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Kindle No Fire on Sabbath

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."(1Thes4:21)

Exodus 35:1-3 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them, These are the words which Jehovah hath commanded, that ye should do them. 2 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of solemn rest to Jehovah: whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death. 3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

With verse 4, we see the context change to the subject of giving offerings. But, notice the verse 1-2 context of verse 3. Work is to be done on the first 6 days of the week, but not on the 7th, under penalty of death. Because of this context, it seems very likely that there is something about kindling a fire that is considered to be "work" and therefore is denied. Similarly, Jehovah supplied no manna on the 7th day to teach them to rest, not work. They were also instructed to do their food prep on the 6th day, for the same reason. There was something about the food prep that involved work. See Ex16:14-30.

But, what sort of fire is referred to in Ex35:3? Some think that the phrase "kindle no fire" should not be taken literally. So, let's look at the definitions of Hebrew words translated "kindle" and of "fire":

Strong's Hebrew Dictionary H1197 (Kindle): בָּעַר bâʻar, baw-ar'; to kindle, i.e. consume (by fire or by eating); also (as denominative to be(-come) brutish. KJV Translations:--be brutish, bring (put, take) away, burn, (cause to) eat (up), feed, heat, kindle, set ((on fire)), waste.

Now, let's look at the Hebrew definition of "fire" from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary H784: אֵשׁ ʼêsh, aysh; fire (literally or figuratively). KJV Translations:--burning, fiery, fire, flaming, hot.

Notice here that the "fire" of the phrase "kindle no fire" isn't necessarily literal. But, what would it mean to "consume by" a non-literal "fire"? And, even if that were possible, how would that involve the sort of work that is prohibited on the Sabbath? To me, it seems much more logical to understand this text just as it reads, in the context of the prohibition of work on the Sabbath day. But, why would it be considered work to start of fire on Sabbath? Well, look what happened here:

Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 35 And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Jehovah commanded Moses.

Not only would firewood need to be gathered, but kindling a fire in those days may have necessitated the use of flint and steel or some other primitive method, which could take a good bit of work over a period of time. Remember what the principle of this matter is:

Genesis 2:1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 35:2 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of solemn rest to Jehovah: whosoever doeth any work therein shall be put to death. 3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.

Exodus 35:3 (NLT) You must not even light a fire in any of your homes on the Sabbath.

It seems to me that the command to "kindle no fire ... upon the sabbath day" should be understood just as it reads. So, what does this mean for us today? I think this is a matter for each person to decide for themselves. I will also say that today, it is a small matter involving no significant work to light a match, or torch to start a fire. However, if we choose to do that, we need to be sure to have firewood that was gathered on another day ready to burn and nearby. In Numbers 15, we saw what happened to the man to dared to gather firewood on the Sabbath...

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

More about sin and temptation => http://sidnash.org/sindefined/

More about "the gift of God" => http://sidnash.org/docs/FatherSaviour.html

Desiring to live by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah (Deut8:3; Matt4:4)

-Sid Nash: 02/24/2024. Latest version: http://sidnash.org/docs/KindleNoFire.html