The Sabbath Covenant

In the following study the Hebrew language brings to light

the 7th day Sabbath as:

  • A Proposal for Marriage Between Humanity and Divinity and

  • A Wedding Rehearsal that Prepares God’s People for this Marriage

Hidden within the Hebrew language is an extraordinary message that has been preserved in the Book  of the Covenant, for God’s Remnant people.  By happenstance, translations have camouflaged its profound value, but uncovered, the mysteries of redemption unfold with an unexpected radiance.

The “Book of the Covenant” is found in the first five books of the Bible (called “Torah” or “Pentateuch”). In Leviticus Chapter Twenty-three, the 7th day Sabbath’s true identity is cloaked [or veiled] from the eyes of the casual reader but through the definitions of related Hebrew words it is unveiled as the wedding rehearsal that prepares God’s people for marriage.

In Leviticus chapter twenty three verses one to three “the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts (OT# 4150 mo`ed) of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, (OT# 4744 miqra`) even these are My feasts (OT# 4150 mo`ed).  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation (OT# 4744 miqra`); ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.”

In these verses we see that the LORD not only called the 7th day Sabbath His Sabbath of rest, but He also called it a “feast” and a “holy convocation.” The Hebrew definition for the word “feast,” in this verse, opens the first door to lost history.  The Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew identification number for feast is —

OT# 4150 mo`ed; mo-ade` from [root] OT# 3259* “… an appointment, a fixed time or season, … an assembly (convened for a definite purpose) technically the congregation; … also a signal (as appointed beforehand)”  Strong’s Concordance. (*Please take note of the root word #3259 in this definition for later discussion.)

So therefore the 7th day Sabbath was “appointed beforehand” by the Creator of the universe, for a “fixed time or season.” It was appointed at creation, before the Ten Commandments were given at Mt Sinai, making it applicable for all humanity not just one nation. The Creator’s wedding gift to the first man and woman was “time with Him.”  The LORD GOD “blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it” Genesis 2:4. He made it holy.

From this same Hebrew definition OT# 4150 we see the 7th day Sabbath, not only as a feast, but also a “signal.” This is illustrated in Ezekiel 20:12 where we see that “sign” is another word for “signal.”  “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign (OT# 226 oth) between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them [to make them holy, purify them].”  (This custom of purification before union is seen in the story of Esther. Each of the women went through the king’s purification process before they entered his presence — see Esther 2:3.)

A study of this word “sign” OT# 226 “oth,” and how it is used in the Old Testament, reveals that it is most often associated with “signals” of God’s kingdom and of covenant keeping, as in Ezekiel 20:20:  “hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign (OT# 226 oth[signal] between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.” This is a “sign,”  “signal,” or beacon to God from His people’s of their acceptance of His request.

Spiro Zodhiates in the Lexical Aid Complete Word Study Old Testament by AMG Publishers, explains OT#4150 “mo`ed” or Sabbath is—  “… a time when God met with His people for the purpose of revealing His will to them.”

A similar statement was made by an nineteenth century expositor who wrote: “It is at these, His own appointments that Christ meets His people, and energizes them by His presence… all who neglect these seasons of divine privilege will suffer loss” Sons and Daughters of God p. 158.5.

Opening the Second Door to Lost History


The LORD also called the 7th day Sabbath a “holy convocation.”   “Convocation” is translated from the Hebrew word—

OT# 4744 miqra`, mik-raw` “from 7121; something called out, i.e. a public meeting (the act, the persons, or the place); also a rehearsal  Strong’s Concordance.

Zodhiates expands on “called out” and defines it clearly using the word “summons” saying, “God summons them,” for – a “rehearsal.” As a “holy convocation” the 7th day Sabbath becomes “a rehearsal” to which God’s people are summoned.

Opening the Third Door to Lost History


The Hebrew root word for mo`ed, as seen previously in the definition OT# 4150, is OT# 3259, ya`ad. This word gives us a second witness, for the word “summons.”  But this Hebrew definition actually tells us the reason for the summons and what kind of rehearsal.

