A sister once asked why I observe and define Shabbat the way I do. As a result of our correspondence, I compiled this list of Scriptural references and interpretations. For any studying the Biblical Sabbath, or helping others understand Shabbat, here is a comprehensive guide.
Genesis 1-2:3 Days begin at evening; God worked for six days; He rested on the seventh and blessed it.
Exodus 16:16-30 He taught Israel to keep His Sabbath before they even got to Mt. Sinai.
Exodus 20:8-11 He gave His Sabbath in the Fourth Commandment.
Exodus 31:12-18 His Sabbath is given as a sign between Him and His people forever.
Exodus 35:1-3 Kindle no fires on the Sabbath. (Possibly meaning no fires for kilns, metalworking, or other production. The surrounding Scriptures are instructions for building the Tabernacle. Likely, He did not want His people disregarding His Sabbath in their zeal to finish their work for Him.)
Leviticus 23:3 His Sabbath is given as a “convocation in all your dwellings.”
Numbers 15:29-36 A man purposefully “thumbed his nose” at God, defiantly gathering wood on His Sabbath – God didn’t put up with him.
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 His Sabbath is a remembrance of deliverance from Egypt.
Nehemiah 9:13-17 Nehemiah remembers how God gave His people His Sabbath, but they had acted proudly. He gave them grace despite their disobedience.
Nehemiah 10:31 The people rebuilding Jerusalem made an oath to keep His Sabbath.
Nehemiah 13:15-21 Nehemiah prevented business on God’s Sabbath to prevent repeated evil and judgment.
Isaiah 56:1-7 His Sabbath is a blessing to anyone who guards it, even the foreigner (Gentile) who joins himself to God.
Isaiah 58:13-14 His Sabbath is a delight.
Jeremiah 17:19-27 Guarding the Sabbath is a blessing. Ignoring it is a curse.
Matthew 12:1-16, Mark 2:23-3:6, Luke 6:1-11, John 5:8-18, Luke 13:10-17, Luke 14:1-6 Jesus rebuked the extra rules that the Jewish leaders had added to God’s Sabbath, which had made it a burden. He declared the Son of Adam as Master of the Sabbath. He said it was for man’s benefit. It is a day to help and bless. He still regarded God’s Sabbath and did not abolish it.
Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16-21, Luke 4:31 Jesus observed with the congregations, taught, and healed on the Sabbath.
Mark 16:1, Luke 23:53-24:1 Jesus’ followers observed God’s Sabbath.
Acts 13:14 Jesus’ Apostles attended with the congregation on Sabbath – after His death and resurrection.
Acts 13:42&44 Gentiles begged to be taught on the Sabbath.
Acts 15:19-21 Rather than arguing about salvation, Paul asked the council to simply tell Gentiles to cease four sins immediately, and to let them learn the rest of Moses with the congregations each Sabbath.
Acts 16:13 They went to a place of prayer on the Sabbath.
Acts 17:2 Taught on the Sabbath.
Acts 18:4 Reasoned and taught every Sabbath.
Colossians 2:8-23 Do not be deceived or let the tradition of men judge you when you observe Sabbath – which is a shadow of what is to come.
Hebrews 4:3-12 There remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God.
May this assist your studies. Please do comment if you find errors in references, or know of other Scriptures that can help. Shalom!