Hebrews 4:9 - What is the Greek Definition of Sabbatismos?

For every truth in the Word of God, Satan always has a lie to come against it and it is our responsibility to seek out the truth and not just embrace the lie. Below you will find the real truth on the Greek definition of sabbatismos and not the lies spoken by antisabbatarians that sadly are unwittingly helping our adversary.

It was only in the last decade as many began teaching how this passage explains that a literal Sabbath keeping remains for the children of God that heretical web sites like got questions started teaching that this verse means Jesus is our Sabbath. But on careful Biblical exegesis of this verse and passage it becomes very apparent that it says no such thing and neither does the rest of this chapter. The truth seeker will notice that sites like got questions have no specific scripture that state Jesus is the Sabbath and you will note they use what is known as eisegesis.

Hebrews 4:9There remaineth therefore a [Sabbath] rest to the people of God.” Parentheses are added.

The Greek word for “rest” in this verse is “sabbatismos” which literally means “Sabbath keeping” or “Sabbath observance.Hebrews 4:9 and the meaning of Sabbatismos

A few Bibles including the King James have translated this word as “rest” while the Amplified, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV and NRSV and many other translations have more correctly translated this Greek word as “Sabbath rest.” The literal translation of the Greek word “sabbatismos” however is “Sabbath observance.” Note also that “The Scriptures” translated by The Institute for Scripture Research also translate the Greek word “sabbatismos” correctly as “Sabbath observance.”

The Thayer dictionary and the Bible in Basic English also translate this Greek word correctly to an equally literal phrase of “Sabbath keeping.

Professor Andrew T. Lincoln in his symposium “From Sabbath To The Lord’s Day” states the following in regards to taking the Greek word “Sabbatismos” literally.

Thus it does not matter how those opposing the truth of this passage try and twist its true meaning, as the true meaning of this word does in fact show that a literal Sabbath keeping remains for the children of God.

The other important factor is that God also gave His Sabbath so that we would obtain at least one day of rest each week that without we would eventually burn out and become ill. Knowing Christ does not and cannot give you physical rest. If you work non stop all week, you will become exhausted whether you know Christ or not. Only by a literal keeping of the Sabbath will we and can we obtain the physical rest we require. But this day is not just about a sabbatismos rest as Hebrews 4:9 states. Several scriptures state that it is also a sign that it is God we love and worship and God that sanctifies us making us His holy children. This day is a blessing and quality time fellowshipping and worshipping with others, and yet it seems many Christians have been driven to a mind set that the Lord's Sabbath is something to be avoided at any cost. Such people have no idea what they are missing out on and how God truly feels about those who look forward to putting this day aside for His holy purpose that demonstrates to God how much they truly love Him.

Jesus also said that not so much as a comma of His law is going to change as long as Heaven and Earth remain. (Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17) The fourth being the Sabbath is larger than the last six Commandments, and to say Jesus is the Sabbath literally abolishes the largest of all the Commandments and a whole lot more than a comma. Scripture does not lie or contradict. See were the Ten Commandments abolished for more on Matthew 5:17-19.

See is Jesus our Sabbath rest for more on Hebrews 4:9 and the meaning and definition of sabbatismos as well as Sabbath in the New Covenant for further proof that a literal Sabbath keeping remains just as Jesus promised.