No Sabbath keeping in Genesis?
The arguement is : Sabbath was given only for Jews at Mt. Sinai . Prior to this, no one kept Sabbath. The incident at Exodus 16 does not prove sabbath was kept from the beginning. Jehovah through Moses orally communicated to Israelites just before He officially handed over the tablets of stone at Mt. Sinai. There is no evidence that sabbath was kept in Genesis and if so, Moses would have mentioned it in Genesis.
(The follwing article is adapted from the site Adventist Defense League with the permission of the author Edwin M. Cotto. You can click here to see the original article. All verses quoted below are from the New World Translation)
Abraham kept the Sabbath in Genesis
1 Chronicles 16:15-17 Remember his covenant, the word that he commanded. Which covenant he concluded with Abraham, Isaac and even to Jacob, as an indefinitely lasting covenant even to Israel.
The covenant God made with Abraham was not circumcision. Circumcision was the “sign” of that covenant:
Genesis 17:7-11 And I will carry out my covenant between me and you and you must get circumcised and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you.
What was the covenant he made with Israel?
Deuteronomy 4:13 And he proceeded to state to you his covenant, the Ten Words after which he wrote them upon two tablets of stone.
The covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the Ten Commandments, which also include the Sabbath commandment. This means Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all Sabbath keepers.
But didn't Jehovah only conclude that covenant only with the Israelites and not with the patriachs according to Deuteronomy 5:3?
Deut. 5:3 It was not with our forefathers that Jehovah concluded this covenant but with us, those of us here alive here today.
"Our fathers" here cannot be speaking about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If so, it will contradict 1 Chronicles 16:15-17 & Psalms 105:8-10.
Psalms 105:8-10 He has remembered his covenant even to time indefinite,The word that he commanded, to a thousand generations, Which [covenant] he concluded with Abraham, and his sworn statement to Isaac, And which [statement] he kept standing as a regulation even to Jacob, as an indefinitely lasting covenant even to Israel
Moses was referring to the fathers of those Israelites who were under salvery in Egypt! Dont forget that the Israelites were in Egyptian bondage for 400 years (Genesis 15:13). Therefore if a bible generation in that time was 100 years long, this means at least 4 generations of "fathers" did not experience the covenant!
In Exodus 16, Jehovah tested them in relationship to keeping the seventh day Sabbath:
Exodus 16:4 Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Here I am raining down bread for YOU from the heavens; and the people must go out and pick up each his amount day for day, in order that I may put them to the test as to whether they will walk in my law or not.
Genesis 26:5 Due to the fact that Abraham listened to my voice and continued to keep his obligations to me, my commands, my statutes, and my laws (includes Sabbath)
Adam & Eve were Sabbath keepers
James said break one which means you break all (James 2:10). Paul says’s the knowledge of sin only by “the law.” There was a law when Adam and Eve sinned, because they clearly acknowledged their sin (Genesis 3:2, 3, 7).
What law was this?
Genesis 3:6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, the tree was desirable to look upon
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet.
Eve broke the 10th commandment, because she "lusted" after that which God forbade. She also elevated “self” over God himself, breaking the 1st commandment. Anything whcih is first in our lives other than God is another god.
Cain and Abel kept the Sabbath
Genesis 4:7,8 If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation? But if you do not turn to doing good, there is sin crouching at the entrance, and for you is its craving; and will you, for your part, get the mastery over it?” After that Cain said to Abel his brother: [“Let us go over into the field.”] So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault Abel his brother and kill him.
When Cain killed Abel, he violated the entire law according to James, including the Sabbath commandment for "where there is no law, neither is there any transgression" Rom 4:15.