FAQ - The New Moon and the Beginning of Each Month
For the Answers, please click on the Questions
Question 1: I was always taught that when Isaiah 66:23 states that, "from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another," it simply meant, from month to month and from week to week. Isn't this correct?
Answer: Historically among Sabbatarians, Isaiah 66:23 has been most useful in showing that the heavenly Father, Yahuwah's true seventh-day Sabbath will continue to be kept Holy even in the New Earth by His faithful redeemed. With this said, the same specific rules that apply to the Sabbath must apply to the true New Moon as well, which is also mentioned in connection with the Sabbath, giving them both specific meaning. If the reference to the New Moon simply meant "monthly" or "from month to month" then the same would hold true for the Sabbath, which would make it's meaning dwindle to a mere "week to week," and lose its Sabbath importance. Isaiah is declaring that New Moon days, as well as seventh-day Sabbaths, will continue into eternity. In addition, He is clarifying that the seventh-day Sabbath's are defined according to their count from the New Moon and are not defined by the unbroken chains of weeks.Article Link: Scripture's New Moon Principles
Question 2:The "New Moon" is taken as the basis for the lunisolar calendar, from which the Sabbath comes after working six days. But "New Moon" is not found in Scripture until 1 Samuel 20 and it is not shown to be the basis of counting to Sabbath, a word which is found 36 times before 1 Samuel 20. It seems so unlike God to use something so insignificant as the "New Moon" appears to be, to declare His annual appointed Feasts and weekly seventh-day Sabbaths. Can you please explain?
Answer:The Hebrew word for "New Moon" in Strong's Concordance is chodesh:
#2320 - chodesh (kho'-desh); from OT: 2318; the new moon; by implication, a month: month (-ly), new moon.
You stated above that the word "New Moon" does not appear in Scripture until 1 Samuel 20, however it actually appears 91 times prior to 1 Samuel and approximately 300 times between Genesis and Revelation. Compare this number with the Sabbath only appearing 36 times prior to 1 Samuel and 150 times between Genesis and Revelation. There is no way around the importance that Yahuwah placed on the New Moon, and its reckoning of time. Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface. Below are the Scriptures for the "New Moon" prior to 1 Samuel 20:
Some of these verses contain the word "new moon" more than once. Gen 7:11; Gen 8:4: Gen 8:5; Gen 8:13: Gen 8:14; Gen 29:14; Ex 12:2; Ex 12:3; Ex 12:6; Ex 12:18; Ex 13:4; Ex 13:5; Ex 16:1; Ex 19:1; Ex 23:15; Ex 34:18; Ex 40:2; Ex 40:17; Lev 16:29; Lev 23:5; Lev 23:6; Lev 23:24; Lev 23:27; Lev 23:32; Lev 23:34; Lev 23 :39; Lev 23 :41; Lev 25 :9; Lev 27 :6; Num 1 :1; Num 1 :18; Num 3 :15; Num 3 :22; Num 3 :28; Num 3 :34; Num 3 :39; Num 3 :40; Num 3 :43; Num 9 :1; Num 9 :3; Num 9 :5 ; Num 9 :11; Num 9 :22; Num 10 :11; Num 11 :20; Num 11 :21; Num 18 : 16; Num 20 :1; Num 26 :62; Num 28 :14; Num 28 :16; Num 28 :17; Num 29 :1; Num 29: 6; Num 29:7; Num 29:12; Num 33:3; Num 33:38; Deut 1:3; Deut 16:1; Deut 21:13; Josh 4:29; Josh 5:10.Article Link: Scripture's Weight of Evidence
Question 3:Which lunar phase was the true New Moon, conjunction or the first visible crescent or the full moon?
Answer:The months started following a conspicuous sighting a visible New Moon
Many very sincere lunar-Sabbath keepers observe the dark, conjunction lunar phase, as the New Moon. They do not take into account that the New Moon must be visible and of the light.
For the Jews did not anticipate, but postpone their months; . . .[months did] not [begin] a day sooner, lest they should celebrate the new moon before there was any" (Sir Isaac Newton, Observations upon the Prophecies, London, 1733, p. 161 as quoted in "Brief Review of the New Views Regarding Millerite Chronology", ibid.)
The Millerites went by observation as well. The following quote by Prideaux was printed several times by the Millerites:
None of them [months] had fewer than 29 days, and therefore they never looked for the new moon before the night following the 29th day; and, if they then saw it, the next day was the first day of the following month" (Prideaux, History of the Jews, Vol. 1, p. 51; printed in "Signs of the Times," Dec. 5, 1843, p. 155, col. 1; as quoted in ibid.)
