Friday, November 5, 2021

The Lunar Sabbath Controversy

By Maria Merola
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, May 2011

Lately there has been a popular teaching going around within the Hebraic Root’s Community called the “Lunar Sabbath Calendar.”

What exactly is Lunar Sabbatarianism?  

This method of time-keeping purports that one must use the first crescent new moon each month in order to begin the count of seven days for the Sabbath day. While it is true that we are to sight the new moon each month, the moon is not for measuring 7-day cycles. The moon is for measuring 30 day cycles and for helping us to know when to keep the appointed Feast Days of YaHuWaH (Deuteronomy 16:1; Psalm 81:3; Isaiah 66:23).

In this method, the first day in the cycle is the first of the month and then every seven days from that first sliver of the new moon is a Sabbath day for that month.

If a new moon happens to fall on a Wednesday, then every Wednesday for that month will be a Sabbath on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th day, leaving one extra day at the end of the month on the 30th for which nobody knows how that day should be counted into the equation. Some Lunar Sabbatarians keep the Sabbath on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of each month. However, this still leaves 2 extra days at the end of each month and one more day for the new moon, hence 3 “non-days” where they do not work.

Consequently, there are some Lunar Sabbatarians who will take the last Sabbath of the month on the 29th and they will go back to work on the 30th.  On the 8th day into the count in the following month is another Sabbath. This means that they will have to work for 8 days in a row before they can keep another Sabbath, but this is clearly a violation the commandment:

Shemoth (Exodus) 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to YHWH: whosoever does any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 

Shemoth (Exodus) 35:2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to YHWH: whosoever does work therein shall be put to death.

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of YHWH in all your dwellings. 

Other Lunar Sabbatarians, in order to avoid this violation decide to keep a 3 day long Sabbath of rest from the 29th (the last Sabbath of the month) and then on the 30th and on the 1st of the month, they do not go back to work, they wait for the new moon to appear in the sky and then they return back to work. But there is no place in scripture where we are commanded to abstain from regular work or employment for three consecutive days while waiting for a new moon. Lunar Sabbatarians often use the following scriptures to support their error:

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20: 

5 And Dawiyd (David) said unto Yahuwnathan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even….. 

18 Then Yahuwnathan said to Dawiyd (David), Tomorrow is the new moon: and you shall be missed, because your seat will be empty

Lunar Sabbatarians use this verse in an effort to “prove” that we are to take a 3 day sabbatical until the new moon appears in the sky. But there is no such commandment in the Torah that tells us that we must keep a 3 day sabbatical leading up to the new moon. In this account, David was simply afraid for his life and so he wanted to go and hide himself to pray for three days and nights from King Saul because he knew that Saul wanted to kill him. This scripture is not indicating that David was keeping some kind of Sabbath for three days. As a matter of fact, this very same scripture that Lunar Sabbatarians use to prove a Lunar Sabbath is used to disprove it if you continue to read on into 1st Samuel 20-21. A friend of mine name Sarah explains how these verses helped her to see that Lunar Sabbath reckoning is false:

Sarah’s Testimony:

When I did this study I prayed and prayed and asked Elohiym to show me if I was wrong in my observance of Sabbath. I told him I was willing to change and ask him to please teach me as a child. I deliberately tried to forget everything I knew and learned about the Sabbath. Not long after praying Elohiym directed me to 1st Samuel 20, and I was devastated. I thought, “Great! I’m going to have to start observing the lunar Sabbath.” I was wondering to myself “Why are You directing me to this portion of text----a portion of text that the lunar sabbatarians use to prove their stance?” Well, I kept on reading. I didn’t stop at Chapter 20, but I kept reading, and praying, completely willing to change the way I observed Sabbath. And then I saw it as if for the first time and I jumped for joy - ahahahaahh! 

Here is what YaHuWaH showed Sarah as she continued reading: 

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:5 And Dawiyd said to Yahuwnathan, “See, tomorrow is the new moon, and I ought to sit with the King to eat. But let me go, and I shall hide in the field until the third day at evening.”

Lunar Sabbatarians say that David hid himself for 3 days because he was keeping the “new moon days” but he was hiding from Sha’ul (Saul) because Sha’ul wanted to kill him. The third day from the new moon was the 3rd day of the month. 

Now let us take a look at these verses to see what is really taking place here:

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:24 And Dawiyd (David) hid in the field. And when the new moon came, the King sat down by the food to eat.

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:27 And it came to be the next day, the second day of the month, that Dawiyḏ’s (David’s) place was empty. And Shaʼul said to Yahuwnathan his son, Why has the son of Yishai (Jesse) not come to eat, either yesterday or today?

