Seventh-Day Adventists/Lev. 23 and the Sabbath
I’m an SDA. I do follow your answers closely. I find them very interesting. You make some good points and present some arguments I have not heard before. I appreciate that you quote the Bible to back your answers and usually you use the Bible in context. Your argument concerning Lev. 23 I found to be basically a good argument. But have you ever considered carefully verses 1-4? I don’t mean any disrespect when I say that. You obviously read the Bible much. The point I wish to make is that after God saying these are his feasts the 7th day Sabbath is listed but then God states “These are the feasts of the Lord.” Then God lists the ceremonial feasts. What I’m saying is that God says he is about to list his feast days but then he mentions the 7th day Sabbath before actually giving the list of ceremonial feasts in order to let us know that the 7th day Sabbath is separate from the other days he is about to list. What are your thoughts on this?
Thank you very much,
Dear Brother Raymond:
Thank you very much for your kind comments about my work here. I especially appreciate you saying this as an SDA. Thank you for honestly dealing with the first four verses of Leviticus 23. However, I don’t see any evidence in these verses that God mentioned the 7th day Sabbath in order to let the Israelites know that it was not part of the ceremonial feasts of the Lord. In v. 2 God states, “these are my feasts”. The next verse lists the 7th day Sabbath. This quite naturally leads one to see the 7th day Sabbath as the first in the list of “feasts of the Lord”.
You make a very good observation concerning v. 4. Why does God mention “These are the feasts of the Lord” after having just mentioned in v.1 “these are my feasts”? I believe the answer is that God is giving one list of His ceremonial feasts given to Israel. First in v. 3 He gives the weekly feast then starting in v. 5 He gives the feast days that are to be observed at a specific time of the year. The 7th day Sabbath didn’t have a season that it was to be observed in. It was to be observed every week no matter the time of the year.
Now with this in mind, let’s take a look at Leviticus 23:1-4 in the KJV.
23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.
Note that in v.4 it says concerning the feasts about to be mentioned “which ye shall proclaim in their seasons”. That is the difference between the 7th day Sabbath and the other feasts of Israel. The 7th day had no specific season associated with its observation. The other feast days were to be observed only in their season. Apart from that I don't see any other difference between the Sabbaths in the first four verses of Leviticus 23. The 7th day Sabbath is not set apart here as moral and the other sabbaths as ceremonial.
Thanks for for the question.
God Bless You,