Friday, February 18, 2022

What Constitutes a Biblical New Moon?

By Maria Merola

© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance, April 2006

There are varying opinions as to what constitutes a biblical new moon. Some people say it is the full moon that constitutes a new moon, based on a misunderstanding of Psalm 81:3. Some contend that a new moon is the dark moon, and once again, it is based on a misunderstanding of Psalm 81:3.

As an added study to this one, I strongly recommend that you read my other blog: When Does a Biblical “Day” Begin?

However, these two methods of calculating a new moon (the full moon and the dark moon), are based entirely on Psalm 81:3, and not by any other witness. We must also consult at least two or three witnesses in Scripture, before establishing a doctrine on this matter.

Psalm 81:3 is better understood, by consulting the entire counsel of Scripture. From the following passages, we understand that there are three pilgrimage feasts in the year. Therefore, Psalm 81:3 is delineating three separate and distinct purposes for blowing the shofar. 

*Note: I have added brackets and highlighted in red, the words andto help the reader understand this passage better:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon[and] in the time appointed[and] on our solemn feast day. 

1.) Blow the shofar at every new moon (twelve months in the year).

2.) Blow the shofar at the three appointed times or Pilgrimage Feasts (three times in the year).

3.) Blow the shofar on the other non-Pilgrimage Feasts (weekly and annual Sabbaths).

Another corroborating witness in Scripture (which helps us understand Psalm 81:3) does use the word andin between each of the times that King Solomon offered up burnt offerings on the altar:

Dibrey ha’Yamiym Shaniy (2nd Chronicles) 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Mosheh (Moses), on the sabbaths, and on the new moonsand on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.

Once again, there are three separate, and distinct times for offering up burnt offerings in the Temple:

1.) On the weekly and annual sabbaths.

2.) On the new moons.

3.) On the three Pilgrimage Feasts (Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Tabernacles).

Shemoth (Exodus) 23:14 Three times you shall keep a feast unto me in the year.

Shemoth (Exodus) 23:17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before YHWH Elohiym. 

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before YHWH your Elohiym in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened breadand in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YHWH empty:

Melakiym Rishown (1st Kings) 9:25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto YHWH, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before YHWH. So he finished the house. 

What follows is a blog that I copied and pasted from “Yahweh Restoration Ministries” website. I first read this article in 2006, and (in my humble opinion), this is by far, the most accurate explanation of what a biblical new moon consists of. 

What is a Biblical New Moon? 

I have replaced the name Yahweh in this article with the corrected ancient Hebrew name of “YaHuWaH. 

Elohiym, (in his wisdom), has given us a calendar in the sky for all to see. He uses the sun, the moon, and the stars to establish days, months, years, and also his appointed observances, (Genesis 1:14). A critical component to his calendar is the new moon, which starts each biblical month. YaHuWaH commanded special offerings on each new moon, and one special new moon is even a feast day called the Feast of Trumpets, (Isaiah 66:23). YaHuWaH uses the new moon to establish mowediym, (appointed times) or commanded observances, (Psalm 104:19). 

Special offerings were also given on the new moons, (2nd Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; 23:31). We find many references to the new moon or beginning of months in the Scriptures, including the obligation for true worshipers to observe them, (Numbers 10:10; 28:11-15; 1st Chronicles 23:31; 2nd Chronicles 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Ezekiel 46:1, 3, 6; Colossians 2:16). Apostolic believers, who remained true to his word, continued to honor new moon days as well as observe feast days in the New Testament, (Acts 18:21; 27:9; 1st Corinthians 5:7-8). 

Further, we learn from Ezekiel’s prophecy (46:3) that new moon days will be kept in the coming Kingdom: “The people of the land shall also worship at the doorway of that gate before YHWH on the sabbaths and on the new moons.” Make no mistake, the biblical admonition to observe the new moon as a special marker in the biblical calendar, is not a pronouncement about worshiping the moon itself. 

