Hear Elisabeth         

Home Page

pagan sources?

A myth!

Who wrote Genesis?

Christmas! The truth


Plurality of the Godhead

The Law and Commandments

Are all Israelites Jews?

Yahshua the Rabbi

Biblical Dance

Testimony about Israel

New Moons and ancient Hebrew Calendar

Israel the Beloved

The Joy of our Return

Who are the Gentiles?

Ruth the Reubenite




Has the Sabbath Day been replaced by the 'rest' in Hebrews 4? Heb 4:3 "For we which have believed do enter into rest"

A few thoughts on the Sabbath ‘rest’ of Hebrews 4

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of entering into his rest, (Greek=katapausis) any of you should seem to come short of it.
Heb 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, (Greek=katapausis) as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: (Greek=katapausis) although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Heb 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. (Greek=sabatismos)
Heb 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, (Greek=kat-ap-ow-o= to settle down) then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest(Greek=katapausis) to the people of God.
Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, (Greek=katapausis) he also hath ceased from his own works, as God from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,(Greek=katapausis) lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Has the Sabbath Day been replaced by the 'rest' in Hebrews 4?

Many believers state that because of Calvary, we are 'set free' from the Law, including the fourth Commandment, to honour the Sabbath Day.
One One of the arguments they use is that these verses in Hebrews four suggest that Yahweh has changed the rules for Sabbath Day observance, for New Testament believers and has exchanged the original observance of the 7th day Sabbath, to an every day experience of ‘rest’ from our sins. He has brought us into a ‘perpetual Sabbath,’ and that this has somehow mysteriously done away with the Commandment.
So, let us have a look at what Paul is actually saying. The word ‘rest’ in Hebrews 4 is 'Katapausis'. Katápausis, kat-ap'-ow-sis; from G2664; reposing down,
I. A putting to rest, A Calming of the winds.
2. A resting place, meaning the heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make persevering believers in Christ partakers. A different subject altogether. He does not suggest that it is a substitution for the weekly Sabbath.
This is a different Greek word than that which denotes the kind of rest associated with the Sabbath Day, when we are commanded to cease from work of any kind, as in Isaiah 58 verse 13. "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath (Hebrew=shabbath) a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Isa 58:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken)
This carries a totally different meaning to the word 'rest' in Hebrews. In the New Testament, when Sabbath is mentioned, it continues to be observed both by Yahshua and His disciples when visits to the synagogue were the norm, and was very much on the lines of Isaiah and Exodus 20, when people are to cease from work of any kind. See Luke 6:6 "And it came to pass also on another sabbath, (Greek=sabbaton, sab'-bat-on. Of Hebrew origin [H7676]; the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations) that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered."
Even in verse 9 when it seems that the Sabbath Day is being mentioned, if we look at the Greek meaning, here again we are discussing the ‘repose of Christianity’
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest (sabbatismos =sabbatism, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven)to the people of God.
The whole chapter is actually discussing the rest Yahweh has always desired to give to His people from the beginning which is carried on into the New Covenant, and enhanced by the death of His Son.

Read what other authoritative scholars have written regarding the two different kinds of rest.
Blue letter Bible, Strongs Concordance and Vines Expository Dictionary:
(Talking of the Sabbath Day,) Sabbaton: the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work. A. The institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week B. A single sabbath, sabbath day C. Sábbaton, sab'-bat-on; of Hebrew origin (H7676); the Sabbath (i.e. Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations.

(And now the other meaning of 'rest' in a different context,) Katápausis, kat-ap'-ow-sis; from G2664; reposing down,
I. A putting to rest
A. Calming of the winds
II. A resting place. The heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make His people partakers of.

Now, to continue our discussion on this chapter and take it a little further...
‘Katapausis’ rest is something which Yahweh has always offered to His people, it is nothing new.
When Moses led the people into the wilderness and they came to Sinai, Yahweh wanted a relationship with them which would give them rest and peace. He offered this to them and they refused His offer.
Exo 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw, they removed, and stood afar off.
Exo 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
They preferred to hear from Yahweh through Moses, and not personally, which would have demanded their complete allegiance and purity. Accordingly, Yahweh gave them what they declared that they wanted which was someone else to commune with Him and then give them rules to live by. The multitude of laws given through Moses was the outcome. Yahweh did not desire to give His people rules and regulations to live by, He clearly desired relationship. They refused this first offer of indeed, restfulness in knowing Him. Later, He offered this kind of rest to them again, a rest from battles with enemies.
Joshua offered them this same rest and repose from warfare, and Paul mentions this in Heb 4:8. "For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." We can find this reference in Joshua 22:4, "And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan."
Here, similar to katapausis, the word 'rest' comes from the Hebrew word noo'-akh which means, settle down; to dwell, stay, let alone, withdraw, give comfort, be quiet. Interestingly Joshua mentions the Commandments in the next verse.
Jos 22:5 "But take diligent heed to do the Commandment and the Law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."
So although Yahweh was offering His people the kind of restful state of peace written about in Hebrews, they were still bound to the Commandment of keeping the Sabbath Day. This brings to naught the argument of many Christians today who think that this 'rest' offered through Calvary is a substitute for the Commandment to honour the Sabbath Day.

When David became King of Israel, it was an opportunity again for the people of Yahweh to enter this restfulness, as it was a time when Israel had a period of rest from battles and warfare. David exhorted Israel in Psalms 95 to rest from sin. In this instance, the ‘rest’ he encouraged the people of his Kingdom to enter was in fact a state of rest, peace and consolation, he too was not referring to the Sabbath Day, but a state of being.
Psa 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Psa 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
Psa 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
Psa 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest. (Hebrew=Men-oo-khaw, repose or peace, consolation, to be comfortable, at ease, quiet, still.

So, in Hebrews 4 Paul is describing not a replacing of the original Commandment of Sabbath rest, but rather introducing them to another kind of rest, a continual extra experience procured for them on Calvary, a rest of peace from striving against sin, a rest from trying through self effort to please Him, a rest in the way of peace, settling down, calm, repose etc. The kind of rest Yahweh has always offered His people.
He is stating that Yahshua’s sacrifice enables us to live our life in repose and peace and in communion with Him and the victory of Calvary.
Oh what joy to enter into this rest, this ceasing from striving.

I ask myself, “Why do Gentiles seek for reasons not to keep His Commandments when Yahshua Himself stated “Keep My Commandments” so very many times? He specifically stated "He loved the young rich man because he said that he ‘kept the Commandments from my youth’ The scripture says there, “and Yahshua loved him” Why? Because he was keeping the Commandments!
Mar 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
Mar 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him …
Yes, Yahshua has brought us freedom. Freedom from sin, death, guilt and shame, and of course He has set us free from self effort.
So, the conclusion to the matter is, that in Hebrews 4 Paul is specifically speaking on a different matter to the observance of the 7th day Sabbath, not a substitution for it. He is merely declaring, that through time He has offered His people a repose, a rest, a lifetime experience of peace and tranquillity in a life spent free from sin and its consequences, in fellowship with Him, and now, through Yahshua, we are being offered the same rest and tranquility, though because of Yahshua's ultimate sacrifice, a greater victory can be achieved.

I rest my case.

Top of the page

Web Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter