Exodus 20:11 MEANING

Exodus 20:11
(11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth.--Comp. Genesis 2:2-3, and Exodus 31:17. It is not improbable that the work of creation was made to occupy six days because one day in seven is the appropriate proportion of rest to labour for such a being as man. God might have created all things on one day had He so pleased; but, having the institution of the Sabbath in view, He prefigured it by spreading His work over six days, and then resting on the seventh. His law of the Sabbath established a conformity between the method of His own working and that of His reasonable creatures, and taught men to look on work, not as an aimless, indefinite, incessant, weary round, but as leading on to an end, a rest, a fruition, a time for looking back, and seeing the result and rejoicing in it. Each Sabbath is such a time, and is a type and foretaste of that eternal "sabbatising" in another world which "remaineth for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). The secondary object of the institution of the Sabbath, assigned in Deuteronomy 5:15, is in no way incompatible with this primary one. The thought of God's works in creation might well be associated in the mind of an. Israelite with the thought of His "wondrous works" in Egypt, and the recollection of the blessed peace and rest in which creation resulted, with the memory of the glad time of repose and refreshment which supervened upon the weary task work of the Egyptian bondage.

Verse 11. - For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth. Two reasons are assigned for the sanctification of the seventh day in the Pentateuch: -

1. The fact that the work of creation took six days, and that on the seventh God rested; and

2. The further fact, that God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, and gave them a time of rest after a time of labour and toil (Deuteronomy 5:15). It is not expressly said that the deliverance took place on the Sabbath, but such is the Jewish tradition on the subject. The reason here assigned must be regarded as the main reason, man's rest being purposely assimilated to God's rest, in order to show the resemblance between man's nature and God's (Genesis 1:27), and to point towards that eternal rest wherein man, united with God, will find his highest bliss and the true end of his being. "There remaineth a rest for the people of God."

20:3-11 The first four of the ten commandments, commonly called the FIRST table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbour to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the object of worship, JEHOVAH, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment. Whatsoever ye do, do all the glory of God. The second commandment refers to the worship we are to render to the Lord our God. It is forbidden to make any image or picture of the Deity, in any form, or for any purpose; or to worship any creature, image, or picture. But the spiritual import of this command extends much further. All kinds of superstition are here forbidden, and the using of mere human inventions in the worship of God. The third commandment concerns the manner of worship, that it be with all possible reverence and seriousness. All false oaths are forbidden. All light appealing to God, all profane cursing, is a horrid breach of this command. It matters not whether the word of God, or sacred things, all such-like things break this commandment, and there is no profit, honour, or pleasure in them. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. The form of the fourth commandment, Remember, shows that it was not now first given, but was known by the people before. One day in seven is to be kept holy. Six days are allotted to worldly business, but not so as to neglect the service of God, and the care of our souls. On those days we must do all our work, and leave none to be done on the sabbath day. Christ allowed works of necessity, charity, and piety; for the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath, Mr 2:27; but all works of luxury, vanity, or self-indulgence in any form, are forbidden. Trading, paying wages, settling accounts, writing letters of business, worldly studies, trifling visits, journeys, or light conversation, are not keeping this day holy to the Lord. Sloth and indolence may be a carnal, but not a holy rest. The sabbath of the Lord should be a day of rest from worldly labour, and a rest in the service of God. The advantages from the due keeping of this holy day, were it only to the health and happiness of mankind, with the time it affords for taking care of the soul, show the excellency of this commandment. The day is blessed; men are blessed by it, and in it. The blessing and direction to keep holy are not limited to the seventh day, but are spoken of the sabbath day.For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,

and all that in them is, &c. And of which six days, and of the several things made in each of them, see the notes on the first chapter of Genesis:

and resteth the seventh day: which does not suppose labour, attended with weariness and fatigue; for the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary, Isaiah 40:28 nor ease and refreshment from it, but only a cessation from the works of creation, they being finished and completed, though not from the works of Providence, in which he is continually concerned: now this circumstance, before recorded in the history of the creation, is wisely improved to engage an attention to this command, and to the observation of it; there being an analogy between the one and the other, that as God worked six days, and, having done his work completely, ceased from it and rested, so it was fit and proper, that as the Israelites had six days allowed them to labour in, and do all their work, they should rest on the seventh, they and all that belonged to them, or had any connection with them:

wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath, and hallowed it: he separated it from all other days of the week, and set it apart for holy use and service, by obliging his people to cease from all work on it, and to give up themselves to the exercises of religion, as hearing, reading the word, prayer, praise, &c. and he blessed it with his presence, and with the communications of his grace, as he still continues to do, whatsoever day his people make use of for his worship and service. The note of Jarchi is,"he blessed it with manna, by giving double bread on the sixth, and sanctified it by manna, that it might not descend on it;''so that there was a provision made for it, which was blessing it; and it was distinguished from all other days, no manna falling on it, which was the sanctification of it; and all showed it to be a day the Lord had a particular regard to, and that it was to be a day of rest, and exemption from labour. (This verse shows that the days in the first chapter of Genesis were real twenty four hour days. For you compare like things to like. Just as God worked six days and rested on the seventh, so the Israelites were to do also. The comparison would make no sense if the days were "seven ages" or were "seven ages" that overlapped each other (Day Age Theory) or if there was a huge gap between the days (Gap Theory). These are modern compromises to accomodate the alleged geological ages with the Biblical account of creation.Further this verse allows one to determine the age of the universe. Using the biblical geneologies Bishop Ussher determined the date of creation to be 4004 B.C. Although this may be off by one or two percent, it is a very accurate estimate based on biblical revelation not man's speculation. Editor.)

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