THE GREEK WORD “SABBATH”
FROM THE “VINES COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS”
1. sabbaton (Strong’s #4521) or sabbata: the latter, the plural form, was transliterated from the Aramaic word, which was mistaken for a plural; hence the singular, sabbaton, was formed from it. The root means "to cease, desist" (Heb„ shabath; cf. Arab., sabata, "to intercept, interrupt"); the doubled b has an intensive force, implying a complete cessation or a making to cease, probably the former. The idea is not that of relaxation or refreshment, but cessation from activity.
The observation of the seventh day of the week, enjoined upon Israel, was a sign between God and His earthly people, based upon the fact that after the six days of creative operations He rested, Exod. 31:16, 17, with 20:8-11. The OT regulations were developed and systematized to such an extent that they became a burden upon the people (who otherwise rejoiced in the rest provided) and a byword for absurd extravagance.
Two treatises of the Mishna (the Shabbath and Erubin) are entirely occupied with regulations for the observance; so with the discussions in the Gemara, on rabbinical opinions. The effect upon current opinion explains the antagonism roused by the Lord's cures wrought on the "Sabbath," e.g., Matt. 12:9-13; John 5:5-16, and explains the fact that on a "Sabbath" the sick were brought to be healed after sunset, e.g., Mark 1:32.
According to rabbinical ideas, the disciples, by plucking ears of corn (Matt. 12:1; Mark 2:23), and rubbing them (Luke 6:1), broke the "sabbath" in two respects; for to pluck was to reap, and to rub was to thresh. The Lord's attitude towards the "sabbath" was by way of freeing it from these vexatious traditional accretions by which it was made an end in itself, instead of a means to an end (Mark 2:27).
In the Epistles the only direct mentions are in Col. 2:16, "a sabbath day," RV (which rightly has the singular, see 1st parag., above), where it is listed among things that were "a shadow of the things to come" (i.e., of the age introduced at Pentecost), and in Heb. 4:4-11, where the perpetual sabbatismos is appointed for believers (see rest); inferential references are in Rom. 14:5 and Gal. 4:9-11. For the first three centuries of the Christian era the first day of the week was never confounded with the "sabbath"; the confusion of the Jewish and Christian institutions was due to declension from apostolic teaching.
Notes: (1) In Matt. 12:1 and 11, where the plural is used, the KJV (as the RV) rightly has the singular, "the sabbath day"; in v. 5 the KJV has the plural (see above). Where the singular is used the RV omits the word "day," v. 2; 24:20; Mark 6:2; Luke 6:1 ("on a sabbath"); 14:3; John 9:14 ("it was the sabbath on the day when...").
As to the use or omission of the article the omission does not always require the rendering "a sabbath"; it is absent, e.g., in Matt. 12:2. (2) In Acts 16:13, "on the sabbath day," is, lit., "on the day of the sabbath" (plural). (3) For Matt. 28:1, see late. (4) For "the first day of the week" see one, A, (5).
2. prosabbaton (Strong’s #4315) signifies "the day before the sabbath" (pro, "before," and No. 1), Mark 15:42; some MSS. have prin, "before," with sabbaton separately).
DID YOU MAKE NOTE OF VINE’S FIRST SENTENCE—— 1. sabbaton (Strong’s #4521) or sabbata: the latter, the plural form, was transliterated from the Aramaic word, which was mistaken for a plural; hence the singular, sabbaton, was formed from it.
IT WAS A MISTAKE THAT THE PLURAL CAME INTO BEING. USING THE SINGULAR IN ALL NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES MAKES COMPLETE SENSE, AND SHOULD BE READ SO.
THE WORD WEEK IN THE GREEK NT IS ALSO FROM THE SAME WORD SABBATON. SEE STRONG’S CONCORDANCE FOR EVERY VERSE IN THE NT USING “WEEK” — #4521.
NOW WE TURN TO THE ENGLISHMAN’S GREEK CONCORDANCE, AND WE SEE EVERY PLACE IN THE NT WHERE THIS GREEK WORD IS USED.
sabbaton, and sabbata.
