Historical Evidence Showing the Roman Day 'Saturn Day' is the 7th day Sabbath

Today it is generally accepted that the 7th day of the week is the day we call Saturday. But many people make the claim that we do not know anymore which day the true Biblical 7th day Sabbath is on due to the Roman Empire renaming the days of the week after their gods and also due to calendar changes. But there is historical evidence which we will show you on this page that shows Saturday, the day the Romans named after their god Saturn, is in fact the 7th day Sabbath of the Bible.

But just before we get into the historical evidence, let me confirm one thing. The only place we get the 7 day weekly cycle from is creation week in Genesis 1 and 2. In the creation account we are told how God spoke the world and all that is in it into existence. So would it be a difficult thing for our God Jehovah to keep the weekly cycle going and the 7th day Sabbath to remain the same day throughout history? No. That would not be a difficult thing for our Heavenly Father. So with that in mind, let us look at the historical quotes:

- Dio Cassius, a Roman historian and senator, born in 155AD, who published many volumes on the history of Rome, said:

"Pompey turned against Aretas ... Pompey accordingly marched against him and his neighbours, and overcoming them without effort, left them in charge of a garrison ... Thence he proceeded against Syria Palestina ... Pompey immediately won over Hyrcanus without battle ... After this he more easily overcame the rest, but had trouble in besieging Jerusalem. Most of the city, to be sure, he took without any trouble, as he was received by the party of Hyrcanus; but the temple itself, which the other party had occupied, he captured only with difficulty. For it was on high ground and was fortified by a wall of its own, and if they had continued defending it on all days alike, he could not have got possession of it. As it was, they made an exception of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall ... Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defence ... This is the course of events at that time in Palestine; for this is the name that has been given from of old ... They have also another name that they have acquired; the country has been named Judaea, and the people themselves Jews ... They are distinguished from the rest of mankind in practically every detail of life, and especially by the fact that they do not honour any of the usual gods, but show extreme reverence to one particular divinity ... and likewise dedicated to him the day called the day of Saturn, on which, among many other peculiar observances, they undertake no serious occupation." (Dio Cassius, Roman History, Vol.3, p.125-129 - English Translation by Earnest Cary, 1914 - source)

Dio Cassius lived only 100 years after the time of the apostles, so he was not very far removed from the actual events that took place in the Roman Empire. His account of Pompey's campaign against Judaea is very interesting. Pompey's war against Judaea was around 60 years before Christ, and as we can see from Cassius's account, it was a great struggle for Pompey to fully capture Jerusalem and the temple. The one thing that helped Pompey capture it was the fact that the Jews would not fight on the day of Saturn, because they rest on this day! And what day did the Jews observe the Sabbath day of rest? The 7th day of the week.

According to Cassius, what day did the Jews dedicate to Jehovah? The day which the Romans called 'the day of Saturn.' And which day is our 'Saturday' named after? You guessed it, the day of Saturn! Now the Jews were not honouring the actual 'day of Saturn.' They were honouring the 7th day Sabbath that God gave to man (Mark 2:27). It's just that the Romans called this day 'Saturn's day.' Do you see? This is our Saturday today, which is the 7th day of the week.

"Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most." (Dio Cassius, Roman History, Vol.8, p.271 - English Translation by Earnest Cary, 1925 - source)

This should be plain for everyone to see. Which day did the Jews reverence the most? The 7th day Sabbath which God gave to man at the end of creation week, and confirmed in the 4th commandment. This is the day the Jews reverenced the most, and the Roman historian calls it the 'day of Saturn', which is our Saturday.

Luke 23:55-56 ...'And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.'

They rested the Sabbath day 'according to the commandment', which tells us to "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work" (Exodus 20:8-10). This is what the women did and the very day the Jews kept. And according to Cassius, the 7th day which the Jews kept was the very day that the Romans called 'Saturn', which is our Saturday today! This is why the Romans were able to conquer Jerusalem and the temple, because the Jews rested the 7th day (day of Saturn) and thus the Romans were able to take Jerusalem on that day. We also have references to this from other historians:

"Plutarch relates that when the Jews were attacked on the Sabbath during a siege, they sat in their places immovable while the enemy were planting ladders against the walls and capturing the defences, and they did not get up, but remained there fast bound in the toils of superstition as in one great net. According to Dio Cassius, the Romans profited from this Jewish custom of not doing any sort of work on the day of Saturn to batter down the wall. He, too, is convinced that if the Jews had defended the city every day with equal strength Pompey could never have gained command of it. During the battle against Titus, Jerusalem was lost in the same way on the day of Saturn, which Jews honour most of all." (The Roots of Pagan Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World, p.127 - source)

It's not that the Jews honoured the actual day of Saturn. They were simply keeping the 7th day Sabbath as God commanded - the day God set aside for holy use at creation. But the Roman Empire called this day 'the day of Saturn.'

This is repeated time and time again in historical writings, that the Sabbath day the Jews kept was called the day of Saturn by the Romans, the day we call Saturday today. Now it is interesting that the battle against Titus is also mentioned, which took place in AD70 and that Jerusalem fell again due to the Jews resting on the Roman day of Saturn. Jesus even mentioned this coming conflict in Matthew 24, warning the Christian converts to 'pray their flight not be on the Sabbath day.' Luke records this same event as 'armies surrounding Jerusalem.'

So we have clear evidence that our Saturday today, which is the very same day as the 'day of Saturn', is in fact the 7th day which the Jews kept as Sabbath, and the very same day that God blessed and sanctified to be kept as a holy Sabbath day of rest. So the 7th day Sabbath has not been lost in history, and as we confirmed at the start, it is not a difficult thing for our Creator to preserve that weekly cycle and His holy 7th day Sabbath. And that is exactly what God has done. Through historical records, we can see that the 7th day Sabbath is the same day as our Saturday today. Praise God!

Now some will say that the calendars have been changed since, and therefore the weekly cycle has still been lost. But if you see our page THE SABBATH AND THE CALENDAR CHANGE you will see that the calendar changes never altered the weekly cycle at all.