, each of which has, again, its variations and species. In the two-fold Gemara to this tract (the Tosiphta to the tract Shab. is found in Hebrew and Latin in Ugolini Thesaur. 17; the tract itself has been separately edited by J.B. Carpzov, Leips. 1661), and in the Rabbinical writings the matter is spun out still further and finer (see Hulsius, Theol. Jud. 1, 240 sq.; Buxtorf, Synag. Jud. c. 16; Schottgen, Hior. Hebr. 1, 121 sq.). As to the healing of the sick, the rabbins generally allowed the use of all proper remedies if life was in danger (see Mishna, Yoma, 8, 6; Schottgen, op. cit. p. 122 sq.; Danz, Christi Curatio Sabbathica Vindic. [Jen. 1699]; also in Meuschen, N.T. p. 569 sq.); but those which were only designed to make the sick more comfortable were rigorously forbidden (see, e.g. Gemara, Berachoth, p. 11. According to the Mishna [Shab. 22, 6], even a broken bone was not to be set nor dislocations poulticed on the Sabbath; yet see Maimonides, ad loc.). On the other forms of labor permitted on the Sabbath (Mishna, Shab. 24, 5) the reader may consult V.H. Hasenmuller, Opera Sabbathum Depellantia (Jen. 1708).
The Sabbath was especially consecrated to devotion and to the law (Josephus, Ant. 16, 2, 4), and frivolous or unclean conversation was accounted a desecration of the day (Gesen. In Jesa. 2, 230). Hence in the synagogues everywhere on this day took place the great services of worship (Mr 1:21; Mr 6:2; Lu 4:16,31; Lu 6:6; Lu 13:10; Ac 13:44; Ac 16:13; Ac 17:2; Ac 18:4), with prayer and the public reading and expounding of the holy books (Lu 4:16 sq.; Ac 13:27; Josephus, Apion, 1, 22). This, however, cannot be considered as a Mosaic regulation (see Vitringa, Synag. 1, 2, 2); but see LAW. Cheerful meals were held (Lu 14:1; Philo, Opp. 2, 477. The ariston [ἄριστον] was taken on the Sabbath about the sixth hour [Josephus, Life, p. 54]. On the three meals of the Sabbath, see Mishna, Shab. 16, 2, and Maimon. ad loc.); feast day clothing was put on (Sharbau, De Luxu Sabbatorio, in his Observ. Sacr. 3, 541 sq.); and it was never a fast day (Jg 8:6. Justin's remark [36:2], which makes it a fast, is untrue. Comp. Sueton. Aug. 76, where Ernesti's explanation does not accord with the usage of speech; Petron. Fragm. 35, 6. See contra, Maimon. Hilkoth Shab. Extr. Comp. P.T. Carpzov, De Jejun. Sabb. ex Antiq. Hebr. [Rostoch. 1741]).
When the Jews were under foreign supremacy, except during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:45, 48; 2 Macc. 6:6), their legal Sabbath was confirmed (comp. 1 Macc. 10:34; Josephus, Ant. 14, 10, 20, 21, 23, 25); and even in the composition of the civil law, a conciliatory respect was shown to it (Josephus, Ant. 16, 6, 2 and 4; Philo, Opera, 2, 569). It is still a question how far the Jewish legal administration itself regarded the Sabbath (see, among others, Tholuck, On John, p. 302 sq.; Bleek, Beiträge z. Evangelienkritik, p. 140 sq.). The Mishna (Yom Tob, 5, 2) says expressly that no court was held on that day, nor even was a session begun the afternoon preceding, lest it might encroach upon the Sabbath (Mishna, Shab. 1, 2; comp. Gemara, Sanhed. fol. 35, 1; nor can the force of these passages be removed by Gemara, Sanhed. fol. 88, 1, even though it referred to this subject). SEE COUNCIL. It is remarkable that at one time the Jews themselves made an effort in Syria to do away with the observance of the Sabbath (Josephus, War, 7, 3, 3). This effort was aided, perhaps, by the view which the Romans took of this weekly rest, often mocking the Jews as slothful (Juvenal, 14, 105 sq.; Seneca, in Augustine, Civ. Dei, 6, 11).
