I've been searching the web and can't seem to find much. Was the concept of setting aside one day just for rest started exclusively by the Jews as a result of Mosaic Law (Ten Commandments)? Or was this a tradition in any other cultures/religions in any time period(s) pre-dating Judaism?
I'm no expert on the Bible but I've always believed that God worked (if that's the right word) six days to create the world and took off on the seventh. That's the day he put aside to bless and pray to Himself.
Also, when He kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, He curseth them saying, "Thou shalt work in the MUD," for six days, but "Thou can take a brake on the seventh, Sunday."
I nice question to add to this would be, Where did the "week" come from?
You might start looking into the benefits of having such a rule... if everyone is working then they wont beable to attend the village gatterings... as religious leaders wanted more people to listen to them... the masses the working poor... what might have started as an ideal way to give people a break to go to religous gatherings turned into a hardcore rule that if you used it to relax or go fishing, they killed you...