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Sabbath rest

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Title: Sabbath rest  
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Sabbath rest

For other uses, see Shabbat and Sabbath in seventh-day churches.

Biblical Sabbath is a weekly day of rest or time of worship. It is observed differently in Judaism and Christianity and informs a similar occasion in several other faiths. Though many viewpoints and definitions have arisen over the millennia, most originate in the same textual tradition.

Sabbath in the Deut. 5:12-15).



The Anglicized term "Sabbath" is in Hebrew Shabbath (שַׁבָּת, Strong's Concordance number 7676 as šabbāt, now usually Shabbat), meaning "day of rest". It derives from the verb shavath of same Hebrew spelling but different pointing (שָׁבַת, Strong's 7673 as šāvat, often shavat), defined as "repose, i.e. desist from exertion" (often "rest" or "cease"). (Another noun form of this root, shebeth ("cessation", 7674), is identical to the infinitive (7675) of the common word "to sit" (yashav, 3427).) Shabbath is the intensified form and is used only for a weekly cessation, 107 times in the Tanakh.

The name form is "Shabbethai" (Shabbethay, "restful", 7678), a name appearing three times in the Tanakh, and the name of Sabbatai Zevi. The Talmud also contains a pun on shebeth, where it secondarily means "dill", a spice. Another related word is modern Hebrew shevita, a labor strike, with the same focus on active cessation of labor. And in over thirty languages other than English, the common name for Saturday is a cognate of "Sabbath".

The rarely attested Babylonian Sapattum or Sabattum is cognate, but is said to be monthly rather than weekly, on the evidence of the reconstruction of a broken tablet; this word is regarded as a form of Sumerian sa-bat ("mid-rest"), attested in Akkadian as um nuh libbi ("day of mid-repose"). It is unclear which form of the concept is older.

The dependent Greek cognate is Sabbaton (4521), used in the Sabbatical" is cognate to these two forms.

The King James Bible uses the English form "sabbath(s)" 172 times. In the Old Testament, "sabbath(s)" translates Shabbath all 107 times (including 35 plurals), plus shebeth three times, shabath once, and the related mishbath once (plural). In the New Testament, "sabbath" translates Sabbaton 59 times and prosabbaton once (the day before Sabbath); Sabbaton is also translated as "week" nine times, by synecdoche.


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