Friday, November 5, 2021

The Lunar Sabbath Controversy

By Maria Merola
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, May 2011

In the year 2009, I began witnessing many within the Hebraic Root’s Community adhere to a Lunar Sabbath Calendar.” At first glance, it seemed rather complicated, so I just ignored it, until I sensed the leading of the Ruwach (Spirit) in 2011 to look into it. I needed to give a response to those who were asking me questions about it, but I had a difficult time understanding it.

Thankfully, our Messiah, Yahuwshuwa taught us in Yahuwchanon (John) 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

That is exactly what I did in May of 2011, as I sought to hear his voice regarding the Lunar Sabbath reckoning. Even though (as a child), I did not possess a strong interest in mathematics, YaHuWaH has expanded my understanding by his Spirit, and has given me the aptitude to see his created order through the lens of his Towrah (instructions).

What exactly is Lunar Sabbatarianism?  

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

In this method, whatever day of the week the new moon happens to fall, that will determine every Sabbath day for the remainder of that month. As an example, 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 day of the month, nobody knows how that day should be reckoned, therefore it is not 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 next new moon. Hence, there are three “non-days,” where they do not work.

Consequently, there are some Lunar Sabbatarians who will keep 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 they will have to work for eight 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 yet another Sabbath (the next day on the on the 30th); followed by a third consecutive day on the 1st of the next month!

They do not go back to work, (because they have to wait for the new moon, before they can return back to work). However, 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 the above passages in an effort to “prove” that we are to take a three-day sabbatical until the new moon appears in the sky. However, there is no such commandment in the Torah, telling us that we must keep a three-day sabbatical leading up to the new moon. In 1st Samuel 20, David was simply afraid for his life, (because Saul wanted to kill him), therefore, he hid himself for three days and nights to fast and pray. 

1st Samuel 20, is not indicating that David was keeping some kind of Sabbath for three days. As a matter of fact, this very same chapter (which Lunar Sabbatarians erroneously use to prove their belief) can be used to disprove a Lunar Sabbath reckoning.

A friend of mine name Sarah explained how these verses helped her see that the 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 asked 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 (David) 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 three days (because he was keeping the “new moon days”); but he was hiding from Sha’ul (Saul) who wanted to kill him. The third day from the new moon was the 3rd day of the month. 

Now, 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 three 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. 

From these verses of 1st Samuel 20-21, we learn the following:

#1.) David came out of hiding on the 3rd day from the new moon, and the men had been away from women for three days!

#2.) Then the priest gave David the old showbread, because the new showbread had just been baked, and this was the day they were replacing the old showbread with the fresh showbread. And what day of the week is the new showbread replaced?   

The showbread 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.  

Therefore, if the Sabbath is supposed to be determined by a new moon, (and this was the third day of the month, when the new showbread was baked), it does not match the Lunar Sabbath reckoning!

According to the Lunar Sabbath reckoning, every seven days from the new moon is a Sabbath! But in 1st Samuel 20-21, we have clear proof that David was eating the old showbread (on a Sabbath day), and it was the 3rd day of the month!

David was clearly 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 old showbread (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), pointed out that King David ate the showbread. Now, why would he have used this example? 

Because King David received the showbread on the Sabbath, which was the third day of the month!

This is clearly a prophetic picture of when our Messiah died on the tree (the fourth day of the week, Wednesday), and he was “hidden” in the heart of the earth for “Three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40), before he resurrected “On the third day!”

In other words, our Messiah as “The Bread of Life,” (John 6:35, 48, 51), who resurrected on the Sabbath day, at the same time that the priests are required to change the “old showbread” (symbolic of the old corruptible body). When Yahuwshuwa resurrected, he put on incorruption, which is like the “new showbread!” (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 2:11 & 3:9-10).

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, your 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  

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 reckoning. I was willing to make the switch (if it was truly the correct time-keeping). Finally, I decided to go into prayer about it, in May of 2011. This is what YaHuWaH spoke to my heart:

He said “Maria look at the Shmita---the seven-year Sabbatical Cycles.” 