OT# 3259 ya`ad, yaw-ad`; “a prime root; to fix upon (by agreement or appointment); to meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage): … betroth…”

Now we see that the 7th day Sabbath is not only a betrothal rehearsal but also a summons “to trial, to direct in a certain position, to engage for marriage.” Whoever heard of a “betrothal – engagement for marriage” associated with a “summons to trial”?   We know of no such a connection except in Christ’s parable of the marriage feast.

Christ exposes this “marriage supper” in a parable that reveals a sad picture.  However, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the same parable may be received as a welcomed warning.  In Matthew Chapter Twenty, verses one through fourteen, He begins the parable like this (Matthew 22:1-14):

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, (22:3) And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden [summoned] to the wedding:  and they would not come. (22:4) Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden [summoned], Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. (22:5) But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: (22:6) And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.  (22:7) But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.  (22:8) Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. (22:9) Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. (22:10) So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  (22:11) And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  (22:12) And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  (22:13) Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (22:14) For many are called, but few are chosen.” (KJV)

In the phrase: “few are chosen” a clear understanding is concealed by translation.  Notice:  We saw in the parable that the King chose both good and bad.  But not all who were chosen came.  In the Aramaic English New Testament translation this phrase is translated as “few have chosen” which is exactly what is seen in the parable.  Few had chosen to come to the King’s wedding feast.

The king’s examination of the guest at the feast represents a work of judgment. Here, “summons to trail” from the definition comes into the parable. The guest without the wedding garment is also represented in the church of Laodicea, (see Revelation 3:17)— only there he is said to be both naked and blind.  This perhaps tells us why this guest had no answer when the King examined him— because he was blind, he didn’t know he was naked. The wedding garment plays a vital roll in the understanding of the kingdom of heaven, for it represents the characters all must possess who are accounted fit guests for the wedding.  A description of this exquisite wedding gown unfolds in all its glory in the “Book of the Covenant” and seen in the ancient Hebrew marriage custom.

Ancient Hebrew Marriage Custom


In ancient Hebrew customs, a young man ready for marriage would present to the woman he hoped would become his bride, a Ketubah, a beautiful covenant contract for marriage. This proposal was presented to his beloved at a dinner planned by their families. It expressed the young man’s heart’s desire.  It contained utterances of his love and adoration for the woman, promises of all he would do for her, and how he would protect and provide for her. It also contained his likes and dislikes, his standard of living and highest ideals, even mention of his favorite foods. It communicated how he wanted his household run and his children raised.  This covenant could have been called a Blueprint for the couple’s relationship.

When the desired is given a Ketubah, silver trumpets are blown and her suitor pours her a cup of new wine, fresh fruit of the vine, the very best money could buy, purchased for a sacrificial price.  After pouring the cup, the suitor takes a sip, then waits for his desired to take a sip. If she does, it will signify she has accepted all that the covenant contains.  She may not drink from it right away— for she takes the covenant agreement very seriously, knowing it is a commitment for life.  She carefully reads every word. She may study it for hours, even into the night or until the next morning before deciding whether to make the commitment.  Finally, if she accepts, she will take a sip and the betrothal is sealed.  The two are now bride and bridegroom and the silver trumpets are blown again making the announcement to all.

After the betrothal, the betrothed return to their fathers’ homes and do not see each other for the following year until the wedding day. During that year the man builds his betrothed a house and supports her financially. The woman reads her covenant again and again.  She learns to cook His favorite foods and sing his favorite songs.  She studies the Ketubah until she becomes the bride of his desire, the mirror image of her covenant promise. Her life makes manifest she is keeping her bridegroom’s covenant.

