Saturday in Scripture

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Attributed to Vladimir Lenin
One argument commonly used as undeniable proof that Saturday just has to be the Bible Sabbath is the undisputed fact that the Jews today keep Saturday as the Sabbath. Even The World Book Encyclopedia states, under its entry for Saturday: “It is named for the Roman god Saturn . . . Saturday is the Sabbath among the Jews and the Seventh-day Adventists.”(1) However, this does not prove Saturday is the original Sabbath established at Creation. It is possible to find references to worship on “Saturday” (Saturn’s day) in the Bible; but it must be clearly understood that all such occasions occurred when Israel was in apostasy and rebellion against their Creator. Saturn appears in scripture as Moloch/Molech/Milcom: the evil, child-sacrifice demanding, “abomination of the children of Ammon.”(2)

The first reference to God’s people worshipping Saturn appears in Exodus 32: the apostasy at Mount Sinai with the golden calf. Most people have been unaware that this apostasy was actually the worship of Saturn, but references to that appear in Amos 5:26 and Acts 7:43 (discussed later).

Surrounded by the idolatry of the sun-worshipping Egyptians, the Children of Israel had lost their original method of calendation by which the Sabbath is to be calculated. It was necessary for God to reeducate them, which He did just before the exodus: “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”(3) The Creator’s calendar year begins in the Spring; the Egyptian year began with the emergence of the star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major, roughly around the summer solstice, or modern June 21.

In their bondage the Israelites had to some extent lost the knowledge of God’s law, and they had departed from its precepts. The Sabbath had been generally disregarded, and the exactions of their task masters made its observance apparently impossible. But Moses had shown his people that obedience to God was the first condition of deliverance . . . .(4)

Being immersed in pagan Egyptian calendation, the Israelites were very quick to return to the familiar when they thought that Moses had died or deserted them in the desert:

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him . . . And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.(5)

This was not just any animal arbitrarily made out of gold. Rather, this was an Egyptian diety: the calf, Apis.

The ordinary way in which the favorite Egyptian divinity Osiris [Nimrod] was mystically represented was under the form of a young bull or calf – the calf Apis – from which the golden calf of the Israelites was borrowed. There was a reason why that calf should not commonly appear in the appropriate symbols of the god he represented, for that calf represented the divinity in the character of Saturn, “The HIDDEN one,” “Apis” being only another name for Saturn.(6)

Aaron’s statement in Exodus 32:5 is very revealing: “And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord.” Having left Egypt only a few months before, the people had not forgotten Egyptian worship or calendation. Why the next day? Why did Aaron call the people to worship on that particular day? “Prayer to the planets on their respective days was a part of the worship of the heavenly bodies.”(7) A continuous weekly cycle is not necessary to assign one day in the week to a particular god. Aaron was calling the people to come worship Saturn on Saturn’s day.

This is an important point. Israel’s religious apostasies were repeatedly over Saturn. A god was worshipped on his day, and when Aaron told the Children of Israel, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord” he was not referring to YHWH, the Great I AM that had created them and delivered them from Egyptain bondage. Rather, he was referring to Saturn, which was itself a symbol of the great apostate, Nimrod, in his deified form as a god.

“And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”(8)

This was rebellion on such a grand scale that it claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 Israelites(9) and centuries later was still held out as the ultimate example of moral revolt and religious rebellion against the government of Heaven. In speaking of Israel’s continued obstinate desire to worship Saturn on his day, the God of Heaven, through the prophet Amos, referred back to this event:

Have ye offered unto Me sacrifices and offering in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.(10)

This passage is very significant. When verse 26 says “ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images” it is again referring to the idolatrous worship of Saturn. The Hebrew-Greek Interlinear translates the passage thus:

Did you bring near to Me in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? Yea you bore(11) the booth(12) of your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. Therefore I will take into exile you beyond Damascus, says Jehovah the God of Hosts is His name.(13)

While the Interlinear refers to “your king”, the King James Version says “your Moloch.”(14) The name “Moloch/Molech” originated as a title for Nimrod and meant “king.”(15) Chiun/Kiyyun is “another name for the god Saturn.”(16)

Notice that in this passage God is reminding Israel that these were “gods which you made for yourselves.” In Exodus 32, the Israelites had told Aaron: “Up, make us gods, which shall go before us.” The idolatry that Israel brought with them out of the land of Egypt was the worship of Saturn on his day.