I opened up my computer calculator, and under the direction of the Ruwach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), this is what YaHuWaH said to me:

“You cannot fit seven days into thirty days evenly; and you cannot fit seven days into 360 days evenly. YaHuWaH showed me that the smallest denominator that you can fit seven days into, is a seven- 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). The land has been producing food for us for seven years (without any rest on the Sabbath). Therefore, keeping the Sabbath (every seventh day), means that we end up keeping just as many Sabbaths in a seven-year period as the land. We end up keeping 360 Sabbaths in seven years, and the land keeps a Sabbath rest of 360 days (one biblical year).

However, because Lunar Sabbatarians do not carry over the those extra two days into the next month, (which results in there being extra days to carry over into the next year), they only end up keeping 336 Sabbaths in a seven-year period!

This means that they are missing 24 Sabbaths every seven years! This does not match the same amount of Sabbaths that the land must rest in a Sabbatical Year! See Leviticus 25.

New Moon Festivals

Lunar Sabbatarians often cite passage of scripture, where a new moon is to be celebrated with the sounding of a shophar, and a simple recognition that it is a new month.

However, this does not mean that a new moon festival involves a three-day long Sabbath (before being allowed to go back to work). Some Lunar Sabbatarians have even jeopardized their jobs (by staying home from work for three days), while waiting for a new moon. This confusing way of keeping the Sabbath is clearly a violation of the Towrah:

Shemoth (Exodus) 20:9-10 Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of YHWH your Elohiym: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates.

The same commandments (instructing us to work six days, and then rest on the seventh), are repeated in the following passages: Exodus 23:12, 31:15, 34:21, 35:2; Leviticus 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:13, 16:8; Ezekiel 46. 

While Lunar Sabbatarians argue that the Jews have altered the Creator’s Calendar (and they did with Hillel II in the 4th Century). This was mainly because of the diaspora following the Roman Siege in 70 A.D. Because they were no longer functioning in the the Jerusalem Temple, they were unable to sight the new moon each month as commanded in Deuteronomy 16:1. Since the fourth century, Judaism has adopted an alternate calendar (based on a fixed calculation), but this reckoning needs a 13th month seven times within a 19-year period. 

The Jewish Sanhedrin is aware of the fact that we are commanded to sight the new moon, but they have been waiting (since 1948) to return to that method. What are they waiting for?

This article dated March 15th, 2016, explains that after 2,000 years, the Sanhedrin have finally begun to sight the new moon as commanded:

Lunar Sabbatarians, (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 two or three extra days of Sabbath (at the end of the month), Lunar Sabbatarians are adding to the commandments.

Genesis 1:14-16 tells us that YaHuWaH created the sun, the moon, and the stars on the fourth day of creation for observing “times nad seasons” (mowediym, or festivals).

This is the mechanism by which YaHuWaH has chosen for us to measure linear time as well. You will notice (by reading the entire account of Genesis 1), that YaHuWaH started counting seven days before he created the moon on the fourth day. If he wanted us to begin the count with the new moon, why did he count the first three days of his creation as inclusive of seven days? 

If YaHuWaH wanted us to begin the count with the new moon, then he would have rested on the tenth day instead of on the seventh 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 scripture says. It clearly says that he “made” the sun, the moon, and the stars on the fourth 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 seventh day holy), that we are to celebrate a new moon as a Shabbat.

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 these scenarios, we can see that a biblical month should always 30 days. And since there are 12 months in a year, this means that a biblical year should be 360 days. However, since the days after the flood of Noah, the earth shifted, (causing it to be tilted), and thus, it wobbles as it rotates. The gravitational pull from the sun causes the earth to spin like a top. Subsequent tsunamis and earthquakes have also caused the earth’s rotation to shift, thus causing our celestial calendar to be broken.

This means that no matter what calendar reckoning we try to employ, the celestial bodies are not operating as they were originally created to do since the creation. Therefore, no amount of trying to solve this problem with a certain calendar is going to work. We have no choice but to wait for the earth’s rotation to be revert back to “The Days of Noah.” 