The origin of the Sabbath is usually referred to Moses by the German critics (Ewald, Gesch. Isr. 2, 142 sq.) on the ground that Ge 2:1
cannot be accepted as a testimony to its earlier institution, since this whole account of the creation, whose date and author are unknown, is plainly designed for the very purpose of presenting the Sabbath to us as an immediate divine ordinance (see Gabler, Neuer Vers. uber die mos. Schopfungsgesch. p. 38 sq.; De Wette, Krit. p. 40 sq.), just as it is often set forth in later writings in connection with the exode and with the legislation of Sinai (Eze 20:10 sq.; Ne 9:13 sq.; comp. De 5:14 sq., with which Ex 16:23 agrees). Reggio, by a peculiar. explanation of Ge 2:1 sq., arrives at a distinction between the Sabbath appointed here for all mankind and that given to the Jews in their law (Zeitschrift fur d. Judenth. 1845, p. 102 sq., 121 sq.). The Sabbath is considered as a Mosaic institution also by Eusebius (H.E. 1, 4, 3; Proep. Ev. 7, 6) and most of the rabbins (Selden, Jus. Nat. et Gent. 3, 10). Among the more recent writers, this view is adopted by Spencer (Leg. Rit. 1, 4, 9 sq.); Eichhorn (Urgesch. 1, 249 sq.); Gabler (ibid. p. 58 sq.; Neuer Versuch, p. 38 sq.); Bauer (Gottesdienstl. Verfass. 2, 174 sq., in answer to Hebenstreit, De Sab. ante Leg. Mos. Existente [Lips. 1748]); Iken (Dissert. Theol. p. 26 sq.); Richter (in the Biblioth. Brem. Nova, 3, 310 sq.); Michaelis (Mos. Recht, 4, 110 sq.). SEE SABBATH, CHRISTIAN.
The question may be raised whether the Sabbath was not borrowed by Moses from some other ancient people, as the Egyptians. It is not necessary to discuss the unhistoric suppositions of Philo (2, 137) and Josephus (Apion, 2, 39) that this feast was very widely spread among ancient nations. Yet it appears from Seneca (Ep. 95. p. 423, Bip.) and Ovid (Remed. Amor. p. 219) that a reverence for the seventh day had found an entrance among the Romans (comp. Ideler, Chron. 2, 176). Various strange opinions as to the origin of the Sabbath have been suggested which answer themselves (Plutarch, Sympos. 4, 6, 2). (On the pretended Jewish worship of Saturn, see Buttmann, Mythol. 2, 44 sq.) It is certain that the Egyptians knew the reckoning by weeks, and even began each successive week with the day of Chronos (Dion Cass. 37, 18, 19). Baur, following Tacitus (Hist. 5, 5), has connected the Sabbath with the worship of Chronos-Saturn, to whom the Romans also dedicated particularly the seventh day of the week (Tubinger Zeitschr. fur Theol. 1832, 3, 145 sq.; comp. Movers, Phoniz. p. 315); hence the Roman historians compared the Jewish Sabbath with the day of Saturn (Dion Cass. 37, 17, 18; Tibul. 1, 3, 17). His view rests on the well known representation by the Greeks and Romans of the golden age long gone by, the age of rest and equality, under Saturn, and the custom connected with it of giving the slaves a holiday at the Saturnalia (see Syrb, De Sabbatho Gentili in Temp. helvet. 2, 527 sq.; and in Ugolini Thesaur. vol. 17; comp. also Wernsdorf, Diss. de Gentil. Sabbato [Viteb. 1722]). But this theory is so fine spun that it falls to pieces at the first touch, for the passage in Dion Cassius does not do anything towards proving a naming of the days of the week after the planets (see Ideler, Chronol. 1, 180). And the Western representations of Saturn can so much the less be transferred to the East in that, even among the Romans, the day of Saturn was counted an unlucky one. Astrologically, too, the day of Saturn is the first, not the seventh, of the week. But, apart from all this, it was more natural for an agricultural people to keep as a festival the last day of the week, after men and beasts had become wearied with toil, in rest, and with ceremonies in accordance with their religious character, particularly with sacrifices. Why should we seek a foreign model for all the Mosaic institutions? Why refer these simple observances to such far fetched and generally unsuitable explanations? (See especially Bahr, Symbol. 1, 584 sq. In answer to Von Bohlen, Genesis, p. 137, Introd. see Tuch, Genesis, p. 14 sq.)
The Sabbath, as the basis of the Israelitish cycle of feast days, was imitated and repeated, as it were, in several other festivals; e.g. the Sabbath Year, the Seventh New Moon, and the Year of Jubilee. On the subject of the whole article, see Carpzov, Appar. p. 382 sq.; Reland, Ant. Sacr. 4, 8; Bauer, op. cit. 2, 152 sq.; Jahn, 3, 388 sq.; Gisb. Voetii Dis. Sel. 3, 1227 sq.; Bahr, Symbol. 2, 566 sq., 577 sq.