Even the apostasy at Baal-Peor just before Israel entered Canaan, which resulted in the deaths of 24,000 Israelites,(17) can be linked to the worship of Saturn.(18) Centuries later, “when Solomon was old, . . . his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”(19) What follows is a long list of the idolatrous religions Solomon went whoring after, including that of Molech.(20) This is clearly presented in scripture as being “evil in the sight of the Lord.”(21) The result was that “the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel”(22) and as a result, the punishment was to have the kingdom broken up, and most of it torn from the control of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.(23)

After Solomon’s death, the kingdom of Israel was indeed split in two, with only two tribes remaining to Rehoboam. The other 10 tribes went to Jeroboam. I Kings 12 and 13 records the incredible story of Jeroboam and his idolatry! Despite being highly honored of heaven as God’s chosen king to rule over the 10 tribes,(24) and having the reason spelled out (i.e., Solomon’s spiritual idolatry with false gods, including Milcom/ Molech/ Saturn), Jeroboam led the people straight back into the worship of Saturn.

As king over the ten northern tribes, Jeroboam feared that the people of his new nation would return to Jerusalem and worship there:

And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.(25)

In order to prevent that, he counseled with his advisors and they decided to establish a counterfeit system of worship – the same worship over which Israel had apostatized at Sinai. He “made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt!”(26) These are the same words spoken at the original apostasy at Sinai: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”(27) The object of worship, a golden calf, was a symbol of Saturn, just as it had been at Sinai.

“This thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.”(28)

Jeroboam did not stop there. He attempted to realign all the feasts (mo’edim) in keeping with his idolatrous worship by the counterfeit calendar.

And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah [which took place on the fifteenth day of the seventh month], and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made . . . So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel.(29)

The Creator is a God of mercy, patience and love. To arrest Jeroboam and his people in their head-long flight into the evils of Saturn worship, God sent the prophet Amos to warn them. Amos’ words were a very clear, cutting rebuke to the evil they were willingly embracing. Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent a message to King Jeroboam, accusing Amos of conspiring against the crown.(30) Because Israel was returning to the same worship of Saturn which the children of Israel had apostatized over with the golden calf in the wilderness, the Lord referred back to that rebellion in His message through Amos. He stated that He would not accept their counterfeit worship, no matter how many times they claimed to be worshipping Him.

I hate, I reject your feasts, and I will not smell your meat-offerings in your general assemblies. Wherefore if ye should bring Me your whole-burnt-sacrifices and meat-offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I have respect to your grand peace-offerings . . . Have ye offered to Me victims and sacrifices, O house of Israel, forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Ræphan, the images of them which ye made for yourselves. And I will carry you away beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the Almighty God is His name.(31)

The battle between the Creator and Lucifer over worship, the Mount of the Congregation, is clearly laid out in Amos’ warning:

Woe to them that set at nought Sion [those who set aside true worship by accepting the counterfeit], and that trust in the mountain of Samaria: . . . Ye who are approaching the evil day, who are drawing near and adopting false Sabbaths . . . Therefore now shall they depart into captivity.(32)

The people of Israel were not atheists. In fact, they even claimed to be worshiping the God Who brought them out of Egypt! The problem was they were worshiping Him on Saturn’s day. Thus He was explaining why He would not accept their worship.(33)

The worship of Saturn/Moloch by Israel was a hideous, evil practice which led the Israelites into participating in the same degrading rites performed by the Canaanites – for which crimes the God of Heaven drove them from the land! As various ancient civilizations descended into the worst forms of idolatry and paganism, moving from occasional sacrificing of the first-born to more whole-sale slaughter, so too, did the Israelites when they began worshiping Saturn/Moloch. In Jeremiah 32, the heavenly Father states that the reason the Israelites would go into Babylonian captivity (verse 28) was because:

They built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.(34)

The “abomination” of the children of Ammon was the worship of Moloch/Saturn, the rites of which included child sacrifice. Babies and children, heavily veiled, were placed on the downward sloping, outstretched arms of the idol, their little bodies rolled down and dropped into a roaring fire beneath. This was called “passing through the fire.” Parents were told that their children, thus “purified,” were assured of a place in paradise. This most evil of all practices was performed even by the people of Israel!