YaHuWaH prohibits worshiping any celestial body: “And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which Yahweh your Elohim has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). At the same time, he commands us to watch for and observe the new moon each month, so that we honor and follow his unique calendar and the setting of his special holy days. 

What Constitutes a New Moon? 

What exactly is a new moon according to the Scriptures? The Jewish calendar creates some confusion, because it uses the conjunctions of the moon (Hebrew molad) in setting the beginning of each month. Also somewhat confusing, a certain verse of Scripture seems to equate the new moon with the full moon. If you are baffled about what the new moon is, we hope this study will settle the issue for you. 

Let’s first look at the astronomical conjunction. A lunar conjunction is when the sun, moon and earth are directly in line. Because the sun is behind the moon, no sunlight is reflected from the lunar face. The moon is a total blackout during a conjunction. No part of the moon can be seen in an astronomical conjunction. The average wall calendar portrays the conjunction with a large black dot and calls it a “new moon.” 

But in reality it is a “no moon.” It is invisible, and a “no moon” conjunction is not what the Bible means by a new moon, which we will see. The Bible uses the same Hebrew word for both “new moon” and “month.” Therefore, the new moon is linked to, and sets the beginning of the month. But on our Gregorian wall calendars the “no moon” conjunction floats all over the 12-calendar months. Modern calendars completely ignore the biblical way of setting the first day of the month by the visual new moon, even though the word “month” is derived from the word “moon,” and should be oriented to the moon as it was intended by the Creator. 

Historically, new moon spotters in Israel watched for the thin crescent to establish the beginning of each month. Once seen, they reported their sighting to the calendar court authorities of the Sanhedrin. 

*Note: what one authority says, “Originally, the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculation, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 12, p. 1039. 

The switchover from watching for the first visible crescent to calculating conjunctions to determine the month’s beginning came with Hillel II’s calendar revisions in the 4th century C.E. “By the middle of the fourth century, the sages had established a permanent calendar and the public proclamation of the new moon was discontinued” (Ibid). 

Going by the calculated lunar conjunction contradicts the command in Deuteronomy 16:1“Observe the month [chodesh, new moon] of Abib and keep the Passover…” Here, the word “observe” in the Hebrew is shamar, and also means “to look narrowly for, search” (#H8104 in the Strong’s). The Holladay Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon defines it as watching in the sense of looking. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words includes the definitions “mark, watchman, wait, watch, look narrowly.” 

The command is “To look for, wait for, watch and mark the new moon.” The problem is that you cannot see a moon that is completely black or dark, as it is during a conjunction. It would be lunacy sending out new moon watchers on the night of a conjunction to look for a moon they cannot see. 

To visually confirm the new moon, there must be something to identify. Obviously, the invisible conjunction is not that something. Another predicament is created (by the use of the conjunction), because during the period surrounding the conjunction, there are as many as two or even three nights when no moon is visible. This leads us to wonder which three invisible moons are we commanded to “look narrowly for? 

On which of three invisible starting points does the month begin? YaHuWaH’s calendar is based on observation. Man’s calendars are based on calculation. No U.S. Naval Observatory existed in the time of the prophets or Apostles. The ancients had to have something tangible to go by, (that was visible on only one day each month). They needed to see the first thin crescent of a moon as it began its building or waxing phase. 

Philo was a prominent Jewish leader who lived in Alexandria from about 20 B.C.E. to about 50 C.E. (and was a contemporary of both Yahushua the Messiah and Paul). He was aware of what the Savior and His followers considered was the new moon. In his Treatise on the Special Laws, Book II, XI (41), Philo discusses the Biblical observances. 

*Note: how he describes the new moon: “[It] is that which comes after the conjunction, which… [is] the day of the new moon in each month.” In his detailed discussion of the new moon, Philo describes what constitutes a new moon: “…at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders.” 

As Philo noted, the new moon follows the conjunction but it is not the conjunction itself. His observation reveals to us what was considered the new moon in Yahushua’s day, and what the Savior himself also observed as the new moon. That is all we need to know to realize what still constitutes the biblical new moon today. Does new mean full?

