The Sabbath – Day 7 and Geographical Introduction

You created Adam and Eve, made them husband and wife, gave them a place to live, food, Adam a job, and more-or-less, made them Emperors of the Earth. 

Christians often wonder how important this command is in the New Testament era.

It is true that Jesus did condemn a purely legalistic interpretation of the Sabbath rules created by the Pharisees of his day.

“And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the Sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?

And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him?

How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:23-27).

The concept of rest as defined in the Bible is way different from the concept of rest that weekends have come to portray in the current era.

Vacation, partying, eating out, shopping, television, movies and so on do give man a change in his routines but do little to feed his soul and rest his spirit.

That CAN COME ONLY WHEN man connects with God and becomes strengthened in the spirit. This connection can come in various ways – church, fellowship, service, meditation, Bible study, prayer and so on.

We celebrate the 4th of July as a remembrance of our independence from Britain, the birth of the United States.  When you were done creating everything did You designate a certain day in remembrance?

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made” (Gen 2:2-3).

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Ex 20:8-11).

Note: According to our calendar, the first day of the week is Sunday, therefore, the Sabbath is Saturday.

Geographical Introduction 

The history of geography includes various histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline.

Babylon

The oldest known world maps date back to ancient Babylon from the 9th century BC. The best known Babylonian world map, however, is the Imago Mundi of 600 BC.

Greco-Roman World

The ancient Greeks saw the poet Homer as the founder of geography. His works the Iliad and the Odyssey are works of literature, but both contain a great deal of geographical information.

Hellenistic Period

Here theories clashed with the evidence of explorers, however. Hanno the Navigator had traveled as far south as Sierra Leone, and it is possible other Phoenicians had circumnavigated Africa.

Roman Period

A 15th century depiction of the Ptolemy world map, reconstituted from Ptolemy’s Geographia (c. 150) While the works of almost all earlier geographers have been lost, many of them are partially known through quotations found in Strabo (64/63 B.C. – ca. 24 A.D. ). It was the Romans who made far more extensive practical use of geography and maps. The Roman transportation system, consisting of 55,000 miles of roads, could not have been designed without the use of geographical systems of measurement and triangulation. The cursus publicus, a department of the Roman government devoted to transportation, employed full-time grommatici (surveyors). The surveyors’ job was to gather topographical information and then to determine the straightest possible route where a road might be built. Instruments and principles used included sun dials for determining direction, theodolites for measuring horizontal angles, and triangulation without which the creation of perfectly straight stretches, some as long as 35 miles, would have been impossible.

During the Greco-Roman

Era Those who performed geographical work could be divided into four categories:

* Land surveyors

determined the exact dimensions of a particular area such as a field, dividing the land into plots for distribution, or laying out the streets in a town.

* Cartographical surveyors

made maps, involving finding latitudes, longitudes and elevations.

* Military surveyors

were called upon to determine such information as the width of a river an army would need to cross.

* Engineering surveyors

investigated terrain in order to prepare the way for roads, canals, aqueducts, tunnels and mines. Around 400 A.D. a scroll map called the Peutinger Table was made of the known world, featuring the Roman road network. Besides the Roman Empire which at that time spanned from Britain to the Middle East and Africa, the map includes India, Sri Lanka and China. Cities are demarcated using hundreds of symbols.

The Bible is an intensely geographical book, telling the story of God’s redemptive work in human history.   It’s revealed through the nation of Israel, the early church, and supremely in Jesus Christ.  Specific geographical and cultural settings form the backdrop of this divine drama.

Geographic position often plays a crucial part in the history of any people.  Cultural influences, military and economic alliances, and the political importance of a given people all are determined to some degree by geographical location. 

Moreover, physical environment left a deep imprint on ancient societies since they were linked much more closely to the land than we are today.  

Terrain determined the location of villages and cities as well as the roads that linked them.  Climate, soil conditions, and availability of water affected agriculture, location of settlements, everyday diet, even religious beliefs. 

The land provided the raw materials for household utensils, tools, weapons, houses, and other necessities of daily living. 

Most of the biblical drama unfolded in the Ancient Near East.  Today the modern states of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey occupy that area. 

The Ancient Near East has been called the “Cradle of Civilization” because many important cultural and technological advances took place there. 

James Breasted coined the phrase “Fertile Crescent” to describe a band of land where conditions favored the establishment of early agricultural Beyond the Sinai, south of the Fertile Crescent, lay Egypt. 

Favored by nature with the Nile River and its abundant water, Egypt played a vital part in the Ancient Near East.  

From about 3200 B.C., Egypt, like Mesopotamia, became a powerful center of civilization. 

Historically, the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia dominated the history of the Ancient Near East, at least until the campaigns of Alexander the Great (334-323 B.C.). 

H.G. Wells, Pliny, and Herodotus all record that Mesopotamia and Egypt were the first favored lands.