[Ahaz] walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.(35)

Ahaz’ . . . did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.(36)

Ahaz’ son, good king Hezekiah, led out in a reformation where all of the groves were cut down and the altars and places of worship were destroyed. He restored the worship of the temple and re-instituted the Passover.(37) This reformation did not continue with Hezekiah’s own son, however.

[Manasseh] did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven [the sun, moon, and stars], and served them. . . . And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger . . . So Mannasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.(38)

The particulars of Israel’s apostasies, as recorded in scripture, reveal that the worship of Saturn featured predominantly in their religious rebellions. While modern Saturday Sabbatarians do not worship by burning their children, the fact remains that the day on which one worships, honors the god of that day. Saturn is the god of Saturday. YHWH, the Creator God, is the God of the seventh-day Sabbath, calculated by His luni-solar calendar. Worship on any other day, calculated by any other calendar, gives honor to a god other than the Creator.

This fact was clearly discerned by Stephen, for in his recital of Israel’s history of rebellion before the Sanhedrin just before he was stoned, he quoted Amos’ warning to Isarel. In Acts 7, Stephen referred to their marvelous deliverance from Egyptian bondage and leadership under Moses, stating:

This is he [Moses], that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina . . . To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to Me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.(39)

Remphan is merely the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, Chiun. Because of their apostasy in worshipping Saturn on his day, God stated that He would allow them to be carried away “beyond Babylon.” Babylon originated with Nimrod and is the very foundation of all idolatrous religions coming down through time ever since. The result of rebelliously trying to worship the Creator God by a counterfeit system of worship, calculated by a counterfeit method of calendation, is to be given over to that counterfeit system and have the knowledge of the true Sabbath completely lost! In Hosea 2, God likens His people to an unfaithful wife who goes whoring after other lovers (gods). As a result, the punishment given in verse 11 is: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths(40) and all her solemn feasts.”(41)

In Amos 5:27, the reference to Israel’s apostasy into Saturn worship ends with: “saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.” The word “hosts”(42) refers to the sun, moon and stars, the celestial bodies which Israel wanted to worship, rather than worshiping the Creator of the celestial bodies.

The fact that Israel at times worshiped either on Saturn’s day or later by a continuous weekly cycle is no evidence that the modern Saturn’s day (Saturday) is the Sabbath of Creation. Rather, the accumulation of scriptural and historical evidence supports the interpretation of this act of Israel as being one of gross apostasy and moral rebellion. It is not coincidence that the seventh-day of the modern planetary week, the day on which the majority of sabbatarians worship, is none other than Saturn’s day. In fact, one Jewish scholar boasts that a continuous weekly cycle, divorced from the lunar cycle, is the Jews’ greatest contribution to modern civilization:

A continuous seven-day cycle that runs throughout history paying no attention whatsoever to the moon and its phases is a distinctively Jewish invention.(43) Moreover, the dissociation of the seven-day week from nature has been one of the most significant contributions of Judaism to civilization. . . . it facilitated the establishment of what Lewis Mumford identified as “mechanical periodicity,”(44) thus essentially increasing the distance between human beings and nature. Quasi weeks(45) and weeks(46) actually represent two fundamentally distinct modes of temporal organization of human life, the former involving partial adaptation to nature, and the latter stressing total emancipation from it. The invention of the continuous week was therefore one of the most significant breakthroughs in human beings’ attempts to break away from being prisoners of nature and create a social world of their own.(47)(48)