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:34 And Yahuwnathan rose up from the table in the heat of displeasure, and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for Dawiyd (David), because his father put him to shame.

This was the second day of the month. The next morning Yahuwnathan (Jonathan) went out in the field to shoot arrows so this was the 3rd day of the month:

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:35 And it came to be, in the morning, that Yahuwnathan went out into the field at the time appointed with Dawiyd (David), and a small youth was with him.  

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 20:42 And Yahuwnathan said to Dawiyd (David), “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of YHWH, saying, YHWH is between you and me, and between your seed and my seed forever.” Then he arose and left, and Yahuwnathan went into the city. 

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:1 And Dawiyd (David) came to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. And Ahimelek trembled when he met Dawiyd (David), and asked him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?” 

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:2 And Dawiyd (David) said unto Ahimelek the priest, “The King has commanded me a word, and said to me, ‘Let no one know whatever of the word about which I send you, and which I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.”

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:3 “And now, what do you have on hand? Give five loaves into my hand, or whatever is found.” 

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:4 And the priest answered Dawiyd (David), and said, “There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is set-apart bread- provided the young men have kept themselves from women.” 

1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:5 And Dawiyd (David) answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly women have been kept from us about these days, since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are set-apart, and it is an ordinary mission, and also, it was set-apart in the vessel today.”
1st Shemu’el (Samuel) 21:6 Then the priest gave him set-apart bread, for there was no bread there except the showbread which had been taken from before YHWH, in order to put hot bread in on the day it is taken away. 

David came out of hiding on the 3rd day from the new moon and the men had been away from women for three days. Then the priest gave David the old show-bread because the new show-bread had just been baked and this was the day that they were replacing the old show-bread with the fresh show-bread  And what day of the week is the new show-bread replaced?   

The Show-bread was always changed out on the Sabbath day:

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 24:5-8: 

5 And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it, two-tenth of an ephah in each cake. 

6 And you shall set them in two rows, six on a row, on the clean table before YHWH. 

7 And you shall put clear frankincense on each row, and that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto YHWH. 

On every Sabbath he is to arrange it before YHWH continually, from the children of Yisra’el an everlasting covenant.  

And so if the Sabbath was determined by a new moon, then the Sabbath would have been on the 7th day from the new moon. But David was only into his 3rd day from the new moon when he came out of hiding and this was the day that the priest was changing out the bread on the Sabbath day and it was the 3rd day of the month!

Another thing that now makes sense is that Yahuwshuwa Messiah when being questioned about his supposed violation of the Sabbath, he pointed out that King David ate the show-bread. Now why would he have used this example? Because King David received the show-bread on the Sabbath!

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 12: 

1 At that time Yahuwshuwa   went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. 

2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. 

3 But he said unto them, Have you not read what Dawiyd (David) did, when he was hungry, and they that were with him? 

Trying to Fit a Square Peg Into a Round Hole  

Now the same thing happened to me that happened to Sarah. I was praying about this Lunar Sabbath reckoning and was very troubled about it. Some of my friends were pressuring me and they wanted my opinion on it. I had already seen the evidence before, on both sides of the argument, but I was still unsure of what to believe about the Lunar Sabbath. I was willing to make the switch if it was truly the correct time-keeping. But one night in May of 2011, YaHuWaH spoke to my heart and said “Maria look at the Shmita---the 7 year Sabbatical Cycles.” 

I went to get my calculator, and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, this is what he showed me:

You cannot fit 7 days into 30 days evenly and you cannot fit 7 days into 360 days evenly. YaHuWaH showed me that the smallest denominator that you can fit 7 days into is a 7 year sabbatical cycle which is 2,520 days.

2,520 ÷ 7 = 360

This means that in the 7th year, the land has to take a rest of 360 days (one biblical year) because the land has been producing food for us for 7 years without any rest on the Sabbath. And so the traditional way of keeping Sabbath on the 7th day of the week means that we end up keeping just as many Sabbaths in a 7 year period as the land. We end up keeping 360 Sabbaths in 7 years and the land keeps a Sabbath rest of 360 days (one biblical year).

Lunar Sabbatarians will only be keeping 336 Sabbaths in a 7 year period which is a difference of 24 Sabbaths missed! 

It does not match the same amount of Sabbaths that the land will be keeping!

The fact that elsewhere in scripture, new moon festivals are mentioned still does not mean that this festival involved a three day long Sabbath before being allowed to go back to work. Some people cannot jeopardize their jobs in order to stay home from work for 3 days while waiting for a new moon, and scripture does not tell us to abstain from work for 3 extra days at the end of each month. While Lunar Sabbatarians argue that the Jews have altered the Creator’s Calendar (and they did with Hillel II in the 4th Century by no longer sighting the new moon), they are themselves adding extra commandments in the Torah that are not there. They have created a 3 day long Sabbath or “non-work days” while waiting for a new moon. In their efforts to depart from Pharisaism they are creating their own brand of Pharisaism:

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 4:2 You shall not add unto the word which I command youneither shall you diminish anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH your Elohiym which I command you. 