Note.—Those which are the cases of a noun of the second declension, and in the singular, have the figure 2. Those which are of the third declension, and are neut. plur., are marked 3.
12: 1. Jesus went on the sabbath day 3 through
2. lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 2
5. on the sabbath days 3 the priests in the
temple profane the sabbath 2
8. is Lord even of the sabbath day. 2
10. lawful to heal on the sabbath days? 3
11. if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, 3
12. is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 3
24: 20 neither on the sabbath day: 2
28: 1 In the end of the sabbath, 3 as it began to
dawn toward the first (day) of the week, 3
1:21. on the sabbath day 3 he entered into
2: 23. the corn fields on the sabbath day; 3
24. why do they on the sabbath day 3
27. The sabbath 2 was made for man, and not
man for the sabbath: 2
28. is Lord also of the sabbath. 2
3: 2. heal him on the sabbath day; 3
4. to do good on the sabbath days, 3
6: 2. And when the sabbath day 2 was come,
16: 1. And when the sabbath 2 was past,
2. in the morning the first (day) of the week, 3
9. risen early the first (day) of the week, 2
4: 16. the synagogue on the sabbath 3 day,
31. taught them on the sabbath days. 3
6: 1. on the second sabbath 2 after the first,
2. lawful to do on the sabbath days ? 3
5. Lord also of the sabbath. 2
6. to pass also on another sabbath, 3
7. whether he would heal on the sabbath day; 3
9. lawful on the sabbath days 3 to do good,
13: 10. in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 3
14. had healed on the sabbath day, 2 and not on the sabbath 2 day.
15. doth not each one of you on the sabbath 2
16. be loosed from this bond on the sabbath 2 day?
14:1. to eat bread on the sabbath day, 2
3. Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? 2
5. pull him out on the sabbath 2 day?
18: 12. I fast twice in the week, 2
23: 54. and the sabbath 2 drew on.
56. and rested the sabbath day 2
24: 1. upon the first (day) of the week, 3
JOHN 5: 9. the same day was the sabbath. 2
10. It is the sabbath day:2
16. done these things on the sabbath day. 2
18. he not only had broken the sabbath, 2
7: 22. ye on the sabbath day 2 circumcise
23. If a man on the sabbath day 2
whole on the sabbath day? 2
9: 14. And it was the sabbath day 2 when
16. he keepeth not the sabbath day. 2
19:31. upon the cross on the sabbath day, 2 for
that sabbath 2 day was an high day.
20: 1. The first (day) of the week 3
19. the first (day) of the week, 3
ACTS 1: 12. a sabbath day's 2 journey,
13: 14. into the synagogue on the sabbath 3 day,
27. which are read every sabbath day, 2
42. preached to them the next sabbath. 2
44. And the next sabbath 2 day came
15: 21. read in the synagogues every sabbath day. 2
16: 13. And on the sabbath 3 (lit. the day of the
sabbath) we went out
17: 2. three sabbath days 3 reasoned
18: 4. in the synagogue every sabbath, 2
20: 7. the first (day) of the week, 3
1 COR. 16: 2. Upon the first (day) of the week 3 let
COL. 2: 16. new moon, or of the sabbath 3 (days):
TAKE ALL #3 WHICH IS PLURAL, AND PUT THEM AS SINGULAR, SO CORRECTING THE ERROR OF TRANSLATION AS DR. VINE EXPLAINED, AND IT ALL MAKES VERY LOGIC SENSE.
SOME OVER ZEALOUS 7TH DAY SABBATH OBSERVERS, HAVE IN THEIR ZEAL MISUNDERSTOOD HOW IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN— SINGULAR IN EVERY CASE.
THE KJV TRANSLATORS CORRECTED THE PLURAL TO SINGULAR IN MANY VERSES. SO READING IT AS “SABBATH” AND “WEEK” — SINGULAR IS THE CORRECT READING, AND MAKES A SMOOTHNESS OUT OF WHAT WOULD BE A RATHER CLUMZY WAY IF TRANSLATED IN THE PLURAL.