Those Christians who observe Saturday as the Sabbath often claim that when God rested on the seventh day he sanctified it and set it apart for holy use.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
They claimed God blessed the seventh day while he was resting on it and not created centuries later when the children of Israel departed Egypt. He sanctified it (setting it apart for holy use). Sabbath keepers claim the Sabbath was in existence from the end of creation week to the time of Moses when the Law was revealed to the children of Israel.
They back this up by quoting Genesis 26:3-5.
Jehovah is talking to Abraham and says the following:
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Sabbath observers claim that when the children of Israel in Egypt became slaves they could no longer observe the Sabbath so after 400 years of slavery in Egypt the Sabbath became "lost". After the departure from Egypt God had to reveal to the Israelites the Sabbath because they had no knowledge of the Sabbath. It didn't mean that the revealing of the Sabbath was the first time it had ever been given unto man.
1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. 5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day, they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
At this point, Jehovah is preparing the Israelites to begin keeping the Sabbath, something that had not been done for 400 years, if those who honor the Sabbath are correct.
22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that the Lord hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
And so began the Jews keeping the Sabbath which they continue to do to this day. It is important to note that the Sabbath predated the giving of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20.
Jesus kept the Sabbath in the New Testament times. He also made the well-known statement in Mark 2:23-28
23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. 24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? 25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? 26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? 27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
This is crucial. Jesus did not say the Sabbath was made for the Jew, but it was made for man. In the Greek text the word "man" meant human or mankind, or so I have been told, by Sabbath keepers of course.
Some say that of all the ten commandments that were given in Exodus 20 only nine are repeated in the New Testament and the only one that is not mentioned is the Sabbath. However, of all the commandments given in the Torah several are not mentioned in the New Testament as well, including the law against bestiality. Does that mean bestiality is not a sin in New Testament times?
There was no need to repeat the Sabbath commandment in the New Testament because the whole country of Israel not only kept the Sabbath but there were so many extra man-made laws making the Sabbath a burden Jesus had to show everyone the Pharisees and Sadducees were too zealous in their effort for the Sabbath not to be broken.
Jesus was once asked the following:
Matthew 19:16, 17
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Notice Jesus said if one would want to enter into eternal life, he should keep the commandments. He was asked which ones and Jesus stated a few of the commandments encoded into the ten commandments given at Mount Sinai.
I am trying to be as fair as I can for those who observe the Sabbath but does Genesis 26:5 prove that Abraham kept the (ten) Commandments? Why are why not?
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.