Too long have Jews and Saturday Sabbatarians looked pityingly or contemptuously upon Roman Catholics and Sunday-keeping Protestants. Saturday Sabbatarians who have leveled charges of hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and inconsistency against those who worship on the first day of the week, are now learning the truth of the Biblical principle: “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”(49)

The truth is that worship on the seventh-day of a pagan calendar does not direct one’s worship to the Creator. When one worships on Saturday, he is showing allegiance to the god of that day, the cruelest, most blood-thirsty of all the gods, Saturn. The Lord God of Heaven is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin.”(50) In kindness, “the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”(51) The call of repentance going forth today is to return to true Biblical worship on the genuine Sabbath, calculated by Heaven’s ordained system of time-keeping: the luni-solar calendar established at Creation.

By eLaine Vornholt
Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones


  • (1) World Book Inc., 1995 edition, p. 150d.
  • (2) I Kings 11:7
  • (3) Exodus 12:2
  • (4) E. G. White, Patriarchs & Prophets, (Oakland, California: Pacific Press Publishing Assoc., 1913), p. 258.
  • (5) Exodus 32:1, 3, 4
  • (6) Alexander Hislop, op. cit., p. 45, emphasis original.
  • (7) R. L. Odom, Sunday in Roman Paganism, (New York: TEACH Services, Inc., 2003), p. 158.
  • (8) Exodus 32:6
  • (9) Exodus 32:28
  • (10) Amos 5:25-27
  • (11) To carry,” #5375, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Thomas Nelson Publ., 1990).
  • (12) An idolatrous booth or tabernacle, #5522, ibid. See The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, (Thomas Nelson Publ., 2001).
  • (13) Amos 5:25-27, The Interlinear Bible, Jay P. Green, ed., 2007.
  • (14) #4428, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
  • (15) Hislop, op. cit., appendix, p. 315.
  • (16) The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, p. 194.
  • (17) Numbers 25:9
  • (18) See Chiun, #3594, Strong’s Concordance, op. cit.
  • (19) I Kings 11:4
  • (20) I Kings 11:7
  • (21) I Kings 11:6
  • (22) I Kings 11:9
  • (23) I Kings 11:12, 13
  • (24) I Kings 11:29-39
  • (25) I Kings 12:26, 27
  • (26) I Kings 12:28
  • (27) Exodus 32:1, 3, 4
  • (28) I Kings 12:30, 31
  • (29) I Kings 12: 32-33
  • (30) Amos 7:10-13
  • (31) Amos 6: 21, 22, 25-27, Septuagint
  • (32) Amos 6:1, 3, 7, Septuagint.
  • (33) Amos 5:21-23
  • (34) Jeremiah 32:35
  • (35) II Kings 16:2, 3
  • (36) II Chronicles 28:1-3
  • (37) II Chronicles 29-31
  • (38) II Chronicles 33:
  • (39) Acts 7:38-43
  • (40) #7676: an intermission, specifically, the seventh-day Sabbath.
  • (41) #4150: Mo’edim, the worshipping assemblies of the Creator God’s faithful people.
  • (42) #6635, Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, “Lexical Aids to the Old Testament”, p. 1652.
  • (43) Morris Jastrow, Hebrew and Babylonian Traditions, (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1914), p. 173; Max Weber, Ancient Judaism, (New York: Free Press, 1967), p. 150; Hutton Webster, Rest Days, (New York: Macmillan, 1916), pp. 253-255.
  • (44) Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization, (New York: Harbinger, 1963), pp. 197-198.
  • (45) Quasi weeks – a weekly cycle that restarts with each new moon.
  • (46) Referring to a continuous weekly cycle as is used in the modern Gregorian calendar.
  • (47) Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, (New York: Random House, 1983), pp. 12-13.
  • (48) Eviatar Zerubavel, The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 11.
  • (49) Matthew 7:1, 2, NASB.
  • (50) Exodus 34:6-7
  • (51) Acts 17:30, emphasis supplied.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s