What is the Significance of Exodus 31:12 - 18 in Relationship to Jewish Beliefs?

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Within Exodus 31:12 - 18 Moses is told the importance of the seventh day by God, he is reminded that it must be kept holy. The significance of the sabbath is of clear importance to the Jews who are told, “Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death”. (Exodus 31:14) For Jews, defiling the Sabbath day is one of the top sins, only outranked by those of idol worship and murder, historically people have been stoned to death for committing this sin. This essay will be looking at why the sabbath day is important to the jews, what makes the sabbath day distinct and the practices of the sabbath.

The Sabbath is believed to have two main reasonings. The first of these reasonings is that it is the day of rest put aside by God, “for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Exodus 31: 17) This quote is written when Moses is on Mount Sinai receiving the commandments from God. The Sabbath day is the only holy day mentioned in these commandments, as well as instructions on how it should be conducted. The quote itself shows to the Jews that a day of rest and reflection is of importance, even God needed time to refresh himself after creation was complete. The sabbath day because of this has become a day to reflect over the week and think of God, it is a spiritual day full of celebration about achievement. One misconception about sabbath day is that it is only for spiritual reflection, this is not how it is viewed by Jews, it is a day God gave them to enjoy. The second reasoning for the creation of the sabbath day is that it is a time to reflect upon their freedom from enslavement by the Egyptians. Jewish people belie...

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...enjoy themselves. The Sabbath means that a Jewish week always begins and ends in celebration.

Word count: 1829

Solomon, Norman. 1996 - Judaism, a very short Introduction - Oxford University Press

Leaman, Oliver. 2011 - Judaism, an Introduction - I.B.Tauris and Co Ltd

Cohn-Sherbok, Lavinia & Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. 1999 - Judaism: A Short Introduction - Oneworld Publications

Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. 2003 - Judaism: History, Beliefs and Practices - London ; New York : Routledge

Works Cited

Solomon, Norman. 1996 - Judaism, a very short Introduction - Oxford University Press

Leaman, Oliver. 2011 - Judaism, an Introduction - I.B.Tauris and Co Ltd

Cohn-Sherbok, Lavinia & Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. 1999 - Judaism: A Short Introduction - Oneworld Publications

Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. 2003 - Judaism: History, Beliefs and Practices - London ; New York : Routledge

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