It is written in the law of Moses how to deal with a matter.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Throughout the New Testament, this law is reaffirmed over five times. Christ Himself endorsed the very Scripture, and said it was how the brethren ought to conduct themselves amongst each other.
What is the charge that needs witnesses? It is claiming that weekly cycle changes were made in history. However, to sustain that theory using only a few critical scholarly quotes from the last 150 years is the only basis which the Lunar Sabbatarian has. This study will not go into any particular depth regarding what the Lunar Sabbath theory is, but rather the historical objections that are clearly raised in the matter. We want to go deeper and further than 150 years and prove the truth of these matters for everyone to see. Before we go into the ancient history that shows the truth regarding the Seventh day Sabbath, let’s look at one of their quotes they use to prove their “history” of the week.
The 1943 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia volume 10 page 482, under the article “Week”, describing how they believe the seven day weekly cycle began, we read:
“WEEK” (in Hebrew shavua). The idea of the week, as a subdivision of the month, seems to have arisen in Babylonia, where each lunar month was divided into four parts, corresponding to the four phases of the moon. The first week of each month began with the new moon, so that, as the lunar month was one or two days more than four periods of seven days, these additional days were not reckoned at all. Every seventh day (sabbatum) was regarded as an unlucky day. This method of reckoning time spread westward through Syria and Palestine, and was adopted by the Israelites, probably after they settled in Palestine. With the development of the importance of the Sabbath as a day of consecration and emphasis laid upon the significant number seven, the week became more and more divorced from its lunar connection, so that by the time of the second Temple it was merely a period of seven days and no longer depended on the new moon. From Judaism the week passed over to Christianity, and through the influence of the later was generally adopted throughout the Roman empire;”
There are too many problems with the above statement to address them all, but it is a statement of history that comes from the very heart of Babylonian confusion. It is true that Babylon did have a reckoning of the week that was just like this, but regarding truth, that is about all that is true in the above quote. They say it is from Babylon that the Israelites adopted the weekly cycle, and then, even before the time Christ came (who observed and recognized the Sabbath as the other Jews did in the second Temple, see Luke 13:10-16), they forsook that method of reckoning the Sabbath. Thus when Christ came, He observed THE WRONG SABBATH. Wrong piece of “history” to use. We could look at their other claims to history and similar contradictions will appear, but instead, let’s not look to the false, but look to what history testifies they were observing. If it was a lunar Sabbath, surely there is history to sustain it, but if otherwise, there should be sufficient evidence to sustain that position also.
Now, these are historical sources, and while we do not necessarily uphold the particular writings or views surrounding these quotes as authoritative for doctrine, but they will suffice to sustain an accuracy of ancient history that may speak volumes against the lunar Sabbatarian viewpoint.
Since we know that Christ was in harmony with the 1st century Sabbathkeepers, let us look at what the Jewish people themselves said. First we will look at the Talmud, which was written around 200CE. It is often cited by Jews as a historical reference for beliefs held by the Jewish nation before the destruction of the temple in 70CE.
The Talmud speaks of two different schools of thought in the Jewish culture that generally opposed one another in their manner of observances, holding upwards to 300 differences of opinion recorded in the Talmud alone. One was called “Beth Hillel” (The most prevalent in the Jewish nation) and the other “Beth Shammai”. These “Bethels” or houses were prevalent from 50 BCE to 50 CE, which takes in the time of Christ’s ministry while upon the earth.
The Talmud is not a reputable source of doctrine, but remains a valuable resource for historical documentation.
TWO OPPOSING HOUSES AGREE
Now the first example of what we find in the Talmud speaks of what should happen if ” a new moon falls on a Sabbath.” This is in sharp contradiction to the lunar Sabbatarian theory, who teach that any part of the weekly cycle and the new moon day cannot exist at the same period of time:
“R. Zera replied: The New Moon is different from a festival – Since its mention is included in the benediction on the sanctity of the day in the morning and evening prayers it is also included in that of the additional prayer. But do Beth Shammai uphold the view that the mention of the New Moon is to be included? Was it not in fact taught: If a New Moon falls on a Sabbath, Beth Shammai ruled: One recites in his additional prayer eight benedictions and Beth Hillel ruled: Seven? This is indeed a difficulty.” Talmud – Mas. Eiruvin 40b
It’s interesting that both houses did not find a controversy of if the new moon and Sabbath day can fall in the same place, but rather, IF IT DOES, how is it to be observed.