 Ancient Hebrew Customs in the previous section were adapted from “Jewish Marriage—Anthology” by – Philip and Hanna Goodman 

We have been betrothed. God came to the betrothal Himself and gave us the Ketubah (covenant) on Mount Sinai, Exodus Chapter Twenty. The silver trumpets were blown both before and after the betrothal covenant was given (Exodus 19:13,16,19; Ex. 20:18), just as in the ancient Hebrew betrothal customs.  At our baptism we give a solemn oath, signifying our commitment to keep all that our covenant contains.  We drink from the cup during the Communion Service at church, renewing our promise to pattern our life after all our covenant contains. As we carefully study the “Book of the Covenant” (Ketubah: Hebrew word for marriage covenant) throughout our life, our Redeemer prepares us for marriage by writing it in our heart and mind. “He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses,” (Desire of Ages 668) thereby sanctifying His faithful for marriage.

Is it possible to become so excited about God’s promises that we readily agree to the “Ketubah Covenant” without thoroughly studying it?  Could we be unwittingly negligent concerning our part in preparing for this marriage; consequently, –among churchgoers— quite a bit of confusion? Is there among us a misunderstanding concerning the date and time for the rehearsal as written in the covenant.  If so could we then be in danger of missing the divine appointment, at which time He plans to prepare the bride and have her dressed in her wedding garment? This is a very serious and solemn thought.

The Urgency is Camouflaged


Through the Hebrew definitions, we have seen the 7th day Sabbath as a “summons” to the “betrothal” and wedding “rehearsal” for the marriage between Christ and His people.  This makes it a Royal Summons like non other for what Royal Summons would dress you as royalty would be dressed. For Christ our Bridegroom has promises to dress His faithful people in their wedding garment, “energize them with His presence” and “direct them in a certain position.”

As we continue, we will see that yet one more vital fact has been camouflaged from sight through various translations. That vital fact is the urgency of this royal summons is uncovered in the Hebrew language.

Take special notice of the word proclaim, in Leviticus Chapter Twenty-three verse two.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts (OT# 4150 mo`ed) of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim (OT# 7121 kaw-raw`) to be holy convocations, (OT# 4744 miqra`) even these are my feasts (OT# 4150 mo`ed).  Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation (OT# 4744 miqra`); ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings” Leviticus 23: 1-3.

In defining “proclaim” Noah Webster uses the word “announce.”  However, the Hebrew definition has a more aggressive emphasis. Strong’s uses the word, “accost” in defining “proclaim.”  Accost is defined as follows:

Accost:  to approach and stop somebody in order to speak, especially in an aggressive insistent way.

In comparison with accost, Luke uses the word compel in describing the urgency of the invitation to go find the halt, lame and the blind in the highways and hedges and compel them to come into the banquet, “that My house may be filled” (See Luke 14:23). The servant who brought in the poor and the blind reported to his master, “It is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Here Christ pointed to the work of the gospel outside of Judaism, in the highways and byways of the world. Paul included all when he said, “If ye be Christ’s ye are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise” See Galatians 3:29 and Christ’s Object Lessons p 226.

The Greek definition for the word compel is to necessitate, to constrain.  These two words are defined as follows:

Necessitate: To make something necessary or inescapable.

Constrain: To force somebody to do something especially through pressure of circumstances or a sense of obligation.

There are some very aggressive words here. How do we explain the use of words such as summons, accost, compel, insistent, to make inescapable and force with the gospel message?  We can only— as a “summons.” Although God doesn’t force Himself upon anyone, these definitions have been given to open our eyes to the urgency of this “summons” from our Creator.  Clearly, we dare not take it lightly as prophesied in the parable.  For you have been summoned by the Highest Judicial Governmental Authority – God, Creator of the Universe.

In the following section we have summarized the definitions and descriptions we have learned in this study and applied them to the text. Then wrote them in the first person as if the LORD is speaking directly to you:

“You have been summoned to
My Divine Appointment,
The 7th day Sabbath.
This is My signal for marriage.
I  urge you – Do not forsake My holy rehearsal.
At this time I will
Reveal My will to you,
Purify you for marriage,
Give you direction and energize you with
My Presence.
You are officially summoned to attend
At the Appointed Time.”

