The Night was Dark – Genesis 15
430 Years Prior to the Exodus, to the Very Day
The purpose of this Hebrew interlinear word study is to identify which lunar phase marked the night of the Exodus. But the answer is nowhere to be found among the Exodus events. However, 430 years prior to the Exodus, to the very day, at the time Yahuah instituted His covenant with Abram, Genesis records the lunar phase for the middle of the lunar month. That night the sun went down and thick darkness came to be . . . Might this dark night so long ago, be a missing link that resolves the lunar phase identity of the Creator’s true New Moon?
Yahuah called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans and led him on a journey of trust to the Promised Land. Yahuah then made a covenant with Abram as a guarantee, declaring that Abram (name changed to Abraham) would have an heir and that his descendants who would be enslaved for many years, but then return to inherit the land we still call Israel today (Genesis 15:1-21).
While there remains conflict in Scripture over the length of time Israel was actually under the yoke of Egypt, we maintain that 430 years was the total length of time. For this was the time between the night the covenant was given to Abraham and Israel was released from Egyptian bondage, to the very day. Yahuah led his people out with a strong arm, and a great pillar of fire in the middle of the lunar month, on the night of the 15th of Abib.
Order of Events
- Yahuah led Moses and Israel out of Egypt by night on the fifteenth of the first month at the conclusion of 430 years to the very day (Numbers 33:2-3; Exodus 12:40-42 and Deuteronomy 16:1, 2).
- A month later, on the 15th, the people ran out of food and Yahuah provided quail that night and manna the next morning (Exodus 16:1-2) This is best read from the Septuagint version of Scripture, as it divides the verses correctly with comas and periods.
“And they departed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai; and on the fifteenth day, in the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt, all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron.” Exodus 16: 1, 2 Septuagint
- The third month, to the very day that Israel had left Egypt, Yahuah brought His people to the foot of Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1-2).
It has been established that each event occurred in the middle of a lunar month on the night of the fifteenth. While Exodus does not record the lunar phase for any of the three months in a row, as to whether those nights were bright or dark when the sun went down, or whether the sun had been darkened during the day by a solar eclipse. However, in first position and of paramount importance is the fact that Genesis 15 reveals the foundational truth of the appearance of the night sky when Yahuah made the covenant with Abram. Remember, each of the Exodus events were connected back 430 years previously “to the very day” that this covenant was made.
12 And it came to pass the sun went down and a vision fell upon Abram and behold exceedingly terrible darkness fell upon him. 17 It came to pass, the sun went down and thick darkness came to be . . . Genesis 15: 12, 17 The Creator’s Calendar Restored Text
Only Three Lunar Phase Options
The reason this is so significant is that all the Exodus night events were established and based upon the paramount night of the Abraham Covenant. Also, everyone knows that when the sun goes down it is “night,” but this verse is describing in simple terms the appearance of the sky that particular night when the sun set, “thick darkness came to be.” This is the only place in Scripture where this is done.
There is no contention as to what day of the month this was. It was clearly the middle of the lunar month and specifically the fourteenth civil calendar date. The only question is with regard to which lunar phase was present in that night sky. Remarkably, and by default, there are only three viable lunar phase options for the middle of the month. Either this was the night of the “full moon,” the “dark conjunction,” or the first visible crescent moon.
So let’s compare the measurable light differences on the night of each of these three lunar phases when the sun has gone down, assuming the starlight is consistent each night:
- The tradition New Moon recognized by the modern Jews and Muslims is the first crescent lunar phase. It becomes visible shortly after sunset about the time of the twinkling stars. While it is visible for under an hour, it emanates 1/15th the amount of the full moon’s light emanating standard. Following sunset on the night of the crescent is not considered moonless, as it does exhibit a small trace of light visible for a short time, but the remainder of the night is dark. As a result, this night of the crescent is never considered a brilliant or bright night, but is more in harmony with a dark night, especially during the hours after the sun has gone down.
