The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleExodus 20:10
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God…
Not which he rested on, and ceased from the works of creation in,
though he did rest on the seventh day of the creation, and so on every
other day since, as well as that; nor does it appear, nor can it be
proved, that this day appointed to the Jews as a sabbath was the
seventh day of the week from the creation of the world; but was either
the seventh day of the week from their coming out of Egypt, or from the
raining of the manna: but this is called the Lord's sabbath, or rest,
because enjoined by him to the people of Israel, and not to them until
they were separated from other people, and were a distinct body of men
under a certain meridian; for it is impossible that one and the same
day, be it the seventh, or any other, should be kept to exactness of
time by all the inhabitants of the earth; it being night with one part,
when it is day with another, and not the same day to them all:
in it thou shall not do any work;
of a servile nature, exercise any
trade or any hand labour, or any kind of work for pleasure or profit,
only works of mercy and necessity. No labour or handicraft was to be
exercised, according to the Jewish canons F6, until the going out of
it, or the appearance of the stars:
thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter;
neither a man nor his children,
male and female, such as were under age, and under the tuition,
direction, and care of their parents, who were to instruct them in this
kind, and not suffer them to work on this day, and much less oblige
them to it; for as for those that were grown up, and no longer under
the inspection of parents, and were heads of families themselves, they
are included in the word "thou", and are in the first place charged in
thy manservant, nor thy maidservant;
this is to be understood,
according to the Jews, not of hired servants, concerning whose rest
from labour a man was not bound F7, but of such as were born in their
house, and bought with their money; and of such menservants as were
circumcised, and in all things professed to be proselytes to the Jewish
religion, and to conform to it; for as for one that only received the
commands of the sons of Noah, and was not circumcised, he might do work
for himself on the sabbath day, but not for his master; and no Israelite
might bid him work on the sabbath day for the necessity of an
Israelite, though he was not his master F8. If a servant does work
without the knowledge of his master, and it is known to all that he
does it without his knowledge, there is no need to separate him from
it, or take him off of it F9: so maidservants, when they did things
without the knowledge of their masters and mistresses, and without
being bid to do it, they were free to do it: thus, for instance, they
``a cheese which maids make of themselves, of milk that belongs
to an Israelite, is lawful when he does not bid them make it:''
nor thy cattle,
of any sort whatever that is used to labour, because if
the cattle did not rest, servants could not, who are concerned in the
care and use of them: in (Deuteronomy 5:14) , the ox and the ass are particularly
mentioned, because laborious creatures; the one were used in ploughing,
and treading out the corn, and the other to ride upon, and carry
burdens; and concerning the latter the Jews have this canon F12,
``he who is going in the way, (or on a journey,) and has
sanctified for himself the day, and has money with him, and
has an ass; and though he has with him an idolater, he may
not put his bag upon his ass; because he is commanded
concerning its rest; but he may give his bag to the idolater
to throw it upon it; and at the going out of the sabbath he
may receive it from him, and even may not give him a reward
but not only those, but all sorts of cattle were exempt from labour on
this day, as horses, camels, mules… which, according to the Jewish
canons, as they were not to be employed in work by the Jews, so they
were not to be let or lent out to an idolater F13: nor the stranger
that is within thy gates: who was a proselyte of the gate, and not of
righteousness; as for the proselyte of righteousness that was
circumcised, and professed the Jewish religion, about him there could
be no doubt concerning his rest on this day; but the proselyte of the
gate, his case was not so clear, and therefore is particularly
expressed; and by which description it should seem that he was not
obliged by this law, had he not been within their gates, or a sojourner
in anyone of their cities; since it was contrary to the laws and
usages among whom they dwelt, and might be an offence to some, and a
snare to others, and, as Grotius thinks, might be to their detriment,
get their work and their gain from them, they are forbid to work; and
yet, according to the Jewish writers F14, they might work for
themselves, though not for an Israelite, as before observed.
F6 Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. Orach Chayim Hilchot Sabbat, c. 293. sect.
F7 Lebush, par. 1. c. 304. sect. 1.
F8 Schulchan Aruch, ib. c. 304, sect. 1.
F9 Lebush, ib.
F11 Schulchan, ib. c. 305. sect. 21.
F12 lb. c. 266. sect. 1.
F13 Ib. c. 246. sect. 3.
F14 Maimon. Hilchot Sabbat, c. 20. sect. 14.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Exodus 20:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ex&chapter=020&verse=010>. 1999.