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Book of Acts - Chapter 1 - Verse 12

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.


After witnessing Jesus' ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives, the disciples returned to Jerusalem, following the customs of the Sabbath. A "Sabbath day's journey" was the distance that the Jewish law permitted one to travel on a Sabbath day, which was approximately 2,000 cubits (about 3,280 feet). This restriction was put in place to ensure that people did not engage in unnecessary work on the day of rest. By adhering to this rule, the disciples demonstrated their commitment to honoring the Sabbath and their faithfulness to their religious practices. The mention of this detail in the verse highlights the disciples' obedience to Jewish traditions even as they embarked on the monumental task of spreading the teachings of Jesus to the world. It serves as a reminder of the importance of observing religious rituals while carrying out a divine mission.

Theological Overview

After witnessing Jesus being taken up into heaven on the Mount of Olives, His disciples returned to Jerusalem, a distance that was considered a Sabbath day's journey according to Jewish law. This journey was limited to about 2,000 cubits, or approximately 3,000 feet, which was the distance the Israelites were permitted to travel on the Sabbath without violating the commandment to rest. The significance of this detail in the verse highlights the disciples' adherence to Jewish customs and laws even after the ascension of Jesus. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of observing the Sabbath and honoring God's commands. The theological interpretation of this verse emphasizes the disciples' obedience to the teachings of Jesus and their commitment to following His example in all aspects of their lives, including their observance of religious practices. The geographical reference to the Mount of Olives adds a layer of symbolism to the disciples' journey, as it was the place where Jesus had given them his final instructions before ascending to heaven, serving as a sacred location in their faith journey.

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