See this blog to learn more: Except Those Days Should Be Shortened

Below, is an illustration of a Lunar Sabbath Calendar. You will notice that they are keeping Shabbat on the eighth day, but calling it the seventh day. They ignore the first day of the month in the count, calling it “A New Moon Day.The 30th day of the month on this calendar is not being counted as “A work day, even though the previous day (the 29th) is a Sabbath. This means that the 30th is a second-day Sabbath, and the next new moon will also be counted as a third-day Sabbath! You can clearly see a huge problem with this reckoning. It means that the person following this calendar will be keeping three days in a row of Sabbaths, before they can go back to work!

As you 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.

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, unless it happens to fall on the weekly Shabbat.

The new moon is a day to offer up sacrifices, but there is no mention of resting from our regular work on a new moon day in scripture:

2nd Chronicles 2:4 Behold, I build an house to the name of YHWH 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 YHWH our Elohiym. This is an ordinance for ever to Yisrael. 

You will notice that burnt offerings are to be made at the following times:

1.) Morning & Evening Sacrifices (two times daily).
2.) On weekly Sabbaths (every seventh day).
3.) On New Moons (every 29.5 or 30 days).
4.) On Solemn Feasts (seven appointed feasts per year).

This means that new moons are distinct from the weekly Shabbat, and they are not counted as Sabbaths, (unless they happen to fall on a weekly Sabbath).

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 based on a seven-year sabbatical cycle. 

Since there are 360 days in a biblical year, if we divide that by seven, we get 51.42 Sabbaths in a year. This means we will only be able to keep 51 Sabbaths in a year, leaving four days that need to be carried over into the next year, (as part of a week). In the following year, we will have to add three days (to complete a full week), to the four days carried over from the previous year. With a Lunar Sabbath reckoning, there are only four Sabbaths per month, which works out to 48 Sabbaths in a year. Lunar Sabbatarians are therefore, wasting three Sabbaths every year, which is a violation of our covenant with YaHuWaH.

If we use a 360-day year, and multiply that by seven years, the result is 2,520 days:

360 X 7 = 2,520 days

This is an even number, (which is divisible by seven). Consequently, every seven years (shabuwah) is 2,520 days. What this means, is that we are only going to be able to keep 51 continuous Sabbaths in a year. However, there will be extra days that carry over into the next 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 as he did not cause our Messiah to come to earth until the 4th Millennium (4th day). Our Messiah also died on the 4th day of the week (what we today call Wednesday).

Thus, our 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).

At the creation, YaHuWaH made the sun, the moon and the stars which are for time-keeping. Yahuwshuwa Messiah is time. He is called the “Aleph & Taw” (Alpha & Omega in Greek). He is “The one who was, and who is, and who 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. These celestial luminaries were placed inside the firmament (what we call the vast expanse of space), on the fourth day of creation. In Malachi 4:2, Messiah is called “The sun of righteousness,” because he began his ministry in the fourth millennium. 

The sun was also assigned to give light to the earth “On the fourth day.” It is no wonder that he is called “The light of the world,
because he is a prophetic picture of the sun. In Psalm 19:5, the bridegroom is compared to the “The sun coming out of his chamber,” or in Hebrew, his “Wedding chuppah! ” 

See my other blog entitled: The Heavens Declare the Glory of Elohiym

Just as YaHuWaH “Rested on the seventh day of the week” (Genesis) 2:2, it is also no small wonder that he also “Rested in the tomb,” before being raised up on the seventh day of the week. 

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 seventh-day Sabbath is being violated! This mean they are resting for three days in a row (or more), and not working to support their families. If this was commanded, it would be justified. However, there is no such commandment, and in fact, Lunar Sabbatarians are jeopardizing their jobs, 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 Yahuwshuwa,“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 sabbatical. 

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, there are six goals that YaHuWaH intends to accomplish within these 490 years, and it has to do with forgiveness!