THE SIXTEENTH DAY SABBATH
In the Mishnah, a fundamental part of the Talmud, it speaks of what happened to the Passover lambs if the day after Unleavened Bread (which was the day the remaining portion of the lamb was to be burnt outside the camp) fell on a Sabbath day:
“Mishnah. The bones, and the sinews, and the nothar of the paschal lamb are to be burnt on the sixteenth. If the sixteenth falls on the Sabbath, they are to be burnt on the seventeenth, because they do not override either the Sabbath or the festival.” Talmud – Pesachim 83a
What is the issue here?
1) The Lunar Sabbatarians teach that it is impossible for the Sabbath to fall on any day other than the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 28th. Thus Sabbath would always fall on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. Therefore the Sabbath falling on the sixteenth would have been IMPOSSIBLE.
2) It was the priesthood of the temple responsible for taking care of the remains of the lamb. So the early temple and priesthood observed the principle historically recorded above.
The same principle issue we find regarding the meal offerings recorded in the Talmud:
“Mishnah. A man may offer a meal-offering consisting of sixty tenths and bring them in one vessel if a man said, I take upon myself to offer sixty tenths, he may bring them in one vessel. But if he said, I take upon myself to offer sixty-one tenths, he must bring sixty in one vessel and the one in another vessel; for since the congregation bring on the first day of the feast of tabernacles when it falls on a Sabbath sixty-one tenths as a meal-offering, it is enough for an individual that his meal-offering be less by one tenth than that of the congregation.” Talmud – Menachoth 103b
With a Lunar Sabbath, there is never a time when the first day of the feast of Tabernacles falls on any day other than the Sabbath (15th day of the seventh month). So to say “when it falls on a Sabbath” would never need to be mentioned, for according to the Lunar Sabbatarians it ALWAYS FALLS ON A SABBATH.
The Talmud records so many historical points of interest, especially the arguments of various schools of thought in the Jewish nation, including controversial points. Yet never, not once, at all, is mentioned ANY CONTROVERSY regarding a difference of calculating the weekly cycle.
That is one witness of the Jewish nation historically. Let’s look at one or two more to establish the matter from the Jewish historical perspective.
2. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Josephus
The dead sea scrolls are considered some of the earliest dated and preserved extra-biblical scolls to ever be discovered. Much of this includes the history of both the Jewish nation, various Biblical books from the prophets, as well as some eyewitness accounts of the Messiah. Some of the books found among the extra-biblical scrolls were the Calendrical Scroll. This was written by the Essenes.
The dead sea scrolls are some of the oldest and best preserved texts in the world. Even though the older documents show signs of aging, they themselves are a testament to the history of the time.
The Essenes were a sect from the time of the era of the second temple Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE, and some histories regard them as the priesthood which succeeded the line of Zadok. They were one of three major sects that existed at that time, along with the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Now what are the Calendrical scrolls that the Essenes wrote? They were the execution of priestly duties that the various houses would perform at the temple as priests in their appointed season. An example of the Calendrical scroll’s schedule order can be found in the Bible:
Luke 1:8-9 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, (9) According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
If ever there were a document to prove something for or against a lunar Sabbath, it would certainly be the Calendrical scroll. And far from being a modified Calendrical scroll, the “mishmarot” (the courses contained in the Calendrical scroll) are believed to be as old as second century BCE. Now, what do these courses say regarding the Sabbath? It states many, many things, but here is an example:
“[.. on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month] is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On the fou[rth day of the week is a holy assembly. On the twenty-fifth of the month is] a Sabbath. On the twenty-sixth of the month is the B[arley] Festival…” (4Q326)
Notice that it says on this particular course that on “the twenty-fifth of the month is a Sabbath”. But this is impossible according the the Lunar Sabbatarian’s weekly cycle. Many Lunar Sabbatarians know this, and claim that the Essenes kept a different Sabbath, independent of the lunar Sabbath, but can any historical records further substantiate this claim to prove whether that itself is true history?