Some read Psalm 81:3 and conclude that the new moon is a holy feast day, and also (because of mistranslation) that the new moon is the full moon, and not the first light of the moon. The KJV reads:

“Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” 

Time “appointed” is the Hebrew kacah and means “to plump, i.e. fill up hollows” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). This appointed time is a full moon, totally filled with light, and on which a solemn feast day occurs. Does that mean that the new moon is the full moon? 

The New King James, and some other translations add to the confusion by not translating Psalm 81:3 precisely enough: 

“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.” 

One immediate problem we note is that nowhere in Scripture is the regular monthly new moon referred to as a feast day, nor is it a full moon, as we shall see. Other translations clear up the problem by showing two completely different and separate observances in this verse: Sound the ram’s horn at the new moon, and when the moon is full, at the day of our feast” (NIV). In Psalm 81:3 YaHuWaH is speaking of a new moon, as well as another observance or appointed time that comes at a full moon. 

During each of these separate times, the trumpet was to sound. The Hebrew in fact reveals two distinct clauses in this passage, making a definite division of thought. The first is the trumpet (as applying to the new moon). The second, is the trumpet (as it applies to a solemn feast day), which is by biblical definition, different from a regular monthly new moon. 

From the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, one would translate Psalm 81:3 this way: “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, and in the fullness of our festival day.” 

The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament also makes a differentiation between the two clauses of verse 3: “Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast.” 

The Complete Jewish Bible reads: “Sound the shofar at Rosh-Hodesh [new moon], and at full moon for the pilgrim feast.” 

The Psalms for Today: A New Translation from the Hebrew into Current English translates the verse: “Sound the trumpet at the new moon, and at the day of our festival, when the moon is full.” 

These Hebrew-based translations show that the new moon is different from the full moon, and different from a feast day. The Hebrew shows that the new moon, and the full moon are not synonymous. The first is barely visible, the second totally visible. Different words are used for each. The Hebrew word levanah meaning white, occurs three times in the Hebrew text and poetically refers to the white brilliance of the full moon (see Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 24:23; 30:26). 

And the Hebrew word kehseh, meaning fullness, is twice translated full moon (Psalm 81:3; Proverbs 7:20). Chodesh, on the other hand, refers to the new moon, and is never used for full moon. 

Counting backward from the Full Moon? 

Some postulate that all that is necessary is to wait for the full moon, and then count back two weeks for the beginning of the month. First, such a method ignores scriptural mandate and practice. Why would one need to “narrowly look for,” and diligently search for a full moon? 

A full moon is in plain sight all night long. Second, by this reckoning, there would historically have been no need for special moon watchers to search the evening sky and report their findings to the Sanhedrin. Third, those moons immediately preceding and following a full moon have nearly full illumination, and are difficult to distinguish from the actual full moon without side-by-side comparison and an expert, discerning eye. 

This is not the case with a new moon crescent, (that is either seen or not seen), as by a shepherd boy like David out in the sheep fields. Fourth, the astronomical full moon does not consistently fall at the exact midpoint between two lunar conjunctions. The full moon may follow the lunar conjunction by as little as 13 days, 21 hours and 53 minutes, or by as much as 15 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes. That is why months vary in length between 29 and 30 days. This anomaly is because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular. 

Fifth, this method is based on the conjunction, which we have shown is not the scriptural new moon. Consequently, determining the new moon by counting backward from the full moon is anything but scripturally ordained, and at times quite inaccurate. And in one special case, doing so would even be out of the question. The Feast of Trumpets, itself (a new moon, and the first day of the seventh month), would be two weeks past by the time the full moon arrived, and the backward count is made. 