- The full moon lunar phase arises in the east either just prior or just following sunset. It is fully lit and visible by the time the stars come out, creating a “brilliant” light display as recorded in Revelation 12:1 (#4582 selene = brilliant moon). According to Enoch 1, by Nickelsburg and Vanderkam, the full moon is 1/7th the brightness of the sun. Predominantly, the full moon is considered a bright light source, and on this night it shines the entire night. Consequently, the night of the full moon is so brilliant that no torch or flashlight is necessary. This night is NEVER described at dark and by no means as thick darkness.
- The dark occulted lunar phase, recognized by modern NASA as the New Moon, is the only phase of the entire month that does not give any light upon the Earth for one or two nights on any given lunar month. This is because it intercepts its light as it physically comes between the Sun and Earth. This is also the only lunar phase occurring at the moment of a solar eclipse, as is recorded to have transpired on the day of the Crucifixion of our Messiah, in the middle of the month, when the sun was darkened from the sixth to the ninth hour. For these reasons, the “conjunction” lunar phase is the solitary lunar phase that occurs when the night is at its darkest. For details on the solar eclipse and its unusual length refer to: The Sun was Darkened from the Sixth to the Ninth Hour.
If the moon did not exist, every night would appear to be the same as the next, notwithstanding the rotation of the starry constellations that would continue to designate astronomical months. But since the dawn of human experience, the night of the full moon has never been described as dark, but in contrast, it is the night marveled at for its brilliance. So by the sheer weight of evidence, from Genesis 15:12-17 the lunar phase of the 15th had to be the dark conjunction. Thus it is by extension, fifteen days previous, the first lunar phase of the month, and true New Moon, must no doubt be marked by the full moon.
Might the Eternal Father in His omniscience have known that the true full New Moon would become a point of controversy in the centuries following the crucifixion of His Son? This is supported by the calendar controversies brought to light by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Measuring Time by James C. Vanderkam.) In light of the fact that the modern Jews recognize the first visible crescent as New Moon, this should be a sign and evidence that they are NO LONGER in harmony with the Tanakh (Scriptures) since the time shortly after the crucifixion of the Messiah.
Might this have been the primary reason Yahuah placed the sign of authenticity of the true lunar phase for the 15th of the lunar month in the predominant position and safety of the Abrahamic Covenant? A place were no one thought to look? Yet, from this unique vantage point it can now be seen that this foundational covenant with Abraham marked both the appointed time as well as the synchronization of the three most sacred Scriptural events:
1. The Abrahamic Covenant
2. The Exodus
3. The Crucifixion of the Messiah
These three events can never be separated in time-centric principles, as they are forever united and synchronized by the following facts:
- The first month of the year, Abib.
- The 14th-15th of the lunar month.
- A dark lunar phase was the middle of the lunar month.
- By extension, the full moon has always been the true New Moon of the Creator.
Thus we can know with certainty that Passover, the 14th of the lunar month, today, nearly 2,000 years later, is also on a dark lunar phase. Consequently, the full moon is the true New Moon today just as it was at the time of Abraham, Moses, and Yahusha the Messiah, as established on yet another principle of Scripture.
Key Support Verses:
- Exodus 12:40 – Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
- Exodus 12:41 – And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, on the very same day, it came to pass that all the armies of Yahuah went out from the land of Egypt.
- Numbers 33:2-3 – Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of Yahuah. And these are their journeys according to their starting points: They departed from Ramses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. Numbers 33:2-3
- Deuteronomy 16:1 – Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to Yahuah your Alahim, for in the month of Abib Yahuah your Alahim brought you out of Egypt by night. Deuteronomy 16:1-2
- Exodus 16:1-2 – On the fifteenth day of second month the Israelites ran out of food and complained of hunger.
And they departed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai; and on the fifteenth day, in the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt, all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron. Exodus 16: 1, 2 Septuagint
- Exodus 19:1-2 – On the third month to the very day
In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
- Genesis 15:12 When the sun was going down a terrible darkness fell upon Abraham.
- Genesis 15:13 – they will afflict them 400 years.
- Genesis 15:17 – “. . . the sun went down and thick darkness came to be . . .
- Genesis 15:18 On the same day Yahuah made a covenant with Abram.
Praise Yahuah for the record of Moses so that we could bring the puzzle pieces together for a completed picture of what occurred so very long ago!
For additional Studies that illustrate the full moon is the original New Moon in Scripture, click here: Scriptural Evidence for a Full New Moon.