By adding these three extra days of Sabbath at the end of the month, Lunar Sabbatarians are adding to the commandments.

YaHuWaH made the sun the moon and the stars on the fourth day of creation and so the time-keeping mechanism was placed in the sky by YaHuWaH not on the first day but rather on the fourth day and then he rested on the seventh day. Now notice that YaHuWaH did not start counting seven days from the day he made the new moon on the 4th day! If YaHuWaH wanted us to begin the count with the new moon, then he would have rested on the 10th day instead of the 7th day!

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 1:  

14 And Elohiym said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 

16 And Elohiym made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also

17 And Elohiym set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and Elohiym saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day

Lunar Sabbatarians would argue that since YaHuWaH separated the light from the darkness on the first day of creation that is when he made the sun and the moon. But that is not what the scripture says. It clearly says that he “made” the sun the moon and the stars on the 4th day in Genesis 1:16.

Other verses that Lunar Sabbatarians use out of context are as follows:

Yeshuyahuw (Isaiah) 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to anotherand from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says YHWH.

Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 46:1 Thus says YHWH Elohiym, “The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.”

Now it is very important that we pay close attention to the words “and” in these verses. You will notice that a new moon is not the same thing as a Sabbath. If they were one and the same, there would be no need to mention the word “and.” A new moon is called “Rosh Chodesh” meaning “head of the month” and it is to be a set apart as a day of recognizing a new month. But there is no mention in Leviticus 23 (where the commandment is given to keep the 7th day holy), that this always takes place on the 7th day from a new moon.

How Long is a Biblical Month and Year? 

In Genesis 7:24 and in Genesis 8:3 we find out that Noah’s Ark rested on the waters for 150 days. In Revelation 11:3, the two witnesses will have a ministry that lasts for 1,260 days. When this is divided by 3.5 there are 30 days for each month. In Revelation 13:5, the Antichrist speaks blasphemies for 42 months which is a total of 3.5 years. The prophet EliYaHuW (Elijah) also had a ministry that lasted for 3.5 years which is also 1,260 days.

In Daniel 12:11, the Angel told Daniel “….from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”  

In all of these scenarios we can see that a Biblical month is always 30 days and since there are 12 months in a year that means that a Biblical Year is 360 days.

And so with a Lunar Sabbath Calendar we can see an illustration below:

As one can see from the illustration above, only 4 seven day cycles can fit into a 30-day month leaving two extra days that are then treated as “non-days” by Lunar Sabbatarians. But these two extra days should be carried over into the following month.

Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 46:1 Thus says YHWH Elohiym, The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 

Lunar Sabbatarians use the above verse in an effort to show that the New Moon is a Sabbath Day. But that is not what this verse is saying. A New Moon Day is simply a festival of sounding the shofar and ushering in a new month called “Rosh Chodesh” (head of the month). No place in scripture are we commanded to rest from work on a New Moon Day.

The New Moon was a day to offer up sacrifices but there is no mention of resting from our regular work on a New Moon day any place in scripture:

2nd Chronicles 2:4 Behold, I build an house to the name of YaHuWaH my Elohiym, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of YaHuWaH our Elohiym. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel. 

The Key to Understanding the Creator’s Calendar is in the “Shmita” or the Sabbatical Year Cycles

What is a Shmita? 

Shmita (Hebrew: שמיטה‎, literally release), also called the Sabbatical Year, is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel, and still observed in contemporary Judaism. During Shmita, the land is left to lie fallow and all agricultural activity—including plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting—is forbidden by Torah law. Other cultivation techniques—such as watering, fertilizing, weeding, spraying, trimming and mowing—may be performed as a preventative measure only, not to improve the growth of trees or plants. Additionally, any fruits which grow of their own accord are deemed hefker (ownerless) and may be picked by anyone. A variety of laws also apply to the sale, consumption and disposal of Shmita produce. A second aspect of Shmita concerns debts and loans. When the Shmita year ends, personal debts which are due during that year are considered nullified and forgiven. The Book of Leviticus promises bountiful harvests to those who observe the shmita and makes observance a test of religious faith.

The key to understanding the Creator’s Calendar is not based on a one year or a monthly cycle but a Shmita (7 year Sabbatical Cycle).