In fact, an ancient Jewish historian by the name of Josephus, who wrote regarding the history of the Jews extensively, both living in the time of and writing about the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem in 70CE, also wrote extensively about the particular practices of the Essenes.
So did Josephus mention that the Essenes kept the Sabbath on a day that was different than the rest of Judaism?
Wars of the Jews 2:147 … Moreover, they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not move any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon.
It is clear that the Essenes, who Josephus was here writing about, rested on the same seventh day as the rest of mainstream Judaism of that time, and on that very same time, were emphasized as being much stricter than their Sabbath-keeping contemporaries. If it was not so, he would not have said “on the seventh day” to mix up terms. He might have said “they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the day they suppose to be the seventh day”, but not even this is intimated. How is it that the Essenes can keep a different Sabbath than Lunar Sabbatarians, but yet there are no Lunar Sabbatarians to be found at all anywhere in ancient history? Josephus wrote a great deal on the history of the Jews, but never was such a point touched upon, or even whispered about. Could it be becoming apparent that the Lunar Sabbath “history” is merely a fable that has been fabricated over the last two centuries?
In fact the dead sea scrolls are in agreement regarding when the Sabbath was observed, and that there was no historical record ever found that there was any dissension as to the weekly cycle, or a difference in calculating the seventh day Sabbath, not even amongst the various Jewish sects. While not all these scrolls are good for doctrine, these ancient writings are truly historical gems preserved by God.
Another point of interest is how often the seventh day should come. In the Scriptures, there is a command from God that His people were to sound a trumpet throughout the land when the Sabbath was to begin:
Numbers 10:2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.
Josephus faithfully recorded much of the ancient Jewish history, both significant and minor details.
Josephus recounting a tower where the trumpet was to be sounded by one of the priests at the beginning of “every seventh day”:
Wars of the Jews 4:582 and the last was erected above the top of the Pastophoria, where one of the priests stood of course, and gave a signal beforehand with a trumpet, at the beginning of every seventh day, in the evening twilight, as also at the evening when that day was finished, as giving notice to the people when they were to stop work, and when they were to go to work again.
Now, if he says that it is every seventh day, are we to think that to mean that he means every seventh day from the day after the new moon and ending at the translation day or next new moon? Or does it mean just what it says, “EVERY seventh day”? Doubtless, just as it reads.
But so that we may know further the historical facts of what “every seventh day” means, we will now not leave ourselves with only two or three Jewish historical witnesses to establish the matter, but now we will also take two or three secular historical accounts that the matter may be established. That we can truly say we have two solid historical witnesses:
1) The Ancient Jewish Historical Witnesses
2) The Ancient Secular Historical Witnesses
Ptolemy was the General of Alexander the Great, who took over Jerusalem in 332 BCE. Now, Agatharchides, a 2nd century BCE Greek historian wrote about Ptolemy’s defeat of Jerusalem. From a strictly secular perspective, the Greek historian writes about the Jews resting “on every seventh day”:
“There are a people called Jews, and dwell in a city the strongest of all other cities, which the inhabitants call Jerusalem, and are accustomed to rest on every seventh day; on which times they make no use of their arms, nor meddle with husbandry, nor take care of any affairs of life, but spread out their hands in their holy places, and pray till the evening.
210 Now it came to pass, that when Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, came into this city with his army, that these men, in observing this mad custom of theirs, instead of guarding the city, suffered their country to submit itself to a bitter lord; and their law was openly proven to have commanded a foolish practice“
Now, if both Josephus, a Jewish historian, and Agatharchides, a Greek historian, both use the words “every seventh day”, it becomes an impossibly difficult task for the Lunar Sabbatarian to defend his history, since they cannot sustain what they are teaching from a secular historical perspective as being “every seventh day”, because the Lunar Sabbath count isn’t EVERY seventh day, but has interruptions by both the new moon and the “translation day”.
What a beautiful thing to consider though, that God rested on the seventh day, and every seventh day is a memorial of our wonderful Creator, and His creative and sanctifying power.
