WHAT IS COLOSSIANS 2:16 REFERRING TO?
Many take this scripture out of chapter context, within scripture context and out of context to what Paul is quoting from in the old testament and the rest of the bible to try and teach that Gods' 4th commandment is a "shadow law" pointing to Christ. However, this teaching is not biblical but lets see why?.
The scriptures say
Colossians 2:16 , Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day (Feast day), or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days (plural): , Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. [KJV]
If you prayerfully look at this topic in detail and not surface read the scripture and separate it from context like many do, you will find Colossians 2:16 is not a reference to Gods' 4th commandment of the 10 commandments but is a reference to the ceremonial "sabbaths" (plural) in the annual Feast days connected to the meat and drink offerings and animal sacrifices that are shadow of things to come pointing to Jesus.
Paul here is actually quoting old testament scriptures in regards to the annual Feast days and ceremonial laws and sabbaths and old covenant Sanctuary laws that were connected to these Feast days. I will show you examples of these shortly but let me ask, did you know that there was many different kinds of sabbaths (plural) in the Old Testament that were not God's 4th commandment?
For example the annual Feast days included annual ceremonial sabbaths (plural) that unlike Gods' 4th commandment that is every "seventh day" *Exodus 20:10 on a continuous weekly cycle, the annual sabbaths in the Feast days could fall on any day of the week depending on the yearly cycle and were connected directly to the meat and drink offerings and animal sacrifices and sin offerings pointing to Jesus. All these shadow laws of remission of sins including the meat and drink offerings the new moons and the annual sabbaths (plural) in he annual Feast days for example included;
(1) Feast of Unleavened Bread (first and last day) *Leviticus 23:6-8
(2) Feast of Trumpets *Leviticus 23:24-25
(3) Day of Atonement *Leviticus 23:27-32
(4) Feast of Booths *Leviticus 23:34-36
(5) Feast of First Fruits *Leviticus 23:39
(6) Feast days of Holy convocation of no work (sabbaton Colossians 2:16 *Leviticus 23:7-8; 21;24; 27; 35-36
(7) Sabbath of years - Levitical 25:8-10
It is all these sabbaths (plural) that were connected to the old covenant earthly Sanctuary that were all shadows of things to come pointing to Jesus as the promised Messiah and Savoir of the world.
It is impossible that Colossians 2:16 to be talking about Gods' 4th commandment for God's 4th commandment has never pointed forward to things to come but points backwards to the finished work of creation *see Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11. Gods' 4th commandment was also made before sin and before law when mankind was sinless and there was no need for a gospel pointing to Jesus because there was no sin when God made the Sabbath for all mankind (see Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:1-3) only Adam and Eve created. Gods' 4th commandment points backwards to the finished work of creation (Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11) not forward to things to come so cannot be a "shadow law" of anything.
Paul in Colossians 2:16 is actually quoting old testament scriptures..
Colossians 2:16 , Let no man therefore judge you in (1) MEAT, OR IN DRINK, or in respect of an (2) HOLY DAY (Feast day), or of the (3) NEW MOON, or of the (4) SABBATH DAYS (plural): , Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. [KJV]
What is Paul referring to from the old testament?
Ezekiel 45:17-21, It shall be the prince’s duty to furnish the burnt offerings, (1) MEAT OFFERING AND DRINK OFFERINGS, at the (2) FEASTS, the (3) NEW MOONS, and the (4) SABBATHS, AT ALL THE APPOINTED (5) FEASTS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: He shall provide the sin offerings, grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings, to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord God; in the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: and the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. and so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erred, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. in the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.
1 Chronicles 23:31 and whenever (1) BURNT OFFERINGS were presented to the LORD on the (4) SABBATHS, at the (3) NEW MOON (2) FEASTS AND AT THE APPOINTED FESTIVALS. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.
2 Chronicles 2:4  Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making (1) BURNT OFFERINGS EVERY MORNING AND EVENING and on the (4) SABBATHS, AT THE (3) NEW MOONS AND AT THE APPOINTED (2) FESTIVALS of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
Numbers 28:8-10  And on the Sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a MEAT OFFERING, mingled with oil, and the DRINK OFFERING thereof:  This is the burnt offering of EVERY SABBATH, beside the continual BURNT OFFERING, and his DRINK OFFERING.
Isaiah 1:10-14  Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I AM FULL OF THE BURNT OFFERINGS of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? BRING NO MORE VAIN OBLATIONS; incense is an abomination unto me; THE NEW MOONS AND SABBATHS, THE CALLING OF ASSEMBLIES, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your APPOINTED FEASTS my soul hates: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
Hosea 2:11 , I will stop her celebrations: her (2) YEARLY FESTIVALS, her (3) NEW MOONS, her (4) SABBATHS AND ALL HER (2) APPOINTED FESTIVALS.
KEY POINTS TAKEN FROM THE SCRIPTURE
Paul in Colossians 2:16 is quoting from old testament scriptures -Ezekiel 45:17-21; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:3 and Hosea 2:11.
The scriptures are in reference to the sabbaths in the appointed annual Feasts -Ezekiel 45:17-21; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4
The scripture context in Colossians 2:16 and the old testament scriptures Paul is quoting from is to the earthly Sanctuary laws of remission of sins from meat and drink offerings, new moons, and sabbaths (plural) in context to the annual Feast days which are all shadows of things to come. - Hosea 2:11; 2 Chronicles 2:4; Ezekiel 45:17-21.
