Was the Sabbath (meaning Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) only given to the Jewish people to observe?
I believe the answer is NO for the following reasons.
1) The Sabbath is part of the basic structure of the universe.
The Sabbath account as told in Genesis chapters one and two actually takes place before sin. Sin doesn’t come into the picture until Genesis Chapter three. So in Genesis one and two, we have the Sabbath as a pre-sin institution. My reasoning is if the Sabbath goes all the way back to creation, then it’s for the whole human race. This is fascinating because it tells us that the Sabbath is NOT the result of or a response to sin. Hence, it is part of God’s original plan for all mankind.
2) The Israelites were keeping the Sabbath BEFORE they received the 10 commandments at Mount Sinai
In Exodus Chapter 16, it is clear that by the time the Israelites receive the 10 commandments in stone at Mount Sinai, it is clear that they have already been keeping the Sabbath. So this reveals that the Sabbath was nothing new when the 10 commandments were given. It was something they had already been keeping.
3) Jesus Himself said, “The Sabbath was made for man (all mankind)”
“And he said unto them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath’“-Mark 2:27
A lot of believers misinterpret Mark 2:27 thinking that Jesus was implying that we can make the Sabbath any old day we want. However, that is not what this verse means and it is actually a powerful statement supporting the idea that the Sabbath was NOT just given to the Jews to observe. The Greek word for “man” being used here is “anthropos” from where we get our word “anthropology”. And what is anthropology? It is the study of mankind.
It is important to understand that Jesus was referring back to the creation when He made this statement. Adam and Eve were NOT Jews. The Sabbath was given to them as representatives of all humanity, not just a part of it.
4) The prophet Isaiah foresees a time when the Sabbath will be kept by both Jew and Gentile
The following from the prophet Isaiah is a powerful appeal from God Himself to everyone both Jew and non-Jew to embrace the Sabbath.
Here is what Adonai says:
“Observe justice, do what is right,
for my salvation is close to coming,
my righteousness to being revealed.”
2 Happy is the person who does this,
anyone who grasps it firmly,
who keeps Shabbat and does not profane it,
and keeps himself from doing any evil.
3 A foreigner joining Adonai should not say,
“Adonai will separate me from his people”;
likewise the eunuch should not say,
“I am only a dried-up tree.”
4 For here is what Adonai says:
“As for the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats,
who choose what pleases me
and hold fast to my covenant:
5 in my house, within my walls,
I will give them power and a name
greater than sons and daughters;
I will give him an everlasting name
that will not be cut off.
6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai
to serve him, to love the name of Adonai,
and to be his workers,
all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it,
and hold fast to my covenant,
7 I will bring them to my holy mountain
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.”