Now that we have looked at this point of every seventh day being the Sabbath from both a Jewish and secular perspective, let’s bridge from there to more secular perspectives regarding how the secular world regarded the Sabbath-keeping Jewish people.
3. Roman Historians and Writers
Before launching more fully into the secular historical accounts, we need to address a very common argument from Lunar Sabbatarians upon Sabbath-keepers who observe the seventh day Sabbath “every seventh day”, which would fall on Friday evening to Saturday evening on the Gregorian calendar, that they are worshipping on the day of Saturn, an ancient pagan god associated with star worship. They make the charge that the Jews adopted the ancient Roman week. The argument may sound good on the surface, but when examining the matter more closely, it falls apart.
From Ham came Nimrod. From Nimrod came all the pagan religious of the world.
The truth is that “every seventh day” since creation, man kept the Sabbath. From Adam to Noah, the truth faith was passed on. Then Noah passed on the true faith to Shem, Japheth, and Ham. Some may realize that from Shem came Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and his seed, from which Christ came. These kept the Sabbath. Now Ham’s descendants included Nimrod, Canaan, Gog, and Magog, and a number of other famous pagan kings; from him came the kingdoms of Canaan, Sodom, Gomorrah, and Babylon, and all the great pagan nations of the earth. Yet Ham had inherited the truth faith, but all of these nations that came from Ham had evidently departed from that inheritance.
That almost all old pagan beliefs seemed to hold a traditional account of a flood is evidence that they had a common lineage, and even certain common features of the true faith, yet despite any resemblance some of these nations have whether more of less to the true faith, they did not worship the same God.
There is no historical evidence that the Jews adopted the practices of the worshippers of Saturn, but on the contrary, it speaks all the more of something different and more definitely consistent with history. Simply because the Sabbath falls on in the same period of time does not make Lunar Sabbatarian arguments conclusive. Either the worshippers of Saturn adopted the Jewish practice (which there is historical evidence for), which we will speak more on shortly, or else, they inherited that point of faith from Ham that they never fully departed from, even though the knowledge of God was wholly perverted into the worship of the creature rather than the Creator, if not altogether lost. Therefore the charge either way is not upon the people from which the Messiah arose from, but rather upon the worshippers of Saturn.
Does that mean that they all forsook the time period of the Sabbath as set apart? Not necessarily. Consider that there are Sabbath-keeping Trinitarian groups, as well as Sabbath-keeping non-Trinitarian groups. You can most certainly worship a different god on the same day. Now, regarding those who worshipped the god Saturn on the Saturn day, or Saturday, is not evidence at all that God’s people are worshipping anything less than the true God on the seventh day Sabbath.
More than this, that the seventh day Sabbath falls on the day which was called Saturday does not mean at all that the Jewish people called the seventh day “Saturday”, or taught that Saturday was the origin of the Sabbath. The truth is that the Jewish people never associated Sabbath with the word Saturday at all, but called every seventh day “Sabbath” and kept the line clear and distinct from any connection to false gods.
But we will be looking at quotes that are speaking from a strictly secular perspective of the Jewish nation, coming from those who knew nothing much at all of the God of Israel, but are, in a general sense, much more acquainted with the pagan practices of the surrounding nations. Now Lunar Sabbatarians are correct on this point: the Roman week was not based upon the cycle of the moon. But each day of the week was generally devoted to a different god. The secular sources here cited are not to cast a Day of Saturn reflection upon the Jews, but to show clearly that their day of Sabbath observance did indeed fall at the same period of time, and that there is undeniable secular historical evidence for this fact.
70 – 84 CE (AD)
Frontinus, a Roman Soldier who lived from c. 40 CE to 103 CE, wrote book on military strategy called Strategematicon in 84 A.D. In it, he writes:
“The deified Augustus Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business.” Frontinus Stratagem 2.1.17.
In Latin, the book by Frontinus has “the day of Saturn” translated into “Saturnis”, from which comes the word “Saturday”. And this book was written only 14 years after Titus’ destruction of Jerusalem, which makes it a considerable piece of historical evidence from a first century eyewitness, connecting “the Jews…day on which it is sinful for them to do any business” with “the day of Saturn”, or modern Saturday.