Scimitar-shaped New Moon Scholars (who know the Hebrew language), also know that the new moon is defined as a thin, crescent moon. Vine’s says, “Chodesh means ‘new moon,’ ‘month.’ The word refers to the day on which the crescent reappears.” The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says of chodesh: 

“Although this word properly means ‘new moon,’ it is commonly used as an equivalent to our word ‘month,’ because the month began when the thin crescent of the new moon was first visible at sunset.”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says chodesh means ‘new,’ ‘fresh.’ As the Hebrews reckoned their months from the actual first appearance of the young crescent, chodesh is most frequently translated ‘month’ ” (Vol. 1, p. 303). 

The verb form of chodesh is chadash, a primitive root meaning to rebuild, renew, repair, refresh.” This gives us additional proof as to what constitutes a new moon. A full moon is not in the rebuilding or renewing stage. It is already rebuilt, complete, and as full as it will get before waning back down to nothing, where it starts to re-grow from complete blackness once more. 

*Footnote by Maria Merola: The same argument can be made for a dark moon (conjunction), which has not yet begun to rebuild, renew, repair, or refresh.” 

According to Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon the word chodesh derives from a word which means to be new, or to polish a sword. Etymologists have observed that the basic sense is that of cutting and polishing. And the significance of newness relates to a polished sword. The new moon resembles a scimitar or a curved sword. 

The New Brown Driver Briggs Gesenius says chodesh is rooted in the meaning of conceal, as in “to conceal behind a curtain.” A full moon is anything but concealed. A crescent, on the other hand, is nearly all concealed by a curtain of darkness except for just a curved sliver of light along the right edge. 

An Act of Worship 

Looking for the new moon crescent each month is, above all, an act of worship. It is axiomatic that we cannot let our worship be done by someone else. James tells us, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:22). Do we have the dedication to go out and search the evening sky for a sliver of moon that is often very difficult to locate? Or do we just rely on others in our area or in some other part of the world to do it for us? As we learn through hundreds of lessons in the Scriptures, true worship takes effort, and self-sacrifice to search out YaHuWaH’s ways in order to honor him. It takes no effort or sacrifice to watch for a full moon or follow computer calculations.

Commentary by Maria Merola

As noted in this article by Yahweh Restoration Ministries, the reason why people come to an erroneous conclusion about Psalm 81:3, is because they are not reading it with the proper understanding. 

Even before I read the explanation from YRM, I heard the voice of YaHuWaH in 2006, after being pestered by a man on social media who was trying to convince me that “The full moon is the new moon.” His basis for believing this was solely based on Psalm 81:3, and he did not take into account the entire counsel of Scripture. I finally went into prayer, asking YaHuWaH if this man was correct about the full moon being the new moon. What my shepherd said to me was nothing short of amazing, and I knew that I had not thought of this on my own:

“Maria, the moon is the fullest on my three pilgrimage feasts, which is at the quarter or half moon stage.” 

He continued to speak to me about this:

During the days before technology and automation, people came to Jerusalem to keep the Pilgrimage feasts on donkey, horseback, or by camel, or caravan. It would have been inconsiderate for me to give these travelers no light to travel by, as they made their way to Jerusalem. However, the most amount of light was shone in the sky, as they approached the apex of the month. Additionally, the most amount of revelation (light of Messiah) is given to those who guard my appointed festivals. In 1st Thessalonians 5, the Apostle Shaul (Paul) explained this.

After YaHuWaH spoke this to my ruwach (spirit), I consulted the Scriptures to see what 1st Thessalonians 5 had to say:

1st Thessalonians 5:

1 But of the times and the seasons [mowediym, appointed feasts, festivals], brethren, you have no need that I write unto you.  

2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of YHWH so comes as a thief in the night.  

*Explanation: the phrase “times an seasons” is understood to mean “The appointed feasts and festivals,” in Genesis 1:14-16. The Hebrew word for “seasons” is as follows:

#H4150 mow`ed mo-ade' or moled {mo-ade'}; or (feminine) moweadah (2nd Chronicles 8:13) {mo-aw-daw'}; from 3259; properly, an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand):--appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn(-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).

