The Sabbath in Israel

Even before issuing the law on Mount Sinai, God had set apart the Sabbath (Exodus 16: 4-30). He gave the Sabbath as a gift, as a day on which the people of Israel were to rest from work and turn to God without distraction. Thus the Sabbath was a day of rest and, at the same time, a holy day. It was characterised by a special sacrificial service (Numbers 28: 9-10). Those who honoured the Sabbath and avoided personal business and idle talk (Isaiah 58: 13-14) were promised blessing.