Do all of God's appointed rest days require the same ceasings from labors, or do the Holy Scriptures distinguish between the Appointed Times as to what certain type of labor may be allowable depending upon the Appointed Time in question? Let us overview the Scriptures regarding these days of rest, and thereby search these things out:
Seventh Day Sabbath
"...the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work..." (Exodus 20:10)
"Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein..." (Leviticus 23:3)
According to Holy Scripture, no manner of work is to be performed upon the seventh day Sabbath.
Feast of Unleavens (1st and 7th days)
"In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein....in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein." (Leviticus 23:7,8)
Does this commanded form of rest differ from the one we read above concerning the seventh day Sabbath? What is the difference of "no work" and "no servile work"? What does the term "servile work" mean?
Let us examine another reference to this commanded rest of the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavens:
"...in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you." (Exodus 12:16)
Laying line upon line, it is determined that the Appointed Times which have no "servile work" allowed upon them differ from the seventh day Sabbath in that food preparation is allowable upon these days. Contrast this allowance with the example of Exodus 16 concerning preparing food in advance of the Sabbath:
"Then said the LORD unto Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily'...And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, 'This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.'" (Exodus 16:4,5,22,23)
As seen above, food preparation is to be done previous to the beginning of Sabbath, while on the other hand, food preparation is allowable directly upon the "no servile work" days. Therein then is the difference between "no work" and "no servile work." 
With this in mind, let us continue the overview of the Appointed Times to see which days fit into each catagory:
Feast of Firstfruits/Pentecost
"And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein..." (Leviticus 23:21)
No manner of work should be done upon this day of Pentecost, with the exception of food preparation.
Day of Shouting/"Trumpets"
"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath [shabbaton], a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein..." (Leviticus 23:24,25)
No manner of work should be done upon this Day of Shouting, with the exception of food preparation
Day of Atonement
"...on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement...And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a Day of Atonement...And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work..." (Leviticus 23:27,28,30,31)
Like unto the seventh day Sabbath, no manner of work should be done upon this Day of Atonement at all.
Feast of Tabernacles (1st and 8th days)
"On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein...on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you...and ye shall do no servile work therein. ... Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath [shabbaton], and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath [shabbaton]. " (Leviticus 23:35,36)
No manner of work should be done upon either of these two days, with the exception of food preparation. This fact is noted by the Jews themselves in their Talmud:
"Mishnah. There is no difference between festivals and Sabbath save only in the matter of [preparing] food.11"
footnote: "(11) Lit., food of the person. I.e., that food for the day may be cooked on festivals but not on Sabbath." [Babylonian Talmud (Soncino edition)- Mas. Megilah 7b]
The fact that the seventh day Sabbath and the Day of Atonement are different in their nature of rest is further bore out by the fact that in the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures, only the 7th day Sabbath and the Day of Atonement are ever referred to as shabbat (Strong's #7676), while other Appointed Times of the Eternal (i.e., Day of Shouting/Trumpets, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Eighth Day) are referred to as shabbaton (Strong's #7677). (The first and seventh days of the Feast of Unleavens, as well as Pentecost, are not directly referred to in Scripture by either of these designations, but by implication of their designated rest they fall into the catagory of shabbaton). Search the Scriptures to see if these things are so.
1. While food preparation is allowable on "no servile work" days, the saints of God should refrain from restaurant usage upon these days as upon the Sabbath and Atonement, due to the fact that these employees of the restaurants will be laboring for hire for you. Please read our article Should We Go Out To Eat On the Sabbath? for more information on this facet of the subject. BACK
Author Email: Brian Hoeck
©2001 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck and/or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in their entirety (including this statement), attributed to Truth on The Web, and proper author credit given.
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