The Greek Concordance is not as specific as the Hebrew:

#G2540. kairos kahee-ros' of uncertain affinity; an occasion, i.e. set or proper time:--X always, opportunity, (convenient, due) season, (due, short, while) time, a while. Compare 5550.

1st Thessalonians 5:

3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  

You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  

What Shaul (Paul) is expressing here, is that those who are keeping the appointed feasts, are “walking in the light” or “illumination,” aka the “revelation” that comes with keeping these festivals, for they point us to Messiah, and his testimony (Revelation 19:10). Therefore, the fullest moon, or the fullest amount of light is present at the highest point or “apex” of the month, on the 15th day for Sukkot, and for Passover/Unleavened Bread.

With this understanding, I was able to read Psalm 81:3 with new eyes:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, [and] in the time appointed, [and] on our solemn feast day. 

In other words, there are three separate and distinct purposes in the year where we are commanded to sound the shofar: 

1.) At every new moon each month.
2.) At the three Pilgrimage Feasts (Passover, Pentecost & Tabernacles, which land on a quarter or full moon).
3.) During the other non-Pilgrimage feast days.

Breaking down Psalm 81:3 in Hebrew, will help us understand the verse better.

The phrase “In the time appointed is as follows:

#H3677 kece' keh'-seh or keceh {keh'-seh}; apparently from 3680; properly, fulness or the full moon, i.e. its festival:--(time) appointed

The root word is:

#H3680 kacah kaw-saw' a primitive root; properly, to plump, i.e. fill up the hollows; by implication, to cover (for clothing or secrecy):--clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, overwhelm

Comparing with this root word:

#H3780 kasah kaw-saw' a primitive root; to grow fat (i.e. be covered with flesh):--be covered. 

The Cepher Bible translates Psalm 81:3 as follows:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow the shofar on the dark New Moon today on our solemn feast. 

After listening to Dr. Stephen Pidgeon expound on his reasons for this, he explains that he is using the root word #H3677 kece as “To conceal, or to cover.” Additionally, he believes this verse is only describing the Feast of Trumpets, rather than three separate, and distinct purposes for blowing the shofar, as I have previously shown. 

As you can see, there is more than one definition being expressed for this word. He uses the words conceal, to cover, as his primary reason for translating the new moon as a dark moon. I respect Dr. Pidgeon, and we are friends. However, this is one area where we differ. I contend that the other synonyms “To plump, to fill up the hollows, to clothe, to grow fat are more consistent with the original word #H3677 kece, which means fullness or full.

#H3680 kacah kaw-saw' a primitive root; properly, to plump, i.e. fill up the hollows; by implication, to cover (for clothing or secrecy):--clad self, close, clothe, conceal, cover (self), (flee to) hide, overwhelm

I contend that this definition is not describing a dark moon, but a moon that is “covered in light!The word “clothing is expressed in Revelation 12:1, as the constellation that was visible on the night our Messiah was born. It tells us that the virgin (bethulah) was clothed with the sun, and the [visible] moon was underneath her feet.

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

To learn more about our Messiahs birth on the Feast of Trumpets, see these blogs:

Three witnesses testified that night of our Messiah as the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16). He was coming into this world (as a finite human being), and his appearance was testified by the sun, the moon and the stars (Genesis 1:14). There are three Pilgrimage Feasts commanded for all the males to appear in Jerusalem:

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 16:16 Three times in a year shall all your males appear before YHWH your Elohiym in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before YHWH empty. 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread falls on the 15th day of the first month; the Feast of Weeks falls on the 7th day of the 3rd month; and the Feast of Tabernacles falls on the 15th day of the 7th month.

Therefore, Unleavened Bread & Sukkot fall on a full moon (the 15th day of the month); and the Feast of Weeks falls on a quarter moon (the 7th day of the month).

As we continue to break down Psalm 81:3, we can see the Hebrew words are describing three separate times in the year:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon[and] in the time appointed[and] on our solemn feast day. 