The earthly sanctuary was for the old covenant laws of remission of sins and animal sacrifices, new moons and sabbaths in the Feast days - 2 Chronicles 2:4
These were all to come to an end in Christ to who these shadow laws all pointed to as God's true sacrifice for the sins of the world - Hosea 2:11; Colossians 2:17.
So what you can see here is that Paul is directly quoting old testament scriptures when quoting Colossians 2:16 that are referring to the annual ceremonial sabbaths connected to the Old testament Sanctuary system and the meat and drink offerings and animal sacrifices and old covenant laws for remission of sins linked to the sabbaths in the annual Feast days not Gods' 4th commandment which was Paul's custom in keeping according to the scriptures (Acts of the Apostles 17:2).
Application to other new covenant scriptures...
Hebrews 9:1; 9-12  Then verily THE FIRST COVENANT HAD ALSO ORDINANCES of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary....  WHICH WAS A FIGURE for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; WHICH STOOD ONLY IN MEATS AND DRINKS, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. NEITHER BY THE BLOOD OF GOATS AND CALVES, BUT BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
HEBREWS 10:1-9 , FOR THE LAW HAVING A SHADOW OF GOOD THINGS TO COME, AND NOT THE VERY IMAGE OF THE THINGS, CAN NEVER WITH THOSE SACRIFICES which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. , For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. , But in those SACRIFICES there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. , For it is not possible that THE BLOOD OF BULLS AND GOATS should take away sins. , Why when he comes into the world, he said, SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS YOU WOULD NOT BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME: , IN BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN YOU HAVE HAD NO PLEASURE. , Then said I, See, I come in the VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME, to do your will, O God. , Above when he said, SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND BURNT OFFERINGS AND OFFERINGS FOR SIN YOU WOULD NOT, neither had pleasure therein; WHICH ARE OFFERED BY THE LAW; , Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.
All the above new covenant scriptures link in with Colossians 2:16 and the scriptures in the old testament they are referring to (Ezekiel 45:17-21, 1 Chronicles 23:31, Numbers 28:8-10, Isaiah 1:10-14, Hosea 2:11) in the meat and drink offerings, New Moons and the sabbaths in the annual Feast days and the earthly Sanctuary and its laws for remission of sins. Colossians 2:16 is not telling us that Gods' 4th commandment is abolished.
SUNDAY KEEPING COMMENTARIES ON COLOSSIANS 2:16
I am not one for commentaries but for what it is worth these Sunday keeping scholars are all in agreement here in regards to Colossians 2:16 and what has been shared with you here.
Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible
“... Or of the Sabbath days - Greek, “of the Sabbaths.” The word Sabbath in the Old Testament is applied not only to the seventh day, but to all the days of holy rest that were observed by the Hebrews, and particularly to the beginning and close of their great festivals. There is, doubtless, reference to those days in this place, since the word is used in the plural number, and the apostle does not refer particularly to the Sabbath properly so called. There is no evidence from this passage that he would teach that there was no obligation to observe any holy time, for there is not the slightest reason to believe that he meant to teach that one of the ten commandments had ceased to be binding on mankind. If he had used the word in the singular number - “the Sabbath,” it would then, of course, have been clear that he meant to teach that that commandment had ceased to be binding, and that a Sabbath was no longer to be observed. But the use of the term in the plural number, and the connection, show that he had his eye on the great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as festivals, as a part of their ceremonial and typical law, and not to the moral law, or the Ten Commandments. No part of the moral law - no one of the ten commandments could be spoken of as “a shadow of good things to come.” These commandments are, from the nature of moral law, of perpetual and universal obligation. ...” - Albert Barnes, Colossians 2:16 Commentary.
Adam Clarke, states on the same passage:
There is no intimation here that the Sabbath was done away, or that its moral use was superseded, by the introduction of Christianity. I have shown elsewhere that, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, is a command of perpetual obligation, and can never be superseded but by the final termination of time. ...” - Adam Clarke, Colossians 2:16 Commentary.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary states:
“... the sabbath — Omit “THE,” which is not in the Greek (compare Note, see on Gal_4:10). “SABBATHS” (not “the sabbaths”) of the day of atonement and feast of tabernacles have come to an end with the Jewish services to which they belonged (Lev_23:32, Lev_23:37-39). The weekly sabbath rests on a more permanent foundation, having been instituted in Paradise to commemorate the completion of creation in six days. Lev_23:38 expressly distinguished “the sabbath of the Lord” from the other sabbaths. A positive precept is right because it is commanded, and ceases to be obligatory when abrogated; a moral precept is commanded eternally, because it is eternally right. If we could keep a perpetual sabbath, as we shall hereafter, the positive precept of the sabbath, one in each week, would not be needed. Heb_4:9, “rests,” Greek, “keeping of sabbath” (Isa_66:23). But we cannot, since even Adam, in innocence, needed one amidst his earthly employments; therefore the sabbath is still needed and is therefore still linked with the other nine commandments, as obligatory in the spirit, though the letter of the law has been superseded by that higher spirit of love which is the essence of law and Gospel alike (Rom_13:8-10). ...” - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Colossians 2:16 Commentary.
Does the above make sense to you?