But with this said, it has been discovered that the traditions of the modern Jews and Karaites and Millerites who followed the sighting of the first visible crescent were not in harmony with Scripture. With a multitude of witnesses it is discovered that the full moon is the true New Moon.
Question 4: What is the main premise for establishing the full moon as as the New Moon, rather that the first visible crescent, the dark conjunction phase, or last visible crescent?
- A prophetic solar eclipse occurred at noon on the day of the Crucifixion.
- All ruling luminaries shine from east to west, across the whole sky.
- He apportions the face of the “full moon” for set time.
- The moon in heaven and the new earth regulates the fruit on the tree of life and the twelve gates.
- Heaven’s twelve whole pearl gates link to the rhythm of the twelve “full” New Moons.
- The stone rejected, the pearl gates, and the “full” New Moon as one and the same, symbolize the Messiah.
- The woman clothed with the sun, and moon under her feet and stars above her head, is the announcement of New Years Day.
- Blow the “New Moon shofar” on the full moon, because it is the New Moon.
- It is shown that the Hebrew word “chag” includes all feast days and not simply the pilgrim feasts.
- The “Father of Lights” is represented only by luminaries with no shadow of a turning orbit.
- The “full moon” is discovered to be metaphorically, both the start and the finish line for the faithful.
Question 5:If the months start with the "full" New Moon, wouldn't you sometimes get an 8 or 9 day week?
Answer:No, because according to Scripture, the work week was never longer than six days
followed by a seventh-day Sabbath. Six days plus a Sabbath was the definition of a week or Sabbath complete. Anything short
of this model is not a week according to Scripture. Depending on whether the month is a 29 or 30 days long, either the last
seventh-day Sabbath is immediately followed by a New Moon Day or it is followed by a single work day, which is followed by a
New Moon day.
Every time the New Moon comes around, it refreshes the cycle of weeks. In other words the lunar cycle of weeks is broken by the New Moon every month, but there are always four weeks in each lunar month that begin on the day following the "full" New Moon day. The New Moon day and the 30th day, known as translation day, belong to the year and month count and not to the week. Neither of these days are part of the Creator's week. But they are part of His month and year. Ezekiel 46:1 clarifies that according to the heavenly Father, there are three kinds of days and not just work days and Sabbaths.
"Thus says the Lord GOD: "The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened." Ezekiel 46:1-2 NKJV
"Thus says the Lord GOD: "The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened." Ezekiel 46:1-2 NKJVArticle Link: Samoa's Dateline Paradox
Question 6:Is it ever possible to see the dark conjunction phase?
Answer:There is not just one, but two reasons why the "dark conjunction" lunar phase is not only dark but also never visible. The first reason is phase related, with the sun only shining on the moon's back side as viewed from earth. The half of the moon facing earth is therefore dark with an over abundance of light shining from the first rays of the morning sun all around it. The second reason the "conjunction" phase is never visible is position related. This dark lunar phase cannot be seen because it is between the earth and the sun at sunrise, and most often on separate latitudes from the sun. Both the phase and its position work together to insure consistency, thus it will never be visible. This is because each lunar phase is also bound by physical laws to its position in the heavens. Outside of latitude variation, each specific lunar phase consistently appears in its exact longitude position every time that specific phase comes around.
If the ancient Hebrews were to look for the "dark conjunction" lunar phase as the "New Moon", they would have had to go out at sunrise and face the east looking for the moon. While the moon would not be visible, this could have too easily been confused with sun worship. The act of facing the sun at sunrise was considered an abomination to Yahuwah. This is exactly opposite of what the Lord Yahuwah taught through the ceremonies of the Sanctuary. At sunrise the priests were to face due west toward the Holy of Holies.
Question 7:When and where in the sky are we to look to observe the first visible crescent New Moon?
Answer:If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, position yourself facing south in a location where you have an unobstructed view of the western horizon at sunset. Holding your arm out straight you can use an extended thumb to measure an approximate location above the horizon where you will see a thin right sided crescent moon. It becomes visible about the same time as one or two stars in the sky, excluding Venus.
If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, position yourself facing north in a location where you have an unobstructed view of the western horizon at sunset. Holding your arm out straight you can use an extended thumb to measure an approximate location above the horizon where you will see a thin right sided crescent moon. Sometimes it becomes visible about the same time as one or two stars in the sky excluding Venus. See many illustrations at Article Link: Scripture's New Moon Principles
Question 8:How are William Miller and the early advent movement connected to the New Moon and the lunisolar calendar?
