Unlike English (and many other languages) where the days of the week are named after gods and mythological figures, the Hebrew days are faithful only to the Bible and are simple ordinal numbers, named after the order of the Creation as described in the Bible. We’ll review each day in light of the Bible. For contrast, we’ll also briefly mention the origin of the English, ancient Latin and other origins of these names.
1. English, Anglo-Saxon, Ancient Latin – This day was called dies Saturni, “Saturn’s Day,” by the ancient Romans in honor of Saturn. In Anglo-Saxon: sater daeg.
2. Hebrew – unlike all the other days of the week, yom sha•bat is not an ordinal number though it relates to the number seven. “Yom” means “day” and “sha•bat” simply means “Saturday.” It is called Sha•bat.
In the Bible, sha•bat is called “yom ha•shvi•ee” – the seventh day. It has two related words: the first is the number seven “she•va” (you may know that the consonants “B” and “V” are made up of the same letter in Hebrew). The second related word to “sha•bat” is “sha•vat” which means” “He (God) had rested. This day, in contrast to all other days was blessed and sanctified:
“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
In a previous Hebrew Word of the day we mentioned that the core root of “sha•bat” is “she•vet” which means “sitting” or “being settled.” We also noted the “sabbatical, the Hebrew Bible schools named “Yeshiva,” and “Shiv•ah” – the Jewish seven mourning days, and the feast of Sha•vu•ot. For more details on these related words please check our previous entry named “Sha•bat.”