The words andare highlighted in red brackets, and are not part of the original text. However, I included them to express an intended delineation. These are describing three times in a year for blowing the shofar:

1.) At every new moon (#H2320).

2.) At the appointed times, (three pilgrimage feasts), #H3677, #H3680, #H3780. 

3.) At the solemn feast days (#H2282).

#H2282 chag khag or chag {khawg}; from 2287; a festival, or a victim therefore:--(solemn) feast (day), sacrifice, solemnity. 

#H2287 chagag khaw-gag' a primitive root (Compare 2283, 2328); properly, to move in a circle, i.e. (specifically) to march in a sacred procession, to observe a festival; by implication, to be giddy:--celebrate, dance, (keep, hold) a (solemn) feast (holiday), reel to and fro.

This root word chagagimplies an annual revolution of the earth around the sun, which means that once per year, it is the new moon of the Abib, which we are commanded to “shamar, to watch narrowly for.

At this website, by Hillel ben David (Greg Killian) he explains why Yom Teruw’ah was and still is celebrated for two days.

Originally….the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the 30th of each month, the members of the Sanhedrin assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Beit Ya’azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon based on their calculations and the testimony of these two witnesses. If the moon’s crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the New Moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day (which was the first day of the next month). 

Normally we know several days in advance, the date of the next festival. However, there is one festival which actually falls on the new moon. The only festival that falls on a new moon is….Yom Teruah…. Yom Teruah, therefore, is the festival that, “No one knows the day or hour that it starts, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Until the Sanhedrin sanctifies the New Moon of the seventh month, no one know when Yom Teruah will begin…. ….These days of Yom Teruah are called “yoma arichta” (one long day) to indicate that the sanctity of both is not a doubtful sanctity, but a definite one….

The reason that we celebrate for two days is because if we waited to start our celebration until after the new moon had been sanctified, we would have missed half the celebration because the new moon can only be sanctified during daylight hours. The new moon is also very difficult to see on the first day because it can be seen only about sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is traveling north. So, looking for a very slim faint crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is a very difficult thing to do.... These two days are celebrated as though it is just one long day of forty-nine hours from candle lighting time, eighteen minutes before sundown; to havdalah time, forty-two minutes after sundown....

Is the Enochian or Zadok Calendar Biblical?

The Enochian or Zadok Calendar completely eliminates the command of Deuteronomy 16:1, which tells us to watch narrowly for the new moon of the Abib.

It is also a violation of Genesis 1:14-16, which tells us that “The sun, the moon, and the stars” are three witnesses to be consulted for “signs & seasons.” The Hebrew word for “signs,” is “owth,” which is spelled with the Hebrew letters Aleph, Waw & Taw. 

These three letters are a prophetic picture of our Messiah, who is symbolized by the Aleph (the red heifer in Numbers 19); the Waw (the nail), and the Taw (the two crossed sticks of Ezekiel 37:16, or the two olive trees of Zechariah 4 & Revelation 11:3). 

The Hebrew word for “seasons,”  is “mowediym,” meaning “festivals, feasts, appointed times.” Thus, we are commanded to use all three witnesses (the sun, the moon, and the stars) to determine the prophetic feast days that point prophetically to our Messiah. Those who use the alleged Zadok Calendar claim that because Genesis 1:16 does not specifically name the moon, that Yah was not assigning the lesser light to the moon, but rather to the billions of stars in sky.

However, King David (who was a Hebrew-speaker) understood what Genesis 1:16 was telling us concerning the greater light”  as the sun, and the lesser light as the moon, because he repeated the same creation account in the Psalms.

Tehilliym (Psalms) 136:

To him that made GREAT LIGHTS: for his mercy endures for ever:  

The SUN TO RULE BY DAY: for his mercy endures for ever:  

The MOON [YAREACH] and STARS TO RULE BY NIGHT: for his mercy endures for ever. 