Answer:In the 1840's, William Miller, a student of prophetic time and a leader of a great religious awakening around the globe, believed the Lord was to return very soon. Together with Samuel Snow and others, they reckoned from Scripture and ancient Hebrew lunisolar calendation that prophetic 2300 evenings and mornings were symbolic of literal years. They discovered that this prophetic period that began at the time of Artaxerxes' decree was to end in October 22, 1844. While it was to clearly mark the anti-typical day of Atonement and the cleansing of the Sanctuary, it was wrongfully assumed by Miller that this marked the second coming of Christ Yahushua in the clouds of heaven. So because of their error as to the event to take place they along with all the believers world wide experienced what is commonly known today as the "Great Disappointment of 1844". The participants in this religious movement were Christians from all religious faiths and were called "Adventists" because they looked to the soon return or second "advent" of Christ Yahushua. The Seventh-day Adventist church was born out of this great disappointment and was not officially organized until 1863. William Miller died in December of 1849 before the Seventh-day Adventist church was organized. Therefore his teaching and preaching must not be confused with those of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
William Miller and Samuel Snow were basing their detailed calculations of the fulfillment of the prophecy, from the "first visible crescent" New Moon in the spring of 1844, just as the Hebrew people of antiquity would have had to do. They added 177 days including that New Year's Day of Abib 1, which brought them to Tisrei 10 of the lunisolar calendar, also known as October 22, 1844 of the Roman Gregorian calendar.
Later Ellen White of the newly organized Seventh-day Adventist church placed her stamp of approval from the Lord upon the date of October 22, 1844, but not upon the event they believed was to happen.
All those teaching that the New Moon is the dark "conjunction" lunar phase, either don't know or reject the value of William Miller's October 22, 1844, conclusion and Ellen White's stamp of approval.
Question 9:What is "translation" day? What does it mean and what do you do on it?
Answer:"Translation" is simply the astronomical term for the day that occurs between the dark conjunction lunar phase and the first visible crescent. If the translation day were a day of rest, it would have been clarified in Scripture. Since it is not, it can safely be assumed that the translation day was a work day. It is a day that belongs to the completion of both the month and the year. It had nothing whatever to do with the weeks.
Question 10:When I look up astronomical data at the United States Naval Observatory (U.S.N.O) or National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.), there seems to be a discrepancy. Can you explain?
Response:Much of the New Moon confusion today arises because both the United States Naval Observatory (U.S.N.O.) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) label the "dark conjunction" phase as the New Moon. No doubt the same is true of all other nationally based astronomical organizations. These are the same organizations that in many of their illustrated models depict one complete lunation as only 28 days in length. This is a contradiction of the detailed records they themselves keep in numeric form, which do show the lunar month to be 29 or 30 days in length. They are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. All lunar months in recorded history have always been either 29 or 30 days in length. The average person can check this out for themselves, simply by personal observation of each lunar phase over a 30 day period. When the phase you started your count with comes around again, then you will know that you completed your count on the previous day.
The real confusion lies in the records that are kept by these organizations where they consistently refer to the dark conjunction lunar phase as New Moon, rather than the first visible horned crescent. However, all is not lost. Because of the consistency of these organizations, it is possible to calculate utilizing all the data given to determine when the first visible crescent New Moon for any given month would have been. The following example is from N.A.S.A. using the dark conjunction lunar phase for the year of Christ Yahushua's Crucifixion.
|Year||New Moon||First Quarter||Full Moon||Last Quarter|
|AD 31||Apr 10 11:32||Apr 18 15:06||Apr 25 19:59 p||May 2 10:42|
The year was A.D. 31 and the first month of that year was April. Since N.A.S.A identifies the Gregorian 10th day to be the conjunction, all we must do is add a day to arrive at the first visible crescent as viewed in the night sky following sunset on the 11th of April. The following day April 12 is then New Moon day, which is also the first day of the lunisolar month of Abib/Nissan. Since we know from Scripture, that Christ Yahushua died on the 14th of the lunisolar month of Abib/Nissan, then we simply count to 14 and therefore arrive at Wednesday, April 25, A.D. 31, as the day of Christ Yahushua's crucifixion. See many illustration at Article Link: The Twelve Criteria of the True Crucifixion Date