Wednesday 5 September 2012

Keeping the Sabbath Holy

Guidelines for Hola Senbet Selam (holy Sabbath peace)

The first post I made on Senbet was about what the Sabbath day is as a covenant and feast. Here are the Scriptures that deal what the rules are for Sabbath. I am not going into detail on actual practices, but more dealing with the general basic guidelines of the 6pm to 6 pm rest in JAH from the ancient Hebrew and Jewish traditions.

Rastafari in seeing ourselves as the distant yet genuine descendants of Isra’el, have been specially birthed by JAH through prophecy and history to become His cherished, peculiar treasure throughout the earth. As Jubilees interprets, we have been summoned by the Word of JAH to abide eternally in the same realms as HIM through the Sabbath seventh day rest from works.
“And I have chosen the seed of Jacob from amongst all that I have seen, and have written him down as My first-born son, and have sanctified him unto Myself for ever and ever; and I will teach them the Sabbath day, that they may keep Sabbath thereon from all work.” (Book of Jubilees 2:20).

As written in Exodus 20, the Sabbath Commandment is the only Law which begins with the word remember. What must we remember? To keep the Sabbath Holy. That is, to be mindful of our very own acts and words when we enter into the day of rest in the Lord. It is therefore necessary to not only read the Scriptures and overstand the importance of Sabbath, but to be mindful of how ones must prepare to keep Senbet a holy day of rest on earth as it is in Zion.

Therefore, Rastafari practises are twofold, based not only on the Hebrew Scripture commandments, but also on the concept of principled separation from that which defiles our Temples in Babylon/the world - that is, products, projects, languages, services, pleasures. Sabbath is a great partner to the Nazirite vow, which when considering its tenets, aims to separate the body from defilement with dead flesh, intoxication, and vanity. Such principled separation allows one to purge sin and bad habits, to be more I-Conscious and in tune with the heavenly and earthly JAH/Zion.

In order to conduct Sabbath in the correct Order, our driving force must be commitment to the purpose of such a day in the fullness that is expected of Ras Tafari’s exceptional children.

“And behold the commandment regarding the Sabbaths -I have written (them) down for thee- and all the judgements of its laws.
Six days shalt thou labour, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it ye shall do no manner of work, ye and your sons, and your men- servants and your maid-servants, and all your cattle and the sojourner also who is with you.
And the man that does any work on it shall die: whoever desecrates that day, whoever lies with (his) wife, or whoever says he will do something on it, that he will set out on a journey thereon in regard to any buying or selling: and whoever draws water thereon which he had not prepared for himself on the sixth day, and whoever takes up any burden to carry it out of his tent or out of his house shall die.
Ye shall do no work whatever on the Sabbath day save what ye have prepared for yourselves on the sixth day, so as to eat, and drink, and rest, and keep Sabbath from all work on that day, and to bless the Lord your God, who has given you a day of festival and a holy day: and a day of the holy kingdom for all Israel is this day among their days for ever.
For great is the honour which the Lord has given to Israel that they should eat and drink and be satisfied on this festival day, and rest thereon from all labour which belongs to the labour of the children of men save burning frankincense and bringing oblations and sacrifices before the Lord for days and for Sabbaths.
This work alone shall be done on the Sabbath-days in the sanctuary of the Lord your God; that they may atone for Israel with sacrifice continually from day to day for a memorial well-pleasing before the Lord, and that He may receive them always from day to day according as thou hast been commanded.
And every man who does any work thereon, or goes a journey, or tills (his) farm, whether in his house or any other place, and whoever lights a fire, or rides on any beast, or travels by ship on the sea, and whoever strikes or kills anything, or slaughters a beast or a bird, or whoever catches an animal or a bird or a fish, or whoever fasts or makes war on the Sabbaths:
The man who does any of these things on the Sabbath shall die, so that the children of Israel shall observe the Sabbaths according to the commandments regarding the Sabbaths of the land, as it is written in the tablets…”(Jubilees 50:6-13)

“Declare and say to the children of Israel the law of this day both that they should keep Sabbath thereon, and that they should not forsake it in the error of their hearts; (and) that it is not lawful to do any work thereon which is unseemly, to do thereon their own pleasure, and that they should not prepare thereon anything to be eaten or drunk, and (that it is not lawful) to draw water, or bring in or take out thereon through their gates any burden, which they had not prepared for themselves on the sixth day in their dwellings.
And they shall not bring in nor take out from house to house on that day; for that day is more holy and blessed than any jubilee day of the jubilees; on this we kept Sabbath in the heavens before it was made known to any flesh to keep Sabbath thereon on the earth” (Jubilees 2:29-30).
“You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the lord.” (Leviticus 19:30)

“Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:3)

The main statutes of Sabbath therefore include:

1. No buying or selling, no work

“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)

"Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work" (Exodus 20)

“Thus says the Lord: “Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.” (Jeremiah 17:21-22).

2. No gathering food, making food. Be prepared from Friday morning/afternoon

“Then he said to them, ‘This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’”
(Exodus 16:23)

3. No kindling of fire for any reason

“You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:3)

No lighting of flame after Sabbath starts. Candles that have a long burning power can be used.

4. No travelling, be where you need to go before Sabbath.

“See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 
(Exodus 16:29)

“And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:20-21).

5. No pleasures or daily routines

“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honourable,
And shall honour Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure,Nor speaking your own words,”
(Isaiah 58:13)

No pleasures includes all recreational activities, as well as sexual relations on the marriage bed. Sabbath is a day of no work which means no creation, and includes procreation. Sabbath is a holy feast so it is a day when ones are to observe ritual purity.

It is interesting to note that The State of Israel in Palestine shuts down totally on Sabbath, not even electricity runs.

Blessed Love, give thanks for the reasoning and the works in the Name of the King JAH Rastafari and Queen JAH Rastafari!


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