Public and Private

Sabbath Study, Part 12

In Leviticus 23, God instructs the Israelites to keep various feasts throughout the year: the Passover, the Feast of Firstfruits, the Feast of Weeks, and so on. This list begins with a call to observe the most important feast, the one that stands out above the rest—the weekly Sabbath.

Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:3)

A holy convocation.
In this verse, we see that there are corporate and private aspects of the Sabbath celebration. First, it is a holy convocation—that is, a sacred assembly. God’s people are called to gather together on the Sabbath for public worship. In addition to this public aspect, it is to be observed “in all your dwellings.”

Seventh day.
That is, weekly. “No other seasons or occasions of public worship are ever to set aside, supersede, or lead nay to neglect the habitual and holy observance of the weekly Sabbath” (Justin Edwards).

In all your dwellings.
“This is added to distinguish the sabbath from other feasts, which were to be kept before the Lord in Jerusalem only, whither all the males were to come for that end; but the sabbath was to be kept in all places, where they were, both in synagogues, which were erected for that end, and in their private houses” (Matthew Poole).

Commentaries Cited from
Hall, Kay.
Online Bible. Beersheba Springs: Ken Hamel, 2000. CD-ROM.

Commentaries Used
The Family Bible Notes, by Justin Edwards
Annotations upon the Holy Bible, by Matthew Poole