From a Hebrew word meaning “to rest; to cease.” It is the seventh day of the Jewish week (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday). Some other festive days in the year, as well as the 7th and 50th years, were also called sabbaths. On the Sabbath day, no work except priestly service in the sanctuary was to be done. In Sabbath years, the land was to lie uncultivated and fellow Hebrews were not pressed for repayment of debts. In the Mosaic Law, the restrictions for the Sabbath were reasonable, but religious leaders gradually added to them, so that by Jesus’ day they were hard for people to observe.