Joseph Was a Type & Shadow of Messiah

In Genesis 37, the patriarch Joseph had a prophetic dream that the sun, the moon, and the stars would all bow down to him one day, and we know that this represented his father Jacob, and his brothers bowing to him in Egypt years later. 

Bereshiyth (Genesis) 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

The Hebrew word in the above passage for  “moon” (the noun) is “yareach,” therefore, we have the moon as a witness for determining the appointed times of Yah.

However, a secondary meaning to Joseph’s dream points prophetically to our Messiah, who was born on the Feast of Trumpets in 3 B.C. In 2002, after reading the book by Dr. Ernest L. Martin entitled “The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World,” I learned that all three celestial witnesses testified of our Messiah's arrival into the world as the Savior. Revelation 12:1 tells us:

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

To further corroborate, we have a few other places in Scripture telling us that the yareach (moon) is to be consulted for measuring the time of the festivals:

Tehilliym (Psalm) 89:37 It shall be established for ever as THE MOON [YAREACH], and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

Tehilliym (Psalm) 104:19 He APPOINTED THE MOON [YAREACH] FOR SEASONS: the sun knows his going down. 

Yirmeyahuw (Jeremiah) 31:35 Thus says YHWH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and THE ORDINANCES OF THE MOON [YAREACH] and of the stars for a light by night, which divides the sea when the waves hereof roar; YHWH of hosts is his name:

Yirmeyahuw (Jeremiah) 31:36 IF THOSE ORDINANCES DEPART FROM BEFORE ME, says YHWH, then the seed of Yisra’el also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. 

The Hebrew word for “ORDINANCES,” in the above passages are as follows: 

#2708 chuqqah khook-kaw' feminine of 2706, and meaning substantially the same:--APPOINTED CUSTOM, manner, ordinance, site, STATUTE

 #2706 choq khoke from 2710; an enactment; hence, an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage):--appointed, bound, COMMANDMENT, convenient, custom, decree(-d), due, LAW, MEASURE, NECESSARY, ordinance(- nary), portion, set time, STATUTE, task. 

I see a very grievous error developing within the Hebraic Community, whereby many have eliminated the moon for determining the mowediym (times, seasons, festivals). 

The argument that they use is that the Hebrew word for “moon” (the noun) is “yareach,” whereas the term for “new moon” is “chodesh,” which refers to the “renewed lunation cycle” (not the moon itself).

Its like saying “I am going to eat lunch,” but the word “lunch” is not something that can be eaten. Lunch refers to the afternoon meal, not an object that we put into our mouths to eat! 

But if I pack a sandwich to eat for lunch, I can accurately say “I am going to eat my sandwich for lunch.” The same thing is true of the word “yareach” (moon), which is like the word “sandwich,” because it is describing a tangible object that can be seen. 

The word “lunch,” however is not a tangible object, it is describing a time of day, just as the word “chodesh” is describing the renewal of a new month (not an object). 

The word “chodesh” comes from the Hebrew root word “chadash” which means “To renew, to rebuild and to repair.” 

The term “Briyth Chadash” literally means “Covenant Renewed” or “New Covenant.” In the same way that the Covenant has been Renewed, (because of our Messiah’s blood atonement), so the “moon” (yareach) experiences a renewed cycle (chodesh) every month!

To those who are teaching that a new moon is the full moon, when a newborn baby comes out of the womb, he/she is tiny, but that baby grows up, and becomes a full-grown adult. 

The same thing is true of the new moon, because it begins as a tiny sliver, and then it becomes FULL on the 15th day of the month. 

This is why the moon is “waxing” (growing) until the 15th day of the month, and then it begins to “wane” (diminish or decline), until the last day of the month.

Tehilliym (Psalm) 104:19 HE APPOINTED THE MOON [YAREACH] FOR SEASONS: the sun knows his going down. 

The Hebrew word for “appointed” in the above verse (asah) means:

#6213: to attend to, put in order, to observe, to celebrate, to acquire, to appoint, ordain, institute

The Hebrew word for “seasons” is “mowed,” which means: 

#4150 An appointed time, a fixed season, a festival, a solemn assembly. 