A figurative use of the word "Sabbath" denotes a solemn festival on which servile work was proscribed; but this occurs only with respect to the great day of annual atonement (Le 23:33). The word properly representing such an abstract idea of rest is שִׁבָּתוֹן, shabbaton, σαββατισμός, sabbatism (q.v.). The term "Sabbath," however, is frequently applied to a longer hebdomadal cycle than that of the week, e.g. the sabbatic year (q.v.). The Rabbinic or orthodox Jews likewise claim that in Le 23:11-16, שִׁבָּת, Sabbath, is synonymous with פֶּסִח, Passover, and accordingly they reckon Pentecost from the 16th of Nisan, the second day of unleavened bread, instead of the Sabbath following it. SEE CALENDAR, JEWISH. In this they are upheld by a majority of Christian archaeologists and interpreters. The Karaites, on the contrary, contend that the word "Sabbath" in that ordinance has its regular and usual signification, namely, the seventh day of the week. The arguments advanced for the traditional view and reckoning, formidable as they at first appear, will be found, on a close examination, to be wholly inconclusive.
(1.) It is a pure assumption that the phrase מָחַרִת הִשִּׁבָּת, morrow of the Sabbath, is equivalent to מָחַרִת הִפֶּסִח, morrow of the Passover. The passage in Jos 5:11, often appealed to in proof, states that on the latter day the Israelites ate the produce of Canaan (עֲבוּר הָאָרֶוֹ, A.V. erroneously "old corn of the land"), consisting of unleavened cakes and parched ears. From this it has been inferred that, as the Passover had just been celebrated, the wave sheaf, which was a necessary preliminary to harvest (Le 23:14), had already been offered. This, as all parties agree, could not be done before the 16th of Nisan, and hence Keil and others unwarrantably assume that this was the day in question. But we know, from its use elsewhere (Nu 23:3), that the phrase "morrow after [Heb. of] the Passover" was the day immediately succeeding the Paschal meal, i.e. the 15th of Nisan. The wave sheaf had not therefore at that time been offered, and the Israelites could not have stood upon ceremony in eating the new grain, probably because they had not vet become settled in their possession to which the law in question was specially applicable (Le 23:10; comp. Nu 15:18).
(2.) The definite art. in הִשִּׁבָּת the ordinance under consideration merely indicates it as the one Sabbath of the Paschal week, and cannot refer to any other of the Passover days in the context, which are not (either there or elsewhere) designated by this term. Nor is the word שִׁבָּת, Sabbath, ever used in Biblical Hebrew in the sense of a literal week, as the Rabbinical theory assumes. The seven Sabbaths are termed fall (תּחַימוֹת, "complete") because they are exclusive of the terminus a quo, contrary to the usual Jewish practice, which is to include both extremes.
(3.) The reckoning of Pentecost from the Sabbath proper would not disagree with the classification of the other Jewish feasts by terms of seven, nor tend to displace either that or the Passover in the calendar; for the other feasts were not dependent upon the Pentecost, and the fifty days would be equally regular and harmonious from whatever point reckoned.
(4.) The weight of Jewish authority is of little account, and the accession of Christian writers is of still less, since there is known to have been an early difference of opinion and practice on this point. The two instances occurring in the New Test. history are decidedly adverse to the Rabbinical mode of computation, namely. the "second Sabbath after the first," on which Jesus passed through the fields of standing corn (Lu 6:1), SEE SECOND FIRST SABBATH, and the first Pentecost of the Christian Church, which by the traditionary calendar would have fallen on the Sabbath (the seventh after that of the crucifixion), and not on Sunday, as generally admitted. SEE PENTECOST; SEE SABBATH, MORROW AFTER.
In Lu 6:1 we have the above-noted phrase, σάββατον δευτερόπρωτον, rendered in the A.V. "The second Sabbath after the first." It is over hasty, after a few MSS., to blot out the second word as not genuine, though even Meyer does so. Who could have inserted it? And is not the omission of a word which nobody understood easily accounted for in the few instances in which it takes place? To strike out a word simply as strange is too uncritical to be borne. The various older interpretations are collected in Wolf, Cur. 1, 619 sq.; Rus, Harm. Evang. p. 639 sq.; Paulus, Comm. 2, 32 sq. It is usually regarded as the first Sabbath after the second Easter day (comp. Le 23:15, and the Sept.), since from this day to the Passover seven Sabbaths were reckoned (Leviticus l.c.), and these may well have been distinguished by their numbers — the first, second, third, etc., after the second Easter day (Scaliger, De Emend. Temp. p. 557; Casaub. Exercit. Antibar. p. 272; Bauer, op. cit. 2, 154). Olshausen's objections to this view do not seem to be forcible. His own explanation (following Beza and Paulus), the first Sabbath of two during a feast, is not plausible. A peculiar name would hardly be given to this; and, even if given, would be of no importance to the evangelist. Moreover, in such a case the phrase would be inappropriate at best. Credner's view (Beitr. z. Einl. ins N.T. 1, 357) is rightly answered by De Wette, On Luke, l.c. The objections made by Paulus and others to our interpretation have been well answered by Lubkert (in the Studien u. Krit. 1835, 3, 664 sq.). Yet he takes no notice of P. Ewald's suggestion (in the Neu. krit. Journ. d. Theol. 2, 480) that the phrase may easily be an abridged Hebrew expression for the second Sabbath after the second Paschal day; in which, however, the proof that such a phrase was in use in the age of Jesus is wanting. Hitzig understands it to mean the 15th of Nisan, which, according to Le 23:11, was considered as a Sabbath, following the 14th, which had always been a Sabbath. This, however, is unsupported. Wieseler gives (Chronol.