70 X 7 = Forgiveness!  

Therefore, the pattern for time-keeping and prophecy, must follow the same pattern, using equations that are 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 seven years, we are keeping an entire year of “Land Sabbath” or a Sabbatical Year (Leviticus 25). There are 360 degrees in a perfect circle (or a circuit), therefore, this a unit of measure that we should be using to evenly divide the number of Sabbaths within a Sabbatical Cycle.

Moving on from there, every 49 years is a Shabuwah, therefore, the  50th year is a Jubilee Year.

How many Sabbaths do we have within a Shabuwah?

Every 49 years there are 2,520 Sabbaths that we keep.

Everything related to “covenant” is divisible by seven (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 in terms of Shabuwah! (7 & 49 year cycles)!

In Genesis 6, we are told that man’s days shall be 120 years. But the  word for “year” (shanah) can also be translated as “An age,” or “A Jubilee.”

If we multiply a 50 years by 120 years, we come to the 6,000th year for the end of the age (as we know it). This will commence the 7,000th year from creation, called the Sabbath 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 seventh day (and not according to a Lunar Sabbath reckoning), we are going to be keeping 360 Sabbaths every  years. This is equivalent to one full year of the land resting. 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.

Therefore, if we can fit 7 days into 7 years, we come up even. We can also fit 7 years into 49 years, and we come up even again, before we count the 50th Jubilee Year!

This is the only way to keep the Sabbath, (every seventh day continuously), without having a 2-3-day wait for the next new moon 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 into each new year, so that there is a continuous flow of seven days (without any extra days at the end of the month). YaHuWaH’s Calendar is perfect, therefore, there are no extra days that are nebulous, or unaccounted for. 

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.

Therefore, what is the judgment for the House of Yisra’el when they violated all of those weekly Sabbaths and seven-year cycles? There are curses listed in Leviticus 25-26 for violating or missing all these Sabbaths!

A Lunar Sabbath Reckoning Destroys the Prophetic Shadow Picture of our Messiah as the Red Heifer, his Crucifixion & Resurrection

There are many mathematical discrepancies with a Lunar Sabbath reckoning (as we have already seen). But one huge error, is that it undercuts the crucifixion and resurrection of our Messiah. Additionally, we are shown in Numbers 19, a hint of our Messiah fulfilling the ordinance of the Red Heifer. On the third day (after being sacrificed on the tree), our Messiah resurrected from the dead, but it was the seventh day of the week, the weekly Shabbat! This explains why he calls himself “Master of the Sabbath” in three gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

Bamidbar (Numbers) 19:12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 

To learn more about how our Messiah fulfilled the pattern of the Red Heifer, see my other blog: The Red Heifer Ordinance Fulfilled in 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 (the ninth hour of the day, according to Matthew 27:25). He was buried on the eve of a High Sabbath (Unleavened Bread); and this was the 15th day of the month of Abib (once the sun went down, the date changed from the 14th of Abib to the 15th). 

This means he hung on the tree all day on the 14th of Abib (Passover). He was in the tomb by the 15th of Abib (Unleavened Bread), which would have been the fifth day of the week (what we know as Thursday). The sixth day of the week (what we call Friday) was on the 16th of Abib. By sundown on the 16th of Abib, it became the 17th of Abib, the weekly Shabbath. He resurrected later that evening (on the 17th of Abib), just before sundown on Shabbath, before it became the 18th of Abib. 

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. 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 typical Lunar Sabbath falls on the 15th day of the month, then it is clear that this reckoning of Sabbath-keeping is found to be false. Even by the alternative reckoning, for those that observe 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 seventh 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. 

Restoring this passage as it is written in the Greek Textus Receptus & Aramaic Peshitta:

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.

Erroneously translated in the King James Version & Modern Translations:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 28:  

In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn [epiphosko, to draw on] 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 darkness.” 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 “To draw on,” and it can also mean “The beginning of something,” as in “The dawning of a new era.” Hence, for something to “dawn” means that something new is approaching. The term is much broader than the English word 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 seventh day, right? It says that it was “The end of the Sabbath,” how in the world could it be early on Sunday morning? 

