Exodus 31:16 MEANING

Exodus 31:16
Verse 16. - For a perpetual covenant. The sabbath is itself a covenant - i.e., a part of the covenant between God and Israel (Exodus 24:4) - and it is, also, a sign of covenant - i.e., a perceptible indication that the nation has entered into a special agreement with God, and undertaken the observance of special laws.

31:12-17 Orders were now given that a tabernacle should be set up for the service of God. But they must not think that the nature of the work, and the haste that was required, would justify them in working at it on sabbath days. The Hebrew word /shabath/ signifies rest, or ceasing from labour. The thing signified by the sabbath is that rest in glory which remains for the people of God; therefore the moral obligation of the sabbath must continue, till time is swallowed up in eternity.Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath,.... On whom the sabbath of the seventh day was only enjoined, as well as that of the seventh and of the fiftieth years, being all ceremonial and shadowy:

to observe the sabbath throughout their generations; so long as the Mosaic dispensation lasted, and their civil polity and church state continued, even until the Messiah came, when all those Jewish shadows, rites, and ceremonies, fled away and disappeared:

for a perpetual covenant; just in the same sense as circumcision was, Genesis 17:13.

Courtesy of Open Bible