It’s a surprising fact that Christ actually arranged for a divine appointment specifically for wooing His bride unto Himself to prepare her for marriage. Unfortunately His incredible invitation has been camouflaged by translations, misrepresented by misunderstandings.  Yet Christ has made it easy for every individual to take part in His wedding.  This may seem too wonderful to believe, yet it is true.  Whoever you are, Christ offers you an invitation to be His bride.  Even though you may already be a Christian, you may be unaware of vital details concerning what God requires of His bride.  The particulars concerning this divine appointment have been preserved in the Book of the Covenant for unveiling and rehearsing in preparation for the marriage of all time–  between humanity and divinity. By His own words He has bidden all, both good or bad, to come in, that His house may be full.

Every time He preserved His people from destruction, God made a request— and all who obeyed the request were saved.  Just as when He took His people out of Egypt, instructing them to put the blood of the Lamb on their doorposts, and all who did were saved, (both good and bad) just as He did for the antediluvians, giving them a simple command to come into the ark, so He does for us.  His Royal Summons to come to His wedding rehearsal for the marriage of humanity with divinity requires us to remember the 7th day Sabbath to keep it holy.  As the Hebrew language reminds us, He will direct His people in every step to take to prepare them for this wedding.  The 7th day Sabbath as a “feast” is the “signal” the Bridegroom is looking for; it is a “beacon” that an individual belongs to Him and is being sanctified as a member of His kingdom.  The 7th day Sabbath as a “holy convocation” is a rehearsal convened for the betrothal of the congregation, His bride. a signal that it is time to prepare for marriage.

The Wedding Gown

 Within the Book of the Covenant (Ex.20-24; 24:7) there is a most exquisite wedding gown.

And tucked within its folds is an invitation to the marriage feast.
(Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:1-3;)
It is your marriage feast for your wedding.
It is you the King of kings wants His Son to marry.
The wedding garment is the gift that represents the character all will possess
Who shall be accounted worthy.
(Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16.)

The King has paid the highest price
Ever paid for you to be His bride.
He paid with His Life.

The invitation to be His bride is an honor none deserve,
Yet it is extended to all.
It is an honor of the highest magnitude,
For it represents the union of humanity and divinity.
By accepting this invitation you show respect to the Giver of the feast, (Matthew 22:11)
And He opens before you a lesson of highest privilege. (Matthew 22:2)
He will provide the required purification for you to become royalty,
as did the ancient kings of old. (See Esther 2:3)

“In both the Old and the New Testament, the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people. To the mind of Jesus the gladness of the wedding festivities pointed forward to the rejoicing of that day when He shall bring home His bride to the Father’s house, and the redeemed with the Redeemer shall sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”  He says, ‘As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.’  ‘Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken,’  ‘but thou shalt be called My Delight’ ‘for the Lord delighteth in thee.’ ‘He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing’ ” Desire of Ages 151.1; Isaiah 62:5.4; Zephaniah 3:17.

When the vision of heavenly things was granted to John the apostle, he wrote: “I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”  “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” Revelation 19:6,7,8.

As we have seen, this message has been obscured.  But just as God intended, it is being revealed before the closing scenes of earth’s history. Thousands all over the world have seen or are beginning to grasp a deeper understanding of the gospel message and the mysteries of redemption.  “Behold now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).  By His own words He promises to all:

“Everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it,
And taketh hold of My covenant;
Even them will I bring to My holy mountain.”
Isaiah 56:6-7

That is a promise from the King of kings—one who cannot lie— So let us all eat with our LORD and Savior, our Bridegroom, the King of kings– Who has redeemed us. Let us sit at His rehearsal dinner at His “appointed time,” the 7th day Sabbath of the LORD.  Join the wedding of the LORD while the banquet hall’s doors are still open.  Accept His Royal Summons.

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come.
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Revelation 22:17