Having marital sex on the Sabbath day

Should the followers of God have marital sex on the Sabbath day? This question is faced by many Torah observant believers today. The desire to follow his commandments in every detail eventually provokes many questions, including this one.

The consensus when searching on the internet is in favour of sexual intercourse on the Sabbath day. The union between a man and a woman is spiritual and thus is seen as a stamp of approval. The Spirit within me would not rest with that answer, and the only way I know how to settle the Spirit is through obtaining an answer from the Word of God.

In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:2 (KJV)

The answer is presented in Exodus 19 & 20.

10. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11. And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
12. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13. There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
14. And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

Exodus 19:10-15 (KJV)

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Exodus 20:8 (KJV)

God spoke to Moses and commanded him to sanctify the people in Exodus 19:10 and Moses as part of the sanctification process commanding the Israelites not to come at their wives in Exodus 19:15. The words I will focus on here are “sanctify” and “come”.

SanctifyH6942קָדַשׁqâdashclean, purify, to be holy, hallow
ComeH5066נָגַשׁnâgashto lie with a woman

In Exodus 20:8 God commanded that his Sabbath day be kept holy.


Despite sanctify and holy being translated using two different words in English, they are the same word in Hebrew. Part of the sanctification process is not to have sexual intercourse with your wives on the Sabbath.

The Sabbath appears to be a particularly amorous day; consequently, entering into a marriage is a struggle between the flesh and holiness. The Word of God nonetheless is clear on what he expects, and therefore we have a titanic battle on our hands to be righteous. Remember, though that all things are possible with the Most High.


Many people will err on the justification of compromise.

Some will consider remaining unmarried, and it is great to be an example to others and to proclaim the Word of God. If however, you cannot contain yourself, then instead of sinning and dying, it is better to marry.

8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (KJV)

Our world is engineered to fight against the Word of God, but the Word of God is clear if we want to serve the God of heaven.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Without personal study and earnest prayer for the blessings and understanding provided by God, the scriptures will be a closed book to even the learned. The scriptures will not yield their secrets because God will not give his secrets to those who do not seek him and keep His commandments.

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:4 (KJV)

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