Therefore, YaHuWaH is telling us that he has appointed the “OBSERVED MOON” to help us determine when to keep HIS FESTIVALS! 

Here are a few more witnesses from Scripture: 

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto YHWH your Elohiym: for in the month of Abib YHWH your Elohiym brought you forth out of Egypt by night. 

The Hebrew word for “OBSERVE” in the above passage is “SHAMAR,” which means “TO WATCH NARROWLY FOR, TO BE A WATCHMAN.” 

The word “month” is “chodesh,” which means “The renewed cycle of the moon.” 

Therefore, Deuteronomy 16:1 can accurately read like this:

“WATCH NARROWLY FOR THE RENEWED MOON of Abib, and keep the Passover unto YHWH your Elohiym: for in the month of Abib YHWH your Elohiym brought you forth out of Egypt by night.” 

Tehilliym (Psalm) 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in THE NEW MOON, in THE TIME APPOINTED, on our SOLEMN FEAST DAY

The Hebrew word for “NEW MOON” in the above passage is “chodesh,” which means “The renewed cycle of the moon” (not the object of the moon itself). 

The Hebrew word for “TIME APPOINTED,” refers the three Pilgrimage Festivals (Exodus 24:13-17; Deuteronomy 16:16; 1st Kings 9:25; 2nd Chronicles 8:13). 

The Hebrew word for “TIME APPOINTED” in Psalm 81:3 is “kese” which means “THE APPOINTED FEASTS AT THE FULL MOON.” 

This means that at all THREE PILGRIMAGE FEASTS, the moon should be at its fullest, or almost full: 

1.) Passover/Unleavened Bread - a full moon on the 14th/15th of the month. 

2.) Shabuwoth (Pentecost) - a quarter moon (the first week of the month). 

3.) Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) - a full moon on the 15th of the month. 

The Apostle Shaul (Paul) warned us about the Gnostic Essenes who had a corrupted calendar, whereby they ELIMINATED THE MOON, for reckoning the Feasts, and they only used the SUN & STARS for observing the Feasts. 

The Gnostic Essenes were also known for being Vegetarians, and for judging those who eat meat from clean animals. They also judged those drink wine, and who observed the festivals & Sabbath Days at the correct time: 

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in MEAT, or in DRINK, or in respect of A HOLY DAY, or of THE NEW MOON or of THE SABBATH DAYS

Below are a few more Scriptures commanding us to observe the NEW MOONS as a FEAST to YaHuWaH: 

1st Chronicles 23:31 And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto YHWH in THE SABBATHS, in THE NEW MOONS, and on THE SET FEASTS, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Adonay. 

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 Adonay our Elohiym. This is AN ORDINANCE FOREVER for Yisrael.

2nd Chronicles 8:13 Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on THE SABBATHS, and on THE NEW MOONS, and on THE SOLEMN FEASTS, THREE TIMES IN THE YEAR, even in THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, and in THE FEAST OF WEEKS, and in THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

2nd Chronicles 31:3 He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for THE SABBATHS, and for THE NEW MOONS, and for THE SET FEASTS, as it is written in the Torah of Adonay. 

Ezra 3:5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of THE NEW MOONS, and of all THE SET FEASTS of Adonay that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto Adonay. 

Nechemiyah (Nehemiah) 10:33 For the showbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of THE SABBATHS, of THE NEW MOONS, for THE SET FEASTS, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Yisra’el, and for all the work of the house of our Elohiym. 

Amowc (Amos) 8:5 Saying, WHEN WILL THE NEW MOON BE GONE, THAT WE MAY SELL CORN? And the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 

Yeshayahuw (Isaiah) 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that FROM ONE NEW MOON TO ANOTHER, AND FROM ONE SABBATH TO ANOTHER, SHALL ALL FLESH COME TO WORSHIP ME, saith YHWH.

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