“You shall observe My Shabbats and revere My Sanctuary, I am HaShem.” Leviticus 19:30

What a world we currently live in!!! How very tired, weak and weary many of us are feeling now with all the pressures and opposition we each face in our daily lives. If not for the mercy, compassion and grace of HaShem, none of us would have any hope of making it through to the End!

As we fast approach the End, I believe HaShem is revealing more and more about His Word and is also reinforcing why we are commanded to do certain things by HaShem! One of those extremely important commandments is Shabbat! HaShem discusses keeping His Shabbat countless times throughout His Tanakh as well as the Apostolic Writings. It is one of those commandments which is absolutely vital to our relationship to HaShem but also to our literal survival in this world!

In this Op we will be exploring and discussing an often overlooked verse relating to Shabbat in the Apostolic Writings which once again reveals nothing has changed but also supports the validity and necessity of the Oral Torah to our walk with HaShem as well as understanding Who His Messiah can only be!

But before we jump into this, as always, never forget the following eternal characteristics of HaShem:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
  • He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
  • He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13

“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work; yet, you are not free to desist from it. If you have studied much Torah, a great reward will be given to you, for your Employer is trustworthy to reward your labor. And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the time to come.” Mishnah Tractate Pirkei Avot 2.16

I thought I would add a statement from the Pirkei Avot above into this Op to show just how similar it is to what Yeshua taught! Moving on.

In the Book of Acts, just after the Talmidim of Yeshua witnessed Him being taken up from the Mt of Olives, there is a statement made which most people either just glance over, completely ignore or try to explain it away using the latest Replacement Theological gimmick currently in circulation. The verse in question is Acts 1:12 which says “Then they went back to Yerushalayim from the Mount of Olives, which is near Yerushalayim, A SABBATH DAY’S JOURNEY.” What is the significance of a sabbath day’s journey? Before we can examine this further, we need to first establish HaShem commands we keep His Shabbat.

The following verses will establish HaShem’s command to guard and keep His Shabbat:

  • Exodus 16:28-29 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? See that HaShem has given you the Shabbos; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two day portion of bread. Let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.'”
  • Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember (Guard/keep/do) the Shabbos day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and do all your labor; but the seventh day is Shabbos to HaShem, your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you, your son, your daughter; your slave, your maidservant, your animal, and your convert within your gates, for in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, HaShem blessed the Shabbos day and sanctified it.”
  • Exodus 31:12-15 “HaShem said to Moshe, saying: ‘Now you, speak to the Children of Israel, saying ‘However, you must observe My Shabbotot, for IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU FOR YOUR GENERATIONS, to know that I am HaShem, Who makes you holy. You shall observe the Shabbos, for it is holy its desecrators shall be put to death, for whoever does work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among its people. For six days work may be done and on the seventh day is a day of complete rest, it is sacred to HaShem; whoever does work on the Shabbos day shall be put to death.'”
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15 “Safeguard the Shabbos day to sanctify it, as HaShem, your Elohim, has commanded you. Six days shall you labor and accomplish all your work; but the seventh day is Shabbos to HaShem, your Elohim; you shall not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your slave (Hired servant), your maidservant, your ox, your donkey and your every animal, and your convert within your gates, in order that your slave and your maidservant may rest like you. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and HaShem, your Elohim, has taken you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm; therefore HaShem, your Elohim, has commanded you to make the Shabbos day.”
  • Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you restrain your foot because it is the Shabbat; refrain from accomplishing your own needs on My holy day; if you proclaim the Shabbat ‘a delight’, and the holy day of HaShem ‘honored’, and you honor it by not engaging in your own affairs, from seeking your own needs or discussing the forbidden, then you will delight in HaShem and I will mount you astride the heights of the world; I will provide you the heritage of your forefather Jacob for the mouth of HaShem has spoken.”

So, we can see very quickly HaShem is extremely serious about His people guarding/doing His Shabbat and further, His Shabbat is THE sign between Him and His people! What is interesting is this word ‘Sign’ is the same word for ‘Mark’. My point is, if HaShem’s Shabbat is the sign/mark between Him and His people, then what potentially could be the sign/mark the adversary counterfeits with? What day has Replacement Theology adopted as its Shabbat, teaching HaShem’s Shabbat has been replaced/superseded? I will let you put the rest of the puzzle together yourself.