63 BCE – 229 CE
Cassius Dio, a Roman Historian who lived from ca. 155 to 229 CE, using the historical annals of the Roman empire, wrote concerning three wars that the Romans and the Jews were engaged in with one another.
The first battle was during a time when Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II, two brothers who were the offspring of the Maccabees, were engaged in a dispute over who would rule. The Romans, through the actions of Pompey, came in and settled the dispute, siding with Hyrcanus. While speaking of Pompey’s battle, the Sabbath is mentioned.
The setting is 63 BCE:
“Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty.
For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it.
As it was, they made an excavation of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall.
The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously.
Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered.
The kingdom was given to Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was carried away.” Cassius Dio Roman History 37.16.1-4
It is very clear that the Romans had taken advantage of the fact that the Jews would not work on the Sabbath by making advancements upon them. And was this time called Sabbath? Again, the weekly Sabbath coincides with the Roman “days of Saturn.”
The second battle listed by Cassius Dio occurred in 36 BCE, is the one that resulted in the very first King Herod coming to power:
“The Jews, indeed, had done much injury to the Romans, but they suffered far more themselves.
The first of them to be captured were those who were fighting for the precinct of their god, and then the rest on the day even then called the day of Saturn.
And so excessive were they in their devotion to religion that the first set of prisoners, those who had been captured along with the temple, obtained leave from Sosius, when the day of Saturn came round again, and went up into the temple and there performed all the customary rites, together with the rest of the people.
These people Antony entrusted to a certain Herod to govern; but Antigonus he bound to a cross and flogged,— a punishment no other king had suffered at the hands of the Romans,— and afterwards slew him.” Cassius Dio Roman History 49.22.4-6
Notice that Cassius Dio reports the Jews as being in devotion to religion that they observed “customary rites” at the temple on “the day even then called Day of Saturn.” This indicates that the time period coinciding with Sabbath wasn’t only called the “Day of Saturn” during his lifetime, but it was called the “Day of Saturn” back in 36 BCE, even before Christ came. The time that the Jews themselves kept the Sabbath both before Christ and after Christ fell on that very same Day of Saturn.
Next, another experience related by him is in 70 CE, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. This fell on the Sabbath, which again is called the “day of Saturn.”
70 – 229 CE
“Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most.
From that time forth it was ordered that the Jews who continued to observe their ancestral customs should pay an annual tribute of two denarii to Jupiter Capitoline.”
Cassius Dio Roman History 65.7.2
So when we look at Cassius Dio’s historical account, he relates that the Jews kept the same Sabbath on the same “day of Saturn” from 63 BCE up until his day, no later than 229 CE. His report also agrees with Frontinus’ account of the 70 CE battle. This is two witnesses from a secular perspective, but we will continue to relate more history from this perspective.
- 100 CE
The Historian Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56CE – ca. 117CE), suggested that Jews kept the Sabbath out of laziness, and also associated the Sabbath with the Roman idol, Saturn, showing that the historian did not have much understanding regarding the faith and practice of the Jewish people:
They are said to have devoted the seventh day to rest, because that day brought an end to their troubles. Later, finding idleness alluring, they gave up the seventh year as well to sloth.
Others maintain that they do this in honor of Saturn; either because their religious principles are derived from the Idaei, who are supposed to have been driven out with Saturn and become the ancestors of the Jewish people; or else because, of the seven constellations which govern the lives of men, the star of Saturn moves in the topmost orbit and exercises peculiar influence, and also because most of the heavenly bodies move round their courses in multiples of seven. From The Histories, Book V
The historian flips things upside down. Suggesting the possibility that the Jews inherited their religious principles of rest from those that honored Saturn. Yet the reverse is more likely to be true given the history of the descendants of Noah, that those who had inherited the principles of truth joined themselves to idols while maintaining the same day of worship.
Again, the fact that a pagan associated Sabbath keeping with Saturn demonstrates that the Roman week’s day of Saturn (Saturday) was the same period of time as what God gave His people as Sabbath day. Tacitus is an eyewitness from the first century and wrote this a mere 30 years after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
THE JEWISH INFLUENCE OF THE SABBATH ON ROMAN CULTURE
Now that we’ve seen these, let’s turn our attention to how the Sabbath influenced the surrounding cultures. The Lunar Sabbatarian’s charge that the Roman week influenced the Jewish people, but Josephus writes that the opposite was the fact of the matter.
