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Is it lawful to swim on the Sabbath?

The argument in favour of swimming on Sabbath has gathered buoyancy in recent years but people can still be found rowing over the issue.

The little-known book of Nemo—which for some reason didn’t make it into the Bible—has 10 Swimandments. This most likely explains where the regulations for sacred swimming have come from, as the Bible isn’t specific in specifically specifying any specifications.

The 10 Swimandments are as follows:

  1. Thou canst enter water if the temperature is above 30oC but only up to thy ankles.
  2. Thou canst enter water if the temperature is above 35oC but only up to thy knees.
  3. Thou canst enter water if the temperature is above 40oC but only up to thy waist.
  4. Thou canst enter water if the temperature is above 45oC but only up to thy neck.
  5. Thou can swim to save thyself if thou accidentally falleth into a lake, ocean, river or wall of water. However, thou shalt not fall in accidentally-on-purpose.
  6. Thou can swim to save a manservant or maidservant who falleth into a lake, ocean, river or wall of water but thou shalt not cause thy manservant or maidservant to fall in.
  7. Thou canst swim if thou art being baptised in five feet of water and art only four feet tall.
  8. Thou canst swim if thy snorkelling does not include intentions to catch and devour anything with a cloven fin.
  9. Thou shalt not throw objects, splash, race or chase when in the water.
  10. Thou shalt not squeal, laugh or smile while in water - Sabbath swimming is only ever for emergency or medicinal purposes.

Other passages found in the book of Nemo include prophecies of yellow submarines on rails, people selling rainwater in bottles and heaven having a huge outdoor pool with a 10-kilometre waterslide.

Fact: People who police Sabbath swimming rules are referred to as "lifesavers”.


All items on this site are written by Scott Wegener, a multi award-winning Australian creative writer, specialising in fun Christian dramas and articles. He believes in looking on the lighter side of life while still valuing the eternal seriousness of life's decisions. This site is essentially a place Scott stores his works, sometimes without much copy-editing (do forgive any spelling/grammar creativity you spot on this site that comes free of charge due to his slight dyslexia).


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