First of all, there are 360 days in a year and if you divide that by 7 you get 51.42 Sabbaths in a year. What this means is that you will only be able to keep 51 Sabbaths in a year and then there will be 4 days that are going to carry over into the next year as part of a week and then in the following year you will use 3 days from that year to complete a week. But in a Lunar Sabbath Cycle, there are only going to be 4 Sabbaths per month and that means 48 Sabbaths in a year!

Why? Because Lunar Sabbatarians are using up the other days that are meant to be a Sabbath Day (every seventh day) and they are using them instead as “new moon waiting days” and so they are keeping 3 fewer weekly Sabbaths per year which is a violation of the Covenant!

Now since there are 3-4 days left over at the end of the year, you will have to finish the rest of the week with 3-4 more days from the New Year in order to complete another week.

Now if you take 360 days for a year and you multiply that by seven years you will come up with 2,520 days:

360 X 7 = 2,520 days: This is an even number which is divisible by 7

And so every seven years (shabuwah) is 2,520 days. What this means is that you are only going to be able to keep 51 continuous Sabbaths in a year but there will be extra days that carry over into the next year. And so the extra 4 days will be a half of a week but the other 3 days will carry over into the week for the next year!

And so every year, there is going to be 4 days that carry over into the New Year!

Why 4 days? Because at Creation YaHuWaH did not cause the sun the moon and the stars to begin their work as a Cosmic Calendar until the 4th day of Creation, just like he did not cause Messiah to come to earth until the 4th Millennium (4th day). And he also died on the 4th day of the week (Wednesday).

What is significant about this is that at his first coming, Messiah came in the 4th Millennium and he died on the 4th day of the week and he resurrected on the 7th day of the week as the Sabbath was ending (see Matthew 28:1).

But at creation, YaHuWaH made the sun the moon and the stars which are for time-keeping. YaHuW’shuwa Messiah is time. He is the “alef & taw.” He is “the one who was and is and is to come....the first and the last, the beginning and the ending.”  

Because he is time, and light, it stands to reason that the sun the moon and the stars are symbols of him, and they were made on the 4th day of Creation. But on the 7th day of Creation, YaHuWaH rested from his work and on the 7th day of the week YaHuW’shuwa rested in the tomb and at the close of the Sabbath he resurrected!

Now here is the fatal flaw for Lunar Sabbatarians. Since they are not using those extra “new moon waiting days” in the count for a continuous flow of Sabbaths back to back, then over the course of a Shmita, or Seven Year Sabbatical Cycle they are going to be keeping fewer Sabbaths!

Since Lunar Sabbatarians rest on 29th the 30th and the 1st (and sometimes beyond while waiting for the new moon, the commandment to “work for six days” following a 7th Day Sabbath is being violated! Now they are resting for 3 days in a row or more and not working to support their families. Now if this was a commandment then they would be justified but there is no such commandment. In fact they could jeopardize their job or their income and thus be guilty of violating these other commandments:

2nd Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

1st Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel (unbeliever). 

Seventy Times Seven  

In Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 18:21-22 Peter (Kefa) asked YaHuW’shuwa  , “how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” 

Yahuwshuwa said unto him, “I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

What we are seeing here is that the number 7 is a prophetic pattern for forgiveness. In Daniel 9 the Angel told Daniel that there would be “Seventy Weeks” determined for the Covenant people of Yisra’el. Now the Hebrew word for “weeks” is “shabuwah” which can mean a literal 7 day week, or it can mean a 7 year period or it can even mean a 49 year period.

70 X 7 years = 490 years for the prophecy:

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.  

As we can see that there are 6 things that YaHuWaH intended and still intends to do within this 490 years and it has to do with forgiveness!

70 X 7 = Forgiveness!  

And so the pattern for time keeping and prophecy can only fit when working with numbers divisible by 7’s.

We cannot fit the number 7 into a 30 day month evenly:

30 ÷ 7 = 4.28 Sabbaths per month

We cannot fit the number 7 into a 360 day year evenly:

360 ÷51.4 Sabbaths per year

The only way to render time keeping accurately is to always start with a number that is divisible by 7.

Hence we must begin with a Shmita or a Sabbatical Cycle:

7 years X 360 days = 2,520 days

2,520 days ÷ 7 days = 360 Sabbaths in a Sabbatical Cycle.

You will notice that every 7 years we are keeping an entire year of Sabbaths. There are 360 degrees in a perfect circle or a circuit so this is the unit of measure that we should be using to evenly divide the number of Sabbaths to be kept.

Okay so moving on from there, every 49 years is a Shabuwah and so the 50th year is a Jubilee right?

How many Sabbaths do we have within a Shabuwah?

Every 49 years we have 2,520 Sabbaths that we keep.

