The next mention is during the detailed explanations of the tabernacle and rules for the people. The Sabbath is a real sign, for generations so that we and others who see, understand that Yahweh is making us holy.
Exd 31:12 NKJV – And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Exd 31:13 NKJV – “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it [is] a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that [you] may know that I [am] the LORD who sanctifies you.
Exd 31:14 NKJV – ‘You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for [it is] holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does [any] work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.
Exd 31:15 NKJV – ‘Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh [is] the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does [any] work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Exd 31:16 NKJV – ‘Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations [as] a perpetual covenant.
Exd 31:17 NKJV – ‘It [is] a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for [in] six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”
This mention is within the context of the special instructions of Yahweh to build the place of meeting with Yahs people. So it is the specific instructions to Moses for the people, yet what Yahweh called out by voice is the previous more simple statement.
This instruction carries with it 3 significant additions:
- Not only is Israel to keep it (Holy), if it is profaned (made common) the person doing the action is to be killed. We have now left the concept of simple directives, Instructions, and Commands to Life and Death. Being put to death is equated with being “cut off from among the people”
- It is a perpetual covenant throughout the generations of Israel. Generations mean the same people forthcoming, and perpetual can mean ancient. The idea here is from this point forward, it is for all Israel, all the time. As long as there is a people of Israel, this stands.
- It is a sign forever. This word for sign means literally distinguishing mark, banner etc.. It is the thing which makes the people of Israel known. This word is used about signs in the heavens, the mark on Cain etc… it is communication. Forever means the same as perpetual above. It never ends. It is a sign to Yahweh apparently, but also to others.