Synop. p. 231 sq.) an interpretation intimately connected with his whole system, that it is the first Sabbath in the second year of the seven years, reckoned from one sabbatical year to another; i.e. the first Sabbath of Nisan. Here it is assumed that a technical term was appropriated to the first Sabbath of every year in such a series of years; which is the less probable, as the civil year, with which the sabbatical year is connected (comp. Wieseler, p. 204 sq.), began in autumn. Add to this that no mode of reckoning in practical life by Sabbath years has been proved from Josephus (Ant. 14, 10, 5 and 6). nor from the Mishna. In fine, the effort of Redslob to refer this phrase to the second Sabbath after the second Easter day by the force of the word δευτερόπρωτον (Hall. Lif.-Z. 1847; Int. Bl. No. 70) seems to be a mistake. SEE SECOND FIRST SABBATH.
Of equal regard with the Sabbath, as a day of entire rest, was the first Paschal day and the last (Le 23:39), while the great day of reconciliation was a Sabbath of Sabbaths (16:31; 23:32). Accordingly, some would understand the words in Joh 19:31 (ην μεγάλη ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνου τοῦ σαββάτου, rendered in the A.V. "for that Sabbath day was a high day") of the first Paschal day. But a proper weekly Sabbath seems certainly to be meant, in harmony with the entire relation of John; e.g. with 21:1. It is called a great or high day because the first Paschal day fell upon it (see Carpzov, App. p. 384; Bleek, Beitr. z. Evangelien-Kritik, p. 31 sq.).
The Sabbath is kept by the modern Jews as a great festival with every demonstration of joy, taking the idea from Isa 18:7,7, "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable . . . then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, "etc. The Sabbath is held from evening to evening (Le 23:32), but they begin it half an hour before sunset on Friday, and prolong it till half an hour after sunset on Saturday, for the benefit of the souls of the damned, who, they believe, are allowed on that day suspension of their sufferings. On Friday afternoon they prepare all the food, etc., that may be wanted, and lay out their best clothes to wear in honor of "Queen Sabbath." Some opulent Jews keep magnificent dresses to be worn on the Sabbath alone. As soon as the Sabbath commences, the mistress of the house lights the Sabbath lamp, which is filled with pure olive oil, and has from four to seven wicks, and lays on the table the Sabbath bread, shaped like a twisted plait, made of the finest wheaten flour, and sprinkled with poppy seeds. They go to the synagogue, and after their devotions wish each other "a good Sabbath." At supper, the master of the house repeats the commemoration of the Sabbath out of Genesis 2, "Thus the heavens were finished," etc.; thanks God for the Sabbath, blesses the wine, and passes it round. They rise later than usual on the Sabbath morning; and at the synagogue they use some additional devotions, with a commemoration of the dead. They think it right to eat at least three meals on the Sabbath, because the word "today" relating to the Sabbath is repeated three times in Ex 16:25. So convinced are they that one way of honoring the Sabbath is by great feasting that they sometimes fast the preceding day to enable them to eat the more at the Sabbath meals (Buxtorf, Syn. Jud. c. 15). There is a Jewish maxim, that he is greatly to be commended who honors the Sabbath exceedingly in his body, in his dress, and in eating and drinking. Such are the principal features of the carnal views of the Sabbath from which the early fathers wished to wean the Jewish converts. A full account of the sabbatical ceremonies observed at present by the Jews may be found in Buxtorf's Synagoga Judaica, and in Picard's Religious Ceremonies.
See, in general, Journ. of Sac. Lit. Oct. 1851, p. 70 sq.; Ball, Horoe Sabbaticoe (Lond. 1853); and the monographs cited by Volbeding, Index Programmatum, p. 112; and by Darling, Cyclopaedia Bibliographica (see Index). See also the literature referred to under the article following and SEE LORDS DAY.