It was still approaching the end of the Sabbath on the seventh day before sundown. Hence, when it says “Towards the first of the week,” it is telling us that on the evening of the seventh day, (before sundown), the first of the week had not arrived yet. However, sundown was fast approaching, which would then be counted as “The first day of the week,” (even though it was nighttime). This period is known as “Havdalah” 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 “Three days and three nights” prophecy. The first “day” of this prophecy must then commence after sundown on the fourteenth of Abib, which then became the 15th of Abib. This means we begin the count at sundown, just after he was buried. The last three hours of the 14th of Abib (from the time he died, until sundown), we do not use in the count.

This means 6-12 hour cycles:

Fourth day of the week: 14th of Abib 3:00 p.m. - sundown = 1/2 of a day.

Fifth day of the week: 14th of Abib @ sundown became the 15th of Abib - evening & morning #1 (twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day).

Sixth day of the week: 15th of Abib @ sundown became the 16th of Abib - evening and morning #2 (twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day).

Seventh day of the week: 16th of Abib @ sundown became the 17th of Abib - evening and morning #3 (twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day).

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

On the 17th of Abib (just as the Sabbath was ending), is when the women were able to go to the tomb. The Roman Soldiers were ordered to stand guard until the end of a three-day watch. Therefore, the women would have 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 malak (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, buried, and resurrected. Each of them have a different reckoning in an attempt to make it fit with their reckoning,

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. I had to show him his error by citing the following scriptures:

Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is YHWHs Pesach (Passover). 

Yahuwchanon (John) 19:31 The Yahuwdiym (Jews) therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Yahuwchanon (John) 19:42 There laid they Yahuwshuwa therefore because of the Yahuwdiym (Jews) preparation day; for the sepulchre was near at hand.

This gentleman tried to tell me that the lamb was always slaughtered on the 13th of the first month, in contrast to what is written:

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  those verses in Luke’s gospel, therefore, the word “day” was not there! And this means it was “The first of the week” which commences at sundown on the seventh day of the week (Saturday evening).

This is called Havdalah” in Hebrew (exiting the Sabbath). 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), 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”),  explainted to 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 our Messiah was arrested while he was still alive!

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?

See my other blog entitled: Where Do Redeemed Souls Go When They Die?

The “Heart of the earth” is obviously what is mentioned on Ephesians 4:8-9 as “The lowest parts of the earth,” where he redeemed those who were in Abraham’s Bosom (see Luke 16). 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 “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 you 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    from the grave!

The Saturn’s Day Argument

Another weak argument that Lunar Sabbatarians use to try to disprove our current seventh day Sabbath, is to call it Saturn’s Day, (named after Saturn). Therefore, they say that it cannot be the true Sabbath. However, no matter what day of the week they are keeping the Sabbath, 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 those who keep Shabbat every seventh day (on Saturday) are keeping Saturn’s Day. At the creation, YaHuWaH already sanctified the seventh day,calling it holy!It wasnt until many years later that the heathens in the nations gave the seventh day of the week, a new name!

Even in Spanish, the seventh 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 Sabbatarians” are following the ancient Sumerian calendar of the heathens:

Doing the same research as I have done, you will discover that the Ancient Sumerians celebrated the same pagan days of rest, (and used the very same terminology), by rendering leftover extra days as “non-days.” Most Lunar Sabbatarians celebrate their Sabbaths on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, with the remaining days as “non-days.” It’s exactly the same as the Sumerians. The Assyrio-Babylonian calendar is nearly identical 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 Sabbatarians say, those two pages completely debunk the false statements of those making the claim that the Jewish Encyclopedia supports their idea. It does not.

To download a free copy the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, in PDF, go to this link:

In the final analysis, we can see that there are many discrepancies with the Lunar Sabbath reckoning. If you are still adhering to this method of keeping Shabbath, I pray that you repent, and correct the error before it is too late. There are curses for not keeping the Sabbaths correctly in Leviticus 26. 

Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 26:2 You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am YHWH.


  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


  2. Whoah...very deep fantastic. Is there. a Schmitta calender? When is next Sabbath? A gal got mekeeping Wed. Think thats lunar...l know saturn day is gregorian pagan so overwhelming