You may be asking what is the purpose for Shabbat? Well, let’s quickly examine this and find out.

The following excerpt is from the ‘Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II’ book discussing ‘Why the Sabbath?’. It says “If you say that you believe in G-d, but do not believe that He is as real as you or I, or that He is One, then you really do not believe in G-d, at least, not the Jewish concept of G-d. You are really speaking of something else. But how do we, as Jews, define G-d? We find the answer in the very first verse of the Torah. It says: ‘In the beginning, G-d created the Heaven and the Earth.’ Here we have a definition of G-d. G-d is the Creator of all things. He is the One Who brought all things into existence. This has some very important implications. As Creator of all things, G-d must be both greater than all creation and distinct from it. Therefore, we, as Jews, reject the philosophy of pantheism. As Creator, G-d’s existence cannot depend on any of His creatures. Our definition therefore rejects any concept of G-d as an abstract ethical force or social convention. If a person says that he believes in G-d, but does not believe that He is Creator, then he does not really believe in the Jewish concept of G-d. But there is another point in our belief in G-d. Some people think that G-d created the world and then forgot about it. They may claim to believe in G-d, and even admit to some abstract Creator, but they insist, at the same time, that His existence has no bearing on their lives. To them, G-d is a remote philosophical abstraction.

We see G-d as much more than this. When G-d introduced Himself in the Ten Commandments, He said per Exodus 20:2, ‘I am the L-rd your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.’ G-d was telling us that He is involved in the affairs of man and has a profound interest in what we do.

G-d Himself gave the Exodus as an example. It was here that the entire Jewish people experienced G-d. To them, G-d was no mere abstraction. They saw His deeds to such an extent that they were actually able to point and say, ‘This is my G-d.’

Here again, one who does not accept G-d’s involvement and interest in the affairs of men cannot be said to believe in the Jewish concept of G-d. He is violating the first of the Ten Commandments.

In light of these concepts, we can now understand the significance of the Shabbat.

Faith requires more than mere lip service. IT MUST ALSO INVOVLE ACTION IN THE FORM OF OUR STEADFAST ADHERENCE TO G-D’S WILL. The Hebrew word for faith is ‘Emunah’. It comes from the same root as ‘Ulman’ i.e. a craftsman. FAITH CANNOT BE SEPARATED FROM ACTION. But, by what act in particular do we demonstrate our belief in G-d as Creator? The answer now becomes obvious.

The one ritual that does this is the observance of the Shabbat. It is the confirmation of our belief in G-d as the Creator of all things. We now understand what the Talmud means when it says that one who does not keep the Shabbat is like an idol worshiper. Violation of the Shabbat is an implicit denial of faith in G-d, the Creator.”

Keeping His Shabbat is the demonstration of our faith in HaShem…no wonder then HaShem says Shabbat is THE SIGN between Him and His people!

Typically those in Replacement Theology will counter using the account of Yeshua and His Talmidim walking through the field, plucking grain on a Shabbat and claim Yeshua was intentionally doing this to break the restrictions of Shabbat and show soon a new way would come and replace Shabbat. Further, many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world will use this account as proof Yeshua rejects the Oral Torah. In reality and I am quoting from the book ‘Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus’ by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard Jr, on page 43 it states “”It may come as a surprise to some, but most of the difficult passages or problems confronted in New Testament studies could be solved through a knowledge of Rabbinic Literature. Many of Jesus’ sayings have their parallels in Rabbinic Literature.” The author is pointing directly at the Oral Torah as being the key to understanding the Apostolic Writings and I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment per my own personal experiences in studying the Oral Torah and seeing how much of it explains what we are reading in the Apostolic Writings. This said, is there any truth to what Replacement Theology and many in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world teach? Let’s examine this further and find out. This account is found in Matthew 12:1-12:

  • “At that time Yeshua went through the grain fields on the Shabbat. And His taught ones were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain to eat. And when the Pharisees (Shammai Pharisees) saw it, they said to Him, ‘Look, Your taught ones are doing what is not right to do on the Shabbat!’ But He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him; how he went into the House of Elohim (Temple) and ate the showbread which was not right for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?’ Or did you not read in the Torah that on the Shabbat the priests in the Set-apart Place profane the Shabbat, and were blameless? But I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the Set-apart Place. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion and not offering (Hosea 6:6)’ you would not have condemned the blameless. For the Son of Adam is Master of the Shabbat. And having left there, He went into their congregation. And see, there was a man having a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, ‘Is it right to heal on the Shabbat?’ so as to accuse Him. And He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Shabbat, shall not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is right to do good on the Shabbat.”

