Personal Study 2007
The Warning to Adam In Genesis 2:16-17
“And Jehovah [Yahweh] Elohim commanded Adam, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou shalt freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die.”
The Law in the Garden (and the Sabbath)
“For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
But what about the Sabbath?
“Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed be the ground on thy account; with toil shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life…”
The penalty of death is attached to the Sabbath in a very specific manner in the Law of Moses. There the penalty is attached to “the Sabbath of Yahweh” (God in covenant). The Laws regarding the Sabbath are given and expanded upon by Moses in Exodus 20 and beyond.
- There was no command (or penalty) given Adam regarding the Sabbath.
- There was no command or penalty given Noah regarding the Passover.
- There was no command or penalty given to Abraham regarding the Holy of Holies.
The Sabbath at Sinai
“And now, if ye will hearken to my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then shall ye be my own possession out of all the peoples -- for all the earth is mine -- and ye shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak to the children of Israel.”
“And Jehovah [Yahweh, God of covenant] spoke to Moses, saying, And thou, speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Surely my sabbaths shall ye keep; for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that it is I, Jehovah [Yahweh], who do hallow you.”
“Keep the sabbath, therefore; for it is holy unto you; every one that profaneth it shall certainly be put to death: yea, whoever doeth work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his peoples.”
The penalty for violating the Sabbath Law was death for profaning it; being “cut off” for working on that day (compare the warning to gentile believers in Rom 11: 13-22). As a nation, the violation of the Sabbaths (plural) also meant failure to keep the covenant as they promised in Exodus 19:8 (“And all the people answered together, and said, All that Jehovah[Yahweh] has spoken will we do!”). With that assurance, God called Moses to Sanai to deliver the covenant conditions.
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.