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In recent years a Babylonian origin has been advocated.A lexicographical tablet gives shabattu as the equivalent of um nuh libbi , "the day of the appeasement of the heart" (of the gods).The Sabbath as the sign of the Sinaitic covenant recalled the deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.Hence, in the second place, the Israelites are bidden to remember that they were once slaves in Egypt, and should therefore in grateful remembrance of their deliverance rest themselves and allow their bond-servants to rest ( Deuteronomy -15 ).), but it there appears as an institution already known to the Israelites.The Sinaitic legislation therefore only gave the force of law to an existing custom.The Sabbath thereby also became a sign, and its observance an acknowledgment of the pact: "See that thou keep my sabbath; because it is a sign between me and you in your generations; that you may know that I am the Lord, who sanctify you" ( Exodus ).
This does not mean that the Sabbath was instituted at the Creation, as some commentators have thought, but that the Israelites were to imitate God's example and rest on the day which He had sanctified by His rest.
The seventh day of the week among the Hebrews, the day being counted from sunset to sunset, that is, from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
The Sabbath was a day of rest "sanctified to the Lord" ( Exodus ; ; Deuteronomy ).
Furthermore, a religious calendar of the intercalary month Elul and of the month Marchesvan mentions the 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, and 19th days, the latter probably because it was the 49th (7x7) day from the beginning of the preceding month, as days on which the king, the magician, and the physician were to abstain from certain acts.
The king, for instance, was not to eat food prepared with fire, put on bright garments, ride in a chariot, or exercise acts of authority.
In earlier days the people were wont to go to hear the instructions of the Prophets ( 2 Kings ), and it is not unlikely that meetings for edification and prayer were common from the oldest times.