So, we see the issue here is picking grain on Shabbat because Yeshua and His Talmidim were hungry. The accusation levied against Him, i.e. the prohibition of picking grain on Shabbat, is this something some person just dreamed up one day or is there more too it?

Now remember, in previous Op’s we have discussed the legality and validity of the Sanhedrin HaShem established in the Torah which He then commanded we obey the rulings the Sanhedrin renders on how to walk in the Torah of HaShem! I won’t rehash this here as you can refer to my previous Op’s, if interested. Yeshua reiterated this when He commanded we are to obey those who sit in the Seat of Moshe i.e. the Sanhedrin! Where are the right rulings of the Sanhedrin contained? They are written down in the Mishnah followed by the commentary of the Mishnah which is contained in the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi i.e. the Oral Torah! This said, per Tractate Shabbat 7.2 in the Mishnah it lists 39 labor prohibitions rendered by the Sanhedrin for Shabbat. They are:

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping (Gleaning grapes, gathering dates, picking olives, gathering figs, plucking anything from its point of growth i.e. grain)
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Sorting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing the wool
  • Bleaching it
  • Beating it
  • Dyeing it
  • Spinning
  • Stretching the warp on the loom
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying a knot (This is specific to tying a permanent knot i.e. working)
  • Untying a knot (This is specific to those who trapped the mollusc from which the blue tekkelet color was harvested from)
  • Sewing two stitches
  • Tearing in order to sew two stitches
  • Trapping a deer (Or any other animal, or any living creature which requires catching)
  • Slaughtering it
  • Flaying it
  • Salting it
  • Curing its hide
  • Scraping it
  • Cutting it up
  • Writing two letters (This is specific to marking the boards of the Tabernacle to identify their pairs for repair or construction)
  • Erasing in order to write two letters (At times they erred in the Tabernacle, and they would erase in order to write anew. Again, it denotes working)
  • Building
  • Pulling down
  • Extinguishing
  • Lighting a fire
  • Striking with a hammer
  • Carrying from domain to domain (Carrying from the private domain to the public domain and vice versa)

Now, these are the prohibitions for HaShem’s Shabbat, but what Yeshua was teaching that life supersedes these restrictions and He uses a specific account of David and his men eating the Showbread in the Temple when they are not authorized to do so. Let’s quickly look into this and see what is going on.

1 Samuel 21:1-7 says “David arose and left, and Jonathan came back to the city. David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the Kohen (Priest). Ahimelech hurried to greet David, and said to him ‘Why are you alone, with no one accompanying you?’ David said to Ahimelech the Kohen, ‘The king ordered me on a mission, and told me, ‘No man may know anything about the matter for which I have sent you and commanded you.’ Thus, I informed my attendants to be at a certain secret place. And now, what do you have available? Five loaves of bread? Give them or whatever there is into my hand.’ The Kohen answered David, saying ‘I have no ordinary bread available; there is only sacred bread (Showbread), provided that your attendants have kept themselves from women.’ David answered the Kohen, and said to him, ‘Women have been withheld from us yesterday and the day before; moreover, when I left, the garments of the attendants were pure, even though this is a mundane mission, surely today it will remain sacred in a proper vessel.’ So the Kohen gave him sacred food (Showbread), for there was no other bread there except for the Showbread that was being removed from before HaShem, in order to place hot Showbread on the day it is taken off.'” This is where we need to understand how the Temple functioned in addition to the Temple Services.

On each Shabbat, Showbread, which is baked every Friday, is placed on the Table before the Most Holy Place by the Kohen. It will remain there before HaShem the entire week. The following Shabbat, the Showbread is removed and replaced with freshly baked Showbread. The Showbread which was removed is kadosh (Holy) and is divided up among among the Kohanim and thus can only be eaten by the Kohen. In this instance, Ahimelech made sure David and his men were ritually pure and then he gave them the Showbread because of hunger i.e. life! This account of David is what Yeshua is pointing too…so in reality Yeshua was NOT breaking Shabbat, but was addressing a life and death issue!