Everything is always divisible by 7 with nothing left over. Those are the units of measure that we use---Shabuwah’s (7 year Sabbatical Cycles) and 49 year Jubilee Cycles.

This idea of trying to fit an even number of Sabbaths into a 30 day month or a 360 day year is not going to work because we are supposed to be thinking  Shabuwah! (7 & 49 year cycles)!

In Genesis 6 we are told that man’s days shall only be 120 years but that word for “year” is a Jubilee Cycle and so if we take a 50 year Jubilee Cycle and multiply it by 120 years we come to the 6,000th year for the end of the Age as we know it, and then shall be the 7,000th year from Creation called the New Millennium when Messiah returns for his bride.

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 6:3 And YHWH said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  

The word for “years” here is a Hebrew word that can mean an age or a revolution of time:

#8141 shaneh shaw-neh’ (in plura or (feminine) shanah {shaw-naw}; from 8138; a year (as a revolution of time):--+ whole age, X long, + old, year(X -ly).

We are commanded to keep the Sabbatical Years:

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for YHWH: you shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard.

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 15:1 At the end of every seven years you shall make a release.

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 31:10 And Moshe commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles.

Yirmeyahuw (Jeremiah) 34:14 At the end of seven years let you go every man his brother a Hebrew, which has been sold unto you; and when he has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you: but your fathers hearkened (listened) not unto me, neither inclined their ear.

What are we seeing here in these verses? We are seeing that if we keep the Sabbath every 7th day (and not according to a Lunar Sabbath Cycle which is the 8th day, the 15th the 22nd and the 29th) then we are going to be keeping 360 Sabbaths in a 7 year period (equivalent to one full year). This means that the slave who works for 6 years is to be released in the 7th year. The fact that there are 360 Sabbaths in a 7 year cycle means that a full year’s worth of days (360) is for the release of debts and slaves.

And so we fit 7 days into 7 years and we come up even. We fit 7 years into 49 years and we come up even again to a Jubilee!

This is the only way to keep the Sabbath every 7th day continuously without having a 3 day wait for the new moon at the end of each month.

The weekly Sabbaths should run their course on a Shmita Cycle (Sabbatical year) cycle.

That means that we are not supposed to use up any extra days at the end of the month by not working. We are supposed to carry those extra days over into each new month and each new year into the following year so that there is a continuous flow of 7 days without any extra days at the end of the month that we don’t know what to do with. YaHuWaH’s Calendar is perfect and so there should be no extra days to try to figure out what to do with.

You must keep an even amount of Sabbaths to take you to the 50 years of Jubilee!

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 25:8-9 And you shall number seven sabbaths of years unto you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto you forty and nine years. Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

And so what is the judgment for the House of Yisra’el when they violated all of those Weekly Sabbaths and 7 Year Cycles? There are curses listed in Leviticus 26 for violating or missing all of those Sabbaths!

Lunar Sabbath Reckoning Undercuts the Crucifixion & Resurrection of Messiah

There are many mathematical discrepancies with a Lunar Sabbath Cycle as we have already seen. But one huge error is revealed with a Lunar Sabbath Cycle that undercuts the crucifixion and resurrection of our Messiah.

Yahuwshuwa Messiah was crucified on the 4th day of the week (what we now call Wednesday) and this was on the 14th day of the Month Abib on Passover. He died at 3:00 p.m. that evening and was buried on the eve of a High Sabbath (Unleavened Bread) and that was the 15th day of the month of Abib. And then the 16th was the 2nd day of his burial, and the 17th was the 3rd day of his burial and he rose again on the evening of the 17th as the Sabbath was ending.

It clearly says in Matthew 28:1 that it was “the end of the Sabbath” when the women went the first time and found that the stone had been rolled away. Other modern translations say “early Sunday morning” rather than “the end of the Sabbath.” But if we look at the Aramaic and the Greek text for Matthew 28:1 it clearly says “Opse de Shabbaton” which means “end of the Sabbath.”  

If he rose at the end of the 17th day, and it was “the end of the Sabbath” according to Matthew 28:1, and a Lunar Sabbath is always on the 15th then it is clear that this reckoning of Sabbath keeping is found to be false. Even by the alternative reckoning, for those who use the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, it still does not work.

Messiah resurrected before the end of the Sabbath according to Matthew 28:1. Other places in the gospels, the women went back to the tomb a second time on the first “day” of the week. But in Matthew 28:1 the Greek and Aramaic both confirm that it was the end of the 7th day “Opse de Shabbaton”  means “end of the sabbath” when the women went back to the tomb the first time and saw the stone rolled away. 

