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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, November 26 2020

Can we be sure Saturday is the Seventh Day?

The seven-day weekly cycle is not tied to any patterns or alignments of the sun, moon or stars. It’s a non-stop counting of days, one after the other, and Scripture tells us this cycle was established by God at creation.

After the six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3). If that sequence had gotten lost sometime between the first day of rest and the exodus of Israel from Egypt, the true seventh day was clearly re-established by the time the Ten Commandments were given.

In the wilderness, God fed the people of Israel with manna, which appeared every day except the seventh day Sabbath (Exodus 16:14-30). This weekly cycle of manna only stopped when Israel entered the promised land, but four decades of repetition is plenty of time to clearly establish which day was the day of rest.

The record of Jesus’ life shows He rested on the seventh day (John 15:10), observing the same day of the week as His fellow Jews. The religious authorities of the day may have disputed what types of activities were appropriate for observing the seventh day, but there was never disagreement as to which day of the week it was. Jesus' obedience to the fourth commandment confirmed the seventh day, as kept by the Jews, was the correct day.

Some wonder if the Jews lost track of the seventh day after Jesus’ death, but there isn’t any historical record of disputes among Jewish groups that the day we call Saturday is not the seventh day of the weekly cycle and God’s day of rest. All the evidence indicates the Jewish people have successfully kept the original seven-day weekly cycle intact.

The other question often posed is whether the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 lost track of the seventh day? From 46 B.C. till A.D. 1582 the Western world used what is called the Julian calendar. In 1582 the Julian calendar was replaced with the new, improved Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar system we use today.

That change had no impact on the seven-day weekly cycle. Ten days were simply dropped out of the calendar to get the dating system of the calendar back in sync with the solar system. On Thursday, Oct. 4, 1582 the next day, Friday, should have been Oct. 5. The new calendar made the next day Oct. 15 instead. That change had no impact on the seven-day weekly cycle. Whether that following Friday was numbered as the 5th of the month or the 15th of the month, it was still the sixth day of the week, and the day that followed was still the seventh day of the week.

We can therefore confidently conclude that our current Saturday is the seventh day of the week, and God’s Holy Sabbath that has been in place since the beginning of creation—a cycle established and confirmed by God Himself.