The Sabbath in the Pre-Exilic and Exilic Prophetic Period

Código VBLM-E2014-I

VIEW:442 DATA:2020-03-20

It is possible to note that the use of the moon is an aggregate concept seen

The new moon seems to have fallen into disrepute with the prophets, evidently because of its association with the moon. The prophets were the mighty pieces of the mouth of Yahweh's religion and looked with suspicion upon any institution that relishes pagan association. Thus, all forms of astral religion were denounced by them (Am 5:21, 2:13, Isa 1:13, Jr 8: 2, 19:13, Seph.1: 5, and also Is 47: 13) - were absolutely forbidden by Deuteronomy (Deut 4:19; 17: 3); and Josiah, encouraged by Deuteronomy, tried to take him completely out of the land (2 Kings 23: 5). This antipathy of the prophets for the astral religion even led them to give historical explanations for the feasts, for example in the case of the Feast of Unfermented Bread and the Passover (Exodus 23:15, 34:18). 12: 1 et seq., Deuteronomy 16: 1 et seq.). The New Moon festival is either completely ignored by Deuteronomy or completely eliminated, and yet, until then, was considered a very important feast (see I Sam 20: 4 and II Kings 4:23; 2:13; Isaiah 1:13). Deuteronomy itself (ie Ch.12-26), and indeed as we see that the moon does not make week measurement (Gen. 1:14), it would be natural for a pagan assimilated custom to be subsequently condemned.

The prophets were great social reformers and little interested in ritual. And so the analysis of the holy seventh day (Gen 2: 2) for the Sabbath was elevated first, and ritual became secondary, evidently because of its pagan association. In this one probably must be found the beginning of a movement by which the Sabbath was separated from the moon and identified with the seventh day and complete rest prescribed for its observance  (Gen. 2: 1-3) (see Dt 5: 13ff. ).

Saturday in the Exilic Period

From what has been said about the attitude of the prophets to the Sabbath, one can expect that the institution would have completely disappeared in the period of the Exile. But the opposite is the case. It was emphasized like never before. And this is not a difficult fact to explain. The exile period was in many ways a reaction against what immediately preceded it. Under the influence of the prophet-priest Ezekiel and his school, the ritualistic characteristic of the religion of Yahweh was tremendously emphasized. Yahweh's religion was in such danger that it seemed necessary to accentuate its peculiar forms and institutions in order to perpetuate its existence. Thus we have in this period the production of such legalistic writings as the Code of Holiness (Lv 17-26 in large part) and the Book of Ezekiel (particularly Ch. 40-48) - the forerunners of the elaborate Priestly Code of later years. These legalistic writers, in contrast to the prophets, were careful to preserve all the institutions of ancient Israel and in its ancient ritualistic form.

Another reason for the important place given to the Sabbath during the exile arose from the deuteronomic reform. which had linked all the religious festivals to the now destroyed temple and sacred city. Therefore, necessarily, at least for some time, they were put on hold, in so far as their observance was in question. Deuteronomy of the Sabbath had not mentioned and only it could be observed by all the exiles wherever they were. He met a deep need and kept alive his faith in the religion of Yahweh. In fact, for many, it has become the symbol of ritual as a whole. His observance became the hallmark of a loyal member of the race and was one of the few remaining things to distinguish them from their pagan neighbors. It is no wonder, therefore, that he has grown so widely in his thoughts and literature.

It was in exile or in the immediately preceding years that the Sabbath-bound action of the prophets dissociated itself from the moon, as defined in Gen 1:14 and came to be identified with the seventh day (Ezekiel 46: 1, cf. : 15 Hp). The prophets strongly denounced every astral religion. Therefore, feasts such as New Moon and Saturday became odious to them. On the other hand, observance as the seventh day as a period of rest and worship was quite acceptable. The exile leaders were as preoccupied as the prophets in differentiating the religion from Israel from all the others, but they chose to do this in a different way, viz. by a rebirth of earlier ritualistic conceptions. Thus they were careful to preserve all the old, but disassociated with anything that savored pagan practice. That's when the Sabbath was revived. He identified with the seventh day and, over time, became one of the most ritualistic of Jewish institutions.

It is not difficult to conceive how this change occurred. It was exactly in accordance with the general trends of the times. And this was linked to the ancient foundation of the pentateuch, linked to creation. Seen in the likeness of the words Sabbath (שבת) and seven (שבע) and allied to the word satisfaction (שבע) H7646, which shows that the foundation of the origin of the word Sabbath is not rest, as one sees the term of נוּחַ, 3:20). This is a clear factor because if we have that God rested (Gen 2: 1-3), we have that God does not get tired (Isa 40:28). But God can be satisfied, or rejoice (Isaiah 62: 5). But in fact the term is bound to cease what he had done. Thus seven, Saturday and satisfaction have the characteristic of being ethnologically connected. Defining that the Sabbath, and seventh day be the same, and with the same function of satisfaction, or cease (Gen 2: 2, Exo 20:11, Exo 31:17).

With this we can observe the attempt to extract assimilated pagan concepts, which did not exist in relation to the beginning (Gen 2: 2, Gen 1:14 ). In fact the beginning of the concept of the week separated by the moon, there would not be a Genesis not substantiating it. Unless it was categorically proved that Genesis was never an ancient scripture and that its origin was in the period of the prophets near exile. What, besides not being proved, is totally contrary to the proofs, that is to say, the proof is that the pentateuch, is a book before the time of the kings.

Thus the primitive ritualistic conception was revived and enlarged, and the need to abstain from work emphasized, not because of man, as the prophets would have said, but as

an element of worship - an end in itself. It was regarded as a sign between the Lord and his people (Ezekiel 20:12, 20, Ex. 31:13 HP); which was to be observed as a holy day (Ezekiel 44:24, 31:14), and was not to be profaned as it had been for previous generations (Ezekiel 20: 13-24, 22: 8, 26; 23:38); should be strictly observed (Lev 19: 3b, 30; 26: 2) and for this purpose sacrifices were prescribed for her (Ezekiel 44:24, 45:17, 46: 1-5, 12). It was a day of abstinence and no more of joy and festivity. How would you determine the very concept of the word Sabbath (שבת) and seven (שבע) and satisfaction (שבע) H7646.




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