Is it a sin to be intimate on the Sabbath?

Scripture: Isaiah 58:13
In Isaiah chapter 58 it says that we should not do our own pleasure on God's holy day. What does this mean exactly? Is sex on the Sabbath wrong?
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Caller: I have a question, in Isaiah 58:13, about God saying turn your foot away from My Sabbath and doing your own pleasure on My holy day. My question is: Is it lawful to have intimacy with your wife on the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug: That’s actually a question we get frequently. Some people take Isaiah 13 where it says you’re not supposed to find your own pleasure on the Sabbath daythe word ‘pleasure’ there means ‘pursuits’. Obviously, it’s okay to eat on the Sabbath. The Lord told Moses to tell the people to get twice as much manna on Friday so they could. And if you have pleasure in your food, would that be a sin? Of course not. On what day of the week did God make Adam and Eve?

Caller: Friday?

Pastor Doug: It was what we would call the sixth day of the week. So God makes Adam. First, Adam names the animals and he realizes there is no mate for him and before the sun goes down God puts Adam to sleep and He creates a woman. If Adam and Eve are finally complete and everything is finished at sundown after six days, what would have been their honeymoon?

Caller: On the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Right . Some people believe that there is something sinful about intimacy and marriage, but Paul says that the marriage bed is blessed. Paul also says that in the same way people may fast food is a blessing that God gave us, but we may choose to fast and pray over something, and abstain. Paul also said married couples may choose or agree to fast or abstain from intimacy for a time while they’re praying over an issue, and then he says you’d better come back together again, don’t wait too long or you will be tempted. He’s very specific about that. So, if a person’s conscience tells them otherwise….

There were times when they were to humble themselves before the Lord before the Lord gave the Ten Commandments, it says they were to wash their clothes and “do not come near your wives”. But that wasn’t for the Sabbath, it was for a three day period. They were to really prepare to meet with God in a special way. And it was a fast at that time. If someone has different convictions I have no desire to change their mind, but that’s the way I understand it. Does that help?

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question