SATURDAY SABBATH KEEPING IN FIRST CENTURY
This article with proof that the Jews kept Saturday as their Sabbath before and after the time of the Messiah. And the Messiah was in the synagogue on Saturday with the Jews. The Messiah kept the 7th day of the week leaving us an example to follow.
Remember the Julius Caesar changed the calendar to the Roman Calendar. He called the Seventh Day of the Week Saturn. This is where we get the name Saturday.
BELOW ARE THE QUOTES FROM HISTORIANS ABOUT HOW THE PEOPLE KEPT THE 7TH SABBATH. In fact the Roman Historians referred to it as the day of Saturn which means IT COULD ONLY BE SATURDAY.
KEEPING SATURDAY BEFORE THE TIME OF CHRIST:
Cassius Dio discusses the first battle was during a time when the Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, who were engaged in a civil war over who would rule. The Romans, through the actions of Pompey, came in and settled the dispute, siding with Hyrcanus. While speaking of Pompey’s battle, the Sabbath is mentioned.
“Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty.
For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it.
As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall.
The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously.
Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered.
The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away.” Cassius Dio Roman History 37.16.1-4
Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian who lived from ca. 155 to 229 CE. The second battle listed by Cassius Dio occurred in 36 BCE, is the one that resulted in the very first King Herod coming to power:
“The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves.
The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called the day of Saturn. And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people.
Cassius Dio Roman History 49.22.4-6
Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most.
J. Hugh Michael in his paper entitled “The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers quotes Tibullus, a Latin Poet, who lived from 54 BCE – 19 BCE, references the Sabbath in one of his Elegies.
The day of which the poet speaks is the Saturday and implies that he did not travel on his journey on the Sabbath day.
“All promised a return; yet did nothing stay her from looking back in tears and terror on my journey. Yea, even I her comforter, after I had given my parting charge, sought still in my disquiet for reasons to linger and delay. Either birds or words of evil omen were my pretexts, or there was the holy day of Saturn to detain me. “(Book I, Eleg. iii 13-18 in Postgate’s translation in the Loeb Classics.)
The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers. J. Hugh Michael Victoria College, Toronto, Canada. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 2. (Jan., 1924), pp. 117-124.
Josephus (37 – c. 100) said:
“The masses have long since shown a keen desire to adopt our religious observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation, to which our custom of abstaining from work on the seventh day has not spread and where our fasts and the lighting of lamps and many of our prohibitions in the matter of food are not observed. Apion 2:282-283
M’Clatchie, “Notes and Queries on China and Japan” (edited by Dennys), Vol 4, Nos 7, 8, p.100.
NOTE: He is referring to all of Parthia, Scythia, and other Israelites keeping the 7th day.
The Historian Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56CE – ca. 117CE), Proofs that the Jews kept the day of Saturn which is Saturday as their Sabbath.
“They are said to have devoted the seventh day to rest, because that day brought an end to their troubles. Later, finding idleness alluring, they gave up the seventh year as well to sloth.
Others maintain that they do this in honor of Saturn; either because their religious principles are derived from the Idaei, who are supposed to have been driven out with Saturn and become the ancestors of the Jewish people; or else because, of the seven constellations which govern the lives of men, the star of Saturn moves in the topmost orbit and exercises peculiar influence, and also because most of the heavenly bodies move round their courses in multiples of seven.”
From The Histories, Book V
Frontinus, a Roman Soldier who lived from c. 40 CE to 103 CE, wrote book called Strategematicon in 84 A.D. It was a book on military strategy. He writes:
“The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business.” Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17.
Since this book was written 14 years after Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem, this is this is obviously very strong historical evidence directly from a first century eyewitness, tying in the Sabbath with the recurring seven day cycle of the Romans.
MESSIAH KEPT THE SATURDAY SABBATH
The Messiah kept the Saturday Sabbath with the Jews in the Jewish Synagogue many times IF NOT EVERY WEEK. We have at least 9 records in the New Testament of him keeping the Sabbath on Saturday with the Jews.
Notice these two verses below. The Messiah kept Saturday as the Sabbath. Scripture tells us it was his custom or habit to be in the Synagogue on the Sabbath day teaching.
Luk_4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read.
Luk_4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. (meaning every Sabbath).
THERE IS NO PROOF THE MESSIAH KEPT ANY DAY OTHER THAN SATURDAY AS THE SABBATH!! We as Christian are suppose to follow his example.
SABBATH KEPT IN THE 1ST AND SECOND CENTURY
“There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the Barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come!”
Josephus also tells about a river in the land of Israel that had a dry riverbed for six days and flowed wildly with water on the Sabbath.
Irenaeus, A.D. 178, says that the church in his time was spread throughout the World; and especially mentions the churches in Germany, Spain, Gaul, and Britain. He adds: “There is no difference of faith or tradition in any of these countries.”
Pliny complained how the sales of heathen sacrifices had fallen off because people were leaving the old pagan teachings and embracing Christianity in droves.
In the biography of Augustine who came from Rome A.D. 596, to convert the heathen Saxons, he states the following,
“being given to Judaizing, but ignorant of the holy sacraments and festivals of the church.” That is to say, they kept the Bible Sabbath and were ignorant of the Roman “Sunday-festival.” (Mrs. Tamar Davis : “History of Sabbatarian Churches,” p. 108. Phila 1851.) …
In summary, the Jews kept Saturday as their Sabbath before and after the time of the Messiah. And the Messiah was in the synagogue on Saturday with the Jews. If you keep as your Sabbath another day other than Saturday. please remember that the Messiah left us an example to keep the 7th day of the week which is Saturday.
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Thank you for the accurate and informative article. I also keep the seventh day sabbath- I also keep the holy days of The Lord such as Passover, Pentecost, day of atonement , etc. as Jesus also kept them. Do you keep them as we’ll and if not how come?
Hey Leland, Yes I do keep the Holy days. I have been keeping them since I was 12 years old. Thank Yah for his understanding because they have so much meaning.