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 28:

In the end of the Sabbath  as it began to draw on toward the first of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of YHWH descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Mattithyahuw (Matthew 28) (King James Version) 28: 

In the end of the Sabbath  as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Most people assume that he resurrected on Sunday Morning because the word for “dawn” in the King James Version is a mistranslation. The Greek word there for “dawn” is the equivalent of a word in Hebrew that means “a mixture of light and dark” hence the word should really be “dusk” as the sun was going down.

The Strong’s Hebrew Concordance reveals that at sundown, the “dawning of the day” is at twilight or dusk:

#5399 nesheph neh-shef from 5398; properly, a breeze, i.e. (by implication) dusk (when the evening breeze prevails):--dark, dawning of the day (morning), night, twilight.

The Greek words are as follows:

#2020. epiphosko ep-ee-foce’-ko a form of 2017; to begin to grow light:--begin to dawn, X draw on.

#2017. epiphauo ep-ee-fow’-o a form of 2014; to illuminate (figuratively):--give light.

You can see why the English translators thought that the word should be “dawn” as in early in the morning, just before sunrise, but the word epiphosko can mean “ draw on”  and it can mean “the beginning of something”  as in the “dawn of a new era.”  Hence for something to “dawn” meant that something new was approaching. The term is much broader than the English word that we use to describe “sunrise.”

Murdock’s Translation on e-sword has it translated correctly:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 28:1 And in the evening of the Sabbath as it was dusk, as the first (day) of the week began to dawn, came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary, to view the sepulcher.

You will notice that Murdock is calling this time of day “dusk” but he is saying that the “week” (Sabbaton in Greek) was beginning to “dawn” or to “draw on.” In other words it was not sunrise, but it was the end of the Sabbath at sundown, as the new week was approaching (dawning).

The MRC Translation on e-sword translates it like this:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 28:1 Now late on the Shabbat, as it began to draw toward the first of the week, Miriam of Magdala and the other Miriam went to look at the grave.

Andrew Gabriel Roth who translated the Aramaic Peshitta also agrees with this interpretation. Here is what he says:

“Aramaic literally reads ‘b’ramsha din b’shabata’ or ‘in the evening of the shabbat.’ What is true for dawning is also true for setting in the sense of ‘conclusion’ as is meant here....Murdock and Etheridge also confirm this idiomatic reading in their translations.”

Something that one must understand is that the Calendar Date changes at sunset each day--- not at midnight. It was Pope Gregory who made the date change at midnight in 1532 C.E., thus fulfilling the role of the Beast in Daniel 7:23-25. “The Beast shall think to change times and laws...”  The new day was “dawning” at sunset and the word “day” here is in italics in the King James Version. Whenever you see a word in italics in the KJV that means it was not there originally.

The verse should read like this in the King James Version:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 28:

1 In the end of the Sabbath  as it began to draw on toward the first of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of YHWH descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Now think about this logically. The Sabbath ends at sundown on the 7th day right? It says here that it was the “end of the Sabbath” so how in the world could it be early the first day in the morning if the Sabbath had not ended yet? It was still approaching the end of the Sabbath on the 7th day before sundown. Hence, when it says “towards the first of the week,” it is telling us that on the evening of the 7th day, at sundown, the first of the week had not arrived yet, but it was moving towards sundown on the evening of the Sabbath ----the first Calendar Date of the week!

This period is called “Habdalah” in Hebrew which means “exiting the Sabbath.”

One of the things that I like about the King James Version, is that it italicizes words that were not originally there in the text. The word “day” is in italics here:

Yahuwchanon (John) 20:1 The first (day) of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and sees the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Notice that it was “yet dark” and the word “day” was not there in the original text.

Hence it does not say “the first day of the week” it says “the first of the week” meaning the first calendar date of the week. Yahuwshuwa said in John 11:9 that there are 12 hours in a day.

Did you ever wonder why our Messiah made a point of separating 3 days from 3 nights? If a “day” is 24 hours long, why did he not say that he would be in the heart of the earth for “three days?” Why did he make a point of saying “Three days & three nights?”

The word Greek word for “half” in Revelation 11:11 is a word that means “a part of” something, and not necessarily “fifty percent of something.” 

Here is the Greek word for “half:”

#2255. hemisu hay’-mee-soo neuter of a derivative from an inseparable prefix akin to 260 (through the idea of partition involved in connection) and meaning semi-; (as noun) half:--half.

Chazown (Revelation) 11:11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from Elohiym entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

If scripture sets a precedence of defining a “half of a day” as only a part of a day and it does not round off the partition of the day to a full day, then one cannot use the full day of Wednesday (Messiah’s Crucifixion) to mean the entire “day one” of his “3 days and 3 nights” prophecy. The first “day” of this prophecy must then commence on Thursday at sunrise (the morning after his crucifixion).