This is where I see most of those in Replacement Theology and many in the Hebrew Roots worlds where if they understood HaShem and His Torah would see HaShem’s Torah is NOT a bunch of crushing do’s and don’ts! Again, them using the above account of Yeshua plucking grain as their proof Torah kills and destroys and Yeshua was challenging that fact. In fact Tractate Yoma 82a from the Talmud Bavli teaches a Torah principle “There is no halakha that stands in the way of saving a life, except for the prohibitions against idol worship, forbidden sexual relationships and murder.” What does this mean? It means, if the only way to save a life is to violate Torah, then that person MUST violate Torah other than in instances of idol worship, forbidden sexual relationships and murder! Further, in Tractate Yoma 85a/b from the Talmud Bavli it says “Saving a life overrides Shabbat.” My point is for all of this, is again Yeshua did nothing wrong nor was He violating Shabbat in a manner which was unacceptable! He did NOT do this to teach Torah/Shabbat were soon to be rendered obsolete and replaced as so many have taught and continue to teach, nor was He challenging some man made rule concerning Shabbat. What He did was fully acceptable and right. In my opinion the Shammai Pharisees were just looking for a reason to ensnare Him and as always, Yeshua turned it around on them and revealed their hypocrisy! I digress.

With this all said, let’s now examine the purpose of this Op i.e. Acts 1:12 and ‘A Shabbat’s day journey.’ So, a Shabbat’s day journey was a specific calculation and was a total of 2,000 cubits length from the place where Shabbat was being kept. This was not some arbitrary number pulled out of thin air by some rabbi one day, it is based upon Scriptural authority specifically one of the sets of verses we examined above concerning HaShem’s command to keep Shabbat:

  • Exodus 16:28-29 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘How long will you refuse to observe My commandments and My teachings? See that HaShem has given you the Shabbos; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two day portion of bread. Let every man remain in his place; let no man leave his place on the seventh day.'”

The underlined portion above is what forms the basis for the limits of Shabbat. Further, Tractate Eruvin 51a from the Talmud Bavli it tells us they compiled the verses above from Exodus to remain in place but also the Scriptural commands for a person who accidentally killed someone and fled to a ‘City of Refuge’ per Numbers 35:27. Per Numbers 35:5 HaShem commands to measure 2,000 cubits to establish the borders of a ‘City of Refuge’. This concept was taken by the Sanhedrin and was used to establish the limits of Shabbat i.e. 2,000 cubits.

Why is this so important to understand you may ask? Because, the Talmidim just witnessed Yeshua ascend into Heaven from the Mount of Olives and clearly Yeshua, not one time, instructed His Talmidim to disregard and toss out the Torah nor the Oral Torah because it states in the verse in Acts they traveled a Shabbat’s day journey, meaning they were returning to the place in Jerusalem from where they were keeping Shabbat! I will say it again and again and again until my dying breath, Yeshua did NOT terminate the Torah. He did not teach against the Oral Torah. He did not teach anything new and He did not replace nor change anything HaShem had established from the beginning! Had He done so, He would have just disqualified Himself as being the Messiah of HaShem. This is precisely why the ‘Jesus’ that Replacement Theology Christendom in its doctrine has established and fashioned, is not and cannot ever be the real Messiah of HaShem, for one simple reason….he changed and replaced everything HaShem had established from the beginning.

Remember, 1 John 5:3 tells us HaShem’s Torah is NOT burdensome! His Torah is a tree of life, meant to bless and protect us here and now in a world of madness, insanity, debauchery, idolatry and lawlessness!

Much to consider in all of this.

Shabbat Shalom!


  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Milstein Edition of the Chumash with the Teachings of the Talmud by Artscroll
  • The Koren Talmud Bavli Tractates Sanhedrin, Yoma, Eiruvin
  • The Kehati Mishna

Published by DShalom

A Torah observant servant of the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov, the Elohim of Yisra'el and His Mashiach Yeshua.

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