The court must not inflict punishment on the Sabbath

The Literal Commandment

For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)

 

The literal commandment is that whoever does any work on the Sabbath should be put to death.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah questioned his opponents about whether it was lawful to heal or kill on the Sabbath. He pointedly answered the question regarding healing and allowed the existing prohibition against killing on the Sabbath to stand.

[Messiah] entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward!" And He said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:1-5)

 

Pictures of Messiah

The Sabbath is to be a day of rest, contentment, and holiness. These picture the rest, contentment, and holiness we have by faith in the Messiah. Inflicting punishment on the Sabbath involves work, stems from and causes discontentment, and brings the unholiness of the offense (which is resulting in punshiment) into focus.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not inflicting punishment on the Sabbath. He was not known to be a part of any court that would have inflicted punishment.

 

Traditional Observance

Traditionally this commandment is understood to mean "the court should not carry out any execution on the Sabbath". Giving lashes as punishment was allowed but an execution was not. One of the forms of capital punishment was burning and the verse that immediately follows this commandment is "You shall not kind a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day." (Exodus 35:3) This was understood to mean that executions (by fire) were prohibited on the Sabbath. This was accepted and extended to a prohibition on all forms of execution on the Sabbath.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and should prohibit courts from inflicting punishment on the Sabbath.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 89
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 3
  • Mishneh Torah Book Times
  • Mishneh Torah Category 12- Shabbat
  • Reference Exodus 35:3
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 35
  • Verse 3
  • English You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.
  • Hebrew ג לֹא-תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ, בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, בְּיוֹם, הַשַּׁבָּת. {פ}
  • Greek 3 οὐ καύσετε πῦρ ἐν πάσῃ κατοικίᾳ ὑμῶν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων· ἐγὼ κύριος.
  • Parashah 22- Vayakhel
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 114
  • Sef. Hach. Command That the court should not carry out any execution on the Sabbath
  • Category Appointed Times
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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