This means 6-12 hour cycles:

14th of Abib 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. = 1/2 of a day
14th of Abib 6:00 p.m.- 15th of Abib 6:00 a.m. = #1 night
15th of Abib 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. = #1 day
15th of Abib 6:00 p.m. - 16th of Abib 6:00 a.m. = #2 night
16th of Abib 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. = # 2 day
16th of Abib 6:00 p.m. - 17th of Abib 6:00 a.m. # 3 night
17th of Abib 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. = # 3 day

Grand Total = 3 days & 3 nights (and a half of a day on Wednesday like the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11).

The idea of a calling a 24-hour cycle a “day” comes from Babylon because YaHuWaH separated light from darkness at creation, and he does not treat the two periods as one cycle. The fact that it was the “first” calendar date of the week, and it was dark means that it was after sundown on the 7th day of the Week (Saturday night) when the women were able to go to the tomb. The Roman Soldiers were ordered to stand guard until the end of the three day watch, and so the women would've been arrested had they gone to the tomb sooner. By the time the women arrived, the stone had already been rolled away earlier that day and the angel was there waiting to give them the good news!

Messiah resurrected before the end of Sabbath while it was still daylight! HalleluYah! He is Master (Lord) of the Sabbath!

There are no two Lunar Sabbatarians who can agree on when Messiah was crucified and resurrected. Each of them have a different reckoning in an attempt to make it fit with the time line of Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection.

One Lunar Sabbatarian tried to suggest that Yahuwshuwa was crucified on the 13th of Abib citing that it was “the preparation day” before the Passover. But this is completely false. The preparation day leading up to the Feast of Unleavened Bread is Passover (the 14th) when Yisraelites would clean out their homes of all leaven just in time for the 15th of the month called “The Feast of Unleavened Bread.” There is no such imagined day of preparation on the 13th of Abib.

This gentleman tried to tell me that the lamb was always slaughtered on the 13th of the first month. But this is what I showed him:

2nd Chronicles 35:1 Moreover Josiah kept a Passover unto YHWH in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

Now he is back to “square one” trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with his Lunar Sabbath error. Another Lunar Sabbatarian tried to tell me that Yahuwshuwa was NOT three days and three nights in the heart of the earth! He cited only the account in the book of Luke where it mentions the second time that the women went back to the tomb on “the first day of the week.” The only problem is the word “day” is italicize in all of those verses in Luke’s Gospel and so that means that the word “day” was not there! And this means it was the “first of the week” which commences at sundown on the 7th day of the week (Saturday) which is called “Habdalah” in Hebrew (exiting the Sabbath). And furthermore, just because the women went to the tomb early on the first day of the week a second time (after going there the night before at sundown), this does not prove that Messiah resurrected on the first day of the week. It simply means that he was long gone by the time that the women went to the tomb.

Where is the Heart of the Earth?

Another Lunar Sabbatarian in an effort to account for the “three days and three nights” time discrepancy with a Lunar Sabbath reckoning, tried to tell me that “the heart of the earth” is Jerusalem (not the underworld). This gentleman said that the count of “three days and three nights” began the night that Messiah was arrested while he was still alive!

But the problem with that theory is that Messiah was already in Jerusalem long before he was arrested. So how is it that he suddenly was counting the days he was in Jerusalem from when he was arrested?

The heart of the earth is obviously what is mentioned on Ephesians 4 as “the lowest parts of the earth” where he redeemed those who were in Abraham’s Bosom (see Luke 16 and Ephesians 4). King David even prophesied of Yahuwshuwa being in the heart of the earth:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 16:10 For you will not leave my soul in hell (sheol); neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.

Maaseh Shlichiym (Acts) 2:27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell (sheol), neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.

Where is this place called “Sheol” in Hebrew?

#7585 sh’owl sheh-ole’ or shol {sheh-ole’}; from 7592; Hades or the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat), including its accessories and inmates:--grave, hell, pit.

How do we know that he went into Sheol for three days and three nights?

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 12:40 For as Yownah (Jonah) was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Ephsiym (Ephesians) 4:

8 Wherefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9 Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Here it clearly says that he “descended” into the lower parts of the earth. Where is the lower parts of the earth?

1st Keefa (Peter) 3:18-20: 

18 For Mashiyach (Messiah) also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to Elohiym, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Ruwach (Spirit).

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 

Where is prison? It is in Sheol as the prophecy states in Psalms 16:10 and Acts 2:27. 

The phrase “the heart of the earth” represents death and the grave---not Jerusalem. How do we know? The similarities between Jonah’s three days and three nights in the Whale’s Belly is strikingly similar to the prophecies of our Messiah in Psalms 22 & Isaiah 53.

