Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. When does the Sabbath day begin and end?
 
A. In the beginning, the Sabbath was rendered “holy time” by God at creation.  “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation” (Gen. 2:1-3).  That period of time defined broadly as “evening and morning” was blessed and hallowed.  To hallow or sanctify is to make holy or set apart for holy use.  When originally defined, the days of creation week were set only in the broad terms of “evening and morning,” not specifically form the moment of sunset to sunset, although there is a rough relationship between evening and sunset (see Deuteronomy 16:6 and Mark 1:32).  It is the individual’s responsibility (within the guidelines of the Church), to determine as best he is able the meaning of “evening” which begins a day.  Scandinavians certainly have more need of a broad meaning of “evening” than do people who live in the tropics.

The Sabbath was a day upon which God “rested” – that is, ceased from His labors of creation – and “was refreshed” (Ex. 31:17).  The example is clear.  God rested.  Man should rest from his weekly labors also.  When man observes the Sabbath day, he is imitating his Creator and commemorating the creation itself.
 
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