“The masses have long since shown a keen desire to adopt our religious observances; and there is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation, to which our custom of abstaining from work on the seventh day has not spread and where our fasts and the lighting of lamps and many of our prohibitions in the matter of food are not observed. Apion 2:282-283
Eviatar Zerubavel, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, suggested the following regarding the seven day weekly cycle:
“. . . The planetary week [the week we presently found on the Gregorian calendar], however, was a relative newcomer compared with the Jewish week. . . [and] may have evolved from [it], and was undoubtedly influenced by it. Presumably the seven-day structure of the Jewish week came first, and later people began to call the days of the week after the names of the planets. Our modern week is a blend of both traditions.”
Eviatar Zerubavel, by study of the week in his respective field, came to the conclusion that the Jewish people had it first, and the Romans as Lunar Sabbatarians have asserted. These points suggest that the Jewish influence not only affected their contemporary culture, but even the world, and that should be even less a surprise considering how quickly the work of Christ spread with His first apostles to nearly the whole world in less than century.
Even among secular historians, there is cause to believe that the Sabbath is closely entwined to the weekly cycle of the first century Romans. This is evidenced by the writings of a Roman historian by the name of Suetonius. Suetonius (ca. 69CE – 130CE) was the Roman Emperor’s secretary for a time. While describing the life of Tiberius Caesar (14 – 37 CE), he wrote:
“The grammarian Diogenes, who used to lecture every Sabbath at Rhodes, would not admit Tiberius when he came to hear him on a different day, but sent a message by a common slave of his, putting him off to the seventh day. When this man waited before the Emperor’s door at Rome to pay his respects, Tiberius took no further revenge than to bid him return seven years later.” Suetonius The Life of Tiberius 32.2
This reference from Suetonius is a strong indication that the influence of the seventh day Sabbath over the Roman week may well have been linked more than people have thought, just as Josephus said, but not as the Lunar Sabbatarians are teaching.
28 BCE to 1 BCE
Lastly, we’ll share a quote from a Poet named Ovid, (43 BCE to 17CE), referenced by J. Hugh Michael in his writing “The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers”:
Still more impressive is the witness of Ovid. In the Ars Amatoria he instructs the young Roman who is desirous of finding an object for his affections how he should set about his search.
The quest need not take him far a field: there is no lack of suitable damsels in Rome.
The poet even specifies the parts of Rome where the quest of the amorous youth is most likely to be crowned with success: he should not neglect ‘(Adonis lamented of Venus, or the seventh day observed as holy by the Syrian Jew.”
The first part of this direction can only mean that the youth should visit the Temple of Venus when her grief for Adonis was commemorated on the anniversary of his death.
Similarly the second part must mean that he should attend the Sabbath services held in the Jewish synagogues.
Is it possible to attach any other meaning to the advice that the youth should not avoid the seventh day observed by the Syrian Jew?
And what meaning is there in the counsel unless Roman maidens were wont to attend those services?
It is not easy to think that it was the poet’s intention that the young Roman should become enamored of a Jewess! The Jewish Sabbath in the Latin Classical Writers. J. Hugh Michael Victoria College, Toronto, Canada. The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 40, No. 2. (Jan., 1924), pp. 117-124
The work of the Poet Ovid which is referenced above is “Ars Amatoria” (The Art of Love), which was written in approximately 1 BCE. We’ve seen that the Romans were already observing the seven day week, but the Poet Ovid, who was a Scythian of the Roman Empire, was not of the Jewish faith, yet his poem does not fail to mention the seventh day kept holy by the Jews. Thus, we can see that the Roman culture was in fact being influenced in some manner in their association with the weekly cycle and the seventh day of the week.
These historical witnesses shut the door to any possibility to the Lunar Sabbath theory being historically true. Our Father has wonderfully preserved enough ancient history so that we needn’t be in darkness over the matter. Now that the light has shone, will you also walk in it?