Yownah (Jonah) 1:17 Now YHWH had prepared a great fish to swallow up Yownah. And Yownah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Yownah (Jonah) 2:1-3:

Then Yownah prayed unto YHWH his Elohiym out of the fish’s belly,

And said, I cried by reason of my affliction unto YHWH, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and you heard my voice.

For you had cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all your billows and your waves passed over me.

*Note: a reference to Passover? (Reference Psalms 22:5, 10 &14)

Yownah (Jonah) 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of your sight yet I will look again toward your holy temple.

*Note: could this be a reference to when the Father hid his face from Yahuwshuwa   at his crucifixion?

Yownah (Jonah) 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

*Note: The crown of thorns on Yahuwshuwa were like the weeds around Yownah’s head!

Yownah (Jonah) 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountainsthe earth with her bars was about me forever: yet have you brought up my life from corruption, O YHWH my Elohiym.

*Note: another reference to Messiah being preserved from corruption (Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:27).

Yownah (Jonah) 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered YHWH: and my prayer came in unto you, into your holy temple.

*Note: Messiah cried out to Elohiym in the heavenly temple while he was dying on the tree.

Yownah (Jonah) 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Yownah (Jonah) 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto your with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of YHWH.

*Note: Messiah was the sacrifice and he paid the sins for the broken wedding vows of Yisra’el.

Yownah (Jonah) 2:10 And YHWH spoke unto the fish, and it vomited out Yownah upon the dry land.

*Note: YaHuWaH spoke and the earth vomited out Yahuwshuwa    out of the grave!

The Saturn’s Day Argument

Another really weak argument that Lunar Sabbatarians use to try to disprove our current 7th Day Sabbath is to call it Saturn’s Day named after Saturn, therefore, they say that it cannot be the true Sabbath. But no matter what day of the week that they are keeping the Sabbath on, it is always going to be named after a pagan deity: 

The First Day: Sunday was named after the sun-god.
The Second Day: Monday was named after the moon-goddess.
The Third Day: Tuesday was named after the god Tyr.
The Fourth Day: Wednesday was named after the god Odin.
The Fifth Day: Thursday was named after the god Thor.
The Sixth Day: Friday was named after the god Frigga.
The Seventh Day: Saturday was named after the god Saturn.

It is a ridiculous argument to say that we who keep Shabbat every 7th day (on Saturday) are keeping Saturn’s Day. If the pagans call it that, it does not mean that is what YaHuWaH originally called it. He calls it Shabbat not Saturday. Even in Spanish the 7th day of the week is Sabado, and in Italian it is Sabato. In Hebrew it is Shabbat.

After some research I found out that early civilizations used a lunar calendrical system. The “Lunar Sabatarians” follow the pagan Sumerian calendar, celebrating the same pagan days of rest and using the exact same terminology as the Sumerians “non-days.” Most Lunar Sabatarians celebrate their Sabbaths on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, with the remaining days as “non-days.” It’s the exact same as the Sumerians. The Assyrio-Babylonian calendar is near identical as well as the Sumerian’s. Both point out that they are geared around moon worship.

The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia talks about the probable origins of “Lunar Sabbath.” You can read for yourself on pages 590-591 concerning Sabbath. Unlike what the Lunar Sabatarians say, those two pages completely debunk the false statements of those said Lunitarians that make the claim that the Jewish Encyclopedia supports their idea. It does not.

In the final analysis, we can see that there are many discrepancies in the Lunar Sabbath reckoning. If you are keeping a Lunar Sabbath reckoning, I pray that you repent and correct the error before it is too late, because there are curses for not keeping the Sabbaths correctly and for not keeping the Sabbatical Years (see Leviticus 26). 

1 comment:

  1. Great article Maria! Thank you for this. I never agreed with the lunar sabbath because it did not make sense. YHWH gave us the weekly sabbath and as far as I could see in Scripture we just continue to follow it. However, there are people who do follow it and this is a great article to direct them to!

    Just something that may be helpful. I'm no expert in the Jubliee cycles, but I have read/listened to some teaching by Joseph Dumond ( on the sabbath and jubilee cycles which is very interesting. He has done a lot of research into this. In a nutshell, from his research, the 50th year ends up being the same as the first year of the next cycle. It is not 50 years and then we start again from one, but the 50th year and the first year of the next shmita coincide (

    In addition, I actually came to your website to see if you had written anything on Hebrews 7 and 2 Peter 2. My husband had a friend who is now saying that HRM is a cult and that we should not be following the commandments and that she is in the Melchizedek covenant and not of the Abrahamic covenant. We were wondering if you have anything that may be helpful for someone who has turned their back on following the commandments, sabbaths, feasts?

    Thank you and shalom